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.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Nearly normal

Not sure if its good or bad news but I am nearly back to normal, still not able to drive the car which is frustrating but probably easier for Joan who drives much slower than I do and I have probably frightened her to death for the last year when I have arrived at her house late and whizzed up the motorway at break neck speed.

My very patient husband has been my taxi driver for the last four weeks and I think he has just about had enough, he is practically throwing me out of the car in the mornings.
On Thursday we will have been open for a year which is amazing and it has gone so quickly, I think we have worked much harder than we did when teaching but the enjoyment factor has been far better.  So we are having a special day on Thursday - if you spend more than £20 you get 10% off, if you spend over £10 you will automatically be entered into a raffle.  Prizes include a Moda quilt kit, a free workshop or a voucher for £10. There will also be tea, coffee and cake so it would be lovely to see you. Our new workshop list is also ready so if you haven't received it via email there will be copies in the shop.
Last week I was on my own which was a shock, not used to working a six day week.  During the week I had a visit from Alan (one of the reps) who has been quite ill recently so it was a surprise to see him, he also arrived on a Wednesday not a Thursday (which is our agreed day as Joan is in and my lack of self control with regard to spending can be double checked) so when he asked if I wanted to look in his car boot I thought it would be rude not to especially as he has been unwell and we haven't seen him for a long time. Luckily he didn't have very much left so I didn't spend an absolute fortune but still got persuaded to buy two rolls of oil cloth type fabric which Joan and I had agreed we would not stock - oops.

I also met Anne Marie who had travelled over from Holland with her family - not just to see us, she was in Devon on holiday but took the time to visit the shop.  She and her daughter were lovely. Her poor husband was very patient and after a while I suggested he might want to go to 'Steptoe's Yard'  which is a local junk yard and not called that anymore but I don't know the name. He left for quite a while, when he came back they were still choosing fabric.  As she was leaving she left Joan and I a lovely tissue holder made in dutch fabric which Joan has already photographed - what a lovely lady/family.

We are now desperately trying to get all the fabric on to our new website, we had no idea how long it would take and so far we have got 76 listed only another 300+ to go so I don't think it is going to be up and running in time for our anniversary. 

Yesterday Joan had left a message on the phone to say that yet more fabric had arrived, goodness knows where we are going to put it as we are already using the floor as shelving.

So we look forward to seeing you all this week and if you see someone walking up the street from one side of the pavement to the other looking like she is way over the limit don't panic but if you see her driving a car really panic.


Monday, 22 August 2011

Out and About

Debby is slowly getting better, but still can`t walk in a straight line, and is having to keep on the medication to stop her from feeling sick.  I was so concerned about her that I took the week off!  I did turn up for the Wednesday night class at West Buckland, and also took my usual class at Rockwell Green on Thursday morning,  but apart from that you couldn`t see me for dust.  I think I might have said that my daughter was coming down with the grandchildren on the Wednesday, and of course I started to come down with a cold, she was recovering from a horrible virus which came back to haunt her for a couple of days, so it served me right really.  Despite the fact that we felt a bit rough for a couple of days and it rained, we still managed to have a good time.  We went up to the Quantocks on Friday and had a lovely picnic which we had just finished when it started to rain again.  We decided to go over to Nether Stowey, I have lived in Taunton since the 1970`s and never been, and was very pleasantly surprised there are some beautiful old buildings, which is why I suppose it was made a conservation area.  We were really just killing time until our picnic had settled down so we could go over to The Stables at Triscombe for a cream tea.  If you have never been there, and get the chance you must go.  The sun was shining,  the views are great, we sat in the garden and stuffed ourselves with scones, clotted cream and jam - what more could you want!

On Sunday we took ourselves off for another picnic this time to Wimbleball Reservoir near Wiveliscombe.  Its a lovely place, there is a 9 mile walk around the reservoir which we obviously didn`t do, but which I have in the past, and to tell you the truth, I am amazed I lived to tell the tale!  There`s  lots of space to picnic and run around, sailing on the reservoir, a fantastic play area, lovely woodland walks, and of course toilets!  Georgia my grandaughter was in her element along with grandad, but Charlie at 3 months was rather more laid back about the whole affair. Their dad was in Amsterdam, and no he wasn`t on a stag `do` as everyone thought, but actually taking part in a world championship athletic meeting in which he was competing in a double decathlon - I mean how mad do you have to be to do that!  He got off to an amazing start by winning his first race, the 100 metres, but unfortunately he went downhill after that.  He went with a friend who has spent the last five years taking part in any world championship that he can.  He has been all around the country and had a great time and attended various championships such as crazy golf, nettle eating,and snail racing to name but a few.  I`ve no idea why he did it, but this weekend was the last one he is going to do.  I gather they were absolutely shattered at the end of the three days, but pleased that they completed all events.  I have yet to hear where they were placed.

