November – so soon!

One of our high level executive meetings at HQ last month generated a lot of furious scribbling in notebooks – to-do lists, class topic lists, ideas lists, lists of lists, and lots of impromptu diagrams and quilt plans.  And then we had the bright (?) idea that we might, from time to time, share a glimpse into our notebooks right here on the blog.  Just because we could.  So, striking while the proverbial iron is still warmish, here’s the first showing of Barbara’s current notebook, somewhat battered and dog-eared and a random taste of what it contains –

We have had many requests for the return of our weekly Mystery Monday feature and we’re planning on reviving this excellent tradition very soon – it may be a brand new Mystery or one from the archives, we haven’t decided yet – but a Mystery there will be.  We went rummaging through the archives in the basement of C&B Towers and had the greatest difficulty in finding any suitable images to post here for Mystery Monday so no encouraging pictures as yet – just have to wait for the real thing to show up.

The Overseas Office is starting to show signs of activity – the first projects look like being English Paper Piecing (EPP) with a hexagonal flavour….

Chris is busy with plans and samples for next year’s classes and was heard muttering something about “houses, houses ….”    And of course, lots of houses in our area have lovely Minton tile floors …

Our EQ doodles page has been refreshed and  – do click over and take a look at this month’s offering.  You’ll find a free colouring page to download here – EQ doodle November.

Happy stitching!

 

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On to October

This is the month of “getting stuff done” – maybe.  We are having a high level committee meeting at HQ next week where lists and plans will be presented and approved.  Barbara is returning from the Overseas Office specifically for this event (and also to teach some classes at The Corner Patch) and C&B Towers will be closed for the day.  Chris is almost fully occupied with her various weekly classes at The Corner Patch (follow @chrisfranses on Instagram for pictures and updates ) and monthly Web Wandering for P&Q magazine. 

At the top of this post is one of our Electric Quilt doodles from last October – all suitable autumnal tones and Flying Geese.  This month’s doodles are rather different both in style and colourway –  check them out on our dedicated page.  Click on this link for a downloadable doodle to colour in  EQ Doodle Oct  

In other news we are hoping to make a special trip to the Jen Jones Quilt Museum before it closes its doors forever at the end of this year.  We have made several pilgrimages to Jen’s over the years, starting way back in 1991 – seems like only yesterday!  Below is one of our favourite quilts from Jen’s amazing collection – so graphic and stylish don’t you think?

It all starts again

After what seemed like a never-ending winter followed by one of the longest summers we can remember our thoughts are now set on a busy autumn programme of classes and projects.  At C&B Towers renovations to an adjacent property are a noisy disruption to the calm required for creativity (and gardening) – all staff have been given leave of absence so Chris is manning the fort (almost literally) armed with noise-cancelling headphones.  Barbara has taken off, yet again, for the peace and quiet of the Overseas Office.  Maybe what we really need is somewhere that would be a Not-Overseas-C&B Towers, with all the benefits of both locations and none of the drawbacks.

Chris’s classes at The Corner Patch in Eccleshall begin this month, Barbara’s classes are scheduled for October.  Samples and worksheets are being put together even as this page goes to press, new EQ doodles are posted on our Doodles page (you can download a colouring sheet here) and notebooks and lists are being consulted.  It really feels like autumn!!

Mini Star Sampler quilt top for one of Barbara’s Corner Patch classes –

Rick Rack Star block for October –
A Star Sampler from EQ, recently “discovered” in Barbara’s files.  Fabrics might be being selected at this very moment…… just when another project is the last thing you need!

Chris’s next Block of the Month – starting next week – at The Corner Patch is on display on the shop wallRemember Chris’s regular Wandering the Web feature in P&Q magazine, also take a look at the UKQU website and Facebook presence.  Happy stitching!

 

June update

Just to announce the arrival of our EQ Doodles for this month and also to remind you that there are still one or two places available on The Corner Patch Retreat later this month.  Only yesterday, or so it seems, we were sitting with Jane making plans for this retreat and now it’s just a couple of weeks away.  We’re really looking forward to reprising our tandem teaching on the Saturday of the retreat, it will be quite like old times!!

