Regular Customer Anne wins ‘Quilt now’ competition

Last month I spent a day at Janome HQ in Stockport as one of 8 lucky winners of a Quilt Now magazine competition entitled The Story of my Quilt. Cindy Cloward of Riley Blake Designs led a workshop showing us how to do a block from their Sweetie Pie quilt.
As a keen, but novice quilter, I was very excited to be there but slightly apprehensive in case I was out of my depth but Cindy and everyone at Janome, EQS and the magazine publishers made us feel very welcome. We were all thoroughly spoilt with gorgeous cakes, a lovely buffet lunch and lots of quilting goodies to go home with.
Cindy started the day with a presentation about Riley Blake which she runs with her husband Brett, and her own needlework and quilting experiences. She showed examples of her quilts and talked about the Riley Blake designs and the process of printing fabrics. Cindy left us in no doubt that the quality of the fabric is paramount in quilt making.
We then went on to making our blocks. We cut 16 pie slices and sewed them all together to make a pie unit and then chose a fruit for the pie centre, which we appliqued onto a piece of pin dot material which in turn was appliqued onto a pin dot pie block. The room was a hive of activity with all of us working at our own pace but hoping to get the block finished by the end of the day. Cutting mats, rotary cutters and machines were set up for each of us. All equipment and materials were provided and ironing boards were on hand for the constant pressing of seams.
As we worked, Cindy asked each of us to share our quilt stories which ranged from a quilter’s husband doing a quilt just to prove he could, to a lady sewing together all the bunting from her friend’s wedding to make a stunning quilt.
My story began with me enrolling on a quilting workshop with Caroline Francis-Payne here at Millie Moon (their first:  was it really 9 years ago?!) and getting the quilting bug so that every subsequent family event has had to be commemorated with a quilt.This included my son going to uni and how I had to sew his festival wristbands onto his quilt and how I am, 5 years on, still sewing festival wristbands on to his quilt!
I left Stockport for my long train journey back to Frome feeling tired but happy, with armfuls of quilting paraphernalia and a starting block for my Sweetie Pie quilt!

Anne, 3rd from the right

A big thank you to Anne for sharing her day with us. If you would like to have a go at patchwork and Quilting then get in touch. We run regular classes and workshops for beginners at the shop. Have a look on the website or give us a call 01373 464437

Anna chats about working with the new lace and jersey fabric

Hello! I’m back from holiday (we were very lucky with the weather, I’m glad it wasn’t this week!) and as promised here’s a little more about making my new t shirts from the lace and jersey materials…


I didn’t use paper patterns for the t shirts, instead I made patterns from t shirts I have and like – making your own patterns in this way is surprisingly easy, especially with stretch materials/looser fits which require little or no shaping, they are basically just 2 pieces – a front and a back! Just lay the garments out flat and draw around onto dressmakers tracing paper, adding seam allowances at the sides, shoulders and where needed for hems/necklines.


The main seams on the jersey t shirt were put together on my overlocker, using 4 threads/2 needles – overlockers are the best for sewing stretch, although you can do it without one by using a small zig zag stitch. I overlocked and turned the sleeve and waist hems, topstitching on my regular sewing machine, with a ballpoint needle of course! My machine doesn’t really like using twin needles so I didn’t push my luck, but if yours does this would be ideal. I made matching jersey binding for the neckline – did you know stretch binding doesn’t have to be cut on the bias? The jersey handled really well, it does tend to stretch out a little as you work with it and you have to be careful not to pull it out of shape, but I was pleased with how it springs back into shape if you steam as you go along.



The Lace t shirt is based on a cream one I’ve worn loads, it’s unlined and you wear a vest top underneath. To make it neat as it’s sheer I french seamed the shoulder and side seams. For the hem I trimmed around the edge of a scallop in the lace – this is some thing I often do with bridal dresses, it’s a bit fiddly cutting along the motif and you have to test to check it will not unravel, but it gives a lovely delicate finish and shows off the lace. I also did something similar for the sleeve and neck bindings, which I machined on and then hand stitched along the motif edges so there is no topstitching showing.

The t shirts were quick and easy to make and have washed well, I’m particularly impressed with the jersey as it is a really nice in between weight and isn’t at all see through. Next up I’ve got some of the lace in yellow ready to make a skirt, although I think Becki has beaten me to it…..


