Friday, 27 February 2015

The PlainStitch Workroom's First Birthday Party

We had such a fun day at The Workroom.

We set up our classroom with a fab Fat Quarter Pick and Mix Bar. People chose their FQ's added them to a pick and mix bag, helped themselves to sweeties then had a go at our Lucky Dip and took home a little thank you pressie from us.

Netty made us the most amazing cake! It was our PlainStitch Modern Appliqué Quilt made in cake....just perfect!! Those hexagons! Adorable!

We had the warmest, most fun filled party... so many smiling faces! 

Chatting on the stairs ...couldn't even get in the door at times!

My lovely friends Hels and Claire...they're wonderful x

So many lovely cards and kind kind pressies.

I LOVE it! 

We almost couldn't bring ourselves to cut the fab cake...but we did! yummmy xx

Embroidered by my lovely girl x

Some of my most recent quilts on display

It was the finest of days. Thank you all so much for coming and for being such wonderful, supportive and infinitely kind and special people.  xxx

p.s Petal and Plume by Bari J arrived at the party too! 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

PlainStitch; One Year On

I can hardly believe that it's our first birthday in The Workroom. A year ago we were working hard painting and cleaning and revelling in the fab light filled space as it transformed. We had 4 or 5 different classes that we taught, Simple Sampler, Fabric Baskets, Modern Appliqué, Get To Know Your Sewing Machine and Log Cabins. A year on we have added more than 30 different classes, the last two months alone we have taught over 100 different people......The Workroom has become everything we hoped for and so much more.........

I am so proud of the creativity that we see every day from people in our classes. It's so wonderful to be surrounded by such colour and vibrancy.

I'm very proud of how warm and friendly our classes are, because the people who take our classes are so lovely. Every day I am amazed and awestruck at how effortlessly you all just learn to fly creatively. Each class ups the bar, the sewing just gets better and better....

I'm super proud of our kids classes. We have taught so many fabulous keen and committed Little People to sew this year. We LOVE sewing and we want everyone to love sewing too. These little boys and girls are the future of the skills and crafts we love and they are taking the baton and running with it, and no mistake. They are bold, brave and they make fabulous things so carefully under Miss Stitch Victoria's careful tuition. It makes me want to be 9 and enrol and have Vic as my teacher, she's special!

Our Sewing Bee has been running for nearly 3 years's grown into such a wonderful institution. A genuinely supportive, generous, friendly and welcoming and multi generational group. We've laughed and cried together, welcomed newcomers and become the best of friends. I'm so proud to say that our group holds out such warm arms of friendship and mutual sewing appreciation! Its a magical wonderful thing. Our 2015 Wendover Remembers Project involves the whole community. We are working with all 3 local churches, both primary schools, the Wendover Art Group, The Wendover News, The RAF at Halton, the Parish Council and the Wendover Remembers Committee. Its a logistical undertaking but it's already such a rich project...well done ladies!

I'm really proud of our PlainStitch People. I work with the nicest, most dynamic, skilled women. It's such a privilege, it's the best job in the world. Anything Jeanne doesn't know about dressmaking isn't worth knowing, its second nature and her classes are master-class in these skills. Claire has bought a huge artistic boost to our making, her beautiful free motion embroidery and quilting skills are second to none. Sue has looked after us all so well since she joined the team in January, and although we all miss Hels since she left to home school her son, we owe her a huge debt for all her hard work and support at the beginning and ongoing behind the scenes! Love you Hels xx. Victoria has a growing mini fan club amongst our little Miss Stitch sewers who are quite devoted to her calm and kind teaching. Vic's adult pupils feel pretty much the same...she's fab.

As we move into our second year at The Workroom we've added more new classes...knitting and crochet....Dressmaking for Teens.....we welcome new specialist teachers in Penny and Val. Penny ran her own Yarn Shop in Henley on Thames for many years....she's all round wonderful and you'll just love her classes. Val is a retired secondary school textiles teacher who is coming back in to the classroom to teach our teens classes ( details of which to come this weekend). Her focus is turning our fledgeling Miss Stitch Graduates into self sufficient sewers, making clothes and fabricy wonderfulness for themselves, giving them skills to use in their Textiles classes at school and giving them a space outside of school to just be creative away from homework and exams.

Thank you all for your friendship and support over the last 3 years running PlainStitch. We hope you can visit tomorrow (Thursday 26th Feb) our 1st Birthday Party and that you enjoy your party bag!! Pop in between 9.30am - 2pm, Netty is unveiling her surprise 1st Birthday Cake at 12pm, come then if you're feeling hungry!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Stars in Your Eyes Quilt - A Finish

I just finished sewing the binding on this quilt today, which was just in time, give that it's freezing and blowing a gale. As soon as I'd taken this pic the quilt was whisked off and was last seen warming some small people on the sofa enjoying a Sunday afternoon film as the rain lashed down outside.

I started this quilt as soon as I received the book Quilting From Little Things by Sarah Fielke back in 2011. I am a huge fan of Sarah's quilts. I remember clear as day when I first found her blog ( at that stage called Material Obsession, a blog now run by her former business partner, Kathy, in the shop of the same name). I devoured every photograph on that blog that Kathy and Sarah shared back then. Modern quilts with contemporary roots, was the byline of their subsequent first book. I LOVED that book, I still do.

Sarah's books continue to be some of the most thumbed on my bookcase. I loved this quilt straight away, I made the main centre of the quilt, the stars etc within days of getting the book. I sewed a border, but I just wasn't happy with the fabric choice. I stalled. The quilt was put away. I couldn't bring myself to take it to bits but I couldn't summon the urge to go back to it. I've no idea why it took 4 years to get back to it!

This Christmas in a fit of finish-itis i pulled out all of my WIP and set to getting them finished. A productive afternoon at The Workroom (a major perk of owning a fabric shop) had me pick out this favourite sevenberry print. Blue with cherries, a real retro vibe. I pulled off the old borders, sewed some more, chose another retro style lovely red print from Mimosa by Another Point of View.

Jennie longarm and I tried out a new long arm design on this quilt - lots of circles, it gives a nice loosely quilted feel - not too stiff - and a modern graphic style. Ask Jennie if it'll work on a project for you, I really recommend it.

Next on my sewing list today was a little practical piece of sewing. (Apologies - very boring story warning!) We bought new kitchen towels to hang next to the sink this week. Usually they just get hooked on the cupboard door knob next to the sink. These lovely towels had really little labels that wouldnt hook. I ran up these quick tags in a favourite Denyse Schmidt print, then secured them using the little label folded back to encase the raw edge.

 I only show them here as I'm so pleased with how they look! Might start embellishing all my towels with more fabric!