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!

classes, heritage quilts, Scrappy Sunday, Teaching

Pop up class filled up!

Just a brief bulletin to say that we’ve been totally amazed and overwhelmed by the response to our PopUp class on Saturday 27th July – there’s only one place left!!

We’re really looking forward to the day.  We’ll have all the traditional C&B things like lashings of tea and coffee, biscuits and cake and plenty of laughs to accompany the cutting and stitching. And we’ll have a tempting basket of fabrics from The Corner Patch…

Onwards to Scrappy Sunday!

classes, Piecing, possibilities, Teaching

Breaking news

Official announcement of our first pop up workshop!

Date: Saturday 27th July

Time: 10am – 4pm

Venue: Chairman’s Hall, Walton Community Centre, Stone, Staffs

Cost: £35

Non-refundable deposit:  £15 required with each booking

Print out a booking form   here and return it with your deposit

There was a lot of disappointment that The Corner Patch Retreat had to be cancelled this year, a lot of disappointment that the date clashed with other activities, we were disappointed because we’d designed a sparkling new project.  And so many folk have asked us for another Chris&Barbara Saturday workshop.  So here’s your chance!!

Looking forward to 27th July!

classes, heritage quilts, quilt patterns

Frame quilts – part 1

Over the years we have come to love and appreciate one of the most classic quilt styles in the UK tradition – frame quilts.  We’ve taught several classes together and individually featuring this style (one of Chris’s class samples is shown above) and we’ve also re-visited it in several of our series of Heritage Quilt patterns.  What is so appealing about this style is its sheer versatility – it can be as simple or complicated as your time and skills allow.  Lots of piecing, not very much piecing, co-ordinated fabrics or truly scrappy, perhaps throw in some appliqué, hand piece or machine piece or combine the two techniques – it will all work.  We’ve rounded up some examples to pique your interest and Barbara has gone so far as to start up a Frame Quilts board on her Pinterest account.

First, a vintage Welsh “everyday” frame quilt from the house collection of Jen Jones.  Look how simple this is – and how stunning.

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There are several frame quilts tucked away in Barbara’s quilt cupboard –

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This is one of two frame quilts featured in Barbara’s classes at The Corner Patch this year.  Below you can see Barbara’s re-make of the same quilt – quite a difference!

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Another vintage frame quilt from The Cupboard

Again, really simple and so effective.  This would look great in almost any “style” of fabric – modern, reproduction, batiks…

And two more from the Jen Jones collection

A small selection of non-vintage frame quilt tops from our classes –

We’re going to follow this pictorial post with Frame Quilts Part 2, coming soon to a screen near you – tips and guidance on how to go about constructing your own frame quilt.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

classes, Electric Quilt, Free patterns, heritage quilts

Spring

Lots of activity, lots of caffeine and lots of changes – Barbara is transferring to the Overseas Office for a few weeks, our Rural Office may be re-locating, there are new classes to plan and prepare, more patterns and tutorials for Meadowside Designs, The Corner Patch retreat in June requires lots of samples and worksheets, re-launch Barbara’s blog – the list is extensive.  So we’ve made a start by updating our EQ Doodles page – this time we’re featuring the Boxed Star block

Click here  to download a colouring page based on this block so you can doodle your very own variation.

We’ve been rummaging through stacks of boxes in the Archive Department at C&B Towers and found all sorts of interesting stuff including LOTS of pictures of flowers, gardens, landscapes.  We’re all familiar with the advice to find colour (and general) inspiration from this type of image but don’t always put it into practice, so we thought we’d post some random selections for you to scroll through –

We had a similar rummage through some EQ Doodles that we had filed away – it looks like some of our palette choices are influenced and inspired by images such as those above –

March 19 4

September 9 2018

March 2

Sept 17 3

March 16 5

Just a reminder that you can find us also on Instagram as @chrisfranses and @barbarachainey.  Also check out the range of patterns and tutorials on Meadowside Designs.

classes, colouring in, Electric Quilt, Free patterns, heritage quilts, vintage quilts

March Doodles

Where do the days go?! While we actually got around to putting up the Doodles page for March at the beginning of the month, we forgot to do a blogpost about them. This month’s doodle features a block called Birds and Star and you can download a colouring sheet here.

March block c

It has taken a long time to come up with the latest ‘bright idea’ but it occurred to us that as well as doing some colouring you might occasionally actually want to make the quilt – so you would need instructions to make the block(s). So now, over on our sister site – Meadowside Designs – you can find instructions and download templates for our March Doodle block.

We have both been busy teaching at the Corner Patch this month. Barbara is using two of her vintage frame quilts in her hand-stitching classes and you can find the patterns on the Heritage Quilts Payhip site if you want to give them a go yourselves.

Chris’s students are busy making a Block of the Month quilt which this year features blocks on a 5-patch grid by way of a change – you can find photos of progress over on Chris’s Instagram account.

While we are on the subject of the Corner Patch – some of you may have heard some rumours about the shop. Jane has been making a regular appearance as a demonstrator on the Sewing Quarter TV programmes for the past couple of years – she’s been so good that they offered her a full-time job. She’d have have been mad to turn it down, but it does mean that the shop needs a new owner. So, if you have ever wanted your own patchwork shop – here’s your opportunity. The shop is based in Eccleshall, a thriving little market town in the middle of the Staffordshire countryside. It has a busy online presence too, as well as a team of teachers (we’re all excellent of course!) covering a wide range of classes and workshops. You can contact Jane via the shop website.