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.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Water, water, everywhere

Well I am now back from my trip to Italy, and reality has already set in.  I spent the last few days of the holiday in Venice, surrounded by water, woke up on Monday morning to hear on national radio that the A38 was blocked by a flood.  As I have to go along this road to get to the shop this posed a problem.  My husband said take the car - I usually go by bus.  I decided to go to the bus station and see if the bus was running, I got to what looked like a ghost town, but luckily the only bus in sight  was going my way.  Well it was kind of going my way, but it was going via the motorway.  I don`t think that bus had ever gone that fast before, it was an old doubledecker, and everything shook and rattled, including me when I eventually got off, it took me most of the morning to get over it.  At least in Venice the water was where it was supposed to be!
I had a fantastic time, and although I took hundreds of photographs, I will only show you a couple.  The first photograph above is of the Doges Palace in St Marks Square, which is the most amazing building, I just love it and took far too many photographs of it.  Can you spot the deliberate error.  The date says October and not September.  I didn`t realise that the date would appear, it didn`t on my old camera, but at least I have now managed to get rid of it.  Our tour guide David was great, as I said on my previous blog he was an ex-cameraman for the BBC.  In fact he still works freelance for them and will be filming Eastenders this week, before he takes another group over to Europe.  I did ask him a few things, but then started to worry that I would appear stupid, although he was very helpful, and did give me lots of tips, most of which I will probably forget.

I couldn`t not show you the Grand Canal, this was from the Rialto Bridge, again I took loads, and this isn`t probably the best one - should have asked David for more advice - but I could take forever to find one I am really satisfied with, so this will have to do!  I did take quite an amusing photograph at the other end of the Grand Canal showing a DHL delivery boat.  How fantastic would it be to have your fabric delivered like that!

We also went to Florence, and while in the cathedral I took several photographs of the floor, ever the patchworker looking for inspiration.

Needless to say it`s all marble.  There were lots of other patterns, but I think one is enough.

I think that is enough about my holiday now, apart from to say travelling across Europe by train is great, and I would thoroughly recommend it.

Back to the shop, and yesterday I re-arranged a few things and finally put all the Christmas fabrics out.  It has been selling well, people are so organised, including Debby who has put a completed Advent calendar at the back of the shop.  While I was away this lovely fabric arrived from Stof.  It is quite grown up, not obviously Christmasy, in fact you could use it for other things.  Some of it has a real Byzantine feel to it.

You can`t really tell from the photograph, but there is a lot of gold metallic - quite blingy in fact.

I did tell you on my prevous post that I would  let you know how I got on with my hexagon quilt which I planned to take with me.  Well I have a confession to make, I didn`t touch it.  I could have lied, but I really didn`t have any time to do it at all.  I thought I might on the train, but was frightened I might miss something if I wasn`t looking out the window.

I came back from the shop yesterday determined to do something, and I managed to layer up my churndash quilt, and even started to quilt it.  In fact when I have finished this post I will carry on with it. I finally have some ideas in my head, and hopefully next time I write I will have something interesting  to show you.

Debby came over to the shop yesterday and we caught up over a cup of tea after we had closed the shop.  She did survive without me, although two weeks in the shop is a long time.  Never mind, I spoke to her this morning and she told me she wasn`t talking properly because she had a mask on!  Turns out she was having an internal wall knocked down by the builders, but her and Chris were ripping out the fireplace - happy days!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

New Projects

My turn to write this week, as Debby has posted the last two blogs, and I will be away for the next two weeks.  We have had a busy week with our sale.  We have lots of lovely new stock in the back of the shop and need to get rid of some of the old stuff to make way for the new.  If you haven`t been come along because we have some great bargains, mostly at £7.50 per metre, and it`s going fast!  Enough of the advertising.

