Tuesday 14 July 2020

Cosby Yarn Bomb

Sue Wilson has started to put together the second section of the yarn bombing for Cosby.  They are work in progress and we still need more leaves and flowers and snakes and a Bagheera.  

Contact Sue Wilson 07840 204543 or Jan Gamble 0116 2867996 if you want to help or have any items already made.

Gillymac Courses

Pat and 4 other people did Gill's 2020 doodle challenge for five weeks and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are interested in free machine quilting Gill has an offer on her website for the last three years doodles for £25.  There are 80 doodles in all.  Pat says that it can become quite addictive and something different to do.  You can, if you want, just draw the doodles and not sew.  Here are some examples of of Pat's doodles.

Gill's NewsLetter

80 Doodles to Improve your FMQ and a bonus Ebook

The third and final doodle challenge finished last weekend. It was AMAZING. We had people doodling and Free Motion Quilting in the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Australia.  I have created a video package of all the tutorials for the past three years and a bonus ebook is to be added to this bundle shortly to make it easier to reference the 80 doodle videos in the package. 
To access all the 2018/2019/2020 Doodle videos,  the Facebook group, which will stay open during this year, and receive the ebook during August, the link is here

Teen Sewing & Sustainable Fashion
I have created a free Summer Sewing Video Series for Teens. In fact, it is perfect for younger children as well if there is adult supervision. Sustainable fashion will only be a reality once teens are able to understand the work that goes into every garment they buy.

The free classes cover sewing scrunchies, bunting, drawstring bags, a soft toy and a reversible tote bag. 

The video series is completely free – it is being covered by Berkshire Life and the Daily Express 🤞🏻 over the Summer, so do take advantage of it – whatever age you are. 

All class are taught via Zoom and all come with accompanying video tutorials accessible via my website and yours to own forever. If you have never used Zoom - don't worry, I will help you. 😊

GillyMac 2020 Virtual Retreat
I am thrilled to announce that next Monday the Winter 2020 GillyMac Virtual Retreat goes on sale. The retreat takes place from 23rd-25th October and the project is my latest quilt, Flower Power. I have a feeling that places will fly out the door for this one so if you want to know more then keep an eye out Monday 20th July when I will email a reminder to you all that booking has open. 

Thank you for reading this update. I hope to sew with you soon. 

Warmest Wishes, Gill 


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Sunday 5 July 2020

5th July 2020 - Members Projects

Pam has completed a wall hanging started twenty months ago and has been inspired to finish it and it now hangs in her stair well.

Thursday 2 July 2020

Thankful project

Example, further examples at the end

The Thankful Project

The THANKFUL project is something that has been created in response to our current Health Care crisis. We are living in unknown territory which will have a lasting effect on many people and its effects broad and undiscriminating. Lives are being transformed by working and living in isolation, and the news only delivers more sad stories and statistics.

 It could be very easy to let anxiety and sadness take over during these times. This project aims to address this through focusing on the things we are Thankful for , and an opportunity to show gratitude whilst not only taking part in an activity that is so good for you but as a way of documenting this time , what it has meant to individuals and how it may have forced us to re-evaluate what is important in life .


We would like to create a communal Art piece made up of individual ‘patches ‘of fabric to communicate and reflect our feelings of gratitude during this time of isolation. Using any fabric you have available : leftover fabric scraps , old clothes , old linen , a tea towel . We would like you to hand embroider and / or Applique  apply one fabric to another ) onto it using words or imagery to answer the brief ‘I AM THANKFUL FOR ‘ . There is no right or wrong answer, it will be unique and personal to you some examples could be, my dog, family , friends, sunshine , laughter , music , the Sky[41]  ,my sister  Chocolate , my settee . The possibilities are endless and you are welcome to do more than one if you like. Your Patch will be sewn together to form part of a large Art Patchwork which we hope to display in community venues across the Leicester City.  Workshops will be on offer in order to bring Patches and people together, giving participants the opportunity to discuss their Patch , what it means to them , and document it in writing in order to keep a record of this unpresented , strange and scary times . We hope to move the Art Piece  around different venues in Leicester/ Leicestershire , with the aim for viewers to connect with it , react to it and be given the opportunity to contribute to the written documentation .


The traditional practice of patchworking came from using leftover fabric and whatever was available to create something useful. Patchworks became treasured pieces made up of meaningful scraps where memories came alive. PATCHWORKS are unique, individual pieces full of love, and memories … Our THANKFUL PATCHWORK will work in just the same way, bringing personal stories of gratitude together to create and document THANKS.


 According to Recent research published by the University College London’s MARCH mental health network , formed in 2018 with Members including the Crafts Council  and the Museums association shows that engaging with the Visual Arts can reduce Anxiety , Depression and loneliness . The Arts are linked with dopamine release which encourages cognitive flexibility, and they can reportedly  reduce our risk of dementia .  Being totally absorbed in an activity either , sporting or creative can Psychologists report create what is known as the ‘FLOW’ state where your mind is totally absorbed into an activity , your thoughts are only ‘IN ‘ what you are doing and not playfully distracted by other things going on around you , this is really good for your mind


The fabric you choose should be non stretchy and measure either-




Embellish your patch using your chosen technique to communicate whatever you feel THANKFUL for.


Once You’ve created your patch we’d love for you to share it on our FB page or if you’d prefer email a picture to – katie.barradell@dmu.ac.uk.

After this period of isolation is over you will have the opportunity to come along to a workshop at the Leicester DMU Gallery to share what you have created with other participants. The aim will be to join the patches together, share experiences and document by reflecting in writing what you have been THANKFUL for during this time. If you can’t or don’t want to visit a workshop then you can post your patch to us and we will add your Patch on your behalf. Postal to Katie Barradell , Vijay Patel , Mill Lane , Leicester LE2 7FA


This project is open to anyone living in Leicester or Leicestershire or anyone who has a connection with Leicester e.g Students previously/ currently studying here. We will be offering workshops to support the making of the patches and are currently planning these for Autumn 2020.

2 July 2020 Members Projects

Vicky Cooper has made a cushion for a birthday present.

She has also been trying out a new technique.  Herma de Ruiter's technique involves sewing in circles.  She is really enjoying it, but still has a long way to go.

She also wanted to let us know that the Fabric Guild are using click and collect and has found it easy to use and it works well.  She also said that sometimes they close the online shop, while they are sorting orders, but then re open once they have cleared the backlog.

Yarn Bombing

Jan Gamble has created a collage of the first 8 foot of the church railings.

The yarn bombing will go ahead towards the end of August.  Our theme is the jungle book.  We are still looking for jungle leaves, flowers, plants and animals.  Sue Wilson and Jan Gamble are co-ordinating this, please call them with details of your makes and any questions/comments they will be able to help.

Sue Wilson 07840 204543 and Jan Gamble 0116 286 7996 

2nd July 2020 - Members projects

Gina has sent in a photo of a few masks

This is her Wall Hanging started at last years Deborah O'Hare Workshop.  It involved using various sizes of the same design, some painting along with both hand and machine quilting to bring it all together.  The hardest part is knowing when to stop stitching.