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Valerie's Blog

Manchester Quilting Bee

June 11th, 2017

Manchester Quilting Bee

#manchesterquiltingbee have been collecting fabric squares from generous quilters, crafters and first timers around the world in order to make up quilts for those affected by the tragic attacks in Manchester this May and they've had an amazing response so far.

They are collecting five inch hexagons appliqued onto 6.5 inch cotton squares. They are being made into quilts for the families affected by the Manchester terrorist attacks. The hexagons can be embroidered, appliqued, or decorated in any way you like, but they must be able to survive a wash. All details about the project can be found on the Manchester Quilting Bee Facebook page which is

5_completed-beeOne of our lovely contributors, Angela Daymond, who was born in Manchester, has made this gorgeous free bee kantha pattern that you can use and is designed to fit onto a five inch hexagon.

This kantha bee pattern can be downloaded for FREE The pattern contains a link to a Just Giving Page for voluntary donations to raise money to help those people affected by the Manchester bombings.


Bath Cancer Unit’s Forever Friends Appeal

May 20th, 2017

5_dsc_8033Members of staff at Knorr-Bremse Rail UK in Wiltshire are selling raffle tickets for a quilt to raise money for Bath Cancer Unit’s Forever Friends Appeal.

Their colleague Tony Bliss lost his battle with cancer last year, so an appeal went out for shirts from staff at the Melksham site – an engineering and manufacturing facility in the rail industry – and the amazing response ensured there was enough fabric to make a quilt for a double bed.


Helen Forrester led the project, with Moreen Butler (pictured left) providing much appreciated support. Lynne Redfern and Chloe Nicholas contributed to the design and Maryanne Edwards enlisted her mum’s help with some of the stitching.

The quilt took 15 weeks to complete, and tickets are being sold for £2 each at the Melksham facility. There is also a Just giving page to make a donation Click here:

(Pictures Matt Bigwood)

Filming with Carolyn Forster

April 28th, 2017

What a great day we had together with Carolyn last week and we have some really lovely workshops ready for editing;  Carolyn spent the day sharing with us her 'Joy of Sewing' and we have a whole series of workshops on how to sew patchwork by hand - a great alternative to EPP and not a stitch in sight!

She also showed us how to design cable quilting which you can customize for your own quilt size; there is a super quick layer-cake bag and a wonderful woven scrap quilt too (see picture below).


We also learnt that Carolyn has two new books due out later this year - more details on those when we have them!!!

We did make a short live video for you on Facebook which you can enjoy by clicking here (although we were deep in the hotel, the wifi signal was a little temperamental!)

Twiddling, Fiddling and some Magic too -A Weekend Retreat in Henley on Thames

April 25th, 2017

What a super time we all had; there was sewing for two days at the Lady Sew and Sew warehouse in Henley and then dinner at the Red Lion Hotel in Henley followed by the hilarious talk from Jennie Rayment.

The sewing schedule was, for me as a tutor, a little different in that I only had to prepare to teach for a one-day workshop - teaching half the delegates on day 1 and then the other half on day 2.  There was a little Magic 4 from me, and some Twiddling and Fiddling from Jennie and from the delegates point of view they got the benefit of both of us without having to move!!!

Sewing surrounded by fabrics added to the inspiration (and meant that anything that had been forgotten could be easily replaced) and Vanessa made sure that there was time for 'shopping' .

We took lots of photos (including some great ones of Jennie giving her evening talk - a few are below, but you can see all the pictures in our albums on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram

A big 'Thankyou' to Vanessa and her team for making this first joint venture run so smoothly and I am looking forward to planning another - maybe I should check that with Vanessa though!!!



40 Minute Scrap Quilt - 1,000,000 views and counting...

April 21st, 2017

We have some amazing news - Valerie's 40 minute quilt video has taken the internet by storm and has been viewed over ONE MILLION times on You Tube - making her our very own internet phenomenon.

Some of you may have already watched Valerie's 40 minute scrap quilt video - it's an amazingly quick and easy quilt - that's great for anyone to make. We thought we'd share some of the amazing versions people have made - starting with the original one that Valerie made and quilted up

If you want to share the #quilting #love with someone - here's the link








And here are just a few of the lovely comments we've received on You Tube about the video

"Ingenious!!! I love the concept! Applause,Applause!" - Maple Flagg

"soooooooo I made one and am on my 2nd. I plan on making more! Thanks so much" - Shane Winters

"I could never decide on a jelly roll to buy especially when I already have a sewing room full of fabric...this is fantastic.  Great for a baby gift or a last minute christmas gift that uses up our scraps." - Carol Gardner

"I did enjoy it and now I have the courage to make my own ! Thanks for sharing ." -djsews3

Filming day with Jamie Malden of Colouricious

February 13th, 2017

We had a fascinating day filming some block printing workshops with Jamie Malden of Colouricious last week.

As you can see from some of the pictures below (taken by our very own Matt), Jamie is a big fan of ethnic patterns and designs and hopes that she can inspire people to use modern methods with traditional techniques.

The workshops will be coming to the site soon, but you could check out our Facebook page to catchup with our Facebook Live video that Dave filmed on the day as he has a chat with Jamie


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Book of the Month


Fat Quarter Baby from It's Sew Emma patterns

20 crib quilts that are fun, fast and easy to make- 10 for boys and 10 for girls. FREE p&p in the UK for the month of June 2017

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Product of the Month - June 2017

5_patchwork-sassman-set- Patchwork Sassaman set from Lady Sew and Sew
This is a unique combination of the book PLUS 1m of stunning fabric. Product of the Month for June 2017 PLUS entry into a draw for 1 months FREE subscription.

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