classes, procrastination, Teaching

Long ago . . .

back in 2009 to be exact we ran a Chris and Barbara workshop called Stack and Switch where one of the ideas was to make what we called curvy pinwheels. Some of you may have dim recollections of it, some of you may even have made something after the workshop.

In sorting and tidying and general rummaging through cupboards and bags Chris came across the Blue Peters and complete blocks from that workshop. More rummaging produced some fabrics that ‘would do’ as sashing or borders. For some reason there were only three purple blocks but four multi-coloured blocks so finally two tops have been put together – a runner and a small square thingy –

Let’s hope it doesn’t take another thirteen years to quilt them!

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classes, possibilities, Teaching

Popping up in 2023

Even though 2023 has only just begun we are already looking ahead to our PopUp Mystery day on Saturday 18th March. Lots of office work and admin at C&B Towers and quite a bit of fabric cutting and stitching over at the Rural Office.

It’s going to be interesting to see all the different versions of the Mystery. And still on the topic of things mysterious we are going to respond to popular demand and post a vintage C&B Mystery here beginning in March – sharpen your rotary cutter, check your stash and dust off your sewing machine!

classes, Projects

Next PopUp

Our recent high level conferences have been most successful, possibly because we’ve added bacon sandwiches to the essential conference menu ! There has been much scribbling in notebooks, consulting diaries and, of course, making lists. Top of the list was finding a date for another PopUp class and we’re pleased to report that we’ve found a date, made plans and booked the venue for a C&B PopUp Class next March – Saturday 18th March 2023. Although we’ve officially retired ourselves from hosting regular C&B classes we do enjoy these occasional PopUp events which have proven extremely popular (maybe it’s the lemon drizzle cake? – not visible in the pics below).

And now back to the lists and the ongoing finishing/progressing of projects/samples ancient and modern – we’re both trying very hard on this front with varying levels of success!

classes

Conference season

This is the time of year when we usually have several in-depth conferences at HQ and do what we cheerily call “forward planning”. Decisions and conversations regarding PopUp classes, virtual or actual; blog, maintain or discard; articles and patterns, do more or do less – and so on. Quantities of caffeine can be consumed at these conferences and there is much scribbling in notebooks. The first conference is a week away and we will be trying out our new HQ venue. Wish us luck!

Part of our conference preparation is to look back at bygone classes and projects – here are a few random memories from the Rural Office archive –

classes, heritage quilts, Inspiration, possibilities

September bows out

We’ll be auditioning some possibilities for our new HQ very soon (see previous post) as staff transfer from the Overseas to the Rural Office. One of the topics high on the “discuss” agenda is – to pop up or not to pop up? and when to pop up? Our in person and virtual pop up classes have been immensely popular but it’s not always easy to match inclination with diaries and venue bookings. Another topic, lower down on the agenda, is linking “Ragged & Rescued” (Barbara’s 2023 theme for lectures and classes) to our Heritage Quilt series. There’s a fair amount of quilts and patchwork stored at the Rural Office which fall within the Ragged & Rescued category and make interesting viewing.

Looks like we might need several coffees!

classes, quilt shows

Quilts from the past

We enjoyed having a ringside seat at the Staffs Ps&Qs 40th Anniversary celebration in July – lots of quilts we remembered from classes we had taught together or individually and lots of excellent quilt chat (and cake!). Here’s just two samples – first from the 1980s, second from 2009.

Made by Eileen Jenkins, traditional needleturn applique and hand quilting.
Made by Sheila Hughes, machine pieced, longarm quilted

We’re still in the lazy part of August with not much to report – this may change soon!

classes

Popping Up

Much later than planned we’re reporting in on our most recent PopUp class – in person and almost like it used to be before you-know-what. Everyone had a great day and just enjoyed sewing together with ample supplies of coffee, tea and cake. We had chosen a block designed by Jeffrey Gutcheon entitled “Proof through the night” as the creative focus for the class, the practical focus was revising the various ways of making HSTs (Half Square Triangles). Some students turned their HSTs into the class block, some took a different path and made other blocks and a good time was had by all!

classes, Piecing, Teaching

Fab finishes

Our online PopUp class in October was a great success, and there are vague rumours circulating the corridors of C&B Towers that there might be something similar in the spring.  Kate sent us this pic of her finish from the day – we think it’s a stunner!

Myf’s finish was a triumph of calm, muted colours –

 

We particularly liked the addition of top and bottom borders of squares and the pieced binding – super stuff!

 

classes, Electric Quilt, Teaching

Super Zoom!

A late report (but better late than never) on our Live Online PopUp class on Saturday 17th October.  This started out as a real class scheduled for March this year, postponed to July, then again to October.  Around September we decided that we would adapt to Zoom rather than keep moving the date and being disappointed. And it worked really well – we had two main demo sessions with a break after each and a short summary at the end when everyone waved blocks around.  Live online classes are the next best thing to the live in person classes that we’ve become so used to over the years, but we appreciate that not everyone wants to make the transition or deal with technology!

Here are Kate & Jane’s first blocks forwarded to us during the class –

And Speedy Helen sent these pics of her FINISHED (as in quilted and bound) quilt on Tuesday –

complete with pieced back!

Thanks to everyone who was with us on screen on Saturday, and particular thanks to our pal Judi Mendelssohn who had been volunteered ( by us ) to help us keep things heading in the right direction.

Happy stitching!

classes, Inspiration, Teaching

Pop up success!

Whew! What a great day we had on Saturday with our first pop up class – a full house of new and familiar faces and the sweet hum of massed sewing machines plus lots of chatter and laughs.  We had decided to feature the project Chris designed for The Corner Patch Retreat (and a big thank you to Jane Alcock (formerly of The Corner Patch) for helping out and for providing everyone with a little goodie bag) and there were lots of oohs and aahs when it was revealed –

Everyone got straight to work after the demo.

and we were soon admiring the first blocks in all their variety –

Really looking forward to seeing some finished quilt tops in the next few weeks!  It was such a good day with so many requests for more popup classes that we may have to have a high level Board meeting at HQ next week and discuss the possibilities for 2020.

In other news we have updated the EQ Doodles page so do click over and take a look – or download a colouring sheet here – August doodle

This is the week of the BIG quilt show – Festival of Quilts – here in the UK and we’ll be joining thousands of other quilters and enjoying some retail therapy and quilt viewing. Don’t forget to check back here for Scrappy Sunday at the end of the week – see you soon!