Friday, 19 December 2014

Oriental Blue Fabrics from Makower

Oriental Blue is the latest fabric range from Makower. It features hand painted designs inspired by traditional blue and white porcelain recreating in fabric a design classic. Blue and white or cream fabrics and almost universally popular. As well as the fabrics by the metre we also have an Oriental Blue fat quarter pack. Finally Makower have a quilt pattern designed by Lynne Goldsworthy for the fabric range. We have kitted the pattern  to give you a Quilt Kit includes all the fabrics required for the quilt top and binding (backing not included). The finished size 158 x 158cm (62" x 62").

Oriental Blue Fat Quarter Pack

Oriental Blue Quilt Kit

Oriental Blue fabrics from Makower

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Christmas Patchwork & Quilting Gifts & Special Offers

Just launched is our Christmas Gifts & Special Offers e-brochure. 40 pages of December special offers and gift ideas for Christmas. It's a roundup of our best deals, gift suggestions and patchwork ideas for the season. Below are just some of the items featured.
Special Offers & Gifts E-brochure
There are some great deal on fat quarter gift packs with over 20 packs reduced in price.

 Also included are details on some of pre cut quilt kits including the Happi Bunting Kits which are now on offer at 50% off.

Our Big Book Sale has been extended with another 20 titles added to our sale.

 Big Book Sale

 We are adding patchwork and quilting fabrics everyday and one of our latest fabric ranges is Paint. Designed by Carrie Bloomston for SUCH designs and produced by Windham Fabrics

Finally we have some great deals on Wonderfil Threads. We have multi packs of a range of Wonderfil Threads such as Invisavil, Dazzle and Decobob each with a free Super Satchel Thread Box worth £14.95. so you can start storing and organising your threads straightaway.

Wonderfil Thread Packs

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wonderfil Threads are Wonderful!

Blog Post by Liz Holpin, The Cotton Patch

Debby Brown, all round amazing quilting teacher and Handi Quilter Educator visited The Cotton Patch in the summer of 2014 and it really gave us the opportunity to play with Wonderfil Threads. 

Debby Brown at our Handi Quilter Retreat in June 2014

They work well on domestic and longarm machines. So here are some examples of Wonderfil Threads where I've used them recently.

"Bang Head Here" Workshop

This is Debby's Quilt - 

In this one-day workshop we picked a word or phrase that had meaning for each of us. These words would go onto our wholecloth quilt and we would then use thread and quilting designs to quilt that phrase. The world was our oyster!

The phrase I decided on was "Gone Sailing".  

I love sailing. This is also a great excuse for me to look at my holiday pics when it's raining outside!

Relaxing sailing in nice warm Turkey!

Anyway, back to reality....

First we drew our words onto tear away paper such as Golden Threads paper and then laid it over our wadding sandwich.

We stitched through the outline of the words and then tore it away. 
I recommend tearing it away as early as possible because otherwise you get left with itty bitty pieces of paper between the stitches. Depending on your stitch length and tension, if you pile up the stitches, it is Soooo much harder to remove the paper when there are dozens of stitches laid on top of the paper. Plus sometimes the stitches get pulled out and it doesn't look so good.

If you do leave small pieces between the stitches you may need these tweezers to remove the little bits - I find these easy to use even with weak thumbs.

We used three different colours of  50wt 3 ply Wonderfil Threads called Konfetti (solid colours) and Tutti (variegated) to embroider the words with filler.

In the bobbin for all the sewing in the workshop we used Decobob an 80wt cottonised polyester which works really really well with lots of different threads on the top. For a project like this where you're changing the thread on the top many times you can set your bobbin tension using the "drop test"  and then adjust the top tension each time you change your thread and check it stitches out OK on a spare piece of quilt sandwich before stitching it out on your work of art. 

Decobob comes in lots of colours either on a large spool or in packs of Prewound bobbins which fit either 15K or L (Domestic Machines) or Prewound for Class  M bobbins - you have to select the right one for your machine.  For example, for the Janome 1600PQC select the "L" bobbins. For the Elna 730, Janome Horizon 7700 and many other top loading machines select the 15K bobbin. The M bobbins are the big ones for industrial or longarm machines.

To sew with three threads on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen we used the Big Bertha of needles - a size 20 Groz Beckert Needle. You would need to adjust to use a size of needle appropriate for your machine.

Finished quilts of "gone sailing"
Initially we used the top layer of fabric and one layer of wadding. When we'd finished doing the three threads section we added another layer of wadding and a backing. You can see later in the photos below that the words do not show on the back of the quilt. Because you're using three threads inevitably you get pokies (thread going through to the back) so to make it look nice and neat we cover it up. 

Shush!  No one else will know.  


Nice tip Debby.

