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!

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.

Summer Holiday Craft Inspiration


How’s your summer holiday going? Getting plenty of time to relax and chill out, or is it just as crazy as usual? We hope you’ve managed to get some time for a bit of sewing or crafting, as there’s nothing better than having a quiet moment by yourself or in a group to feel inspired and get creative when you need a break. Despite having loads of projects lined and ready to go, (and several uncompleted ones shoved to the back of the cupboard – shhh) we still like to seek out new and exciting inspirational things to get us thinking. If you are feeling in need of a little crafty inspiration or feel like heading out and about this summer, we have put together a list of workshops, exhibitions, fairs and courses in and around Ashford that will get your creative juices fizzing with excitement. So check out the links below and be prepared to get your craft on:


Craft Club Ashford

Taking place on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, the lovely Melissa from Aye Aye, along with several other crafty types, will take you through a workshop involving various different disciplines all on a theme – currently everyone is working on a collaborative project based around the idea of Water. Whether you have never attempted any kind of craft before or are a real magnet for any kind of creativity, this is a fun and friendly workshop session that will have you getting to grips with new crafts and exploring old skills in equal measure. Melissa says, “We skill share, so we all help each other develop in different areas. The idea is that everyone has some talent and we pass that on to each other through projects,  so we help each other as a group and explore together.” Located above Caffe Nero, the Craft Club is free to attend.


The Centre for Creative Enterprise

The CCE is a great place for crafters – full of local artists’ wares and inspirational people. If you are a crafty type or want to be one, this is the place to come to learn new skills or find out how to set up your own business. Combining networking and hot-desking with art and crafts workshops, the CCE truly brings together the creative and the corporate in the best way possible. New courses start up again in September, with a porcelain jewellery making course kicking off the new season on Saturday 20th.



Speaking of ceramics, Kippy’s is one of Ashford’s best kept secrets when it comes to drop in crafts. If you fancy decorating plates, cups, piggy banks or a variety of other pottery goodies, you can pop in and have a go, and then wait a couple of days for your item to get its turn in the kiln. Once it’s out and glazed, it’s yours to collect. An easy and simple craft for anyone with any arty skill or even none at all, its something you can do with the kids too. Prices start from pocket money level (£6.00) and go up according to the size and complexity of the original ceramic design, meaning it won’t break the bank as holiday entertainment.


Things We Do in Bed Quilt Exhibition

Curated by the historical fiction novelist Tracey Chevalier, this exhibition of quilting takes place at the gorgeous Georgian mansion that is Danson House in Bexleyheath. Running until the end of October this year, this show makes for a fascinating day out for anyone with a passion for sewing. Find inspiration in quilts new and old, and see what kind of bed quilt your grandmother would have made for friend’s wedding or for a new baby. Ranging from huge celebratory pieces from the 1700s up to present day artworks by the likes of Turner prize winner Grayson Perry, this show is a must see for anyone who is thinking about venturing into the world of quilting but needs a bit of a shove in the right direction.  Entrance to the exhibition is free alongside a ticket to Danson House – £8.00 for adults, £6.00 for children.


Hastings Town and Country Show

Taking place this weekend, 16th – 17th August, Alexandra Park hosts the annual Hasting Town and Country Show. Giving you the chance to make your own arts and crafts, as well as buy things from local makers, you can also indulge yourself with delicious locally produced food and specialties from farms in the area. All this plus birds of prey and working dogs shows, and plenty of other farm inspired entertainment, so there is loads to get interested in on both days of the show. Tickets are £5.00 for grownups and £2.00 for children.


Adult Education Courses

And if all that wasn’t enough inspiration for you, there are vast amounts of craft courses taking place throughout the year at various locations around Ashford. Pottery, lacemaking, silversmithing, bakery, woodwork and metalwork, upholstery and embroidery are just some of the subjects you can tackle on these courses. Lasting either a few weekends or an entire year, you can learn fantastic skills that will develop your own crafty knowledge and could even lead to you thinking about a new career – how much more inspirational can you get? Day and weekend courses run throughout the year, and new termly courses start up in September. Prices start from around £15.00 for a one off session.

Emporia Market is back! Yes, the market is finally coming back to Ashford and bringing with it all the crafty and vintage loveliness that you have come to expect. Taking place over the weekend of Friday 19th and Saturday 20th September 2014, the market will be crammed full of all kinds of delicious crafts from the usual suspects, including Lil’ Tea Tank, Aye Aye, Richardson and Richardson, plus loads more. Come and find us in Park Mall and give us a big old hug – we’ve missed you!

Patchwork Mini Quilts


Anyone feeling inspired by the Beginners Patchwork course due to take place in August? Lotte Jamieson certainly is, as only this morning she delivered a little bundle of cute, cuddly mini patchwork quilts to the shop. Made from a selection of some of our most gorgeous fabrics, these quilts are perfectly proportioned for little people and anyone who loves things in miniature.

Inspired by her daughter’s desire to drag her bed quilt around with her, Lotte’s  mini quilts are small enough to stuff in a changing bag or bung in the bottom of a buggy without taking up too much room. Plus they are backed with fleece rather than cotton, which not only makes them warmer in colder weather, but also infinitely more snuggly. Great for wrapping up bears or dolls, putting over your head and playing boo, or just plain old cuddling with, these quirky little patchwork pieces come in a variety of different themed colours and patterns, made with modern simple styles which allow the beautiful designs to be the centre of attention.


Fresh yellows and turquoises complement the soft purples of this dreamy horse riding landscape – if your little one loves the idea of galloping through meadows in their sleep, this could be just the thing to send them off to bed with.


Bright orange, purple, green and chocolate brown make for an autumnal mix, alongside the cute squirrel, birds and leaf patterns in this vibrant square and rectangle quilt. A bit funky and seventies feeling, kids whose parents are old enough to remember the last time these colours were fashionable will love these retro prints.


Piratical types will keen to get their hands on the sailor style mini quilt, which features boats, stripes, stars and all things nautical – mixing up large and small panels, this one is backed with a dense navy blue fleece, making it perfect for seaside themed bedrooms or kids who want to captain their own ships.


Smaller patterns and a softer, more delicate colour palette come together in this bird and flower themed mini quilt – pale greens with ditsy roses, pale pink stripes and floaty bird silhouettes make for a serene design. Perfect for mini princesses with a love of all things pretty.

There are only a few of the mini quilts available in Emporia right now, but we know that Lotte has plans for more, so if you would like to get your hands on one, but are desperate for it to feature a particular fabric, we’re sure she would be happy to oblige. All mini quilts are £23.00 – for more information or to order your own quilt, pop into the shop or give us a ring on 01233 612278.