Free Delivery over £50
Workshops & Courses
'In Stitches' October/November 2023
QUORN COUNTRY CRAFTS
‘In Stitches’ NewsletterOctober/November 2023
Definitely a shift in the temperature; we seem to have swopped sandals for boots, and the central heating has been switched on. Perfect for the cooler days, we have just received a delivery of more flannel fabrics, still 100% cotton but beautifully brushed and oh so cozy. The colours evoke warmth too, imagine caramel, chestnut, cinnamon….all beginning with C, just like Cosy Christmas. Sorry, we won’t focus too much on the festive event but remember, if you start your projects early, hopefully there won’t be the last minute panic!!!!
Moving on swiftly, we have more exciting news, Tim has now joined us replacing the retirees, hard acts to follow but one he is more than capable of. Many of you will know him from either the sampler quilt course or as our very patient and experienced software tutor. This software is for the embroidery machines and Tim shows a route through the intricacies, week by week, giving both knowledge and confidence. The people on his workshops are achieving amazing results and we all look forward to seeing the stitch-outs they do at home at ‘show and tell’ on their following lesson. Tim is such a welcome addition to our team, we hope he is very happy working with us…..we are quite an easy bunch really!!! Pop in any Tuesday or Wednesday to say hello.
'In Stitches' October/ November 2023 Part 2
East Leake Parish Council are planning a spectacular display for Remembrance Day with the Knit-a-Poppy Appeal. To help remember the fallen and your own loved ones there will be a big, knitted poppy display in East Leake during November 2023. The ‘Knit & Natter’ group who meet at the Parish Office every Tuesday morning have been hard at work for a while now and currently have hundreds of knitted poppies, but there is still a way to go to make this display truly spectacular. Therefore, we need you to help us make as many red poppies as we can; at home, with friends, or as part of a community group, and bring them into the Parish Office where we will keep them safe. Alternatively, you can drop them off with us. We have free patterns, and if you visit the Parish Council’s website, there are more patterns for both knitting and crochet available to download. The Knit and Natter group also have available some donated, red dk yarn for you to use. Get out your knitting pins and your poppies will be part of a wonderful village display. We have also been very lucky to have a sneak preview of the knitted Post Box topper which will also be in place…it is spectacular. The lady concerned has created an amazing piece of work, totally fabulous!
October brings another exhibition, the Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace in London. A beautiful venue, the show is over four days,
5th-8th October. Bringing together hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, interactive features, professionally curated textile art galleries, as well as over 200 of the leading specialist craft suppliers – join us for a wonderfully creative day out!
KISA, illustrated, is part of a new collection of Japanese fabrics. You only have to feel them to recognise the quality. Colors are deep and rich with additional designs depicting flowers, butterflies and dragonflies plus others inspired by Sashiko quilting.
This is our current favourite collection…….
'In Stitches' October/November 2023 Part 3
We have a free pattern available for the wreath pictured aside. Obviously, this is one you can use year after year and it is so easy to make. You need one ball of our gorgeous Tufty yarn, 10mm kitting pins, a 35cm polystyrene half ring, scraps of feltand bits’n’bobs.
The knitting is easy, it is straight forward knit stitch, and the rest is equally simple. Ours is knitted in silver grey but there are other colours to choose from including white and green.
COMING SOON from Lynette Anderson, ‘Good Boy and Kitty’. Lynette says there are twenty-five playful prints featuring doggies and kitty cats enjoying the garden, indulging in tea parties, chewing bones and lying on comfy beds made from quilts. Pretty multi-print florals, checks, subtle tonal flowers and footprints in shades of blues, rose pinks, mauves, moss greens and mustard for you to enjoy using in quilts, cushions, home décor and clothing. We are great fans of Lynette’s fabrics and this collection will blend in with her previous collections making your fabrics completely timeless. This collection is due early December, just in time……
'In Stitches' October/November 2023 Part 4
NEW Chunky yarn from Sirdar
Jewelspun With Wool is a cosy, self-striping, lightweight, machine-washable wool blend. The stripes appear as you knit, in the direction of your rows, and will appear narrower in a circular knit than in a pieced design. Sirdar Jewelspun With Wool has incredible meterage too; you can make a cosy hat and generous co-ordinating snood with just one ball.
What's it like to work with? This soft, irresistibly squishy yarn is lovely to work with. Sirdar Jewelspun With Wool knits up quickly and adds effortless stripes to simple stitches and depth to textured stitch patterns.
What is it best for? Perfect for cosy quick knit autumn layers, winter sweaters, scarves and blankets and for adding definition and drama to textured stitches. We also have new patterns for this yarn and of course, it will knit to your favourite chunky knit patterns.
We are working really hard to bring you more of our own, Buttonwood Makes, kits and patterns and they will be appearing throughout November. We are also bringing in some new kits for both children and grown-ups covering patchwork and quilting, knitting & crochet, needlefelting, cross-stitch & embroidery and basic sewing projects, just in time for Christmas. We shall also be feauturing gifts for crafters, perfect to put on your wish list or to buy for your friends and family. I think we must be very easy to buy for, there is always something lovely you can pick up for a creative friend, be it a selection of threads, book or pattern, bundle of delicious fabric or a very useful gadget. We also have more novelty items too. Problem solved!
Launched on October 1st, Hibernation by Tilda; I think it is her most gorgeous collection of many years. Sleeping animals & nature motifs is the theme for this year’s Tilda autumn & winter collection, Hibernation. The fabric designs are inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement with lighter elements on a dark background and a layered look, perfect for autumn and winter projects. Dusty colours such as nutty browns, hibiscus reds, blues and sage give the collection a timeless, vintage look. Get ready for your own Hibernation feeling, safe and warm under lush quilts with designs including the Slumbermouse, Sleepybird and Squireldreams. The simple Hibernation blenders with eucalyptus and olive branches perfectly complement the main collection.
Wishing you Happy Stitching, Knitting, Crafting…..whatever you may wish to do, have a gentle time X
Quorn Country Crafts, Parkside Works, East Leake, Leicestershire LE12 6JG
Tel: 01509 211604 www.quorncountrycrafts.co.uk
In Stitches Newsletter August/September Part 1
With the spectacular colours of Autumn just around the corner, we are looking forward to lovely warm days
and hopefully, a little less rain. It is always a lovely season, beginning new hobbies, maybe knitting
gorgeous aran cushions and throws to make the house cosy this winter, or sewing a comforting quilt for the
sofa. Hopefully, we have lots to inspire you. The workshop list which runs from September to
the end of 2023 is available in the shop and on our website; there are lots of opportunities to learn a new,
absorbing skill even if you have not used a sewing machine or picked up a crochet hook in years. Come
and join us!
Firstly, we have very important news, there are going to be two retirements from Quorn Country
Crafts in the next few weeks. Both ladies have been with us for many years and helped with the
transition when we moved here from Loughborough. Even though they both now only work one day each
per week, they will be greatly missed. We wish them much love, and are sure their additional day will be
filled very quickly. To help plug the gaps, Becky is returning from maternity leave and looking forward to
‘adult conversation’ after being at home with three little boys. Hopefully, we will be able to oblige.
We have just returned from a successful four days at
The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. It was lovely to see people
that we only have the opportunity to connect with once a year, and of
course we were chatting about how things change. As we have been
doing this show for twenty years, I must find a photograph of year one, to
see how much we have changed too. It is always lovely to be surrounded
by beautiful quilts and crafts. There were a couple of contencious
decisions regarding the winning quilts and it was interesting to hear the comments as they were displayed
opposite our stand. The quilt that won the Novice Category was the one that received much attention. We
overheard a judge explaining to a group of quilters exactly what the criteria was; they were not convinced. It
is encouraging that we get so passionate about our craft. There was the absence of European stallholders
and visitors due to the trading complications, and the ladies from Ireland were bemoaning the fact that
many shops such as ours are closing down as the cost of bringing in fabric has increased drastically.
I don’t think there has ever been an exhibition where we had so many conversations about politics! At the
end of the day, we all agreed that we are lucky to have such an absorbing and rewarding hobby. I must
share; a lady was chatting telling us that she had twenty-two sewing machines at home. Number twenty-
three is being delivered this week. Another customer giving into the tempation of a Pfaff Performance Icon.
In Stitches August/September Part 2
Christmas is coming. Sorry to bring up the subject if it offends,
but we are well over half way there and soon people
will be telling us how many shopping days we have left. I’m not going to
say how many sewing days we have left, I just know that it is
We have already had Christmas in June workshops, and are selling
many Christmas kits including a Woodland Frost quilt kit.
There will be more of both Advent Calendar and Christmas Stocking kits
and panels available by the first week in
September, and we have plans for new Festive themed kits in
the next few weeks including Christmas Bunting.
There are also Christmas workshops and obviously amazing Christmas
fabrics, books and patterns now in stock.
There will be a display on our first floor landing after the August bank
holiday showing plenty of ideas for you to be creative.
As you are probably aware, we run Sampler Quilt
courses throughout the year which you can tailor
to your own requirements. This course covers all sorts
of techniques, from choosing fabrics, using rotary
cutting equipment, and then on to the varied ways of
completing your patchwork blocks. We use templates,
cover machine applique, foundation piecing, seminole
patchwork, stained glass applique etc. etc. You can
make a quilt any size you wish and we will then cover
the quilting itself and the binding. Everyone works at
their own pace and the course continues to run in 2024,
so there is no pressure if life gets busy and you have
less time to sew. This is a perfect course for both
beginners or someone wishing to refresh their skills.
Full details are available in the shop and on the website
and new courses begin in September.
In Stitches August/September Part 3
Homespun Prism DK from King Cole eWe are thrilled to unveil the latest addition to
the esteemed Homespun family of yarns – Homespun Prism DK. Crafted with a delightful blend
that includes Fine Merino Superwash and Alpaca, this yarn embodies the perfect balance of luxury
and durability. If you are a passionate knitter, this yarn unlocks a world of colourful
possibilities. What sets Homespun Prism DK apart is its stunning variegated shades that evoke
the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. With six mesmerising colour ways inspired by nature, this yarn
brings a touch of enchantment to every stitch. To further ignite your creativity, there are exquisite
patterns specifically designed for Homespun Prism DK. From elegant women’s cardigans to cosy
jumpers, you can create garments that exude timeless charm.
Finally, we have
begun to make our new Block of the Month, Heartfelt
Home, which will not now be released until the Autumn.
Even though the ideas have come thick and fast, it is taking time.
I knew I wanted a house at the centre but seem to have designed a
village! The quilt will be a mixture of patchwork, applique and simple
hand embroidery, and we will let you know how it is progressing.
There will also be optional designs included that you can choose as
alternatives, to make this quilt uniquely yours.
JUST ARRIVED…Adorable new fabric collection Woodland,
designed by Susan Wheeler, depicting hedgehogs, rabbits, cow
parsley, thrushes, berries, bees and dragonflies. Very English countryside and very
beautiful. Also by the same designer is Canines & Felines. All of these fabrics were selling
as we were unpacking them and I am hoping for a repeat delivery soon as they won’t last long.
Wishing you Happy Stitching, Knitting, Crafting…..whatever you may wish to do, have a
gentle time X P.S. Don’t forget our new Learn to Crochet classes begin again in September
QUORN COUNTRY CRAFTS‘In Stitches’ Newsletter December 2022 / January 2023
Definitely time to get cosy, a perfect evening can be spent hand sewing binding onto a quilt, as you are snuggled and warm. Quilts and throws are definitely going to be popular gifts this year, whether made from cotton, brushed flannel, or knitted in chunky yarn.
