Sunday, 10 August 2014

Quilted Tea Cosies - an Ode to a nice Cuppa

Brr the weather has turned a bit strange this weekend. We've had a very un-English unbroken run of glorious weather this summer and it's been fabulous. Today its been black overhead, wind whipping about, dark in the furthest corners of the house. The kids have declared it 'winter' which is such a fun game in the middle of summer, but makes me shiver just thinking how the summer has to end.

The unseasonal weather does have one, no two, major upsides. Firstly it makes you realise just how crucial to the British psychic a warming cup of tea is. It's definitely a 'nice cup of tea' kind of an afternoon- there's just no better antidote. Of course the second upside is that its perfect sewing weather when you can't be outside doing anything else. By the way, I stress this point as in my eyes its one of the most fabulous, but unforeseen upsides, of taking up sewing as a hobby. Where as bad weather, heavy rain, freezing temperatures used to be a major downer - when you sew you have a miracle 'look on the bright side' gene that kicks in that sees every housebound day as a huge treat! It's very good for your general sense of well being! Believe me.

Anyway, tea. So of course I have lots of other sewing awaiting me - but on my list of things to do was to make some new samples for my Quilted and Patchwork Tea Cosies Class this autumn (the class is at the end of Sept - see details here). Today was the day!

I can honestly say that I could just make tea cosies quite happily for the rest of my life - such is the joy of this little project. It has all my favourite things.

 i)Patchworkyness - the need to choose fabrics in little piles that go beautifully together. You really can indulge that fabric sorting urge for this project - it's no-fear choosing!

ii) Mini scale. I like sewing, and cutting and all elements of making a quilt - but some days I like it so much more in miniature! It's just a joy to cut out a handful of strips instead of a huge pile needed for a quilt.

iii) Take-away sewing. What I mean is that lovely guilt free - take the easy route - kind of sewing that you can do with this project. It's all quick, simple and labour saving!

iv) It's a super practical project.Now I like a lavender bag or a framed wall hanging or suchlike as much as the next person -but there's a limit to how many your life and home can take. But a tea cosy is a proper practical make. If you don't need one, you definitely know someone who does!

v) You definitely need to make them in threes ( or fives??). Some projects ( lets be honest all projects for me!) just aren't enough to make one of. This is one of those projects that you really need to see your dream tea cosy in several manifestations! Is it wrong to be thinking ....humm that one will be for when I have a tea pot  in the kitchen...but that one is for when I have a tea pot in the sitting room? he he.

Anyway......... I can definitely recommend this little one day class, it's all about the feel-good. Now pop out and pop the kettle on and get yourself a nice cuppa (or a brew, for all my fellow north of Watford gap-ers) as I've a few more bits and bobs I need to tell you about! The summer holidays does mean that I struggle to string uninterrupted sentences together on my blog so if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you might already know some of this ( as you don't really need to 'say' anything there!) but for those of you still in blog world or been off on your hols a little photo montage of all that been going
over the last week or so!

We've had lots and lots of fab new fabric ahead of the autumn so there's lots of fresh new choices for new projects. We've just received Birch Farm by Joel Dewberry which would make a fabulous autumn/winter quilt if you wanted to make something seasonal but not Christmassy. I just love that teal and citrus colour combo, pair it with soft greys and crisp whites. plus the mixture of funky geometrics with the beautiful hydrangea print....hummm..It's on my list!

Coming soon we have the much anticipated Brambleberry Ridge which is one of our favourites coming in this autumn. Its all soft muted dusky sorbets with flashes of funky gold. It's going to be a favourite if you want your Christmas table to be light and sparkly rather than traditional red and green.

We're also expecting new ranges from Denyse Schmidt, Lori Holt, Emily Herrick, lots of pretty feedsack style prints for scrappy projects, big blowsy florals for lampshades and fabric baskets and purses and bags and so much more! We've been building new shelving to accommodate it all! Having said that lots of our most popular fabrics are selling out before they make it to the shelf. We're all out of Heather Ross ( little bit of blue frogs left on the bolt if you're quick) and Ameo's Halton Stags ( just a FQ and a 1/2m left of that) but the good news is that we've re ordered ( for the third time now!) the Emmy Grace dark grey flowers, plus we are also getting it in voile on Monday so if you want to wear it you can see I couldn't resist it.......

If you're taking one of our classes this autumn where lots of variety is crucial ( Farmers Wifers and Bee in Bonneters in particular) or if you're just starting out and you want to build your fabric stash economically ( Simple Samplers, Get To Know Your Sewing Machiners etc etc) then we've been working hard all summer to help you.

We now have a staggering array of precut bundles, from the always popular scrap packs which are a lucky dip of fabrics, often old and hard to come by classics, grouped by colour to allow you to plug the colour gaps in your stash quickly. We also have a new pre cut 1/8th bundles, made up of 5 half-fat-quarters so you can buy more of your favourite range for less when you only need a little. Again colour bundled. We are so enjoying that little colour rainbow above our cutting table!

Then of course lots and lots of the old favourite fat quarter bundles. There's a reason that the FQ is always in fashion! It's the goldilocks of fabric collecting -not too much and not too little!

We are also stocking a growing selection of wider bolts - perfect for economical dressmaking and home decor projects and a great value super-wide FQ for patchworkers. We have lots of voile and lawn coming into stock through the autumn especially for a Pop Up Scarf class later in the autumn when your neck is calling out for a bit of colourful comfort.

Lastly we have a hugely expanded solids range now, which is always a stash essential - and good value too-my girls have been choosing brightly coloured clashy skirt linings this summer with glee!

We have a really exciting autumn programme of events on top of your classes here which we will be rolling out over the next few weeks so do follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook or check in here so you hear all about it.

We are open Thursdays and Saturdays through the rest of August and back to normal opening Wed - Sat 10am - 2pm in Sept so we look forward to seeing you at The Workroom soon.....any excuse to make a pot of tea and give those tea cosies some action x