The sun is shining but time is rushing by!

This is proving to be a wonderful Autumn with lots of sun and thoughts of Christmas seem far off. However time is rushing by and now is the time to think of Christmas sewing and gift making.

xmas table best

At the Sewing Studio we have a new table of Christmas goodies. They are so lovely that they make one’s mouth water and how to choose one over another is very difficult.

hessian fq x4

There are bundles of hession and linen fat quarters for £12 which would make lovely bags for giving presents in or table mats or runners. With four lovely designs to choose from the options are legion!


Lots of bundles of stiffened ribbon. The colours are just right for Christmas but could also be used for immediate projects and being on the tough side would make wonderful bag handles or hanging cords for wall hangings and pictures.

stiffened cotton lace green

This stiffened cotton lace is 6 inches wide and there are 1.8 metres on a roll. It costs just £6.95. A bargain!  I can imagine this lace made into napkin holders or flower pot coverings for the flower arrangement on the Christmas dinner table!

star lace snowflake lace

These fancy laces are so lovely. The stars are just gorgeous and the snowflakes could even be draped over the Christmas tree. And I love the old fashioned wooden reels that they come on!  I would buy them just for the reels!

xmas tags close up xmas gift tags

And if you are short of gift tags these innovative tags will be just the job! Lots of designs to choose from and not expensive at 85p each. They look like wooden tags with a hession tie and have button decorations. I love them!

xmas ribbons in box narrow xmas ribbons

Lots of Christmas ribbons in various sizes and designs. Lovely for using as braid. Why not sew some on the top of Christmas stockings or around a tree skirt!

xmas shape packs

And why not add some Christms shapes to the stockings or tree skirt or make a Christmas picture to hang on the wall. Choice of reindeers or snowman with robins. The hard work has been done for you. Just pull off the backing paper and iron onto your chosen fabric.  Such fun!

And don’t forget the Christmas felt. Extra thick and some with stars. So useful!

starry felt

And if you are like me you will be starting to think of gift ideas. These work boxes make ideal gifts and not just at Christmas. Why not put some essential sewing equpment in one and give it to a child to start them on their sewing adventure! There are so many to choose from that there is sure to be a design for everyone!

shelf of workboxes sewing items workbox x 2 large owl workbox

Or even a work box stool to keep you company while you watch television!

workbox stool

Visit the Sewing Studio to see all these wonderful things and start on your Christmas sewing early!


Written by Val

Lots of new fabrics!

As I wrote in my last post there are some lovely new fabrics at the Sewing Studio including the Moda range called Avant Garden which I gave you a sneak peak of last week.  This is a lovely range with a wide selection of patterns and colours.

close up shelf advent garden advent garden shelf

As well as buying the fabric by the metre it is also available in jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm packs which makes it very desirable for patchwork projects.

close up pink Advent Garden scene2 Advent Garden scene advent garden cherries pink advent garden advent garden 3

floral flannel 2

The range includes abstracts and flowery and fruity patterns as well as large all over patterns of landscape vistas! The larger florals as shown in the first picture would cut out to be appliqued onto fabric to create fabric pictures or cards. In fact this selection of fabrics from Moda lends itself to avant garde designing and will turn every patchworker into an artist!

The other new range of fabric which I have found to be very exciting is the range of cotton flannels. These are small geometric patterns and also flowery patterns to mix and match.  Lovely autumn colours mixed with sugary brights!

flannels 3 flannel2 blue flannel

These cotton flannels would make delightful dresses for little girls or warm winter shirts and blouses for bigger girls as well as being ideal for cosy and warm lap quilts and throws. Especially quilts made with the raw edges on the outside which are frayed to give a soft feel to the quilt. The above photos are only a small selection of the flannels available. Go and have a look and be as inspired as I was! With winter coming soft cotton flannels are just the thing!

Written by Val

This and that!

The summer is nearly over and the kids are back at school. Now is the time to think of doing a class or two. The Sewing Studio offers a variety of classes to suit all.  With Christmas on the horizon why not sign up for a workshop making Christmas items.

Mary Bradley is offering a workshop on a Christmas wall hanging or a Celtic cushion. This is on the 2nd October from 10 – 1 and is £11 per person. It will be great fun and focuses on a stained glass effect using narrow bias binding. The finished results are amazing!

christmas candle stained glass


celtic cushion

Or there is a Christmas Workshop on the 4th October from 10-4 costing £15 per person. In this workshop you can make an Advent Calendar or a Christmas Stocking. Or perhaps a table runner with matching table mats, napkins and napkin rings. There will be Christmas fabrics available in the shop including Christmas panels. There are samples to view in the shop!

And here is a sneak preview of some fabric just in from Moda called Avant Garden. It isn’t on the website yet but it will be soon. I thought it was quite delicious and this piece especially was reminiscent of the work of Clarice Cliffe.

new fabric new fabric advent garden

This link will take you to the Moda Bakeshop where you can see a finished quilt using the Avant Garden fabrics complete with quilt pattern,

Have fun and enjoy!

