Saturday, 10 August 2013

Decison Made!

Quilt by Room Seven on sale here
Some decisions are hard to make especially when your heart and your head are at odds. They (decisons) become even harder when you've already ignored your head once and followed your heart only to realise that maybe it wasn't quite right.  By this time the decision 'hole' has deepened and climbing out is a little more tricky. 

 For the last month I have been in my own 'decision hole'. It wasn't very big mind and I was able to climb out pretty easily but I will admit I took my time doing it! 

 I suppose it would help if I told you what I'm talking about. It's the shop! Quiltmehappy.
 The decision ... to close or not. 

My friends will tell you I've tossed this question around for the best part of 18 months and when I last reviewed it in October last year I decided to keep the shop open. Six months on my view has changed and I have now decided to close my virtual shop doors on 
Friday 25th October 2013. 

 It really has not been an easy decision to make. I have some lovely and loyal customers and I have really enjoyed my time as a retailer but I am ready for a change. I will continue to longarm for the rest of the year but at Christmas I am going to hang up my 'for-hire' sign too and spend time on my own work. Who knows I may possibly even re-enter the competition world!

So what's to become of Quiltmehappy? 
Well I would love for it to continue in some guise or other so if you are interested in taking it over  please contact me. I am open to discussion!

On another note I am selling my Longarm machine - ( ... no gasps please ....I will be replacing it !)
 I have a Gammill Optimum Plus on a 14' frame with Intelliquilter (but I am happy to retain the IQ part if not required). If you or anyone you know is interested email me for more information.

Right then - well in the meantime the shop is still open! I have a Festival Sale running until 5pm on Sunday 11th August so do hop over to the website and see if I can tempt you. New christmas fabrics have arrived too and I am waiting on 2 other lines arriving in late August. Mixonni by Greta Lynn  (I'm getting the blue colourway) and Mad Mod by Ragnar - really looking forward to this Mid Century Modern line.

Until later then ... happy quilting!

Holiday Frost by Jan Shade Beach for Henry Glass

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Happy International Quilting Weekend!

Happy International Quilting Weekend!
Feathered Star made in class with Marsha McCloskey

Sometimes I wonder why I don't know things... I mean I scan the net pretty regularly but it was news to me this week that March is National Quilting Month and March 16 is now designated WorldWide Quilting Day and the weekend is being given over to quilty activities.

Did you know

No me neither !  So what am I doing this weekend ... decorating! Which is NOT so fun as quilting BUT it is kind of quilting related because my good friend Laura is coming to stay before we head off to a quilting weekend in a few months time and the guest room badly needs an overhaul. 

So no sewing for me this weekend but since I have just come back from 6 days of sewing in Dublin at the Quilters Guild of Ireland Annual retreat that's not so bad is it! 

The retreat was fabulous. Good hotel, good food, good classes ! What more can you say? 

Block by Marsha McCloskey

I took a couple of classes with Marsha McCloskey. Blended Quilts and Feathered Stars.I enjoyed both of them very much although I have to say I almost gave up on the Feathered Star. Confusion set in but the ever-patient Marsha gently guided me in the right direction and I ended up with the fab blue and white star above.

Working the block was really quite meditative. You have to work slow to be precise. This was a lesson in itself. I don't tend to work slow and if a block takes more than 30 minutes to construct I do tend to get a bit frustrated. This block took the best part of 6 hours to construct.  So yes .. I did get agitated for a while but then I got into the groove of slowing down. This block was for me and I wasn't on the clock making something for someone else and you know what ?  I really enjoyed the peace it brought me.
 Will I make another ... YES  (but only for me!)

Friend Yvonne ... who always works so fast made the most impressive triple star! I'm very envious of this and cant wait to see it finished. Looks like a show winner to me.

Triple Star by Yvonne McKee

On another note ...the Akonye Kena Giveaway at VeryBerryHandmade has been picked and the winner notified!  Congratulations Sarah. Your prize is packed and ready to ship to you. 220 entries went into the random generator and the winner turns out to be local to me ... how small a world is that! 

If you didn't win then please visit them in the shop and support this fair trade initiative

So have a good weekend .. quilting or otherwise!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Ali over at Very Berry Handmade has written a lovely write up about the Akonye Kena fabrics I am carrying in the shop. I wrote to her a couple of weeks back when I discovered she was writing a Guide to Buying Fair Trade and Eco-Friendly Fabric. 

The Akonye Kena fabrics are a range of hand dyed cotton cloth produced in East Africa by a self-sufficiency group. Founded in 2009, Akonye Kena, meaning  'I will help myself' in Acholi (a tribal language of North Uganda) make paper beads, hand-woven baskets, necklaces and other lovely things as well as hand-dyed fabric. 