We can turn the heating down a notch and not notice at all!
Lots of news for you, many may have heard that we have a new addition to the family, not the destructive bundle of fun that is our Cockerpoo, but Toby, Dan and Becky’s third boy, who arrived safely on November 21st. They are all doing so well, and the little/big brothers were beyond excited, but the reality of a tiny baby that can’t join in has been a reality check….and they are amazed that he has no teeth and therefore can’t have a MacDonalds! What a joy.
The observant amongst you may have noticed that the other Becky does not appear to be doing many workshops on the new program, in fact she only appears as a guest tutor. This is because she has been offered an amazing job that will fit in around her children and give opportunities for future progression too. No more weekend working, well not much, but she will continue to run classes on the embroidery machines and special Pfaff Icon tuition too. This has been a huge decision; Becky has worked with us since she was a Saturday girl when still at school, so without giving too much away, that is twenty years plus. We will miss her dearly, but as she is only around the corner, hopefully not too much!
Lilly Rose Designs. We were excited to welcome these patterns into the shop last month and
they have been a huge success. This collectable family of beautiful, characterful animals, live
in Apple Blossom Wood, are all suitably dressed, as you would expect, in traditional country clothes.
Claire designs and makes these felt animals and their attire herself and they are a credit to her; the
quality is better than many we have seen over the years. Periodically, Claire will have displays of the
entire family in the shop together with their woodland surroundings, so keep an eye out for the dates
and come along to meet them. Also, due to customer requests, we will be running classes with Claire
teaching, to make these animals and their clothes. If you have already bought a pattern, come along
and with Claire’s guidance, hints and tips, you will soon begin a woodland family of your own. The
clothes themselves are exquisite and you will also learn many tailoring techniques, in miniature of
course. If you have not bought a pattern, they will all be available for you to choose in the shop
before the workshop as they are now a popular stock item.
As you would expect, we are experiencing price rises from our suppliers, and notification of
future price rises. We do however, have a reasonable stock of most models of Pfaff sewing
machines so at the moment we can hold the price. We also have a few ex-display models available,
some of which have only been taken out of the box for photographic purposes, and these are at a
reduced price too, so there are still bargains available. Please call in or contact us by telephone or e-
mail for more details.
Kits. One of our favourite pastimes is making kits and patterns for you. As our Christmas, in
terms of projects for the shop, is coming to a close, we are working on fresh ideas and have launched
three new kits today which were successful workshops in the past few weeks. There are also two
new candlewick kits which will be available in the shop and on the website in the next couple of days,
and we have plans for more in the next couple of weeks. The candlewick kits make very elegant
cushions; cream embroidery on cream fabric, lovely for a bedroom or a very clean house with no
children, pets or chocolate, although they are machine washable. Lovely to make and relatively quick
Lynette Anderson fabrics. We are eagerly waiting for Lynette’s latest collection, ‘Botanicals’,
due to arrive November/December, but I have heard today that there is a delay. Apparently,
there was a very slight issue with one of the shades and Lynette understandably, refused to sign off
the collection for printing. This has now been resolved and the fabric is due to be shipped any day so,
delivery will now be approximately 6-8 weeks; it’s a long voyage from the distributor in New Zealand.
We have a Block of the Month planned for this range of fabrics so that will hopefully now be launched
around Easter time. Lynette has worked with her usual colour palette, and has added a
soft yellow giving the collection a glorious springtime feel. We are looking forward to unpacking it as
soon as possible. These things are disappointing as we were hoping to offer the Block of the Month
in January but it is more important that everything is of the best possible quality. I think maybe the
covid lockdowns have taught us to be patient.
I cannot remember the last time I picked up a cross-stitch kit, it seems a very long time ago.
We had a delivery from The Historical Sampler Company, and the designs are lovely. Not just
the traditional samplers that I love, but some very jolly, quite modern designs and I was inspired. The
kits come beautifully packaged for gifts, and it is also nice to treat yourself to something lovely
occasionally. I have actually started a Christmas design, to be completed by Christmas next year I
hasten to add, and I have my eye on the next project too. They are a joy to stitch, uncomplicated, and
the fabrics and embroidery threads are of a very good quality. All you need to do is open the pack,
thread the needle and you are ready to stitch, it’s perfect. I am really thoroughly enjoying cross-
stitching again, and finding it very relaxing.
We are managing to keep up with the demand for yarn, and are lucky to be having weekly
deliveries, as so many people are knitting again. Understandably, the aran and chunky yarns
are extremely popluar and it is not just for jumpers and scarves, people are knitting throws, blankets,
cushions and even hot water bottle covers. They all make your home look and feel really cosy.
Maybe turning the heating down a few degrees and cuddling up under a blanket or quilt will become
normal again. The conversations we are having….
‘Do you remember when there was so much condensation on the inside of the bedroom windows,
and you could see your breath in the mornings? Getting dressed in bed, or in front of the fire,
stubbing your toe on the pot hot water bottles in the night?’ This really does show our age, but it
wasn’t that bad was it? We will need the quilts and blankets if we have power cuts, I wonder what the
teenagers will make of it? I imagine as long as their phones are charged up, they will be fine.
I’m sure, knitting by candlelight is totally possible too.
Project Linus Just to let you know that we are still collecting quilts for this extremely good
cause. The new representative for our area lives in Ashby and she is happy to collect quilts
from us. Drop them in anytime, they are really needed. If you would like more details of suitable sizes
etc., please look on the Project Linus UK webpage or contact us and I am sure we can help.
From January 2023, we will be closing on a Thursday. This is mainly to enable us to catch up
on some everyday things so we can spend more time on a Sunday with family and friends. We
are fortunate to love what we do, but it is a very, very full-time job and we are not getting any
younger. Time is precious and we want to spend this time with the family and grandchildren whilst
they still want to spend time with us! We do hope you understand, and that it does not
inconvenience anyone. It has not been an easy decision; we have opened six days a
week for over twenty-five years, and maybe it will be viewed as not the most sensible
thing to do in this economic climate, but as a family we have decided to prioritise,
and I am sure we are doing the right thing.
Christmas opening hours. We are closed Saturday 24 th December through Christmas and New
Year, re-opening on Tuesday 3 rd January 2023, for a nice long break, ready to come back,
fully re-charged and enthusiastic for new challenges, with lots of new ideas.
We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and happy 2023. Thank you for
continuing to support our small business, it means such a lot to us all.
QUORN COUNTRY CRAFTS
‘In Stitches’ Newsletter Autumn 2022
Today it feels slightly more that Autumn is around the corner, but what a summer of sunshine we have had. Maybe too much heat at times, and the gardens have looked very parched, but it has been wonderful to enjoy being outdoors into the evenings, extending the day, and the light has been perfect to stitch by. As many of us have enjoyed time at home and are still a little reluctant to book a holiday abroad, we have been very lucky. We have enjoyed bucket and spade adventures on the almost deserted, beautiful beaches of Lincolnshire with the grandchildren. It reminds us of all the places we would like to discover here in the UK, without the hours spent at airports. If we could be guaranteed the weather, would we be tempted to book a staycation? I think so.
I know we are always working one season ahead, and we have been planning Christmas workshops for some time now, however, Autumn can be almost missed. Glorious colours and the thought of getting our homes all cosy and comfortable, there are so many possibilities presented to us. I am currently making an Autumn wreath to hang over the fireplace using glorious reds, golds, greens and browns, and there will have to be a new quilt to co-ordinate. Flannel, or brushed wool cotton, is so warm, perfect to snuggle up with. Add a hot drink, and maybe a bar of chocolate…perfect, although, be careful not to get chocolate on your sewing!
PFAFF 160th Anniversary For 160 years, PFAFF has developed premium sewing machines distinguished by their sophisticated appearance, superior performance and exhibiting ultimate design freedom. To mark this milestone, Pfaff have launched two new sewing machines, one of which is also an embroidery machine. These anniversary models also come with an additional set of five presser feet worth over £100, a five-year warranty and free tuition. Now is a great time to buy, celebrating 160 years of Pfaff reliability.
Talking of history, Prym has long been synonymous with quality. It also supplies a ‘pretty’ range of haberdashery and tools for our hobby, and who does not like to work with lovely, co-ordinated, superior equipment. That is the Prym Love range. What we were not aware of is that Prym is one of Germany’s oldest family-owned businesses, with a reputation for high-quality metal products, from sewing needles to electronic components for the automotive industry. Prym produces around 15 million press fasteners every day…..how many????? Some 3,300 people work for Prym around the globe and over the years, the company has extended its range of sewing and craft products as well as accessories for the apparel industry. We now have a dedicated Prym stand with new products being added every couple of months. Have you seen the Poppa’s, or the Tassel Maker? How did we manage without these essential gadgets? We will be using the products on some of our workshops, so you can see just how good they are for yourselves.
We are also having a Prize Draw for a Prym Organiser box and Prym goodies worth over £100.
All you have to do is visit the shop or the website and make sure you are on our mailing list. Closing date October 16th
It's the little things….I have just finished machine quilting a Christmas quilt with metallic thread and not one twisted, shredded or broken thread, I love my new Pfaff! If that was not enough to make my day, that evening when hand sewing the binding, I thought I had another complete side to stitch but no, I was already on the final leg. What a result! Sometimes it feels as if my quilts have six sides. I think I’ll round it all off by buying a lottery ticket, see if my luck is holding.
Lynette Anderson is one of our favourite designers and we have her three latest fabric collections in stock including this year’s Christmas, ‘Three Wise Penguins’. So far, I have only made a winter quilt, pattern will be available from October, and I’m working on a couple of Redwork designs, plus a stitchery door banner. Those of you who know Lynette’s colour palette, will appreciate that although there is a Christmas theme on a few fabrics, the rest are her rock-solid, beautiful basics which are so easy to use all year around. The ‘Garden of Flowers’ collection is delightful. Birds, bees and a glorious carpet of flowers are the theme for these fabrics, and there are twenty-four co-ordinating prints in shades of dusky pink, heavenly blues, plus evening hues of mauves, greys and warm creams. Lots of fussy cutting opportunities for English Paper Piecing in this collection. The next delivery from Lynette will not be until November/December and is called Botanicals, which will inspire you to bring the outside indoors, perfect for cheering us through the Winter.
This leads me nicely to our popular subject of Paper Piecing. It is no surprise that Gill’s Block of the Month has been so well received and have we have just taken delivery of many more paper piecing packs. If you are looking for a new hobby, or fancy having a go at some sociable hand sewing, this could be just the thing for you. Easy, portable, and creative, what’s not to like? We have many samples in the shop and also a free instruction sheet….you can get lots of shapes from a fat quarter of fabric and it is also a great way to use up your scraps. I’m not suggesting that you might want to make a pair of curtains, or anything that large, but if you are looking for inspiration, I suggest you put Lucy M. Boston (1892-1900) into your search engine. She designed and made approximately twenty amazing patchwork quilts during her long life; however, she is most famous as the author of the Green Knowe children’s books, the setting for which was based on her old manor house Hemingford Grey in Cambridgeshire. If you get the chance to arrange a visit to her house, you will see many of her quilts, and curtains, plus the nursery, music room, scullery etc. are all fascinating, as are the beautiful and outstanding gardens, also created by Lucy. We were lucky enough to be taken around the house by her daughter-in-law, who told us lots of stories about Lucy’s life. A day out we can really recommend. I wonder where our quilts will be in a hundred years.
