New Patchwork Classes for 2018

Yesterday we had a fantastic patchwork class with Mandy Munroe using the fantastic Sew and Slash technique; just look how pleased these ladies are with their new quilt tops!

They all had a brilliant day and are now raring to go on more of Mandy’s fabulous workshops, so this week we thought we’d showcase all of her classes so that you can see just what we get up to when she’s in the shop for the day.


Beginner’s Patchwork – £75.00
Learn the basic elements of patchwork piecing in this simple class that promises to get you hooked on patchworking. Mandy will help you choose appropriate colours and patterns for your project which will see you get to grips with sewing both squares and triangles.
10.30am – 3.30pm 8th March 2018


Sew and Slash Patchwork – £75.00
Create an unusual quilt top with this clever take on traditional patchworking. Again Mandy will help you with choosing your prints and get you started on making a fantastic looking project.
10.30am – 3.30pm 29th March 2018

Quilting and Binding Workshop – £50.00
Bring a small project to this class, such as a lap quilt, runner or cushion front and learn how to quilt. Mandy will show you how to straight line quilt, trim and apply binding, giving your piece a properly finished look. Machines with walking feet will be provided in the class.
10.30am – 3.30pm 1st February 2018


Abstract Free Form Cutting – £75.00
Have you seen the February issue of Popular Patchwork Magazine? Mandy will be teaching the cutting and sewing technique used for this quilt. This academy workshop was a sell out at Festival of Quilts three years running!
10.30am – 3.30pm 26th April 2018

All classes include fabric (excluding the Quilting and Binding class); for more information, please pop into the shop or call 01233 612278. Places must be booked in advance, and can be secured with a 50% deposit.


Emporia at Kent Quilt Show


This week we are live at the Kent Quilt Show in Detling! We’re currently on stand number 8 on the left handside when you come in and round the corner – come and say hello!


This year we’ve brought with us a whole host of lovely fabrics from the shop, including our Kaffe Fasset collections, new extra wide quilt weight designs from French supplier Stoff, a whole host of Marvel and the brand new Star Wars and of course all our super festive Christmas fabrics. We’ve spent the whole day chatting with lovely quilters, discussing what they’re planning to make, which designers they like and how you can never, ever have too much fabric in your stash.

There are plenty of other fabric stands and sewing machine stalls all around, all offering their own variety of prints, from a whole rainbow of plains to a selection of hundreds of different white on whites. Next door to is renowned quilter Sylvie Plested, who is running workshops throughout the weekend and introducing people to different quilting skills.

As always there is a wonderful quilting exhibition, full of amazing designs. some traditional, some more modern, and many of them using a vast array of different skills. Take a look at these amazing designs and you’re bound to feel inspired to get quilting!

We’re here at the Detling Show Ground today until 4.30pm, and then again from tomorrow from 10am – 4pm – we’d love you to come and visit us!

Detling Quilting Show


This week we’re blogging to you live from the Detling showground for the annual quilting show! Clair set up the stall last night, along with loads of other fabric suppliers from around the country and we’re both here today and tomorrow to introduce our gorgeous prints to a whole load of sewing fans.

Here we are at stand 18 where we’ve been busy selling Spider-Man and Christmas Scandi prints to people this morning, and a huge amount of air erasable pens – it seems you people can’t quite get enough of them! The 30s mini flowers from Penny Rose have also been going down a treat. We’re busy meeting lots of people who didn’t know there was a fabric shop in Ashford and are delighted to find us, so we will be seeing plenty more new faces in Park Mall over the coming weeks.


A whole world of colour is on display here as there is everything from a rainbow of plains to Japanese designs, Michael Miller, Beth Studley, Makower, quirky kids prints, tie dye, vintage style, and plenty of autumnal Halloween inspired and Christmassy fabrics. If you have a passion for anything fabric related, then at Detling you will be a very happy sewing bunny indeed.


If you’re looking for inspiration there is a big display of amazing quilts at the back of the hall, featuring all kinds of designs and unusual patterns. Take a look at these super bright maps, stars, animals, flowers and people.




Despite it being a quilting show, there are lots of other materials on sale as well as cottons, and including jersey and other fashion fabrics. There are also sewing machines, daylight lamps, buttons and beads, and plenty of other haberdashery and trimmings on sale.


We’re massive fans of Beth Studley and we’re hoping to start selling her patterns sometime soon, so we grabbed a photo of her lovely stall and had a quick natter about how much we love her fabric designs. Keep your eyes peeled for more of her delicious prints in the shop soon!


Sadly I’m only here today, but Clair will be back again at the Detling Showground tomorrow until 4pm, so if you’re planning on visiting the quilting show, feel free to swing by the stall and say hello!



Introducing our Loyalty Card


To coincide with the opening of the brand new shop a couple of weeks ago, we decide that it was about time we started rewarding all our lovely customers for sticking with us and choosing to buy our gorgeous fabrics and crafts, so this week we humbly present to you our very own loyalty card.


