Tag Archives: quilting

Rivers Meet Craft Cafe Methley

After an incredibly busy bank holiday weekend, Mark, Holly and I visited Rivers Meet Craft Cafe (@RiversMeet1) in Methley for brunch. We’d originally heard about it through Twitter. I was eager to check it out being a bit of a craft fanatic and was very interested in some of the classes that they had advertised on their website.

The building had previously been a pub but, the owners have tastefully converted it into a cosy and comfortable cafe. There’s a quirkiness about it, which makes you feel that this is someone’s individual vision. We sat on a large comfortable leather sofa while we had our bacon and sausage scufflers which were delicious. The cafe source all of their produce locally. My Earl Grey tea was served in a beautiful vintage china cup and saucer. Vintage crockery was dotted around the cafe giving it a homely feel.

The ground floor is open plan but separated between eating and crafting. This worked beautifully as you could see people who had gone in for a cup of tea and a piece of cake and then booked a lesson after watching others craft.

The service was excellent. They were very friendly and also attentive to Holly, even asking what type of cup she would like to drink out of. The high chairs were spotless and readily available (it really does matter to parents). Children are warmly welcomed and the cafe offer kids craft sessions for children of all ages.

While we were there, I booked onto a beginners jewellery making class with a lady called Rachel Care who owns Tiggypig Beads, bead shop which is situated within the cafe. Once we got chatting I found out that Rachel was also a fellow quilter and blogger. She introduced me to the lady who teaches quilting in the cafe called Sarah Eliza who also teaches at the York quilting museum and has a rather lovely blog called Edward and the White Bear . Sarah is hoping to offer more quilting classes and was looking for people who are interested. It was wonderful to chat to other people who are also passionate about textiles. We swapped details and I’m looking forward to meeting up again in the future.

We loved the cafe and we’d highly recommend it to crafters and those who just fancy trying something a little bit different.


Quilting class: lesson four

If you’ve read my previous posts on quilting, you might realise that I’m missing lesson three. Well I learnt to applique in lesson three, but It’s now a Christmas present for my In-laws so I can’t spoil their little surprise by blogging about it.

During this lesson I made a tote bag. We were given the option of making a book back (long) or a shopping bag (wide). We learnt a technique called quilt as you go. I’ve found a website that has a lovely tutorial about this called “a cuppa and a catchup” 

This was one of my favourite classes It’s a quick way of quilting and you can easily make a cot or lap quilt in an afternoon using this method. It can also be used as a front panel of a cushion or throw pillow.

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Quilting class: lesson two

This post is very late, I hoped that I’d be able to blog about each class as I’d taken it. However, often I didn’t manage to finish my project during the class (I’m not very fast at sewing). Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to catch up.

This is my finished table runner from the second class “moving on”. It took me so long because it was my first attempt at machine quilting. It’s a bit rough and ready but I’m very pleased with my first attempt. I love the Ohio star pattern which is quite simple with very effective results.

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Bombay Stores – the fix for the fabric addict!

On a very rainy Bank Holiday Monday, I ventured out to find fabric. I was looking for a couple of reasons: firstly I wanted to add to my fabric stash (which is still in its infancy) for various quilting/sewing/applique projects that I have on the go; and secondly (and far more importantly) I’m taking part in the “Dress a girl around the world” campaign, that’s being coordinated through @sewscrumptious. The aim is to make a dress for a little girl in the developing world out of a pillow case. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a spare pillow case but still wanted to take part so I needed to buy some fabric for the dress.

Through my quilting contacts, I’ve been given some recommendations of places to explore. Bombay Stores in Bradford had been suggested at my last sewing class. I hadn’t visited in 15 years and was unsure of what to expect. The parking was quite tight. A gentleman who was visiting the mosque next door very kindly let me abandon my car behind his. However, I think that I visited at an exceptionally busy time.

The shop itself is a department store, and I was directed to the fabric section. I can only explain it as an Aladdin’s cave. I’ve never seen such a large selection of quilting fabrics before, ranging from plain cottons to American imports. I had to show serious restraint from buying excessively! There is also a large selection of dressmaking fabrics to choose from. Regrettably no photography is allowed in the store. However, I did bring home a selection of fat quarters for quilting. They were £2.99 each or three for £6.00. I also bought some pretty flowery fabric for the “Dress a girl around the world” project. Well worth a journey out, and I will definitely be visiting again.

My fabric stash

My fabric stash

My new fat quarters

My new fat quarters

The pretty "Dress a girl around the world" fabric

The pretty "Dress a girl around the world" fabric

By the way, if you can sew, please consider taking part in the above project. It’s such a fantastic cause.

Quilting Class: lesson one

I’m rekindling a love from over 15 years ago. Sewing! My mum taught me to sew as a child, a skill that I’m very grateful to have now. So when a quilting course was advertised at Mum’s local  haberdashery Colway and Sew-on, I decided that it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to spend some mother-daughter time together.