I’ve had several enquiries about how my temperature quilt is getting on…. and I’m not going to lie, not as well as I wished as I am only up to the end of February! I have my list of daily temperatures in East Leake, minimum and maximum, on the computer, but it has become one of those UFO’s that haunts me daily. Fortunately, I put fabrics aside so running out won’t be an issue, but I’ve had to increase the collection as my predicted temperature range for 2022 was wrong, I had not anticipated needing shades for 42 degrees! It will be completed; I would like to catch up as soon as possible. My weakness is being tempted by new fabric collections, my excuse is, as always, having too much to do…..maybe a new year’s resolution around self-discipline would be a good idea.
JANOME always have an Autumn promotion, this one begins in the shop on September 5th and runs until 31st December, subject to stock availability. Call in and pick up a brochure for full details.
NEW TITLES have just been released by David & Charles, and Search Press. Lovely books for beginners to quilting, embroidery, knitting and crochet, plus more ideas for patchwork and applique. There are lots of projects to give as gifts, and now is the perfect time to begin.
NEW HIGHLAND TARTAN LINEN FABRICS due shortly. These are digitally printed, cotton rich fabrics perfect for home décor and there will be new kits using these fabrics.
WINTER KNITTING & CROCHET. Why not make a cosy throw, a draught excluder, water bottle cover or a set of cushions? If you use an Aran Weight, chunky or even super chunky yarn, you will be surprised how quickly you can create these. Scarves and cowls are great gifts, and you can pair them up with gloves. Knitting socks is still as popular as ever and once you have worn a pair of hand knitted socks, there is no going back!
We have got this far without mentioning the crisis of poverty which can only get worse this Winter. Maybe we can help. Quilts for Project Linus, knitted blankets for Age UK and other charities, Draught Excluders and Twiddle Muffs are also well received. Knitting for the Homeless is so important, the charities appreciate hats, scarves, mittens, and socks. Sadly, homeless people tend to be outcasts. It’s far too easy for them to believe they are no longer worth anything because they don’t have a job or can’t work. When you knit for homeless people, you don’t just keep them warm, you let them know that they do have value and they are worth keeping warm. A basic ribbed hat works wonderfully because they stretch well. Some individuals will wear two hats on the extra cold nights, so that extra stretch is really helpful, as is knitting hats a little bit larger.
Local food banks will also welcome donations of quilts and garments, and in family shelters babies and children can find themselves in a homeless situation. Bright colours are perfect for children, but darker shades are more practical for folk living on the streets. ‘Every Child Warm’ is a policy by The Salvation Army and in addition to providing help to people here at home, they are also supporting the people of Ukraine. We have a local centre in Loughborough who happily receive your donations. The list is endless, if you look on the internet, you will find details, suggestions, and downloadable patterns. We will print patterns in the shop and if you are not sure where to take your donations, please drop them off with us and we will ensure they get where they are needed. Thank you X
In Stitches newsletter part 4
TO BRING A SMILE…….“The quilter died and went up to the Pearly Gates. There, she was faced with a choice: she had lived her life so that she could either go to Heaven, or Hell – her choice. She was pretty sure this would have all been decided by now, and she was pretty sure where she wanted to go, but she was also a very curious quilter. She asked Saint Peter if she could just take a look at what might be awaiting her in Hell. They entered a huge room with tables and chairs. There were quite a few pleasant looking quilters sitting everywhere, but it was what was in the middle of each table that caught her attention: a wonderful huge pile of fabric. She thought she’d died and gone to Heaven!!! She made up her mind on the spot and turned to Saint Peter: “I know that Heaven is probably very nice, but I’ve decided that I want to stay here, thank you.” As the door closed quietly behind him for all eternity, everyone at the tables turned to her with a smile on their faces and said, with one voice: “Did you bring the needles?” Reference: https://singingquilter.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/quilting-jokes/
'In Stitches' Newsletter June/July 2022
Well, the Jubilee was an absolute triumph. Lots of people getting together with family, friends and neighbours, and for many, this was such a welcome event after the last couple of years. Bunting brightening up the streets and houses, and even the unpredictable weather did not dampen spirits. We hope that you had a good time celebrating, whatever you did.
Nothing says Summer quite like Tilda. This is a fabric brand founded by Norwegian designer Tone Finnanger in 1999, best known for whimsical naive characters and charming fabric design. There is a certain attitude to life in Tilda’s world, whimsical and romantic, like a ball gown worn with wellies – perfectly imperfect! The new collection is called Chic Escape, inspired by how Tone spent her time during lockdown. This rather chic escape was following charming people that have left their old lives behind to restore derelict French chateaus, on YouTube. Starting their days knee deep in mud because of a leak and ending it with a cocktail party. Spending an uncommon amount of time in their dressing gowns often paired with wellies,(I suppose their dressingrooms are just too far away) and flanked by a peacock while tackling obstacles like a bathtub falling through the floor. Trips to local flea markets (brocants), always on the lookout for vintage pottery, fabric and furniture to bring these vast buildings to life. Chic Escape is inspired by brave people saving and bringing life back to old forgotten homes, and all our shared interests in vintage fabric, pottery and flowers.
There are free patterns available and we are having a Tilda weekend soon with lots of projects available. Join us for two days of uninterrupted sewing, and food! Contact us for details. The new collection is now available in the shop & on our website.
'In Stitches' Newsletter June/July 2022 cont
If you haven’t visited us recently, you will be pleased to see all of our new fabric collections, we have had so much fabric delivered over the last two weeks, it was a struggle to know where to put it,but we managed & as a result, even more fabrics were reduced and added to our Sale Range downstairs.
Knitting & Crochet is often thought of as a Winter hobby, in fact when we first began selling hand knitting yarns many years ago, we were told by our suppliers that April to September were ‘quiet times’. Fortunately, we have never found that to be the case. Babies are born all year round and they need, beautiful hand knitted cardigans, shawls and blankets, and some jumpers can take many weeks or months to complete, so if you want an aran throw for your sofa or a chunky cardy to keep you warm this Winter, maybe now if the time to begin. Many of our customers knit fifty-two weeks a year. This year has been very busy with lots of knitted and crocheted bunting, queens, corgis and more to decorate our villages. There is always a reason to pick up your needles.
Apologies, firstly for the delay in releasing our latest Block of the Month, this has been unavoidable, but we hope to have full details for you by June 14th. I know many of you have expressed an interest; this Paper-Pieced Project is perfect for a little stitching whilst sitting in the garden, ignoring the weeds!
Our second apology is for the cancellation of some workshops during May and June, Again this has been unavoidable due to staff illness and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. We are trying the re-arrange the dates for August/September and full details will be available during July.
We are eagerly awaiting the Winter collection from Lynette Anderson, Three Wise Penguins. Lynette has cleverly co-ordinated prints to combine with her instantly recognisable reindeer who in this collection are dancing in the breeze on a garland of bells. The three wise penguins who are each carrying a gift, the boughs of holly, Santa stockings and scattered star prints are in lovely festive shades of reds and greens. Decorate your home this coming festive season with some unique projects, Winter quilts, pillows and more. This collection is expected to be delivered towards the end of June, early July. (We are getting used to unpredictable dates). There will be lots of projects for you too. I know it is early to mention the ‘C’ word,Christmas,but it is good to make an early start. I promise myself every year that I will be better organised next year…this means I have no excuse! There will also be lots more Christmas themed fabrics, patterns & books arriving this Summer.
Thank you for continuing to support us and thereby supporting your local community. It is no secret that it has been a tricky time for small, independent retailers such as ourselves, and the pandemic drove more people to use the internet, but it is encouraging to see you coming back through the door and booking on our workshops. We are proud to be part of the ‘Support Your Local Business Group’,and we are happy to include this small paragraph to promote and remind you that local businesses endeavour to offer a personal service with ongoing encouragement and support. If town and village centres are to thrive commercially,small businesses need your patronage. Remember, we do not just sell you something in a box and wave goodbye,we hope to share,help and support you on your journey. Without customers, none of us would be here and that would be such a shame. Call and see us,have a browse and visit the other lovely local shops in the village. Have a coffee at one of the super cafes and maybe a stroll over the Meadows. You can call in to the local farm butchers, greengrocer and florist. We are also lucky to still have a Post Office!
The car park is free all day so you don’t have to clock-watch, and the adjacent park is great fun for children. We are lucky to be part of a thriving community in this lovely village of East Leake.
We are wishing you all a very happy and healthy Summer. If you would like to begin a new hobby, call and see us, we are sure that we can help. We can teach you to sew, quilt, embroider, knit, crochet, needlefelt and use a sewing machine on our relaxed and friendly workshops. Complete beginners are very welcome. Enjoy everything you do and the time spent with your own special people.
The Jubilee sent us all a message of togetherness, important every day.
NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2022
There is something wonderful to be found in every season and right now it is the cosiness of curling up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate, thick socks and a quilt, after a crisp winter walk. Hand stitching the binding on a quilt is also warm and comforting or knitting a chunky throw. It is also the time for planning new projects and many new year resolutions seem to involve finishing off the things we began making some time ago.
If you fancy beginning something new, how about a Temperature Blanket or Quilt. I feel I am coming to this party a little late but until a few days ago I was completely unaware of their existence. A customer was chatting about her relative in Canada who was crocheting a blanket and I was intrigued so did a little research. Needless to say, there is a lot of information on various quilting blogs, and we are now beginning one in the shop. In a nutshell, the idea is that you allocate a particular fabric to a range of temperatures, so for example, if in your village the temperature varies over the year between -2 degrees and 27 degrees you have 30 numbers to use. I would make a key allocating a colour of fabric to each two degrees, i.e., -2 & -1, 0 & 1, 2 & 3, 4 & 5, 6 & 7 etc, which would be fifteen fabrics. You could use one strip or square per day for average temperature or two fabrics for low and high temperature. Nature will dictate the shades of your quilt over the year and you can decide on the design; simple as shown aside, or you could use paper pieced Hexagons, Flying Geese, Half Square Triangles, or many more. You do not even have to use this year. You could make a quilt for a child or grandchild using the temperatures for the year they were born, running from their birthday for twelve months. It does not have to begin on January 1st, and there are historical temperatures easily found on the internet. I found the website www.timeanddate.com easy to use, and there are many more available.
There is a flyer available in the shop with lots of ideas if you would like to begin a new project this year, or we are happy to E-mail it to you, please just send us a message.
WITH US SOON….. Over the last two years there has been something of a rise in popularity of hand-stitching. The second week of January will bring us some superb new kits, cross-stitch and tapestry, both modern and traditional designs. These will compliment our Rowandean embroidery kits, offering projects of various hand sewing techniques. We are constantly having conversations with customers who have been so grateful to have such absorbing hobbies; it has carried us through the lockdown and beyond. Whether we are knitting, stitching, painting, reading, whatever, we can conceontrate on something other than the covid figures, global warming, dare I mention Brexit, and daytime television. It is also a connection, if you wish, to share just what you are creating on Social Media. You may think that no-one is interested, but people are. Your project may inspire someone, give them ideas and the courage to have a go, so if your jam-making looks delicious, your quilt is finally finished, you have cross-stitched a pincushion or your cupcakes are scrummy, let us know. If you don’t have a social media account, we can post it for you. You could always write a funny poem and share it. It will bring a smile and connect with lots of people; we will love it! We are lucky, our hobbies have been our Lockdown Therapy.
