Monday, 20 June 2011

A busy day in the Isle of Man!

Last week I had a flying visit to the Isle of Man... I was only there 24 hours and we worked all day to fit in as much as possible!

Joan's Wool and Craft opened in 1974 and is now ran by Joans' daughter, Christine. The shop has a mix of sewing and other crafts, including patchwork and quiliting, dress fabrics, haberdashery, knitting wool, craft kits and artists paints.... and of course, full range of Janome sewing machines.

In the morning we had a software training session for Digitizer MB and how to digitize lace, and using the Giga Hoop and Cloth Setter on the MC9700. We worked that hard, I forgot to take any photographs! After lunch we had a look at the Janome Horizon and a range of Janome accessories. Many of the staff at Joan's have Janome machines at home, but everyone wanted to have a go on the new Janome Horizon machine. Above I am demonstarting the new Quilt Binder Set, which allows you to quickly bind the edges of bulky quilts. Check out this blog post for more information on the Quilt Binder Set.

Once I ran through the features of the Horizon, it was time to get hands on and have a go! And no-one was disapointed!

While they were playing on the machine, I had a quick look round the shop.... full range of haberdashery and fabrics... and loads of other crafty goodies! Well worth a visit!!

Joan's Wools and Craft can be found in Village Walk in Onchan, there is a free car pack, so you can spend as long as you like having a look around.

For more information, have a look at their website here, a give them a call on 01624 626009.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Fancy a new machine.. you can see both vintage and new @ Lestan Sewing Machines!

Lestan Sewing Machines is in Nelson, Lancashire and only a short distance from the famous Pendle Hill. Bryan and Kim own and run the business and have years of experience in the trade. Bryan is a fully trained technician and can service or repair any domestic or industrial machine, just give him a call for a quote.

Whether you are looking for a vintage sewing machine, to give you clothes or craft sewing that extra vintage feel....

Or a new Janome sewing machine, Bryan and Kim have a range of both to show you. From basic to computerised machine embroidery... just pop in and have a look and a demonstration.

For more information on Lestand Sewing Machines, check out their WEBSITE, TWITTER or FACEBOOK page.

Monday, 13 June 2011

New Embroidery Studio in Derbyshire.... White Peak Embroidery!

Do you enjoy of spot of hand embroidery? Or maybe cross stitch, tapestry? and how about a nice drive into the Derbyshire Dales and finish with gorgeous homemade cakes and tea?? Well, I might have just the thing.... White Peak Embroidery opened last week, and can be found on the main road through Darley Dale. Ann, who also owns and runs Heirs and Graces (only a few doors down the road) has always had a passion for sewing, and started her quilting business when the children were small. Heirs and Graces has a reputation for quality, and has a huge selection of patchwork fabrics, along with everything you need to become a top class quilter! Her husband, John, also runs The Complete Knit in Matlock... a heaven for hand knitters.

White Peak Embroidery (and tea room) has been one of Ann's dreams for a long time, and when the right premises became available, Ann jumped at the chance to make it reality. From the minute your about to walk through the door, handmade gifts and the vintage style of the shop are inviting you inside.

The Tea Room part of the shop will be opening soon... Ann gave me a sneak preview of vintage tables, chairs, cups and saucers she's been buying, along with antique sewing machines for display. This will be a ideal place to relax after your shopping... or park the other half while your shopping!

Once inside, the beautiful light shop has lots to offer, from your standard embroidery items to the most specialist fabrics, threads, ribbons and embroidery backings.

Heirs and Graces, is literally a few door down on the same road, and less then a minutes walk between both shops. The building used to be an old Wesleyan Church and is full of character...

Ann has even used the old pews to display all her fabulous patchwork fabrics.

For more information on Heirs and Graces, visit their website Patchwork Direct... and why not pop in for a lovely cup of tea next time your in the area.

Kisco & The Fabric Guild in Leicester for Patchwork, Quilting and Janome machines!

Graham Cresswell, seen below, has worked in the sewing trade since a young apprentice, and what he doesn't know about sewing machines... isn't worth knowing! His main shop is in Daybrook, just outside Nottingham city centre, but he also has a long history of working with the Fabric Guild and Kisco Fabrics to bring Janome machines to the patchwork and quilters in Leicester. He is usually at Kisco every Friday morning to help with your machine queries, sales and servicing.

