Friday, 9 September 2011

Derbyshire Landscape Quilt Class

Today Ann taught a class in the shop which was quite unusual. There was no careful cutting of fabric into specific sized pieces, no need for accurate quarter inch seams, no points to match up and no pattern to follow. Instead, following Ann's guidance and using her sample as a starting point, the attendees were encouraged to be creative: they all produced their own unique quilt based loosely on the theme of a Derbyshire landscape with Heage windmill and hot air balloons as recognisable local features. The image above shows six of the attendees with their almost finished quilts (left to right - Vivien, Sally, Felicity, Rosemary, Joy and Laelia). Well done ladies!  

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Lynette Anderson's Scandinavian Christmas fabrics

We took the full Scandinavian Christmas range of fabrics (25 in all) designed by Lynette Anderson for Lecien to the Festival of Quilts. This range was very popular, so much so, that we had to reorder them after the show.
They are now in the shop and on our website.

Festival of Quilts 2011

Thanks to all our loyal customers from far and near and the many new ones (there seemed to be a lot from Denmark this year), we had a very busy Festival of Quilts. We hope everyone who attended enjoyed it and was inspired by the quilts on display.
We don't have a large stand but, believe it or not, Ann has to cut 1500 metres of fabric into fat quarters to display on the stand for the show as well as trying to get new quilts and bags made with current fabrics, all at the same time as running the shop as usual in the lead up to the show. During the show we often work 16 hour days and at the end of it we are very tired. Of course, we never sell everything at the show, so all of the surplus has to be returned to the shop and found a home until it is needed to fill up the fat quarter baskets in the shop. We have just about got back to normal and we can see the floor again in our house now the show stock has gone. The next show we trade at is Knitting & Stitching at Harrogate in November!
The picture above shows Ann getting the stand ready at the start of the day before the crowds of visitors arrive.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Ann's live interview on Radio Derby

Aleena Naylor was discussing the benefits of quilting on her radio show on Tuesday 14 May and Ann was asked if she would do an interview if the outside broadcast unit came to the shop. However, they didn't tell her beforehand that she was going to be live on air. She did quite well though - click on the link if you want to listen. Ann is on air just after the Hollies at approximately 1hr 43minutes:

Monday, 18 April 2011

Rhythm and Blues Challenge Success

Darren standing proudly next to his award winning quilt


Darren entered the special category quilt challenge at the Uttoxeter Quilt Show this weekend. The theme was Rhythm & Blues and each entrant was given 3/4 metre of a brightly coloured fabric covered with musical instruments, which had to be incorporated in the quilt.

After much deliberation, Darren based his design on a double bass, one of his favourite instruments and frequently featured in rhythm and blues music. The unusual shaped quilt developed from the shape of the double bass. All of the triangles were foundation pieced, then the neck and other features were appliqued over the top.

This was Darren's second competition entry and only his third completed quilt. He was therefore very pleased to be awarded second place and would like to thank everyone who came up to congratulate him, especially those who said they thought he should have won! 

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Back from Extinction to Raptorous Applause

Last summer we had a fantastic range of dinosaur fabric from RJR Fabrics that I warned would sell out before I had time to put them on our website and I was right.  We took them with us to Festival of Quilts and we sold out of the large scale prints in a few days.  I'm pleased to announce that we have managed to reorder them and they're now in the shop along with some other great dinosaur fabrics from Timeless Treasures. They aren't available on our website yet but will be there shortly unless we sell out again!  These are great children's fabrics that suit both boys and girls and have coordinating panels and borders!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Ducks On Ice

At this time of year Cromford Canal is often frozen at its terminus near Arkwright's Mill and it is common to see the ducks all stood in a row on the edge of the ice sheet. It will soon be duckling season again!

Pineapple log cabin class

Ann recently ran a class in the shop to teach the technique of foundation piecing and used the traditional pineapple log cabin block to demonstrate this method of accurately piecing complex designs. The photos below show the class in progress and some of the blocks that were made. These were competent stitchers, and they will obviously get quicker with practise, but it took a few hours to produce a single 10 inch block - it is quite an intricate and time consuming design but rewarding when you see the finished block. What a difference the choice of fabrics can make to the outcome!  

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Happy New Year and welcome to the Quiltessential blog

Our first day back at the shop today after the Christmas and New Year break, during which we photographed more fabrics for the website.  We have spent a fair bit of time over the last few days working on re-pricing things to take account of the increase in VAT.  The good news is that we haven't increased all of our prices!  Darren has been busy since we got home changing website pages and updating them with new fabrics.  He hasn't finished yet as there are more fabrics waiting to be photographed on Thursday!

We have been busy with workshop bookings since just before Christmas - many of them received by email over the last couple of weeks and several are now full.  If you are thinking of booking, don't wait too long or you may be disappointed.   

I have also been sorting out our remnants and odds and ends of fabric.  Our bargain basket is full of those ends of bolts all at 20% off their original price and there are also scrap bags full of good sized usable pieces at prices from £3 upwards.  Ideal for those of you who love scrap quilts, or who make quilts for charity. 

We have also had a delivery of wadding and now have 45" wide Insulbright insulated wadding in stock, along with 48" wide Pellon fusible fleece, these two being new additions to our usual range of waddings.