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.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

This and That

It`s been my week in the shop again this last week after a busy time at home last weekend.  My husband John had a birthday with a 0 on the end, and was determined to celebrate it in style!  On his actual birthday 9th May, we went to a restaurant called the Wild Garlic which is owned by someone called Matt Follet(I think thats his name!) who about 3 years ago won Master Chef.   The restaurant is in Beaminster in Dorset.  It was a horrible day, it rained all the time, which put paid to our visit to the coast afterwards.  However, we had a fantastic meal, and I can thoroughly recommend it, particularly the pudding for sharing!  At the weekend he had a party for family and friends on the Saturday, and then on the Sunday we had about 15 people for lunch - I was glad to get back to work for a rest.  I still can`t reconcile myself to the fact that I am married to a man who is 60 - I married an older man you know!  Actually he is not that much older than me, but I am not yet eligible for concessions, and he is!

Debby came back from Sardinia looking slightly tanned and very relaxed, and is now off galivanting in Oxford this weekend, but it is her turn in the shop this coming week.  We have had an up and down sort of week in the shop, some days have been quiet and others busy.  It is of course Malvern this week, and that probably explains the quiet end of the week, but there is no rhyme or reason to busy and quiet times we have discovered.
This week I have a cushion workshop with a floral theme, so have been busy organising myself for that.  I love tulips, they are my favourite fabrics, so just had to do something with that shape. 

This one I have made with a large flap all the way round.  You only need a small cushion pad, but it makes more of a statement.  I told Debby a while ago that we ought to have some soft denim as I thought it would look good with some of our fabrics.  We duly got some, and then I struggled to know what to do with it!  These fabrics are from the Moda Feedsack range, which I love. 

Finally this one again has a flap, but smaller this time and all made from the same fabric.  I tried  to make each actual cushion  slightly different to ring the changes.  The students will also have the option of an envelope back or a zip.  Most opt for the envelope.  I have got some linen cut out, but just can`t seem to get going with it, I have patchworker`s block at the moment I think.  In my head I know what I want, but in reality it just doesn`t seem right.  I may have it completed for Wednesday, or I may not.

I have been pootling along trying to get some projects finished, and trying to make up my mind what to do next.  I have a bag workshop coming up in a few weeks time, so have been trying to get some samples made which I am happy with.  You would think with a shop full of fabric it wouldn`t be difficult to find what you want, but may be there is just too much choice.  Anyway I need to talk to Debby she always seems to get it right.  I had a customer in the shop a couple of weeks ago who told me in no uncertain terms that Debby is much better at putting fabrics together than I am, and I have to agree, she is right, though it grieves me to say it!

We have had a small delivery of fabric in this week, which is rather nice, and I might even use some of it for one of my bags

These are from Free Spirit and are called happiness.  We weren`t too sure about them when they arrived, but have sold quite a bit of the two middles pieces.  One person bought 3 metres of the green second from the left to make a dress.

These ones aren`t so bright, but I quite like them.  They are from Red Rooster Fabrics and are called Heartstings.  Hearts and anything with text on is always popular

I had another of my projects in a magazine this week, the new Modern Quilting.  I didn`t take any photographs, because rather disappointingly we were told the publishing company, which has a lot of other magazines titles had gone into administration.  However, we have now received a copy of the magazine, it has appeared in the shops, and I have been reading on other blogs that subscribers have received their copies.  I have left the magazine in the shop hence no photograph.  I don`t know if that will be the last one, it would be a shame if it is because it was quite a good magazine, very contemporary, filled a hole in the market, and of course it was British.  My project was - wait for it - a camera strap!  I have to confess when I was asked to do it I was a little taken aback, I`d never seen one, nor felt I needed one, but I gamely looked on the internet, and there were hundreds.  The next challenge was to make something a little different, which I think I did with a little help from my friend Rosalind who suggested I tried to make it look like a reel of film.  Next week I will post a picture of it and you can see what you think.  I still wouldn`t use one - it wouldn`t be a lot of use for my little digital camera!The magazine also did a little write up on the shop.  Debby  has been completing a really nice bag for another magazine  - not in the same publishing company - this one is for August, so we will keep you posted on that.

