Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Special Workroom Days...........

Some days at The Workroom are just extra special. I teach some of the most talented, creative and kind women you could hope to know. Today was a steady stream of wonderful. Each time the doorbell rang another delight awaited. People coming to sew for the day, popping in to catch up, to show their progress on a project, just to see 'whats new?'

First Vickie arrived with her much anticipated Fabulous Ameo Stag Fabric. Doesn't it look fabulous? I'm so excited about stocking this at The Workroom - Designed and made in Halton, Bucks! Local Fabric! We're selling fat quarters, half meters and meterage while stocks last.

Next a local fellow English Paper Piecer popped in and we had a lovely chat about piecing papers....more on that soon.

Then a dear dear sewing friend with a gorgeous pressie - handmade fabric strawberry mini pin cushions! Adorable! The perfect gift - I was so grateful.  Plus look at the fab selection of vintage cottons she picked up in the charity shop up the road on the way! What a find!

Then more lovely friends, students from Simple Sampler, bearing flowers and handmade cards - tears! More old Simple Sampler friends popping in for a cuppa and telling tales of new projects, off to the Long Arm Quilter this week - so many wonderful quilts being made!

Of course they all left with very tempting bags of fabric loveliness. We've got so much delicious fabric at the moment and the bundles are selling like hot cakes - Heather Bailey, Heather Ross, Emmy Grace, Retro Orchard, September Blue - aren't they pretty?

I've been making teacher pressies - it was nearly impossible to decide which fabric to use! Aren't these beauties, we were so lucky to have such fabulous teachers this year. I hope they like their bags x 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Granny Bags!!!!!! The joy!

Friday and Saturday were two of the hottest days of the year so far this year here in the UK but in The Workroom it was Granny Bags that were roasting hot! This class sold out in a week when we announced it in June and it's been hotly anticipated for the 6 weeks since we opened booking.

You know by now that I love a Granny Bag?

I've been so excited about these classes. People who don't perhaps know about my secret sewing life have been asking me all week - 'Oh it's such a downer when you get home from holiday?' and I'm, like, 'Oh no it's fine, I'm making Granny Bags all weekend!' and they're, like...'Oooo-kay' back slowly away from the crazy laydee!!!!!

Look what my fab classes made will you? Did you ever see a finer selection of crafty fabulousness in all your life? ( so sorry - I took literally no pictures it was so busy and buzzy - send me your own pics ladies and show off your lovely bag!)

Tell me that you can go on without a Granny Bag of your own?! You see? I'm not the only one - these Granny bags were LOVED by their proud owners. If you know a nice lady who was coming on this class, and she's told you that she's making YOU a gift...I have sad news. They WILL NOT want to give these away! Some craft is too special to gift!

If you can't live without a Granny Bag ( It's OK to admit that here - we all understand!) then the good news is that we are running another class on Thurs 11th Sept from 10am - 1pm ( and another Pop Up Vintage Purse class on Sat 13th 10.30pm - 1pm) so book quick before the places all go, they are already busy with peeps who missed out in the first lightening quick sell out.

Remember, if you see someone skipping jauntily along the road swinging a Granny Bag this week, just smile at them and wink - they'll know you're 'one of us'

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Shop Local

We're lucky enough to live in a wonderful village, perched up in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, north west of London. It's an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we are surrounded on 3 sides by woods and the rolling hills of the ancient Ridgeway as it snakes it's way south along the chalk downland. 

Wendover is a busy village with a pretty High Street. If you look up above the shop fronts you see wonderful buildings from the timber framed pubs to perfectly symetrical Georgian houses. We get to look down on the busy High Street from The PlainStitch Workroom, up on the first floor of a lovely Georgian townhouse. We see friends and family coming and going along the high street, popping into the post office, walking up to the weekly Thursday market.

We love Wendover. We think it's a special place. We like to shop local and believe that it's important. We're really proud to show you some of our recent local collaborations. 

Eleanor lives in Wendover. She and her husband Paul keep bees in their garden. We use lots of Beeswax at The Workroom as a thread conditioner to stop threads twisting and knotting when we hand sew. We asked Eleanor if she would supply us with Beeswax. She was delighted to and now you can buy her perfect little nuggets of golden beeswax in a fabric pouch at The Workroom. They look fab ( a lovely gift for a sewing friend) but best of all they smell divine! A mixture of honey and warm summer - I promise you this little beeswax will conjure up summer for you in the middle of next winter - if that's not worth £4 I don't know what is! Come and have a sniff for yourselves before we sell out.

We also have a limited supply of their lovely honey - look at the colour of it - we won't have it for long so if you fancy a jar ( local honey is also brilliant for hayfever sufferers btw) do pop in and get one before they go. Check out their facebook page to see the honey being made.

Our other lovely local collaboration has been in hot demand today at our Granny Bag class. If you've been reading the blog you'll know that recently I was seized by a strong conviction that I HAD to have an old fashioned clackety-clack handled craft bag like my Nana used to keep her knitting in. Despite an extensive charity shop search no such thing could be found. I decided to make my own - but I couldn't find a wooden handle that made that magical comforting clack.

Bob lives in Wendover, in fact he's the Chairman of the Parish Council. He has a workshop in his garden where he makes wooden ornaments and puzzles and toys with his company Wendover Wood. We asked him if he could make us a modern sleek scandi inspired pale wood handle. He said he could and 45 mins later he popped back in to the Workroom with the first prototype. We loved it, and so do our customers. In my next blog post i'll be sharing the 15 or so fabulous Granny Bags that we made in the last 2 days. We'll be running another class on Thurs 11th Sept 10am so if you'd like to come along and make a modern vintage craft bag drop us a note as this class sold out in a week this time around.