  Our new workshop list is out now and the classes are filling up with several full already.  Debby and I have made most of the samples, but there are still a few to make.  I have to come up with a Christmas wall hanging for our Christmas present workshop.  I am hoping that if Debby see`s this she might oblige as originally she was going to do one!  I have actually made two advent calendars, and Debby one, which I can`t believe.  Although we have some Christmas fabric out, we do have quite a bit more to put out within the next couple of weeks.  One lady came in a couple of weeks ago and bought about 16 fat quarters to make bags to put bottles of wine in as presents, which I thought was quite a good idea.

I seem to have the patchwork and quilting equivalent of writer`s block at the moment.  I keep trying to start new things and then they don`t seem right, so I put it all away and try to start again to no avail.  I had a great idea for a cushion this week for a present, but it wasn`t a great idea when I started to put it together, so came up with plan B which was even worse, so that was abandoned.  The only thing I have made this week is the cushion shown above.  I have made this lots of times.  I am afraid I cheat and just applique the stripes on and then put the heart in the middle to hide the mess!  Anne Baxter has done a fantastic Union Jack shabby chic cushion workshop for us, but it is foundation pieced, which I am just too lazy to do I am afraid.  The cushion is actually square, but the angle I have taken the picture as it not quite right.  I have a new camera, which I am just getting to grips with.  Actually who am I trying to kit, I  never really go to grips with the old one, so I don`t expect I will with this one.

  I said earlier that I will be away for the next couple of weeks.  I am going on my holiday to Italy.  We are going by train and I am very excited about it as I love trains.  Some of you already know about this, so I apologise for boring you yet again!  The reason I am telling you this is because we have a guide on this holiday and he is an ex BBC cameraman whose hobby is photography, and he is happy to give advice on taking photographs, when he is not issuing us with train tickets or guiding us from place to place, etc.  Hopefully I will come back an expert.  Just in case you would like to know, we are going on the Eurostar to Paris, then transferring to the TGV to go to Tuscany via Turin.  While in Tuscany we will visit Florence, Luca and Piza amongst other places all by train, then we transfer to Venice for three days before we come home via Basle and Strasbourg.  This brings me to my new project.  If you follow Shirley`s blog Stitcherydo you will have seen her amazing hexagonal quilt that she has just completed.  I have quite fancied making one for some time, but didn`t want to do one that looked like my granny had made it, and hers certainly doesn`t.  She came in the shop this week, and I showed her a jelly roll that I wanted to do it in called Coquette, but didn`t know what colours to use to go with it.  She had a look around the shop and produced a bolt which matched perfectly for the centres and suggested I did the background in white - sorted.  My grand plan is to take this on holiday while I am on the train, just in case I get bored.  I always do this when I go away, and don`t touch it, but I know that if I don`t take it I will regret it.  I will let you know if I actually get any done.

In my usual way the photograph does not do this project any justice at all, just wait until I get my hands on that ex cameraman!

Trying to find inspiration a customer came in the shop the other day with a book called Making Baby`s Clothes (not a very exciting title I know).  It is by a man called Rob Merrett, but the projects are quirky and a bit different.  She wanted to make a little dress for her niece.  Needless to say I got straight on to Amazon when I got home ordered it, and discovered the author has written several other books including one called Sew it, Stuff it, which was again full of quirky projects, so I had to have that as well.  I am desperate to make the little Russian Dolls on the front cover, but they will have to wait until I get back.  His background is in trend forecasting for the colour, textile, fashion and interior industries, but he also works as a stylist.

So I have a few little projects planned, but I have the desire to make some original amazing quilt but can`t seem to get going.  I don`t want to use a pattern, I want it to be mine.  Lots of people think Debby and I have a great life working in a shop surrounded by fabric all day, and it is great, but we don`t have time to sit and sew all day, there`s always lots of other things that need doing.  When we decided to do a week on and a week off in the shop, the plan was that we would be able to concentrate on projects on our week off, but it never seems to work out like that!  I follow the Material Obsession blog, and the work shown on there is incredible.  I will settle down, now the nights are drawing in, and I will keep you posted on how I get on!

Reading this post back it has been a bit me, me, me, so if you are interested Debby is fine.  She has been to the paralympics this week, and thoroughly enjoyed herself!