Sunday, 9 November 2014

End of Term Report - 2014

So, another year has just zoomed by! More than a dozen quilt shows and group visits all over the country from Ardingly in West Sussex to Northumberland, Llangollen in Wales and Edinburgh in Scotland! It's been great seeing so many familiar faces throughout the year too.
There have been some really wonderful fabrics delivered this year; my fave being Terra Australis direct from Australia. I'm still the only shop stocking it in the UK, available by the metre or in fat quarter bundles.
Outback                                      Eucalyptus
And just delivered this week are the latest Bali pre-cuts from Hoffman. Super yummy as usual; my fave is Cockatiel I think

I have these as 2.5" Pops, 10" Crackers and 5" Snaps and they are already on the website.

Another pre-cut collection was released at Quilt Market in Houston featuring the 1895 collection of batiks in lovely colour combos. I may just have to order these.........
Looking forward to next year, I have some big plans that I am working on. Having dithered about them all this year I think 2015 is the year to be decisive and do them, so keep an eye out for news on this!

Monday, 13 October 2014

When Joanna met Paula

It's not often you get to meet one of your quilting heroes but on Saturday I did!
Its rather a long story about how it all came about which involved both hats I wear as an online quilt shop and editor of P&Q, but Friday evening my son and I made a rather long trek north in the van to Northumberland and region 15E's area day meeting in the village of Stannington where their guest speaker was none other than Paula Nadelstern!
I have been a fan of both Paula's books and fabrics for many years.
She gave a talk to a packed village hall in the morning
And was available for ladies to chat to and buy supplies for her classes
And she kindly gave me a signed copy of one of her books!

I heartily agree! With fabric, more is certainly more!

It was a lovely day and has reminded me I need to get my own kaleidoscope quilt out again and must finish quilting it!

It was an adventurous trip home though.........half way down the A1 we had a puncture and had to stop at the side of the road and wait for our roadside assistance to arrive, which they did eventually and after a policeman arrived to close off the inside lane to protect us from the traffic.

We made it home, thankfully in one piece. Albeit it four hours later than planned!

So all in all, a weekend to remember!


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Big Textile Show

Last weekend was spent trading at a show with a difference. For it's second year, the Big Textile Show had moved to a new bigger venue at Leicester Grammar School in Great Glen just to the south east of Oadby and Leicester. This meant more room for the textiles and quilts on display and also more traders. 

This was the first year I had traded at the show. There was a great mix of traders; quite a few I hadn't come across before on the quilt show circuit which was nice. Jenny, the organiser, had done a good job enduring there weren't too many traders selling the same thing and that we were evenly spaced around the hall

I had a nice bit of space to set up in

My favourite part of the show was how some of the quilts on display were hung over banisters, it really added to the atmosphere 

There were lots of local quilt and textile groups present as well as charity groups like Project Linus and also Morsbags and as you can see above a really big cafe area where they served sarnies and salads as well as a tasty looking hotpot!

The venue was really easy to find with free parking and the entry fee included workshops and lectures. The whole show has great potential. The dates for next year are 26/27 September so make a note in your diaries as we'll be there!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Introducing...........Terra Australis!'s about time I did a blog post again! Really should try and do one every month!
It's 10 days since the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham (which was a busy as ever) and I think I have finally caught up with myself and can now tell you about this exciting collection of fabrics I have imported from Australia.
It's very exciting as currently I am the only quilt shop in the UK stocking these wonderful fabrics. They are designed by a lady called Emma Jean Jansen.. She has some great patterns and inspiration for the collection on her website.
There are thirty two fabrics in the collection and I've got all of them! There are two colourways: Eucalyptus and Outback. I still haven't decided which one I like the best.....
Here's the Eucalyptus colourway:
And this is the Outback colourway:
The main print is based on the warratah flower and there are other Australian symbols in the other fabrics like kangaroos, gum trees and the harbour bridge.
There's  also a second collection newly released called Terra Australis 2........I may just have to order this one too and what's great is both collections work together!
I've made a quick quilt using fabrics from the collection. Must try and take a decent photo of it!
The fabrics are £10.60 a metre and you can also buy fat quarter bundles of each colourway, all available on the website.

