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

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December already?!

The December EQ doodles have arrived even if Father Christmas hasn’t yet. However we have brought you a bumper colouring pack this month rather than just a sheet. You can download it here. As ever you can print it off as many times as you like, cut it up and re-arrange the blocks to make your quilt designs and generally have fun (in between wrapping presents, basting the turkey, peeling sprouts . . . .).

In breaking news (drum roll) one of our Minton tile patterns will be in the January issue of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine due out mid-December. This one was based on a tiled floor in Uttoxeter and is double bed size.

(Barbara thinks this is one really smart quilt that would look great in any colour way and is thrilled that yet another of Chris’s quilts will appear in print. )

Looking ahead to next year –

News reaches us from the Overseas Office that Barbara is planning a Hand Stitching Retreat there in May 2018 – you’ll find an email link for further info on her website and blog.

Chris has an exceptionally full programme of classes throughout 2018 at The Corner Patch – Block of the Month, Technique of the Month and more besides – details and pics on The Corner Patch website.

Barbara will be deserting the Overseas Office in March, June and October for a mini series of hand stitching classes at The Corner Patch – dates have been fixed and the samples almost finished.

We are also looking forward to being a part of The Corner Patch’s first quilting retreat in June – this will be one event not to be missed!

So, busy times ahead – in the meantime all the staff at C&B Towers, the Rural Office and the Overseas Office wish you a merry Christmas and an excellent New Year.

Samples samples everywhere

“Quietly productive” is the phrase that best sums up the past couple of weeks. Indeed Chris has been so productive that she seems to be almost half a year ahead of herself with class samples, worksheets and magazine projects.  We always forget to mention it here but you can often find a project by Chris in the UK quilting press – you’ll find her regular column “Wandering the Web” in Patchwork & Quilting magazine in addition to projects in Popular Patchwork and Fabrications magazines.  Chris’s classes this year at The Corner Patch are nearly all full – she’s teaching Block of the Month (two variations – this one –

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2015-10-30 10.25.01Technique of the Month – for instance in April its rotary cutting and making either a Rail Fence –

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2016-01-13 14.19.36plus Rollover Quilt of the Month – make 9 blocks, use 5 and save 4 for next time. Here’s the first quilt –

2015-08-16 19.07.07Over at the Rural Office Barbara has been busy with samples for her new class also at The Corner Patch – Hand Stitched Sampler.  You can keep up with her progress on Instagram – when she finally gets Windows 10 to talk nicely to her iPhone via her laptop we’ll be able to show you some of the pictures already posted on Instagram.  During one of the January tidy up sessions we found a set of sample blocks we’d almost forgotten about –

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IMG_5636Nine blocks in all from one of our Evening Classes several years ago.  We think it might be time to put them to work again – perhaps a Block of the Month, perhaps a Saturday SewAlong, maybe another Mystery series? Let us know if you would be interested in seeing something along these lines.

A few finishes

Here at C&B Towers we are mostly unaffected by the festive madness that takes over in December.  The Planning Department is a positive hive of activity as preparations get under way for our individual January classes.  So while printers and sewing machines are humming and churning out paperwork and samples we thought it would be a good time to take a quick look at a few finishes we’ve seen at the lunchtime Show & Tell breaks at our Tittensor classes.  Unattributed and not in chronological order here’s our first selection – there may be more to follow.

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Now back to planning! or perhaps a little procrastination………………

 

 

Christmas Capers – class report

Just when we thought we had experienced pretty much every hitch possible with regard to hiring a hall and turning it into a classroom for q day – we found a new one!  Arriving in good time for our Christmas Capers class we very quickly had to work out a whole new car park strategy, turning our two cars into a blockade to prevent everyone from driving and walking over thick black ice.  Fortunately we managed to get this done before anyone else arrived – phew!

It was a full house again for our last Saturday class of the year at Tittensor – and the end of fifteen years of Chris & Barbara Saturday classes.  Chris mapped out the plan for the day, did the cutting demo and conducted the first part of the proceedings in her best Big Voice and the cutting and capering began.  After much swapping and cutting and passing left and cutting and passing right and cutting everyone had a good selection of festive fabrics to work with.  Choosing blocks from several options on the worksheet it was then time to settle down to serious piecing.  Coffee, tea, biscuits, cake and mince pies were on hand to help concentration and in next to no time table runners and toppers were being produced…

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So, despite the icy beginning, we all had a great time – lots of chat, lots of Show & Tell at lunch, and good company.  Our thanks to everyone who has supported the Saturday classes over the years – we are making lots of plans for 2016 and there just might be a one-day reunion class at Tittensor.  We’ll be sure to let you know!  In the next few posts we’ll look back at some of the quilts that have been made from the Saturday classes.  Stay tuned to this station for updates and further news.  Happy stitching!

Christmas Capers

On Saturday we will have our last workshop at Tiitensor Village Hall this year. There may be the occasional one-off from time to time over the coming years, so keep an eye out for an email, or post here.

We have had a couple of last-minute cancellations for Saturday’s Christmas Capers so if you would like to come please get in touch in the usual way – first come . . .

The Needs List is up on the website, but basically bring fat quarters of Christmas-colours (red, green, white/cream). The basic idea is that we will all swap strips of our reds and greens so everyone goes home with a little reminder of those they’ve met over the years at Tittensor (and, indeed, Swynnerton).  

As for what you will be making with those strips and fat quarters – here’s a sneak preview of just one of the several ideas and designs we have come up with, all of which will be included in the worksheet (in full glorious technicolor!)

Xmas capersWe look forward to seeing you all on Saturday – Barbara is bringing mince pies as well as the usual chocolate biscuits and we hope to have the computer up and running with a slide show of photos from classes over the last 15 years.

Late class report

Serious connection and technical problems in the Overseas IT Department have delayed us from reporting on our “Delectable Lanterns” class last Saturday.  But, better late than never –

We set a personal best time for setting up the room after the new caretaker forgot to open the hall for us.  Not the best start! After that problem was solved everything went really well and everyone seemed to have a good time with lots of chat, cutting, chat, coffee and tea, stitching, more chat, coffee and tea – in other words a typical C&B class!  Here are just a few of the pics we managed to take during a very busy day –

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Our next (and last) class for this year is “Christmas Capers” on Saturday 21 November – just over three weeks away. Where does the time go?