Posted in behind the scenes, children's sewing bee, in the haberdashery, News, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

New Adult Quilting Group, New Sewing Bee Class and Young Quilters Event.

Hi everyone,

I’m back from my Holidays and raring to go……

I’m currently as we speak getting ready for the Melbourne Festival which starts on Saturday. I’m really excited to be part of this amazing event. I’ll be exhibiting at 52 Blanche Croft…….

I’ve  got new groups and classes starting.

The first is a quilting group which is affiliated with the Quilters Guild. This is a great new group which is set up for everyone interested in patchwork and quilting. To bring along their projects, share ideas and advice and plan any future projects. This group is be held on the 1st Monday of every month here in the Sewing Studio.

I also have a new Sewing Bee starting on Thursday 28th September. The group is aimed at children aged between 8-12 years. The sessions will run every Thursday 4-5pm and the cost £7.50 per week.

I only work with a small number of children and the classes are ongoing, so if you want your child to have a place please let me know asap to reserve a place…..

We also have an event set up with the Young Quilters Guild. This event is taking place here at the Sewing Studio on Thursday 26th October 10am – 1pm.

This event is for children aged between 6-18yrs.

Projects include Halloween themed decorations and treat bags. Hand and machine sewing will be learnt.

Non members -£7

Members – £5

All children if not ready a member will get a years free membership to the Guild after visiting us.

Last night was this months Craft and Chat evening. This is a great evening for us crafters to get together with our projects. There’s lots of different types of crafts every month and the atmosphere is fantastic……if you would like to join us pop along on the first Thursday of the month….

My workshop dates have increased this quarter of the year. I’m really pleased how quickly they are booking up. If you’ve not had a look at the dates then please visit http://www.simplyneedlecraft.com/workshopsclasses.html

workshops include hand embroidery, quilting, mother and daughter sewing class, beginners sewing, fabric journals, art quilting and fabric collage and vintage workshops.

 

 

Thats it for this week, have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week.

 

Ami

Posted in Ami James - Textile Artist, Butterick patterns, children's sewing bee, Fabric, New Stock, News, Workshop and classes

New Quilts, New Fabrics and New Workshops!

Hi everyone, 

Its been a busy time here with lots cracking off and some exciting dates.

Lets crack on with Sewing Bee….

Monday group having been stitching lovely wall hangings….

My new little stitchers on a Tuesday  have been making needle cases, an essential for any sewer….

The Wednesday group have been working hard over the last three weeks and produced Lolly the Owl and they are very proud of themselves and so they should be…. 

One of my groups on Saturdays have finished off their selfies…..

And the hard work continues on the quilt entries…..

I have spaces available on the sewing bee due to a reshuffle.

Saturday 11.30am- 12.30pm for 8-12yrs

Wednesday 4-5pm 8-12yrs

please contact if you are interested and need more details.

The quilting course for beginners came to an end this week. Amazing results and gorgeous quilts. It’s been an absolute pleasure having these ladies join me in the sewing studio…..

And carrying on the quilting theme…..

The date for the Patchwork Guild/ Young Quilters Workshop has changed due to double booking ……ooooops

The venue is still the same but is now on Saturday 20th May.

A new workshop has been added to the list. The talented Lace Make, Rachel Patrick will be joining us in June to offer to Course in Lace Making. All details and booking info are now on the website http://www.simplyneedlecraft.com 

The Butterick sale has now started and all patterns are half price until 24th April, along with a brand new catalogue….

New Fabric has arrived this week, with many bolts still due to arrive shortly…..

Mum has been a busy bee too. She’s been quilting this lovely cot quilt which has been now sold and has a new home…..

I’ve also been quilting and have finished my kaleidoscope quilt….

All that’s the run down of what’s been happening.

lots still to come on my next blog post.

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll catch up with you next week.

Ami

xxx

Posted in Ami James - Textile Artist, children's sewing bee, News, sewing studio, textile art, www.simplyneedlecraft.com

Creative Record Breaking …….

Hi everyone,

Its been a record breaking week for the sewing studio. 30 little stitchers (plus 12 more this Saturday) and 14 adults have been to learn new skills.

The stitchers entering the Quilting Festival this year have started to make up their designs that need to be in the theme of ‘free’.

