Stitching News July 2018

Diary Dates

PLEASE NOTE: I inadvertently made a mistake in the dates for Flowerpatch Quilters Exhibition which is at the end of this month. I corrected it when I was alerted, but would like to post the correct information. If you are going to the exhibition having read about it from my blog, please make sure you have the correct dates, which are:

Tuesday 31st July – Saturday August 4th  Flowerpatch Quilters 35th Patchwork Exhibition Central Methodist Church Hall, Launceston, PL15 8BA  10am-4pm  Entrance fee £2.

Friday August 24th – Saturday August 25th  Plym Piecemakers Quilt Exhibition – Celebrating 30 years.  Friday 10.00 – 4.00 Saturday 10.00 – 3.00   Entrance £1. Yealmpton Community Resource Centre, Stray Park, Yealmpton. PL8 2HF Enquiries please phone 01752 880385 or email  Raffle, sales table and Chinese Auction in aide of SSAFA Plymouth and Little Things.  Parking next to the hall and disabled access

What am I writing about in the July newsletter? 

  • Scrap Bags
  • Apron based on a Japanese design.
  • Cable keepers
  • Denim bag
  • Inspiration for another house panel

I hope you enjoy the newsletter this month. Many thanks to all of you who comment or email to say how much you do enjoy it. It is lovely to know that it is appreciated.

I am going to throw out a small plea/request/ask this month! Rosemary and I have been sewing, and preparing for our charity day sales table, and during the last week I took a guest down to “Coast and Country’s wonderful shop. I had a couple of items to buy and as I was looking around I noticed that Sally’s team had made a few tiny scrap bags, for sale and thought what a great idea.

They were tied up in little cellophane packets like sweetie bags. Very inviting, and of course a couple fell into my basket!

I thought about it as the day went along, and decided to make larger ones for the sales table. So I have been sorting folding and creating a nice little colour palette of fabrics. They have come from my scrap bag, and from donations from dear friends in the past who have contributed, wanting to support the causes I stitch for!  On this occasion a particular big thank you to Jenny in Gloucestershire for the wonderful selection that she brought for me when she visited Cornwall earlier in the year. We spent a most enjoyable day together.

DSC00876 (2).JPGI am putting approximately the equivalent of a fat quarter in each small cellophane bag, and will sell them for £2 each. They all contain a mixture of commercial and hand dyed cotton and occasionally silk too. Twenty packages so far have provided approximately 5 metres of scraps!! I shall continue!

This is where I need some help now! I am significantly denuding my scrap bags quickly, and wondered if some of you might be prepared to put some scraps in an envelope to send to me. If you are able, and would like to, please choose ones that you would like to receive if you were buying a scrap bag! A little bit of batik;  or hand dyed would be most welcome, a nice print or plain. Thank you so much. I will carry on sorting; and colour coordinating; provide the cellophane bags and ties; (hand dyed dishcloth cotton). It is invaluable! Please do not send anything after the middle of August. My address is: Di Wells, Cedar Lodge, Mevagissey; Cornwall, PL26 6RX.  Thank you again, in advance, on behalf of the two charities which we are supporting.

DSC00881 (3)All monies received as a result of the charity workshop is being shared between Cornwall Air Ambulance and an Albanian sewing charity that teaches desperately poor women sewing skills. This is helping to lift them out of poverty as members of many families are now are able to obtain gainful employment in the local factories. Self esteem and pride, is being restored to them, as they become self sufficient in financial terms. There is terrific work going on out there. We receive newsletter updates, a couple of times a year. None of us know when we may need the tremendous services of the air ambulance which has no government funding, relying solely on its charitable status. They are such a worthy cause to support. Finally I would like to say a very big thank you to those of you have signed up for the charity workshop. We are full, so I have closed the list now.

An appropriate mention now of an apron that I bought myself in Fowey, recently! You may ask “Bought, Di? Not made?” Well, yes! I saw it and instantly wanted to try it on, and loved it! It is not unlike the apron that Janet Clare wears for her workshops, and which has been made by many a quilter from her pattern. However, it was the story behind the garment that really attracted me.DSC00878 (2).JPG

It is made by “helen moore” and is part of “The Revival Collection”, and is based on a traditional Japanese design. It is more angular than Janet’s having a square neck on a square yolk. Her’s is very attractive but more curvy. I shall take a leaf from her book though and customise it! I am sure that you can’t possibly imagine how!

