What an amazing year it has been, both inside the classroom and outside it!
One of my professional highlights in 2018 was attending Patchwork in the Peaks Quilters Retreat, Morzine, France, as guest tutor.
And on a personal level, hosting a memory quilt party for my special friend’s 50th birthday in February was a wonderful day!
Helping 2 charities, Shared Threads and Flourish, launch their new sewing initiatives, both aimed at improving the lives of women, locally and internationally was (and continues to be) a pleasure and a privilege.
Among the many highs and lows that come in a year, I’m reminded of my ‘word for the year’ back in January ’18 – RHYTHM.
I set a word at the start of each year to give me a focus to my professional and life goals.
After a massive year of change in 2017, I feel I definitely achieved some rhythm, allowing life to settle some, and to get into my stride with the new classroom and home.
Of course there were still changes in 2018, some happy, some sad, some expected, some unexecpted; the normalcy of life demands it.
But amidst it all, I have much to be thankful for and am content to leave 2018 with a smile, and embrace the exciting new chapter that is 2019.
Come back soon to find out all about my word for 2019!
Tweed is a favourite textile among many sewers, and mixed with pretty cottons and satin stitch applique, you have one gorgeous cushion!
(The pattern for Harriet Hare Cushion will be released after the workshop.)
At our Apron workshop in March there will be 2 styles to choose from – the Japanese style ‘Cross-over’ apron and my ‘Apron in Jar’, a practical and stylish apron which folds into a decorated mason jar for gifting.
The pattern for the Apron in a Jar includes a child’s size template and will be released after the workshop.
We wrap up our first term of ‘Sewing Saturdays’ with some folksy tea cosies.
Bring your teapot along to this workshop, and we will have fun appliqueing a ‘made to measure’ cosy for your pot.
I will be posting more information about each workshop nearer the time.
Places are limited, so book early (waiting lists available if fully booked). Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Exactly 1 year ago today I signed the contract and got the keys to my classroom in this stunning converted Victorian Linen Mill in Belfast!
After teaching in various places for more than 10 years, it was lovely to step into a bright a spacious room, which I knew would meet all our classroom needs.
The room takes 12 students per class, and we also have 5 separate cutting tables and 4 ironing stations.
The ‘Basting Bay’ gives the ladies room to spray baste their quilts, and the design wall facilitates the laying out of blocks and quilt design.
The ‘Tea/coffee’ making station is an essential feature (no mini-bar yet!) and I even have room for a themed display table and a small haberdashery and pattern shop.
I teach 6 weekly classes and monthly Saturday workshops from September to June, with a slightly different programme over the summer months.
Since I started the classes in January ’18, we have had a total of 203 weekly classes, 11 Saturday workshops, 1 50th birthday party and several charity sewing days!
Phew! What a brilliant year!
And to celebrate my first birthday in Conway Mill, we not only have chocolates in class, I’m also discounting all my online patterns by 50%. Just use the coupon code BIRTHDAY1 at the checkout (one use only).
Thank you to everyone for making this new venture an exciting and fulfilling one! I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!
Yesterday was my Chenille Workshop, and I’ve been beavering away this past week getting samples ready.
My ladies learned how to make a fluffy, tactile texture in their fabrics, and turn it into a snuggly cushion or a soft and useful bathmat.
We learned about how cutting across the bias can create a very different effect from cutting in line with the warp and weft (straight grain).
And how some fabrics will fray better than others, and where some will reveal little surprises after washing and drying (a frayed selvage will give a clue to secondary coloured threads).
The best way to chenille fabric is to cut across the bias, but that in no way limits the different effects you can achieve.
Check out some of these examples:
Applique Bias Strips:
You don’t need any special equipment for this technique. The clever peeps at Olfa have made the Chenille cutter, but you can get the same results from sharp scissors (recommended for smaller projects).
And if you don’t have a Chenille brush to help with the fluffing-up, just use a regular hairbrush (the washing and tumble drying are usually sufficient, but brushing the chenille can help with those fabrics that are a little more fray resistant!).
So huge well done to my ladies for a great day’s work sewing and chenilling (& chatting too!).
And if you haven’t tried chenilling yet, why not give it a whirl! You’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Just checking in to tell you about some exciting new workshops coming up this term.
Saturday 8th September: Rope Bowls II
(fully booked – waiting list available)
My first Rope Bowls workshop booked up in double quick time, so I set a 2nd date! (you can read all about the first workshop here.)
15th September: Free Motion Quilting/Sketching
(fully booked – waiting list available)
Yesterday was the first of 2 FMQ workshops.
My ladies worked hard at 6 different FMQ designs, fillers, small and large samples, and tried their hand at a little sketching too! (I bet they all slept well last night!).
This is my most requested workshop, and as it booked up in 2 days(!!) it was only fair I put on a 2nd date!
Don’t worry if you haven’t managed to get onto one of these workshops. I’ll be running this one again next year.
13th October: Chenille (Bath Mat or Cushion)
In quilting, the term ‘Chenille’ refers to a texture achieved through sewing and cutting through several layers of fabric. When washed and dried, the raw edges of the cuts ‘fluff up’ creating a wonderfully tactile texture. This new ‘fabric’ can then be turned into a wide range of items.
In this workshop you can choose to make a fluffy bath mat, or a snuggly cushion.
17th November: Scandi Christmas Stocking
Getting ready for Christmas and Christmas gift-making is always popular among quilters.
My Scandi Christmas Stocking incorporates a little fun applique and it is fully lined, so it will stand the test of time year after year!
I’m now stocking the latest collection of Makower Red Scandi Christmas prints in my classroom, as well as my usual stocks of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, and I’m hoping to have kits available for the workshop.
8th December: Gingerbread Men Garland
How cute would these decorated felt Gingerbread Men look adorning your Christmas themed fireplace!
This workshop will combined some relaxing hand sewing and embellishing with a little machine work.
A great gift for gingerbread men lovers everywhere!
So there you have it! A round-up of fun ways to spend a Saturday!
If you see anything here you fancy, just drop me an email at email@example.com