First the younger group are focusing on hot air balloons……

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Whilst my older group have picked animals and seasons….

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My second group had chance to finish off the scrappy book covers they’ve been working on….

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Later on Saturday we had the mother and daughter workshop. The challenge was complete a stitch test and make a cushion in pairs. 

Each pair did a fab job and left with new skills and a new cushion….

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On Wednesday evening the Sewing Studio opened up for the Textile Art Workshop. Four ladies joined me to learn about free motion and raw edge appliqué to make and design an art canvas….

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Please visit the website to see all available dates and bookings.

Its been our anniversary to this week. It’s been three years since we opened our bricks and mortar shop in Swadlincote….

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A huge thank you to everyone that has supported me along the way. It’s overwhelming how things have turned out. 

Heres to the next three years x

see you soon

Ami

xxx

Posted in children's sewing bee, Crochet, Customers, News, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

Well What A Week It’s Been…….

Hi everyone,

It’s a bit bloody cold but it’s been a lovely week here…..lots to show and tell you.

This week it’s the adults turn to go first….

Monday was the start of our first quilting course in the new Sewing Studio.

The ladies picked out their fabrics, cut out what pieces they needed and started to piece together. A great start and I can’t wait for next week….

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Then on Wednesday evening we had the beginners sewing workshop. We had a lovely time and everyone went home very pleased with themselves and with beautiful cushions….

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The crochet group also loving the new Studio have been busy. I can tell you there’s a huge project in the pipeline ……more details to follow…

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Now let’s crack on with the little ones….

Firstly our joint quilt project is coming along nicely, we still have a few more hand prints to collect…..

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My new little ones got to grips with the machines, they learnt to thread, wind a bobbin, practice straight lines and curves……it was only fair after they’re hard work to let them play with decorative stitches…

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My Wednesday group are on their next projects on dream clouds ….

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Now for the big reveal of my older groups fabric dying session and didn’t they do a fantastic job…..

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I’m also pleased to tell you I’ve been asked to be a Young Quilters Leader for children 6-18yrs.

I will be sitting down with my planner next week to arrange days and patchwork and quilting projects……I’ll keep in informed.

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I’ve also been busy work on my new collection of dresses…..The Historic Dress…..

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Lastly if you would like to join us on any of our workshops please visit our Website

That’s all for this week.

Thank you so much for following us and keeping up to date with our news.

See you next week

Ami

Posted in behind the scenes, Christmas, Customers, Fabric, in the haberdashery, New Stock, News, sewing studio, Uncategorized, Workshop and classes, www.simplyneedlecraft.com

We’ve Done It …..We’re Finally In :) (lots of pics)

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve had a fantastic Christmas.

We’ve been so so busy over the last few days….packing, moving and unpacking. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my hubby, family, friends, loyal customers and little stitchers. It’s been overwhelming to see how many people have given up their time over Christmas.

I’m pleased to say I am now unpacked and settling in. The shops ready for opening day on the 3rd January and my Sewing Studio is all set up, Singers all unpacked and ready for some more creativity….( I can’t wait to get my little switchers back in action).

Ok here comes the pics ….

 

The Cavalry……

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The End Result…..I’m so happy

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And The Sewing Studio

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There’s also a great selection of Timeless Treasure Cotton fabrics also joined us in time  for opening. These are 100% cottons which are beautiful quality and the designs are stunning.  Available in fat quarters, half and full metres. …. take a look.

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It’s been a fantastic year here. I never imagined that 2016 would be so successful and creative. I would like to thank everyone that has been part of it. I’ve met so many wonderful people, the most amazing talented youngsters. 

2017 is set to be even bigger with the shop move, guest tutors, more workshops, Sewing Bee increasing, festival of quilts, Open Arts Derbyshire and even more coursework for me. 

I really can’t  thank everyone enough. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR X 

See you next year 

Ami 

Posted in behind the scenes, children's sewing bee, Christmas, Crochet, News, sewing studio, textile art, Uncategorized, Workshop and classes, www.simplyneedlecraft.com

We’re On Count Down !

Hi everyone,

We’re getting ready and really excited for the Yarn Bombing display to start now.