JUST ARRIVED Ahoy my hearties! Young Pirates everywhere will love this cute treasure trove of iconic prints and panels. Mix with the classic spots and stripes and set sail for some quilting fun! Fabulous collection from Makower, designs with treasure islands, skull and crossbones, galleons, perfect for young adventureres. Great for cushions, flags and bunting too. Free Quilt pattern available too.
WORKSHOPS & COURSES FOR 2022 We have bought out a varied class list this year, hopefully optomistic that there will be no more covid restrictions. Courses are suitable for beginners unless otherwise stated, so why not try a new skill that could develop into an absorbing hobby, or even a craft business? We are very mindful of keeping everyone as safe and well as possible, and are continuing to work with Government Guidelines, full details are on our workshop programme and our website. If you have an questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Unfortunately, we have had to change the starting dates on a couple of the courses from the original programme. New dates have now been amended on the website.
CROCHET more popular than ever with folk creating toys, cushions, scarves, blankets and accessories as well as garments. Neil, our crochet tutor is also introducing us toTunisian Crochet, which some say is easier to pick up than regular crochet and is a cross between knitting and crochet. We are all looking forward to seeing just what he produces. Neil is also running a workshop on felted bowls whereby you will learn to crochet with wool, and then machine wash your bowl to felt the fibres, very exciting. Full details of our crochet workshops are on our website.
DESIGNING YOUR OWN UNIQUE QUILT is not as daunting as it sounds. We have a course beginning on February 21st where you can make an appliqued quilt to a theme of your choosing. Our sample is ‘Transport’, perfect for young children, with lorries, diggers, cars etc., but you could make this with fairies dancing in a woodland, dinosaurs roaring in a forest, outer space themed, or for older children and adults, maybe sport or gardening themed, wild animals, music or motor racing. You do not have to be able to draw, we will provide the applique designs and guide you every step of the way. Total beginners are also welcome on this course that takes place over six consecutive Monday afternoons.
CONTINUING WITH THE APPLIQUE THEME, how about a mini workshop making Greetings cards? Everyone loves to receive a handmade card, and this is a ‘StashBuster’, as you can use your fabric scraps. Add a little machine stitrching and you can create personalised cards or keepsakes for your friends and family. Again, perfect for beginners, this workshop takes place on Friday 21st January. More details are on our website. There are many more day workshops and courses covering patchwork and quilting, hand embroidery, paper piecing, fabric painting and embroidery, embroidery machine skills and software tuition, bag-making etc. Hopefully there will be something to inspire you. If not and you have any suggestions for future workshops, please get in touch.
VALENTINES DAY is not too far away and we have a lovely pattern that can be achieved with a Charm Pack or fabric squares cut from your stash. Show someone just how much you care by making a LapQuilt or Cushion.
FELT is a fabulous fabric and not just for children to use. We have some lovely wool mix felt, perfect for toy making, embroidery and you can also add texture by needle-felting yarn tops to the surface. We have all the tools and supplies you may need to enjoy the creative process.
GIFTS & CARDS You may have noticed that we are expanding our range of gifts and greeting cards. We are currently working with a local company in Nottingham and are also hoping to introduce more beautiful items shortly.
WE ARE SELLING OUR CLASSROOM SEWING MACHINES, and these are an absolute bargain as they have hardly been used. As you are aware, workshops did not take place for such a long time, so they have stitched for very few hours, 60-85 hours to be exact. Each machine has been fully serviced during the last week of December and will be sold with a full two-year warranty, and usage history. They are Pfaff Expression 720’s, retail price new is £1999. We are selling these at £1250 and in addition the price includes an extension table and Pfaff accessory bag, plus a free Getting to Know your Sewing Machine Workshop. This package alone is worth more than £175. Please get in touch for more details, obviously we have limited stock. As a footnote, we are replacing these machines in our classrooms with the same model as we have been thrilled by the quality and performance. Our only reason for replacing them is ‘stock rotation’, which apparently is Accountancy Speak!
Aurifil 50wt.cotton thread. Loved by stitchers, we have increased our range of Aurifil. The 50wt is strong and thin, and results in remarkably flat and crisp seams. While it is wonderful for piecing, subtle quilting & topstitching, and English Paper Piecing it also works incredibly well for Needle Turn Applique, Bobbin and Machine Lace, Machine Applique (Straight Stitch, ZigZag, Blind Hem and Blanket Stitch,) Machine Embroidery, Dense Machine Quilting, Subtle Machine and Longarm Quilting, Basting, Whole Cloth and Micro Quilting, and Dense Background Designs. We recommend using the following needles: 80/12 Microtex/Sharp, Universal, Quilting, or Denim Needles, and (50wt in the bobbin)
Who does not love a bargain? We have 20% off Liberty Fabrics, 25% off Christmas Fabrics, 15% off Inspira Scissors, Aurifil 50wt. price held at £9.95, Selected fabrics at £8 per metre. 20% off Selected patterns. Special Giveaways on the Sewing Machines plus more offers throughout the store.
Sewing machine service and repairs are available and usually take just one week, Friday to Friday, demand and supply of parts permitting. It is worth dropping your machine off with us by 4pm on Thursday as the Service Engineer often arrives early Friday mornings. There is no need to book. We can also usually arrange a collection and delivery service for a small charge if you are unable to get your machine into the shop. If you live a distance away, we can give you details of our courier service. Please contact us for more details. Our opening hours are 9.30am-4pm, Monday to Saturday
We would like to wish everyone an incredibly Happy and Healthy 2022. Take care, from all at QCC.
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2021
We cannot believe that this is the last Newsletter of 2021. It has been an eventful year for everyone, not quite knowing what the next few weeks or months may bring, but we all muddle through. We would like to acknowledge that everyone seems be adopting a positive and kind attitude which is much appreciated. After all, we can only do our best and smile…………
THE ‘C’ WORD. We can avoid this no longer! Many people have been making Christmas quilts, gifts and decorations for many weeks now but if you have been putting it off, there is still plenty of time. We have all the usual panels for Advent Calendars and Stockings etc., and lots of kits to make a variety of items, from Christmas Decorations to Cushions and Quilts, and Tea Cosies to Draught Excluders with many things in between, hopefully something to inspire you. If you have family or friends who have taken up crafting during Lockdown, in addition to the kits we have books and patterns etc. which make ideal presents, plus themed gifts, scissor and yarn mugs, note books and pattern weights, gorgeous tote bags plus much more for both Stitchers and Knitters alike. If you are unsure of what to buy, a Gift Voucher is always much appreciated, by me anyway, and these can obviously be used for purchases and also redeemed for Workshops and Courses. Hopefully we can help to solve some of your present buying dilemmas.
WORKSHOPS & COURSES FOR 2022 The new programme will be available on our website and in the shop from Saturday 13 th November. In addition to the usual offerings of Patchwork & Quilting, Bag making, Applique & Machine Embroidery, we will be adding ‘How to Knit’, ‘Advanced Sewing Machine Techniques’, Hand Embroidery with Ribbon and Thread’, ‘Free Motion Quilting using Rulers and Templates’, ‘Mosaic BookCovers and Pictures’, Coiled Bowls and Baskets, Embroidery Software workshops, Knitting & Felting, more Stained-Glass Patchwork, plus a Peacock Weekend. Lots to do. We will also be repeating Toms’ Sewing Machine Maintenance Class and Free Motion Quilting De-Mystified which book up so quickly. Keep an eye on our website and social media for details.
EXHIBITIONS Although we did not attend the Festival of Quilts this year, we decided that the Knitting and Stitching October show at Alexandra Palace was feasible. As a smaller show with fewer exhibitors, we thought that it would be safe, and it was, although personally, we felt that more people should have worn masks, especially when wanting to sit close for a demonstration on the sewing machines. The exhibition was just as we thought it would be, and it was lovely to see people and chat once again. Thank you to everyone who visited and came to say ‘Hello’, we hope you enjoyed the show; there were some gorgeous yarns and fabrics for dressmaking. I bought yet more patterns for another day. It was so easy to be tempted.
The next exhibition we will be attending is the Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC in March 2022.
NEW GORGEOUS YARNS We just love a Chunky yarn, and we have some new ones together with new Arans, and more shades in the extremely popular Homespun DK. Tufty, a Super Chunky is a unique super squishy and fleecy yarn, just waiting to wrap you in the softest hug. It’s perfect for cosy accessories, homeware, and toys; the bears are so cuddly. We have just knitted a wreath for decoration, and it is gorgeous. Twirly Tweed is a swirling cake yarn, still a firm favourite with crocheters and knitters everywhere. Ideal for one ball projects, this delicious yarn contains multi-coloured flecks amongst its core variegated tones for a unique look. ZigZag has some exciting new shades, we love ‘GrassHopper, and although we think of it as a
luxurious sock yarn, it knits up beautifully for gloves too, and we have patterns to guide you. If you are giving socks for Christmas, make them hand knitted. They are soft, comfortable, and last for many, many years, always a well-received present. Homespun DK is one of our most popular yarns. It has neps that give added texture and a blend that includes Merino and Alpaca, resulting in a soft, machine washable yarn. We have patterns for ponchos, cardigans, and jumpers for both ladies and men, and it will also knit up to your favourite double knitting patterns, even those which cost 9D, as a lady bought in this week!
We have several Aran yarns, from 50g to 400g balls. Traditional Aran cable knits are timeless and never go out of fashion. As well as patterns for adults, we have some very stylish designs for children. If you do not wish to take on a project such as a garment, how about a scarf or a cushion. We have a free pattern for an Aran throw when you buy the yarn, and knitted accessories for the home are very on-trend this year. If you would like a Quick Knit, we have a gorgeous Mega Chunky, and you could knit a scarf in an evening, plus textured yarns which make super cowls. This could be the year that your presents are lovingly made by hand!
WILL YOU BE GETTING A SEWING MACHINE IN YOUR CHRISTMAS
STOCKING? If so, don’t forget, if you buy a sewing machine or overlocker from Quorn Country Crafts, you are welcome to join us for a complimentary day workshop, ‘Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine’*. During the day you will make an item using the features that your machine offers, and we will take you through not just the features and stitches, but also basic maintenance, all of which will help you to enjoy your machine for years and years. We also have lots of accessories for your hobby.
* Available on most models, free two-day course for embroidery machines.
ANOTHER NEW B.O.M….. On the last Newsletter, we told you about our new Block of the Month which will be launched at the end of January called ‘Afternoon Tea’. We are following this up in February with another monthly project which is all Paper Pieced, and although I am only seeing glimpses, it is looking lovely. Keep a lookout on our website and social media for more information.
SALE OF CLASSROOM MACHINES In December we will be replacing our classroom machines. These are Pfaff Expression 720’s and are three years old. They are three years old but haven’t had the use for that time as we were not running workshops for over eighteen months. The machines will be fully serviced and offered with an extension table and two-year warranty. If you would be interested in purchasing one of these, please get in touch as we only have a limited number. The r.r.p of this model is £1999. We are replacing these machines with the same model as we have been very pleased with their performance and reliability. Why then are they being replaced? We have to get them off of our stock figure after a certain length of time, according to our accountant. Seems mad to me but makes them a very good purchase.
ON THE SUBJECT OF EXHIBITIONS, we are hopeful that we will be able to organise a trip to Malvern in 2022. The dates for your diary are 12 th to 15 th May and we will be boarding the bus on Sunday 15 th , all being well. Also, we are already tentatively looking at holding our own Charity Exhibition during the Autumn of 2022. Always a good fund-raising event, we will let you know the details once everything is confirmed.