Akonye Kena by me in Blacks and Blues!

Over the last couple of years they have worked hard to promote and market their products in accordance with Fair Trade Principles and they currently trade their products at Bead and Quilt shows across America. They work hard too at these shows -- last year they did around 40 shows !  I only did a couple last year and that near killed me,  so my hat goes off to them just for that. 

I came across Akonye Kena while I was at Houston Quilt Market last October. Now I have to honest and say it was my travel companion that spotted the lively looking booth first and dragged me along for a look ... but one look and I was hooked.  The booth was a riot of colour ... beads and baskets hung from the rafters (if a booth can have rafters  ...but you know ..the struts that go across them ) and the fabric just shone. On top of this the booth holder, Richard the Kilt , as I call him (in honour of the kilt and doc martins he sported) was a delight!  He just made me roar with laughter with his somewhat saucy jokes too.  After some discussion and chat I walked away having purchased the full line of fabrics, all 60 of them.

The fabrics are split into 2 groups, either natural dyed or chemical dyes. 

The 20 natural dyed fabrics are called Bark and Berries. The dyes are collected from natural materials local to the area and include wonderfully exotic plants with names like ... The Sausage Tree!   

The natural dyes are very subtle and soft to look at and really have the look of linen to me. They feel wonderfully soft too despite the somewhat coarser open weave.  

The chemical dyes are called Seed to Sewer because the cotton is grown in Uganda, produced in Uganda and dyed in Uganda! There are 40 cottons in this range and they are subdivided into Seasons - Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn. Now those names are for our benefit because they don't have Seasons as such in Uganda at all. They have a rainy and a dry season and that's it!   

The colours of the Seasons are spectacular though. 4 shades of 10 colours make up the 40 fabrics. Each group gives good tonal variation too. 

Do hop over to the website and take a look at them. Better still consider buying a fat quarter - which by the way is larger than your average fat quarter at 29" x 20" - so really a Tubby Qtr. 

When you purchase ... yes you are buying it from me and I will make a small profit but the more I sell the more I can buy from Akonye Kena and in turn we can all help young men and women help themselves.

We are currently in the middle of Fair trade fortnight and to celebrate this I am giving away a huge bundle of the Akonye Kena fabrics to one lucky winner. 

Visit VeryBerryHandmade to join the giveaway.

Monday, 25 February 2013



.....the 500 facebook page like giveaway has closed and we have a winner !

THANK YOU so much to everyone that took part. 

I am tickled that so many of you entered.

Congratulations to our Winner !

Well I finally made 500 Facebook page likes over at the QuiltMeHappy FB page and I'm over the moon. Its taken me ages to get the shop noticed and I along the way I have thought more than once about giving it all up.  The hours you need to run an online shop are long and as more and more independent online fabric businesses spring up you have to fight even harder to get noticed. 

Writing a blog post more often might help ( so sorry my last post was November) but honestly there are only 24 hours in the day and there is only one of me.  I must spend the best part of 15 hours a day at the moment on business stuff - shop, longarm quilting or teaching and I do ask myself  'why'  quite often but when small mile stones are reached it makes it all worthwhile. Reaching 500 facebook likes is really making me do a real happy dance!  So to celebrate this amazing achievement (lol) I am celebrating and THANKING all my supporters with a £50 Giveaway of Fabric and notions of your choice from the shop. 

To enter the Giveaway hop over to this Giveaway App Link and join the party!  You can enter several ways and the more you do the more chances you get to win:

  1. Like the Quiltmehappy Facebook Page
  2. Share the Giveaway on Twitter or 
  3. Leave a comment on this blog post to say you have liked and shared - just be sure to tell the Giveaway app too so you get an additional entry!

The Giveaway is ongoing until the 4th March and you can earn extra giveaway points by sharing on twitter once a day!   The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 5th March 2013 and the winner notified. Good luck everyone! 

Do go and take a look at all the new fabrics I've loaded at the shop this last week too  here - there are some beauties!  Choose a favourite and let me know what you pick.  I choose a bolt of the day and reduce it by 25% you never know ... the bolt of the day could be the fabric you picked! 

Just a heads up, I am away to Ireland next week to teach at the Quilter's Guild of Ireland Annual Retreat in Dublin, the shop will be open and you may place an order but it won't be posted until March 16th.  If you are interested in a very last minute holiday at a good hotel and to take a class with Marsha McCloskey I think there are a couple of spots open still. Hop over to the Quilter's Guild of Ireland website here to see details of the weekend.

Due in Store soon!
Sunkissed by Michele D'Amore For Benartex