First show of the year

We’re off to one of our favourite quilt shows on Sunday – the one day Quilters Exhibition and Sale which this year is at Sandbach, not Nantwich.  Satnav code is CW11 3NT.  Usually we travel together with all the stuff for our demo table loaded into one car, but this year it’s a two car deal as Barbara is starting her journey from much further south and giving up a whole day of her annual quilting retreat.  This leaves Chris with her car full of absolutely everything and the responsibility of starting setup and probably packdown too.  (Doesn’t seem like much of a deal to me – Chris).  It’s a great day with lots going on so we hope to catch up with lots of quilty news and friends.  You may find a pic or two from the show appearing on Barbara’s Instagram feed…

Quilt Show at Bradley

The Quilt and Craft Show at Bradley Church is on this weekend. Chris and Barbara (among others) will be there demonstrating and trying not to buy too many goodies from the traders. Not to mention Jane’s fabulous food and cakes on sale all day.

Bradley is not too difficult to find – and Kate and helpers have done a grand job of signposting the main road. This show only happens every other year and is held in aid of various charities including The Childrens Society. Do come along if you can. The quilts are in the church which is a lovely building with some really old tombstones in the churchyard

Bradley Church

The quilts were being hung this morning and local quilters have done Kate proud. There’s lots to look at and even several to win in the raffle.

Bradley quilts

quilts in Bradley church

Traders and demonstrators will be in the Church Hall on the other side of the road.

Of course, having said we will both be there . . .  we will, just not at the same time, having both managed to double-book ourselves. Fortunately not for the same day and not all weekend.


Mysteries and Quilts UK!

All is frenetic activity at the C&B Rural Office – Barbara is packing and sorting and filing ready for the Quilts UK! Show at Malvern which starts on Thursday; boxes and bags are taking over. In addition to all this she is trying to put together the worksheet for our next class – The Mystery Quilt – while Chris says helpful things like “have you double checked the measurements?” and “I’m not sure I’ve added the right diagrams to that section”. Rest assured it will all come together by a week on Saturday! The Needs List is up on the website and all of you who have booked a place should by now have received the grand Cutting Plan, either via email or snail mail. Do let us know if yours hasn’t arrived.

After much nagging prompting discussion the Needs List for the June class – Reverse Applique – is now available on the website. Hopefully one of us will remember what the Great Idea was before too long and find the design, pattern or picture that we had in mind when we wrote the brochure.

So what is Chris up to while Barbara is so busy?  Not a lot is probably the answer, but what she ought to be doing is sorting out websites: both the C&B one (never quite satisfied with them once they’re done somehow – Chris) and the Meadowside Designs one which needs rebuilding from scratch. On the plus side Chris has finally remembered that there is a Meadowside blog and has put a post up with a link to some of the original patterns and a link to one of our free patterns. But before all that there’s a class or two to prepare for at Eccleshall where the beginner machine quilters have nearly finished their wallhangings.

machine quilting

Don’t forget to say ‘hello’ to Barbara if you are going to Malvern.

After the show

Life at C&B Towers is just about returning to what passes for normal. Barbara was whisked away to Bruges at exactly the time she was meant to be at the Uttoxeter show. So, when an over-burdened Chris was setting up the demo area and talking to those folks who managed to find it and being felled by a 24hour bug on the Saturday, Barbara was trying to have a good time (!) looking at this sort of thing –








Chris is now, thankfully, much recovered from whatever-it-was – many thanks for all the good wishes – and has been busy this week with classes at The Corner Patch. Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the blocks that were the demo at the show and watch this space – we have LOTS of plans for these…





Still busy

We may not have a Chris & Barbara workshop until May 24th (make a Mystery Quilt) but this doesn’t mean we are sitting idly back and doing very little. Barbara has been up and down the country several times teaching here there and everywhere while Chris has been teaching a little nearer to home. In fact we have both been teaching at The Corner Patch in Eccleshall recently. Barbara has been doing hand stitching – as you saw from a recent post – and Chris has concentrated on machine work.

Foundation Piecing was the subject of the Technique of the Month for April and a Mariner’s Compass was the promised block. We also had a little tree (courtesy of Electric Quilt) for those who fancied something easier. Chris did remember to get the camera out a couple of times for a photo of Holly’s tree –

Foundation tree

and one of Hazel’s Compass –

Foundation Mariner's compass

Hazel and Holly are mother and daughter – Holly is only 13 (I think – sorry if I got it wrong, Holly – Chris) and has come to several workshops at The Corner Patch recently.

It was also lovely to see some ‘finishes’ come in. Nearly completed is Wendy’s Log Cabin sampler incorporating four blocks from the Block of the Month running at the Corner Patch this year – just the binding to go now –

Log Cabin sampler

and Hazel’s Trip around the World –

Trip around the world -complete with quilting in metallic thread

Trip detail

For the next week or so however it is time to concentrate on sorting out ‘stuff’ for the quilt show at Uttoxeter. Quilt entries for the show have been labelled and packed ready for delivery later in the week.

quilt entries

Next it is the turn of the quilts to display on our stand, printing and folding and collating all the brochures and other paperwork, finding the table covers, organising something to demonstrate (this is why we are there) and making sure that all the fiddly things required – such as pins to pin the quilts and labels up – are not forgotten. Hope to see you there! Don’t look for us in the main hall by the way – we are in the Paddock Pavilion, which is near the entrance, along with the Quilters Guild and the Hilary Beattie exhibition.



Virtual quilts

Our favourite program Electric Quilt is being rather heavily used this week as we roll forward into planning Saturday classes and making a start on worksheets, needs lists and those ever-present samples.  While we can’t yet show you what we’re working on, we can give you a quick scrollthrough (is that a real word? Chris) of just a few of the virtual quilts we have created over the past two years.  You could even vote for your favourite …. (is there a prize? Chris)

autumn 12


December 2013 4

evening mix 2

four patch sampler 3

Harriet sampler 2

orange 4


spq December 13

august 8

Barbara is getting ready for her annual quilting retreat – the one that involves a fancy hotel with spa, yummy food, log fires and LOTS of stitching and computer time.  This means Chris will (yet again) be abandoned  left in charge of the good ship C&B (probably with a list of Stuff To Do as well – and if it keeps on raining a ship is what will be needed – Chris) for a few days.  Maybe there will be time to quilt and finish something to enter into the Uttoxeter quilt show (British Stitch Village) – the deadline for accepting quilts has been extended to 10th March……………. running out of excuses now . . .

Our busy weekend 2

We had a much warmer day on Sunday, thanks to a lot of running around putting up quilt stands, quilts and our demo area at the annual Nantwich Quilters Sale. Just a couple of stops up the M6 with a loaded van (Chris rather liked being part of the White Van Brigade) and the enticing prospect of bacon sandwiches when everything was set up. Two hours of concentrated activity and we were chomping away just as the doors opened – phew! Twenty quilts up, labelled, lots of brochures and enquiries for our classes, and then all too soon it was time to do everything in reverse order (excluding the bacon sandwiches) and pack the van and head for home. But it was a good day with lots of bargains and lots to see – next year the event is moving to Sandbach where there is a bigger space and much more parking. Starting with a rather gorgeous skirt we spotted in the crowds here’s a quick glimpse of a few of the quilts we had on display (we were too busy to take pictures of anything else during the day) –










Now the van has been returned, quilts put away and it’s back to teaching at The Corner Patch for Chris and sewing hexagons for Barbara. Phew!