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?

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.

Flashback Friday

Flashback to July 2015 (seems only moments ago!) – and our EQ Doodles.  There are rumours that the first “quilt” below might be featured in a class at The Corner Patch in 2018…  fabric has been seen collecting itself into small heaps. And possibly the third “quilt” down too – it could fit the request for a class project that includes applique.  It might be time for a little caffeine first!

September 15 5September 15July 15 4February 15 8

Away from the desk

Too busy to post!  Chris has been diligently digging in her garden, removing decades years of ivy and crumbling sheds too numerous to mention.  A noble undertaking, and it will all look wonderful in due course, but it has been relentless effort.  (Chris wishes to point out that the neglect and crumbling are in no way her fault, taking on a new garden comes with it’s own trials and tribulations).  Barbara decided not to even start on the gardening concept and instead took off on her teaching travels – in the past couple of weeks she has seen spring in Oxfordshire



and is currently swanning around  in the Isle of Man talking about The Tentmakers of Cairo and teaching Hand Quilting




Barbara’s “always take some sewing” policy has really paid off on this trip across the Irish Sea – delays of various kinds on the outward journey meant that there was plenty of time to  make some progress with one of her ongoing projects



The Antique Rose Star block, of which the above is just a portion, is the focus for Barbara’s next evening session at The Corner Patch in April.  The session will be fully kitted and places are strictly limited – book now to avoid disappointment as they say – there has been an exceptional amount of interest in this block, which is very simple to stitch.

So, more digging in the parkland surrounding C&B Towers and perhaps a walk here for our Head of Rural Office –


 – we’ll be back soon!


One thing after another

We’ve reeled from computer emergencies to fabric emergencies this week. The computer emergency is ongoing and has shut down a complete department at C& B Towers and limited the IT scope of our Rural Office too. Fabric emergencies have been generated during all the cutting and stitching that seems to have filled our time while we await the resolution of the computer situation. Chris has begun and finished a full size quilt – so far only this glimpse is available

– designed and finished the sample for her next Machine Quilting class –

There have been several trips to The Corner Patch to find fabric ( who would have thought you could find fabric in a quilt shop!?) to rescue incomplete borders and backing and discover the need to acquire fabric for projects as yet unplanned – so much choice!






Barbara found one selection irresistible and now finds that a new quilt for The Grandson is imperative

Absence of computers = more stitching time for Barbara’s newest hand piecing project

Increasing the size of this sample will result in another fabric emergency as there are very limited supplies in this colour range in Barbara’s freshly-tidied and seriously reduced stash.
Dealing with all this stress and activity has taken its toll and our intake of this vital resource has increased considerably

Time to put the clocks back and enjoy the “extra” hour – and a lack of emergencies next week!