Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Nel Whatmore and Madame Samm's Blog

One of the best things about the Festival of Quilts from our point of view is that we get to meet the Rowan and Freespirit Designers and this year there was a whole group of them! There must be a name for a group of Designers - a "creative" possibly?

Nel Whatmore is an absolute delight to meet and when she wasn't in front of her quilt (camouflaged by the Trip Around the World Quilt - a kit is available!) we found her in the Nel Whatmore area on our Cotton Patch stand.

Nel has a really interesting blog where you can find more about her and the beautiful artwork that she creates - she even presented one of her paintings to Prince Charles to celebrate 35 years of the Prince's Trust. As a previous recipient of help from the Prince's Trust this had even greater meaning for Nel.

Nel is currently featured on Madame Samm's Blog , which for those of you who aren't familiar with it is worth bookmarking (and they have lots of goodies and giveaways :-o) 

We're sure that her next collection called Sleeping Beauty will be as well-received as her first - it's due out in November 2011.

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Facebook 1000 Competition: Win Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Sweden

The Competition is now closed. Thank You.

We now have over 1000 Facebook Likes and to celebrate we are giving away a signed copy of Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Sweden to one lucky winner, simply enter your email address in the box below. Kaffe's new book was launched on our stand at the Festival of Quilts and features 20 quilt designs for you to make. As with all Rowan books the photography is stunning and inspiring, Each quilt is accompanied by a full reference shot with detailed written instructions, coloured piecing diagrams, templates and a tips and techniques section. You can find fabric kits to make many of the quilts featured in Quilts in Sweden here.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Festival of Quilts Build Up Day 2

So we got there - the end of the second setup day. Lots of moving product in, getting it out, thinking it would be better somewhere else, moving it, looking at it and then realising that it was probably OK in the original place but just turned around a bit.

So here is a little summary in pictures. Denise and Angela setting up the Marti Michell stand

Diana Jayne and Nadine sorting out the wadding..

Nikki and Ellie bringing in lots of Rowan fabrics!

Lorraine loading the fabric displays..

Time for a spot of lunch. Alan still wearing his hi viz vest...

Simon and Nikki putting up Sandy Chandler's quilts for the Curvemaster Demo..

Nadine spotted reading the books rather than putting them out!

Nikki with her new outift...

Simon demonstrating that it looks better on Nikki...

Nadine setting up the notions, haberdashery and wadding stand...

Wow! Eye candy!

Nik's first quilt quilted on the Handi Quilter HQ18 Avante, the Cotty Stand and the desk where Lisa Lam will be signing copies of her Bag Making Bible book.

Ellie and Lorrina providing some entertainment...

Liz with the Handi Quilter stand the some of the wallhangings from the Grove Community Project.

Attic Windows Quilt

Nikki and Anna still going strong... or was it the prospect of Day 2 nearly being over..?

Some pics of the gorgeous Cotton Patch / Coats Craft stand

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Festival of Quilts Build Up Day 1

We can't really believe its a year ago that we were setting up at the Festival of Quilts in 2010...but it is! So here are some pics from Day 1 of the setup. A key group of fit and healthy individuals loaded up several vans yesterday and deposited their contents at the NEC today. This was Stand Building Day. Tomorrow we'll put the products out and make it look like a quilt shop!

This is the view from one end of the Main Stand where we'll have lots of wadding, Omnigrid rulers and mats (look out for our Show Specials!), the new Antex Mini Iron (more Show Specials!), the Curvemaster Piecing Foot demonstrated by Sandy Chandler, Marti Michell demonstrating how piecing can be a breeze with Perfect Patchwork Templates, 2012 Calendars, Creative Comfort products for arthritic thumbs, joints, etc that help you to sew (or work) with greater ease and comfort (a lot of Cotton Patch staff swear by them, including me who was wearing the tennis elbow support all day :-)), Rotary Cutter Sharpeners, fat quarter packs, Charm Packs, hoops, notions, thimbles, the list is endless!

Bit of work to do there then!

Here is a view of The Cotton Patch/ Coats Craft stand from where the quilts are hanging. Looking a little empty!

Below is Ellie who is demonstrating the correct method for carrying a table...

Jack and Rob who were essential for bringing lots of the stand building items in, resplendent in their hi viz jackets (Health and Safety tick)

Anna and Jo proving that Ikea shelving is a doddle.

Nik getting to grips with some of the Ikea units on the stand...

Alan setting up the Handi Quilter Avantes, the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen and Grace frame...

Anna and Jo became quite attached to their electric screwdrivers...

Oh and check out the quilts behind them ....

Some of the group after a day of setting up look quite fresh faced and full of energy...

But this is what they really felt like....

Just a couple of the quilts from Kaffe Fassetts new book Quilts from Sweden are hanging up behind them.

We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you soooooooon!

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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Quilting for People Who Don't - Quilt Number 2

A question has to be asked as to whether you can say "Quilting for People Who Don't" if you're already on to quilt number 2.

For those who have wondered whether Nik would tackle another quilt....the answer is yes and pretty quickly after the first one. Still having a deadline like the Festival of Quilts to work to is always a great way to focus the mind.

We loved the Dan Bennett fabrics when they came in. There was something about the organic nature of the imagery and it must have resonated with a lot of our customers because it is selling  really well.  Rowan are great at bringing new ideas through artists into the world of patchwork and quilting. It must be challenging to design fabrics if you've have come from an artistic background but without a knowledge of some of the requirements of patchwork and quilts. Maybe this is one of the questions we'll be asking of the designers at the Festival when they're on The Cotton Patch stand.  You can also see them at Saturday's Designer Supper at the Metropole.

Combine Dan's wonderful fabrics with  the Chelsea Quilt design and you have the inspiration for Nik's second quilt called Wild Garden Quilt.  Dan's fabrics were a perfect choice to form the appliqued flowers. The close-up below shows one of the flowers. We think Nik did a pretty neat job with his hand applique.  The Chelsea Quilt was an original quilt design by Pauline Smith which appeared in a Rowan project book by Kaffe Fassett called Quilts in the Sun (now out of print)).

The quilt was quilted on the Handi Quilter HQ18 Avante long arm machine using Groovy Boards in circles and swirls using an invisible thread and King Tut.

Come long to The Cotton Patch stand at the Festival of Quilts - stand A24 for a closer look!

Kits to make this quilt will be available on the stand.

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