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.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The sun has got his hat on!

At last we have some sunshine!  Typically it`s my week to be in the shop, but never mind, even though I am not outside enjoying it, just seeing it makes me feel happier.  The shop is always quieter when the weather is good, but that gives us a chance to catch up with our sewing.  Bunting is so popular at the moment, everyone seems to be making it, and fat quarters are ideal.  I have been making up an order today with the alphabet on it.  Usually we get asked for a name, although we have been making lots for weddings with the bride and groom`s name and the date on the flags.  I sometimes feel I could make it in my sleep!  The most I have made so far is 50 metres.

We have started our new quilt group at West Buckland, and have now had two meetings.  It has been so popular that we already have a waiting list.  It`s great to spend an evening with like-minded people, some of whom are old friends - not literally you understand!  It`s great to meet new people and share skills. We have all levels, and the work is inspiring.  We already have a list of things we hope to do.  A fat-quarter swap was a popular idea, we all have ones that we don`t want.  We are also going to have a fat quarter challenge.   I love to see all the ideas people come up with using the same fabric and theme.  We are even talking about an exhibition next year - lets see what happens there!

I ran a gift workshop last Wednesday.  I think some people have started making gifts for Christmas already. I brought along several ideas, one of which was the little sewing holder above.  I love to use linen, as I find it seems to take any colour well.

These little drawstring bags are always popular, in fact I have made four today.  When we sell them in the shop we customise them with a name if that`s what a customer would like.  The posh pants bag was featured in Sew Hip a few months ago.

I found recently the pattern for the slippers in a book and just had to make them.  I have a children`s pair cut out, but haven`t got round to making them yet.  They were quite successful, and at present are in the window.  I have heard quite a few comments about them as people walk past, luckily all positive.

We were asked to go and talk to West Buckland WI a week or so ago.  We were rather nervous about this, but everyone was so kind, and I think they enjoyed it.  We took lots of quilts with us, and talked about how we met and how we acquired the shop.  We then talked about the quilts.  Afterwards we were asked to judge the handicraft section.  It was really hard, everything was so beautifully made, in fact the judging was more difficult than giving the talk.  Finally we were provided with a light supper - all I can say is if that was a light supper, I wonder what supper would be like!  Needless to say because it was all made by the WI, it was delicious - no shopmade stuff there!

We often get asked if our fabric is suitable for dressmaking, and it always amazes me that people don`t realise that it is.  They seem to think that because we make quilts that`s all you can do with it.  I`m not quite sure how we put the word out there.  We often have garments in the window, I make and wear what I have made.  At the moment we have a lovely dress in the window made by Jane a customer of ours who is a I trained designer, and at one point designed for Next. We have had loads of comments about it.

A few weeks ago Mandy who comes to our Thursday morning class said could she make a garment, to which, of course, I said yes.  She had never made a garment before, but it was very successful as you can see below.

Alice who comes to the class has lots and lots of fabric - I don`t think she ever throws anything away.  She loves to try new techniques, and often attends workshops.  She then uses her new found skills to make small quilts which she gives to the special baby care unit at Musgrove Park Hospital.  Above is one she has been working on using Anne Baxter`s Chop Suey technique.  I absolutely love the fabrics, they are not new, but date from the seventies, real vintage!  She thinks it`s a bit bright, but the rest of the group think it`s great, what do you think?

Anne is another one with lots of fabric, in fact I think she could open a shop of her own with what she has!
She has been making these pieces which she is cutting into squares. I am really looking forward to see how it has gone this week.  She will probably have finished this quilt and started on the next one, I think she spends her whole life sewing, she once told me that she stitched on Christmas Day! 

I have taken several other photographs of what people have been up to on  Thursday morning, but I will show you them next time.

I don`t know how many of you are looking forward to the Olympic Games.  We had been going to do a window, but are too worried, that we might break some silly rule, so have given up on that idea.  I am sure I will watch it, but I am not too bothered about the sport. However, I will be able to tell you all the gossip, because I love that side of things. I listen to Radio 5 Live most days.  I have cancelled my Friday night visit to the pub, because I am so excited about the Opening Ceremony, I always think that`s the best bit, apart from the closing ceremony of course!