Well that`s it for another week.  I am off to see the Olympic torch arrive in Taunton tomorrow, we have got tickets for a celebration at the County Cricket ground - not quite sure what the celebration entails, but will let you know!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Soldiering on

I am feeling rather envious this week as Debby has flown off to Sardinia - I certainly hope she is having better weather than we are. I don`t need to tell you all that we had lots of rain on Sunday which went on all night and carried on the next day for quite some time.  I caught the bus on Monday morning and  I had heard that Bradford-on-Tone had flooding, mostly because I saw it on the National Breakfast News, but was still rather surprised to see it had reached the hedge by the side of the A38, and in fact parts of the road were flooded.  We got a little further along the road and came to a halt.  I thought we would never get going again, and the bus was freezing!  We kept creeping a bit further, and a bit further, and of course most of the road was flooded, with only just enough room for one lane of traffic to get through.  By the time I went home in the evening it was all gone!

The shop was rather quiet needless to say, so I managed to get quite a bit of sewing done, including 30 metres of bunting for a wedding.  Lots of people are making bunting at the moment, especially with a jubilee theme.

Yesterday a delivery came, it was one box and I was quite relieved when I saw this.  Debby and I have been expecting a delivery from Moda of the new Cabbages and Roses collection, and we couldn`t remember whether we had ordered the whole range or just part of it.  Not very business like but it was ordered last October.  The reason I was relieved was because I didn`t know where it would go.  When I opened the box I discovered it wasn`t the Moda delivery at all, but one from another supplier!  I`ve shown a little bit of it above, there are some lovely reds and greens that also go with it, but I decided to show these colours because we are often asked for them and they are quite difficult to find.  These are Verona from Riley Blake Designs

I just had to show these I meant to photograph them a couple of weeks ago, but forgot.  I just love them, especially the sheep.  They are all from Stoff and from a range called Play with Me which I love, apart from the pink fabric with flowers which is called Flower Shop.  They have been selling really well.  The little elephants at the top also come in blue.

Today I went into the shop full of resolve.  I unpacked the box of fabrics, did lots of re-arranging and cutting and managed to get the fabric on the shelves.  Guess what - I had just finished all this when the delivery van drew up outside the shop, and I saw two large boxes and needless to say they were brought into the shop!
I just didn`t know what to do with them.  I finally opened the boxes and they were the Cabbages and Roses Collection from Moda, called Athill.  I took each bolt out of the boxes, cut some fat quarters and then put them back in the boxes!  I really just don`t know where to put them.  Debby and I need to have some serious re-arranging, but I don`t want to do it until I have spoken to her - really I am hoping she will come up with a plan, because I haven`t got one!  Whilst I am going through all this angst (not sure if that is spelt right, I`m sure there should be an h in there somewhere) and woe, Debby is sunning herself in Sardinia, and probably hasn`t thought of me once!

I can`t show you the whole range, so have photographed the free pattern.  If anyone wants one, please pop into the shop and pick one up.  The fabric is rather lovely, it`s very shabby chic in some lovely soft colours.

Tomorrow I have to go to the probate office in Exeter with my sister - can you imagine, they have a new John Lewis, and the probate office is quite near, but I won`t have time to go there, I can`t believe it!

Finally in case you think all I have done is show you fabric in this post, I thought I would show you this piece of work.  It`s at a funny angle because it`s hanging on the wall and I can`t get far enough away from it.  If you come into the shop you may have seen it, but I thought I would show it anyway.  I made it with my friend Rosalind last year and we sent it to the NEC for the Quilt Show.  We didn`t win anything with it, and didn`t really expect to, but had some nice comments from the judges.  It is all hand appliqued and quilted.  The only machining was to put the border and the binding on.  It is based on a little water colour picture I have from Shanghai, and I loved making it.  It`s good to have a project to share sometimes, and hopefully we will do something together again soon.

Finally a few weeks ago a lady called Michelle Keefe came into the shop, she is from Hampshire and runs Workshops I said I would mention her, and of course in my usual efficient way I kept forgetting.  Her website is www.heirloomquilting.co.uk..