About us

This is the start of a new adventure for Joan and myself, an exciting new patchwork and quilting shop called Dotty Dolly. We are based in Wellington, Somerset, at 13 Fore Street (opposite the Nat West). You can contact us on 01823 660879.

We are easy to get to from junction 26 on the M5 - come and see us if you are passing by.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Top Ten Quilt

Brilliant news - Joan & Rosalind's quilt, which is hanging up in the shop at the moment, was voted one of the top ten at the NEC quilt show and can be seen in the new Popular Patchwork magazine.  Joan is on holiday at the moment and has no idea, she will be delighted when she comes back. 

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Talking to myself

Well I have spent a week talking to myself now, luckily people have also been coming in so I have had some interaction with other people.

I did have a quiet breakdown yesterday due to a market researcher.  I had met this lady a few days ago and she asked if I used 'Dove' to which I replied "No".  Yesterday she came in the shop (obviously she had forgotten that she had already spoken to me) and she repeated the same question and I gave the same reply. She then explained that she only had to find a few more people to complete the research and that her target group were the 55 - 65's.  May I just say that I have 5 more years until I reach her target group although I was too polite to tell her this.  When I got home and told my husband he couldn't see why I was worried about it - needless to say I am now looking at cosmetic websites and am joining the local Rosmary Conley group this evening.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Mad day

Yesterday was very different.  A lovely lady called Shirley came in, she had spoken to Joan last week, when I was out for the day, about some help with one of her projects and said she would come in again.  She wanted to do flip and stitch (its approximately ten years since I have done any of this) and my brain went into shut down just like it does when you (or maybe its just me) enter an exam room. 

Whilst she was drawing out her pattern I sat and did a run through which meant that I calmed down and my brain started to function again.  Someone had suggested to her that she use a layer cake and that this would be the easiest thing to do for a first patchwork project (not Joan).  As we were going through what she needed to do the lovely Ann Baxter came into the shop.  Ann, for those of you who don't know her, is an excellent teacher and very talented. Before the shop opened I used to enjoy attending a patchwork group held at her home in Devon .  This turned my brain completely to mush, it felt like being back in the classroom at college with an observer. I must stress that Ann would be mortified if she thought that she had made me react this way.  Anyway I survived, Shirley went away with a nearly completed block and I headed for the Chocolate Box for a strong soya latte.

This may make me seem completely inept - I think I just like to be prepared, the cogs in my brain seem to take longer to connnect these days.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Two week anniversary

Apologies for not blogging regularly - our internet connection at home has not been working for the last month and I have to blog in the shop which is not always an ideal situtation.

So much has happened, we have been told that we are very brave to open a shop in the recession (just makes us worry more), have been advised what to do and what to sell, most of the advice has been useful and positive. We are now on the look out for a good venue for the classes so that we can inform everyone within the next couple of weeks, we will also put together a list of workshops at the same time.

We have survived the last two weeks which have whizzed past, we have even sold out of a bolt of fabric and had to re-order (we do get excited by the smallest thing at the moment).

Wellington held a food fair on our first Saturday which was different and we both managed to get out of the shop to have a quick look around.  Joan's son and his wife came down from London at the end of the week and paid a visit.  Neil (Joan's son) gave us lots of advice and his wife, Claire, really wanted to use the till -  we should have insisted that Neil buy her something so that she could put it through.

On Tuesday the Tour of Britain bike race went through the town and on my way to get my soya latte from the Chocolate Box I noticed a group of older ladies were in position well before the bikes were due (must be the thought of the lycra) .  The cyclists were late due to the bad weather, everyone stood around waiting for what seemed like an hour, when the riders arrived it took seconds for them all to pass by, it would have been more interesting if one of the ladies had run after them but nothing like that happened unfortunately, maybe I should have done it!!!!

Now I am on my own for two weeks which will be very strange, so if you come in and hear me talking away to myself please don't be alarmed.  So it will definitely be lovely to see you and if you bring a soya latte you could be my friend forever!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

nearly one week old

Well we have nearly completed one week of trading and are still amazed at all the nice comments that people make.  We even had a visit from the Deputy Mayor and a member of the Town Council who came in and welcomed us - this would be unlikely to happen in Taunton. 

Our list for people interested in classes has now filled three pages, all we need to do now is to find a hall and we can get on and organise groups although we are still getting used to owning a shop.  We have loads of ideas but need to focus on just a few things at once!

We had a royal visit from Shirley today (for more info check out her blog sticherydo) who cut the ribbon to officially open the shop. A few weeks ago we were on a trip to Cowslip in Launceston with the Apple County Quilting group and she mentioned about cutting a ribbon so we bought one, ready for her arrival. Unfortunately I had no previous warning or I would have dressed up instead of wearing my old cardigan which is not very flattering plus I thought that I had moved out of the way and would not be in the picture which was stupid as the shop is not that wide - need to get back on that diet. Joan will be upset as she wasn't even in the shop at the time.

The best thing about being here is meeting all the people - we have met so many lovely ladies (and a few men) who have given their advice and ideas, one we will be putting in place quickly is the box of toys for children to play with.  This idea came from a customer who had to chase after her little girl who left the shop when she realised that there was nothing of interest for her - a three year old who knows what she wants.

Also had a visit from a lady from County Quilters in Taunton who said she had been sent over to find out about us - luckily I was on my best behaviour!!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

First Day

We have completed our first day of trading which has been scary, exciting, wonderful and by 4.30pm exhausting.  We have been covered in paint for so long that it has been lovely to wear normal clothes, make up and jewellery. 

At 7.30 this morning we were on our way to Wellington worrying about how the day would go, if we would be able to use the till (similar to Arkwrights) which refuses to open when we press the button and whose instructions are gobbledigook and if we would be capable of using the credit card machine.  Thankfully it was much better than we expected and it was lovely to meet people we haven't seen for a while and new people who we hope to see again. 

Marina was our first customer and our first follower on our blog, she made some lovely comments about the shop and even bought something!!!!  Throughout the day people have been coming in (mostly female) saying how pleased they are to see a fabric shop in the town and what a good job we had done, we had three bouquets of flowers from our landlords, Joan's children and her sister (note nothing from my family) which were unexpected and a lovely surprise.  Ann Mclaren made some lemon drizzle cake which everyone raved about and Joseph (little boy from next door) came in regularly to check we were okay and to pick up one of Joan's cup cakes.

Tomorrow will be better because we now know how to use the machinery - if you are in the area come and see us
Button & Ribbon table with gorgeous "Where's my Shirt"
quilt made by Joan and Rosalind

Joan trying to work out how to use the till

Plenty of space for more fabrics!!!