We know that Christmas is not just about presents, and listening to our customers, apparently, last year was very much a handmade affair. Lots of people had more time at home and did not
want to venture out to the few shops that were open. As the gifts were so well received, this may well be the same this year, becoming a new tradition. Of course, not all gifts have to be
stitched or knitted. How about making preserves, or homemade soap, pots of bulbs or a voucher for a monthly baked cake? There is so much we can do to show we care, after all it is
the thought that counts………although, we do know that
THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT IS THE PFAFF CREATIVE ICON EMBROIDERY & SEWING MACHINE. We do have a limited number arriving in November which will be offered at a
competitive price. If you would like to register your interest, please get in touch. These machines come with a complimentary two-day tuition course, and we have ongoing workshops throughout the year.
Happy Autumn Newsletter - September 2021
‘In Stitches’ Newsletter September/OctoberSeptember 1st is the first day of meteorological Autumn and it certainly feels like it. Many customers are switching on the heating and talking of the nights drawing in, perfect evenings for getting cozy with your knitting and sewing. That said, I am hoping for the promised Indian Summer in October, we are not quite ready to pack the barbeque away yet. We are looking forward to beginning our courses this month. Until now we have only been having day workshops, but we feel the time is right, as long as we all remain careful and respectful of others. We are not changing our requests, to be on a class you need to have had both vaccinations and wear a mask in the shop. Also, be careful not to get too close to each other, and we will sanitise and clean down between all workshops. Hopefully we will all stay safe but at the risk of repeating ourselves, please do not attend a class or visit the shop if you have any symptoms of Covid. If you have any questions, please contact us directly.
DELIVERIES With the exception of a few products,most of our orders are arriving, albeit later than their original due dates. This is a frustration, but understandable given the events of the last eighteen months. I think we are all learning to be patient, but one difficulty for us is that some orders are arriving incomplete for example fabric collections being delivered without the cut goods, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs etc. This is because fabrics are sent to different places to be cut, usually a different country, and with most things being sent by sea, this can create a time lag of two to three months. Now we know the issue facing some of the fabric companies, we can alter our plans, and if the delay is not as long as expected, it is a lovely surprise. If you have ordered anything and there is goiong to be a delay, we will do our best to keep you informed of the situation; this covers everything from knitting yarns to sewing machines. Sometimes there is no alternative product, and hopefully, the wait will be worth it. Most models of sewing machines are now back in stock, which is wonderful news, and we are seeing an improvement as most companies are catching up. We hear that there are so many reasons for the delays, it must be a nightmare for some people…….all we want to do is craft! This puts things into perspective a little doesn’t it?
‘TIS THE SEASON…..No we are not talking about Christmas, that’s for over the page, but it’s the time to knit with Aran, Chunky, even Super Chunky yarns. We are excited to be stocking new yarns, some have already arrived, some are due in the next couple of weeks. Great for both knitting and crochet, one of our favourites is Rosarium Mega Chunky from King Cole. This is a mega chunkyyarn suitable for knitting warm and cosy garments and accessories. It's perfect for scarves, hats and blankets and it's knitted on big needles so it will grow quickly. A lovely bumps dyed yarn with great volume and handle, perfect for those beginning to knit. There are nine shades which beautifully complement each other for those two or three tone projects. This yarn is a quality 100% Merino Wool and knits on 15mm pins. We have patterns for scarves, hats and accessories, plus lovely cushions and throws. Two customers bought it out of the box when we were unpacking the delivery! The shops are full of hand knitted home accessories which give your home a cosy feel. Another new yarn we have just unpacked is Chunky Tweed, a yarn with 25% wool in a rich palette of colours with multi-coloured flecks, great for all your Autumn/Winter chunky knits. Homespun DK has also arrived which has 22% fine Merino and 22% Alpaca. A quality yarn with a luxurious feel that belies the price.We have n
COMING SOON….How To Look After Your Sewing Machine. Chatting to Tom, our Service Engineer, he has offered to do a mini workshop covering basic maintenance of your machines. We all know how to keep them clean where we can, but there is more we can do and there are also lots of tips he is happy to share. If we look after our machines, it makes sense that they will perform better for longer. One thing I learnt today from Tom is that we should not over tighten the screw which I assumed, holds in the needle. It actually doesn’t hold the needle, there is another gubbins that does that, and we should just finger tighten the screw in place. By using the screwdriver, we actually strain and break the needle holder, a very common repair for the engineer. Also, the majority of machines require no oil, lubrication. However, they do benefit from a drop; it’s knowing where and how much. Tom is happy to offer this workshop whatever make or model of machine you have. Keep an eye on our website and social media for the dates which will be made available after September 13th.
DON’T WE ALL LOVE AN ELEPHANT? If not, how about a Dachshund? Terry Tunyan, a designer for Benartex, has captured these whimsical animals perfectly. There are co-ordinating fabrics too, we can’t wait to use them, in fact Gill is already chopping into the elephant fabrics to make a quilt. We have also had new Batiks, Winter Wool flannels, Butterflies, Soulshine and Daydreams from Moda fabrics, Fanciful Forest which are gorgeous modern designs, Traditional Christmas and a lot more, plenty to keep us busy. We have also completed and packed the Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt kit and are busy working on more kits and patterns.
With the children returning to school, the inevitable question being discussed, is when is it acceptable for Christmas products to be on the shelves? In our defence, you have to start early if you are making gifts, therefore, we have fabrics and projects on display from as early as June…a little discreetly, and then they gradually make their way into the main part of the shop. It does not seem to make any difference how early I begin, there is always the issue of Christmas arriving all too soon. How can it be such a surprise when December 25this just around the corner? It is the same every year, I always need at least one more week to finish things off! We have planned many Christmas Kits and our ‘Merry Christmas Applique’ will be available as both a kit and a pattern if you prefer to choose your own fabrics. That will be on sale week commencing 13thSeptember. This pattern can be made into a Quilt or Wallhanging, add a border to make a larger quilt, or make up the letters individually as Christmas Bunting. One lady who is waiting for the kit, is making them up into cushions and woe betide anyone who mixes them up on her sofa to spell different words!
WORKSHOPS & COURSES Some of our workshops are Christmas themed, but we are also offering many non-festive and technique classes, including ‘Getting to Know your Sewing Machine’ tuition. Unfortunately, for the ladies who bought machines just before the first Lockdown, you have had to wait for some time for your free tuition, but we are now catching up as quickly as we can. We are keeping the classes smaller and so far, everything seems to be working very well. Please be re-assured that we are still being very cautious and maintaining our Covid Protection policy. Details of all classes are available on our website.
NEW B.O.M….. Beginning in January 2022, will be our new Block of the Month Kit, called ‘Afternoon Tea.’ A mixture of Hand Embroidery, Patchwork, Paper Piecing and Applique, it is beginning to evolve nicely. I find these projects are a joy to make as they are not repetitive and hold your interest. If you fancy a bit of machine sewing, it’s there, but if you would like to relax with some hand stitching, the patterns are there for you too. You can work at your own pace, and these projects are also ideal for beginners. Keep a lookout on our website and social media for more information.
WE ARE EXCITED TO BE attending our first exhibition in a long time, the Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace in October. Come and say ‘Hello’ if you are visiting, we will be on the VSM Stand F15, close to the Prosecco Bar with both Pfaff and Husqvana sewing machines and accessories.
In Stitches Newsletter - July/August 2021
‘In Stitches’ Newsletter July/August
Where is this year going? It is already July, May and June have flown by. How is this happening, we have so much to do……Importantly, we would like to begin by saying a huge ‘thank you’, to everyone who has been on a workshop recently. We have re-introduced them, gently, step by step. The groups are smaller, there is more space, everyone is double-jabbed, and we are all very well sanitised. Some ladies have said they felt apprehensive spending time with people after being isolated for some time, and this is totally understandable. We felt the same but have quickly realised how good it is to stitch and socialise again. The feedback has been positive; some feel we are taking things towards the extreme, being overly cautious, but we are determined to do everything we can to ensure the safety of both our staff and customers. Early days, little steps, and too soon for many, but we are here whenever you feel ready to come on a workshop again.
JUST ARRIVED….. If you follow us on Social Media, you will know that we have just unpacked the latest collection from Tilda’s Studios, Garden Life. It is gorgeous, perfect for Summer projects and dressmaking. There will definitely be one of us making something to wear in these glorious 100% cottons. We also fancy a throw for the garden, table mats and centres for outdoor entertaining, garden bunting, a Summer shopping bag and little girls dresses. We got so excited unwrapping these fabrics. This collection was ordered many months ago after seeing the designs only on paper, and the actual fabrics are better than we imagined, so pretty. I think I may make the most special peg bag ever!! Christmas fabrics are also arriving but we will leave that for a few weeks. It’s never too soon to begin, but at the moment, it is lovely enjoying the sun.
WE ARE OFTEN ASKED what are basic quilt sizes, and I don’t really think there is any such thing. Basically, if you are making a bed quilt, measure the width and length of the matress and add the depth of overhang you would like. Also, you need to decide whether you wish to take the quilt up over the pillow. I think we worry too much about this as most bed quilts are Toppers. If you are making one as a gift, I think the recipient would be grateful whatever the size. Anything between 60 and 72 inches is such a useful size and also works well as a throw on a sofa. Actual UK bed sizes are below. I hope this helps.
Small Single: 2’6” x 6’ 3 “, 75 x 190cm.
Single: 3’0” x 6’3”, 90 x 190cm.
Small Double: 4’0” x 6’3”, 120 x 190cm.
Double: 4’6” x 6’3”, 135 x 190cm.
King Size: 5’0” x 6’6”, 150 x 200cm
Super King: 6’0” x 6’6”, 180 x 200cm.
Baby Quilts: popular sizes are 30 x 40 inches, also perfect for playmats, whereas smaller quilts are good to use in cars and pushchairs. If you are making a quilt for Project Linus or a similar charity, requested sizes are below. Baby Quilts: approx. 24-30 inches square, Children’s Quilts: approx. 36 – 42 inches square,
Teenagers Quilts: approx. 42 inches square or 42 x 48 inches. More details can be found at www.projectlinus.org.uk.
A wonderful charity, and we are happy to pass on details of the local co-ordinator, Jill, who does an amazing job supporting this charity.Project Linus UK is a volunteer organisation aiming to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new, homemade patchwork quilts and knitted blankets. The volunteer Area Co-ordinators and their Assistants deliver around 3,500 quilts and blankets to sick, disabled or disadvantaged children across the UK each month. They cannot reach out to every distressed child but can help to provide them with tangible evidence that someone cares, along with the physical reassurance that comes with being snuggled up in a quilt. They always try to deliver quilts and blankets to children who are local to the makers. As you can see, completely and totally worthwhile.
EMBROIDERY…. After the success of our embroidery exhibition, we have decided to stock Rowandean embroidery kits as a permanent feature. If you are not familiar with these kits, they are textured picures and landscapes where you are effectively ‘painting with threads’. Original designs and a joy to stitch, perfect for beginners and more experienced stitchers alike. Call in at any time to take a look.
NEW…The gorgeous collection ‘Forest Retreat’ from P & B. Escape with Forest Retreat by Jetty Home, a collection that is truly calming and serene. The main panel includes six boxes, all centred around forest colours and watercolour art. With messages like, “Let yourself wander,” “soothe yourself” and “do what’s good for your soul,” you will feel at peace working on your next project. Also, in the collection is a watercolour style border full of trees against a neutral background. The collection is complete with beautiful coordinates including a watercolour splotch pattern, a text pattern, trees and shadows, and four additional neutral patterns. The whole collection together is so beautiful in its simplicity and the natural beauty of the forest is enhanced by the watercolour art style. Perfect for home décor, quilting or apparel, we cannot wait to see the beautiful projects you create with Forest Retreat.
