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, 30 June 2011


I think I mentioned last week that I had driven past the Glastonbury site, well this Sunday I went along with our friends Jenny and Vince, my son and his wife, Neil and Claire, and of course my husband John.  We have been going on a Sunday ticket for several years now, but I was not looking forward to it at all this year.  We got to Glastonbury town for 10.00am to be picked up by one of the many buses that take you there.  It was obvioulsy going to be very hot, but we went armed with wellingtons, or in my case walking boots, and my goodness we needed them!  It was very disconcerting to be baking hot and wading through mud.  We always pitch ourselves half way up the field in front of the pyramid stage, the ground  here wasn`t muddy, but shall we say sticky!  The big thing about Glastonbury however, is  whether to go to the toilet, or not to go to the toilet, or at least how long you can hang on until you have to.  If you are a middle aged woman with my bladder, there is no choice!  The day got hotter and hotter, and the toilets more and more smelly, but when you`ve got to go you`ve got to go!  It wasn`t the best Glastonbury musically speaking I was really looking forward to hearing Paul Simon, but he had a bad throat, not his fault, but he has a new album out and sang lots of songs from this.  I am sure they were very good, but what everyone really wants to hear are all his old songs, and unfortunately  he didn`t sing very many of them.  However, Don Maclean was brilliant, and we all enjoyed singing along to Starry Starry Night, and of course American Pie!
The day was very long and very hot, and at one point I told myself I would never ever go again.  It finished with Beyonce (I think that`s how you spell her name) who I wasn`t really bothered about, but my goodness me could she perform and belt the songs out, accompanied not only by an all female band, but amazing fireworks too!  I fianlly crawled into bed just after two on Monday morning, and who knows I may go again!
                                           The photograph doesn`t do the spandex trousers any justice, but it had to be taken.  Later there were about six men in them, but it was too dark to take a picture.   
Beyonce is there somewhere!
Debby tells me she got into trouble in the shop yesterday.  A lady came in with her young son, I`m not sure what the conversation was about, but at one point Debby said `Oh my God` as you do, and the little boy told her off.  She apologised, and his mother said, he does think he is the God Police, so now Debby is worried everytime she opens her mouth that she will be taken to task, and is trying very hard not to say Oh my God, which she does say a lot!

On Satuday Debby is off to Honiton to a South West Quilters `do`.  We were very pleased that they asked if we would be interested in having a stand.  We have been deliberating all day about what she should take, so hope we have made the right decisions. 

We are still getting customers in the shop from all sorts of interesting places.  On Tuesday a very nice Scottish lady came in who is staying in the area, before she goes to see family in Scotland, on leave from West Africa.  She lived in America before that, and has done lots of quilting, so has probably gone from the sublime to ridiculous.  It was good to meet Wendy today who came with her friend from further up the county.  I knew I had met her before, but couldn`t think when or where, until she reminded me that I used to teach her daughter, it`s such a small world.  It was lovely to see her again, and I loved her linen bag with red buttons embroidered on it and the fantastic red and white spotty lining.

We have finally received all our fabric orders for some time now, but thats probably just as well as the shop is bulging at the seams.  That said we are expecting our Christmas fabric in soon, I can`t believe I have told you all that, but we have been asked for it already and have sold several advent calenders.  Debby goes quite quiet when this fabric is mentioned, but I am convinced she wants to open a Christmas Shop!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Back to normal

Well Debby and I are both back now, and spent the afternoon in the shop together as we always do on a Thursday afternoon.  Yesterday a new delivery arrived, mostly plain pastels which we are very pleased with.  Debby was a little concerned as it was only half the order, and when I got back from the class this morning the other half had arrived.  Debby was drowning in a sea of spots, lots of lovely colours, and nowhere to put them!  We had felt we had got rather low, and obviously with our name we love spots, but I think we may have got a little carried away, so if you are looking for spots, you know where to come.

I had a little trip over to Shepton Mallet on Tuesday.  I have belonged to a co-operative gallery over there for a while now, but have decided it is too much of a commitment, so decided it was time to call it a day.  I have one day left over there next week and it is my last.  When I saw the date for my stint in the shop I didn`t think much about it, but suddenly realised at the weekend that it`s Glastonbury this week.  I decided to go home avoiding Glastonbury itself, but it`s such a huge site that I couldn`t avoid it at all, and ended up in a queue of Camper vans all waiting to get in - they weren`t supposed to be letting them in until 9.00pm that night, so I was not amused, the air was blue to say the least.  It took me three quarters of an hour longer than normal.  I mustn`t complain too much because I am going myself for the day on Sunday as I do every year, but it`s different when you just want to get home.  Please pray for sunshine, and for all the mud to have disappeared by Sunday!

Debby and I have been making plans this week, and are setting the wheels in motion for a brand new website from which you will be able to order on line, which is all very exciting for us.  We have booked a stand  at the  Malvern Show in October (hopefully we will be able to sell some of the Christmas fabric ordered - I think I have told you Debby has ordered enough to fill another shop!)  The website will take a few weeks yet,
but we are looking forward to its completion.

