Studio Open Day – Tuesday 13th December 2016

On Tuesday 13th December (this coming Tuesday) I am having a studio open day. This will be an opportunity to come and share a festive mince pie and hot drink. The studio will have gorgeous threads from Valdani, Wonderfil and Paintbox available, as well as the full of range kits, books, the DVD, natural dyeing, and stitching accessories. As you can see from the picture above, I am up a small flight of stairs. If you have mobility issues, please let me know and I can downstairs and meet you.

The open day is from 2:00pm until 8:00pm

The address of the studio is:

Unique Cottage Studios
Fulney Lane South
Spalding
Lincolnshire
PE12 6FA

Christmas Offer – 49 Sleeps to Christmas

christmas-sale2

 

I saw on Facebook tonight that there are just 49 sleeps until Christmas Day. I have decided to have a Christmas sale and to take 25% off all Christmas kantha kits. This lasts from now up until December 25th. There are kits that can be done in an evening up to those that take a little longer.

If you are coming to the West Country Quilt Show starting Friday 11th November, I will also have the kits there.

table-runner

You can find my Christmas kits here.

Free Postage and Packing for Newsletter Subscribers in November

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS OFFER HAS NOW EXPIRED!

freepnp

During November I am offering FREE postage and packing on all orders for all newsletter subscribers. Current subscribers have already received a newsletter with a special voucher code. New subscribers will receive a welcome email with the special voucher code. This welcome email is sent out manually, so if you don’t receive it immediately please don’t panic you will receive it.

Signing up for the newsletter is easy – just go here and fill out the form. As a newsletter subscriber you will get to hear first what I am up to, what new kits and other products I have, hints and tips, as well as exclusive special offers.

So, this is how this offer works. Go to the shop, and add your chosen items to the basket. When you get to the checkout, make sure you add the special voucher code as below and click “Apply Coupon”.

order1

Once you have done this remember to click on the “Free Shipping” button and watch your postage and packing costs magically disappear!

order2

Remember to sign up to the newsletter here to get your special voucher code.

A Grand Day Out

Today I left book writing and stitching behind to go down to a shop that has relocated fairly closely to me. I have used the excellent mail order side of Plush Addict before but it was nice to go to a shop.

They are in an industrial estate just outside Peterborough, very easy to find and lots of free parking outside. They had a wonderful assortment of fabrics from all the top names. I normally only buy white cotton to dye but I was very tempted by the shibori fabrics below. How wonderful it would be to use these without any of the stitching/wrapping and dyeing. I  did get some soft and cuddly micro fleece for some quilts that I need to make and complete for Christmas presents.

shibori

Plush Addicts had an amazing assortment of machine quilts threads all at amazing prices. They also had all the other stuff you would expect to see such as pins, needles, rulers, precut fabrics

It is a shop that I will definitely be going back to.

img_6579

I seriously love green fabrics and these had me drooling. I have a green quilt in my head which might get made next year.

img_6577

The Tale of the Little Blue Hare

harelogo

The blue hare has been my logo now for about eighteen months. It took me a while to come up with something that properly represents me and what I do and as I am not in the position to pay for any fancy graphic designers I needed to employ cheaper options, although ironically my son has just gone off to university to study graphic design!

I wanted something that represents my creativity and the part of the country in which I am based. I (with some help from my husband) looked at various designs that somehow linked to the Fens. So, what do you think of when you think of the Fens? Big skies? Flatness? Reeds perhaps? None of which are very inspiring. I experimented with cow parsley for a while, but concluded this was too complicated.

As ever, the best ideas come to you when you aren’t looking for them. When coming up with some kantha designs I found myself being drawn to hares. I like their symbolism and the fact that they, more than most animals, seem to attract folklore. They are associated closely with fertility, partly because they are particularly good at reproducing, but also because it was thought that they, along with the moon, died every morning only to be reborn every evening.

Fertility does of course mean the ability to reproduce, but also the ability to produce ideas, and therefore to create.

Hares have also been closely associated with madness, and with the moon as a symbol of madness, as in the phrase “mad as a March hare”. This is said to be related to the “boxing” that they engage in during springtime. “Madness” in this context generally means eccentric or individual, a phrase often applied to myself, particularly when dyeing fabric with various kitchen ingredients, or collecting recycled materials (known to other people as “rubbish”) for my creations.

Hares are certainly not unique to the Fens. In fact they can be found all over the world, but they are particularly seen here running across the wide open fields, and I see them most days.