YOU ARE LOVING…. The new Hemline Gold Collection of Haberdashery from Groves and Banks. It is an exclusive new range of high-quality products inspired by the rich history of the haberdashery industry. This collection was born from the desire to have a premium, trend-led, yet timeless range that delivered on quality, and, a range of impeccable, high precision scissors that looked as exceptional as their performance. Months of research, designing and conceptualising led to the development of over 30 versatile sewing notions in luxurious finishes suitable for dressmakers, tailors and quilters to artisan makers and menders. Crucially, protecting the planet means reducing all non-essential single use plastic on the products, so for this range, G & B have designed brand new, innovative packaging which has eliminated all plastic waste packaging. All the products are packaged in sleek brown kraft paper packaging which has been customised to the item, so it is used sparingly whilst still providing product protection without over consuming raw materials. Sustainably packaged. Premium quality. Haberdashery may seem un-exciting to some people, but it is a luxury to use beautiful sewing tools and equipment. The collection features stylish black and gold cutting mats and rotary cutters, rulers, clips, needles, pins, tape measures, scissors, pinking shears, storage bags, boxes, etc.etc. all gorgeously co-ordinated and of superb quality. We hope to support more of our suppliers who are investing in our sustainable future by reducing the use of single use plastics.
SALES TABLE You may have noticed that downstairs we have many pieces of furnishing fabric available selling at £2 each, no matter what size they are. Great for bags, cushions, recovering chairs etc., there is enough meterage on some for curtains. There are also a few packs of wool remaining which are in the sale.There is another Sales Table upstairs, well worth a look, as there are all sorts of products and fabrics at reduced prices.
FREE SOCK KNITTING PATTERNS Knitting socks has been extremely popular for the last few years and many groups have sprung up, solely dedicated to knitting pairs and pairs, some simple, and some much more elaborate. If you would like to have a go, a perfect project for sitting in a deck chair, we have sock yarns, including some new designs, and free patterns. Call in and join those addicted to sock knitting….there’s much worse things to be addicted to! We have also put together some Sock Bundles, containing, yarn, knitting pins and a pattern, perfect to get you started.
MORE ON KNITTING… Gill has knitted a lovely baby blanket using King Cole Cherish DK. A variagated yarn, in beautiful shades, it is also incredibly soft and machine washable. The pattern is really, really easy to follow too, and takes only three balls to complete costing less than £12 to make.
IS IT ONLY QUILTER’S THAT HAVE UFO’S? Do Knitters, Embroiderers, Artists etc. have them too?
Take care, enjoy being creative in whatever you do, and we hope to see you soon.From All of Us at QCC.
P.S. new list of workshops will be available soon, some themed around the Festive Celebrations. It still feels a little too early to keep mentioning the ‘C’ word!!!
P.P.S.After much deliberation and discussions with Pfaff, we have decided to withdraw from the Festival of Quilts for this year. It seems the responsible thing to do, and the way to protect us all. With no mask wearing or social distancing, it feels a step too far to spend nine hours a day in an exhibition hall. Demonstrating sewing machines is quite an ‘up close’ task, and it feels right to put health before profit. Keep an eye on our website and Social Media as we will have promotions on the sewing machines from 29thJuly through to 1stAugust, here, in the shop and on-line.
QUORN COUNTRY CRAFTS would like to invite you to an EXHIBITION OF EMBROIDERY
Friday 11th to Saturday 26th June 2021, 9.30am-4pm each day (excluding Sundays)
Many of us have been doing more hand sewing over Lockdown, and whether it is Redwork, Paper Piecing, Embroidery, Cross-Stitch etc., it seems as if we have re-kindled our love of needlework. We have been chatting to a gentleman who together with his wife, run the wonderful Rowandean Embroidery Company selling glorious kits. They were best selling kits for us when we first opened our shop many years ago, and have been popular ever since. As with most kits, the cover picture cannot ever do justice to the finished article so we are arranging to have an exhibition of work from Friday 11thJune to Saturday 26th June. The display will take place in our downstairs classroom area, and you are welcome to visit during our usual opening times, 9.30am-4pm Monday to Saturday, please drop in.
Spring has Sprung, thank goodness…..
…and how much better do we feel? Daffodils are blooming, always a cheery sight, and some days are positively balmy; our lawn has been cut and we have had a couple of socially distanced barbeques, admittedly, the one at Easter necessitated coats and a hard working chiminea….who would have imagined snow? We are looking forward to seeing everyone again and are doing everything possible to make the shop a safe place to visit. Please continue to wear a mask, sanitise your hands and leave appropriate space between yourself and others. The windows will be open for ventilation and it will be so lovely to see you. It has been such a long time and we know how much has changed. It will be lovely to re-connect and relax with you all once again however, if you would still prefer to shop alone, we are continuing to offer appointments at 9am. Please contact us to arrange your visit.
SLOW STITCHING has been another new phrase that became popular during Lockdown. We have all been aware of our mental health and the need to relax, yet keep busy and occupied. All sorts of hand embroidery and sewing by hand has been hugely popular and beneficial. This has included English Paper Piecing, and we here have all been enjoying the creativity of this simple, and relatively inexpensive craft. You can use your scraps or co-ordinate your fabrics as you wish, creating something which looks beautifully vintage, or totally modern depending on yor fabric choice.
Embroidery and Stitchery using Coton a Broder is also popular, and we have introduced more colours and shades to our range of threads. You can also mix with stranded cottons if you need a finer thread. The DMC shade numbers are the same for both of these threads. Cross stitch and tapestry also tick the box of Slow Stitching as do knitting and Crochet. Look after yourself, pickup a needle and thread, and create something wonderful.
NEW ARRIVALS If you follow us on Social Media, you will be aware that we have had many deliveries of fabric. These have been delayed slightly, although not stuck in the Suez Canal, but supply and transportation have been a huge issue. Things are now settling down and the last few weeks have been like Christmas for us with deliveries every day. Some collections were ordered so long ago, it has been a lovely surprise unpacking them, our memories being what they are. We have new Batiks, a Japanese collection, Buzzy Bees, Garden flowers, plus new shades of Linen Texture which have just been released. There are new Moda fabrics and Novelty Collections including a fantastic panel and co-ordinates from Riley Blake, with more arriving every week. We are having to find new shelves for display, a problem we enjoy.
JUST A WORD ABOUT WORKSHOPS AND COURSES As yet, we still do not know when these will resume however we are keen to bring out our new programme.As soon as we know that it is safe to do so, we will be in touch either directly, if you were booked on cancelled workshops that are to be re-scheduled, or via E-mail, our website and Social Media. Hopefully it will not be too long, but we need to be confident that we will all be safe
KING COLE YARNS We were happy to introduce these yarns two years ago and have just had a delivery of more yarns and supporting patterns. The quality is superb and offered at a very reasonable price, with lovely patterns offering several designs covering many sizes, making each one excellent value. The shades are also beautiful and the self patterning yarns are extremely popular, especially when knitting for babies and children. Gill has been busy completing Aran garments, which wash beautifu
CROCHET WITH SIRDARS ‘HAPPY COTTON’ Feeding our creative crochet habit, Sirdar’s tiny bundles of joy make the perfect addition to any yarn stash. Happy Cotton comes in adorable and handy 20g balls, giving you just the right amount of yarn for those miniature makes you’ve got planned, and ensuring you don’t finish with more leftover yarn than you know what to do with! Soft, smooth, and in an incredible selection of varied shades, Happy Cotton is just the thing for some fun Amigurumi – why not see what you can bring to life?
These are also ideal when teaching children to knit. For a small price you can buy a few colours to keep their interest fuelled. Great for making PomPoms too.
NEW, NEW, NEW…GIFTS & GREETINGS CARDS We are increasing our range and hoping for delivery by the time we re-open, with further new products arriving in June. We will also have gorgeous pattern weights and stitch markers for you to either treat yourself, or buy as presents. PFAFF SEWING SETS With superb quality eight inch scissors, embroidery scissors, snips and tweezers. We use these scissors ourselves on the cutting table if you would like to give them a test drive. They are available individually too. IN HOUSE KITS Only available from us. New kits introduced most weeks as we are inspired by the fabrics arriving through the door…keeps us busy.LEGACY JELLY ROLL BATTING STRIPS for baskets, bowls, bags, rug making etc. Great fun and easy to sew. Great for left over Jelly Roll Strips or cut your own from your scraps. PRYM ROTARY CUTTERS Safe as the blade is automatically covered when not in use, and again, we can show you one in action.
AND FINALLY, it goes without saying that we are grateful for your support and kindness, especially over the last few months. This Winter Lockdown has been more of a struggle for many and it has been so good to talk to you on the telephone, or by text and e-mail. Thank you for shopping with us, and for the doorstep chats when collecting your orders. We know we are lucky as we have kept busy and gone to work each day. It has not been the same for everyone and we really hope that over the next few weeks and months, the situation eases for all. Some peoples lives have changed forever, we are fortunate.
It may help to remember that Captain Tom said ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’. Thank you.
QUORN COUNTRY CRAFTS‘In Stitches’ Newsletter December 2020
Our hearts go out to all of you in this challenging time, especially to those who are experiencing the worst sides of this virus.
Thank you to everyone out there spreading love and joy, making us all feel better.
Well, here we are again, tentatively dipping our toes in the water and opening the doors, hopefully on a permanent basis. There is definitely a feeling of optimism this time around, so maybe we can begin to make plans, which will be subject to change of course. That is one thing I have found incredibly difficult. For the last twenty plus years, we have always been planning months ahead so although we always had one foot in ‘the today’, we were ordering fabric collections which could be seven or eight months from delivery, the same with yarns being two seasons ahead, and we were always thinking of the next workshop programme. I consider that in many ways, we have probably all learned a little more about ourselves over the past few months. One thing I cannot understand is why I am not at all organised for Christmas this year, with a chest full of handmade gifts for everyone????
Throughout November, we have had lots of deliveries. Some of these should have arrived during August and September, but they were nonetheless, very welcome.
We are well stocked with yarns from both King Cole and Sirdar with lovely Aran and Chunky weights, perfect for this time of year.The patterns are lovely too. Gill has knitted some lovely Slipper Boots in Aran yarn which are so cosy, and also a Poncho which is proving very poular; the pattern is for both children and adults. The novelty yarns are great. Some school plays have Shepherds with gorgeous sheep, knitted by Granny athough apparently one little boy insisted on having a unicorn instead of a sheep, and why not? This has been a very strange year so far, so a unicorn it is! We have gorgeous yarns and patterns for scarves, hats and gloves. Not a huge project and always a joy to make, and receive. Doctor Who scarves are still a favourite. Equally as popular are knitted and crocheted cushions and throws. Again, perfect for your winter home décor where it fits in well with the natural theme, and as the vast majority of the yarns are machine washable, it is also practical. Baby yarns are having a slight revamp of their colour pallette. Greys and yellows are still well liked and it seems to be creams as opposed to white, and shades of lilacs, clover and blues plus lime greens and cinnamon that are on trend for new parents….I still love to see new babies in white, obviously I’m old-fashioned.
