procrastination, Sampler Quilt class, Teaching


Chris is spending her Saturday at The Corner Patch teaching Celtic applique followed by Block of the Month. Barbara is spending her Saturday putting various things together in readiness for our class on Monday –

and considering whether its worth the extra effort to begin tidying other areas –

The likely outcome will be additional preparation (and procrastination) for Barbara’s next class also at The Corner Patch. Topics to cover are handquilting –

maybe some needleturn applique –

and some hand piecing

Preparations and procrastination continue apace (!) for our next class at Tittensor. We like to have a small basket of fabric – fat quarters usually – available for fabric emergencies or changes of mind. We are extremely fortunate to have very accommodating quilt shops willing to provide this service for us and one of Barbara’s Friday tasks was to collect the fabric basket from ZigZags in Newport. She would have signed up for their class on how to make this

and is hoping to see what these eventually grow up to be

Our next stop is North Wales – have a good weekend!

classes, Projects, Sampler Quilt class

Talented beginners

Chris has been teaching in Eccleshall again this week and amazingly remembered to take a camera – just forgot to take photos whenever the opportunity arose.  The ‘Technique of the Month’ on Thursday was Cathedral Window and we looked at various methods of making this lovely design by hand and by machine.  Ruth came to Saturday’s ‘Block of the Month’ with her Cathedral Window strip finished. Isn’t it great?!

Ruth's Cathedral window

Caroline has never sewn before and she turned up to only her third lesson with a completed quilt top –

Caroline's quilt

This lovely quilt is to have a border added and will be for her son – some of the fabrics are from her husband’s shirts. (Wonder if he’s noticed yet? – Barbara).  Chris also managed a quick snap of Caroline’s two completed blocks before they were whisked away, but wasn’t quick enough to get any others.

Caroline's blocks


So it’s back to HQ and our own sewing spaces for a few days – we need to get everything together for next Saturday’s class at Tittnesor – Four into Sixteen – which is sold out.  Barbara is also getting ready for several weeks on the road teaching and demonstrating at various shows – such a hard life!

classes, Piecing, Sampler Quilt class

Holding the fort

Well, life at C&B Enterprises is never predictable – or dull! Chris had done a wonderful solo turn while Barbara was quilt-hauling in the US last week, only to find that a nasty heavy cold took charge of her almost minutes before Barbara landed back in the UK. We did some urgent re-shuffling so that Barbara could take over the solo bit while the patient stuffed herself with mega strength cold remedies. The first evening class was probably not our finest two hours but everyone was very forgiving of Chris’s absence and Barbara’s jetlag – no pics from this session but we’ll try to do better on all fronts next week. Barbara managed another impromptu solo turn to cover Chris’s Sampler class at Pollyanna Patchwork today – and remembered to point the camera bit of her favourite iPod gadget at some of the work being done, and at least one of the students. .. a Grand Time was had by all, and the good news is that Chris is beginning to feel just a little bit better!







classes, Electric Quilt, Mystery Monday, quilt shows, Sampler Quilt class

After Uttoxeter

We’ve managed to get (almost) everything unpacked and put away after our three days of having a good time at the Uttoxeter quilt show.  It was great to see so many quilting friends and familiar faces along with quilts, embroideries and classes.  Maggi stopped by to give us a quick twirl with one of the bags she had made at our Zippy Bags class

and there were one or two quilts in the main exhibit that had a familiar look to them – well done Kate, Jane and Margery!  Click over to Maggi’s blog to see more quilts from the show …

We managed to catch up with Anne and Tori of ZigZags – one of our regular retail stops in Newport

We spent most of the time at the show handing out paperwork for our Start to Finish day on June 4th and the Electric Quilt classes at The Station on May 14th and September 10th.  Lots of interest too in the Sampler class that Chris will be teaching for Pollyanna Patchwork in September. 

Only a couple of days before all the Easter rushing around begins – Barbara will be travelling north to the land of traditional quilts while Chris recovers (she hopes) in a darkened room with soothing music.  Another instalment of Mystery Monday will be published on Monday – in the meantime, have a good week and Easter holiday.

classes, Electric Quilt, possibilities, Sampler Quilt class, Teaching

What’s been happening

Not only has Barbara fallen spectacularly behind with her own blog, but we have suffered the same fate – too much going on and time seeming to be in short supply, the only thing that’s more or less up to date is the Mystery Monday posting and our  Mystery Monday page. 

But there are all sorts of exciting events to report on.  In no particular order here goes. .. 

Chris has just come back from a short break in Florence (see earlier post) and has also just about recovered from an earlier heart-stopping week of computer virus/gremlins/complete non-function which brought the Chris & Barbara empire (who are you kidding? -Chris) to a virtual standstillNot an experience either of us wishes to repeat, but we have found a great IT “fixit” place as a result, so it’s not all bad.

Our evening class sessions are now halfway through – we’ve done some basic hand piecing with and without papers, machine piecing, hand applique and there’s settings, basics of machine quilting and quilt-as-you-go still to come.   We’re playing around with the technology and using the camcorder and projector for some of the demos and it seems to be working well, although there were a couple of suggestions that we could serve ice creams in the interval!  Here’s a taster of some of the “homework” –

While Chris was stomping around Florence Barbara was in charge of the Notebooks workshop at the Station – great results from everyone and lots of fun fiddling with fabric and Prairie Points.

Our Grow Your Own workshop earlier this month was a full house and lots of super quilt tops well under way by the end of the day.

