The quilting retreat weekend last weekend at Dunford House in Midhurst (what a super house that is too)was really great and if you didn’t come you did miss a real treat; we had three rooms full of ladies sewing and quilting, some of whom had come on their own knowing they would be amongst friends and make some new ones; some complete beginners and some accomplished sewers but with the help of Jennie, and Sarah (our competent teachers) and Wendy in the background making sure everything ran smoothly (and that included the evening entertainment and raffle)a fun time was had by all.

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Sarah’s group of ladies worked on their jelly roll quilts and many had the whole quilt actually finished, others layered and ready to quilt and Jennie’s group worked on technique, but still had lots to show for their weekend (see more pics on the blog pages and I have loaded more onto facebook too). We have booked the venue for next year – the dates are 6-8th July 2012 – more details and a booking form will be on the site soon but I can tell you that Sarah will be returning and offering more pattern options with Jelly rolls, Jennie will be working with an idea from her new book and I will be working with scraps, strips and triangles.

Back to this July and the month starts off with a wander round the Quilts on the Farm show which was back in April and organised by Mandy Shaw. The idea behind this exhibition was for her to showcase the variety of work accomplished by her Hailsham students and she did a good job. A wide variety of work ranging from the starter medallion quilts through to vintage inspired redwork and carpet bags made completely from recycled fabrics. There are some new patterns too loaded up from Mandy – redwork heart and Papercut Home sweet Home plus her new Block of the month, details of which are in the small ads section



The venue was also wonderful – a very pretty but working farm in W. Sussex – do check out the film and the free ‘stressbuster’ video that was put together by the boys at to show with some of the clips we weren’t able to include.


We have also started the month off with another short taster video from Myfanwy Hart with her embellishing machine; more instruction is available on her excellent DVD and if you enjoy this form of work we have reloaded the workshop that Jennifer Trollope did for us – she is an accomplished embellisher too as well as artist and she had a stunning piece of work on display in the June National Patchwork Championship show at Sandown. (see our blog about the show

The rest of the month has workshops with Mandy showing us how to make a simple but fun 4-hole bracelet from buttons; there is a comprehensive workshop from Sue of Daisy Chain Designs showing us how to make a reversible bag,


and Jennie works through the 50/40 or Fight and Flight pattern for us and a quick tip from me on how to fast turn a project so that you can avoid binding (something you can do if your project doesn’t need too much quilting).

If you like the idea of simple sewing, then Sarah Soward is working on one of her simple jelly roll ideas – Sarah’s Seeing Stars pattern was a winner in the Jelly roll competition last year and has been featured in the 2012 Quilters Diary which is just out.

If you just want to sit back and be entertained then apart from the Quilts on the Farm exhibition we also have a short piece that we filmed at Midsommer Quilting showing how the long arm quilting system works – such a great idea to get those (larger) quilts finished which means you can continue enjoying the piecing! – and we visit the Millenium Embroidery that is housed at Sunbury on Thames.

Our Book of the month for July is Home Made Vintage by Christina Strutt; Christina runs Cabbages & Roses a fabric company that specialises in historic rural printed fabrics. In this lovely book, she presents 40 easy-to-sew projects that will transform your home – from pillow to aprons, duvet covers to lampshades, Home-made Vintage is the ultimate guide to creating an inviting, charming home.



As our chosen Book of the Month postage and packing will be FREE within the UK.

Don’t forget that you can wander round the site for free and all the workshops have free tasters so you can check out just what you are missing – see before you buy as it were – and payment through the site is on a month-by-month basis through Paypal. If you want to pay by cheque then that’s fine too and all the details are on the Membership page of the site.

As added value for subscribed members we have a new prize giveaway for which we have to thank Alex of Aurifil Threads;

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we have 10 packs of his Aurifil threads; 4 very useful colours, 1422 yards in total, 100% cotton in a 50/2 which allows you to stitch a flat seam. It is also perfect for invisible ditch stitching, as the thread disappears into the valley between the seams. – just send an email to with the title threads and you could be a lucky winner.

Happy Sewing
Valerie & Jennie