Emporia at Tenterden Christmas Market

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This time next week we’ll be set up on the streets of Tenterden and taking part in their fabulous Christmas Market. Running over Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November, the Tenterden Christmas Market kicks off the festive season in that little corner of Kent, with a lantern parade and the big lights switch on taking place on the first day. It’s the perfect start to the festive season proper, with rides, snow and a whole host of independent crafters and retailers selling their lovely wares.
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Kicking off from 12pm on Friday 24th November, up and down Tenterden High Street will be a huge range of stalls all selling amazing unique gifts and foods. We’ll be joining a fantastic selection with our very own stall, selling lovely handmade things for Christmas from stockings and quilts, to knitted hats and scarves, plus a variety of other exciting gifts for the festive season. Craft kits, selections of special fabrics, one off handmade items and all the normal loveliness you’ve come to expect from Emporia will be on sale. Come and find us, browse for Christmas gifts and enjoy the festive atmosphere – there’s bound to be a few mince pies and maybe some other treats lurking on our stall too.
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Alongside us will be the likes of The Farm Street Kitchen and The Mucky Duck Bakery selling delicious pies and pastries, plus The Chocolate Note and Mini Mouthfuls fudge with their gorgeous sweet treats.  And for those that have a really sweet tooth, why not get stuck into a special Santa Shake from Chin Chin – it looks truly amazing and serious indulgent!
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Helping everyone get in the festive mood will be the Christmas in Tenterden light parade, where pupils from Tenterden Primary Federation and St. Michaels Primary School will carry handmade willow lanterns down the streets from the junior school, all the way to St Mildred’s Church. Starting at 4pm on Friday 24th November, members of the public are welcome to join in the lantern parade with LED candles that can be bought on the high street on the day. At around 5.30pm, after the church service the Mayor of Tenterden will give a special Christmas Tree blessing before turning the Tenterden Christmas lights on.

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On both days of the Christmas market, the Kent and East Sussex Railway will be offering a free shuttle service from Rolvenden Station up to Tenterden High Street. For just a small charity donation you can park at the station and enjoy a ten minute old fashioned steam train ride along the track to the market. A perfect way to start the festivities!
The Christmas in Tenterden festive market takes place from 12pm – 9pm Friday 24th November and 10am – 8pm Saturday 25th November along the High Street in Tenterden. Come and find us at our stall near the snow machine!

 

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Emporia at Kent Quilt Show

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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!

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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!

Macmillan Coffee Morning

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Today is the official date for the Macmillan Coffee Morning but we are hosting ours next week on Wednesday 4th October, here in the shop. We’ve got cake, coffee, biscuits and tea all planned for our regular visitors, so if you fancy eating some delicious treats in the name of charity, then why not join us.

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer. Every year they invite people all over the UK to host their own coffee mornings (or afternoons) and raise money on the day to donate to Macmillan. Last year they raised a phenomenal £29.5 million and this year they are aiming to raise even more.

The reason behind all this cake and coffee making and eating and drinking is that there are now 2.5 million people in the UK living with cancer, and before 2030, it will be 4 million people. Macmillan nurses aim to be there for as many of those people as possible, supporting them and their families in whatever way they can through one of the toughest things many of them will ever experience. Macmillan provide medical, emotional, practical and financial support, as well as campaigning for better cancer care for all sufferers.  One in three people will get cancer, and their goal is to make sure no one faces cancer alone.

So with this in mind we will be hosting our own Macmillan Coffee Morning next Wednesday 4th October, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. If you would like to make a contribution of cakes or other delicious goodies, we would be most grateful; but we would be even more grateful if you would join us in having a cup of tea or coffee, eating some baked treats and maybe sitting down with some sewing or knitting, whilst having a chat. We want to make our coffee morning a convivial and crafty couple of hours, so if you have a portable project you want to bring with you, then be our guest! As long as you put your donation in the pot, it’s all good.