If you're reading this blog from far and wide do check out our village website online here to explore our lovely area more - well worth a 40min direct train journey out of London if you're visiting the capital x

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Heather Ross Far Far Away Now At The Workroom

Any long term blog readers will know that I LOVE Heather Ross fabric! This makes this a very exciting week as a Heather Ross classic line Far Far Away is being re-released and our fabric is on its way as we speak. **Edited : It's here!**

My Heather Ross fabric obsession started way back when, when Heather Ross designed fabric to make kids Pajamas through her company Munki Munki in the US. I'm pretty sure that was about 2005/2006. I started collecting bits of PJs. I know that sounds strange but at that stage there was a brisk market on ebay of 'pieces' of pjama. The listing would literally be 'left arm of size 5-6 age pjama top'! 

 All of these precious pieces of fabric I horded until my smallest little one was born and then i decided it was time to break into the stash. I made this quilt which remains on her bed today and is probably one of my all time favourite quilts. We have made up stories about every little fabric picture on this quilt. Its indelibly linked to my kids world. Having just read Heather Ross's How To Catch a Frog book on hols I treasure this quilt and what it means to us all the more.

 I still have some little bits of this stashed and broke into it recently to make this wonky log cabin -also a favourite!

 When little Miss Stitch got a bit bigger I just had to have this Heather Ross Pony Girl fabric and made this Pony Girl Quilt for my little Pony Girl. The little blond one will always be her. This fabric is from Heather Ross when she designed for Kokka - her first real foray into quilting fabric - but on a linen blend - like the original Far Far Away.

 Last year Heather Ross came back to Windham Fabrics - a stalwart of the quilting world and started designing new ranges. This Briar Rose range was just perfect. I loved making this quilt.

Of course I have bought EVERY fabric that Heather has ever designed, literally EVERY one! This is the original Far Far and Away - from Kokka on a linen blend and in these lovely soft yellows and blues. My little girl has this quilt in her bedroom in her book corner and I also made a Roman blind to match. Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and The Owl and the Pussy Cat. This was Far Far Away II - I do hope they reissue this too eventually!

Lastly the original Far Far and Away - re released this week and available in The Workroom this week. Originally it was a blush apricot colour when I made this quilt for the big Miss Stitch.

 This time it's been re released in a rosier pink. I think it's going to be so popular. A Princess and a Pea, Unicorns and Frogs - whats not to like?

 The fabric is the buttery soft premium cotton of Briar Rose so it quilts up beautifully but also makes lovely clothing, like this Briar Rose dress. Finally who could resist a little Heather Ross Granny Bag? The knowledge of the re - release was enough to persuade me to break into the stash again and use this bit of Snow White and the 7 Dwarf original Far Far Away last month for a granny bag.

Pop in to The Workroom and grab some of this modern classic while we have it. It's a fabric classic and will always be in demand - stash some away if you've no little people to make anything for at the moment - or just indulge that inner Princess and make yourself something. I can't wait to start to sew! Watch our FaceBook page to see some pics when we get it unpacked!

Did You Get Your Bag Yet?

Did you get your PlainStitch Workroom shopper yet? Pop in to see us and we're giving them away with any purchase over £15 because, well, we're nice like that :)

Perfect for project stuff, shopping stuff, life stuff, stuff stuff...you know the stuff, we all lug it about!

A special thank you freebie to all our lovely customers x

Edited to add ***Sorry they've all gone now *** Happy Shopping ! x

A Sewing Postcard From Kephalonia

I've just returned from a very relaxing little jaunt to Kephalonia with my family. There was a smidgen of sewing squeezed in between the swimming,  lounging,  laughing, splashing about, BBQing,  reading and generally relaxing and watching the amazing view change through the day. I made so much progress on my Summer EPP that I ran out of Freezer Paper which was a real problem. Luckily last week I couldn't resist cutting into my Emmy Grace fabrics and squeezing them into the  bulging suitcase as we left. This meant I could get started on my Double Wedding Ring Magnum Opus Quilt instead. OOh I do love it so - but it is going to be SLOW GOING! You all know I am a fan of the slow quilting movement, but this is def an all-in project! I'll show you my progress when I've unpacked later this week. It's fab, but its SLOW, slow I tell you!

I read some fab books - Heather Ross's haunting How To Catch a Frog was fabulous - have you read it yet? I also read Emma Bridgewaters book about the roots of her creative journey, in a similar but very different vein. I was actually surprised by the similarities, despite the differences in their backgrounds and fabric v's pots futures. I'd def recommend them both. Anyway, I'm now champing at the bit to get back into the Workrroom and see all this lovely new fabric that Helen has been blogging about! I hope you left me some? See you there x

Thursday, 10 July 2014


Some lovely new fabrics arrived at the Plainstitch shop on Tuesday.  The New Heather Bailey 'up Parasol fabrics are just gorgeous!  

 Basting pins back in stock.

We are also waiting with great excitement for the rest of The Emmy Grace range by Bari J from Art Gallery Fabrics to arrive either today or tomorrow as soon as it comes in I will let you know. 

If you get chance pop into the shop/workroom we are open today for Therapy Thursday and also next Tuesday, its a great time to take advantage of our July summer fabric sale, by 3 fat quarter sand get the fourth free.