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, 28 February 2013

Longer Days at Last!

We seem to have got rid of the rain at last, and although I keep saying I don't mind what the weather is like as long as it doesn't rain, it would just be so nice if we had a bit of sun!  At least there is more daylight now, I am getting up when it is light, and leaving work when it is light - it makes such a difference.

It has been a funny few days in the shop, It was quiet on Monday and Tuesday, ticking along nicely. On Wednesday apart from the Post Lady, I didn't see anyone for three hours, then everything went mad, and I didn't stop.  I had great plans to cut more fat quarters which seem to be going down rapidly and  get lots of sewing done, but have not achieved much at all.  I managed to make these bags, which I have decided to call 'Bits and Pieces Bags', mainly because there are all sorts of bits and pieces you could use them for, and I can't think of another name for them!

 I sold several cushions on Monday morning all of which were in the window, and then had a panic about what to replace them with, hence the bags.  I have also made a couple of knitting bags with Mother's Day in mind.  Retail is a strange occupation.  A few weeks ago I made some cushions for Valentines Day which I showed you in the last post, and didn't sell them, however on Monday I sold three of them.  There is no rhyme or reason to what happens, and Debby and I have given up trying to work it out!

I now have to make some cushions for a workshop later in March.  I have them planned, but just haven't managed to find the time to make them.  They are now my top priority.  We have  some new Moda fabrics La Belle Fleur, including charm packs and I intend to use these - Debby has given me my instructions! They are quite pretty traditional patterns, and I am looking forward to getting on with them.

Next Wednesday I am doing a workshop on quick and easy ways  to make triangles.  I have made quite a few samples for this.  I eventually intend to make a sampler from them, but I have left them at home, so will show you them later.  I also have several other samples including  two quilts, and  two cushions.

The photograph doesn't do justice to the colours.  I have been wanting to make a quilt with this pattern for so long, and now I have.!  It just needs a border on it.

I made this one when we first opened the shop, but people are always commenting on it.  It's made from a charm pack.  The colours are not my favourite, but I do like the pattern.

Lots of customers seem to like this cushion, and I love doing churn dash.  The fabric is a french design.  It was quite fiddly because the blocks are tiny, but well worth the effort.

I have made a runner from this pattern,  and I had enough for another block.  It is from another Moda Charm pack called Trade Winds.  I wish I had made a larger pink border.  The cushion pad is 50cm x 50cms, so it quite large.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to see Madame Butterfly.  I wasn't entirely convinced that I wanted to go.  My daughter Katie bought the ticket for her dad who enjoys the opera.  She persuaded me to go along as well, so all three of us went last Friday.  I have seen the Opera House in Cardiff from the outside lots of times, but have never been in.  It is as amazing inside as it is out.  We had fabulous seats, second row from the front, so we could see the orchestra as well.  The actual opera exceeded my expectations.  I had said to a customer last week how much I was looking forward to seeing the costumes and she told me I might be a bit disappointed as the Welsh National Opera Company have a reputation for doing things a little bit differently.  I was expecting lots of colours which we didn't get, but the costumes were nevetheless beautiful.  They were very simple and colour co-ordinated in shades of brown, coffee and cream, quite stunning.  The set matched and it was all just perfect. Then, of course, came the actual singing and it was fantastic.  Admitedly Madame Butterfly looked a bit older than the 15 years she was supposed to be, but you soon forgot about that when she started to sing, it was just wonderful, and at times made me want to cry.  If you ever get the chance to go you must!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Longer Days at Last!

The rain seems to have gone at last, and I have said to lots of people that I don't mind what the weather is like as long as it doesn't rain, but I do wish we could have a bit of sun

Monday, 18 February 2013

Plodding On

Despite all my good intentions to write this blog every week, I have failed miserably.  In my defence, I have had a really horrible bug, which has taken a while to get rid of and left me feeling a bit like a wet rag.  John, my husband went down with it first and passed it on to me.  He has been really quite poorly.  I am lucky in that I am married to a man who does not get 'man flu', when he is ill he just gets on with it, but we have been like a couple of geriatrics for the last fortnight!  Happily the sun has come out and we both feel so much better.  How lovely to see the sun, it can be as cold as it likes as long as the sun keeps shining!

I have not managed to get too much sewing completed the last fortnight, although I got a few things done before I was ill.  Unfortunately I managed to knock my camera off the ironing board - don't ask - and it has broken, so apart from a few photographs that I took previously I haven't got much to show you.  I did go into the shop one day and had a panic about Valentines Day and put together some little cushions for the window.

I started by cutting strips of red fabrics and zig-zagging them onto some calico.  I then drew heart shapes onto bondaweb, and ironed them on to the back of the fabric.  The above photographs shows the piece after I have cut the heart shapes out, but I think you will get the idea.

I then stuck them on to some linen, zig-zagged round them and then stitched a running stitch round the heart shape.

When I had finished, I then ran a running stitch around the edge of the cusion to finish it off.  I made several, which are shown at the top of this post.  I put some photographs on Facebook, and was quite surprised to sell a couple!

I have had two workshops since the last post.  The first one was a Beginner's Class which was quite small as a couple of people dropped out.  We had a lovely day and those that were there got a lot done.

This is Fiona's quilt.  She managed to get the top completed, and then layered it ready for quilting.  The pink spotty fabric will be the binding.  She was very quick and accurate, and I am looking forward to seeing the finished result.

I loved these colours.  This was going to be a much bigger quilt than Fiona's

I took another class last Wednesday which was a Bag Workshop.  There were some lovely finished items, but by then I had broken my camera, so am not able to show you any of the work.  We had one nine year old, Molly, who came with her mum.  She had never used a sewing machine or iron before, but was more than competent with both, and had completed a lined bag by 2.30pm, so then cut out a small drawstring bag, which she also completed by the end of the day.  We were all very impressed with her.  Her mum, you will be pleased to know, completed her bag too! 

The shop continues to be busy which is good for us.  We are selling lots of our new fabric. Above is a Russian Doll print, which has been flying out of the shop.    I put this photograph on Facebook and the response was amazing.

This one comes in another colourway, and it was while I was photographing it to show the Editor of Sewing World that I managed to break my camera, so you will have to make do with just the one colourway.  I am not sure what I would do with this, but I do love it.

These two are also proving to be very popular.  The blue cakestand fabric also comes with a white background.

 I have several little quilts on the go, most of which have completed tops, but need layering up to be quilted.  Hopefully next time I write this blog I will be able to show you at least one finished.  I started to put my quilt as you go together, and got so far with it, but then decided a couple of bits weren't quite as accurate as they should be so have unpicked it and can't quite get myself motivated to put it back together again.  I am making a quilt with my friend Rosalind which is a Tree of Life.  She has appliqued the trunk and the leaves, and I have been working on a border.  When I have added that, I will then start to quilt using kantha which I love doing.  I am enjoying this one, although the border consists of 2" squares and tiny triangles and is taking a little while, but hopefully I will have something to show you next time.

Debby informs me that she has bought us a camera to keep in the shop at all times.  I am taking my own camera into town tomorrow, and hopefully it can be fixed, otherwise I will have to buy a new one. I do hope it can be fixed, I haven't had it six months, and am feeling very cross about it.  You have probably gathered that, because I am getting a little boring about it!

That's it for now, hopefully I WILL write another post next week.  I'm off to Cardiff for the weekend to see Madam Butterfly, which I am really looking forward to, not for the opera particularly, but for the costumes!