As you can imagine I didn`t get much sewing done last week, so need to get down to some serious sewing this week.  I had made two dresses for Georgia, but needless to say forgot to take any photographs of them.  She was very pleased with them, and trust me, if she didn`t like them she would have told me.  I had also made Charlie a little quilt/mat which I was rather pleased with.  I used the new Moda Farmyard fabric which I showed you a few weeks ago.  I took this photograph about 7.00am this morning, and my only excuse is I had just got up, I hadn`t even had a cup of tea, and John my husband had kept me awake for most of the night because he was coming down with the lurgy. It actually looks a lot nicer and brighter than the photograph.  It has already been christened, and I can tell you it washes well!

Although Debby wasn`t on top form last week it didn`t stop her buying some more fabric, Alan our Moda rep paid a visit and she bought two rolls of rather nice coated cotton, it isn`t really oil cloth, but it looks like it is, its much softer and easier to stitch.  I had a go at making a bag this afternoon just to see what it stitched like and I was quite pleased with the results, especially as the machine we have in the shop is quite old and can be quite tempermental at times.

.Last week we had a visit from Anne Marie from Holland, I was so disappointed that I missed her, especially as she had brought over a little gift for us both.  It was so kind of her, and we just love the fabric, it`s so Dutch!  They are lined with a red check, and its just what I need to put my tissues in, in my handbag, so thank you Anne Marie, and I hope you had a great holiday.

We had a visit today from a lovely lady from Dorchester, who came over especially, and another from Nottingham who was a lace maker, both found us on the internet which is always great to hear.  Its always very exciting when people have come some distance, especially when they say they will be back!

Debby and I plan to finally send out our workshop list this week.  We have had to re-arrange it slightly because of Anne`s illness.  Apologies if you have been waiting for it, but it is on it`s way.

Hope you all have a good week.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Favourite Fabrics

Debby has had this week off work.  It was supposed to be time to make up for being so poorly when she was on leave, but although she is a bit better, she is still not right - ill I mean!  The doctor has given her some different medication which has taken away the sickness, but she still feels funny walking.  Hopefully it will go away soon.

I have decided this week to show you some fabric.  At times I worry that if we show you too much, you will all just think we are trying to sell it to you, which of course we are, but don`t want to put you off or bore you!  However, one of the blogs I follow called Freda`s Hive has a Fabric Friday every week.  She doesn`t sell fabric, but just shows you what she has, often with different themes.  She must have loads, because each week she shows lots and lots, and I love most of them.  I always enjoy is, so thought I would show you a couple of my favourite fabrics, but only a couple!

These are part of a collection of trees.  The collection is called Lovely Orchard and is designed by Suling Wang for Camelot Cottons.  When Debby and I ordered this we thought it would just fly out of the shop, but it doesn`t sell very well.  We have moved it around the shop, I have made things out of it, lots of people comment on it, but still it doesn`t sell!  However, I love it.

This collection is called Woodland by Lori Mason for RJR.  This is slightly more popular than Lovely Orchard, but again hasn`t sold as well as we thought it would.  I think it has quite a Japanese feel to it, and I love the colours.  Perhaps my taste isn`t as good as I thought it was!

We have had a new delivery from Makower this week, which  I think has a shabby chic feel to it.  We have some rather nice stripe fabric which looks like ticking, and some of these would look really good appliqued on to it.

We have also taken delivery of some apron panels ready to cut out which were featured in Sew Hip recently.

Enough about fabric or I will be in danger of sounding like an advertisement.  Last week we had another Beginner`s Workshop, and once again everyone produced a lovely piece of work.  I didn`t taken any photographs this week, but it amazes me how different the cushions can look in all the different fabrics.  This time we had bright, traditional and quirky.  Everyone coped with putting in a zip, something which scares a lot of people, but which I think makes such a difference to the finish.

We heard this week that Anne Baxter who teaches on quite a few of our classes had a stroke last week.  She is OK, but has to rest.  She is a lovely lady and very popular with everyone, so we hope she gets better soon.
We are re-jigging our workshop programme and changing a few dates and themes, while she is getting better, so will send the September - December list out as soon as we can.