If you want a colouring page for the doodles to while away a few sunny minutes in the garden (in between the thunderstorms) you can download one here.

Maybe it’s May…

… but we’re not convinced. This year is rushing by and we think someone has forgotten to include spring in the plans. The Rural Office is surrounded by tall meadow rather than lawn as it has been too wet to mow, days of strong cold wind at the Overseas Office and all staff at C&B Towers have been issued with new raincoats and wellingtons.

Chris did manage to escape and take a few days to enjoy gardens and tulips –

Somewhere in her travels Chris  managed to pick up a mystery virus which has confined her to C&B Towers for several days – we’re hoping that it will disappear as quickly as it arrived.

Meanwhile, at the Overseas Office, Barbara spotted a new resident –

  • a little stitching has been achieved –

And the most neglected sewing machine ever was spotted in a reclamation yard –

This is probably a timely reminder for us to clean out and oil all our machines and give them an appreciative pat!

Our Electric Quilt Doodles for this month are mega simple, so no downloadable pdf – but do click over and take a look at our May offerings.

We are currently experiencing a number of background technical issues with our blog host WordPress which we hope to have resolved before our next post. 

Also, to comply with new data protection legislation we may need to remove all email subscriptions from the blog – our Technical Department is currently investigating. 

 

March – is it spring soon?

This winter seems to have lasted for quite some time and we’re more than ready for spring.  Barbara is counting off the days until she heads south at the end of this month to open up the Overseas Office.  C&B Towers has remained fully operational throughout the extreme weather although the Catering and Refreshments Suite has been much in demand and staff have been working long hours to meet the need.

We both have classes at The Corner Patch this month.  Barbara will be teaching the first sessions of a Hand Stitched Sampler, plus a hand quilting class and a Star Sampler class session

IMG_8452   IMG_8497  IMG_7081    DSCN0611

and Chris will be teaching her regular Block of The Month and Technique of the Month classes on Thursdays and Saturdays.  Our planning is well under way for the Corner Patch Retreat in June which is a good thing as time is going so quickly that it will be June before you have chance to blink.  Don’t miss out on this event – book your place now!

We’ve updated the Doodles page to reflect a new month (even if we are a few days late!) and kept everything very simple, no commentary, no colouring page download – just a few doodles using our favourite Electric Quilt design program.

It’s a New Year!

We’re late in wishing everyone all the best for 2018 – far too much Christmas and assorted merrymaking at both C&B Towers and the Rural Office.  Now we can look forward to a very interesting and busy year of planning and stitching (not to mention the coffee).  Chris has lots of classes booked at The Corner Patch, her monthly Wandering the Web column and quilts appearing in magazines, Barbara has classes at The Corner Patch and a mountain of UFOs to work through while she is in charge of the Overseas Branch.

One thing we are both very excited about is the Grand Quilting Retreat in June to celebrate 5 years of The Corner Patch – we’re going to be teaching over the weekend and generally having a good time.  Jane has opened the bookings list so if you want to be part of this super event get in touch via the website or email jane@thecornerpatch . If you are signed up for Jane’s Newsletter you will have seen the following ad –

Quilting Retreat
Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June
Yarnfield Training and Conference Centre, ST15 0NL
Spend a fun-filled weekend in the relaxing Staffordshire countryside, patchwork and quilting with expert teachers Chris Franses and Barbara Chainey.
All meals and accommodation are included.
For more information e-mail jane@thecornerpatch.co.uk or ring 01785 859360

Barbara has also made plans for a small handstitching retreat in May at the Overseas Branch – email ourhomesinspain@gmail.com for dates and details.

And as if this all weren’t enough there’s an exciting new website due to launch on January 9th – ukqu.co.uk – if you register before that date then you will be entered for a prize draw to win a truly mega prize. Once the website launches you will find all sorts of things happening there – a Block of the Month, a Mystery Quilt, online shopping, hints and tips, guest bloggers each month (including Chris) and more. Registration is free so go and sign up, you have nothing to lose. You’ll find more information on their Facebook page – but again you need to register to join in the fun.

In the meantime Barbara has managed to do some January EQ Doodles and there is the usual colouring sheet to download as well.

EQ doodle Jan