Thursday, 23 September 2010

HandiQuilter Avante setup with Christine Porter

Christine Porter is a well-known quilt author, quilt judge and teacher so we were delighted when she decided to buy a HandiQuilter 18” Avante for her home studio.

Alan, who has a background in the car industry with Land Rover and BMW, Simon, an ex-engineering student and me (Liz) drove down from the Cotton Patch in Birmingham to Bristol to install Chris’s frame earlier this week. Simon and Alan unloaded the frame and carefully took it to the top floor of Chris’s house where she has two lovely long rooms containing her patchwork studio with a fabulous fabric stash (for the benefit of her husband, this is of course only a small collection!) on one side and on the other side space for the new frame had been created.


Here is Chris with the quilts from her four books all beautifully arranged and stored in a large wardrobe.


The start of the installation – setting up the frame.


Chris watching the DVD on setting up the machine while Alan and Simon put the frame together.

StudioFrameBuild3 StudioFrameBuild4


The frame erected, machine installed and test fabric loaded ready for playing!

Alan, Geoff and Liz are flying out to Salt Lake City in mid-October for an intensive training session on all of the HandiQuilter products and will be running training sessions from the Cotton Patch studio on our return. If you would like to find out more about the HandiQuilter Avante and our other frames please contact us at the Cotton Patch or sign up for our email newsletter.

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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Onion Strings

Quilters can be gardeners and gardeners can be quilters and it seems that more and more people are getting into growing their own vegetables.  I guess that means there could be more quilters too!

At The Cotton Patch we had lots of vegetable seedling and plant swops earlier in the year and now exchanges of vegetable gluts of courgettes and cucumbers are taking place.At one time we had 12 cucumbers in the fridge and we haven’t bought many vegetables since June.  I’m sure the apples will be next as it seems to be a windfall year this year. I can just see the apple being quite a prominent ingredient at the village Harvest Festival lunch next week.

Yesterday we had our annual pilgrimage to Abergavenny Food Festival which if you haven’t been has always been a really excellent way to sample some of the local food of Wales and the Marches.

TrealyFarm1 CakeStall1

We come back laden with lots of gorgeous Elan Valley Mutton, Trealy Farm Charcuterie (Hugh Fernley-Whitingstall is a fan and they won an award last year from the Food Program on Radio 4),    Gloucester Old Spot pork and Seeds of Italy seeds ready for planting next year. You get to chat to the producers and the butchers and there are usually a few bargains to be had by buying at source. Monty Don (below) chatting to one of the sausage makers of organic pork sauages.


This year we couldn’t believe how busy it was – the busiest ever apparently. It was impossible to get close to the stands for good photos so  I’ve posted a few photos from last year.  The garlic stand from the Isle of Wight was excellent with a huge variety although the climate is a bit kinder on the south coast than in Worcestershire. Our elephant garlic wasn’t quite the epic proportions that theirs were!


Still having planted our garlic bulbs it was a joyous moment when I got to string them having dried them thoroughly in the sun for several weeks.  They are now hanging along with our onions from the ceiling in the kitchen. Its a very satisfying moment when each one is cut down and used to know you’ve grown it yourself.


Our strings seems to be quite chunky compared to others but it does the job!

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