Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Compassionate Friends

The Festival of Quilts put us in touch with many different people and one of them that I was delighted to be able to spend some time talking to was Irene Baldock. Irene runs a creative use of grief group down in Medway. The group are all bereaved parents who have found sewing to be very therapeautic and helpful in their grief. They are known as the Sunray Group and have been working hard making a memory quilt.
Each sunray block in this quilt has been beautifully sewn by a parent or grandparent or sibling and they hope to have it finished in time to display at the National Gathering near Cambridge in October. Below is a photo of their work in progress of this quilt.

Some have gone on and made delightful butterfly wall hangings - see below - using wire hangers and other items purchased from Cotton Patch.

They are part of a national charity called The Compassionate Friends (TCF for short) which is based in Bristol and has links around the world.

The charity's address is The Compassionate Friends, 53 North Street Bristol BS3 1EN. The national website is
www.tcf.org.uk. The Helpline 08451 23 23 04 is operated by bereaved parents. The Compassionate Friends was founded in 1969 and is open to all parents whose son or daughter has died, at any age and from any cause. The death of a child brings many difficulties within the family. TCF know that there is no easy path through the pain, and do not offer simple solutions. What they do offer is continuing understanding, friendship and encouragement. They also offer support to grandparents and siblings.

Members of TCF, all of whom are bereaved, offer time to listen and share experiences and feelings. Everyone has different needs and circumstances and TCF has a wide range of support services to meet their needs.
For example:
A Helpline run by bereaved parents
A network of local TCF Contacts who may offer one-to-one visiting and hold group meetings
Support through letter and email with Contacts or other bereaved parents
A Website with information
A range of publications, written by TCF, offering both practical and emotional support
A quarterly journal
A postal library based in Chatham Kent containing over 2,000 titles for the bereaved and professionals
A programme of informal weekend Retreats and an annual weekend Gathering.

I thought it was important to share this with you as I am quite sure that there are many people who would find the creative outlet that patchwork gives very therapeutic when they have been bereaved. Irene was telling me how many people who didn't sew at all produced some beautiful pieces.
If you are interested in finding out more please visit the TCF website.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kaffe Fassett Quilt

To demonstrate the fact that Kaffe Fassett quilt designs can be used for other things - not just quilts, we've posted a photo from Catherine Corbishley Michel who visited our stand at the NEC last week. She kindly brought in a photo of her interpretation of the Hot Diamonds quilt using Kaffe Fassett and Martha Negley fabrics which is used as a curtain and definitely works in this format. Thank you for dropping the photo into the stand!

Catherine also had a quilt called Five a Day on show in the Large Quilts category.

I remember that last year Catherine raised money for Prostate Cancer research as she works in this field as a Doctor and we were glad to be able to assist by sending her machine needles to that she could stitch a quilt. The resulting sponsorship for her "quilt miles" and raffling the result in order to raise money for this worthwhile cause.

We would love to see more quilts that customers have made and the stories behind them so that we can post them on the blog. You can either send your quilts in (with a bit about how you made it, the fabrics, threads, etc) or post them directly here.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Festival of Quilts - Post Show

The Show met and then exceeded all our expectations. It was buzzing with the energy created from the combination of many factors that make the Festival of Quilts a show that is in a class of its own. That combination came from the wonderfully varied and international audience, a fabulous selection of quilts from the competition entries, the galleries and the stands themselves with, as usual, the quilts being presented in a way that really does justice to the work and talent of its creator. The excellent venue and the ease with which local, national and international visitors can access the site plus the range and depth of the workshops on offer gives participants a greater knowledge and skill of the craft..brilliant!

So thanks to Andrew, Rhonda and the team at Twisted Thread for another excellent show.

The fabric packs of the quilts from Kaffe's new book Quilts in the Sun are now available.

We had the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones ourselves and some of them will be featured over the next few weeks or so on this blog.

We were fortunate again to have Kaffe Fassett and Marti Michell on our stands and they were joined this year by Anneke den Broek who was demonstrating the needle puller which her husband designed.

