Sunday, 16 September 2012

First male attendee at Quiltessential workshop

Yesterday we had our first ever male attendee in a beginners class. We taught two sisters, their brother and Mum how to do patchwork. It was Mum's birthday treat and was kept as a complete surprise until she got to the shop. Ben's choice of fabrics was a bit 'unusual' but his stitching was very accurate. They all seemed to enjoy the experience and left with their own, unique cushion cover, a new hobby perhaps and, hopefully, some good memories of the special day.
Well done Ben for not being afraid to have a go!
Hope you had an enjoyable Birthday surprise Liz.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Quiltessential at Festival of Quilts

Once again we are trading at Festival of Quilts at the NEC from 16-19 August. Our stand, C47, is full of our latest quilt designs and lots of new fabric.
We have entered a quilt in the 2 person category for the first time this year and are proud to announce that it has been awarded a 'Highly Commended'.
It was designed 7 years ago by Darren at the same time he designed our logo but we have only just got round to making it. It is called Logo-Rhythmic. Darren did the design, drew the foundation templates, cut virtually all of the fabric and pieced half of the blocks. Ann made the other half of the blocks, joined all the blocks and did all the quilting and binding. She had to get up early every day for a week to quilt it in good daylight because she couldn't quilt black on black in artificial light in the evening after work.
She said never again whilst she was doing it but now it has had some success she is reconsidering her view!
See if you can guess which of the 4 quilts below is ours!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Review of Quiltfest, Jacksonville, Florida in Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

Ann and Darren visited the Quiltfest quilt show whilst on holiday in the USA last year and were very impressed with the venue and the quality of quilts on display. Presuming not many people in the UK know about the show and that none of the UK quilting magazines would have sent a journalist to it, Darren contacted Patchwork & Quilting to see if they would be interested in an article. His first dabble at journalism is in the August 2012 issue of the magazine! If you missed the magazine there is a link to the article on the news page of our website.
Click here to visit our news page.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Another Successful Beginners' Class

These four ladies were complete novices at the start of Saturday. They now know how to rotary cut fabric, safely and accurately. They can sew a quarter inch seam and make a variety of quilt block components. They have added borders, binding and an envelope cushion back to finish a cushion cover - all in a day. This was our best group of beginners to date. They even had time to hand sew the back of the binding - a first for our beginners class. They look very pleased with their efforts. Well done ladies! We hope this is the start of many enjoyable years of quilting.

Latest Art Deco Inspired Design

Darren's latest Art Deco inspired stained glass window quilt design was the project for this class which took place on Thursday. You can see from the photo that, at the end of the day, there were different degrees of completion achieved with Alma, second from right, being the only one to have finished assembling the quilt top. As usual, everyone chose different colours and the end results are very varied. This project uses an unusual technique and everyone who attended the class enjoyed the fact that they had done something 'different'. This design will be available as an exclusive Quiltessential pattern soon. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Rare Naylor cars at Arkwright's Mill

There was a pleasant surprise at Arkwright's Mill today. Just before lunch a cavalcade of rare Naylor and Hutson retro sports cars drove up the yard and parked, as if on parade, outside the shop. There were 22 in all from the 161 that were built in the mid-1980's. All were gleaming in the midday sunshine. For more information about these cars visit the owners club website:

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Quiltessential Students’ Exhibition at Uttoxeter Embroidery & Quilt Show

As well as the competition quilts on display at the Uttoxeter show, there was a small exhibition of quilts organised by Ann and Darren Mayner from Quiltessential.

Ann Mayner has been teaching patchwork and quilting classes since opening Quiltessential seven years ago.  Her husband, Darren, has been designing quilt patterns for the same period of time and these have formed the core of Quiltessential’s workshop programme.  Darren enjoys seeing his designs used in classes because the students’ fabric choices make the end results so different.

For some time, Ann and Darren had been thinking about organising an exhibition of quilts made by their workshop students and Margaret McQuillan, the organiser of the Embroidery and Quilt Show at Uttoxeter agreed to host an exhibition at the 2012 show.  Ann then asked her students to volunteer completed quilts to showcase their handiwork.  She had no idea how many quilts would be offered, if any at all.  Luckily, more quilts were offered than could be hung in the space available.

None of the 22 quilts displayed had been made to be exhibited and many of the quilt makers modestly thought their work wasn’t good enough to be exhibited in a quilt show.  They needn’t have worried though.  They looked good as an ensemble and weren’t at all out of place next to the other quilts in the show.  They showed what a diverse range of workshop projects are undertaken at Quiltessential and were a credit to their creators.

Ann received a lot of positive feedback from visitors to the show, who enjoyed this small exhibition of her students’ quilts.  The students, whose quilts were displayed should be proud of their work.  Many of the quilt makers visited the show to see their work displayed.  Seeing their quilts hanging, hearing nice comments and seeing visitors taking photographs seemed to give them a buzz.  They all enjoyed having their work displayed and, hopefully, they will now feel inspired to enter quilts in the competition next year’.

Ann and Darren are grateful to everyone who offered their quilts for the exhibition. It was great to see them all finished and hanging at the show! 

Many of these quilt patterns are available to buy in our shop or on our website. Please click on the following link for more information:

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Recent Classes at Quiltessential

Below are a few pictures taken at the end of some recent workshops in the shop. They include from top to bottom: charming bag, foundation pieced spiral log cabin, beginners class cushion and Derbyshire landscape.
As usual, some attendees worked faster (but not necessarily more accurately) than others but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and hopefully learned something at the same time.