Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Simple Pleasures at Fabric HQ Workshop!

Last week we hosted our very first workshop of the year, overseen by the brilliant Emma May of Simple Pleasures School of Sewing.

The 'Making Friends With Your Sewing Machine' workshop had been in the planning for such a long time that it was fully booked before we even went to print with our program for the first quarter of 2014! We'd had such a job finding a venue big and light enough for this class.  But we got there in the end, and didn't we have fun?

Emma really was fab - taking the time before the class to find out which machine everyone had. She got to the bottom of what it was that everybody wanted to know....

... and after running through the basics, everyone got to grips with their own individual machines. 
There was an interesting mix of machines but my absolute favourite has to be Sarah's Jones 641.  Such a cool looking machine! Even though the instructions for creating a button hole are a bit of a headache!
The manual is super funky in cerise and lime and those bright orange dials and buttons are retro-tastic.  I love it!
Then Emma moved on to machine applique - a great way to get to know your machine.
and finally, she'd brought along some lovely fabric, ribbon and lavender to make into cute little lavender bags!
Thank you Emma on behalf of HQ and the girls who came along to the workshop.  We all had a great evening, summed up by Anna who wrote to me afterwards to say:

" > Dear Rae,
   > I just wanted to say how useful I found last night's class. Even
   > though I am relatively experienced compared to some I learnt a lot. I
   > thought Emma was excellent and look forward to the other classes."
We've got lots more lined up for the next couple of months.  We have a couple of spaces left on our current Workshops. Although we're pretty booked up,  we will be letting you know what we have planned for the second quarter of 2014 very soon.  Stay tuned for more on that.  In the mean time, why not pop along to the next Fabric HQ Sewcial?  7.30pm St Anne's Hall, Wendover on 4th March. This month we'll be looking at how to make your own bias binding and how to perfect French seams.
We've just been told to expect a very special delivery of fabric tomorrow at HQ (please be kind, Mr Postman!) so check back tomorrow to see what's new. We weren't expecting this lot of little beauties for some time so we're very excited!




Friday, 21 February 2014

So much to write about, not sure where to begin!

We've had a busy couple of weeks here at HQ... let's start with Sunday's trip to Craft Hobby and Stitch at the NEC.  Yes - good place to start.....

We had an amazing time and did our usual kids-in-sweetshop act which it IS hard not to do in our defence!  Highlights of the day included heading over to see our pals from one of our favourite wholesalers where we drooled over the new collection Quill by Valori Wells (coming soon at HQ!)

... and met up with David of Dashwood Studios where we had a sneak preview of what they've got coming up in the next few months (watch this space!) We also ordered some more of their lovely current ranges which are on our website now!  There's Annali ...

...Wildwood ...
... and the ever popular Dino!
We also ordered some fabrics specifically for dressmaking!

as well as some gorgeous new cotton linen blends from Kokka, Japan.

... and we simply LOVE these gorgeous zips ... now which colours to order?

We also FINALLY got to meet up with some people we've been wanting to get together with for an age, such as lovely Fiona from the Sewing Directory, Tilly, Lauren and Stewart from the original series of The Great British Sewing Bee (watch this space for Tilly's new paper patterns!)
...and Katy Jones, author of the awesome patchwork and quilting blog, I'm a Ginger Monkey who gave me this beauty to encourage me to actually make more stuff instead of just stroking the fabric! 
So here are the fruits of my labour - one more applique block complete - thanks, Katy : )
More on this and Katy's new book coming soon.
Also I'll be updating you on our latest workshop and new stuff we've got coming up here at Fabric HQ.  Sunshine here today - let's hope it lasts over the weekend!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

... and the winner is ....

... Amy's Crafty Shenanigans!!! Well done for correctly identifying Ripley's attire as Lotta Jansdotter's Pebble String Schooner.

Oops... forgot the random number generator thingie-majig!