We have been busy today unloading the vans and trying to get back to some semblance of normality. For those of you who managed to make it to the show we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Pom Pom's, Yo Yo's and Festival Finalising

Things are very busy here today again - but we still had time for a quilt show of the quilts from Kaffe's new book - "Quilts in the Sun" and before we knew it our office was full! Kaffe will be be doing book signings throughout Festival (timings for these will be on our stand D20).

Adam will be cutting the Rowan fabrics at the show and here he is with one of the quilts from Quilts in the Sun - a snowball design called "Gilded Snowball" by Kaffe Fassett.

We will also have the latest designs and sizes of Yo Yo makers (otherwise known as Suffolk Puff) and Pom Pom makers. Hearts and Flowers Yo Yos have now been added to the Circles (new extra small size is also available) which can be used to accessorise bags, scarves, quilts and more. Here is a selection of the Pom Poms that David (our web designer) and Janet put together this weekend when they had a few minutes spare.

All of the Pom Pom makers, Yo Yo makers and examples of them will be on our stands at D20 and E20 - we hope to see you later this week!

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Festival of Quilts Preparation

Final preparations are underway for the Festival of Quilts at the NEC and it promises to be even bigger and better than last year! We really hope you can visit and look forward to seeing you there.

The FESTIVAL OF QUILTS runs from 16th to 19th August, 2007 at the NEC, BIRMINGHAM. Our stands at D20 and E20 will feature lots of offers and products including..

Fantastic offers on Cotty thread boxes - this is a closeup of the threads earlier today whenJayne, our latest Cotton Patch recruit who will be working at the NEC for the first time, was putting together our Cotty thread boxes.

Kaffe Fassett will be signing copies of his new book "Quilts in the Sun". We will have a huge selection of Rowan fabrics, kits of the quilts in the new book, charm packs and special collection packs.

Marti Michell is visiting from the US for the third year running to demonstrate her rulers, templates and books, including her latest book "Kaledioscope ABC's", which is hot off the press. For more information on her latest book and the Kaleido Rulers click here

We will have demonstrations of Daylight Lights, which make sewing a lot easier on the eyes for many crafts (and for reading). We will have some fantastic show offers on selected products including the Ultimate , Portable and the new Clip-on Battery Lamp.

Anneke ten Broek, from Holland, will be demonstrating her Needle Puller, which makes your quilting easier and less tiring on your hands. For more information on the Needle Puller please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

If you need to order items to pickup at the show for classes (or just to save on postage!) please let us know by Saturday 11th August so your order can be ready to pickup from the E20 stand. Please specify the day you require it. For web orders put the "Delivery to" address as the NEC,the second line as the date required and the postcode as NEC E20

We look forward to seeing many of you next week at the Festival!

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Paducah Best in Show

The latest copy of American Quilter has just landed and is in the process of being sent to subscribers. The award for Best in Show quilt went to "Flower of Life" by Sharon Schamber of Payson, Arizona. What a quilt! She hand-dyed the fabrics for it and even has manufactured a paper that is used for the applique which when it is removed (by washing) allows the fibres to puff up to give added dimension to the applique.

A blog at the following link http://www.patsyterrell.com/2007/05/sharon-schamber-of-payson-arizona-won.html tells you more about Sharon and her beautiful quilt. The article in the Fall 2007 American Quilter discusses the symbolism in the quilt and the techniques she used. More on the American Quilter's Society (AQS) can be found on their website at http://www.americanquilter.com/

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Trinity Quilters Visit

We were delighted to see Trinity Quilters in the shop recently. We had a few giveaways in the form of free patchwork magazines as we've been tidying up stock and making way for new items. As you can see below there was quite a bit of interest in them.

We hope Trinity enjoyed their visit and look forward to seeing you again soon.

The shop is closed on Wednesdays but we're happy for groups of 8 or more to visit by prior arrangement. Please contact us if you have a group visit you would like to arrange and we'll check the diary - we wouldn't want you to arrive on a day when we have one of our big deliveries (as you may find yourself getting in line to move the boxes inside!)