Did someone say “Sale”?

Where does the time go? I think it is true that time passes more quickly as you get older. I can remember those long summer holidays that went on for ever. Now I blink and a month has gone past.

I can hardly believe that I have been at The Corner Patch for 5 weeks now! I’ve done two shows, lots of “sit and sew” sessions and workshops, opened the shop specially to host a quilting group visit – and now I’m planning the arrival of the Christmas fabrics!

To make room for the Christmas stock we need to free up some space – and that means having a sale. Sale Day at The Corner Patch this year will be Saturday 6th July between 10 am and 5 pm. You will find plenty of our beautiful 100% cotton fabrics at less than half their previous marked price – so come along a grab a bargain.

Upstairs we will turn the workroom into a Christmas Wonderland – a room filled with  wonderful Christmas and winter fabrics so that you can make a start on all of your  Christmas projects and gifts. Make a note in your diary now!

It actually feels like a winter’s day here today too! We haven’t had rain all day, unlike the past few days, but it is still cold and grey. I have gone back to wearing long trousers, socks and shoes rather than cropped trousers and sandals I would expect to be wearing in June. Come back Summer – we haven’t finished with you yet!

It has been lovely to meet so many of you over the past few weeks. I am really enjoying the shop and beginning to feel more at home. I am still relying a lot on Caroline and Faith who help out in the shop – thank you both – and husband Alan, who has fetched and carried, mended and altered shop fittings and tried to keep the finances in order! I am just enjoying being surrounded by these gorgeous fabrics and playing at shops!

Hope to see you on sale day – or as soon as you can pay a visit to this little corner of patchwork heaven.


What a week it’s been!

It’s a whole week since I took over The Corner Patch – a little corner of patchwork heaven – and it has certainly been a memorable seven days.

Let me introduce myself; I am Janet Markwell and am the new owner of this lovely little patchwork and haberdashery shop in Eccleshall, Staffordshire.

Jane Alcock, who owned the shop for nearly seven years, reluctantly decided that she had to sell as she is now working full time for The Sewing Quarter. I called into the shop back in March and was so entranced by the fabulous range of fabrics that I began to think seriously about buying it. A few months later and the deed was done!

Jane handed over the keys just a week ago and since then we (that’s me and my husband, Alan – and I couldn’t have done it  without his help!) have been busy  sorting out what we’d got, moving a few things around and preparing for the opening event last Saturday. That was a brilliant day with many friends and customers popping in to say hello – and perhaps buying some fabric, because we can never have enough!

I had some lovely cards, flowers and even a present of a beautiful antique Singer sewing machine, which is now proudly displayed in the window. Thank you all for these and the many messages of good luck. It was lovely to have so many people saying how glad they are that the shop is staying open.

Do call and see me if you are in the area. If you live further afield, don’t forget the online shop at thecornerpatch.co.uk.

I will be spending time over the next week or so planning the programme of workshops and courses from September onwards and will put details on here and on the website as soon as I can.

Happy sewing!


Where has it gone?

This year is flying by, isn’t it? I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s July already.

Mind you, I am enjoying this lovely weather, are you? I know its a bit too warm for some and you don’t feel like doing much, but I do think it lightens peoples mood, we all seem more cheerful on the sunshine, don’t we.

July means Christmas here at the shop – I know – I’ve mentioned the ‘C’ word, but the fabrics are starting to arrive and there’s nothing like being prepared, is there?                     So to make room, we’re having a sale on the 7th July – it takes quite a bit of preparation and half of me wants to put it all into the sale and start again – sometimes I think it would be nice to have a blank slate and start again, but I’m not sure I would do anything differently!(maybe not order quite so much!)

We had our first Quilt Retreat last weekend – it was a lovely time – a lot of work and time went into preparing for it but we had such fun and everyone went home with some fabulous quilt tops finished or with ideas with how they were going to be. It’s a lovely feeling when something that you’ve thought about comes together and goes well. Everyone left asking if we were going to do it again – we’re looking at dates, so watch this space!

I’d better get back to sewing some of the Christmas samples, before the workshop get too hot …..

Stay cool until next time, Happy sewing x

Quilts shows and a bit of a mystery….

I was at The museum of Cannock Chase on Saturday, at the exhibition of crafts and quilts. It’s their third year of organising the show and it’s always fun. I love trading at local shows – I might not sell huge amounts, but I do get to chat to fellow quilters and fabric enthusiasts (and I do like a good chat!) We usually end up laughing about how much fabric we have and how we really don’t need anymore, but how we can’t resist this piece it will come in handy for something!

These shows are useful for me to get my shop ‘out there’, so visitors can see the sort of fabrics I stock and where abouts I am.

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I spend quite a lot of time before hand working out what to take and worrying about whether I will have what people want. I usually end up taking too much stuff and then spend too much time arranging and re-arranging and fretting that it doesn’t look very good.