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If you are in need of any baking inspiration, you can visit the Macmillan Coffee Morning website which has a collection of recipes from various chefs and celebs, including a recipe from Rupert Grint for chocolate and ginger biscuits and Jamie Oliver’s blood orange and polenta cake. Sounds delicious!

Join us from 10.30am Wednesday 4th October 2017 at Emporia Fabric & Craft for our Macmillan Coffee Morning – all donations received on the day (and afterwards) will be donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support. For more information on the Macmillan nurses, click here.

Two New Summer Patterns

Clair has been a super busy bee this summer releasing three new patterns since May, and now she has two more for you! The Simple Gathered Skirt (which you can see on show in our current August summer sewing themed window) and a child’s Reversible Skirt.

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Both patterns are slightly different from our normal pattern releases in that they are simply a set of detailed instructions that take you, step by step through the processes that you need to complete each garment. Despite us running a Simple Gathered Skirt class for a year or so now, many of you have asked for a pattern or some instructions that you can take home so you can make more for yourselves or for other people.

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So now Clair has obliged and we are launching the pattern instructions next week! Meaning there is plenty of time for you to make you and your kids, friends, family some lovely skirts for the rest of the summer, or get a head start on your autumn wardrobe.

Our second pattern release for next week is a girl’s Reversible Skirt to go with our other reversible kid’s items. It’s another set of super simple instructions that show you how to make a fantastic gathered skirt for a little girl, that has two sides for you to choose fabulous prints!

We’re loving this Black Widow versus Captain America shield design that Lotte has made for her daughter. The perfect solution for fussy kids who can’t decide between two different patterns, this skirt is a two in one dream.

Both the Simple Gathered Skirt and the Reversible Skirt instructions will be available from Emporia next week, priced at £3.00 each. If you’d like to get your hands on one or both of the patterns, let us know in advance and we’ll reserve them for you.

 

New Summer Florals and Feathers

A lovely range of pretty, bright florals and some lovely feather prints arrived at the shop this week, alongside some more unusual prints inspired by maps and the like. Giving you plenty of inspiration for some easy summer makes, take a look at these gorgeous new collections and see what you want to make from them.

Little girls dresses and skirts, bedding, curtains and cushions would look fabulous in these bright and super cute fresh florals.

These lovely feather prints remind us of early style photography or x-ray prints – perfect for making some Alice trousers for the summer or maybe a cool kimono dress.

And we’ve got a fantastic selection of some more unusual prints – these amazing fat quarters are designed by Tim Holz for the Rowan collection and feature excerpts from a range of old fashioned documents and items, such as maps, sheet music, books, forms, shop labels and Victorian style script. Ideal for adding a more masculine take on interior design or for creating a really different take on a quilt, we are completely in love  with new this collection.

And we have these three luscious designs on bolts too – what amazing things could you make with these?

All these prints are available in store now priced from £15.00 to £15.50 with fat quarters priced at £4.25 to £4.50. For more information give us a ring on 01233 612278 or pop into the shop and take a look in person.

Fabric for Father’s Day

 

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More fabulous fabric has been arriving the shop recently and we think this selection would be fantastic for Father’s Day. You’ve still got a whole week and a half before you have to make a fuss of the old man, so why not take a butchers at some of these slightly more masculine prints and have a think about what gifts you could make for him? Or if he’s the sewing sort himself, grab him a fat quarter bundle or treat him to a couple of metres to make a shirt or perhaps a pair of summer shorts.  However you decide to make much of the men in your life, we’ve plenty of inspiration to get you started.

We can summer shorts and funky shirts being made out of these wonky spot and hand drawn cross prints. Teal and slate grey mix nicely with off white for a contemporary look here – transform your dad into an on trend hipster with one of these!

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Got a dad who loves woodwork? Check out the woodgrain designs in teal and cream – perfect for washbags or even a woodworking apron.

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Go mid century modern with these jumbled up squares and rectangles in teal, brown, grey and yellow. Perfect for cushions to cosy up your dad’s favourite chair.

