This will be a busy month as there are 5 Friday’s so lots to see and be inspired by:

We start the month off with enjoying a quilt made by members of the Embroiderer’s Guild entitled ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ with Jo Bostock.


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plus a workshop with another Jo – Jo Gourlay – sharing with us how to create a delightful cushion for the house and/or garden  using recycled fabrics and being inspired by the fabric itself.   Jo loves to encourage the younger sewers and this is certainly one that they could try as it has fused simple shapes followed by adding buttons and simple stitching as embroidery.


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Other workshops later in the month will be Sew Simple Pinwheels designed by Karin Hellaby – a super easy way (as always from Karin) of creating this pattern; a scrap quilt using 5” squares and 2 ½” strips;  there is a tip to help you with your Dresden Plate or Grandmother’s Fan block and we show you how to bind a quilt.

Jennie and Valerie embark on some hand needlefelting ;  Sylvia Critcher shows us some hand Trapunto and French Boutis work and Angela Daymond shows us how to do some Eco Dyeing in the kitchen using petals.

The Superstar quilt designed by Jennie Rayment  has started with the Blazing Star centre and the other sections will be loaded up monthly


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You can take part for free if you are a subscribed member and Jennie has written some excellent workshop notes which are available for you to download;  you can also purchase a kit (at a super price) to make one just the same. click here :

If you are working on Your First Sampler Quilt last week we added the sashing and then later this month we will be putting the borders on .   This programme is also free to those of you who are subscribed members (and it will be on the site for a while if you are not keeping up with the sewing!);  there are also just two kits left to be purchased.

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At the end of last month we showed you how to make the Grandmother’s Fan block – which is a super scrap quilt design


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And showed you how NOT to waste your wadding scraps – because you can join them!


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Our Book of the Month is by Carolyn Forster and entitled Sew Jelly Roll Quilts & Gifts;  its costs £12.99 but has FREE P&P within the UK for the Month of March 2013.


There are 9 stunning quilt designs and a variety of small gifts to make.

As you all know jelly rolls offer a quick and easy to use and allow you to perhaps purchase a colour-way that you wouldn’t otherwise embark on and usually there is very little waster.

Also in the book there are also a variety of gifts – from bags to pretty cushions, coasters, and key fobs in the shape of beach huts (always popular); a wreath to hang on your door, a pin cushion, lavender filled pillows and a doorstop – so LOTS of inspiration.

Also added to the shopping pages is a delightful book entitled

“Fran’s Little Bags”  in which Fran Rose shows you how to explore folding techniques for beaded fabric bags.


You can make the bags in any size with pre-bought fabric or dye or make your own.   Fran encourages you to experiment with edgings and surface decoration to make your bag unique.  As well as the bag projects Fran shows you how to do bead edging and joining;  surface decoration such as laid work, bead embroidery, and fringing.

(We met Fran recently at the Textiles in Focus weekend and she was kind enough to do a short workshop for us so you will be seeing more of her later in the year).

Our Prize Giveaway for subscribed members for March are patterns from the new Enchanted Ocean series by Gail Lawther;


designed in Gail’s now familiar stained glass style these are quite delightful and each pattern contains full size templates as well as step-by-step instructions on the stained glass (so even if you’ve never done this before you will find it achievable). To enter the draw  you just send us an email to (remember this is just for subscribed members)

If you aren’t a subscribed member then you are obviously missing out not only on the above giveaway but on all the lovely workshops and Block of the Month programmes that we have running.   It is really easy to join – just follow any of the links on the site which will take you through to Paypal where you can pay monthly – £6 – and there is no long-term contract.   If you prefer you can purchase a term membership (3m, 6m or 1yr – 12 months for the price of 10) again through the shopping pages

OR you can send us a cheque.

Happy Sewing

Valerie & Jennie

Extracts from NEWS UPDATE   14th March  2013

If you got an unexpected snow day did you manage to get some sewing done?   Well if you want inspiration for something quick to do and for a good cause you could help Ann Hill get to her target of 5000 quilts which she needs to cover the Hampton Park Football Stadium in Glasgow.   This is in aid of the Alzheimer’s charity and they are needed by the end of May (more information on our blog page).  At just 40” square they are quick and easy to make – here are a couple that I managed to sew when the rugby was on one Sunday afternoon(!)

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and you can get more quick ideas from Ann’s own website.

More inspiration from  in the past couple of weeks has been Karin Hellaby’s Sew Simple Pinwheels design – which is a great way to use up your stash of squares and/or 10” layer cakes


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and if you want to make a tablerunner she has put together a wonderful kit that uses batik fabrics.


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If you fancy foraging either in your kitchen or in the hedgerows or your garden Angela Daymond shows us how simple it is to use products and then dye fabric in kilner jars


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And of course you can continue making your Superstar Medallion quilt with Jennie who this month shows you how to add the Chevron Seminole Border;


if you don’t want to do this there will be an alternative checkerboard border next month – so just wait a bit!

We  have added a couple of new kits – Pretty Owls  – (owls are very popular at present) and this duo the children could sew and glue together


and Wedding Bunting  kit – which has 33 delightful little pictures to create bunting approx 4m long.


(have you seen the Simple  Bunting video?)


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Fancy getting away from it all?   We have classes and quilting holidays listed in the classified section:  a couple of the newer listings are:

Pauline Verrinder  will be working with metal and stitch and Jean Wright will be teaching Goldwork with a modern twist at the Cottenham Summer School in Cambridgeshire in July;  Angela Daymond in Lincolnshire has an Indigo Dyeing day on 27th April, and Sue Munday offers courses in West Sussex and enjoys teaching machine embroidery and getting to know your computerized machine.   (If you want to advertise your classes – just get in touch with us via the website)

You could also escape to the Isle of Wight in September where several well-known UK tutors are teaching for OliVen;  and Wendy and Jennie has a few places left on their  17-19th May retreat at Dunford House in Midhurst, Surrey, particularly if you are interested in Rag Rugging – a great way to recycle.

(use the quick filter to sort them into classes and quilting holidays): click here

So whether at home or away

Happy Sewing

Valerie & Jennie