Congratulations Amy, do get in touch at hello@fabrichq.co.uk to let us know which fabric you'd like us to send you.

We're very lucky to be here at the Courtyard in Wendover.  It's a little corner of busy creativeness. A compelling mix of beautiful art and craft, dangerously delicious tea and cake and perfect gifts for special people. This weekend our ranks are to be bolstered by the arrival of The Dandy Kid - an amazing children's boutique selling clothes and fab gifts for cool little kiddos.  Between what Becks has at The Dandy kid and the rest of The Courtyard gang's goodies - I've got Christmas sewn up already!






See?  I told you we were lucky.  I don't need to move further than 20 metres from HQ to do all my gift buying!

Get down to the Courtyard this Saturday 15th Feb to help Becks celebrate the official launch of The Dandy Kid.  There's a vintage carousel and lots of other loveliness lined up so pop along and say hello!

Now onto fabric!  We've got some fab designs winging their way to HQ this week:

There's Jug or Not? ...

... Quill Bark ....
 ... and Helen's Garden, all from Michael Miller.
So come on down to Wendover on Saturday for bags of fun and get to know Becks and The Dandy Kid and don't forget to check our website for these lovely designs, arriving soon!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Look What's Just Landed ....

We've got so many lovely new (and returning) collections that we just HAVE to share with you.  With a change in season just around the corner, there's plenty to inspire your sewing over the next few weeks. So what's new at HQ?

Back in stock, April Rhodes' Staple Dress and new to HQ, April's Date Night Dress (dress and simple slip pattern all in one!) ...
... and while we're talking patterns, we're really excited to have found some super cool patterns designed specifically for kids to sew!  Machine Stars have put together eight different projects that kids will love. These patterns are brilliant presents for girls and boys aged 7 and over. What better way to get your young-uns sewing?

Chantilly is the new and zingy collection by Lauren and Jessi Jung.  The beautifully bright colours make me feel that spring is just around the corner....


... and another bright and breezy collection is Zoe Pearn's My Sunshine.


The name Flurry may suggest snow, but Dashwood's collection is a rainbow of colour...


... and Aneela Hoey's Hello Petal hints at sunny days spent outside.


Finally, how about a bit of valentine inspiration with Deb Strain's Surrounded by Love?


Do stop by and have a look at what's new at Fabric HQ. We've got some beauties coming in again soon so watch this space!

Oh and don't forget to enter February's Ripley's Challenge for your chance to win some fabric. You have until Sunday 23rd Feb to enter so what are you waiting for? Get your socks on!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Ripley's Back!!!

No, not another instalment of the Alien Franchise but OUR Ripley, our Amazonian, fabric loving friend.  Very much like her namesake, she has been hibernating through the worst of the winter weather - but now she's back!

It was pretty darn cold when she made her first appearance of 2014 last weekend, so we did our best to keep her warm with one of Mel's lovely crocheted hats (thanks, Mel)... and didn't it go nicely with her outfit?  We wrapped her nice and snugly in many a layer of fabric and as usual, your mission, if you choose to accept, is to name that fabric.  She's got a lot on this week so to be specific, we're looking for the name and designer of the fabric she's wearing shawl-like, draped around her shoulders.
Sorry you've missed this month's Ripley's Challenge - we'll be back for another soon!
Now time for Ripley's Challenge.  Go visit our website and tell us which fabric she is sporting.  In order to enter you need to do two things:
1 - add a comment on the post telling us what you'd make with this fabric, or alternatively, what's on your sewing table that week.
2 - tell us the name of the fabric in an email sent to hello@fabrichq.co.uk
Whatever you do, DO NOT mention the name of the fabric on your comment on the post - sort of defeats the whole object, doesn't it?

We'll then pick a winner at random next week and send you a fat quarter of a fabric of your choice. Et Voila! Easy peasy way to build your stack.

So, this week Ripley is mainly wearing ...... (shhhh - just in an email - remember!)