Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Have you met Mandy?

103_0206
(Photo courtesy of Mandy Noble/Simply Solids)

Mandy is someone I call an actual real life friend. I met her through shopping for fabric (of course) and then I met her real life friend (Lynne) with my other real life friend Brioni and yet another real life friend, Justine (confused? Me too.) Now we try and get together at Lynne's house often enough to keep us sane and sew. Although in reality we don't end up sewing much and spend more time laughing and gossiping. I thought it'd be nice to have Mandy come over and say hello, because you might not have met her before and that'd be a shame. So here she is......(read through to the end...there may be treats...just saying)


Tell me a bit about  Simply Solids, how did it come about?

Lynne and I were complaining about the lack of Kona solids in the UK and how we just couldn't get what we wanted and maybe should order it in in bulk ourselves.  Then she kind of bet me to start a shop - so I did!!

How long have you sewn for?

My mum taught me to sew when I was little, but I never did a huge amount other than curtains till after the kids were born.  In 1989 I went to a quilt exhibition of slave quilts in Atlanta, Georgia and swore that one day I would make my own quilt, it took a good 11 years before i started one and another 7 years before that was finished!  3 kids got in the way, but once they were past the baby stage I signed up for a block an month workshop and that was it - I was hooked.



Penguin Books Quilt finished
(Photo courtesy of Lily's Quilts)


What would you say is your style of quilting/sewing? 

When I started quilting I was into japanese Daiwabo fabrics so everything was very muted, but after joining flickr and discovering the blogging world I discovered new modern fabrics and fell in love.  I love bright colours and simple designs and my quilts today reflect this.  

IMG_0715
(Photo courtesy of Mandy Noble/Simply Solids)

What is your favourite Kona colour combination?

My favourite colour combos change all the time, but at the moment I love peridot/hibiscus.  I can gaze at the stock on my shelves for hours!

Explain a little about how Simply Solids works, describe your shop and what you sell.

My goal with Simply Solids is to have the complete range of Kona Cotton Solids combined with a few other ranges - Amy Butler Solids, Kaffe Fasset Shot Cottons and some plain Linens.  I will always order in any colour a customer needs and am always open to suggestion for different ranges.  I also stock Gutermann Cotton threads and wadding meaning that customers can get everything they need to complete a quilt.  I stock Moda pre-cuts because I love them, the ranges are always changing and they offer such flexibility.  I have only been going for a year so my stock and ranges will continue to grow and grow!

This year you'll be at the Festival of Quilts - where can we find you?

I will be at stand D49 with my husband helping out so please come and say hello.  It is my first time selling at the festival of quilts and I am very nervous, so a few friendly faces would be great!



80s batwing sweater
(Photo by me!)

For those of you that are coming to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, here's a voucher to download and print off for 10% off anything on Mandy's stand (D49, remember - just opposite-ish the Fat Quarterly stand which is D44!)

You can find Mandy's blog here and her wonderful UK based fabric store right here.

But that is not all. Oh no, that is not all. Mandy is also offering one of you lucky blog reader types a jelly roll of French General's Christmas line, Fa La La La French General.

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. No other hoop jumping, just a comment.

Giveaway will stay open for the next week until I get home from the Festival of Quilts (so until Monday 15th August). Please make sure you have an email linked to your profile or leave a contact email in your comment. It makes things soooo much easier. And next time you need solids try Mandy out for size. She won't disappoint.

COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED

77 comments:

Betty said...

Am I the first? Hope to win!
Thank you Mandy.

memmens said...

I'm off to festival on Sunday and have Mandy on my list to visit, I need some Kaffe shot cottons to back a quilt! I am sooo excited!

Heleen Groot said...

Since I live in The Netherlands, I can't go to the Festival.....Poor me, poor POOOR me.... If that wasn't enough encouragement to let me win: I have never won a give away!

Emma said...

She seems really nice! If ya'll ever want to make a trip to Germany...I'd love to have sewing buddies too! I'm just sayin'...

circle retreat quilter said...

Well Hi from Oz have a great time at the festival, am sure you will be a hit, and I love the pink and steel grey quilt. thanks for the op to win the Jelly roll too. awesome. Stacey

Annie said...

I found your shop when it opened (hooray!) and have been stroking my Kona jelly rolls for a very long time - too pretty to use! I'll be sure to come and say Hi at the FOQ!

gill said...