Healthier than handing out chocolates and much more satisfying than having us simply say nice things about your purchases, the loyalty card is the perfect reward for all your time and effort spent choosing and matching fabrics. Every time you spend £10.00 on materials or haberdashery with us, we’ll give you a stamp on the card, and then when your card is full, we’ll give you a five pound voucher to spend with us on your next shopping trip. Good eh?


We’ve handed out loads of cards to customers in the past couple of weeks, but we haven’t given out any vouchers yet, so you could be the first! We’ve had so many lovely compliments from everyone since we opened, we’re desperate to return the favour and show you how grateful we are for your loyal custom. So don’t be surprised if we give you a spontaneous round of applause when you hand over a completed card.


So what can we tempt you into the shop with to start earning stamps on your loyalty card? We’ve had quite a few lovely deliveries since we moved, including these simple but beautiful polka dots which now come in loads more colours than we’d had before. Amazingly versatile, these spotty prints work fabulously for quilting, patchwork, on clothing for children and grownups – retro circle skirts and dinky pjyamas are just the tip of the iceberg for these dots.


We’ve also got out hands on some gorgeous bird and leaf designs from Makower – available in pale grey, muted green and soft pink, these line drawing style prints. Cushions, curtains and baby bedding is what they make us think of.


More autumnal patterns are starting to creep in now (we know! it’s still the summer holidays!) and we can’t help cooing over this gorgeous woodland collection, featuring stag silhouettes, and line drawings of bagders, rabbits and foxes. Perfectly coordinated to make an autumn themed, nature inspired quilt or throw for the sofa, we also feel like those stags are just crying out to be turned into a pair of crisp cotton traditional pyjamas.

And if you’re still stuck for inspiration, check out our brand new classes list, which has loads of classes and workshops all the way up to December.

Summer Patchwork Classes with Mandy Munroe


This July sees the return of renowned quilter Mandy Munroe as she heads back to Emporia once more to take a series of patchwork quilt classes. Having had her quilts shown in exhibitions around the world and her designs published in the likes of Popular Patchwork, Mandy has become a big name in the quilting arena, making her classes extremely popular with learners and more experienced sewers alike. So if you’ve ever fancied learning to quilt or upping your patchwork game, now is the time!

Kicking off a whole month of patchwork fun, the first class to take place is the Beginner’s Patchwork on Saturday 11th July. Here’s your chance to learn the basics from a professional and tackle cutting simple squares with a rotary cutter before you discover how to build your first four blocks. Taking place over four hours, this is an ideal way to get comfy with the basic construction and sewing principles involved in creating your first quilt – ideal for complete newbies and perfect as a refresher for those who may not have undertake any quilting in a while. The class costs £50.00 per person and includes four fat quarters of fabric from our huge selection.


The second class run by Mandy over the summer is her Log Cabin Birds session. Here you can expand on your knowledge of basic piecing by creating simple birds using Log Cabin style construction. A chance to learn a brand new approach, this class is suitable for novice quilters and those with a little more experience. The session takes place on Tuesday 21st July 2015, and costs £50.00 per person, which includes fabrics.

Rounding off our patchwork and quilter’s month on Thursday 30th July, the final class is the Sew and Slash session which is a much freer version of patchwork than using the standard blocks. This creative class is perfect for intermediate level patchworkers or ambitious beginners who have some experience of quilting, as it involves being confident with your fabric placement and sewing without a pattern. On the day you will have enough time to create a fantastic quilt top, measuring around 40″ x 54″. The class costs £50.00 per person and includes fabric.


The dates for the classes are:
Beginner’s Patchwork – 10am – 3pm Saturday 11th July 2015
Only two spaces left!

Log Cabin Birds – 10am – 3pm Tuesday 21st July 2015
Three spaces left for this class.

Sew and Slash – 10am – 3pm Thursday 30th July 2015.
Three spaces left for this class.

If you would like to book a place on any of Mandy Munroe patchwork and quilting classes, give us a ring on 01233 612278 for more information.

And to celebrate our three fantastic quilting classes and the return of the lovely Mandy to the shop, we’ll be offering quilters a special discount throughout July – keep your eyes peeled for more information nearer the time.

Pluckley Quilt and Craft Show


Following our wonderfully successful Emporia Craft & Vintage Market which took place last week, we are upping sticks and moving out to Pluckley for the weekend. We’re grabbing a whole load of our wonderful fabrics, plenty of buttons and some seriously useful quilting equipment and shipping ourselves off to the Village Hall where we will join a whole load of other crafty types for some patchwork fun.