In June this year we asked for your help to decorate the town this Christmas…. task was to knit or crochet 10.5 inch squares.  At first we panicked thinking we had probably asked for too much (we needed hundreds of squares)…….however you have proved us wrong. We have reached our target and more.

As we speak we are joining them together to make tree blankets.

These will go on display every day until December 20th, so please pop down and have a look.

A huge thank you to everyone that has donated their time and skills.

The kids have been busy too this week. Christmas gnomes are in the process of being made, Christmas stockings being cut, gifts are being planned and more bunting was finished …… all in all a very successful and enjoyable week.

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We have also opened up the diary for the birthday parties for next year. So if your child would like a creative party please take a look at the website for more details.

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On Wednesday evening we had a full class for our Free Motion Workshop. This workshop is designed for beginners and is a great chance  to join others and have fun…

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And that spurred me on to get creating……pencil to stitch.

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That’s it for this week…….I’ll catch up with you next week.

Thanks for reading and following.

Have a fab weekend

Ami xxx

Posted in children's sewing bee, Christmas, in the haberdashery, New Stock, News, Workshop and classes

The Sewing Studio !

Hi everyone,

Yes it’s blog time again and this time it’s all about the Sewing Studio.

My favourite part of the building where all the magic happens…..

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It’s amazing fully equipped room with sewing machines, cutting tables, chill out area for the crochet ladies and a kettle 🙂

Our children have been very busy in the here the last couple of weeks making, dolls, owl cushions, bunting, door stops and even mermaid tails…….

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We are also putting an awards evening on for all the children in our Sewing Bee. This is going to be a lovely evening full of nibbles, drinks and certificates. Friday 25th November at 6pm.

And yes it’s true….. I’m opening setting up more sewing bee sessions for children aged between 8- 16yrs old in January. These sessions will be after school on a Tuesday or Thursday. Some slots have already been reserved so I have some limited spaces left.
The sessions run weekly 4pm – 5pm.
I have 24 children already attending my classes. All of them are doing fantastic and have made so many gorgeous items which have included hand stitching, embroidery, designing patterns, machine sewing, quilting and much more.

If your interested in this for you child please contact me for registration forms, further details and to reserve a place.

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On to the adults now and this week we’ve had the first of our Christmas workshops of the year…..appliqué cushions.

Dont forget to check on the website for more dates and classes. X

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New stock arrived earlier in the week……. perfect for Christmas presents….

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That’s my news this week, thank you for reading.

Dont forget to change your clocks this weekend.

 

Ami xx

Posted in News, sewing studio, Uncategorized

My Top Tips to Finding The Perfect Machine

Hi everyone

Its getting to that time of year where you may be hoping Santa brings you a new machine or your buying a machine for a present. I’m getting lots of people in the shop and emails regarding my opinions on different machines. I thought it was be a good time to blog my tips on finding the perfect machine for you.

Its mind blogging searching for a machine that will meet your needs. There’s so many different brands and models that sometimes can hinder rather than help you….so let’s begin

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1 – My biggest tip is without a doubt is to stick to a well-known brand. Singer, Husqvarna, Brother, Bernina, Janome and Pfaff are the main players. You can buy with confidence knowing that your going to start off with good quality. You will normally find that the after sales and customer service is better and that YouTube will offer tutorials on many of theses brands. (Perfect when learning to thread your machine).

2- Ok,  so it’s research time and you’ve got a budget in mind. Now let’s say for example that you have a budget if £100 -£200, my advice to you is spend the £200. The only reason I say this is buy the best machine you can afford…..you’ll only be kicking yourself later when you start to outgrow your machine and you wished you had the pricey machine with more features.

3 – very important…….make a list of the things you need your new machine to be able to do. For instance if I was buying a new machine I would need to drop the feed dogs and have a longer arm and be reliable and easy to use because of my quilting. They would be my priorities, however at the back of mind I would be thinking about top loading bobbin, needle threader…..would help a lot in textile art. Now I know there’s a good chance that you might need to negotiate on but a list will quick you on the right track.

4 – shop around DO NOT rush in to buying a machine. It’s an exciting time and you can’t wait to get going, however listen to recommendations (however every person requires different features), compare machines and brands. If possible visit a machine showroom (I know they are few and far between).

