Thursday, 23 December 2010

Lovely Christmas window displays in our Janome stockists!

I asked my shops to email me some photo's of their Christmas decorations... and thought I would show you a few! Singer Shop @ Whitley Bay

The weather was too bad at Hobkirks in Blackburn to go outisde and start taking photo's... so Mark sent me this Christmas decorated photo!

A beautiful Christmas tree @ Brewers in Wolverhampton.

And you can see the snow in Alan's photo from Bambers!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Janome stockist in Darlington has shop re-fit and is nominated for "Rising Star"award!

The Singer shop in Darlington is a family business and has been trading for over forty years. They are a specialist in Janome machines, and have many machines available for demonstration in the shop. They also sell general machine and sewing accessories, haberdashery and pressing equipment.
Joan has ran the shop for many years, and earlier in 2010 Stuart, her son, came back into the family business.
Out of 140 entrants, Stuart (back row on the far right) won runner-up of the "Rising Star" in the North East Eccomerce Awards .... not bad for a shop that had scaffolding up for six months and could only use the back door to trade from for one month! Just think how well they will do next year when the shop re-fit is complete!

The building has had a complete refit during 2010... just look at some of the building work below! This is the new look shop window.... they are now stocking patchwork fabrics and quilting accessories.

How the window used to look.....

and some of the building work in progress!

To find out more about the Singer Shop in Darlington, check out their website UK

or why not follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Christmas @ Janome!

Christmas is here! Well, nearly, only a week left! Doesn't our Janome Christmas tree look festive in our office reception?
If you are thinking of buying a Janome Sewing Machine for a Christmas gift... be quick! Most of our special offers finish today... so contact your local stockist for details!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas projects I have been working on....

Over the last few evening I have been making some Christmas gifts and decorations on my Janome Horizon... and thought you might like to see?
I have lots of Christmas stockings to make for friends children this year, and Grace had hers made first! A mix of embroidery on the MC11000 for her name and then some crazy patchwork and beautiful embroidery stitches on my Horizon. I used 100% linen canvas, which is hard wearing and should last for years, and the Horizon coped with the thick seams easily. Although, it does need a good press.... shame Janome don't make irons anymore!
While I was at the Clothes Show last week, I was demonstrating decorative stitches, the Circular Attachment on calico... with all the embellished pieces of fabric I have made them into some lovely mini bunting flags for my Christmas decorations! I found some beautiful pink and green buttons from Eternal Maker, who were also exhibiting there. (They had some wonderful fabrics, trims and buttons... check out their website!)

The black tape is used to join the bunting flags was from Clothkits... who are also well worth a website visit!!

A wonderful attachment.... the Ruffler!!!!

The Ruffler Attachment is one of my favourites at the moment... and in the past few weeks I have used it for many projects! Check out THIS post from a few weeks ago, I used the Ruffler to create easy fabric flowers for my necklace / bib. Customers are always interested in this attachment, yet when they see it.... quite scared! Yet, it is so simple and works on most Janome machines.

For all current Janome machines (expect 6600p/7700p) use THIS Ruffler
For 6600p & 7700p, also know as the Horizon, use THIS Ruffler If you have an older model, please call your local stockist or our Head Office to check you have the correct Ruffler for your machine.

A Ruffler will also join a flat piece of fabric to a ruffled / pleated piece of fabric as it stitches. I will show you this in another post.

When you first take the Ruffler out of the box, follow the instructions to fit it to your own machine. You will need to loosen the screws at the back of the Ruffler, fit it to your machine and lower the needle into the needle hole (using centre straight stitch), and then tighten the screws at the back on the Ruffler. This only needs doing once.... unless of course you change your machine and you will need to repeat this process. When you are putting the fabric to be ruffled or pleated into the attachment, make sure you can see the prongs or teeth on top of your fabric, as above.

This guide at the front of the Ruffler, shows how many stitches between each ruffle or pleat.
1 - is every stitch will create a pleat

6 - every sixth stitch will create a pleat

12 - every twelfth stitch will create a pleat

* - is no pleats

This guide shows you how deep each pleat will be. The lower the number, the smaller the pleat or ruffle. If you use the setting above, as a pleat every stitch and small depth of pleat... you will create a gathered effect.

If you select every six stitches

and the deepest depth of pleat (a large number on the guide on the left) you will produce the effect on the dress below.

For this dress I made for the Clothes Show at the NEC last week, I made a ruffled trim using black silk organza. I had every six stitches selected and the largest depth of pleat.