Kisco is a heaven for patchwork and quilters, and carries a huge range of supplies, from patchwork fabric by the yard, to fat quarters, haberdashery, bag handles, books, wadding... and free tea and biscuits to refresh you after your shopping! (or park the other half while your shopping!)

Kisco is not open to the public like a normal shop, and you need to become a member, and then you will be offered certain dates to come and shop. Check out the full details here. Or buy from their online shop all year round.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Frank Nutt Sewing Machines in Kings Heath opens new sewing classroom with Claire Muir!

Frank Nutt Sewing Machines was Established in 1985 by Frank Nutt, who is the 3rd Generation of Sewing Machine shops in the 'Nutt' family, both Frank Nutt and his son, James Nutt, work in the shop. They have extensive knowledge on everything regarding Sewing Machines and are both here to help with any enquiry.

Over the last few months they have been been renovating the rooms above the shop to become their new sewing classroom. Being a listed building, this has been a huge job... but the finished results looks fantastic! Frank and James took delivery of their new Janome TXL607 machines a couple of weeks ago, and their first class to be held in the new classroom, was Thread and Texture by Claire Muir last Thursday.

Claire, who can be seen on the left below, has a long successful background within embroidery and textiles, and trained at Bishop Otter College, Chichester, received a First Class Honours degree in Art and Related Arts, giving her the opportunity for a further year’s Postgraduate study in the Textiles Department of Glasgow School of Art.
She now has her own business creating gorgeous machine embroidered fascinators, corsages and flowers, runs regular workshops around the UK on machine embroidery and is happy to exhibit and talk about her work to Guilds and other societies. She has put together a selection of workshops running at Frank Nutts, where you can learn various techniques of free machine embroidery and learn how to make one of Claire's signature flowers. (I am a personal fan of Claire's work, and tried to go on one of her workshops a while ago... so I might be tempted to visit in this new classroom!)

The Texture and Threads workshop... does what it says on the tin! For the beginner or experienced free machinest, learn about how to work with different threads, tensions, needles, fabrics to create the most fabulous textures for your textile work.

Six Janome TXL607's in the classroom, mean you don't have to worry about carrying your machine into the class, and all materials are provided as well.

As you can see from the photographs, everyone had a wonderful time, and produced lots of samples to take home.

Check out these links for more information on Frank Nutt Sewing Machines, Claire's workshops and why not have a look at Claire own website and follow Frank Nutt Sewing Machines on facebook.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

New Sewing Cafe in Hickley Opens... with Janome Sewing Machines!!

When you think of Hinckley you may not think of the craft capital of Leicestershire, but with the arrival of The Sewing Cafe you may want to think again.
Born out of a desire for a social setting in which to indulge in their passion for Sewing Fay Hooper and Becky Owen (still in their 20’s - well only just!) set about creating The Sewing Café. Branded as a social sewing emporium you’ll be able to take part in sewing workshops, sew by the hour (like an internet café but with sewing machines), spoil yourself with a gorgeous range of fabrics, buttons and trims plus everything you need to get sewing.
The Sewing Cafe will also run social sewing session, which are all about enjoying sewing in a social setting, surrounded by other sewing lovers, to share projects, swap advice or simply share stories.
You’ll be able to bring along new or current projects and pick up some great tips from some savvy sewing experts, who will be on hand to help. You can make the most of one of 8 Janome CXL301 sewing machines, with a choice of 30 stitches, these are fantastic machines and if you’re not familiar with the model, don’t worry, a five minute demo and you’ll be on your way!
“We are both so exited about The Sewing Cafe, our aim is to make sewing as accessible and sociable as possible – we want to create an inspiring, relaxed environment” says Fay Hooper.
With the ever growing interest for ‘make do and mend’, a dramatic increase in Sewing Machine sales and a movement away from fast fashion towards creativity, there was no better time for these two like-minded friends to enter in to their first venture.

Both De Montfort University graduates it was important for both Fay and Becky to find a base in Leicestershire and with the help of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity (, they’ve been able to find a home for The Sewing Cafe in Castle Street, Hinckley. The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity has given Fay and Becky the platform to launch The Sewing Cafe in a time of economic uncertainty, by providing an interest free loan.
"We wanted to bring The Sewing Cafe to our corner of Leicestershire, we’ve already had such a great response from the people of Hinckley and have only been open a couple of weeks!“ says Becky Owen.

The Sewing Cafe, 116 Castle Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1DD.