Below is a quote from the label attached to the garment:

“This item has been made in India from fabric scraps left behind by the fast fashion industry. Off-cuts from T-shirt factories have been saved, sorted, cut up and woven to create a new beautiful collection for your home. By making full use of scrap fabric the environmental impact is minimised, and the production process provides employment in good working conditions to a network of families.” 



The company produce a range of household textile goods, as you can see on their website.

I did contact them to ask if their recycled fabrics were available for sale. My query was responded to very quickly, and, again, I quote:

“At the moment we don’t have the fabric in the factory because the Revival range is made for us by our partner company in India…In fact the offcuts from the Revival fabric go back into creating the next batch of fabric so it is an ongoing recycling process”.

What a good news story! Up-cycling; re-cycling etc is coming much more into focus now, which I am sure we all applaud wholeheartedly.  Many of us have been doing this for several years, but it warms my heart to read more!


I have been making great use of the kam snaps I talked about in the May newsletter, making slim cable keepers, also from recycled fabrics.

DSC00849 (2).JPGIn this photograph  you can see that the first part of the keeper wraps around the cord, held in place by the first pair of kam snaps. It can slide up and down the cord, but will not come off either end. This way it is always there! No worrying about where you may have put it, the last time it was used!

I must admit, I used more than one or two kam snaps working out the placement etc.! However, once I had it worked out, and I could use the final correct one as my sample, they were quick and easy to make!


DSC00850 (2)The second photograph illustrates how neat and tidy the charging area is with the cable ties in use. I also do not have to fight with feet of cable when keeping the charger in their little bags when I take them away on holiday.





A new little denim bag is well on its way now. I have used a strip of masking tape to help keep me straight with my quilting lines! I have never favoured quilting pens of any sort, and have never, personally used one. I do use lead pencils in a sympathetic colour, and silver pencils, but nothing which has to be “ironed to erase” or “washed to erase”.

DSC00880 (2).JPGGenerally I prefer to use a Hera Marker, a Clover accessory. However, I am not seeing the mark it makes on Denim clearly enough to rely on it at the moment, so have deferred to the trusty favourite of years ago!

The way to use the Hera marker, is to place the fabric ready for marking onto a firm surface, put your ruler in place, and holding the shank of the Hera marker, firmly press the curved, thin edge of the marker against the ruler edge, drawing it down the required length of line. It will leave an indentation that stays for a long time. Sometimes it leaves a slightly shiny mark as well. Neither indentation or shiny line can be seen after quilting.

You can clearly see the masking tape in situ on the photo below.

Using a wide one allows me to quilt along two sides, before removing it and replacing it!


DSC00879 (2).JPG

I have almost finished the quilting. Then I have the zip and lining to stitch in, and a strap to make and add.  The colour of the lining will depend on what colour zip I choose! I will also attach an internal pocket to the lining, before final assembly.

Finally I will just show you a photograph of a small section of the walls that surround York. We spent a few days with lovely friends who live just outside York, earlier in the month, and we walked around the walls with them. For many reasons it was such a memorable and interesting day, but I took this photo which has given me the inspiration for the next house panel I shall stitch. I have recorded my thoughts and ideas, in notes and sketches etc, in preparation for when I can start working on the panel. The “series” has gone on hold until after the workshop day, but I am delighted with the start I have already made.

IMG_20180701_145619.jpg Here is the photo. The colour palette is just gorgeous, the soft creamy buttery colour, paler cream and the range of greys encompassing almost white to coal black,  They just grab me! Can’t wait to dye some fabrics and threads and get started!

I love the change of scale in the mix of stones, as well as the range of textures….lots to think about!






We also came across this gorgeous metal plaque attached to the wall, with its beautiful, incredibly ornate script. The individual letters really bear detailed scrutiny. They are so decorative and attractive. for instance look at the T right at the start of the inscription. I love the capital C with its curly top. The “f”, second letter of the word “of” and the beautiful k, all to be found in the second line on the tablet. It is such a script of its time, ? medieval, ? much earlier?Perhaps one of you can enlighten me.

