Posted in children's sewing bee, Customers, Fabric, in the haberdashery, New Stock, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

Omg ………So Much To Show You (warning loads of pics)

Ok …….where to start! 

Firstly, all the children that take part in our Sewing Bee have all been set a task after Christmas. It involved a block of quilting with their hand print bonded and stitched by hand or machine. They then added their initials…… well it’s now finished and it’s so amazing and I’m extremely proud……

Carrying on with the quilting theme…..my younger group of entrants to the Festival of Quilts have busy preparing……

Whilst my older entrants have also been preparing and dying…..

My Monday and second group on a Saturday have been busy learning to attach zips and making wonderful pencil cases…..

My little tiny stitchers on a Tuesday have been practicing straight lines by making tote bags, fully lined and looking fab…..

My Wednesday group are focusing on making Lolly the Owl……

And in between that I have another group creating their selfies……

Now for a date for your diary…….

Our first ever event of the Young Quilters Guild. 

Saturday – 13th May

9.30am – 12pm – For children aged between 5 – 10 years old
1pm – 3.30pm – For children aged 11 – 18 years old.

£6 for non members – £4 for guild members.

The workshops will be held in the Sewing Studio at Simply Needlecraft, 64-66 High Street, Swadlincote.
Children will participate in sewing projects including hand puppets, pencil cases and felt cupcakes.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend so we can be well prepared.
Children under 8yrs will need to be accompanied by an adult.

For full details please …..

Visit our event page

The second quilting course of the year kicked off this week. Four lovely ladies joined me in the Sewing Studio to get creative and learn about patchwork and quilting ……

My Dad has also learned a new skill ….. Crochet. He promised to make a hat and look………well done Dad……

I also need to share this with you.

A very loyal customer who has become  a great friend over the years has made this……… omg I was gobsmacked……Amazing.

We’ve had a few new bits and bobs in ……

Phew…… I think I’ve covered everything.

Thank you so much for reading and your continued support, it really is appreciated.

Have a good weekend

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, in the haberdashery, sewing studio, textile art, Workshop and classes

More Workshops On The Way……

Hi everyone,

The workshops have continued to be a huge success again this year with so many of you wanting to learn a new skill. With many workshops being fully booked I’m sitting down on Monday to plan more dates for April, May and June. You can subscribe to my mailing list on the website http://www.simplyneedlecraft.com to be first to see the dates. 

We’ve had a few workshops over the last week…..

first up was the Hand embroidery workshop – 

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Then my ladies finished their quilts on the quilting course. They have cut, pieced, basted, quilted and binded a lap quilt…….

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Then on to the lace bowls workshop where the ladies used dissolvable fabrics with sheers and stitching. I can’t show you the finished products yet as they went home to set, however I can show the process…..

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The children in the sewing bee have been busy too……

my older group have finished their text art pictures. They have Hand dyed fabrics, designed, added appliqué, quilted, blinded and framed…..

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And then had a go at stitching with oil cloth and made these fantastic makeup bags…..

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My new Tuesday group are starting to get more confident with the machines and made bows and headbands…..

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The Wednesday group have been practising curves with hearts and clouds…..

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It’s definitely been a creative and fun packed week.

Thanks for reading and supporting me in my dream job.

See you next week.

Ami 

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 behind the scenes, children's sewing bee, Christmas, New Stock, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

Time To Sit Down With a Cup Of Hot Chocolate……

And organise the workshops and classes for 2017.

Since the Sewing Studio opened upstairs in February this year we have been able to offer a range of workshops ranging from beginners sewing to quilting, drawing with a sewing machine to textile arts, bunting to cushions and of course the knicker party.

Its been an amazing to see so much creativity. So it’s time to start thinking about next year…

Dates to follow x
New 2017 diary …. Dates to follow x

Back to this year though and still plenty happening….

The kids are still preparing for Christmas and so far they have produced over 30 metres of bunting between them…….

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And a huge achievement for one of my groups that have designed and made their own patterns for a mermaid tail. They have been left to their own devices on this project …..I just supervised.

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We had our wool delivered at last yesterday which has been a huge relief after it seems to taken a life time to arrive….

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We have stocked up on the essentials  but have also had a couple of new contenders arrive which are new to the Stylecraft range.

Firstly their new sock yarn ..Head Over Heals.

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And then it was time to unpack to beautiful new Chunky Tweed along with the patterns ….

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And a few more patterns for good measure ….

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Our new vouchers have arrived …..perfect for Christmas gifts.

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This week I’ve been doodling and thread painting this week….. it’s nice to hand stitch for a change.

 

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And on that note a have two spaces left on the Free Motion Embroidery class….contact me to book.

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That the lot for this week, have a great bonfire night…..stay safe.

Ami x

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, Christmas, City & Guilds, New Stock, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

Warning This Blog Contains Lots Of Crafty Pics!!!!

Hi everyone,

I’ve lots to show this week…

lets start with festivities. After the Christmas fabrics arrived it was shortly followed by bits and bobs.

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I must admit though that I haven’t started any Christmas crafting as yet (hanging head in shame).

But enough Christmas talk for a minute and let’s look what the kids have been making. 

My Saturday groups have been busier than ever and it shows…..book covers, patchwork bags, appliqué cushions and amazing doorstops.

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My new Monday group have been getting used to the sewing machines and I’m amazed by the outcome….

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Whilst on a Wednesday (my second new group) we are practicing hand stitches and making rag dolls…..

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It was also time for this months Craft & Chat evening. This takes place on the first Tuesday of every month 6pm – 8.30pm, bring your own project. £5 including tea, coffee and cakes.

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In between all of that I managed to finish my Hare wall hanging …

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AND pass my module 2 on my City & Guilds certificate….

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It’s been such an amazing week, thanks for following and I’ll see you next week.

Ami xxx 

Posted in behind the scenes, Butterick patterns, children's sewing bee, Christmas, Crochet, Fabric, in the haberdashery, New Stock, sewing studio, Workshop and classes

The Bird & The Hare !

Well hello and happy Autumn to you :).

I can’t quite work out where this week has gone……time is flying by which means we are close to Christmas now (in a crafting sense). So it was perfect timing to increase our Christmas fabric range. Not only have we got the gorgeous festive prints from Timeless Treasures now we have these yummy ones in stock too. image image image image image image image image

AND we’ve also had a new range of fabric paints in…… 24 different shades which become permanent after ironing.

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It’s that time of year again where Butterick drop the price of their sewing patterns. Patterns are now half price until the 15th October. Over 3000 patterns in stock.

This week was the end of our last quilting course of the year 😦 I just love tutoring these courses. It’s a daunting task to people new to quilting but every single one of my ladies have done me proud. The evenings and day courses have been fun, relaxed and productive so it’s a definite that I will be running courses again next year.

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The kids in the sewing bee have been busy (as always). At the moment when have two groups making patchwork bags, a group starting to make a rag doll, two groups making doorstops.

On Saturday we have finished off appliqué cushions and book covers.

The book covers are a great project, it allows to pick you own colour scheme (and is great for using up scraps). Then designing the layout followed by thread choice and the most exciting part……picking and experimenting with stitches.

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Our Sue and her lovely ladies from the crochet workshop have been following the Stylecraft crochet along……..the crochet workshops run every Saturday 10-12pm. Beginners very welcome.

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Lastly, I’ve been experimenting again with raw edge appliqué …..neither of these are finished but I’d thought I’d share pics to prove I’ve been busy 🙂

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That’s all  my news for this week, it’s been another busy and vibrant week here. Thanks for following.

see you next week

 

Ami x