Friday, 7 September 2018

Nearly there......

Well here we are, in two weeks time we'll all be on our way to the glorious Eaton Manor Country Estate ready to enjoy the first Sewing Shindig.

Two weeks...…

Fourteen days....

And in the words of Chris Tarrant as he used to say in the lead up to THAT time of year 'You're not ready, are you?'

So here's some info that you might find useful while getting everything prepped.

Class Specs – Quilt As You Go Cushion

QAYG basics – completing cushion front

Cushion finishing – how to make portholes, add details with perle cotton hand stitching, cushion back (envelope or hidden zip)

Completed Cushion – 18” square
Supplies –
-          Plentiful bag of scraps of makers choice – coordinating colours, or lots of fussy cuts, or a rainbow of different scraps, selveges, whatever appeals
-          Wadding scrap at least 22” square
-          Backing for cushion front – fabric scrap at least 20“ square
-          Sashing (if that is the chosen finish) – 1 FQ per sashing (more than one sashing may be used)
-          If doing a porthole finish instead then a piece of fabric at least 20” square (plus a piece of muslin at least 20” square) (if the maker wishes to make more than one porthole then double the fabric requirements)
-          Cushion backing – 1/2 yard of fabric
-          20” (or longer) plastic zip if wishing to do a hidden zip
-          Neutral coloured thread for the quilting; makers choice of thread to match the fabrics used to finish their cushion
-          Perle cotton or 12 weight thread if the maker wishes to do some hand stitching to finish the cushion
-          A finger pressing tool can be handy but not necessary
-          Pencil
-          Sewing machine – 1/4” foot, zipper foot if a hidden zip is being used, regular or walking foot that allows for a zigzag or overlock stitch

The aim of the class is to complete a cushion cover over the weekend but if the project is not finished then the participant should leave with the knowledge and ability to do a scrappy QAYG cushion front and finish it with some or all of the following skills – a porthole (reverse applique) to set the QAYG panel in, how to make either a envelope or hidden zip cushion back, how to add hand stitching to their project to enhance the finish. 

Quilting Design class
This is a hands on free motion quilting class,  looking at the different options for quilting a block/quilt design.  Well look at the different options, explore how they might look, and how we could enhance a basic design. 
Some preparation is required before the class if you wish to quilt out your design during the retreat weekend, (or at least make a start on it).
We can discuss the basics of free motion quilting if you need a quick refresher or some encouragement, and we will do lots of playing with designs on paper before finally hitting the fabric up.
Class requirements:
Sewing machine (complete with power lead, presser foot and manual)
Free motion quilting foot for your specific machine
prepared quilt sample
Wadding and backing for sample
and/or Fat quarters/wadding for playing/practicing on
Threads appropriate to your fabric choices.
Basic sewing kit
Fabric marking tool of choice (no Frixion pens)
Pencils/rulers for designing on paper
Basting pins

Quilting Design Class Sample Piece - you will have received class specifications with instructions of how to construct this - you will need to do this before the retreat.

Aneela's class specs: 

The project is a great way to learn and practise stitches, explore ideas and inspire your projects.  It is also a helpful exercise in finding and developing your own personal embroidery style.  Once completed - anytime you need a dose of inspiration, flip through the pages and revisit your ideas to kick-start your creativity.  
This is a great beginner to intermediate level class.  Please see the materials list for items to bring (page 2) and ensure you have everything you need on hand.  It is very important that you arrive with your fabric pieces cut as there will be plenty to cover during the class. 
We will be looking at embroidery basics including tools, stitches, application of patterns and more.  We will learn how to use basic stitches to explore techniques and create fun new textures and patterns.
During the class we will be stitching the embroidered pages for your sampler notebook.  You will be able to continue your stitching and complete the notebook at home.  

 Materials list
For the class, you will need fabric for the 'Pages' part of the project only.
Please cut your fabric pieces at home and bring them with you on the day. 
To cut your Pages, you will need 5/8 yard of any of the following fabrics (see note below) -
- Unbleached cotton calico (this is what I used for my project in the book).  This can be found in the haberdashery department of John Lewis.
- Cotton - white, cream or very pale colours.
Note - When selecting your fabric please ensure that you will be able to see through it to trace the designs during the class.  You can check this at home by placing your fabric over any of the patterns in the book to see.  If you wish to use a fabric that you can't see through enough to trace the patterns you will need to print a few of the designs onto some sheets of Stitch Stabilizer such as C&T WashAway Stitch Stabilizer.  To do this, please see Printing on Stabilizer on page 15 of the book.

Please bring the following materials with you -
Copy of Stitch And Sew by Aneela Hoey published by Stash Books(C&T Publishing)
Fabric (see note above) - Cut into 6 rectangles 11" x 9"
Embroidery floss such as Aurifloss, Cosmo, Anchor, DMC or similar - at least 6 different colours
Optional - Aurifil 12wt Wool Thread (in addition to floss)
Embroidery needles - can be found online, John Lewis etc.
Size 24 Tapestry needle
5" embroidery hoop
Small pair of sharp scissors
Embroidery marking pen such as Prym aqua trickmarker or Clover water soluble marker
Long ruler marked with inches

Additional items
If using fabric that is difficult to trace through -  a few sheets of Wash Away Stitch Stabilizer printed with designs (see note above)
If using dark fabric  - you will need a chalk marker for marking page edges

More information will follow this weekend about all the fabulous sponsors who have generously donated goodies for you all! Now, I bet you're all ready for THAT!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Sewing Shindig, September 2018

Following the success of the Stitched Sewing Organizers Sewalong, I've been in need of a new project. So I'm happy to announce a new boutique sewing retreat, Sewing Shindig, to be held in September this year, in Shropshire.

We have three fabulous teachers - not only quilter extraordinaire Trudi Wood, and talented quilt designer and maker Susan Standen but also the fabulous fabric and pattern designer and author Aneela Hoey!

Classes are optional and if you prefer you can just enjoy a long weekend of social sewing working on your own projects in the company of like minded quilters. More details of the classes and teachers will be available nearer the time. 

Of course, no retreat would be complete without shopping opportunities and I'm excited to say that the lovely Saira from Olive + Flo Handcraft will be supporting the event with a pop up shop on site for the duration. 

The venue is the beautiful Eaton Manor Country Estate in Church Stretton, near Telford. We have four gorgeous properties on the estate plus a huge banqueting room for meals and social sewing. All rooms are twin share, each with an en-suite bathroom. You can either book with a friend, or we can pair you with another attendee.

Arrival is on the afternoon of Friday 21st September, when you will settle into your cottage, meet the other attendees and teachers and enjoy a group dinner. There's plenty of room to either sit and chat or even crack on with your sewing that evening. On Saturday and Sunday there will be the optional classes or social sewing time. Buffet breakfasts and lunches and sit-down dinners will be provided, along with soft drinks, tea and coffee. Checkout will be by 10am on Monday 24th September. (Of course, if you need to get home on the Sunday evening, that will be absolutely fine, but you will have access to your room until you leave, so no sewing spaces piled high with luggage.)

All meals will be catered by our professional chef, so no sewing time will be wasted in the kitchen! 

Places are limited to 30 for this special event, and the price per person is £395. Payment can be in full on booking or in three equal instalments in April, May and June. To reserve a space, email your name, address, phone number, preferred payment option and any special requirements to

Hope to see you there!