Monday, August 18, 2014

Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Imperial Collection

Imperial Collection from Robert Kaufman is one of their most popular #fabric ranges. Intricate prints with an Asian and Oriental feel they can really set off a Far East inspired patchwork and quilting project. Just added to the website are the latest Imperial Collection fabrics, with 16 fabrics by the metre plus two 60cm fabric panels. You can sample the range with our Spring and Autumn Imperial Collection Fat Quarter packs which feature six fabrics in each pack.

Fabric Panel

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Empire Fabrics by Parson Gray

Just in is a new range of fabrics called Empire by Parson Gray. Empire is the 5th fabric collection by designer David Butler for Free Spirit fabrics under his brand guise Parson Gray. Empire reflects David’s ongoing exploration of global design and richly muted jewel tones. Modern interpretations of ancient weavings, architecture and folk art from Japan, China, and India combined in hand-drawn elements create a story across three distinct colour palettes. These three palettes are designed to work in harmony with each other, and also with past Parson Gray collections Vagabond, World Tour, Seven Wonders and Curious Nature. 

Parson Gray, AKA David Butler

Empire Sandstone Fat Quarter Pack 6480FQ

Empire Ocean Fat Quarter Pack 6481FQ

Empire Tundra Fat Quarter Pack 6482FQ

Magic Carpet Quilt made using Empire Fabrics

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Festival of Quilts 2014, NEC, Birmingham

After months of planning, weeks of packing boxes and two days of stand building we are finally ready for you.  The Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham, UK is the best quilt show in Europe. This year it is on from 7th to 11th August. This year we have three stands with a huge range of patchwork and quilting products plus our Sweet Sixteen teaching area.

Our fabric stand A24 will yet again be a fabric extravaganza showcasing the latest Rowan and Free Spirit fabrics. During the Festival fabric designers Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Brandon Mably and Nel Whatmore will be on the stand discussing with you the ideas and inspiration behind their latest ranges. Kaffe will also be signing copies of his latest quilt project book, Quilts in Morocco. The stand will be packed with finished quilts and sewing project inspirations along with fabric packs, kits and fabrics cut to order.

The Cotton Patch main stand (C19) will be featuring a host of demonstrations including Marti Michell showing you how to create Perfect Patchwork every time. Sandy Chandler demonstrates the simplicity of curves with her Curvemaster. Anna Sewell will be demonstrating the Antex range of Mini Irons and Beth from Sizzix will be explaining the simplicity of the Sizzix Big Shot for accurate patchwork pieces and applique shapes every time. Joy Edgington will be presenting a selection of Elna sewing machines perfect for patchwork. Our stand will be stocked with hundreds of notions and tools, threads and our extensive wadding collection.

At the Cotton Patch we pride ourselves on being the Longarm Quilting specialists. On stand C21 you can see that we not only provide you with the best stand up and sit down longarm machines (all fully certified for the European market) but this is backed up by our dedicated longarm engineers and our Quilt Studio. We have the most comprehensive longarm accessory range and host specialist longarm quilting courses so you really can reach your true quilting potential.

Rowan fabrics and Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Morocco

Amy Butler Area

Amy Butler's new fabric range Glow

Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Morocco

Printing photos on fabric

Nel Whatmore's new fabric range

Quilts made with Sizzix dies

Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabrics

Tula Pink fabric

Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen demonstration and teaching area.

Amazing quilting

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beautiful quilt, Mucha inspired with Amy Butler and Philip Jacobs fabrics.

Nik our fabric buyer and all round fabric and quilt guru has been working on this quilt for awhile. But what a quilt! It is not finished yet but it shows what can be achieved with the TAP paper, some excellent hand applique (which you have to see on the original to really appreciate it) and an inspiring design led by the beautiful fabrics themselves. 

"Work in progress on a wall hanging featuring my youngest daughter in her prom dress. The layout was inspired by an Alphonse Mucha illustration. Two designs made this happen, an Amy Butler print from her Soul Blossoms range for the circular border and Philip Jacobs wonderful Daffodil and Dogwood design for the foreground. First time hand piecing -could be the last!"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quilts for Festival of Quilts 2014

Each year we do Festival of Quilts we try to do things we haven't done before - new quilt designs, new fabrics, new products. That's what makes Festival so exciting!

