Friday, 11 July 2014

Dressmaking Courses & Machine Skills

 Celia Banks from Sew Fundamental will be teaching here at The Royal Bridlington in November & December.

Following requests for workshops and retreats suitable for all levels of ability, we have put together a superb programme for this winter.

We kick off with 'Getting to know/Mastering your machine'. This is a great one for beginners and anyone with a new machine.

Next we move on to essential techniques. Celia will be teaching buttonholes of all descriptions and then zips - again covering various different methods.

The final day is making and fitting a skirt.

Full details of these workshops / retreat can be found on the website

In December we shall be covering Fearless Overlocking.  If you have an overlocker and get frustrated with it or not quite sure what your overlocker can do or even if you are thinking about purchasing an overlocker ...this is for you.

The next two days are called Fit for Fashion and Celia will be teaching us how to make clothes that really fit using the Palmer Pletsch technique.

Again full details can be found on the website

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Two More Happy Customers - Long arm quilting

Well today two customers have collected their quilts.

This customer was recommended to come to me by a local shop.  She told me that this started out as a practice piece for leaning different techniques and just grew with more borders and became too big for her to tackle.

The quilting design she chose is called 'Bountiful Feathers'  and here is the back

She was happily stunned when she saw what I had done to her top.....phew!
Its so lovely when your customers are thrilled with your work.

My next customer has made this pretty tulip top as a present for her grandchild.

Here it is just after loading on my ABM Innova.

The Pattern chosen is called 'Daisy Fast'.......although I must say it was not that fast ... I think someone was having a laugh and it took around 5 hours. Some of the fabrics in the quilt had a very similar design of daisy and so this worked really well I feel.

and here is the back

I would like to thank both customers for first of all trusting me with their treasured tops and secondily for allowing me to share the pictures.

More information about the quilting service can be found at and you too can lean how to make a beautiful patchwork top by attending one of our many patchwork and quilting  workshops and retreats.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Quilt Sandwich Long Arm Quilting- Happy Customer

Its so lovely to recieve thanks from satisfied customers.
Today I recived this email -

Hi Fiona just wanted to say thank you for doing my circles quilt it looks amazing - everyone who sees it loves the quilting and you will be getting new customers I'm sure.  I haven't managed to do the edging yet but its nearly there.  Thanks again, Sue R

PS:  I don't mind if you put photos on your website. 

So here are some pics of the quilt I completed for Sue.  The pattern chosen is called 'Bubbles Everywhere'.

Thank you Sue, for allowing me to quilt your beautiful quilt. I just love doing it.

Here is another customer quilt.  The pattern chosen is called Circle Meander.
I enlarged it quite alot so as not to make the quilting the main feature of the quilt - especially as this customer decided to have it quilted in Orange and had chosen white backing.

Here it is on my ABM Innova Longarm

and here is the back

I have just received a pic of it with its binding applied. It has also been christened 'Orange Twist' by its owner.

Details of my Longarm quilting service, pictures of quilts, my shop which has extra wide backings and various waddings & not forgetting details of our workshops and patchwork and quilting retreats can be found here -

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Quilt Retreats Just Announced

The following quilt retreats have just been publicised.  Pat Archibald, Lynne Edwards MBE & Kathleen Laurel Sage will be teaching at the Royal Bridlington next year.

Full details can be obtained by email - or downloaded from

Monday, 9 June 2014

Quilt retreats.....catching up

One of the pleasures in organising the many varied quilt retreats and workshops here at The Royal Bridlington, is that I sometimes get to join the class.

Over the years this has meant that I have picked up many different ideas, techniques and tips from all the various top class tutors we have had.  The downside, however is that I have ended up with a whole stack of UFOs!

Over the last couple of weeks I have been concerntrating on finishing some of these, despite itching to start a new project.

Here are some of the finished results....

This one was started in a workshop with Jennie Rayment.
I added beads to the middle.

This was started in a workshop with Jan Hassard.

The quilting pattern is called Insignia

Sunflowers was a workshop with Gail Lawther.  Gail will be back at the Royal Bridlington again in September and will be teaching this class again due to its popularity.  See for more details.

This Link Quilt was started in a workshop with Sally Ablett.
Here it is on my longarm quilting frame

 the quilting patten I chose is called Amazed

and here it is totally finished.

This quilt - the Lone Star was another design by Sally Ablett.  I decided that I wanted to extend it to a double quilt size, so Sally redesigned it on Electric Quilt especially for me. I have a personal, exclusive design by Sally Ablett!

Here it is on the longarm quilting frame

The quilting pattern I chose is called Ribbon of Violets

and here it is totally finished.

and here is the back

Time to replenish supplies..................oooh just like Christmas. Lots of lovely new colours to try out :)

On top of my own catching up (which I still have lots more to do - lol!) I have been very busy with customer quilting too.