It was a very successful day and lovely to see old customers and new.

Chris Franses is a great friend to me, she is supportive and encouraging, a really blessing. She teaches at the shop as well as writing and designing patterns for the patchwork and quilting magazines. Chris has her own website meadowside-designs, where she sells her patterns and writes her blog. During the Summer she is hosting a ‘mystery quilt’ sew-along. Each week she will post a different part of a quilt, for you to sew along with. I’m going to join in (because I don’t have enough to do!)

If you pop over to her site the needs list has been posted – here’s my choice – I’m really looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

My fabrics for the Meadoeside Mystery

I hope you’ll join in, I’d love to see how you get on – I’ll be posting my progress (I just hope I can keep up!)

Until next time                                                                                                                                         Happy sewing                                                                                                                                              Jane x



Feeling topsy turvy….

everything feels a bit upside down and inside out at the moment!

I’m not sure why but I don’t seem to able to stick to one project at the time – is it because there is so much to do I wonder?

It could also be that the shop is starting to fill up with Christmas fabrics and I have started to make samples of the advent calendars…Makower Advent Stockings

We will be having a sale on Saturday 7th July to make room for all this gorgeous Christmas fabric – so put the date in your diary, there will be lots of bargains.

My head is full of ideas for quilt designs but I don’t seem to have time to get anything down on paper, never mind sew anything.

At home everything is in a jumble because we’re having a new hall floor laid, which means we need to redecorate, don’t we! I say we it’s all fallen to Glen to do, all I had to do was choose the colours (such hardship!) Why is it that when you decorate one area it makes everywhere else messy too? I’m not the tidiest of person at the best of times but there seems to be even more stuff everywhere – I know it will be OK when it’s all done but at the moment it’s not helping!

I think I just need to concentrate on one thing at a time and stay calm, but sometimes it easier said than done, isn’t it?

Wishing you a calm and fulfilling time,                                                                                             Jane x

Hello again

I’m finding it difficult to believe that I haven’t written anything here for nearly a year!

Where have I been?, all over the place physically and spiritually.

Life has been hectic, tiring, frustrating and fabulous, mostly all at the same time and no different to anyone elses, I don’t suppose.

I’m still working on The Sewing Quarter, which is an education in itself. I have learn new skill to pass onto viewers. Sometimes the time frame for projects has been a bit short and I have worked into the night to get stuff finished and my Mum has been a great help.

I have celebrated 5 years of having The Corner Patch (and celebrated being 50), I’m so blessed to be able to do what I love, I meet lovely people and get to work with beautiful fabrics. We filled the church with gorgeous quilts and raised over £3600 which we divided between the Church and The Autistic Society.


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Eccleshall Church looking fabulous festooned with quilts

We’re hoping to it all again next year, so keep November 2019 free 🙂

We still have a fabulous range of classes and workshops, thanks to Chris Franses, Barbara Chainey and Tracy and we are doing our first Quilting Retreat in June (22nd-24th) with Chris and Barbara, which is exciting, there are still a few places if you’re interested, just give me a ring.

Anyway, just a quick post to let you know I’m still here – I’ve pledged to try to be a bit more regular (I’m not sure that’s grammatically correct!) with my posts, I promise it won’t be nearly a year before we chat again.

Until next time,                                                                                                                                        Happy sewing,                                                                                                                                         Jane x


As seen on TV

a few weeks ago I answered an e-mail asking if I’d like to be a guest presenter on a shopping channel called the ‘Sewing Quarter’ – I thought ‘why not’ and so I went to Birmingham and did a screen test. And today I found myself on the other side of the camera demonstrating how to make a mini quilt pattern.                                                            It was a thrilling experience, everyone was really welcoming and so helpful and friendly, I had a lovely day (even if I did have t get up at 4 this morning!)

Now I’m back at home, it all feels a little surreal.

I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity and on reflection today wouldn’t of happened if I hadn’t decide to take on the shop. It is a decision that some days I wonder why I did it! It’s hard work having your own business, every day wondering if anyone will come to the shop, will they like the fabrics I’ve chosen, will they want to attend the workshops we’ve decided to put on? But I love it! I love being able to work with the beautiful fabrics, meeting very talented patchwork and quilters, being inspired by them and helping them to create fabulous quilts, sharing the love of needlecraft with the young stitchers.

So really I have to thank all of you for letting me do what I do, because without you I wouldn’t have a shop, I wouldn’t have started teaching and I wouldn’t have appeared on television today.

Opportunities don’t come along very often – I’m a great believer in going for it. Life is for living!

Sometimes that gets me into trouble but mostly it takes me on amazing adventures like today.

So have a lovely weekend, enjoy the sunshine and have fun!

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