Monday, 23 June 2014

New Fabrics.........and Dreamin' Vintage

I've had a few fabric deliveries in the last month. Mainly some alternative textured basics with a modern twist.
First in was some Bike Path and Pearl Bracelets from Makower.

Both these collections work well together as do the next fabrics which arrived in stock, Stitched Circles from Michael Miller Fabrics.
And finally the other week Dreamin' Vintage from Art Gallery Fabrics arrived. This is a really lovely collection based on bed linens from the 50s and 60s. Having seen some quilts made from vintage sheets online recently, the designer Jeni Baker has done a fantastic job with this collection. I love it. It makes me happy!
And of course I had to make a quick quilt with the fabrics. It's fat quarter friendly and the pattern will be available to download from my website shortly.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mimram Quilters' Exhibition

A week ago I received a call for help. One of the traders booked to have a stand at the Mimram Quilters' exhibition had had to cancel at short notice and they needed another fabric trader. The Mimrams always put on a lovely show in Welwyn so I was delighted to be asked if I could go along with my fabrics and threads.
And I'm so glad I did as there were some wonderful quilts on display. They hold their shows in the Civic Centre in Old Welwyn and its an ideal venue with a nice big light hall to hang the quilts and another large room for refreshments. They hold their shows every three years which also gives them plenty of time to make new quilts, of which there were a good number of bed quilts. Of course if I had been really clever I would have taken some photos of my favourites.........but I forgot!
Instead here's a picture of blocks 1 to 8 of the Layercakequiltalong
which is coming along nicely!


Monday, 3 March 2014

The Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong

Have you heard about this on twitter or instagram?

It sounded like fun so I am joining in too!
You can find the instructions for making the blocks on the Material Girl Quilts blog. The quiltalong started a couple of weeks ago but its never too late to join in too.
All you need is a layer cake, cracker or other 10" square pack and a background fabric. You could even raid your stash and cut yourself forty 10" squares if you don't have a layer cake.
The basic instructions for making the HSTs can be found here together with details for making the first two blocks.
Details for making the next two blocks are released each Friday.
So what fabrics am I using?
I couldn't resist the Splash Cracker pack from Hoffman and I thought I would be a little different and use two fabrics for my background, just to make it a little bit more interesting.....
And here are my first four blocks!

Want to play along with me?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Ardingly Quilt Show

Finally found a bit of time to report on the first quilt show proper of the year at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex. It's always a great feeling getting back out there and meeting customers again!

This show is also a difficult one though because the access for traders on setting up day and breakdown after the show is via about eight steps, especially for me as I don't feel I am strong or tall enough to try and push or pull a laden trolley down them! So this means carrying things down the stairs which all adds to the time it takes to unload and load again.
However it's a great show and there were some great quilts on display. I particularly loved this year's journal quilts with the theme 'Little Landscapes'. Some of them are truly wonderful!
The show was as successful as usual and I'll be back next year. The Bali pre-cuts were especially popular (well they are lovely colours) but I think it helped having the quilts hanging behind the stand.
Also excited to tell you the Peacock colour way of the Lumina Ribbon panel arrived in stock this week.............and its super yummy!

The other two colours almost sold out at the show, so get them while you can!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Chiltern Quilters

I spent a lovely day today visiting Chiltern Quilters in Buckinghamshire. They meet six times a year in the village hall in Widmer End, near Hazlemere.
Today it was a UFO/Sewing day with a pot luck lunch..........can't beat a pot luck lunch! Quilters are excellent cooks as well as being pretty nifty with a needle.
I meant to take a photo of the lovely food........but left it too late!
I'm happy to say my wares managed to tempt them a little, with my threads
And fabrics, particularly the Hoffman precuts.
Tom and I usually work on our Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks when we go to quilt groups. He managed to finish his block today and the chair of the committee, Maureen, very kindly showed it to all the other ladies in their Show and Tell after lunch. His is on the left, I finished mine (on the right) this evening.
He always loves to tell people about what he is working on.
So all in all a great day!

If you would like me to bring my fabrics to your group, then please get in touch. I'm usually happy to travel within a 50 miles / hour's radius of North Herts.