A bit of a change…

A few changes are afoot at QP, so I thought I would explain a bit here…

Quilty Pleasures opened early 2010 in response to the lack of places to buy well designed, contemporary quilt fabric.  At that time, the UK quilt shops were still fairly traditional, and to buy exciting fabric you often had to look to the USA.

Outside View
Outside View

The timing was perfect for the current revival of interest in quilting, and fairly quickly I started being asked to run workshops for adults and children.  Word started to spread that I was available for talks, so I have travelled around the South East visiting quilt groups and WI’s.  I then started writing for magazines, which was followed by my book.

The Book!
The Book!

The last year has been quite a juggling act, trying to keep everything ticking along.  Running a shop, talks, writing, designing, commissions, selling online, teaching classes – and that is without being a cleaner, book keeper, merchandiser, marketeer…  However, when my son became very ill at the end of 2014 I felt something had to change – he is well again, but there is nothing like having a poorly child that makes you reappraise things.

So, decisions had to be made… and the decision has been made to close the bricks and mortar side of Quilty Pleasures, and this Thursday 19th March will be the last day we will be officially open as a shop.

Quilty Pleasures will continue as an ecommerce site, somewhere to buy my patterns and kits, a small but carefully selected range of good quality quilt supplies, and to book classes online.  I have been working on a separate website for what I call my freelance work; talks, designing and writing.

A massive thank you to the regulars from the last five years (it really has been that long).  Many of you come on workshops, so I am sure I will be seeing you again, and we hope to be at some events in and around Brighton.

So, I am rather excited about the next phase, and can’t wait to properly dust off the sketchbooks and have more time to create.

Liz Betts Sketch

This blog will be updated with website and event related news, and I have a new website,  www.betsybetts.co.uk which includes a blog of my design based work.

Liz
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New Year Nod

I would write something about New Year here, however it is the 13th, and the atmosphere in Brighton seems to have settled into the January dark evenings and skint wallet effect, so just take this as a new year nod!

If you follow me on social media, you will know that the last 6 weeks have been a bit of a sewing/working issue as my son has been very poorly, and we have stayed in hospital for a while, so things were up in the air.  He is doing well now, back to school so normal service has resumed. A little bit of sewing got done – I always keep a box of fabric, templates, thread and scissors that I take around with me when I travel and my husband popped it up the hospital.  Hand sewing is my therapy, so did lots of sewing at his bedside.
The piece I was working on currently looks like this…

Hexie work in progress
Hexie work in progress
Close up - hexie wip
Close up – hexie wip

and will not be much larger so I will start filling in the edges.  It started as I had about five rosettes from class samples, and wanted to do something with them.  I have lots of hexie samples, so elongated these, and turned them into a grandmothers flower garden.

We also got a day out in London last week, and got to the Knitwear exhibition at the Fashion and Textile museum in Bermondsey.  Really enjoyed it, lots to see, but as the exhibits were grouped by theme it flowed really well.  It was amusing explaining to my daughter what I had heard about knitted swimsuits on Brighton beach when my mum was a child!  It closes this weekend.

No photos allowed (unfortunately) but took a photo outside – amuses me how the road sign points to the banner.

Fashion Textile Museum - Knitwear
Fashion Textile Museum – Knitwear

To round off my new year nod, my things (not using the r word here) this year are a sketchbook project I am working on from a history book, to work on my range of patterns, and to be a little bit more experimental in my quilting.  I plan to share the work here over the year, so keep your eyes peeled.

My summer travels – Birmingham and Halifax

Ta ta summer – Autumn seems to be here, along with tights and boots!

I did quite a lot of travelling round the UK this summer…and here I am using my delay leaflets in my English Paper piecing (waste not want not as they say)

Grand Central Hexies
Grand Central Hexies

Mid August was Festival of Quilts, of course.  I loved this quilt, made by Tracey Aplin and called “My Love for Liberty”.  I admired the quilt, then was thrilled to discover I knew Tracey from quilt shows, and she came along to my talk in Canterbury last month.  Isn’t it fabulous?!

My Love for Liberty
My Love for Liberty by Tracey Aplin

Later in August I spent a week in Yorkshire with family.  One of the places we visited was Bankfield Museum in Halifax.  My brothers’ family live fairly near so I have been there quite a few times, and every time I go I desperately want to get some white gloves and and sneak into the achieves as they always have such lovely textiles.