This is a really pretty scrap quilt, which my customer made by using foundation piecing techniques.

the quilting pattern she chose is called Bubbles Everywhere

Here is another customer quilt - using scraps again

The quilting pattern is called Flower Power

On top of this I have been working on my wholecloth in the evenings and I think I have overdone it a bit....I have three very sore fingers now.  Cant sit still, so time to knit!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Waddings....How do I choose? & what about Quilt Backings?

How do I choose which wadding to use?  this is a question I ofter hear.

Ok, its down to personal choice. You need to consider -
a) the desired effect - do you want your quilt to be flat or do you want more loft?
b)What is it going to be used for? - is it going on a wall or is it going to be used on a bed or is it a cuddly blanket?
c) the budget
d) how are you going to quilt it

You then need to know a bit about each main type of wadding available -
Almost all the modern waddings are made in just a couple of factories in Texas.

Polyester Wadding - eg Hobbs Polydown, Sew Simple Polyester, Dream Poly, legacy by pellon etc
Usually the cheaper option, great for charity quilts too.
Poly does not breath - it sweats, so if its for your bed, this may not be the best option. Virtually no shrinkage. Produces a slightly more 'stiff' result.
Hobbs Thermore is very thin, orgionally designed for clothing, but is great for hand quilting.

80/20 -eg Hobbs 80/20, Sew Simple 80/20
Probably the most popular type.  Great for tops which are not pieced very precisely.
If put in a commercial dryer, the poly can dissolve, so turn the temp down.
Good loft - which can help disguise problem areas.

Cotton - eg Sew Simple, Warm & natural, Hobbs 100% Cotton etc
Cotton creases and may not keep its shape as well as some others - therefore its not great for wall hangings. It also has the most shrinkage, but it is very cuddly. When quilting it may beard. If so try a polyester thread rather than cotton.
For machine or longarm quilting the  smoothside goes towards the back, but for hand quilting its the other way. See Scrim below

Wool eg Hobbs Wool, Sew Simple Wool etc
More expensive, but does not crease. Wool breathes, it does not sweat. Gives warmth but disperses excess heat well. Good loft.

Luxury feel, more expensive. Light and warm.

Does not crease.

Often sold as being 'green', but the process involves breaking down the bamboo canes with caustic soda.  My personal experience of bamboo so far is not good - the quilt turned out very stiff and hard.

Plastic recycled Bottles - eg Dream Green
Nice and soft and cuddly, although feels a bit plastic. Little or no shrinkage.

What is Scrim?
Scrim is like an interfacing, it holds the layers together and helps keep its shape. You often find cotton wadding with or without Scrim. - my personal advise is not to buy cotton wadding without scrim.

Very Light Coloured tops
Look for a beached or pale coloured wadding.

Double layers of waddings
Many quilters use double layers of waddings - often mixing them for different effect. Very common when more loft and dense quilting are going to be required.

Joining Wadding Together
Several companies has brought out joing tape which enables you to stick two pieces of wadding together.
Personally, if I need to join wadding I use a large zig zag stitch and butt both edges of the wadding against each other and join together this way.

Quilt Backings
Can I use a sheet instead of backing fabric? Another very common question.
I would recommend that you don't do this.  Sheets have a very high thread count and it is more difficult to quilt. its too tight and it may also cause bearding.
Patchwork fabrics and quilt backing fabrics have a less dense thread count to enable quilting and to work well with todays modern waddings.

What about Batik?
In general batik fabrics are quite densly woven and these would not be a great choice for backing.
SewBatik and a couple of other companies do a great range of extra Wide Batik Backings, and these are specially manufactured so are of the correct thread density for backing your quilts.

Can I use patchwork Fabric?
Yes of course, but you may find that you need to join this on larger quilts. If you do it is important that you remove the selvedges for the joining seam as this will contract inside the quilt. The joining seam needs to be wide - generally recommend around half inch and press open.

Extra Wide Backing Fabrics
These are generally 108 inches wide and are fantastic as they save the need to have a join in your quilt backing.  They can be 100% cotton or brushed cotton /flannel.

Minky Fleece
This can also be used as a backing fabric and produces a cuddly soft back and a quilt which is light but warm.
Double sided minky is also great and both can be used with or without wadding.

I have a range of wadding and extra wide quilt backings in my is the link!shop/c50p

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Quilt Retreat

We have been running patchwork and quilting retreats with famous tutors for several years now and our regulars have requested a retreat where by they can be looked after, fed and watered but have no new project - just time and space to do their own thing.

So by popular demand we have launched the ME-Time retreat.

You can bring you UFOs, sewing, dressmaking, knitting, cross stitch, embroidery, papercraft or any other tryo craft you want and just enjoy time and space and our full board hospitality. You can even bring quilt tops for quilting - but please let Fiona know in advance so time can be scheduled on the longarm if you want these done whilst you are here.

I shall be around throughout, if anyone needs a hand/ second opinion.

Here is a short video

Dates for ME Time -

28th July to 5th August 2014   & 
21st Sept to 28th September 2014

Click here to get details!workshops/c24c2