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!

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!

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!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

December!

We seem to have reached the last month of this year in somewhat of a rush.  There may be snowflakes falling across the blog pages but we haven’t yet managed to acquire much festive spirit.  Barbara is packing up her desk at the Overseas Office ready to make a quick return to the Rural Office and Chris is hurtling around at C&B Towers putting the finishing touches to class plans, Web Wandering, class samples and other essentials.

Breaking news of the gloomy sort is that our beloved HQ may soon be closing its doors so we are going to have do undertake extensive research to find a replacement.  For more than 10 years it has been our preferred venue for coffee, lunches, executive meetings and general hideout – a very hard act to follow.  Fingers crossed that it is one of those rumours that occasionally sweep through the town but turn out not to be that accurate.

Our Electric Quilt doodles page has been updated – you can find a printable download for a colouring page here.

Tentative steps are being taken this week to host internet linked classes at The Corner Patch.  Barbara has been connecting wires to cameras and laptops and turning a bedroom in the Overseas Office into a mini studio – the not-yet-finished quilt on the bed looked rather fetching (and seasonal) –

Seasonal greetings and happy stitching to one and all.