I stitched the pleated trim to black organza I had embroidered with decorative stitches on my Horizon ( stitch NO. 206 & 128), I used my Blind Hem Foot to edge stitch and keep it straight and neat. Change your needle position to far left on straight stitch.

I used the pleated / ruffled trim to decorate the front of the dress and the belt.

And the finished dress on display at the Clothes Show!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Making Christmas Cards ....

Every Christmas I like to make handmade cards for all of the shops I look after in the Midlands, North of England and Scotland. So this year, I thought I would show you the process on my blog.....1. A5 pre folded cards - print "Merry Christmas" and "Handmade by Heidi ..." using Microsoft Publisher.
2. Cut out small triangles of Christmas type cotton fabric.

3. Using temporary spare glue (the type you would use for embroidery), stick the fabric triangles onto the card in a row.

4. Set your sewing machine up for Free Machine Embroidery (use the correct foot for your machine and drop the feed dogs or use a needle plate cover) and machine around the bunting style flags.

5. And there finished!!! I need to make over 100... So I best get busy!

Birmingham School of Sewing uses Janome Sewing Machines...

Sheila-May Green, the tutor at The Birmingham School of Sewing is a qualified designer, and holds a BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology, and is also the proprietor of Sheila- May Couture in Northfield and has been designing and making bespoke bridal gowns, ball gowns and evening dresses for over 30 years. Sheila-May is also a qualified textiles teacher and works part time as Head of Textiles at a comprehensive in Birmingham. Sheila-May runs the Birmingham School of Sewing in the rooms above her shop, classes are small (max six people) and use Janome JP760 machines. Her classes range from lingerie, overlocking, bridalwear, tailoring, corsetry and accessories, with special courses for practising textile teachers and NQT's.
For full information about The Birmingham School of Sewing, check out their website or give Sheila-May a call on 079200 31744 It looks like everyone is having a fabulous time on the Fabric Bows and Flowers Workshop... and enjoying tea and biscuits at the same time!
The beginners workshop for sewers is always popular.

Sheila- May sent me this photograph this week... "I thought you might like to see the attached photo. I have taken time out from teaching at the Sewing in order to make this beautiful crib for my daughter who is expecting her first baby in December. I used one of my Janome sewing machines with a ruffler foot." I'm sure you'll agree... isn't it just beautiful! I personally love the Ruffler attachment, and I will be posting some more photo's and information about this wonderful foot in the next few days!

Friday, 3 December 2010

I'm interviewed for The Sewing Directory!

Fiona Pullen from The Sewing Directory asked me for an interview on the "Life of a Janome Sales Manager".... If you would like to read the interview, please follow the link here. The Sewing Directory is the best place to find all things sewing in the UK... from Sewing Machine Stockists, haberdashery, fabrics, workshops....and much, much more!
Find them on Facebook, Twitter or follow their Blog.

Ministry of Craft - a wonderful way to learn new skills!

Sam, the owner and creator of Ministry of Craft, (Sam on the left and Alison on the right @ The Clothes Show 2010) has always loved to make things, whether it’s bracelets from her dad’s aquarium tubing or more recently cushions and jewellery for friends’ birthdays - she is a lover of all things crafty!
On returning to Manchester after travelling for two years, she tried to find a short and simple handbag making course, but to no avail. From this discovery Ministry of Craft was born.
Following 15 years working in the leisure and tourism industry, Sam knows how to deliver a great customer experience and this combined with her passion to get people crafting, made her jump at the chance to set up the Ministry of Craft in Manchester. Sam spends her days juggling her time around her toddler Max, husband Rik, her laptop and her beloved Janome sewing machine.
For more information, check out their website

Janome Sewing Machines are busy @ The Clothes Show!

Janome Sewing Machines are all over the new Sknitch area at the Clothes Show at the NEC this year...why not pop over and visit us?? Clothkits are running regular workshops throughout the day....
Recycle and Sew are running a competition to win a Janome 525s!

And Oxfam Vintage have sewing machines for visitors to remake and recycle their clothes!

Janome @ The Clothes Show 2010!

Against all the odds of the weather, The Clothes Show opened today and we had lots of brave visitors..... The Janome stand looked fantastic... just looked at the leather embroidered dress made by Alison Smith from school of Sewing in Ashby de la Zouch.
Sandra Coleridge was showing visitors customers the wonders of our embellishing machine...

Sam and Alison from Ministry of Craft were running mini Make and Take workshops all day... and people loved to take a finished project home with them!

