Sunday, 16 December 2012

what's new, British pussycat?

This really is the last weekend for Christmas shopping, last mailing dates for UK mainland post is Tuesday the 18th for Second Class and Thursday 20th for first Class - so if you're thinking about last minute stocking stuffers get on with that right now (and as usual I'm here to help!)

Completely unrelated to fabric, but I really wanted to mention them, are the notebooks from Jennie Maizels. I met Jennie on twitter just a week or so ago after a conversation I was having about the EBacc and it's possible effect on the creative learning of our high school aged children. For what it's worth - I'm not opposed to the EBacc, I think it has the potential to be incredibly useful and I don't think creative learning needs to or will necessarily suffer - it focuses on a smaller portion of the whole learning experience, the core academic subjects that are already considered the core academic subjects (this is nothing new). Even now creative or vocational based subjects are additional to those core subjects.  It will depend on the individual school and the head teacher. It just needs implementing properly, and with a lot of consideration for individual pupil needs and isn't a blanket 'cure' for the issues surrounding GCSEs. My daughter's (state) high school offers the EBacc, quite successfully, and without any negative effect to the more creative options available. I have to admit, after experiencing 10 years of private school, to have her move this academic year to a state school I was a little nervous - you hear horror story after horror story about our education system. We also live in an area where the primary schools are considered amongst the worst in the country - Ginger goes to the local primary school, he's doing fine. I love his little school. If I didn't have a child in the local primary school I'd probably think all of the schools must be awful, because that's how the news represents it - scare stories of children leaving school with no hope. Just as if I didn't have a child in high school experiencing the EBacc, the options process and taking her first GCSEs this year I may also be afraid of it.  Anyway, enough on that - back to the notebooks....

I bought these 3 for stocking stuffers. The paper quality is really wonderful, and they're plain - none of that lined paper rubbish (why is it so hard to find good quality plain paper notebooks that aren't boring to look at?)

Jennie has lots of lovely bits and bobs on her website, and is well worth bookmarking for the future. She even sells her designs in home dec weight fabric. I used code Xmas2012 and got 15% off, so give that a try (I'm not sure how long it works til, but I'm assuming til after Christmas!)

If you're still looking for other last minute gift ideas (and you're UK based) then why not try Lu?

You can pick up mugs, 4 different designs of colour it in yourself posters, her fabric for moda, and her gorgeous screen printed fabrics too.

Staying in Suffolk, Leanne's designs are also gorgeous and screen printed in her studio by the seaside.

Plus she has these lovely shopping bags screen printed with a Stag (they come in 3 different colours) which at just £5 are a bargain and ideal for a last minute gift (hostess gift maybe? Teachers? That helpful neighbour that lends you their ice scraper when your car is frozen up?)

Justine has these great kits at pocket money prices from Karen at Blueberry Park in the shop.

Are you still struggling with what to get me for Christmas? Gift certificates are always a great choice. No? What do you mean you're not getting me anything?

This great quilt is new in - available as a kit in different sizes from crib up to single bed. Designed by Jersey based blogger, Sue. It's a really gorgeous quilt, and the kit includes fabric (2 colours of your choice) for quilt top and binding.

Kate at M is for Make has some fun stuff in this week. More aurifil thread, and thangles have arrived and this wonderful line of fabrics from Birch. Camp Modern!!!

Now, these bears are selling ridiculously fast so don't wait on this - if you like it, and you think you want it, grab it now.

Alice at Backstitch will be mailing until December 21st, but then taking a break over the Christmas period.

There's still time for you to grab this bundle for me so I can cut it into 2.5" squares for my Christmas quilt (for next year). Don't be waiting around on that. Just grab it now.

Or this one....

or this?

Come on - you know I deserve it. I'll even let you just pick out your own bundle for me from the Christmas section.

If you're out and about down London town way this weekend then pop in and see Annie, won't you?

The Village Haberdashery will be open for a preview this Sunday from 11-5pm at 47 Mill Lane, West Hampstead, NW6 1NB.


So much gorgeous fabric to see. Not to mention the yarn and the other bits and bobs.

So hurry hurry - grab those last minute gifts, or reward yourself for all the hard work this year. You deserve it.
It's nearly CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

One last thing before I pop off. Fiona at Sewing Directory mentioned Quilt and Stitch Village are putting a call out for quilts for next year's show at the end of April in Staffordshire. This was formerly known as Quilts in the Garden and is now under new ownership and a much bigger show with all stitchy areas represented.
Closing dates for entries is January 31st. I have never, ever entered a quilt into a show before, but I think I'm going to bite the bullet and do it.
There was quite a bit of chatter on twitter after the Festival of Quilts this year that 'we' weren't represented well enough as the more modern end of quilting. Well, here's a thought - quit moaning about it and enter something in a show. Let's start with Quilt and Stitch Village. How will 'we' be represented if we don't enter quilts? I'm no championship quilter, I'm fully aware of that. I don't expect to win anything, but it's all about taking part. Let's show people what we do, what we love and what the nowadays quilters in the UK are up to. We make quilts to be used, let's show them what we have on our beds, our sofas, the quilts we snuggle under to watch TV, the quilts we make for our kids.

Who wants to join me? What have you made that you're most proud of? I think for me it's Hexy MF, I'd have to make sure I give it a good wash before I sent it off. That quilt is in constant use and the cats love it.
Enter a quilt with me, and let's take control of what we see in shows and get ourselves represented better. It's no use sitting there saying we're not represented if we don't take part, is it?


Katy Cameron said...

Oh well, that's it, we'll both have to move then, your schools are crap, and I'm in an area so far below the poverty line I'm going to be dead in 20 years...

In the meantime, I've already availed myself of the Village Haberdashery this evening, so better hold off a bit ;o)

Nicky said...

Quite right about entering modern quilts in shows and your Hexy MF will be a glorious addition ! Will look into it!

Lisa said...

Ooo good luck with the Hexy, it'll be great to see your work up there. Think I need to actually finish my first ever quilt before I can consider competitions!!! But keep inspiring us.

heart of charnwood said...

I said exactly the same about modern quilts and that i would enter next year, now i just need to fill out the form. I am not under any illusions that i would win anything, but like you said, only by entering will we increase the numbers, and be more represented! :)

pennydog said...

Yep I'm entering Quilt and Stitch village (latest blog post on the topic is here: )! I'm making a pixel quilt of Mr Stephen Fry especially for this. Any thoughts on why he's not Sir Stephen Fry yet? Anyway....

Ooh if you could do a little linky to Fabricate at some point that would be awesome- I only have two weeks left for pledges or it ain't happenin'. :)

Archie the wonder dog said...

Oh, I love those notebooks! Good luck with the quilt show - I've entered a couple of quilts into the Harrogate show (not last year, I hadn't finished anything!) and it's wonderful to see your quilt hanging with all the rest...and sometimes you hear lovely comments about what you've made!

Trudi said...

Ooh might have to finish that big other star too! Be back later for proper read as just going out the door!

Esch House Quilts said...

Good for you for entering your quilt in a show! So many people think their quilt must be perfect to enter. I've entered a few (in US) so that can't be true :)

It is fun to share your work with others!

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