Folk Flora from 3 Wishes

folk flora patchwork

Designed by Caroline Alfreds for 3 Wishes, this new quality fabric is a must for making beautiful quilts and home décor accessories. Featuring a whimsical patchwork of folk fabrics with flowers and butterflies in deep greens and vibrant pinks it is just perfect for patchwork and quilting, tops and t-shirts requiring some structure, accessories and home decor.

Plus you can download a FREE quilt pattern using this collection on the 3 Wishes website!


folk flora free quilt pattern

Fun Ways To Celebrate National Embroidery Month

February is recognised for different things, Valentines Day, Black History Month or if you’re into food, Nutella Day (the 5th if you’re interested). However, did you know, it’s also National Embroidery Month?

So just for fun, here are 20 ideas to help you celebrate National Embroidery Month!

1.  Work in Progress:  Select one embroidery project that you have in progress and finish it by the end of the month.

2.  What about trying stitching on something other than fabric – have a go on paper.

3.  Re-organise all your threads, needles and notions.                      

4.  Make something new with your embroidery, if you normally frame your work, what about stitching on a pillow or tote bag.

5.  Treat yourself.  Buy a new tool you’ve been wanting.  A new pair of scissors or needle minder.  The Hemline Gold range is created with environmental consciousness in mind.  No plastic and fully recyclable packaging.

6.  Set yourself a time just for you to stitch.  Don’t be distracted.  Make it a quiet moment for you.  Listen to your favourite music, have a glass of your favourite tipple.

7.  Challenge yourself to learn about different types of embroidery.  Have a go at counted, gold work, blackwork, traditional embroidery or sashiko.

8.  What about experimenting with some freehand embroidery.

9.  Invest in a sit-on embroidery frame – perfect to free up your hands.

10. Maybe present your work in a different way.  If you always display your stitchery in a hoop, maybe frame it or stretch it over a canvas frame.

11.  Have a go with different threads, have a go with silk ribbons or tapestry wool.

12.  Embellish a garment or bag.  Or cover a stain or tear.

13.  Enhance a project with sequins, beads or crystals.

14. If you have time, what about setting yourself a challenge – stitch a new project each month.

15.  Join an embroidery class.  Learn new stitches and meet new people.

16. Have a crafting evening at home and invite over a few friends for a get together.

17.  Create an embroidered gift for someone.

18. If you’re travelling, carry a small project with you and have the pleasure of stitching anywhere.

19.  Experiment turning your work into mixed media by adding painted details to your project. 

20.  Choose a new pattern to stitch from our shop.

Finally, come and visit us in store, admire our display celebrating National Embroidery Month.  Find a new kit or even a new skill and have a go!

Stitching on a New Medium

Ever considered stitching onto something other than fabric?  What about stitching on card?  In fact, you could stitch onto anything that you can make holes in – plastic, wood, even metal.

You will need:

  • Your design drawn or printed on paper.
  • A Sharp needle
  • Card in your choice of colour, 190gsm is ideal.  Thicker card is more difficult to pierce holes in, paper is too thin,
  • Scissors
  • DMC Floss
  • Craft or Masking tape
  • Pencil and rubber (optional)

Step 1:  Stick your design onto your card with masking tape.

Step 2:  Use the sharp needle to pierce holes evenly along the lines of the design.  Don’t get them too close together or the card may rip when you’re stitching and of course, keep your finger’s out of the way.

Alternatively, you could draw your design onto the card with a pencil, pierce the holes then rub out your pencil lines.

Step 3:   Thread your needle and sew.  Don’t pull your thread to tightly as the card may rip.

Use evenly spaced running stitch for lettering from start to finish and then back again to fill in the gaps.

Send your creation in a card mount as a birthday card or as a gift tag.  Even pop it in a frame.

Dressmaking: A beginner’s guide to patterns.

A sewing pattern is the place for a beginner to dressmaking to make a start.  As well as an envelope containing pattern pieces and instructions there is the envelope itself which is full of information. Not all pattern envelopes are laid out in the same way but the information provided is the same.  To be successful as a dressmaker you need to understand the pattern. 

The back of the envelope shows two measurements:  body measurements and sizes for the finished garment.  You will find fabric recommendations and the amount of fabric you will need for the different sizes.  In addition, there will be drawings of the variations of the garment, sometimes called technical images or line art.  You will also see a list of the notions or haberdashery you will need ie zips, interfacing etc.   The information may also be provided in French or Spanish alongside the English.

Most patterns give you a guide as to how difficult the pattern will be.  Easy/Intermediate/Complex.  If you’re a complete beginner, try an easy pattern to start with.  Some manufacturers have “learn to sew” patterns created with a complete beginner in mind, full of tips and advice.

Fabric & Notions

Recommended Fabric   For you to make the garment and achieve the intended look follow the recommended fabrics.  A flowy skirt or fitted jacket would look wrong in t-shirt jersey.  As a beginner it is important to follow the advice from the designer.  You don’t want to spend hours creating your garment to be unhappy with the finish because of the fabric you’ve chosen.  You may also need a lining fabric and contrasting fabrics.

If you’re unsure, have a chat to any of our staff who’ll be very happy to help.  Visit our website here to see a small selection of what we offer.

Fabric Requirements    This tells you the amount of fabric you’ll need based on your chosen size and the width of the fabric you are buying.  Always buy the amount advised – you don’t want to run out if you make a mistake.  Most dressmaking fabrics come on rolls or bolts in 2 approximate widths: 110cm/44” and 150cm/60”.