Written by Val

The wonderful Jelly Pointer template!

I have been having a lot of fun with this template and I’m really glad I bought it.  It makes the most wonderful shapes so quickly and easily.

To use it cut 5 inch strips of fabric or sew two jelly roll strips together with a very small seam. Then fold the fabric in half or along the seam line.

heart cutting

When the fabric is folded place the template along the fold line as shown in the picture above. Cut around the shape and then open up. In the picture above a heart has been produced.  In the picture below pentagons have been cut. The pentagon can be cut as a large shape or the inner pentagon can be cut out and used as a small pentagon or the large pentagon can be used with a hole in the centre. This could be most useful for picturing images!

cutting pentagon

As well as pentagons and hearts different sizes of ovals can be cut. These can be used singly or a flower could be made out of them. There are so many different uses for all these shapes.

oval shapes

The star is the least easy shape to use. I found that instead of using my rotary cutter I marked around the shape with chalk and then used scissors to cut it out. It made a lovely star but was not as quick as the other shapes to do.  The picture below shows all the shapes that can be cut with this template.

all the shapes

The folder that the template comes in gives full instructions for use as well as lots of ideas for usage! With Christmas now in view I think these shapes will be most useful for table mats and runners.  The heart is my favourite shape and I shall try cutting it out in glittery fabrics to add to stockings and even to sew two together to hang on the tree. With beads sewn to the edges it would make a most eye catching tree decoration!

Have fun!

Written by Val

Lots more fabrics and other things!

There are so many lovely new fabrics in the Sewing Studio that I am awash with ideas as to how to use them.  And what to do first?  The pictures below don’t do these lovely fabrics justice. They are so soft and flowery and just look so right for a light and airy quilt to finish off the summer.

new fabric labelnew fabric 2 new fabric 1  And then with thoughts of Autumn in the air these fabrics also are inspiring me to do something autumnal. The thing is what?


new fabric autumn colours

Such lovely autumn leaf colours. And the range will mix and match so well.

And as if the fabrics weren’t making my mouth water I thought this dear little bunny would make a delightful present for a child or even a new baby!



Isn’t she cute! A small girl would really love her!

And more delicious Christmas fabrics. I’ve already started on making Christmas things and these lovely leafy prints will be a good addition to my stash. The pre-cuts are so useful and come in handy when one wants just a few fabric prints at a time!

xmas holly leaves xmas fir tree fabric xmas layer cake

I then treated myself to the template below. This template is used specifically with jelly rolls or strips of fabric. It makes the most delightful cut out shapes and I can’t wait to use it. However I will have to wait as we are off to Harrogate tomorrow for the Northern Quilt Show where we are exhibiting. However when we come back I shall play and I will put up pictures of the things that one can do with this template. So watch this space!  There is no shortage of jelly rolls at the Sewing Studio so it will just be a matter of making a choice. Now what could be easier! 🙂

template precuts layer cakes

And last but not least can I tell you about Falmouth Progressive Quilters first exhibition. This will be held on Friday 5th September and Saturday 6th September at the Bosvale Community Centre off Hillside Road which is off Boslowick Road, Falmouth. There will be lots to see and tea and buns!  Do come!

Written by Val

A Wonderful Bargain!

This is an amazing offer from Janome. The sewing machine below, the Memory Craft 8200QC is being offered for £999 instead of the usual £1499 thus saving the buyer £500!

top closed

It is a lovely machine with a wide throat, about 11 to 12 inches,  to make quilting that much easier. It has a large selection of both useful and decorative stitches which can be view in the top cover for easy reference.

top open

The tool case slips off the machine to turn it into a free arm thus making dressmaking techniques such as putting in sleeves so much easier. And it’s a useful thing to be able to do when making bags!

free arm

The push button panel on the front is easy to see and access thus making each step of your sewing journey simple!

front panel

Bobbins and extra accessories can be stored in the integral tool case which makes them so handy.  The bobbin is top loading and easy to access.

presser foot view

Other attachments can be stored in the lid of the machine as shown in the picture below.

stitch panel

The drop feed for free machining is situated very conveniently on the right side of the machine just below the power switch and function buttons on the front. So there will be no hunting around for it because it has been tucked away on the back of the machine!

All the useful buttons are on the front of the machine above the stitch plate. So reversing, start and stopping and needle up or down buttons are immediately to hand. This is most useful!

Basic Features are:

  • 120 built in decorative and utility stitch options
  • 7 automatic buttonholes
  • 1 alphanumeric font
  • 7 piece feed dog
  • Accufeed fabric feeding system
  • Direct select keys take you to your favorite stitches instantly
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Adjustable knee lift
  • Change the needle plate in one step
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Two on board accessory storage compartments
  • Detachable accessories case reveals the free arm

The lighting is superb which is a bonus and it doesn’t take any pressure to work the buttons. It is extremely quiet with no vibration and is a joy to use!