Debby has tickets for the tennis next week, and John my husband is going to watch some of the swimming heats.  He really wanted to watch the cycling.  He has followed cycling for years, and in fact we have in the past arranged our holiday in France around the dates of the Tour de France, so we can watch it.  Personally I think the bottoms are the best bit, but if you blink you will miss them, they go past so fast.

Happy sewing

Monday, 9 July 2012

Rain, rain go away!

I have been in France for a holiday and came back last Tuesday morning, it seems to have rained ever since, apart from Sunday.  We took the family to Brittany and had a really lovely time, we haven`t been back to that part of France since our children were young, and now we have taken them back with their children.  That makes me feel really old!  We had good weather, and as my daughter said consumed our bodyweight in cheese, wine and lovely food.  Just in case we brought a bootload home to keep us going.

Debby soldiered on in the shop, and got rather fraught as several fabric deliveries arrived.  She just got one lot put away having re-arranged everything and then another lot arrived, and so it seemed to go on.  To cap it all on Friday the bulk of the Christmas fabric arrived.  I haven`t told her yet, but some more arrived today.  It`s all in the stockroom, because there is no room in the shop at present.  We will have to get our heads together on Thursday when we are both in, because surprise, surprise people are already asking for it. It all looks very nice, but I`m not sure I`m ready to think about Christmas yet, I still have another holiday to come in September!

We have had some great new fabrics delivered, so thought I would show you some of it.

This is one of my favourites it`s by Sarah Watts and called Feather n Stitch.

This one is Lucy`s Crab Shack by Sweetwater for Moda.  We only ordered a little bit of this range, but have charm packs.

These fabrics are by Lakehouse.  There are lots more of them, too many to show really, but there are other colour schemes.  I love the tea cups, and am trying to think of something to do with them, but not sure what yet.

A week or so before I went away I did a bag workshop, and thought you might be interested to see what  was produced on the day.

This bag proved to be the most popular on the day.  Jane made this, and went home and made about three other bags the next day!

These were made by Jacqui and Rachael, and again Rachael went home and made more.

Sarah-Jane as usual made not one, but two bags, everybody loved the doggy fabric.

  Suzy didn`t quite finish her bag, but it was looking good. She was going to put a red binding round the top, which we all thought would finish if off beautifully. She had intended to make a simpler bag, but when she saw what everyone else was doing decided to go for it.

There were some other lovely bags made, but unfortunately I left it a little late to get out my camera, and they were  gone.

The next workshop is a day of gifts.  I have completed all the samples, and will show you what is produced afterwards.

We had another project featured in a magazine a couple of weeks ago, in the revamped Sewing World.  This is a magazine that has been around a long time, so we were thrilled to be asked to contribute.  Debby has a bag in the August issue.  We have produced a kit for this design, and have sold quite a few already.  Take a look at the magazine, there`s some really nice projects in it.

We have finally got our website working which caused us great excitement.  We have lots of new fabrics to add to it, and Debby is working on that at present, but have a look at it, we are really pleased with it.

It`s an interesting life having a shop.  Today a lovely lady and her husband came in.  They were from the Wirral and were down here on holiday.  We were chatting, when another couple came in.  I heard them talking and realised they weren`t English.  The lady from the Wirral suddenly said hello to the other lady in Spanish and they then proceeded to talk to each other in Spanish, while the two husbands talked in English.  I have no idea what was said in Spanish, apart from at one point jelly rolls were mentioned and the nice English lady was showing the Spanish lady what they were and discussing what to do with them - I think.  The Spanish lady bought a kit for the cushion mentioned above.  Anyway it was an interesting interlude, I felt rather like a spare part.  When the Spanish couple left the shop they all started kissing each other, like long lost friends - that would never happen normally - I was a bit put out because I didn`t get any kisses, but heyho!

Last Wednesday was the first meeting of our new quilt group at West Buckland.  We were rather overwhelmed by the number of people interested and had to have a waiting list. It was a good first meeting, and lots of interesting projects going on.  Hopefully next time I will remember to take my camera and show you some.

Thats is for now, happy sewing