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Valerie's Blog

Game of Quilts

May 15th, 2015


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Hilary Gooding and Jan Allston are looking to create 12 teams of 4 to take part in a pilot project at this year's Festival of Quilts (August 6-9th at the NEC, Birmingham)   The aim is for each time to start from scratch and complete a quilt during the day.   The quilts will be donated to Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity at the end of the Fesival.

Each day there will be three teams participating;  they will be working in full view so the public will be able to watch and interact by asking questions!

This is not a competition and there is no knock-out of teams.   Everyone will be a winner as they will have achieved somethign very special in aid of a very special charity.

You will receive a free pass in to the NEC for the day on which you are taking part.

For more information and to obtain an application form please contact Hilary Gooding at or Jan Allston at

Applications must be receibved by 1st June 2015.


(and if you want inspiration, you could visit the Alzheimer charity quilt page and/or the 40 minute quilt video!)

May Bank Holiday weekend

May 4th, 2015

Well I have a husband who just loves sport - but these days it's more from the comfort of the sofa !   This weekend has been dominated (in our house) by the snooker so I got to be useful in my sewing room.

First I enjoyed using the new bundle of 10" squares from Oakshott, in Autumn colours;  I made this simple slash and sew quilt,

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and then quilted it trying out some free motion in the style of flames.


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Some of you will be able to work it out from the picture, but for others I will be sharing this with Michael at Oakshott as a free pattern, and for those who like demonstraitons/videos I got the idea a while ago using other fabrics - so keep watching.

BUT you can purchase the Autumn Colourshott squares by clicking here:


THEN, I set about layering up a my latest scrap quilt, Reverse Stars which was made from 2 1/2" squares that in turn were made from fabric that a friend gave me as leftovers from her larger quilt


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This is now ready for quilting, but again we filmed a 'how to' so keep watching.


THEN, I dug out this really old, but fun quilt top that was made from the panels and matching fabrics inspired by the poem by Jenny Jones 'When I grow old I will wear purple.....';  I have loved these but they got buried (as things do in my workroom) and overtaken by newer stuff.   However, I am now on the case again, and will enjoy quilting this - the panels always make me smile.

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(and you can see Kissie is checking out that I've layered it correctly!).   In fact I used some very thin wadding and a bright red fleece backing (purchased from Cargo) which was just the right size! - so it will be very cosy when it's finished.


AND FINALLY - I got to do a bit of gardening;  not too honorous - just putting in my Tower of London poppies - I think they are in the perfect spot (and thanks Lyn Butler for being an earlybird and alerting me to the sale of these).


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After all that I feel a sit down is in order - all those little micro-taks need to be taken out of the Autumn Crosses quilt!

Sewing for Momentum

April 25th, 2015

We had a lovely day Saturday 25th April with a hall full of ladies sewing quilts for Momentum - fabric and wadding had been donated and Valerie came with lots of quilts to act as inspiration:  here are just a couple - the rest are still works in progress!

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the lovely star quilt is made from old shirting - isn't it great.

Filming with Kathleen Laurel-Sage

April 14th, 2015

We were joined today by Kathleen who loves to free machine embroidery using chiffon and gauze and water soluable stuff to create 3D flowers as well as cut-work.


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Amazing work and you will be able to enjoy workshops with her soon here on the site.

For more information about Kathleen visit her own website:


Corinium Museum, Cirencester,, Glos

March 23rd, 2015

This is where we are today filming;  what you may ask?  well a great exhibition from the textile artists E.A.S.T.

“Between the Lines” is the title of the latest exhibition by E.A.S.T., East Anglian Stitch Textiles. The exhibition is based on the groups’ response to the centenary of the First World War and will run here at the museum until 19th April if you want to visit in person; Corinium Museum, Cirencester for more details about this and other exhibitions running throughout the year.


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Here we all are at the end of our filming day.  
Our thanks to the museum and Janette and Susan for allowing us to invade and take over the space!

Keep an eye out for the film on the site which you will, of course, be able to enjoy from the comfort of your own home! - now available: click here:


ALSO: the exhibition moves to the Pond Gallery, at Snape Maltings in Suffolk 2-8th July - see our events page for more information.



Mystery Quilt still a hit

March 18th, 2015

A quick note to say how much I enjoyed the Midsummer Mystery Quilt ... and although it's taken me a little while to finish it, here is a picture of the end result.  I am thrilled with it.  I'm going to do another one to fit my double bed because I like it so much.

This is still available for you to work on - you just need to get a large bundle of 2 1/2" strips, and/or a jelly roll handy and you are ready to start.

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Product of the Month

Ruby Red Shot Cotton Charm Packs from Oakshott Fabrics Ruby Red Shot Cotton Charm Packs from Oakshott Fabrics
This pack of 5" squares contains 16 colours, each perfectly graded to flow from its neighbour.
Free P&P in the UK in May 2015 PLUS entry into a draw for 1 months FREE subscription to the site

Book of the Month

Sew Useful by Debbie Shore

Sew Useful by Debbie Shore

23 Simple storage solutions to sew for the home.  Free p&p in the UK for May 2015.

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