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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Flashback Friday

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Here’s a Flashback to one of Chris’s visits to the Land of Her Fathers – while in Wales last year she had the opportunity to visit the Jen Jones Museum in Lampeter. We’ve been lucky enough to have had a number of joint expeditions/quilt missions to Jen’s home over the years and indulge our mutual love of the Welsh quilting tradition in all it’s glory.

Out and About

Chris has been exploring the gardens and quilty things in Mid-Wales. Barbara has headed to Malvern to demonstrate and sell her quilting designs. If you’re going to Quilts UK! this weekend do pop by and say ‘hello’ to her.

To brighten up this brief post here’s a few of Chris’s photos from her Welsh Wanderings. First some quilts from the exhibition at the Welsh Quilt Museum in Lampeter

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2016-05-17 12.30.18 – do go if you get the opportunity. And don’t miss the chance to visit Calico Kate, the quilt shop a few doors down. But you will need to take your Flexible Friend (a.k.a. your plastic).

Other places to visit in the area are the National Wool Museum near Newcastle Emlyn which has a quilt exhibition on from May 18 – June 15 (bad timing on Chris’s part – missed it!) and Llanachaeron, a National Trust property (with lots of free woodland walks round about) near Aberaeron. Not to mention Jen Jones shop in Llanybydder,full of antique Welsh quilts and wool blankets to buy (details from the mueum). And if you like the Welsh wool blankets try to fit in a visit to Jane Beck near Tregaron.

Then there were the gardens – Llanachaeron and the National Botanic Garden near Carmarthen.

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2016-05-16 14.28.41Just two photos as I think I’ve brightened this post up quite enough! Time to go back to work now.

Malvern Quilt Show

Barbara is (almost) all packed and ready to go. . .  She will be selling her quilting patterns and books as well as launching our new venture – Heritage Quilts, patterns which are based on her collection of vintage quilts. Another two patterns have just been added to the ones already on the website – an Irish Chain and one called Poinsettia, which we think looks pretty good for a quilt made over 150 years ago.

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While Barbara is working hard at Malvern Chris will be pottering in her garden (weather permitting) as there’s lots to do – new beds to be created, patios to be laid . . . !

But we won’t be too busy to do the worksheet and some samples for our next workshop at Tittensor – String Quartet. The Needs List is on the website so why not print it off and take it along to Malvern. If Chris gets her act together the Needs List for the next class after that (in September!) could be ready for the Show as well. Here’s a sneak preview of Chris’s sample (which used 0.5m of each fabric or thereabouts, just in case the Needs List isn’t done) –

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Free Pattern

We’re at Sandbach today for the annual grand Fabric Sale and quilt show. While we’re there we thought we would have a quick giveaway – a Limited Edition free pattern for one of Barbara’s big quilts.

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We’ve only printed a few (circumstances totally beyond our control!) so these will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. But then we thought of all you folk too far away to get to Sandbach for the day and decided to offer it as a free download for today only – it will disappear by tomorrow (if I remember – Chris).

So, if you come to the Sandbach show, do drop by to say ‘hello’ and pick up a free pattern if we still have one available; otherwise you can use the link below to download your copy before it’s too late!

Sorry, the pattern has now gone – but there may be another one (or even the same one, we haven’t decided!) for the Uttoxeter Show in April.

A day away

We made our annual visit to the U3A group in Mold this week and, as always,  had a great time.  A full class of smiling quilters had fun working with our Merged Blocks concept that we had previously offered at our Saturday classes at Tittensor.  Chris was able to showcase some of the delights of the Electric Quilt program and print out personalised quilt cutting plans – how we love that program!  And so useful!!

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Nearly everyone chose to work with one of the two projects we had provided in the worksheet and you can see that there was  a really good variety of colour schemes

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Towards the end of the day we took some “happy class” pics but Barbara found herself on the back row so this was her view of the work set out on the floor and also the ladies who had worked so hard – well done everyone, looking forward to next year!!

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Hit the road

It’s a seldom-publicised fact, but we do take our tandem teaching act off home territory from time to time.  On Monday the Chris & Barbara Road Show rolled into Mold to teach Free Motion Quilting to a very enthusiastic group of more than 20 ladies, and a good time was had by all.  Slight hiccup at the start – no caretaker, unable to access booked venue – every organiser’s nightmare.  Problem solved by a very organised organiser who found another hall nearby, led the convoy of cars to the new venue and had us all set up a mere 45 minutes after the published start time.   Phew!!

No surprises in how we tackled the teaching – the usual formula of worksheets, demo and discuss then guided stitching time to try everything out.  We caught several perfectionists unpicking lines of stitching and had to remind them that it’s probably better to keep going and improve by doing rather than trying to have everything perfect from the start (which is almost impossible anyway!).  And, despite the slightly later start, everyone had the opportunity to try lots of different patterns, swoops and squiggles on the scribble cloths we had provided – just a few pics because we were too busy keeping up with a roomful of keen stitchers! –

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Next stop is Tittensor Village Hall on Saturday for our Drunkards Square class – the samples are done, worksheets printed out, demo equipment collected up, just the vital kitchen supplies to marshall and we’ll be ready to go.