Well what a start to the year – according to the experts (and the Daily Mail!) we’ve been through the most depressing weekend BUT we’ve also been through Happy Monday. Apparently last Monday was the day on which we start thinking about our summer break. Well that includes me: two of us have booked to go to the Quilt Show in Alsace in September run by Arena Travel; details are on the Quilt Retreat page of the site

and I am already savouring the idea of sipping champagne at Kings Cross St.Pancreas prior to departure on the Eurostar! (AND we will be able to take our sewing with us!)

Other quilt retreats and escapes outside the UK are also on that page, plus some closer to home, such as the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds and those with Jennie and I at Dunford House near Midhurst in Surrey in June. We will, of course be joined by Sarah Soward from Pauline’s Patchwork – more info on our booking form on the same page and if you would like to escape and just sew, we would be delighted if you join us.

Well onto what you can watch on the site this month. We are starting off with a great workshop from Dawn Cameron-Dick showing how easy she makes the Drunkards Path block; she applique’s her shapes onto the background square with her amazing Invisible Machine Applique (IMA) and she shows you how to do that too; this is a great block for using up scraps and she has a great tip for using starch.


Block 5 of our Block of the Month (which is free to subscribed members) also features the Drunkard’s Path patch so those of you in the middle of this might like to give Dawn’s video.

Talking about free to subscribed members, as promised we have the Chicken (sorry not a cockerall) cushion from Sue at Daisy Chain –thankyou so much Sue; we hope you enjoy using the templates either exactly as Sue has into a cushion or perhaps use it in other ways. You will find that I have added it to the Pattern and Book of the Month page of the shopping section https://justhands-on.tv/product-category/shop/books/

If you like Sue’s colourway then she has put together a kit and this can be found in the Shopping pages, Fabrics and kits https://justhands-on.tv/product-category/shop/kits/

I am showing you all how to make chenille fabric; I think this is a great way of using up fabric (including those you still like but……!) and it gives instant texture. The items you can make with this fabric are as varied as your imagination – clothing, bags, quilts, book covers, scissor holders etc. Again don’t forget to send us some pictures of what you’ve made so that it will inspire others.

We have Lorna Bateman, embroidery expert, showing us how to work with silk ribbon and she creates ribbon roses and petals; Jennie shows us how to create the Dresden plate block with several variations, including one with a flat bottom (or is it top?). Gilda Barron gives a short insight into how she creates her textured landscapes (more to come from Jennie in the future) and we have a wander round the SAQA ‘Art Meets Science’ exhibition that was at the Festival of Quilts last August –I really enjoyed wandering round this SAQA so I hope you do too.


We have again added short videos of what’s coming up into the Welcome Video (note the thumbnail changed – that’s your hint!) and if you don’t want to listen to my introduction –again! – just let the video load up and then you can fast forward through me!!!

We had lots of useful feedback from the survey; thankyou to all who took part and Marlene Hutchinson is the lucky winner of the free year’s subscription . Several questions were raised in the survey such as – do I have to pay with Paypal? Can I buy a year’s subscription? How do I stop the films buffering? – answers to all these (and we hope more)questions can be found on the site under FAQ (which stands for Frequently Asked Questions). Don’t forget that for just £6 you get access to 4 workshops EVERY MONTH from expert tutors and the opportunity of wandering round shows that maybe you didn’t get to and you can go back as often as you like, at any time of the day or night – in your jim-jams if you want!

Talking about wandering, we had a really great time at Ardingly at the quilt show organised by Grosvenor Exhibitions. There were quilt displays by Ineke Berlyn, Dilys Fronks, Jo Baddeley, and the Journal Quilts challenge called ‘Fantasy. Many of the quilt displays from this will be moving on to Edinburgh (25-27 Feb) Chilford (11-13 March) and Exeter (25-27 March) – more details on our events page and their own website www.grosvenorshows.co.uk

As usual I came away with a few goodies. I am particularly fond of redwork and there are two new patterns from Mandy Shaw – one is Christmas and the other a fun little idea for making pincushions (note the Will & Kate motive?!?)


and a 3 piece 3D sewing ensemble from Gail Penberthy – Fairy Ring; I particularly like the mushroom needlecase.


And Claire of Hannah’s room also has a kit for a super little bag that uses, of course, her batik fabrics, and has a very unusual coconut button as a feature.



She also now does packs of 6” squares of batiks – various colourways, but I’ve just got one on the site – which would work beautifully if you are thinking of following Dawn’s idea for her batik quilt.
Here is the general shopping link https://justhands-on.tv/product-category/shop/

If you need an excuse to buy fabric this one appeals to me:
It keeps without refrigeration; you don’t have to cook it to enjoy it; you never have to feed it or walk it
But I do go and stroke it from time to time!
Happy Sewing
Valerie & Jennie