Here I am returned from France, where we spent a few days in search of sunshine (which came and went fleetingly) and despite being August 1st there seems to be no sign of the summer here in the UK – I’ve still got my pully on!!

Never mind, I have lots of fun stuff to tell you about on the website.

First, the draw for the HUSQVARNA VIKING ER10 machine is now closed and the 25 winners of the fabric packages are being chosen. Winners will be notified by e-mail; please check your spam folders as we have found that the words ‘winner’ and ‘competition’ seem to throw some of the filters into a spin!

Secondly, you will have noticed, we hope, that we have a video focusing on our wonderful NEW competition running in conjunction with Janome and Madeira (thanks very much to them both for their participation); the first prize is the Janome BCC-30 sewing machine, which is their feature machine raising money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Campaign. The competition entry forms can be found on the Home Page and the News Pages of our website – entry is free to all who are registered on the website. This is a really super little machine with a big heart – lots of special features and stitches. If you are in the market for a treat this is certainly worth a second look (just in case you don’t win or can’t wait until 30th October!); the team will be at the Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC complex August 19th-22nd or, of course, you can check out the machine at your local dealership.


Also available as a prize are threads from Madeira and these are amazing too; the Quilters’ Paradise box is scrummy and packed full (as you can see from the video) which will give you all you need to work with should you want to move into fantastic world of mixed media textiles. These threads are available to purchase from your local quilt shop.

On the mixed media front you have a real treat in store in the video of the Prism Textile Exhibition – Evolve, Evoke, Expand. This group has a worldwide membership and really push the boundaries with stunning results – this is really one to sit back and enjoy; I was captivated by all of it and it will be coming to you in two parts (there was so much to see and film for you).


If you feel inspired to have a go yourself but don’t know where to start, then the girls at Colouricious have the answers. They have made a whole series of DVD’s with various quilt artists to help you. We bumped into them at the National Patchwork Championships at Sandown Racecourse in June and filmed a short workshop there with Jamie Malden on blockprinting which will be on our site later this month, and if you are truly inspired by this they have a whole day devoted to it, Block ‘til you Drop on Sat 23rd October in Wandsworth, London. More details can be found on their website AND they are holding a textile retreat in Egypt – more details in our small ads section/quilting retreats.

Come along and visit Midsomer Quilting with us (and no jokes about dead bodies please, they have heard them all!); this is a lovely shop with much to offer and you will be seeing more of them in the months ahead sharing a tip about layering up quilts as well as quilting quilts.

Had enough of just watching and want to get to work? Well on the workshop front we have a great project from the Tilda books on making a simple bag; Sue Munday, (who teaches City & Guilds and has an add on the small pages of the site) shares with us how to make a Stripper Bag (the mind boggles!) and if you are really into bags, check out our Book of the Month: Heavenly Bags:

Anne Baxter shows us how to work a naive form of appliqué that leaves no raw edges to worry about; Maggie Davies treats us to her hand form of needle felting (so no machine needed and I think all that pounding might be good therapy!). As usual with Maggie there are some really lovely patterns to purchase and the projects are small – ideal maybe for the summer trips?

If you are off on a trip and want some handwork to take with you check out the patterns for folded work (Lee Brown and Lesley Brankins Christmas Mantle runner) and also the patterns created by Sarah Soward for us in the Christmas section – many of those are easy to work by hand.

Back to the Festival of Quilts – such a major event on the quilting and the mixed media calendar 19th-22nd August; both Jennie and I will be there (I am helping Creative Quilting on their stand H17) and Jennie has her own stand. We will also be there on Friday with the boys from to film the Fashion Show that is being held during the International Night Dinner. So if you’ve not got a ticket you will be able to have a front-row seat later in the year! We will be back at the show on the Sunday wandering around filming tutors, quilts and more – again for your enjoyment later and from the comfort of your own home. If you are up at the event do come and say ‘hi’.

As always a reminder that to get the most from the site, and it’s only £6/month for all those workshops, visits and tips and techniques, and so much more, you do need to be a subscribed member and we do accept cheques (and you can avoid Paypal on the shopping too, just get in touch through the Contact Us button.) The newsletter always generates a lot of interest (thank you) and if you have forgotten your password and/or username don’t panic, just again Contact Us and we can help.

Our FREE* Block of the Month with Jennie has its final stage still up for you to play catch up; details of our new FREE* Block of the Month will be loaded during August which will obviously include pictures of the quilt (in two colourways) but will also have the quantities of fabric needed, just in case you feel you need some retail therapy over the summer! (*free to subscribed members).

Only a Quilter would spend more hours sewing several hundreds of buttons on a quilt to embellish it, rather than take five minutes to replace a button on a pair of trousers.

Happy Sewing
Valerie & Jennie