Anna x

Say hello to ‘Vic’ and the new ‘Teens with machines’ sewing club

Vic has worked with us in the Frome shop for the last six years. She has been the creative genius behind so many of our popular workshops. Teaching Roman Blind making, Lampshade making and superhero capes to name a few. Now Vic is starting up a teen club at the shop. Here we find a bit more about our ‘fromemaid”  and her hopes for the new club.

1) When did you first get bitten by the crafting bug?

I suffered through needlework classes at school, and it wasn’t until I went to the local comprehensive school that we were allowed to design our own projects. I made a pink satin cushion in the shape of a scalloped shell. I loved it, and they put it in the cabinet in reception!

I then had a bit of a break, bar a couple of pinafore dresses and laundry bags, until I became a Mum, and was inspired to start making things again. I wanted fun, funky things for my son, and decided the best way to do that was to make my own.

2) What sorts of things do you like to make?

With my son getting older, I have focused more on making my own soft furnishings, cushions, quilts, Roman blinds and lampshades.I have also made new curtains and slip covers for our campervan. This year I plan to update our bedroom soft furnishings and make a picnic blanket for the van; the components for which I have had for about four years! The Roman blinds and lampshade workshops I have been running have proven to be ever so popular and I love seeing peoples’ delight at the end of each session as they go home with something that have made and feel proud of!  I do find myself making indie versions of things on a similar tilt to a lot of the mass produced tween/teen accessories lately and this is inspiring a new set of workshops at Millie Moon.

Next lampshade making workshop     – 14th May 2017 & 18th June 2017
Next Roman Blind making workshop – 14th May 2017 & 18th June 2017

3) Which tool is indispensable in your sewing kit?

I am still  completely in love with disappearing ink felt-tips, I am quite obessive about making sure I have a working one in my kit at all times!  I find they really help for the experimental stages when making up the first of a new design. I also love it for blind making. Nowadays I use a rotary cutter and cutting board for most projects and these are the best (crafting) presents I have ever had: The making process is so much quicker and more accurate with them


4) Who inspires you creatively?

I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs. I love a bit of Pinterest! I also loved watching the Sewing Bee.  There is no one particular person: Anyone who has and idea and has a go is inspiring to me.

I have a Facebook page:  Fromemaid where I put photos of my makes and workshops.

5) Tell us a bit about the new “Teens with machines” sewing club

Designed for the older students (ages 12years+) who want to learn to sew with a machine, or develop the skills they have used in school.  We will be starting with simple projects. First week we are making wired headbands, just so I can get a feel of the students abilities, experience and knowledge. I am hoping then this will lead on to bigger and bolder exciting  projects inspired by the students themselves. Lets see what happens!


The teens with machines club starts on Saturday 20th May and will run on the 3rd Saturday of every month from 10.30-12.30pm.

 £20 per session or special offer now on book 3 sessions for £50

The first 3 sessions are set projects to ascertain abilities. These will include materials, equipment and refreshments.

For more information on the teens club or any of Fromemaid’s upcoming workshops please go to our website, email us or give us a call 01373 464437

New Dressmaking master class with Anna

Wow, May is here! Here’s a bit more info about a new 4 week evening class I’ve got starting at Millie Moon Shop, before silly summer season kicks in……

The classes are aimed at improving dressmakers, those who are a bit rusty and need a refresher, those who have a project on the go and need help fine tuning their skills to get a good finish, or those who are between projects and want to refine their skills before taking on something new (that’s about everyone covered then!!) Book a single evening if you can’t make them all for £20 or all 4 for £60 – bargain.

Night 1 – Tues 16th May – Paper patterns – Where to start, how to read, measure, what fabric, laying out, cutting and making, everything you need to know to get set to sew.

Night 2 – Tues 23rd May – Zips and Buttonholes – master regular zips, concealed zips and buttonholes – make a sample of each for reference, notes with photos included.

Night 3 – Tues 30th May – Hems, Finishing touches and a mini machine service! – Binding, edge finishes and lots of different hems to look at/make samples of, plus a little bit on how to maintain your machine.

Night 4 – Tues 6th June – Stretch fabrics – another challenge, try out sewing stretch fabrics with and without an overlocker, more sample making for your collection.

Each evening runs from 6-8pm, tea and biscuits are provided, just bring a notebook/folder for notes (a few materials are needed along the way, but are all available on the night.) Any questions shout.

Anna x

You can find out more about Anna on her Facebook page  – anna vickery – seamstress and dressmaking tutor