I can't get to the FOQ but I've already found Mandy online!
Great service!

Isisjem said...

I love Simply Solids - it's so great to be able to get Kona in the UK as normally when I want Kona I want it straight away because a project is under way or imminent - I don't want to wait a fortnight to get it shipped from the US. I'm impatient like that.

Nic said...

Don't enter me in the giveaway, just wanted to stop by and sayI love e parking lot quilt. It's so dramatic!

Theresa said...

Fa La La La? You mean ring a ding ding! Nice to meet you Mandy!

summerfete said...

I so wish I could meet you Mandy, guess I will have to make do with my current project using your fabrics!

Don't forget to have fun at the fair!!

Karyn said...

I love the shop, its fab. Wish i could go to the FOQ but i will be on hols!

Natasha said...

Thank you for the chance to win!

Mandalin said...

Love French General, I'm using it for my dqs11. Chrissy FG sounds fabulous!
Wishing you fun and success at the FoQ.

Lexi said...

Wow. I had no idea. Going to visit her blog and shop now...lexilucas@gmail.com

Shocking Hocking said...

how exciting - love french general - i'm using the rouennieres range as we speak - to make hexies, funnily enough - thanks for the opportunity

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

I love Mandy's shop ... it's my first stop for Konas now. I didn't know that I could request colours - now that's impressive!

Good luck at the FOQ Mandy - you'll be a big hit, as I know there must be tons of people who are yet to discover you!

I've just had to cancel my stay in Birmingham which is really sad as it was going to be the high point of my hols .. ho hum. Life eh?

don't enter me in the giveaway ... I was just popping in to say hi ... x

Abbe said...

Wish I could go to the Festival but it's a little far from Aus.
Loving solid colours so I can't wait to check out the shop.
Abbe
abbe.noble@bigpond.com

Penny said...

I'm going to FoQ on Sunday so shall be sure to drop by Mandy's stand and also that of Fat Quarterly.

Jackie said...

Nice to meet you Mandy! I've just purchased my first Kona solid but haven't used it yet. It's beautiful fabric and I'm glad to see the UK has a much needed resource for it!

Deanna said...

Oooo! Love French General, and Christmas!! Thanks for the intro to Mandy and the chance to win! = )

KnightMare said...

Oh Lovely a UK based fabric shop :D needing to know more of these...

Peach Rainbow said...

WOW!
Thanks for the chance :D

Token Asian Friend said...

I love Kona solids! I love free jelly rolls, to!
TokenAsianFriend (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sarita said...

Thanks for introducing Mandy. Wonderful blog!

snowdance1 at gmail dot com

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Nice to meet you! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

Sandy said...

Hope you have a great time at the Festival. Can't wait to see pics. Thanks for the opportunity to win!=)

jednoiglec said...

Festival of Quilts? You're so lucky to be there!
I like that in Europe we've got online shops - I love that there's a shop with great selection of Kona!

Shevvy said...

I was going on sat, but now it looks like thursday but it will depend on what happens with the riots. I don't want to be driving back into London in the evening if it is all still kicking off.

I use Mandy a lot, she stocks far too many tempting things!

Nancy said...

oh...Fa La La...how divine...would love to win...

Rocio said...

Nice giveaway... it would be great to get that jelly roll...
I will visit the shop right away :)

Jenny said...

I love Kona solids! Can't wait to check out Mandy's shop!

Anonymous said...

Wow - that would really be a nice jelly roll to win! Very nice give away!!
tamiquilts@yahoo.com

Helen said...

I haven't used a Kona solid...yet...I'm planning on it, though (just need to narrow down my choice to a reasonable amount!) and Mandy has such a great range. I recently ordered a little bit of fabric from her and it came in a pink envelope - I was overly excited by that! Thanks for the giveaway!

Kristen said...

I love Kona solids...and French General fabrics. Have fun at the festival..it is a bit too far for me to travel!

Cathy said...

What a "lovely getting to know you post", Mandy!

Manda said...

Mandy's shop is great! I am looking forward to FoQ :)

Stephanie C. said...

Count me in if anyone in the world can enter...

Mom2RyandSis said...

I love the garage quilt! I love free fabric, too!
mom2ryandsis(at) yahoo (dot) com! Thanks

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Danielle said...