From what I know of this machine I can thoroughly recommend it both to beginning sewers and to the more advance machinist. This is a brilliant machine for a beginner as it is so easy to use and the controls are so user friendly.  In fact even a child could use it! At this price too how can you go wrong!

Writtten by Val

Layer Cakes

quilt 2

Pre-cut fabrics are a boon for busy quilters as they save so much time and are also very economical as there is no wastage.  The quilt in the picture above is made from a Moda batik layer cake. A Layer Cake consists of 42 ten inch squares which make up into a useful sized quilt. Enough for a single bed quilt or a throw.

layer cakes

Most of  the Moda ranges of fabric come in layer cake selections as well as charm packs (5 inch squares) and jelly rolls (2.5 inch strips) and are so useful for traditional quilts as well as strip quilts and more intricate pieces of work.

layer cakes batik

Be Jolly Layer cake

Why not try a Layer Cake if you haven’t used one before. You’ll be surprised at how versatile they are!

Written by Val

Lovely new Moda Marbles!

all the shelf

We have some lovely new fabrics at the Sewing Studio. Among them are these lovely Moda Marbles. Plain fabrics with an interesting textured look.  They will be absolutely ideal for mixing with other patterned fabrics from Moda and the colour range is amazing.  There are literally hundreds of colours so you will be spoilt for choice!

blue fabric

This is a close up of one of the blues.  A really useful blue which could be used for skies or sea scenes.

blue fabric close up

blue green fabrics

Here is a close up of the turquoise which is just as lovely!

~Turquoise fabric marbles

Just the right colours for summer quilts! And they handle beautifully and will sew well both by hand and by machine.  As well as the blues here is a close up of a gorgeous rust colour!

brown marble close up

You can find these Moda Marbles at the back on the first floor where all the fabric is.  And as well as these beauties there are lots more new fabrics to be prerused! One can never have too much fabric!

Written by Val

Hot July Days and thinking of Christmas!

Isn’t it wonderful to have such a lovely hot and sunny July. The weather has been remarkable and now it is so hot! This is the time to turn one’s thoughts to Christmas! To frosty patterns on the windows, ice encrusted puddles, snow on the trees and crisp frosty air. Doesn’t that make you feel cooler!  Here at the Sewing Studio we have some lovely Christmas fabrics which have just come in.    Some lovely designs to get you inspired for making goodies for Christmas present giving and for general use at Christmas. Now is the time to start, to make sure that everything you want to make is finished in time. Make one item a week and you will soon have a sack full of goodies ranging from Christmas stockings and tree decorations to Christmas table runners and table mats. Scroll down to see some of the delicious fabrics in store.

xmas selection

xmas trees

geometric xmas trees

These fabrics will mix and match beautifully while some of the more ornate patterns will make fabulous quilted stockings and table mats.

xmas cottage

This is a gorgeous fabric as it is covered with glitter and really sparkles. The pictures don’t do it justice! I feel cool just looking at it! 🙂

xmas cottage fabric

xmas fabric recipe and writing

xmas fabric recipe and writing2

xmas robins

This panel caught my eye immediately. I love height charts and have recently made one for a new addition to our family. I wish this had been available then as I love owls. If my daughter in law ever presents us with a grandchild then this will be the one I’ll choose for her as she loves owls!

owl height chart full

Written by Val

Lots of New Fabric! and a useful block pattern!

We have so much new fabric arriving at the Sewing Studio that we don’t know where to put it!


Slowly but surely it will all go out onto the shop floor. It is really lovely and makes the mouth water. We have ranges to match some of the pre-cuts which means that projects can be updated with larger pieces and patchwork designs can incorporate both pre-cuts and matching fabric cut by the metre. Some of the designs are Ducks in a Row by designer American Jane and Hubba Hubba from designers Me and My Sisters, all from Moda Fabrics and  Lewe the Ewe by designer Susie B. Lewe the Ewe is a really quirky fabric with pictures of sheep in different settings.


A great fabric for kids patchwork items! The Ducks in a  Row collection of fabric designs  has some really retro designs among the range and some very simplistic colours making it ideal for mixing and matching


I love this lovely owl fabric!


Fly foot and puzzle

The above is a very useful joint block pattern. It consists of a Fly Foot patchwork block and a Dutchman’s Puzzle patchwork block. It is very easy to do and is very effective. It would look good in some of the new Ducks in a Row Fabric.  I used hand-dyed plain fabrics from Farne Designs with a pretty flower print. The blocks here have been made at 16 inches and the binding is 2 inches finished width making a small quiltlet measuring 36 x 36 inches. A very good size for a throw! The Fly Foot block is made up of different half square triangle patches and the Dutchman’s Puzzle uses the Flying Geese patch.  They work together very well!

Written by Val