You may have seen our Winter Wreath. This free pattern has been really popular and is happily, still available. There are more free patterns available each week in the shop; some ideal for Christmas decorations, perfect to make with your children and Grandchildren and others to make and gift.
They will also be posted out with our on-line orders.
We have had more deliveries of fabrics, and we did all heave a sigh of relief. Over Lockdown we sold out of so many basic fabrics and our suppliers had also sold out. There was an issue with the transportation. Firstly, the ships were unable to unload at the docks here as there was a shortage of storage due to a backlog of PPE and other essentials. There was also a problem with the logistics, there were not enough lorries to transport the goods, and that was just here in the UK. Further afield, stock was held in warehouses awaiting collection, and there was again, a shortage of suitable containers. We were told that in one country.
were turning the lorries away empty, as there was no way they could guarantee that the goods would arrive intact as they were not waterproof! It is amazing how little thought we had previously given to this process, after all, we send an order and then excitedly unpack it when it arrives, as simple as that! Not anymore.
Although late arriving, Spectrastatic Two is here and worth waiting for. A collection from Andover Fabrics designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo (AKA Giucy Giuce), who learned to sew from his grandmother at a young age. In 2008 he began quilting and has never looked back. He is an avid modern, traditionalist quilter with a great passion for simple design in bright colours. This collection of twenty fabrics are super, bright blenders, suitable for patchwork & applique projects. There is a free quilt pattern available and, keep an eye on our Website & Facebook Page for a great giveaway with this collection.
The latest collection of The Hungary Caterpillar is also on its way, some has arrived, the rest is in transit. This time it features a Rainbow, so any quilt or cushion will always be a reminder of 2020 and all it has represented to us, as a family, a community, a country and around the world.
We are also expecting a fabulous Japanese collection, more Batiks, and Pamper, a collection of Shops, cosmetics, designer handbags and shoes….very chic. There is more due from Henry Glass, Michael Miller and Moda, most of which is expected in January, fingers crossed. Delivery in the new year has also been confirmed for the new Tilda Collection and it is so pretty, just what we need to give us inspiration for new projects, and again, we are planning another Great Giveaway and a competition. We have so much fabric on order, I just hope it doesn’t all arrive at once!
SEWING MACHINES have also arrived; there is just one model now outstanding due to production delays. We have new machines from Janome from £129, and a computerised model which includes a quilting kit making it an absolute bargain. We are also offering free gifts with some of the sewing machines in the Pfaff range, making now an irresistable time to buy.We offer Interst Free Credit on many machines so you can spread the payments or pay a deposit and pay the balance in twelve months. This is of course dependant on acceptance by the finace company. Please contact us for a chat about the models we have available, payment options etc., and we can help you to decide which sewing machine will be perfect for you. A sewing machine is a perfect gift, opening up a world of opportunity. Not only does it give you the chance to be creative, for many, it can be a business opportunity. There is also the friendships that are formed when you embark on a new hobby and we can help you get the most from your sewing machine offering encouragement and advice. Our free days tuition, which we offer with all machines purchased costing over £399, will resume as soon as it is safe to do so, as will our workshops, and sewing groups. There is however a word of warning, this can be a very addictive pastime!!!
These last eight or nine months have shown how lucky we are to have absorbing hobbies. Initially, the sun was shinning and those lucky enough to have gardens could keep themselves busy, however, the weather has now changed and we have retreated indoors. There is only so much daytime television you can watch. Needle Felting is a lovely craft to try. Easy to do with very little initial outlay, you can do it sitting on the sofa with a tray on your knee. Kirsty Allsopp often features needle felting on her craft programmes and it is very relaxing. We have lots of kits, starting at less than £5, plus all the materials when you wish to make your own creations. Hand embroidery or cross-stitch is another compact craft where you do not need to buy lots of accessories to complete a project. The best way to begin is to buy a kit, open it up, thread the needle and away you go! We have lots of books, patterns and kits to introduce you to a wealth of handicrafts; knitting, crochet, applique, patchwork and quilting plus the aforementioned needle felting and embroidery. Hopefully, we will be able to invite you to join us on workshops and courses during 2021, and until then, we are on hand to offer help and advice.
Just before Lockdown, we took delivery of Aurifil thread. It is a 50 weight, 100% Cotton thread, loved byQuilters, to use both on your sewing machine or when stitching by hand. It is beautifully fine,strong andlint free therebycreating remarkably flat and crisp seams. Perfect also for Applique and English Paper Piecing, it is slightlymore economical than our Gutermann thread. We have initially had a collection of basic shades that ‘disppear’ into your fabricsand we will be extending the range in the new year to run alongside our other threads. The customer feedback we have had in the first few weeks has been extremelypositive so when you are buying threads, it is well worth consideringthe Italian thread, Aurifil.
DIARY DATE – East Leake Christmas Market, Friday December 11th, 3pm-8pm
The very first Artisan Market was a fantastic success – so much so that there will be a Christmas Market, spread around the centre of the village! This is a twilight market so working people won’t miss out. You can look forward to there being a wide range of high-quality produce, crafts, goods and refreshments on offer. We will have social distancing measures in place, but can still promise you a fantastic event!
We would like to thank you for your continued support; you have helped to keep a small, independent, family business open. Many have not been as lucky.This has been a very challenging year to say the least, and we are grateful to be here, looking towards the future. We wish you, your family and friends a very happy and healthy Christmastime, and we look forward to 2021. Very best wishes from all at QCC.
Pfaff Smarter 260c Blog
Pfaff Smarter 260c Blog.
With so many people taking up sewing throughout the Covid pandemic, now might just be the time to treat yourself to a new Sewing Machine, or at least pop one on your Christmas list to Santa!
Sewing Machines have been in such high demand over the last few months, and delivery has been taking longer, so stock has been limited…however dare I say I, they are now starting to arrive!
Yesterday we took stock of some Pfaff Smarter 260c machines. These are fantastic machines. They are heavy enough not to vibrate as you sew with them, but light enough to pick up to take to classes and such like and they come with a hard cover!
The Smarter 260c has 27 stitches to choose from, including buttonhole. It is the perfect starter machine for dressmaking or quilting, and we sell a lot to textiles students as well. It has a built-in needle threader and you can easily adjust any of the stitches width or length, so your options are endless.
The majority of the optional extra feet fit the 260c machine, so you can let your imagination run wild with feet such as beading, or couching to make your projects even more interesting!
Coming in at £326 with a 2 year full warranty and us on hand if you ever get stuck with anything, now is definitely the time to buy your shiny new machine, ready for cosy winter nights designing your new projects!
Taking Care of your Soul through Stitching
Looking after your Mental Health – a blog about taking care of your soul.
Mental health is so hot in the press at the moment, and is being covered in the soaps, with coronation street dealing with male suicide amongst others.
I don’t know about you, but I have found it really hard to watch, but yet I am so pleased they use the platform they have to address such vital issues that are a reality for too many families. Story lines like this get me thinking, about my own wellbeing, the health of my children, family and friends. I think its so important to talk. Open up to someone, anyone. I do think this is easier said than done though, for so many people isolation becomes their best friend and yet their worst enemy. I am no doctor, but I am human and have struggled. Practising mindfulness seems to be a fashionable thing to do now and whilst I think it is an amazing tool, it is hard to master (trust me I try) but to tell an anxious mind to be quiet is like telling a two year old to stop having a tantrum in the middle of Tesco! – it takes patience and more patience, something an anxious mind doesn’t always have heaps of, so persevere with it.
There are so many practical things you can do, which focuses your mind on a task in hand, therefore not asking you to focus on the now with breath but achieves the same result with focus. Sewing is one of them it takes you away from your thoughts, from the dark, from the anxious grip. I find hand sewing works well, so I always have a red work piece on the go, nice and simple – following lines with a running stitch, I’m not asking my brain to tackle hard patterns or intricate designs at a time I’m trying to get it to rest, nor am I having to concentrate too hard. After a few minutes it has got my attention and I can feel everything calming down, after half an hour or so the adrenaline stops coursing through at the speed of lightening and I can breathe again. The logical part of my brain starts to work again, and yes, I feel calmer (and I’ve achieved something).
I can write about my anxiety and share it with people in blog form, as the writing in itself is calming, you ask me to discuss it in person the embarrassment kicks in, god knows why, as I certainly wouldn’t be embarrassed if I had broken my leg, or hurt myself in an accidental fashion, but for some reason my brain not quite being in zen with the rest of my body is something to be ashamed of, the confident, stubborn woman in me wants to be different to that, I want to be the person that stands up for what’s right and tell people there is no shame in struggle, because there isn’t. But like anyone I have my hang up’s and this is one of them, I wish it wasn’t. However, it is manageable and there is so much you can do to help yourself, even when you feel you can’t reach out to talk to someone, learn to sew, knit or crochet – after all what’s the worst that can happen? You might not make a master piece in your own eyes the first time you try but you’ll have got through another hard half an hour and your body will thank you for it.
I have realised through the years, there is only so much bleach a bathroom can take, only so many times you can mop a floor in a day to distract yourself from your feelings, and equally there is only so many times you can temporarily hide under your duvet before it starts to feel too comfortable under there, that in itself is a scary place to be.
‘Sewing mends the Soul’ A quote I heard the other day, that resonated with me in so many ways. When I look back over some of my work I know I did from a difficult period its empowering as I’ve turned it around, into a small achievement of some description.
Reg's Renditions July 2019
I have been ambushed into making a few comments to accompany our new programme and newsletter. So here goes:
I remember my father once advising me not to look back as you cannot influence the past, you may, however, be able to exert some control over the future.
Whilst understanding the sentiment it is impossible not to sometimes think "what if?" With this in mind I was reflecting recently that it is now 18 months since we moved from Loughborough to our new home in East Leake. At that time we were all excited but a little apprehensive. I believe we all agree it was the right move at the right time.
One thing that has impressed me is the community spirit among the Traders, Businesses and Residents which is so evident in the village.
We hope we have, in some small way added to the diversity of the village and can play our part in ensuring that the various events continue to thrive.
One of the reasons for our move was the need for more space which has been more than fulfilled by our present premises as we now have two teaching areas for the range of workshops that we run (take a look at our current programme) We are delighted that so many of our cstomers from Loughborough still attend and equally that many from the village and surrounding area have joined us. We like to think that as well as learning a new skill or perfecting interests you already have, there is a strong social aspect.
I'll finish as i used to with a bit of nonsense (no comments please)
Question: What is a Harrier?
Answer: Someone who is more like Harry than Harry.
Till next time
Our First Exhibition in East Leake!
OUR FIRST EXHIBITION IN EAST LEAKE!
We are now relaxing slightly after our charity exhibition which took place over the last weekend in October, we were a little apprehensive having always held it at the Parsih Church in Loughborough, and hoped that people would support us in our new venue, and thankfully, it was a success. Wen we moved to East Leake, we wanted to become part of the village community and therefore holding the exhibition at The Academy on Lantern Lane, made perfect sense. We were able to hire a huge hall and there was plenty of free parking. In addition, we hoped that it would bring several hundred people into the village and we were not disappointed. We had three lovely days and despite torrential rain on the Saturday, we still had lots of visitors who were encouraged to have a walkabout as we had a quilt trail with several shops displaying quilts in their windows. We raised £2346.89 with the profits being divided between Asthma & Allergy Research charities, a £750 donation to the ELPFC, East Leake Playing Fields Charity. A HUGE Thank you to everyone who helped make the occasion such a triumph!
The Festive season is upon us....
