November 2014 Newsletter

Hurrah, Autumn is here, and with it the wet and blustery weather. With the shelves full of exciting Christmas fabrics and the new Spring collection, we need no excuse to sit down and start sewing.

New Arrivals

Fabrics are arriving all the time; Lewis and Irene’s ‘Arboretum’ is a gorgeous collection, in addition they have supplied me with bolts of velvety calico and Osnaburg “Linen” both perfect for all stitchery,and their New Forest range arrived yesterday.

Robert Kaufman’s Fusions are just yummy and blend with all our fabrics.  I also have a selection of Robert Kaufman’s Black & White Collection and an exciting mixture of Jelly Rolls and Dashwood Fat Quarter Bundles – something for everyone



New Forest

We now have Prym products in stock including the 1/4 inch quilter’s ruler, stitch ripper and bobbin ring. Although slightly more expensive Prym are excellent quality with an innovative ergonomic design, including their new magnetic needle holder, an ideal Christmas gift.

Talking of gifts don’t forget that I have Gift Vouchers for sale, perfect for that difficult Christmas present!!

Also in stock are Janome bobbins and a selection of scissors. We are also able to order a wide range of Janome accessories.
My range of stock is growing all the time, your comments are all highly valued, if there is an item you require let me know.

Workshop reports

September began with Beginners Machine Embroidery, a day in which students progressed from terrified to confident under their tutor Karen Fanzo.

Gone to Seed with Janet Gibbons involved stitching various natural fibres onto a backing fabric, the whole piece was then dyed using coffee. The following week paper Honesty and Poppy seed heads were free machined onto the fabric. The aroma of coffee filled the workshop for weeks, with lots of wonderful results, from everyday items.

Beginners Appliqué with Jean Bartlett was a steep learning curve for many who were delighted to leave with yet another transferrable skill tucked under their belts. Look out for more workshops with Jean later in the New Year.

Stitch and Design with Gwen Hartley is in its third week with students now at the fabric and stitch stage, very exciting with a wide range of designs coming to fruition. Hopefully some will be exhibited for you to see on our Open Day.

One of Gwens students commented

“What a wonderful day Friday……….. so exhilerated!  Pleased you opened your shop and run courses. So handy for me, it works well. Thank you so much.

Wonderful shop, well done. Wish you well and many happy days”.



My favourite workshop was Flowers, Cupcakes and Fun with Karen Fanzo. It was really amazing to see all the young ladies totally engrossed with their sewing machines and at the end of the day produced some truly stunning finished pictures. Mums weren’t that bad either! We definitely will be holding this class again or something very similar during the holidays. Perhaps a simple skirt, keep an eye out for dates.


Janet with her Grandaughter.



Just stunning results !

After the class I had a lovely Email from Janet

“Many thanks for a great day.Excellent tutor, a well planned day and good to see the young girls enjoying sewing”.

Sorry Mums photo opportunities next time.


On a very sad note we received news of the death of Llinos Spriggs, a friend of many years who recently taught Goldwork and Illuminated Letters at Thimblestitch. Llinos was a most wonderful, talented and generous tutor who, with her husband, recently retired from their Printing business, so that Llinos could concentrate on teaching. Our thoughts go out to her husband Chris and family.


Crochet groups have progressed from ‘Granny squares’ to more ambitious projects and new “hookers” are always welcome to join this group.

Due to demand we are arranging a Drop in Day, this will give you a chance to layer up your quilt in peace and quiet, away from home with the space and facilities you need.

 This day can also be used to finish off  those Unfinished Objects (UFO’s), and unlike the Work in Progress Days will not involve direct classroom assistance.  However on these occasions, I will be on hand to give guidance whilst the shop permits. These days will be starting in the New Year on a booking system.  Please let me know if you are interested.

Forthcoming Workshops

Tipsy Christmas

Thursday 6th November – Beginners and Improvers Crochet with Barbara Brook, this is an ongoing group, beginners and accomplished crochet stylists are very welcome.

Thursday 6th November – Dressmaking with Karen Fanzo, this is the beginning of a six week course, 1-3pm, for beginners or those with some skill who might wish to update.  Karen will start with fabric selection through to the finished article.  There are 4 vacant places left on this course, with a new course starting again 15th January 2015. We will be also adding another evening Class.
Tuesday 11th November – Tipsy Christmas, with Dee Spence-Thomas is a small Christmas wallhanging using up all those small scraps of Seasonal fabric, incorporating a traditional block with fun appliqué.

Saturday 15th November – Beaded Embroidery with Sue Cattell.  Make a really beautiful Brooch or, if you are feeling very ambitious, a bracelet. Kit provided.
Monday 17th November – Computerised Machine Embroidery with Chris Peckham 10am till 1pm. Those who came to the first class found Chris’s knowledge invaluable. Never too late to start, this class is for all abilities.
Friday 28th November – Silk Trail with Dee Spence-Thomas, an easy bright wallhanging, made of silk, embellishments and embroidery.  Using sewing machine and hand stitching.  Kits supplied if necessary.

Thursday 4th December – Block printing and Machine Stitching with Dee Priest.  Suitable for intermediate students.  Printing onto organza, enhanced with machine stitching.
Saturday 13th December – Christmas Embellishment with Sandra Coleridge.  Relax into the Christmas spirit with Sandra and mince pies.


Friday 9th January – Rag Rug Day with Zoe Hughes.  Design and start your own rag rug, made from treasured cast offs, this class has proved very popular, and there are a few spaces left.

Other News

The Craft Day held at Honiton Beehive centre was a great success, and gave Thimblestitch a chance to display a small selection of fabrics and samples from our Workshops and classes. With an eye-catching Thimblestitch logo we attracted crowds. The most popular were the Christmas bunting packs, a variety of pre-cut triangles and tape, together with bundles of the new Lewis and Irene fabrics; fat quarter’s bundles were snapped up. Great interest was shown in the Workshops with numerous bookings. We have a few bunting and fat quarter bundles left over for sale in the shop – but hurry!  Thank you to all who made the day such a success and we look forward to meeting you again at Thimblestitch.

Open Day – 22nd November from 10am, preparations are well in hand, with offers from Workshop and Work in Progress students to display their projects.  Please let me know as soon as possible the dimensions and details of your work so that we can allocate space. My partner Pete has offered to provide the celebration Bubbly! Don’t forget to bring a friend and a small plate of finger food to share.

An Autumn clearout has inspired us to offer our Celebration Day as an opportunity for you to bring along ALL those UFO’s that you know will never be finished but might be some ones treasure, each item can be swopped for a UFO that will give you a challenge.

I still cannot believe that it’s a year since Thimblestitch opened.

Last but not Least

Thimblestitch will be closed Christmas Eve Wednesday 24th December and re-open on Friday 2nd January 2015.  Our opening hours will remain the same for the remainder of the year, except that Thimblestitch will close at 4pm.

After Christmas we shall be open Tuesday to Saturday inclusive 9am until 4pm.
If you are having problems opening the photographs within this email, click ‘web version’ in the top left hand corner and all shall be revealed.
Many thanks for everyone’s support and continued custom