For those of you who don`t know, from Monday 27th June and for the next two weeks we will be selling all our fabric with 10% off - this includes our new stock. some of which is shown above.

We have also been finalising details for our new evening class.  We have been to look at the hall which is at West Buckland and NOT Buckland St. Mary!  We aim to start on Wednesday 3rd August.  It may seem a bit mad to start then, but several people have said they are quite happy to, so we have decided to go ahead.  We will send details individually but if you are interested give us a ring or email us.  We have decided to run quilting and dressmaking at the same time.  The hall is a lovely large size and there is plenty of room for both.  I will teach the dressmaking and Debby will teach the quilting.

I have been plodding away at my several quilts.  I have been messing around with jelly rolls and made a small one using half a jelly roll.  I say made, but so far I have only completed the quilt top, but I like the colours.  It`s only about a metre square, and I will need to do something with the green squares, not sure what yet.  I have also completed some more of the blocks for my grand daughter`s quilt which I mentioned in a previous blog.  This time I am able to show you a picture, albeit not a very good one!  There is quite a lot of work to do on this one yet.  The blocks are all different sizes, and I am not sure how I am going to put them together yet!  The little people will need faces, and there will be quite a lot of quilting to do, but I am really pleased with the way it is going so far.  I ordered my Camelot quilt pattern which I mentioned Shirley from Stitchery do was making.  I have decided I need something really challenging, and this certainly will be.  I keep wandering around the shop, and thinking this will look nice and that will look great.  I`ve just got to wait for it to come from Australia now!

Well I have finally run out of things to say now- makes a change!


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Power going to my head!

Flushed with success having been in the shop by myself this week, I feel ready to attempt another post.  It`s been quite a quiet week in Wellington, but we have kept ticking along.  I`ve met some interesting people, one lady from Shropshire told me she had discovered this blog, and was on holiday in the area so came to look us up.  She was very complimentary about the shop which was very nice of her.  The next day another customer came in who holidays regularly in the West Country, she had seen our stand at Westpoint and again came to have a look, she tells me she will be back which is lovely to hear, so if either of you do read read this post, you will know who you are, and thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

We had the disappearing 9 patch workshop with Anne yesterday, and although I didn`t get to see any of the work as I was in the shop, the feedback was good.  I picked up a couple of samples from Anne to put in the shop for the Layer Cake workshop she is doing for us in July.  She did this earlier in the year, and it proved so popular we have decided to run it again.  Well I just loved one of the samples, actually they were both lovely, but the one above was just my favourite.  (I hope you are all very impressed I have finally managed to get a photograph to appear on the blog without any help.  It was more by luck than judgement but I`ve done it!)  I spent a very pleasant hour looking at various different layer cakes, none of which I liked as much as Anne`s, but I am determined I am going to make it.  Why is it that other people`s work always looks so much better than mine.  I just have to make a decision now as to who I can make it for, but that  shouldn`t be too difficult.

We have had two deliveries of fabric this week.  One I had forgotten we had ordered, it`s called feedsacks, and is based on the fabrics used for flour sacks in the 1930s.  I`ve always loved the fabrics and just the idea really.  Wouldn`t it be lovely if we could buy our food in these lovely cotton prints, it would make life a little more interesting.  The photograph doesn`t really do them much justice really but hopefully you will get the idea.  This is just a small part of the range.

The other fabric came today, great excitement as far as I was concerned, as we have been waiting for this for a while now.  It`s from Stof, a new supplier for us, I particularly like the red and white collection, and can`t wait to do something with it, not sure what yet.  I just love red and white, it gives a really clean and fresh look.  Another quilt that I would love to make when there are enough hours in the day is a red and white one using churn dash blocks, so may be this will get me started.  I am struggling to know where to put it all the fabric.  There are several bolts of linen which we thought we would try, its everything we expected it to be, but it`s very wide, in fact too wide to go on our shelves,. whoops  Debby will probably come in tut tutting next week when I am not there and change it all around, but if she can make a better job than me, then great!  There are several other fabrics from Stof, but having uploaded 3 pictures onto the blog (not even sure if that`s the correct term!) I will probably need to go and have a lie down to recover from the shock of getting it right.

Shirley who writes the Stitcherydo blog came in to the shop today and brought her medallion blocks which are just wonderful.  They are beautifully made and inspirational.  She has made them all by hand, and of course I want to make some of them too! I went as far as to get the details from her, but have left them in the shop, so am uable to send away for the pattern tonight.  If you don`t know what I am talking about do go to her blog and have a look at them, you will feel like I do and want to make some straight away.  If I was really clever I would be able to fix it so that you just click on Stitcherydo and hey presto you would be there, but I can only do one thing at a time.  That`s my project for the next post!