Sweet giveaway! I need a group of sewing/gossiping/blogging buddies~ sounds like fun!

Rebecca said...

Oh, I'd love to play with that jelly roll! THANKS for the chance!
ourbusylittlebunch(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Have fun at the festival! Love those quilts! Nurseli@aol.com

Poppyprint said...

Best of luck to both of you at the Festival. I predict much fun and laughter across the merchant mall aisle!

Leah said...

those are beautiful quilts!

Freddie said...

I love looking at other people's quilts. So inspiring. Hope you enjoy Birmingham.

(sorry no blog yet. I keep meaning to start one but life generally gets in the way)

WandaFish said...

Mandy provides great service from her lovely shop. Good luck at FoQ, maybe I'll get to be there next year!
Thanks for the giveaway :)

pforgerson said...

Thanks for the great offer. Have just started using some kona solids, love it.

rderrett said...

I can't get to FoQ :( - too poorly and broke. That said I love Mandy and SS. That is where all the fabrics for the Swoon quilt top came from! Love the service and I love the selection too.

Theresa said...

It sounds like a blast - wish I could go!

robin said...

Enjoy the festival, and thanks for the giveaway chance! :)

(good thing you have a way to edit comments before posting - I had typed festiveal.)

Linda said...

Hi I'll look you up at the FOQ. Hope you enjoy the experience!

two hippos said...

will pop by tomorrow at FoQ, would love to use the solids. trouping up to the nec with 3 generations of sewers!

Jeannette said...

I adore the first quilt with all the solids!!

Dorothee said...

Hi there, Katy, will you be at the Festival of Quilts too? So looking forward to it, despite all the going-ons this week.

Susanne said...

I also love solids. These quilts look great! :)
Bye
Susanne

Tracy O said...

Love the French General fabs!! Nice to meet you Mandy!

Montseta said...

Terrific giveaway! And so good to find a shop in the EC that sells Kona solids.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Please count me in!

Thanks for the link too...always nice to get links to UK shops.

Hope it all goes well this weekend...take lots of pictures to share!!!

Wendy said...

Beautiful! I love the rainbow quilt and would love to win. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful giveaway. You didn't say anything about international entries, so I would love to enter, if that is possible. If not, I understand. I really like the quilt in the parking lot. My Google account won't let me post, so have to do it this way. Bonnie in Iowa browne426@hotmail.com

webmailaddress2 said...

thanks for the great interview. I wish I could go to festival!

Laura Jane said...

I wish I was coming to meet you all! Unfortunately I will be dancing my butt off in a field (at a festival... not just for the heck of it).

Here's a virtual wave... *wave*

Thank you both for the giveaway!

Michelle @ the quilted tortoise said...

Ooooh, I love a bit of French General! Thanks for the chance to win. Hope you gals have a great FoQ!

Sarah Craig said...

If the giveaway's open to those of us in the States, I'd love to be counted in! It's a beautiful jelly roll....

Debi Lohr said...

So very pretty, love the solids.

Paula Ganyard said...

I will echo Sarah's comments, if it is open to those of us in the States, I'd love to be counted in. It is a lovely jelly roll.

Sunni @Love Affair with my Brother said...

I am still working on my "Christmas in July" gifts, evn though it is now August! And I love French General!

kbzelazny said...

Beautiful quilts! Thanks for the chance to win!

Ruth K said...

I love those colors on the churn dash, it's my favorite block and I never thought of pairing it like that. Delightful....

Flying Blind... said...

I am only just back from holiday, will not be a FoQer this year... so jealous of all you lucky folks, watch out 2012! x

Maria said...

Perfect timing for starting a christmas quilt... great shop!

alberta quilter said...

thanks for the giveaway! I'm addicted to jelly rolls (so glad they're not fattening!

northernkangengirl at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Would love to win! Nice to see more people offering Kona Solids...finding it easier to locate on line! Lisa in Texas
lalebla at yahoo dot com

Anita said...

What a great post/story about how she started! Would love to win the jellyroll! Hope Mandy did well at the show and saw lots of friendly faces :) Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Im too late?? but I have been catching up on sleep after coming home late from FoQ! Hope I win (everything crossed!)
Emily (emilylevey@yahoo.co.uk

Ange Moore said...

That Penguin Classics quilt looks fabulous! Hopefully I'm not too late to enter (since I've just read your post about the FoQ)!!