My husband noticed this fascination (bordering on obsession) with hares, and took one of my designs and did some fancy stuff with Photoshop and converted it into digital form.

By why blue I can hear you asking? Well the particular shade of blue relates to another obsession of mine – woad. The growing and processing of woad was an active and highly successful industry throughout the Fens up until the early 20th century. There are many place names and road names in this area that reflect this industry. I have been involved in a project based at Moulton Mill (near Spalding) highlighting the history of woad production, and I do run woad dyeing workshops from time to time.

So there you have it, the little blue hare tells a story of creativity, individuality, eccentricity and of the Fens.

 

Blowing Off the Cobwebs

After eight months of not writing anything here I thought it was about time to breathe some life back into my blog. Things have been pretty busy all in all over that time with a monthly show on Create and Craft TV, designing new kantha kits, writing another self-published kantha book, filming a DVD on natural dyeing, as well as teaching at various stitching shows, having a stand at shows, teaching and doing talks at groups, teaching at my studio. Yes, I am realising now why I didn’t manage to find time to write any blog posts.

Anyway, I have decided that I will get back into the blogging habit and to stick to some sort of routine. So, what I am intending to do is a mixture of letting you know what I am up to, highlighting new products available in the online shop, some tutorials, hints and tips, as well as some general random rambling about anything vaguely stitching related.

confidence with curves

Today, I had a delightful day with the Country Road Quilt Group which is based near where I live. I was teaching “Curves with Confidence” which is a quick and free piecing technique. They were a very talented group of ladies and by the end of the day had bags of confidence as you can see from the photos.

confidence with curves

I am on TV!

imageToday (20th February 2016) I am making my first appearance on Create and Craft TV at 2:00pm. If you miss it, it will be available on catch up on their website. You can find out more about it here. If this goes well then I may be appearing again in the future.

Busy Times

woad-festWell, I had a really good time at Festival of Quilts, but since then I have been exceptionally busy. At the moment I am heavily involved in The Blue Mill Project which is a Heritage Lottery Funded Project focused on the history of the woad industry in Lincolnshire and is based at Moulton Windmill. This weekend has been a Woad Festival at the windmill and has been very well attended. There will be further events coming up which will be posted on The Blue Mill Project website.

Another exciting thing I have coming up is that I will be on television this Friday, 23rd October 2015 at 11:10am. I am on Cowboys Builders, but NOT, I should add, as a cowboy builder! The programme will show me with designer, Alison Cork, doing onion skin dyeing at the studio.

magazine

Also, I am currently being featured in Pretty Patches magazine. I actually get four pages all about me, particularly focusing on my interest in natural dyeing. There are quite a few pictures of my work featured. If you have trouble finding it, it is available on the Pretty Patches website (there is also a digital version available).

Just a reminder that there is now a shop on the website. At the time of writing there isn’t much on it, but I plan to expand it gradually, so it would be worth checking back to see what’s new – newsletter subscribers will be kept up threadsto date with new shop items. So far the shop features my kantha book and two of my kantha kits. Over time I will be adding more kits, another book and threads. I am awaiting a new order of Valdani threads which I will be adding to the shop when they arrive.

Just one more thing, if you live in the west of the country, I am at the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol on 12th, 13th and 14th November. I will be having a booth and will be teaching. On the Thursday and Saturday I will be holding some drop-in sit and stitch sessions. On Friday I am teaching two half day workshops, Big Stitch Quilting by Hand Using Valdani No. 12 Perle Cotton Threads, and a Kantha Cushion Front Using Vintage Linens. If you want to book onto these you can find out more information here.

Anyway, I actually have a day off on Monday! Yay!

Back to blogging

I have just realised that I have not ventured into blogland for a long time. My last post was about a fantastic teaching trip to Canada just over a year ago. In the past year I have visited some fantastic groups up and down the country as well as meeting lots of people at various shows.

Exciting news for 2015 is that I will be having my first booth at Festival of Quilts in August. I will be in QIA19 with lots of naturally dyed fibres and threads. I have gone back to my roots and am now teaching a range of hand stitch workshops. The hare kit below will be available as a kit, including woad dyed fabric.imageI have been doing lots of dyeing in preparation at the studio. The latest batch of woad has an almost Aqua hue to it.

image

Yesterday I went to the East Midlands Embroiderers Guild regional day for a Kantha workshop. It was a fantastic day with an amazing much of ladies. Hand stitching is very portable and relaxing to do, I shall look forward to seeing the finished results.

image