Finally, I had a lovely young customer who came into the shop today with her partner and 4 month old baby girl.   She wants to make a quilt for her little girl, something that she can keep, made by her mum.  Call me a sentimental old fool, but I just love the fact that she wants to do that, and not go off to one of the big multiples and buy an overpriced quilt made in the far east and which loads of other people have. It won`t matter what it looks like, it will have been made with love, and that`s why I love what I do.  Blimey that sounds a bit heavy and over the top, but I expect you will all understand what I am trying to say!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

In charge

Having had nearly two weeks off, Debby is now going to have a week off, so I am in charge!  Over the last few weeks we have been ticking along, we have had a few fabric deliveries, but are expecting more.  We are finding what a strange business this is.  There is no rhyme or reason to when a day is busy, or when it is not!  One Friday we may be rushed off our feet, and another hardly anybody comes in, but by the end of the week it evens out thank goodness.  It has been very encouraging that we are getting more and more people making a special visit to us, we get very excited when that happens - we are very sad!  Earlier in the week  four lovely sisters popped in. They were on holiday in the area and were on their way to Waitrose when they saw the shop, it`s amazing how often that happens.

We  have published our workshop list for the next couple of months.  Debby is planning on running an evening class on Wednesdays at Buckland St. Mary, and I am hoping to get a dressmaking class off the ground.  So far the reponse has been quite good.

I have nearly finished quilting my quilt which I showed on the last post, but have also been working on a quilt for my grandaughter.  I found the pattern in one of the Material Obsession books and loved it.  It has lots of blocks of  little people and houses.   I have a few more houses to make yet, and then the challenge of putting it together.  There are no hard and fast rules with the instructions, you make it up as you go along really. I have attempted to show you some photographs, but without the son-in-law don`t seem to be able to manage, I think, I will have to make a phonecall, I will get there in the end, but not tonight.  That`s my first failure of the week - oh dear!

We are hoping to get some kits made up over the next few weeks as we are often asked for them.  We have quite a few ideas, but have a decision to make as to whether we should include fabric, or just the instructions.  If any of you out there reading this blog have an opinion, I would love to know what you think, perhaps we should do both?

Hope you all have a good week, and I will hopefully manage to add some photographs  by the time Debby gets back.


Friday, 3 June 2011


Thought I would make contact with the outside world.  Have been up in Cardiff all week on new baby duty.  It has been really good to spend some time with the family and particularly the new addition Charlie.  However, I am quite looking forward to a rest when I come home!

On Tuesday we went to St Fagans, the The Musuem of Welsh Life, which is just down the road from where my daughter lives.  If you have never been it is well worth a visit.  It doesn`t cost anything to get in, apart from £3.50 for the carpark.  There are lots of lovely old buildings which have been moved to the musuem, including a chapel, a church, old farm buildings, terraces, even a pre-fab, and lots lots more.  The walks are great, and lots of animals along the way, and on the farm.   We have been loads of times, but each time we go we discover something else.  This time we found a beautiful formal garden and a large manor house, which we didn`t get a chance to look at, thats something for next time.  There is a big exhibition centre, and a collection of Welsh Quilts which are well worth a look at.

I managed to get a bit of sewing completed this week, but not much.  The priority was a new pair of curtains for Charlie`s bedroom.  I`m looking forward to making the quilt and a few things such as bunting and cushions to go with it.  A nautical theme is what is required Katie my daughter informs me.

I did bring some quilting with me, but haven`t managed to get much done.  I am working on a disappearing 9 patch quilt in creams and soft pinks, with some appliqued hearts.  Anne Baxter is running a workshop on this on Wednesday 16th June.  Its such a lovely simple technique which looks a lot more complicated than it is.  I`ve tried to take a couple of photographs, but in the dining room at 10 pm  in the evening, they are not very good, and the safety pins look as if there are marks on the quilt, however I have tried my best.  My son-in-law has helped me download the photographs, he is very patient, and must think I am very stupid, but we got there in the end.

I`m really looking forward to getting back to the shop and seeing the new fabric that has been delivered while I have been away.  Not sure who is looking forward to me getting back the most, Debby has held the fort all week and is probably ready for a rest. 


Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Superman actually visited the shop last week - wish I had my camera with me.  I was happily sitting working at the table and heard the door open  and saw a lovely young man standing  there in a proper superman suit saying that he had heard a scream and had come to help (notice he didn't say rescue me, he was probably looking at me thinking "I can't lift that").  It certainly cheered me up but of course he was selling raffle tickets and of course I bought one (good marketing) but have no idea what the charity was.

The only other men coming in the shop for the rest of the week were delivering fabric (including today) so struggling to find places to put it all. (samples below)

My husband came back from our friend Judith's house last night with a little model of our shop that she had made after coming in which was lovely.  I have put it in the window for a few days so if you are passing have a look, luckily she didn't attempt to make models of either Joan or myself.