Then we did some ruler work to get the straight lines and other shapes.  The Sweet 16 has a ruler foot as standard but with some machines such as the Janome 1600P you can also get Ruler Feet .  The ruler foot allows you to fit the ruler up to the edge of the foot and then by guiding the material and ruler simultaneously you can much harder to explain in words so here's a video!  Video for Free Motion Quilting using Rulers on a Domestic Machine.

The foot on the left (below) is the Ruler Foot which is what you need for this job - the one on the right is an open toe foot designed for using with Frames. It's called the Frame Foot Set. They come as a set of two so unless you have a frame you won't need the one on the right. (Unless you buy a Grace frame of course in which case it will be very useful!)

We sell the Janome Ruler Feet (Ref 10452) so if you have a Convertible Free Motion quilting foot such as this one below (Ref 10451) - you can change the bottom part of the foot for different purposes.
The Convertible Free Motion Quilting Foot (Ref 10451) is sold with many new Janomes and Elnas but note that there are specific ones for High Shank, Low Shank, Memorycraft, etc so  you do need to check which one you need if your machine didn't come with one. You can then add the Ruler Foot to your machine and use the special 1/4" thick rulers that we supply to do straight lines, curves, etc.

Back to the quilt...

So once we had our structure we did free motion filler designs using 50 wt Tutti, 50 wt Konfetti and Mirage - all threads from Wonderfil.

For the sun I used the couching foot on the Sweet Sixteen and some bit of wool I had in the "to be used someday but have no idea when" box which seems to have  alot of such bits in it...a very useful box.  A bit like my husband's boxes of screws, washers, nails and widgets.

Upside down closeup of the sun rays

the back of "gone sailing" quilt.
So there we go - a roundup of my "gone sailing" quilt.

Now it serves as a reminder when I'm miles from the ocean of the wonderful times I've had sailing and windsurfing.

Happy times! OK I''m just showing off now - going over 25 knots!

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Walkabout fabrics by Beth Studley

One of our latest fabric ranges is Walkabout and features fabrics by the very talented Beth Studley. Called Walkabout it features lines, dots and spots at a variety of scales. Beth provides an insight into her design process with the fabric range:“Walkabout is a play with some of the elements I love in aboriginal art. Imperfection and simple lines and dots are features within the designs. The fabrics blend the earthy tones of the outback with more vibrant colours to lift the collection. Apart from the main prints which are bold and great for use larger projects, I have designed much of the collection with calm, supporting prints in mind using greys, creams and black.”

As well as fabrics by the metre we also have two fat quarter packs, and on the Makower website you can find a download for the quilt featured below.

Walkabout fabrics by the metre

Walkabout Fat Quarter Packs

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Cotton Patch Patchwork Newsletter 113

New Plain Fabrics
We have greatly increased the size of our plains and solids range by adding 70 new Free Spirit Modern Solid fabrics to our range. From Asparagus to Petunia and Chamois to Velvet there is now even greater choice for the perfect plain match.

We have split them into four colour groups as well, so we have Neutrals which features whites through creams to browns as well as blacks through greys. Then we have reds through oranges to yellowsgreens through aquas to blues and finally we have a range of purples through to pinks. Or browse all of them at once!
Plain patchwork fabric

2015 Calendars
Our patchwork & quilting themed calendars for 2015 are now in stock. We have four wall calenders and one spiral bound engagement calendar. Showing inspirational quilts on each month. The Better Homes & Gardens, That Patchwork Place and Piecemakers Calendars include pattern books so that you can recreate the quilts shown.

Patchwork calendars 2015

Quilt Kits from Rachel's of Greenfield
Rachel's of Greenfield make a lovely range of quilt kits and many of them have a Christmas theme. So we have little Christmas tree ornaments, through to stockings and wall quilts. Below you can see some of the kits plus other designs such as the houses and ultra cute owls.

Rachels of Greenfield Kits

Latest Fabrics
Below you can see some of the latest fabric ranges added to our collections. Fabrics from Lewis & Irene, Makower, Riley Blake, Dashwood, Free Spirit and Andover.

Honey Meadow               Cool Britannia               Fly Away               Downton Abbey Fabrics               Pretty Potent               Hyakka Ryoran               Walkabout             

Filtec Bobbins

Added to our comprehensive range of threads we have two new M size pre-filled bobbin ranges from Fil-tec. Magna Glide Delights and Magna Soft have an amazing little magnetic core to help the bobbin flow smoother. Each pack contains 10 bobbins and is for the Handi Quilter Longarm Machines (not domestics currently although we may add to the range).

Magna Glide Delights               
Monthly Prize Draw

Remember all Subscribers to our email-newsletter are entered into our monthly prize draw for over £100 worth of patchwork and quilting goodies.

Christmas Fabrics
The latest Christmas fabrics to arrive was Flaky Snow Pals with some very jolly snowmen. The Christmas fabric bolts are selling fast so don't delay if you are planning achristmas project.