Until next time; Happy Stitching!



15 thoughts on “Stitching News July 2018

  1. Dear Di Loved the newsletter and of course I have plenty of scraps for you. Do you want them before 1st August or can I prepare some for you beforehand? Let me know what sort of sizes you are putting my in. Love Rx


  2. Hello Di! I am responding to your request re scraps. I would be very happy to send fabrics to you. I can send copious amounts of pretty florals! You are asking for batiks. In the selection shown I have some South African fabrics I can share and in the bag some Japanese pieces. Would these work….. Do you want some florals? The cellophane bags are a different shape to yours but you are more than welcome to have these. I am having a decluttering on my workroom and am happy when I can find good homes! I have found The Aldingbourne Trust locally (near Chichester) which helps people with MH problems and they do various arts and crafts. I love to read your blog. Susie Hallam is a mutual friend and gave me the recommendation! We are very keen for rain here but I understand Cornwall did have some and Susie says she had some in Melksham. I hope it is our turn soon….meanwhile some More watering of the lovely hydrangeas to start the day! Take care. Caro

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Di

    Lovely to get the newsletter, I always enjoy them. I’m up in my eyrie, sorting fabric for you. I hope you’ve given your postman fair warning!!! I bet you’ll be deluged.

    The script from York has elements of Celtic/ Irish script hasn’t it? I wonder if it’s an amalgam of several scripts? It’s very attractive. When I moved I disposed/sold several books that I thought I wouldn’t use but one of them was a book on calligraphy, which my dad had taught me from, and it’s one of the ones I regret parting with. Another was my mother’s copy of Mary Thomas’s encyclopaedia of embroidery stitches which I have just rebought from eBay! I think it will be very useful for the work we are doing with Anne. Shall I be buying the calligraphy one too? I wouldn’t be surprised!

    Isn’t it hot? I hope the sea breeze helps for you. I just hide inside and sew. I had a disaster with a quilt I am making for Jo using a jelly roll she bought at the NEC last year. Firstly I was not impressed with the strips. They are not printed on the straight and the design uses them practically intact so it shows. The fabric is Moda and I thought it would be good quality. A bit disappointing. Anyway I joined all the strips, being very careful to reverse direction on each strip but I hadn’t cut them to the same length as I thought it would allow some adjustment. A BIG mistake. It ended up a parallelogram! I had to undo all of it, cut it to length and rejoin. I think it still isn’t square but am hoping it will be near enough. I am going to hand quilt it but it’s too hot at the moment.

    I had a very pleasant surprise this week. I made my younger grandson a quilt using a design he found on the Internet. It took ages and he loved it. When he did his internship year he left it packed in a box in the house because he was returning for his final year. When he got back the other students said they thought it was rubbish and they’d taken it all to the tip! Dougal was distraught and I was cross. Anyway this week Martha finally removed some boxes of stuff from the cupboard in my spare room and I decided to give the cupboard a good turn out. There was a bag of stuff I didn’t recognise and you can guess what was in there! He must have brought it here at some stage and I have so many bits and pieces in various cupboards that belong to one or another of them and Jess that I hadn’t even seen it! I was delighted and Dougal was ecstatic. I’d made it clear that I was very reluctant to make him another! This is it

    Sorry, I seem t have rambled on more than I meant to. Back to sorting fabric.


    Sent from my iPad



  4. Thanks for the stitching news, always a good read and gives me loads of ideas, wether they come to fruition is another story. I have used a lot of my scraps up in my gypsy quilt but you are very welcome to what I can sort out. What sort of size would you like as a lot of mine will be too small I think. Will pop them through your letterbox before the end of the month, if I do 5 see you at the next HQ meeting, happy sewing Margaretx

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Margaret, I cannot imagine you have anything left after the amount you put into that AMAZING , beautiful quilt. I am asking for “scraps” so just a few would be lovely. I shall be at the next HQ. So please that you are enjoying the newsletter. xxxx


  5. Hello Di,
    The newsletter is always a great read. A scrap pack will be on its way to you pronto.
    All best wishes
    Pauline xx


  6. Hello Di … I have some fabric to spare, so please feel free to remind me if I haven’t given you any!!!




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