5 – not really a tip but many of customers that have only used a manual machine are petrified of buying a computerised machine. Having tried many manual and computerised machines I can honestly say that after a play and practice you will no doubt wonder what you were fussing about.

My machines in the studio are all computerised and most of my ladies and children prefer them. If I had a £1 for every person has left the classes saying they want a machine like ours I’d be a millionaire and that’s just because they have sat for a few hours getting to know the machines.

Look at your sewing machine as an investment. Whether you will be  using a machine for business use or hobby you are using a machine to create something spectacular. So instead of getting frustrated when you should be creating make sure you do your homework.

Trust me I have experienced awful machines in the past …..but you live and learn.

I’m happy to help where I can, you can either pop in the Haberdashery, contact me on here, email me or fb me.

Ami x

 

Posted in children's sewing bee, News, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

Give a Quilt A Go!

Hi everyone,

Yesterday was the return of my quilt in day course. This course is popular and always show amazing results.

Customers often talk about my quilts and they always assume I have a lot of patience, but I can honestly say when it comes to any type of crafting I have no patience what so ever. I like to see projects growing quickly and have results in no time at all. The reason I love to quilt whether it be a mini art quilt or a bed size quilt is that from start to finish you go through various techniques from cutting, piecing, framing and smashing, basting, quilting and at the very end binding and standing back to see the finished article. Every stage is completely different.

It just proves this in my workshops. I like to use quick techniques alongside traditional designs and it works a treat.

Yesterday was no exception and the ladies made beautiful lap quilts and had a fantastic take…..

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The children’s workshops are still going extremely well and now it’s the time of year to start looking towards Christmas and gift ideas. Obviously I can’t divulge gift ideas on here ……..well maybe a few sneaky pics.

But for this week my younger group are tackling patchwork and are mid way through the challenge whilst my older group are a good way through making Lolly the owls…….and I have body parts to prove it….

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I’ve had lots of fun this week thread sketching on my machine.

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First up was a sketch of my little man…..when I showed him he just rolled his eyes 🙂

Then it was on to a commission piece of a mini…..a little odd as I’ve never attempted a car but I thought I’d give it a go…..

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Lastly I had a spare five minutes to set up my own page on Facebook for my textile art and other experiments. You can find me on here at Ami James Textiles

That’s it for this week…….I’m off to crochet squares together for our yarn bombing campaign.

Have a great weekend and I’ll catch you on Tuesday (closed bank holiday Monday)

Ami x

 

Posted in children's sewing bee, Crochet, News, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

2 in 1 !

Hi everyone,

Apologies for not blogging last week. Things here were a little manic but I’ve finally had an hour to catch up and update with all of our news and goings on. I have loads to share with you so I hope you don’t mind lots of pics…. 🙂

Lets start in the crochet department…

Our crochet workshop has been going from strength to strength this year and the items being made our fantastic. Sue works very hard behind the scenes thinking up new projects.

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I too have been getting my hook out recently, mainly because of the football being on and sometimes its good to have a break from my coursework. So I started off with a little Baymax for my lil man, which he was quite impressed with 🙂

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Then I progressed on to octopuses which I can’t make my mind up for they look evil or not.

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Then I decided to make a little something to go into the window display…. going down the theme of wildlife/nature….

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Carrying on with the yarn theme, just a quick update on the yarn bombing. Donations have started to arrive and we are making good progress…….Please keep them coming

Thank you to everyone that has donated so far x
Thank you to everyone that has donated so far x

The kids are busy too. My older group are in the middle of making slippers, one of my younger group are making rag dolls and dream clouds and the another have finished off little tool belts ( great for sewing essentials) and an owl projects that was great for getting to grips using templates and patterns and hand stitching. They are all doing amazing and my Saturdays are an absolute pleasure.

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The adults have been showing creative flare too. My ladies that have joined me for the quilting workshops have all made a brilliant job making their lap quilts. They have worked so hard and we’ve had a great time.

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And the textile art workshops are still popular. This time the challenge was to make an art cushion using a scene that we liked. Great Workshop, so much fun and I’ll be running this one again soon.

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And lastly it was our first ever Craft & Chat evening last week which was lovely and a great way to relax and meet like-minded people. Our next night planned is on the 2nd August 6pm-8.30pm. If your free pop along and join us.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

Ami

xxxx