Christmas fabric
Sizzix Starter Bundles
Looking to add something to your Christmas list or fancy a treat, then we have four great starter bundles for Sizzix. Each kit includes the Sizzix Big Shot, Sizzix Dies and Quilt Kit and instructions so you can start your first project right out of the box.

 Sizzix Starter Bundle
Metallic Thread
Set off you Christmas projects with our wide selection of Metallic threads. Just right for that extra sparkle and glitter we have metallic threads from Gutermann Sulky, Wonderfil              and Superior in lots of different colours and reels.

Metallic Thread
Latest Fabrics and Fabric Packs
Remember you can now see all of the latest fabric on our website by following this link.

Happy Quilting
Cotton Patch Newsletter 113

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Friday, 31 October 2014

Art Quilt Prize for Swan Quilt by Hilde van Schaardenburg

We were delighted to receive a phone call last week from The Cotton Patch's Handi Quilter Ambassador Hilde van Schaardenburg who was at the Open European Quilt Championships in the Netherlands. She had won First Prize in the Art Quilt Category at the Championship!

Hilde van Schaardenburg
Here Hilde shares some of her inspiration and thoughts on the quilt - it is the first one that she has entered in a competition using her Handi Quilter HQ18 Avante, As she doesn't have a lot of space and generally works on small quilts she has the frame set up at 6'.

We hope you enjoy reading about Hilde and her quilt entitled The Threatened Swan which is based on an old master painting. You can read more about Hilde van Schaardenburg on her website

Hilde will be teaching at The Cotton Patch in 2015 - look out for more details on our website!

The Threatened Swan

2014 146 x 93 cm

Threatened Swan Quilt by Hilde van Schaardenburg

Detail of Threatened Swan Quilt by Hilde van Schaardenburg

Translated and edited from an original interview by Ineke Schotanus / Quiltkompas 2014.

For Hilde van Schaardenburg the theme of the Open European Quilt Championships "Old Masters" was very challenging but in a positive sense. In order to achieve this required research and preparation. The examination and definition of exactly what the term "Old Master" meant - it relates to works from the heyday of the Dutch and Flemish painters of the 17th century, including many of the works in the National Museums in Amsterdam and Haarlem. With her knowledge of and experience of their paintings her appreciation for the work of these artists increased enormously. 

One thing that was immediately clear was the choice of work. "The Threatened Swan" by Jan Asselijn. "I knew the work, but had not previously considered doing anything about it. When this subject came up, I did not think about it very long. I knew immediately: this is it ".
The next step for Hilde was to go to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where her Swan is in the hall of fame where the Night Watch Masterpiece by Rembrandt hangs. To her surprise and joy she could take as many pictures as she wanted, even close ups.

"What fascinates me is how the painter could portray it as it is. Remember that at that time they could not take pictures. How could he view this and get it so lifelike, the exact moment in which this swan, a female, is startled by a little black dog, which is in the left corner of the painting. "

Through the research of the painting and the empathy that developed with the painter her understanding of his art deepened, and therefore her admiration of him. "This is another part of my qualification as a quilt judge." (Hilde is a certified quilt judge after a two-year course with the Quilters Guild in the UK).

Another decision for Hilde: how to reproduce this Jan Asselijn piece.

The Threatened Swan by Jan Asselijn

She decided to make a study of the crackle of the painting and this is where she started to work very intensively. "What/how breaks paint on canvas? I made ​​all kinds of sketches of this type of line, to make me familiar with it. I had to think of a solution for how to break up short lines and portray these through a continuous line, using the HQ18 Avante longarm. "

After all these preparations, she worked with Corinne Zambeek-van Hasselt, an expert in dyeing fabric, to develop a cloth with the background colors of the painting, the beige and blue. Onto that cloth Hilde then applied the crackle lines. She has a part of the work - the head and a wing - painted here. This part is increased by means of a halftone technique. It is deliberately not a copy, but becomes an interpretation of the original.

The result was then again worked on the longarm. At this stage, it was further painted with yarn: the head, the feathers, to create the finishing touches. As a final part she decided to add some Swarovski crystals, in chalky-white, marble and opal white, blue and green.
Remarkably, her response when I ask her what she likes by the result. "I'm a little overwhelmed by what came out. But I'm satisfied. It is good. "

Hilversum, October 20, 2014

Ineke Schotanus, QuiltKopas

Details of the Quilt:

Dyed cotton, textile paint, Swarovski Hotfix crystals

Quilting with the Longarm quilting machine Handi Quilter HQ18 Avanté, painting on fabric

“The threatened Swan” 1650 by Jan Asselijn (1610-1652)  
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam/The Netherlands

A swan fiercely defends its nest against a dog.
During the aging process of an “Old Master" painting cracks are formed. I have depicted this phenomenon in my quilt.

2014 Open European Quilt Championships/Veldhoven/The Netherlands

“Trophy for Art”

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