Notions     Don’t forget to buy these.  This is things like buttons, zips, elastic, trim. 

Not mentioned on an envelope but needed are needles and threads appropriate for your chosen fabric.  A denim needle will leave visible holes in a chiffon fabric.  An extra fine thread will not be appropriate for heavy duty corduroy.

You can see our haberdashery here and needles and thread here.


The line art or technical drawings show you the design details that are not always obvious in the photos.  You will see the variations of the pattern, for example sleeve options, different necklines or skirt lengths.  Things like darts and fastenings are more easily seen in the drawings.


You will see two sets of measurements:  the finished garment and your body measurements.  Sizes on the high street are not the same as dressmaking sizes.  Take your body measurements accurately and then look at the pattern for the size you’re going to make.  Many of us fall between sizes.  This is completely normal and you will use a pencil and a curve ruler (also called a French curve ruler:  click here to visit our website) to draw on your pattern to create a smooth cutting line between to two sizes.

The finished garment measurements are intended to give you an idea of how your garment will fit once finished.  These measurements allow you to choose with even greater accuracy the size you’re going to make.

This is where making your own garment allows such flexibility with size and fit.

We sell patterns from 3 manufacturers.  Visit us in store or our website.

Coniston Cutting Mat Bag

We love Bev Mayo’s handy cutting mat bag, and so do our customers! The log cabin design is easy to master with Bev’s helpful YouTube tutorials, and the padding ensures your cutting mat travels well and is protected. Why not get prepared for when both you and your craft supplies can hit the road again!

The bag will fit a 24” x 18” cutting mat with the actual size of the bag being 20” x 24” (51cm x 60cm).  There is room to spare for your cutting ruler and other items so creating patchwork on the move is made a little easier, and you can easily store all your tools together.  The log cabin pattern (and the rest of the bag) is made from four light tone and four dark tone fabrics. You can use your favourite colour scheme – purple and teal are very popular choices. This is also the perfect project to use up your scraps.

Here’s what you’ll need:

25cm of three light tone fabrics

1m of another light tone fabric

25cm of two dark toned fabrics

50cm of two more dark toned fabrics

2 pieces of calico (25″ x 21″)

2 pieces of wadding (25″ x 21″)

2 small pieces of wadding (2″ x 37″)

These are some of our collections that have been used to create this bag by our customers –

plus our range of Jospehine Wall fabrics would work look amazing 😀

Don’t forget to watch the three tutorial videos that accompany this pattern, especially if there are any techniques that you haven’t practised before. You can find all three below. Happy Crafting!

Star Buys 25th Feb – 9th March

The weather here has been so dreary that we can’t help thinking of Noah’s Ark. Nutex’s Little Noah collection of fabric and patterns has been very popular over the last few weeks, so we can’t be the only ones! As the drizzle continues, we’ve decided to take 10% off the whole collection, and we’ve thrown in a few other animal themed goodies too.

There are some delightful quilt patterns from Kid’s Quilts designed especially for this fabric – also with 10% off.

Plus we’ve also taken 10% off Kerry Lord’s amazing Edward’s Menagerie. Crochet your own Noah’s Ark with 40 unique animal patterns.

And we’ve also discounted Stylecraft’s Wondersoft Merry Go Round. 100% premium self-striping acrylic available in both brights and pastels. Only £3.60 per 100g and just perfect for baby and toddler knitting patterns.

You can find all of our current Star Buy offers here

Offer valid till midnight on Monday 2nd March 2020. Subject to stock availability.

My Darn Socks – a quick tutorial

I’m on a mission to improve my ‘make do and mend’ skills, primarily because I have some really lovely bamboo socks and also some yoga toe socks, neither of which are cheap so I have taught myself the diminishing skill of darning and thought you might want to give it a try!

Note: I’ve used contrasting thread to make the process clearer. By matching your thread to your sock the darn will almost vanish. Leftover yarn works well, or you can use stranded cotton for thinner socks.

Get a nice long darning needle – a mixed pack is good for different thread thicknesses and lengths. Stretch your sock over a darning mushroom to help get your tension right and make a circle of running stitches around the worn area. Pull in gently but not enough to make puckers around the damaged area. Secure your thread with several stitches on top of each other.

Begin to sew large ladder stitches across the hole to form the warp threads.

Turn back and add a further warp thread between every one of the gaps created earlier. Secure your thread. This is where I changed colour – if you want an interesting darn or find it easier to learn with two colours then change colour now.

Starting at the top of the warp threads, begin to weave across the weft threads. Go over one thread and under the next until you reach the other side. Make a small stitch at the end in line with your running stitches. Work back across the threads in the opposite direction, reversing the over and under weave. Continue in this way, pulling the threads reasonably taut across the mushroom as you go.

Gently push your weft threads to the top as you work so you can fill as much available space with thread for a good dense fabric. When you’ve completely filled your darned area then secure your thread. Work it through on the reverse of your fabric before trimming it off.

by Purple Boots

Feather & Flora

You just can’t really go wrong with birds and flowers, can you?

This beautiful collection from Elizabeth Isles at Studio E abounds with our delicate winged friends silhouetted amongst the flora in rich tones of blues, greens and purples.

There is very much a hint of traditional dying techniques and cyanotype photography in this modern craft cotton.

Not only useful as a blender, Studio E have designed two quilts that wholly use these fabrics to stunning effect. Have a look at these and other free patterns here.

Find our favourite selection of Feather and Floral from Studio E.