On alternate Thursdays Chris is teaching a beginner’s class for Pollyanna Patchwork  which is going really well – a few pics may eventually show up here if she remembers to take her camera along to the next session.  

Just before the Grand Expedition to Leeds   Florence we had an all-time first outing to give a talk as a duo for Sandbach Sew & So’s. We can highly recommend visiting this group – terrific homemade cakes and a most helpful roadie made for a lovely easy evening.

We also got our 2011 dates mailed out in good time and all our classes are already more than half full, so we had to have a committe meeting today to divide up the preparation and work out who’s doing what and when.  Somehow, in amongst all the scribbling of lists and mad suggestions, we’ve also managed to make the plans for our next batch of evening classes and now we’re both raring to get to the sewing machines and do the samples. 

Barbara is packing her bag to go to Houston at stupid o’clock on Thursday morning, leaving Chris in sole control of the Chris & Barbara empire for a couple of weeks. Barbara is charged with bringing back sufficient fabric and general quilting goodies as reward for all the extra running around and responsibility incurred, and may even manage a short blog post (miracles do occasionally happen).  Stay tuned!

classes, Projects, Sampler Quilt class, Teaching

Sampler class – last evening

When good things come to an end, or at least a temporary halt, its a very mixed feeling – lots of happy memories, lots of achievement but no more evening classes now until September.  We’re getting withdrawal symptoms already!  Not too much time to sit around though – next week we’re off to Uttoxeter to deliver quilts and set up our demo. space for Quilts in the Garden and we’ll be travelling back and forth each day until the end of the show on Sunday. 

So in just eight weeks what have our intrepid students done?  Each week they have had four blocks to choose from, how-to sheets for each block, supporting demos from one or both of us and lots of discussion and friendships (are you going to mention the chocolate biscuits? -Chris).  Because we have good floor space at The Station we spent quite a lot of time grovelling around on our knees looking at layouts for blocks – starting with Chris’s blocks here’s a selection of “student work” –

And this is probably our favourite shot from the whole eight weeks – Jane demonstrates how she will fly or float her way through putting her blocks together –

Well done  ladies – you all deserve a gold star, and we’ll see you in class in September.  Thanks also to Elizabeth for taking the pictures we’ve used in this post.   Barbara’s off to London to the V&A quilt exhibit and Chris is unpacking her class stuff and repacking for Uttoxeter, with a family Easter gathering in between.  Happy Easter to all!

classes, Sampler Quilt class, Teaching

Sampler quilt class

A wonderfully warm Sampler Class – our favourite caretaker had made sure the heating was blazing away so we all finished the evening in a very warm glow!  Lots of lovely homework  from the curved seam demonstration last week and now everyone has a satisfying pile of blocks to begin thinking about putting together.  We spent some time laying out blocks on the floor and standing back and making admiring noises, experimenting with setting straight and/or on point and into strips.  Next week we’re going to be looking at the basics of machine and hand quilting, with some quilt-as-you-go pointers and demonstration thrown in for good measure.



The block for this week is Dresden Plate so Chris (back on her feet after the Dreaded Flu) demonstrated a whole world of Dresden Plate – curved tips, pointy tips, straight tips, fussy cutting for motifs,  fussy cutting for stripes – so we are keen to see what homework comes into class next week!    

And here’s a little something that one of our ladies has been quietly stitching –

If Barbara gets down to work and concentrates, we’ll have more pics on our Flickr site very soon – and the EQdoodle is due to be updated also ….. back to coffee and chocolate!

classes, Piecing, Sampler Quilt class, Teaching

Sampler class solo

Well, who would have thought it?  Chris is still out of action so Barbara will be teaching solo for our Sampler Class tonight and probably also on Saturday for Flying Geese.  Tonight the topic is curved piecing by hand and/or machine with Drunkards Path variations for homework.  These are Barbara’s hand pieced blocks –

and the Flying Geese are gathering in readiness for Saturday –

Looking forward to seeing lots of sampler block homework in class!

Sampler Quilt class

Seasonal snow

There’s only one thing to do when it snows – retire to a warm sewing room!  So when the Staffordshire round of snow arrived this afternoon that’s exactly what we both did.  Barbara managed to put together two more Sampler blocks in her room

and Chris was busy writing instructions for our Basically Bags class in January as well as proofreading one of her projects for Patchwork & Quilting magazine, with a few Sampler blocks for company –

classes, Sampler Quilt class

Sampler Quilt blocks

We’re both moving along with the blocks for the Sampler Quilt class.  Having decided to re-visit 12inch blocks ( a size neither of us has worked with a lot since the mid-80s) we’re finding that the blocks are not as huge or “clunky” as we remembered them.  This probably has something to do with the fact that, these days, we have much wider fabric choices available rather than the old adages of “one print, one plain and one background ” or “one light, one medium and one dark” .  We also have MUCH bigger stashes to work from!  So, within a 12inch block , we are now comfortable with using more than 3 fabrics  and the overall result is visually more interesting – or so we like to think!  Here are two more of Barbara’s blocks so you can see what we mean – the Log Cabin block has 13 different fabrics, the first LeMoyne Star variation has 4 and the second variation, all triangles, has 7.

Now it’s time to go and choose fabrics for the next blocks, which will probably include a couple more of those ever-versatile Log Cabins – Chris has found a really interesting  variation which may show up here when she’s had chance to put it together.