Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Stepping out of my comfort zone

I am very excited! On Friday I am well and truly stepping out of my comfort zone and starting an applique quilting class. Yes, I could have picked up a book and got the hang of it myself.  But there is something rather lovely about learning a new skill alongside others.  Something about a shared experience that you just can't get by sitting at home on your tod. I'm lucky to have Plain Stitch practically on my doorstep and those of you who have read this blog before will know that Deb of Plain Stitch is going to hold 'taster' classes at HQ's new home in Wendover.  Deb's Modern Applique Course is a bit longer - taking in 9 classes over 7 months - one class per block.

It's something I've always wanted to do and I have made a few quilts before, but they've always been machine pieced and then hand tied.  Yes, I know it's cheating but it's QUICK! You still get a gorgeously colourful and snuggly quilt but in a fraction of the time. I am, to those who know me, renowned for my impatience.  Mum can spend a couple of years (actually I think her record is 5!) happily picking up a quilt as and when and patiently, lovingly, hand-quilt it with beautiful, minuscule, even stitches - and I get that, I really do.  The satisfaction in the knowledge that you have made something beautiful totally by hand in this on-demand, shortcut world in which we live is immense.

But I well and truly live in that world and although I can accept that nature intends for me to wait 6 months for my parsnips to sweeten up, I cannot accept that the thing of beauty I want in my life has to take that long to create when my Janome is calling, no - screaming to me, that I could have it next week!
Well, I am attempting to become a changed woman.  I'm not saying I will give up on being a quick-fix queen - dedicated to her machine; I have far too many things that I need and want to sew - like the roman blind my husband begs for every morning after getting out of the shower!  But I have decided that this one is for the long haul.  I'm going to make this quilt COMPLETELY by hand! Yes, completely!  And now I've said it here, I've got you lot to answer to if 'Ms Impatient Maker' decides to make a Mr Hyde-like appearance.

I'm thinking of using some of these fabrics. . .

I want this quilt to be nice and bright as it's eventually going to go on the  trampoline dilapidated sofa in the kitchen where the boys spend most of their play time.

So, do we want to take bets on how long it will take me to finish it?  My guess is that you will have to be reading this blog in a year's time to find out for sure!

It's lovely to hear from you - let us know about your own quilting experiences and any thoughts on the totally by hand way versus quick fix machining!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Sewing Bee - yipeee!

For those of you in or near Wendover, Deb of PlainSitch and I are putting out a call to all you creative types to come and join us at the brand new Wendover Sewing Bee!  We constantly hear about people doing amazing things on their own who want to get together with like-minded people.  Well here's your chance.  If you have been sewing for years, a short period of time or it's something you've always wanted to get into but haven't known where to start, come along and see what it's all about.

It will be separate from the classes at Fabric HQ or Deb's longer quilting classes.  It's a place to get together with like-minded people and sew, chat and drink tea (with the odd cake courtesy of Rachel thrown in to keep up your creative stamina!)  A couple of hours for you without the every day distractions of home or work competing for your attention and giving you that frustrated sewing feeling.

As inspiring as The Great British Sewing Bee has been (and there are some great tutorials from Judge May Martin here, by the way), we want ours to be more than just a clothes making gathering.  Any sewing project you have, you can bring along - it'll be the perfect chance to finish all of those UFOs (Un-Finished Objects!) you've got lying around.  You can ask advice and swap ideas as well as be inspired by what others are working on.  What could be better? And I for one am relishing the opportunity to have a couple of hours a month dedicated sewing time - with so much else going on, it's a rarity these days!


When: Monthly, starting Tuesday May 7th 9-11am
Where: St Anne's Hall, Aylesbury Road, Wendover
What: Bring along your project - big or small! Chat; drink tea; SEW!!!

Coming soon . . .

We've been wanting to extend our range of basics and are really excited to have the full range of these little lovelies winging their way to HQ.

as well as a these . . .

That's all for now - have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Shop's Open!

Firstly I need to apologise for the radio silence here on the blog these past few weeks.  We've been - if this is not an understatement - a little busy.  But it's been worth it. Finally we can announce that we have moved into HQ's second home - the wonderful Courtyard Gallery in Wendover!

The fantastic Melanie Bird, who runs both the Courtyard and A Little Bird Told Me Galleries, invited us to increase our small offering of stacks and quarters and we now have nearly 150 fabrics in pre-cut quarters, halves and full metres as well as ribbons, ric rac, buttons and other lovely habby delights on offer.

We're really excited about this next step for HQ - it means we have a space that we can make our own and are now finally able to share face to face our love of beautiful fabrics.
And, with the help of the brilliant Deb Maguire of PlainStitch, we are now able to make reality another of our dreams: to hold sewing classes in our very own space! Details of these classes will be up on the website in the next day or two.
So if you are anywhere near Wendover (and you dedicated followers of fabric shops know that 'near' is a very loose and relative term when it comes to getting your fabric fix!) please do drop in and say hello at The Barn Courtyard, 25 The High Street, Wendover, HP22 6DU.  We want to make clear that the shop is an ongoing project which (with a bit of luck and the continued support of you lovely people) will grow into our full time home sometime in the near future. 'The Shopette' is what we are calling it for now but there are so many delicious goodies there already.

Jacqui will of course continue her sterling work looking after our website operations but up until such time as we can acutally be living in the same county (yes, 50 odd miles between us does make things a bit awkward sometimes!) we will be working from seperate bases. We are, however, so excited about what the Gallery has the potential to give us: one base for Fabric HQ.

We are touched by all the support we've had from so many of you truly wonderful people. It would be great to finally meet some of you face to face and spend a little time chatting about what floats our collective boat: Fabric!


New in . . .

What with the massive success of Jill MacDonald's 'What a World' collection, we were astronomically excited (sorry, it's been a long couple of weeks!) about the arrival of her new collection logically entitled 'Out of This World'.

This adorable children's collection makes astronomy fun! The planets, suns, moons, stars, rocket ships and astronauts are all presented in bold primary colours - we love it!

Visit the website for more lovely new arrivals and keep checking back for some exciting haberdashery due in soon. We've been listening to you and have acted!