Toni, one our regular customers, organises craft fairs.  She is very particular about only selling things that people have made themselves. I don`t know about you, but |I get fed up of going to fairs, and then find that half the items for sale have been  imported.  If anyone is interested in taking a stand at any of her fairs, if you would like to contact us then we will put you in touch with her.  She was telling me today that her partner has put up a large shed for her to use as a workroom.  She was going home today to start painting the inside and telling me all her plans for it - I am very envious, I have always fancied a shed to work in - very Country Living, except mine would end up looking like a pig sty in about a week, but at least I could close the door on it and leave all the mess at the bottom of the garden!

It`s interesting how other people work, Shirley from Stitcherydo has just completed a workroom in her spare room, which looked too tidy for my liking, but she tells me it won`t stay like that.  Another blogger that I follow, Comfort Stitching does her stitching in her sitting room quite often sitting on her sofa at the coffee table.  I really could not do that, but then I am lucky that I have a room to sew, and another room to put all my stuff in, but rest assured you will not be seeing any photographs of either of them.  I am deeply ashamed of both, but particularly the room where everything is stored.  If my mum was ever allowed to see it she would be very ashamed of me.  Debby tut tuts at me when she is in the shop, but I have to say she is just as bad as me, and I tut tut at her, we are both as bad as each other.  Once a year I have a really good sort out, and tell myself everything will go back exactly where it came from, and it will not get in a mess.  This lasts a few weeks, and then I revert to type.  Another of our customers Sandy told me this week that she has sorted out her spare room and has space for her sewing machine and a cutting table, but puts the ironing board up downstairs in the kitchen so that every time she wants to press anything she has to go downstairs, but tells me the exercise does her good!

Thats it for another week.  I have a few days off as my daughter is coming with the children,  although I will still be at our classes.  Hopefully Debby will be better, and we hope that Anne is on the mend.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A day out

Yet another week has gone by, where does the time go to?  Debby came back to work on Tuesday, not sure she should have done really, but she was adamant, if you could see her walk, you would understand my concern!

I had a day out on Tuesday.  Apple County Quilters had organised a visit to Launceston, and asked me if I would like to go, of course I said yes, I`m all for days out.  We went to Cowslip in the morning, which was inspirational, what a lovely place to visit.  After a very nice lunch, we then went into Launceston itself where there was an Exhibition by The Flowerpatch Quilters.  Unfortunately I didn`t take my camera, so can`t show you any of the lovely quilts.  Shirley from Stitcherydo took her camera, and I wouldn`t be surprised to find some photographs on her next blog, although I don`t know.  I was fascinated to see someone had made the same quilt I am making for Georgia my grandaughter, and it gave me a few ideas for the quilting.  I thought I was about half way through the quilting, but having seen this I would say I have a lot more to do.  I haven`t managed much quilting - it`s just been too warm.  I do most of my quilting by hand, and you don`t really want a quilt on your lap in this weather!   It was lovely to see lots of faces I knew, plus meet some new people. 

We started our new class last night at West Buckland.  Debby still wasn`t feeling great, and Anne McLaren (sorry if I have spelt your surname wrong Anne) offered to act as a runner for her, thank you Anne.  Debby was in one hall with the patchwork and quilting ladies, and I went in another room with the dressmakers.  Everything seemed to be going very well when suddenly the lights went out!  It turned out it wasn`t just the hall but the whole village.  Luckily it being August, it wasn`t  too dark, so we managed to soldier on, but of course there was no machining or tea or coffee.  A few people have contacted us since so say they enjoyed themselves, which was good to hear. 

Today we had a new rep visit us, and we have now ordered some Michael Miller fabrics which are bright and vibrant, some decent machine needles, and at last some templates which we have had quite a problem finding.
We have decided to stock Hobbs wadding as we are often asked for it.  Despite Debby feeling off colour she perked up considerably when we started to look at fabric, but when we had finished, it was like someone had deflated her - she really is very sad!

Finally I am going to show you one picture this week.  Sandra who comes to our class on a Thursday morning, completed this small sampler quilt a couple of weeks ago. This was her first attempt at patchwork and quilting, and as usual my photography does the work no justice at all, but it is lovely.  She is now working on a jelly roll quilt having done a workshop with Debby, and there is no stopping her!

Have a good week.