Clair will be running an Emporia stall at the Pluckley Quilt and Craft show which takes place over both Saturday and Sunday in the village, giving people a little further out from Ashford the chance to see some of our beautiful fabrics close up. Alongside all the Michael Miller, Riley Blake, Makower and Copenhagen Print Factory gorgeousness we will have for sale at the show, Clair will also be selling our fantastic cutting mats and rotary cutters, which no patchwork maker should ever be without. Making life so much easier (and quicker) when it comes to cutting fabric, these babies are simply the best way to get hundreds of quilting pieces all the same size.


Buttons and beautiful embroidery cottons will also be available on our stall, and several lucky customers will be given 10% off vouchers to use in the shop, so if you can’t see what you want on the day of the show, you can head into Ashford on Monday and see our full range.


One of the fabric collections we know will get a special mention in Pluckley is the Downton Abbey range. Inspired by the iTV series which has just made a return to our screens (hurray for Granny Grantham and her one liners!) these fabrics come in a range of subtle blues and greens, with vintage style patterns. Perfect for adding a little Downton glamour to your wardrobe (Lady Sybil’s blouses?) or transforming your bedroom into a proper ladie’s boudoir (Lady Mary’s curtains?) these gorgeous gems will be on sale at the Pluckley Craft Show from the Emporia Fabric and Craft stand all weekend.

The Pluckley Quilt and Craft Show takes place from 10.30am – 5pm Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September 2014 at Pluckley Village Hall. Entrance is £4.00 which includes a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake. 


And in other news … Those of you who have fallen in love with our Poppykin owls and the Natsy Batsy bear will be delighted to know that we have more of both in stock right now. Colourful, patchwork sleepy owls have been joined by a wide awake button-eyed owl, alongside some heavy-bottomed doorstop owls in stripes. Joining the owls on the Emporia shelves just in time for autumn are these beautiful brand new bears – available in bright pink with white flowers, and duck egg blue with pink roses.  Perfect for brightening up any room, sofa or bed, these lovelies are in stock now and waiting to be taken to a caring home!

Interview with Mandy Munroe


This week we take a little look at the life and work of renowned quilter and patchwork designer Mandy Munroe, who is heading our way in August to give us the lowdown on kick starting our very own patchwork pieces in her one day workshop. Here she talks about her passion for fabric, how her grandmother’s craft drawer got her into sewing and why she loves nothing more than browsing the charity shops for unusual finds.


Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Mandy Munroe; I’m a quilter, textile artist, patchwork teacher and blogger. I design quilts regularly for Popular Patchwork magazine and was commissioned to create the hand dyed patchwork wall pieces for The Environment Centre at Singleton.

How did you get into crafting?
My grandmother always encouraged my brother and I to make things. She had a craft drawer and we were allowed to use anything in it. She taught me to knit, crochet and embroider. I learnt to quilt when I lived in US for a few years. My children were small and it was a hobby that allowed me to get out, learn something new and meet like-minded people.

Who and what inspires you to create?
Fabric! I love finding new colours and prints to make something snuggly and useful.


Which crafters/artists/designers do you most admire?
Anyone who creates for exhibition or sale is putting their heart and skills out there: it can be scary. I love to buy from local artists, designer makers and crafters, and have just been visiting open studios in the area, there are lots. We are very lucky to have such a vibrant creative community in Ashford!

When did you decide to make the leap from making for friends and family to creating your own business?
When I moved back from the US in 1996, friends asked me to teach them. At the same time a US patchwork magazine wanted my quilt for their front cover, and it’s been a slow build from there.

What five things would you say were essential when you set up your craft business?
Being organised, having a planned, professional approach; knowing the value of your skill/product, it’s important to value your time; having the ability to adapt to your market/audience; being part of a local network has been invaluable for sharing the organisation and promotion of events; having an online presence – website/blog/facebook page.


Name three of your most popular designs.
My Slouchy Bag gets lots of compliments. Beginners Sew and Slash throw workshops are always full and my intermediate classes for modern Crazy Log Cabin quilts made from scraps, is in high demand right now.

If you weren’t a quilter, what would you be doing with your time?Thrifting! I love charity shops and collect vintage tablecloths, doilies and threads. Plates, jugs, cups and saucers all make me happy.

Do you run any workshops or take part in any groups?
Yes – I’ll be running a Beginners Patchwork class at Emporia in August, and I love to Knit and Natter on Fridays at Emporia too. I’m also a member of Jo Blox, Oast Quilters and NYCMetroMod quilters.


What’s new with your craft? Tell us about some of the exciting things we can expect to see from you this year.
I’ll be teaching workshops and taster classes at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in August. The Modern Quilt Guild are planning a conference in Texas in February 2015 and I’ll be going to keep up to date with the modern quilt movement, plus I’m designing more new quilts for Popular Patchwork magazine so watch out for those too!


So if you’ve been inspired by Mandy’s amazing designs and fancy having a go at patchwork yourself, pop into the shop or give us a ring and book yourself on her one day Beginners Patchwork class on Saturday 2nd August 2014.