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.
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.
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!)
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…
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?
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!
The preparation area
Behind the scenes
Myself with the absolutely lovely presenter John Scott
anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely say ‘no’. This can lead to all kinds of adventure (and stress!). So when a lady got in touch with me at the beginning of the year and asked if their sewing group could come and visit, I of course said ‘yes’. I didn’t think how 30 ladies would fit into the shop, I moved everything around upstairs, made some cupcakes and asked Mum & Glen for a helping hand and the ladies came, and had a lovely time, shopping and chatting.
So, I was delighted, when Joyce got in touch again and asked if the ‘Sewing Divas’ could come again. I made mince pies & shortbread this time, and once again moved the tables around in the workshop upstairs.
It’s a squeeze, if you’ve been to my shop you will know that it’s not very big (usually six people find it difficult to move around!), but these ladies enjoyed themselves and with good humour and patience had a great time, browsing the fabrics, enjoying some retail therapy, chatting and drinking tea (even sitting outside).
They left with happy smiles and promises to see me again next year.
Thank you ladies for choosing my shop and making a Monday morning full of fun.
So now I can say ‘Coach parties welcome’ – so if your sewing group fancies a day out, you know where to come 🙂
I celebrated the shop’s 4th birthday on Saturday, I know four years! Where has the time gone? It feels like only yesterday that I took the shop over from Alison but at the same time I feel as if I’ve always been there.
There are so many people to thank – my mum and Glen for their continued support and encouragement, listening to my doubt and worries. Chris Franses and Barbara Chainey for their expertise, not only teaching but with 30+ years each of experience in the patchwork & quilting world, there isn’t much they don’t know. Tracy,who I have said before is the shop support system, teaching and looking after the shop when I have a holiday or take The Corner Patch on the road. Caroline & Ruth who help out in the shop and encourage me to keep going.
But the biggest ‘thank you’ goes to you – my lovely customers, who frequent the shop, attend workshops and classes.Give me great feed-back about the gorgeous fabrics we have in stock and the classes that you’d like to see. I feel truly blessed to be able to do what I do and I can only be grateful to you for your continued support and your shared love of patchwork, quilting and fabric.
Thank you for supporting our sale day – the raffle raised £60 for The Autistic Society.
Eccleshall is suffering at the moment (as are many High Streets) we seem to have more than our fair share of road closures and the closure of the bank seems to be taking it’s toll. But we know the roadworks and disruptions won’t last forever, the new houses being built will bring new customer to the shops and it’s nearly Christmas, so please continue to give your support to the small independent shops wherever you are; you’ll always get expert advise and friendly service.