Bankfield Musuem
Bankfield Museum

The upper floor has a new exhibition based on WW1.  Called “For King and Country” it draws on local stories, objects and images to discover what life was like at the time.  All of us found it interesting and thought provoking.  I was particularly interested by the garments on show as well as an excellent display of WW1 embroidered postcards.

WW1 Postcards
WW1 Postcards
WW1 Postcards - close up
WW1 Postcards – close up
Dress
Dress from the 1900s
1900s Dress - Hand sewing detail
1900s Dress – Hand sewing detail

Bankfield was originally a private house, and is amazing to look around.  Imagine popping out of this door every day when you need a pint of milk…

Bankfield Museum
Bankfield Museum

While on our travels, we also had a textile day over to Manchester.  However I will talk about this in a separate post later this week as we saw some amazing textile work, so the camera worked its socks off that day!

Charity coffee morning – this Saturday!

This Saturday we are holding our second coffee morning in support of Maternity Worldwide.  The Brighton based charity works in developing countries to ensure women have access to maternity care – you can find out more about their amazing work here.

As well as tea, coffee and cake, Debbie who used to run the knitting shop up the road from QP will be selling some knitting books, and I will be making a donation to the charity from sales on the day.  I am also hoping to have my autumn course schedule available for those who fancy coming on a course after the summer.

Fingers crossed we will raise at least £80 as this sponsors a trainee midwife in Africa for a month – how amazing would that be?!

Maternity Worldwide Poster QP

May 2014 Open Studio – demos and make and takes

In Bloom - image by Fiona Sewgirl
In Bloom – image by Fiona Sewgirl

We are opening again this year as part of the Artists open houses, with the theme of “In Bloom”.

There will be some work for sale by 6 Sussex based designer/makers, and for the first time we will be having demonstrations and make and takes (a small charge will apply for these).  Our schedule is below – if you would like more information get in touch.  Hope to see you there!

Open first four weekends in May, 11 till 5 and Thursdays 12 till 5
Demonstrations and make and takes (small charge applies) each weekend
3rd and 4th May Needlefelting with Valerie Evans

9th and 10th May – Simple patchwork with Suzanne Fisher

and long arm quilting info with Carolyn Clark

17th May – Flower stitched cards with Elizabeth Betts

18th May- Applique lavender bags with Fiona Sewgirl

24th May- Bloom Jute bags with Anita Quirky Genius

25th May- Flower corsages with Elizabeth Betts and Fiona Sewgirl

For more details contact liz@quilty-pleasures.co.uk/01273 563032

Weekend in London

Well, it kind of was, I commuted up from Brighton Thursday to Sunday.  The reason for this was that the lovely people at Twisted Thread asked me if I would like to do some talks on quilt making in their Lifestyle Theatre and the Knitting and Stitching show.  Always one to try something just a little outside my comfort zone I said yes, then spent a month fretting about it, not helped by an article in The Guardian on how the majority of people would do anything (and absolutely anything) to avoid public speaking!  It all went fine, and I actually LOVED doing it.  There were some really positive comments from people who watched my demos, and it inspired people to have a go at quilting which is just fab.  The talks were based on projects from the book.
Here are a couple of photos…

Image

Image

Of course one of the best things was to be able to spend 4 days at the knitting and stitching show, and I did do a bit of shopping…  I added a couple of fat quarters to my Liberty stash.  Really must start the snowball quilt I have been planning for all my Liberty scraps…  I also bought a lampshade kit which I have some patchwork plans for.  The stalls with lovely yarn so nearly hooked me in, but I have so much sewing on my list that I resisted – but maybe in the autumn.  I have never been to the Olympia show before and thought it really good, nice venue and so much easier to get to from Brighton than Ally Pally.

Being in London means I had an excuse to slope off on Saturday afternoon to the V&A, one of my favourite places in the capital.

V & A
V & A

Spent a lot of time in the ceramics galleries, inspiring colours and prints.

Ceramics V & A
Ceramics V & A

They have a wedding dresses exhibition starting soon, so I will be back there again before the summer…