Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Gum Drop Pillows

The perfect gift for daughters, grand-daughters, nieces or friends who are going off to University - the Gum Drop Pillow (cushion) by Amy Butler.

Anna is sitting on her new Gum Drop Cushion with Oscar the black lab puppy in the foreground the day before she went off to University. Stuffed with polystyrene balls it makes a great extra seat for a student's room.




Made from Amy Butler's fabrics from the August Fields range the furnishing fabric weight fabric with a sateen finish is perfect for the Cushion where a bit more strength is needed.



And....it only takes a couple of hours to make!

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Little Gracie Embroidered House


This charming embroidered house was done on the Little Gracie II - a lovely example of how you can free motion quilt on the frame using your own sewing machine. We were intrigued to know more about the embroidered design and how our customer was finding using the Little Gracie and we share Maura Bangs's thoughts on the frame. Her inspiration for the embroidery came from the Enid Mason embroidery books.

"The card is a slight enlargement of an embroidery I made when I was just setting out to learn how to control the Little Gracie carriage movement. I was amazed at how sensitive it was - it really is just like drawing. I'm still trying to master quilting larger pieces - I can manage a cot-sized quilt, but the accumulation of fabric on the take-up rail makes larger quilts difficult, as the movement of the sewing machine arm is so reduced (a Bernina Activa 230PE).

I am about to invest in a Pfaff GrandQuilter, and hope that the added reach will be helpful. It will also be great to have a machine loaded up on the Little Gracie all the time - it's not hard to set up, it will just be one stage less in preparing a quilt for the quilting stage. Added features like the needle up/down setting and touch-button thread cutter are a bonus.

I am a teacher, and have just left my full-time job to concentrate more on my textile work, having reached a point where even an 8 to 6 day, plus work at the weekend and in the holidays still weren't enough to keep up with the ever-increasing demands for paperwork - and I was only teaching four and five year-olds! I'll miss the children, having seen whole families through their Reception years in the 12 years I was at the school. However, my own children are grown up and nearly independent (never speak too soon!), and I thought that if I didn't make the jump now I would always regret it. Money is going to be tighter, but the mortgage is paid, and my husband loves his teaching job (PE) and also the increased availability of clean socks and good cooking that comes from having a wife on the premises for a greater proportion of the day. I'm going to look out for a part-time teaching post during the year, but I'm not rushing into anything at the moment.


I used to write for Patchwork & Quilting magazine, quite a few years ago, but had to stop when my late mother became ill, and I had to spend a lot of time looking after her. Writing got put on hold, and I haven't had time to think about it again until now. I'm hoping that articles, or even a book may emerge over time."

So thank you to Maura for letting us post on the blog here and good luck with your future writing.

The Pfaff Grand Quilter will definitely help with doing larger quilts although we do have customers using their own machine such as the Bernina model above who are quite happily doing larger quilts. If you're thinking about buying a frame things you need to consider are planning for a 4" depth of design (this would be at the end of the quilt when there is the most amount of bulk on the rail) and whether you want to have a dedicated machine such as the Pfaff Grand Quilter which is a straight stitch machine and ideal for use on the Grace frames.

One tip from one of our staff - she uses a 1/4" tape across the quilt at the limit of the free arm movement for the section you are working on so that you can see exactly which parts of the quilt you are working on at a glance. This prevents the serious complaint of flat-bottomed circles!!
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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Sign at the American Folk Museum, New York


Need we say more...!




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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Are you a Member of Sable?

Not unlike the sentiements of one Terry Wogan when speaking of his impending retirement from the breakfast show we would also aknowledge that if it weren't for our customers (read listeners) life would be very boring indeed. Those important moments in the day that are lightened by a cheerful customer, a witty remark that generates an amusing response or a shared joke about life, the universe and everything. Yes, without humour life would be as nought.

So, we would like to share with you the latest witticism to hit the Cotton Patch. A customer who is a member of a group that has just restarted classes was asked by the teacher if they were all members of SABLE. Blank looks were cast around the room. The teacher announced that she felt quite confident that unwittingly there would be more than a few Sable members in the class. Recognition of membership might be considered a badge of honour for some quilters. So, if you think you are a member of SABLE just consider whether you would classify -






Stash
Accumulation
Beyond
Life
Expectancy

Please share with your quilting friends!
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Friday, 4 September 2009

Further Tales from the Festival of Quilts

For our final installment of our blog about Festival we've a few more photos of various people on The Cotton Patch stand.
All photos courtesy of Liz Hingley.


Amy Butler and David Butler
Amy and David Butler, Marti and Richard Michell and Kaffe Fassett signing his latest book "Kaffe Fassett's quilt romance".

Marti Michell and Richard Michell
There are a few blog posts around the net you might like to check out on the Festival of Quilts - one I loved is the Henhouse Blog Great photos and what a fantastic collection of fabrics and goodies to drool over - her choice of book "Material Obsession" seems particularly apt!

Having fun at Amy's class..




Amy Butler's Cushion Class from the EQ Softwares CD Amy Butler's Cushion Class
Amy Butler Fabric Packs on The Cotton Patch stand
All those lovely Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler packets, fat quarters and packs...!


Sandy Chandler demonstrating the Curvemaster Tool








Sandy Chandler going non-stop with curved piecing! She could have made a large King-sized quilt with all those pieces!
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Thursday, 3 September 2009

More Tales from The Festival of Quilts

Amy Butler signing her latest books It may only be a week and a half since we returned from the Festival of Quilts but already it seems like much longer. Maybe its something to do with the more autumnal weather we're having right now whereas the setup day on the 18th August was so hot we were in shorts!
Here are some more images from the show that we thought we should share.


All photos were taken by Liz Hingley.





Amy Butler signing her latest books and chatting with customers.



Kaffe Fassett Brandon Mably and David Butler at the Festival of Quilts




Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably and David Butler (Amy's Husband) with Geoff Sewell from The Cotton Patch.





Marti Michell demonstrating her Perfect Patchwork Templates at the Festival of Quilts






Marti Michell who always demonstrates the Perfect Patchwork templates and rulers with her unique and entertaining style.




Curvemaster Demonstration with Sandy Chandler










Sandy Chandler demonstrated her Curvemaster Patchwork foot to hundreds of people during the four days of the show - showing that no one need be afraid of curved piecing - you just need the Curvemaster, long tweezers and seam roller for perfect results!

Curvemaster Demonstration with Sandy Chandler


Sandy's entertaining and informative style drew the crowds...

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