Having the Sizzix Die Cutting system has speeded up our quilt-making so last year we started using the Sizzix dies to design new quilts that would be really accessible for all levels of quilters. Nik has a background in design and as our fabric buyer really knows our fabric line well. Plus he really loves doing it! Let's face it how many quilters would kill to get paid to design quilts!


Add that to the fact that we have our Handi Quilter HQ18 Avante with Pro Stitcher. This makes quilting the quilts really quick. Luckily there are some lovely people out there who piece Nik's designs together and then I (Liz) get to quilt them!  

Double yay!

So, here are photos of a couple that we will be show-casing at The Festival of Quilts 2014 - come and see them on our stand B24 for yourself! Kits are available and they will also be online after Festival.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Debby Brown at The Cotton Patch Studio

We have had the pleasure of having Debby Brown teach at The Cotton Patch Studio for the past four days and it has been a wonderful experience. If you have the opportunity to learn from Debby I really recommend you take her class. Her easy and clear teaching style and knowledge of quilting is exceptional. Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed her very accessible classes that enable you to quilt - Like You!

She can do depth if you want to but doesn't overwhelm when teaching and matches the pace well to the students. These are my observations and I've seen quite a few American teachers having worked on Cabot Conferences with Christine Porter over a number of years and visited Quilt market in the States on more occasions than I want to be reminded of right now.

So, here are a few photos from Day 4 - Mark My Words using the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen but many of her classes can be taken by people who are using regular domestic sewing machines. The techniques, methods and ideas are going to be the same on the whole.

So we took some Golden Threads paper and traced our words or phrase onto the paper. We had a few choice ones but we picked the printable ones...all except Roxy but hers is code so you have to know what it means. 

Mine was "gone sailing" as I've just been on a lovely sailing holiday and it will remind me of that.
So we put that on our fabric (one layer of fabric and wadding).


Yes, you read that right. Here I am demonstrating the knot that is taking the third thread on the horizontal spool pin. We used a Size 20 needle with 50/3 Wonderfil Thread.  Lovely, Egyptian Long Staple 100% Cotton.

Then we sewed around the outside of our words. 

One down, one to go... 

Then we removed the Golden Threads paper - TIP - keep your Machingers gloves on - they rubberised tips help to remove the paper.

Tra - La

The outline of the words.

Then we filled in the words with free motion embroidery, layering it up. The thread had to be adjusted for the three threads initially and slow down when sewing but otherwise it performed really well.

Then added some lines to my "picture" which is hopefully fairly obvious. I decided to do some Clarice Cliff Sunburst style design using the Line Tamer. It makes it much easier to do Stitch in the Ditch because you can't wobble off the line - the 1/2" foot sits within the groove. Markings make it easy to follow and create sunburst effects. 

We put a layer of wadding behind the first layer of wadding and then backing fabric. So, basically an extra layer of wadding than normal so that we cover over some of the stiches of the very thick three thread work.

Then we filled in the sunburst sections using micro stitching. DEFINITION OF MICRO STITCHING - stitching which is smaller than you are comfortable with. Quote - Debby Brown.

Don't forget that all that thread going through one needle creates LOTS of lint so clean out the bobbin case area. Here is a small furry creature with a blue coat masquerading as fluff. 

Debby made us stop sewing because it was time to go home but... I might sneak back and do some more later this evening. No one will know.

Had a fun fun day with Debby and the rest of the gang. Here are the other pieces -
Olenda has come on leaps and bounds from Jamie's classes to this and is justifiably proud of what she sewed today. Brilliant! 
Only Roxy knows what this means!

Joy did the spires of Oxford and Morse Code with dots and dashes within her quilting. Love the creative way you can play with thread and words in this class.

Tony proving it is indeed never too late.  Some lovely thread painting and he's all set up for the rest of the quilt. 

Time to go home....