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Science and maths fiends will love the periodic table and equations designs – try out a phone case or maybe a wallet in these funky designs.

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Vintage loving dads will be thrilled with anything created in these gorgeous prints – old style letters and adverts or rulers make for unusual prints that creative dads will really go for. Make a laptop case or perhaps some cushions for the study.

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For fans of cycling, these funky black and white bikes make a nice touch. Try a tie or a casual shirt for some summer riding out with the family.

Father’s Day takes place on Sunday 18th June 2017 – all fabrics available from Emporia, prices ranging from £14.00 – £16.50 per metre. Worried we might sell out? Give us a ring on 01233 612278 and we’ll put some by for you until you can make it into town.

 

 

Interview with Me Made May Creator Zoe – part 2

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This week we bring you the second half of our interview with Zoe Edwards, the mastermind behind Me Made May. Here she talks about what it’s all about, how you can get involved and where you sign up!

Who can participate in MMM? 
Anyone can! Even if you’ve only been making clothes for a week and only have one solitary self-stitched garment or accessory, you can take part by setting a challenging but do-able pledge to wear that thing more than you otherwise would. Hopefully that experience would lead you to figure out how you’d be able to spend your future making time more usefully, and make you feel proud of your achievements.

Do we all need to have a wardrobe full of beautifully stitched, handmade clothing? 
No. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them. For example, a very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2017. But you can pledge to do whatever you like, no matter how new you are to sewing or knitting. How about pledging to wear two or more self-made garments a week? Or maybe to try making a new type of garment by the end of the month to wear on the final day? Perhaps you could pledge to finish all your UFO’s (unfinished objects) by 31st May.

Can we see how other people are getting on? Where can I go for some MMM inspiration?
Some participants choose to document their challenge photographically (it’s not compulsory for taking part though) and share them with others on social media. Lots of people choose to write about their challenge of their blogs if they have one, and/or share photos via twitter and instagram. Google searches and hashtag searches (#MMMay17, #memademay) should open up a world of inspiration!

What will your pledge be for this year? Do you have a standard set of self-sewn patterns you go back to for each MMM or do you like to mix it up? What do you wear more of in everyday life, self-drafted, other designer’s pattern or shop–bought clothing? 
I’m still considering how best to set my own pledge specifics for this year. I tend to think about how my lifestyle has evolved since the previous year, and consider what I would like to improve on (like wearing my self-made skirts more, or improving my mix-and-match game) and make a suitable pledge based on that. My current wardrobe is about 90% me-made and refashioned items, with 10% secondhand (often donated from my best friend!). I still buy bras, socks, tights and footwear new, but one day when I’m no longer breastfeeding, I’ll have a go at making bras too.

We're taking part!

Sounds like we’d better get making …
You can but MMM isn’t a reason to make lots of new clothes (unless you want to). This challenge is about wearing the items that you have already created, not about stock-piling more makes. However, if you want to use taking part in the challenge as the kick in the butt you need to finally hem that half-finished skirt, or rework an ill-fitting garment, then great. Remember, this challenge is meant to be fun, and panic-making isn’t fun! So please people, NO PANIC-SEWING/MAKING NECESSARY OR CONDONED!

Where do I sign up?
All you have to do is copy the pledge below and paste it into the comments section of my MMMay’17 post, having adapted it to include your details and the personal specification of your challenge, before 1st May 2017:

 ‘I, (insert name here and blog address/instagram handle if you have one), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear………………………………………………… each day for the duration of May 2017.’

So if you’re feeling inspired to get making or show off what you’ve already made, sign up here! And don’t forget if you’ve made anything with our fabric, you can enter our super duper Me Made May competition for a chance to win some fabulous sewing prizes. For more information, click here to see how to enter, and if you want to see how our own MMM wardrobes are working out, you can find us on Instagram under @emporiafabricandcraft and @lottejamiesoncrafts.