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.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Trip to Malvern

Time for another post, as once again it's been a while since I posted anything.  We have been keeping busy with various goings on.

Last week we had a day away from the shop and went to Malvern for the quilt show.  I was a little disappointed because the week before Debby came into the shop looking a little distracted.  I wondered what on earth was the matter with her, but it transpired that she was in shock because she had bought herself a new car, not just any old car, but a red Audi!  My disappointment as far as Malvern was concerned was because she didn't have it in time for us to go in it!  Anyway we slummed it in her old car and got there in record time - have I mentioned that she doesn't hang around.  My knuckles are usually white by the time we get anywhere.

 We went not to buy fabric, but to see what the trends are at the moment, and if there was anything new that we hadn't come across, but there wasn't really.  It is a great show and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves looking around.  We were rather concerned to see some fabrics selling at cheaper prices than we can get at cost, but they were not particularly nice quality fabrics, or the colours were not very good.  We always worry that customers will think we are making a fortune on our fabric, which we can assure you we are not!  We met two of our reps there, and they were also concerned to see some of their fabrics being sold very cheaply, and they didn't know where the fabric could have come from and how the seller could sell it at the prices they were.

The thing that really fascinated me was the huge range of quilting rulers, I have never seen so many different shapes and sizes, and  I think I would have to have several lessons to be shown what to do with them!  There was one particular set which comprised of two different kinds of curves and they cost nearly £60.00.  I couldn't work out how you would use them, and nobody I asked could tell me either.  I suppose I should have asked the stallholders, but they were very busy.  May be I need to get on to Youtube and take a look. 

We have had several new fabrics in this week, some have a novelty theme which we hope might be suitable for children.

I love these ones, particularly the little elephants, both are by Michael Miller.  The cat fabric below is actually much nicer than the photograph shows, but it is selling well.  People seem to love cat fabric!

Continuing with the animal theme, we couldn't resist these rabbits!  This fabric is by Sevenberry.
Finally we loved these toadstools.  Let's hope everyone else does!

Debby ran a workshop on Bucket Bags last week, as usual there was a waiting list for this one, it always seems to be very popular.  We also ran our first Know your Sewing Machine Course this week.  A friend of ours Angela ran this.  Again we have a waiting list for it so will be running it again.  It seems like everyone wants to sew at present which is good news for us!

I have been busy making samples for a Stars and Stripes Workshop which I am running in June.  Time does not seem to be on my side at present.  I will be away for a couple of weeks from next week so need to get them completed.  I am just about there.  I found the idea for this in a book I have called The Quilter's Book of Days.  I felt that offering a workshop called Stars and Stripes that I needed to have at least one sample that was red, white and blue!

I quite liked this one,  the photograph does not do the colours any justice at all, but I am sure you get the idea!  I have made a couple of other samples, and just need to make a wonky star, which for some reason I keep putting off!  I have two days left in which to complete it, so need to get my skates on!

We had three of our fabrics featured in Sewing World this month in a section called Summer in the City.  It's always exciting when you see your fabric and the name of the shop in a magazine.  There has been quite a good response and we have sold quite a bit of it.  The editor saw a photograph of one of the pieces on our Facebook page and asked if we had any more.  Sometimes you beaver away at blogs and Facebook and wonder if it is worth it, and then something like that happens, and you realise that yes it is!  We also have two cushions which will be featured in Sewing World next month, so that will also be something to get excited about!  We are very sad!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Once again a whole month has gone by and I haven't posted anything.  Both Debby and I have been busy the last month - I suppose that is obvious really!

We have had several workshops including bags, cushions, log cabin and variations, and jelly rolls.  The jelly roll workshops are always very popular and fill up quickly.  I find it strange because I like layer cakes, but those workshops just don't seem so popular - perhaps it's me!  I took the log cabin workshop, I was really keen to do some wonky log cabins, however, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be!  Below is my first attempt which turned out OK, but you have to be careful that you don't make it too wonky!
The next one was made as one large piece that I cut into 4 and stitched back together.  I thought I would use some colours that I don't normally go for, well except for the pink!  I quite liked it, but just left it as a sample, as it was too large for a cushion or a bag, and I couldn't seem myself making a quilt with these colours.
I have been working on the quilt below for a layer workshop which I will be running tomorrow.  I have put the top together, and hopefully will put the quilt together tonight, ready for quilting which I will do by hand, when I get round to it.
This is made from a layer cake called 2wenty-thr3e, no it isn't a mistake that is what it says on the label.    It was supposed to be split into light and dark, but it was quite difficult to do, so many were neither one or the other, but it's turned out OK.  There is a small border made from the left over fabrics as is the binding.  I going to back it in calico.
My next project is going to be a top for the window, and hopefully one or two for me for my holiday.  I saw the pattern when I popped into Bredon's in Taunton last week.  Terin (I hope I have spelt her named correctly!) had it on the counter as she was planning on using it, I love little cotton tops rather than t-shirts which I find too hot when I am somewhere hot, which I will be soon.  If I make the top for the window, I am also going to have to make a skirt!
We have been selling a lot of fabric for dressmaking.  I put a dress in the window which lots of people have commented on, although one or two people didn't seem to realise that I had made it with fabric that we sell!  I really do think the Great British Sewing Bee has helped.  I loved every minute of it, and thought the correct person won.  I understand that they are already recruiting for next year, and that there will be 6 episodes with more contestants.
I had last week off,  We went to a wedding just outside Cardiff.  My daughter Katie's close friend Vicky got married.  Katie and my grand-daughter Georgia were bridesmaids, and I made their dresses.  Unfortunately all the photographs are on my husband's camera which I don't have in the shop.  It was also Katie's birthday.  The weather was glorious and it was just a lovely day.  I also made 40 odd metres of bunting which looked great, and took a couple of orders for other weddings on the day!  Vicky had been collecting vintage china for the last year or so, and all the flowers on the tables were arranged in old teapots,   There were china cups and saucers on the table and we all drank tea out of them after the meal.  Needless to say my husband wanted coffee - there is always one.  Inside the cups were beautiful heart shaped biscuits, it was all fantastic.
Hopefully I won't take so long before I do another post, but don't hold your breath, I am off to Rhodes at the end of the month.  If you are interested in what's going on we are a little better at posting on Facebook.