I’m not an expert at sewing, I think I’d pass as competent. I’ve always been interested in quilting (see So much more than a quilt) but have been a bit nervous about using block patterns and trying different techniques. The course started at beginner so it was brilliant for me!

We were given a list of items to bring to the class, including the option of bringing our own sewing machines. Mum and I decided not to for the first class. We both wanted to learn the technique of hand quilting. And this is the result!

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I’m really proud of my first attempt. I bought this fabric last year in Skipton at the Fent shop (see A rainy day in Skipton). The front panel is completely hand sewn and quilted. I did use the sewing machine to sew the back panels, as I didn’t have enough confidence in my hand stitching for it to withstand normal wear and tear.

The class was really good fun, with people from all walks of life with similar abilities. I’m really looking forward to the next class and showing you what we’ve learnt. I’ll take a sneaky photo of my Mum’s work too for next time.

So much more than a quilt.

To be honest, I’m not sure where to start. I suppose this starts with a challenge.  In January 2009 after many years of spending silly amounts of money on nonsense Christmas presents, my older sister set the family a challenge of making our presents for each other. We all felt a little daunted to start with, but we agreed.

I had lots of little projects on the go for the whole family including making piccalilli, candles and lavender salt bags for the bath. However, I had one big project. I desperately wanted to make a quilt for my little sister Keara. The thought had come to me quite quickly but it took months to get the materials together.

The colour scheme was simple. It either had to be pinks or purples “Keara colours”. As Keara would be 11 years old in October and quite the distinguished young lady, I decided to go for purples and lilacs. I started my search in Batley near Keara and Mummy’s home at Colway and Sewon. I found some lovely fabrics there for approx 80% of the quilt. I love this shop, the staff are so amazingly friendly and the material is excellent.

I started to think of patterns but knew I didn’t have enough material to make a single quilt. During this time, we happened to be on our annual family holiday. this usually comprises of my mum, Keara, sister’s Bex and Emma and their husbands and children. We also invite Bex’s in-laws the Coolings. Each year we go away somewhere in the UK and in 2009 we decided to go to Prestatyn in Wales. One day Mark and I ventured out to Anglesey on our own. There had been some literature in the holiday let that we were staying in about a craft shop on the island called Copperfield Crafts. The shop was tiny but full of lovely fabrics and fat quarters. That evening, I cut the fabric into squares and Mark helped me to get an idea of a pattern.

I was a bit nervous of sewing the quilt. Due to time and expecting our first baby that December I decided to use my sewing machine. My Mummy had bought me the machine as a wedding gift and it had never even been out of the box. It’d been 15 years since I’d last used one. All in all, the quilt took me about a weekend to make. I also made a matching pillowcase to go with it. I wrapped it and waited excitedly for Christmas to give it to Keara.

We had a big family Christmas and we gathered around as Keara opened the quilt. She loved it and it stayed on her bed until quite recently.

A few weeks ago,  keara became very ill un-expectantly. At the end of her illness, Keara went to Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa, a place that she had visited many times before, full of friends. She took her final breaths snuggled under the quilt whilst being cuddled by our mummy and surrounded by her family. It was one of the most precious moments I have ever experienced in my life. The quilt stayed with Keara until her final farewell when she went to church.

A simple home-made gift, that has now been returned to me. A precious reminder of the most amazing little girl, my beautiful little sister, wonderful god-daughter and inspirational life. I love you Keara xxxx

A rainy day in Skipton

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I ventured out in the wet weather (being strong Yorkshire women we wouldn’t let a bit of weather stop us) to Skipton. Many years ago i’d visited the Fent shop which is literally an Aladdin’s cave of material for quilting, soft furnishings etc.

too many to choose from

My intention had been to look for quilting materials for a project that I had in mind for Hula girl. I wasn’t disappointed. They had a variety of fat quarters for £1.50 which I felt was very reasonable and have found the fabric to be excellent quality.  The staff there were very helpful, while we were in there Hula the little monkey started screaming blue murder for a feed. One of the ladies showed me to an area of privacy so that I could feed her in peace. So if you like working with textiles and you’re going to Skipton I would definitely recommend a visit.

The only negative is that it is very difficult to find, it took us an hour to finally discover it down an ally next to Martin Macolls newsagent.

Another place of interest for all meat lovers is Drake and Macefield butchers.  They’re famous in the area for their award-winning pork pies. I had some and they were delicious, their sausages are lovely too. I had one small niggle which was  the service.  All of the items that I bought were put onto the counter top and the lady who served me just walked out into the back room without offering me a bag or anything. It was just awkward as I had my 6 month old baby daughter in my arms and other shopping bags. But apart from that it was spot on.

Very proud of their awards

Although the rain was relentless, the drive home back to Castleford was excellent. I decided against going back through Bradford centre and chose a longer but far more fun and picturesque drive through Ilkley, Otley Harewood and then onto the A1 south. It makes me realise what I stunning county I have the privilege of living in. The rain only emphasised the green of everything around. The smell of wild garlic in the hedgerow was overwhelming but wonderful. Looking forward to visiting Skipton again very soon.