Janome had lots of machines on display for customers to see and try... the Janome MB4 was very busy embroidering the Sknitch logo!
The Clothes Show is open till Wednesday, so if you can brave the cold.... come and see us!
For more information on the Janome range or your local stockist, check out their website

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Janome @ The Clothes Show 2010!!

This is the first time Janome is exhibiting at The Clothes Show @ NEC.... and we are very excited! After battling through the snow....and spending hours setting up the stand... lets hope lots of people visit us over the next six days!
I had to take a few shot and show you work in progress....above you can see Ministry of Craft, who will be running quick take and make workshops. We also have Sandra Coleridge, who is a textile artist, and runs workshops and exhibits work all over the UK, and Alison Smith, who runs her own School of Sewing in Ashby de la Zouch and author of The Sewing Book.

Clothkits are also running workshops throughout the shop.... and are also using Janome machines!
The Clothes Show is open from 3rd - 8th Dec @ NEC.... so why not pop in and see us?? We are in the new Skintch area... sew... knit and stitch!

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Harrogate Show is a great place to buy fabric!

I am always being asked "where can I buy fabric?"

Well, how would you fancy lots of fabrics stall all under one roof? The various sewing shows are an ideal place to find the perfect fabric, and find new suppliers that sell just what you need! I always end up spending lots of money on fabric to add to my stash and I'm guaranteed to find what I want! Dave, from The Shuttle in Shilpley, sells a wonderful range of patchwork, quilting, dress, silks, bridal and fleeces.... and if you ask him nicely, he might find what you need from the shops stock when he gets back after the show!
Doughty's are a specialist in patchwork and quilting fabrics, wadding and quilting accessories, check out their website or why not pop in next time you are in the Hereford area?

I have added a page to this blog for Fabrics Shops, from soft furnishing, dress, bridal, patchwork and good trimmings and haberdashery suppliers.... if there is anywhere that you recommend that isn't listed, please drop me a line and I'll happily add on.

To find a Sewing Show near you, check out Twisted Threads and ICHF websites for details.

Need to find beautiful wools to use with your embellisher??

Beverley has been knitting for 40 years and it's her love of knitting and felting and collecting wonderful and interesting yarns that started her business a few years ago. She now imports wool and yarn from all over the world and sells them through her beautiful website Stocking major branded yarns from Adriafil, Debbie Bliss, Elle, Lanartus, Lang, King Cole, Twilleys and Noro. Knitting4fun has found exciting new producers of pure wools, including pure alpaca and also have a selection of natural and plant dyed wool, and are now building our range of natural fibre yarns such as cotton, cotton linen mix, Irish linen, nettle and hemp Bev loves taking her yarns to the Knitting and Stitching Shows in the UK, and is happy to help with any felting or knitting questions. Bev often teams up with Sandra Coleridge to bring embellishing workshops to the East Midlands area. Bev promotes the Janome FM725 felting machine and they can be purchased through her website
Click here for more information on the Janome FM725.

Dionne Swift uses Janome Felting Machine in her "Drawing for Textiles" masterclass @ Harrogate!

Dionne studied at Goldsmiths College and received a MA in Textiles from UCE. She now works from a wonderful studio; Radiant Works in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Where she draws, prints, dye's, stitches and embellishes – creating works for galleries and design shops.

Dionne often exhibits at The Knitting and Stitching Shows in the UK, and this year at Harrogate was no exception. She had a beautiful stand to display her work, book, DVD's and materials..... and some gorgeous scarfs!

Dionne also ran several workshops during the show on Devore, and a Drawing for Textiles master class. Janome are happy to support Dionne with her workshops and supplied several FM725's (felting and embellishing machine) for her students to use on the class, both at the show and her regular workshops throughout the year.
For more information on Dionne Swift, her work and workshops, please visit her website

Horn Cabinets @ Harrogate Show

When you sew... do you get stuff everywhere?? Your machine on your dining room table? Pins on the carpet? And when you have to tidy up.... where does it all go??
How about a Horn Cabinet?? These are so useful to keep all your sewing essentials tidy and easy to find, a safe place to store your sewing machine and overlocker and an easy Aitlifter! What could be better??

Jason, from Horn Furniture, was exhibiting with White Rose Sewing Centre at the Harrogate Show, and is happy to offer advice for which cabinet is best suited to your sewing needs. Why not pop in and have a chat with him at their exhibitions next year? or check out their website for full information.