With Christmas round the corner, everyone seems to be stitching like mad to get all those promised presents finished in time for the big day. Children are counting the sleeps down, and if you are as mad as me you have an naughty elf on the shelf to remember to move every evening! With all of this and shopping to do as well, it certainly is a busy time of year. I'm lucky enough to still have young children at home who remind me of the magic of the festive season, and though it's exhausting repeating the answer to the 'how many sleeps is it mummy!' lots of times through any given day, it reminds me what Christmas is all about in our house. I am sewing like crazy trying to finish four Christmas stockings and Santa and Rudolph mats for the children and we have had a mad rush on our Christmas kits, patterns and panels as others do the same. There is still time!! I sew in the evenings mainly, and find a glass of wine helps with the late nights stitching (My applique Santa might be on the wonky side due to the wine though!).
Unfortunatly this year, politics is definately taking the edge off the Christmas spirit as we frantically decide which party to vote for to get the best outcome for our children, family and country. I sit handstitching the binding on a table runner that should have been finished last week! Watching the debates and the news hoping for a lightbulb moment, instead i feel i will have to vote with my gut instinct and keep everything crossed for a brighter future in the years to come. I hope none of you feel as utterly confused as i do.
The last few weeks here at QCC have seen an influx of Christmas kits being made and sold and we love seeing your creations! There are going to be some amazingly dressed tables this Christmas day. We hope your families love your handmade quilts and more, I always love a handmade gift as it is made with such love. We still have a few Christmas kits left in the shop for table runners, quilts and more as well as some felt kits that the children can help make for decorations. So pop in, there is still time to create a master piece for someone you love, or to add to the festive decor in your own home. The kits also make wonderful gifts, as they are beautifully packaged in boxes with ribbon.
We know Christmas can be a very hard time of year for a lot of people and they can hopefully find comfort with their families, friends or hobbies. We think of you all, and all of the staff here would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
What's New?? January 2020
We began our season of workshops and courses on 4th January, as always, it is lovely to welcome friends, old and new. As usual, fabric has been arriving, and we always gt so excited unpacking the boxes. We have just taken delivery of the new collection of 'Guess How Much I Love You', plus Stilletto from Moda in shaes of grey, black, cream and tan. We also hae 'Memoirs' from Thee Sisters, also Moda, and of course, we cannot forget the little ones; there is a nursery collection, 'Sweet Dreams' depicting cute sheep in lovely colours. Any day now we should receive a beautfiul Japanese inspired collection, 'Norum', 'Sunny Bee' which depicts sunflowers and bumble bees and a new collection from Tilda. These are just some of the many collections winging their way here over the net few weeks, culminating in the new designs from Liberty, 'Winterbourne', which is Liberty Fabrics latest quilting collection. Winterbourne House, draws inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement - a creative period from c. 1860-1910 when English designers led a return to high quality, hadcrafted pieces, creating elegantly stylised interpretations of botanical and historic motifs. Inspired by an exquisite Arts and Crafts period house, the collection draws upon the interior and the family who once lived there. Traditionally screen printed onto Lasenby cotton 'The Winterbourne Collection' is available in three complimentary colour ways, offering subtle hues of pinks, greens and neutrals to contrast rich berry and navy, ready for you to craft your own master works, and there will be kits and patterns to give you inspiration.
Newsletter April 2020
I began to write this Newsletter in the second week of March and so much has drastically changed in such a short time; we all seem to be in a state of shock, not quite believing what has happened. I will begin again.
Thank goodness for the daffodils, even though some of those are nearly past their best!
Last week seemed a little easier, we could get into the gardens and enjoy the sunshine, but the cold weather has returned and I for one, am definitely a ‘Fair Weather Gardener’. Thank goodness for sewing, knitting, in fact any hobby to occupy our minds and our time. I have even got a jigsaw on the go. Having two dogs means that we have to get out, and I always feel the benefit when we do, but last week, motivation was in short supply. I think we needed to adjust to the fact that we have stopped, and it has not been as easy as we thought it might be. It is definitely not like a holiday, but we can put our time to good use.
ISOLATION WEEK TWO. Yesterday, as some of you may be aware, was the first day of my sharing ‘my workspace’ with Adrian…that is space in my Sewing Sanctuary, which is a lovely converted garage in the garden. He is sensibly working from home and thought it would be nice if we worked together in the same room, and I have to say, it is okay. He’s not used to me singing, badly, along to Ed Sheeran and Coldplay whilst I’m working, and I’m not used to his phone ringing constantly. I know it is early days and if he can accept that I’m not here to make endless cups of tea, I think we will be fine……as long as he tidies up after himself. In fairness, the dogs take up more room than he does.
BECKY AND I have been into the shop today to deliver to anyone who is local, and post out if we can’t get to you. Not essential in the grand scheme of things, like food, medicine, or possibly gin, but we all know the frustration of wanting to finish a project and running out of fabric or thread. To be honest, if I didn’t have my hobby, I don’t know how I would be coping; I think I would be even more difficult to live with! If you need anything, please let us know. We are hoping to put more projects on line for you to see, and if you were unaware, Becky has started a Facebook group for all of us. If you go to the Quorn Country Crafts Facebook page, the Quorn Country Crafts Community Crafting Group in pinned to the top. Ask to join and Becky will do the rest. You can then share your isolation sewing and crafting pictures and ideas, and see what everyone else is doing. There has been some wonderful UFO’s finished, new projects started and completed, and some inappropriate jokes that do bring a smile. If, like me, motivation is a little difficult sometimes, maybe seeing what other people are doing, will spur you on.
LEARN A NEW CRAFT. With YouTube, it seems as if anything is possible, it certainly helped me to get to grips with a crochet hook. I’m still not great at it, but together with a book entitled ‘A Child’s introduction to Crochet’, I’m determined to get better and hopefully create a Granny Square with four corners and not five. Tapestry and Cross Stitch are very relaxing as is knitting. My favourite hand sewing projects at the minute are embroidery and Old English Paper Piecing, where you tack fabric to paper shapes, most commonly hexagons, and sew them together. If we can help with any of these ides, please get in touch.
N.B. All is not lost, apparently Kirstie Allsopp if offering ideas to ‘Craft your way through the Corona Virus’ Children, you have not been forgotten. We are working on some craft ideas just for you.
Newsletter April 2020 Cont
HELPING BY STITCHING We have ladies who are making brightly coloured surgical hats from 100% cotton for the hospitals. If you would like the pattern, please let us know and we will e-mail it to you. Project Linus will still need your quilts. If you would like to make a quilt for this very worthy charity, please check their webpage for details of sizes and designs projectlinusuk.org.uk I am sure there are many other ways we can help, and as soon as they are bought to our attention, we will pass on the details.
CANCELLATIONS & rescheduled dates. Many people have contacted us regarding this years’ exhibitions. So far, we understand that Quilts UK has been rescheduled for 18 July to 21 July 2020, as usual at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern Worcestershire. If the situation regarding Coronavirus has changed and there is an opportunity to go, we will look at possibly taking a bus nearer the time. There has been no announcement regarding the Festival of Quilts 2020 as yet, but as this is ever changing situation, we have to wait and see. The Knitting and Stitching Shows at Alexandra Palace and Harrogate are later in the year and we do not expect to hear about them until much nearer the time.
A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been in touch with lovely cards, flowers and messages of support. This is a worrying time for all of us, but nothing is more important than the health of our family and friends. We are optimistic that we will get through this, and hope to use the time so we can come back, bigger and better than ever. Please all take care, keep safe, wash your hands and stay at home. We will definitely be back sharing our isolation experiences over a cup of coffee and cake. Keep busy and please, if you need anything, let us know. If we can help, we will. Love and best wishes to you and your families from everyone at Quorn Country Crafts.
Quorn Country Crafts, Parkside Works, Gotham Road, East Leake, Leicestershire LE12 6JG Tel: 01509 211604 www.quorncountrycrafts.co.uk
Open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-4pm. Temporarily closed to visitors until further notice
Newsletter August 2020
BACK UP AND RUNNING…….. It has been lovely opening the doors again, and the last few weeks have been incredibly busy, so thank you to everyone who has visited us. Sorry if we didn’t immediately recognise you in your face masks, and the new hair-do’s have added a little to the confusion, however, usually the voice gives away your identity, confirming that it is so important to chat. Of course, many people are shielding, or not wishing to go out shopping so we continue to offer delivery or postal service, and also early morning appointments where you can shop alone. We will continue through August to close on Wednesdays, but expect to re-instate the full week in September.
WORKSHOPS & COURSES The honest answer to the question of when we will be able to offer workshops is, ‘we just don’t know’. We have everything crossed that we may be able to arrange some smaller classes in the Autumn but we are still unsure. The guidance is ever changing and it is paramount that everyone is safe. We begin to feel confident that we can proceed and then there is talk of another spike of the corona virus, so we put the brakes on again. At the moment we are planning the projects, and if we cannot offer classes, there will be the offer of the ‘Boxed Workshops’, delivered to your door. We have some amazing Christmas fabrics due in by the second week of August and we cannot wait to use them, so there will be lots on offer, and there are new kits to be launched in the next few days. If you want a project to do at home, please have a look at the kits on the website. There is a good choice for all abilities covering all sorts of techniques, so hopefully, there is something for everyone. If you can get to the shop, you will find even more to choose from, and there are kits for children too. We love to keep you busy, inspired and safe! Keep in touch and who knows, we could be stitching together very soon.
BLOCK OF THE MONTH Our first block of the month has been extremely well received, not surprisingly as it is all about a Snowman’s transformation into Santa Claus, made in applique blocks… both a favourite subject matter and technique. It can be made by hand or using a sewing machine, and is in four instalments. It is not too late to join, please contact us for more details or have a look on our website. We will be introducing another Block of the Month soon, ‘Granny’s Garden’, which is completely different, combining hand embroidery, paper piecing and patchwork blocks – very pretty. I think there is a joy having a Goody Box delivered every month, which takes me back to the anticipation of ‘ Jackie’, a comic delivered every week, fifty odd years ago. Strange how the mind works.
LINEN, LINEN & MORE LINEN. Just arrived are more linen panels, our favourite is the Mallard, and gorgeous fabrics with Beach huts, to go with the Nautical collection, and Mulberry Trees, These are perfect for bags and cushions. Ideas are coming thick and fast.
Looking for a unique texture in cool colors that goes with just about everything? It’s Winter Wool by Cheryl Haynes! These textures really look like wool, and the colors are spectacular. These
combinations of texture and colour are very rich… you can almost feel the warmth. This is a must-have basic that will add colour and depth to any project. Perfect for quilting and dressmaking, we are currently making up an appliqued pinafore dress.
Newsletter August 2020 Continued
SEWING MACHINES have been selling at unprecedented levels during Lockdown. Some people found that they had the time to pursue a long-promised hobby, others began by making face
masks and got the crafting bug. There were also parents at home with very creative children that they were happy to encourage. Whatever the reason, it has been so good to be busy, and also alarming how our stock room has emptied! New machines began to arrive this week so if you are thinking of making a purchase, please call in and take a look. We have knowledgeable ladies who all sew themselves, and can help and advise you. We have an excellent range of sewing machines and overlockers with prices to suit all pockets.
STOP PRESS…. New range of knitting and crochet yarns arriving soon
….Another competition to be launched early September
…. Our StashBuster Patterns will also be available soon
…. Fabulous Flannel Fabric Bundles available from 30 th July
…. PFAFF Machine Embroidery Workshops in a box, coming soon.