My Favorite Fabric Shops

What makes a good fabric shop? 

It depends on what you are wanting to do and with my interests being quilting and dressmaking I am on the lookout for a variety of shops and on- line stores. 

Local to me, my most favorite shop is Masons in Abingdon, if you can’t find it there, it’s probably not available. You can go in and buy one button at 2p or you can purchase all kinds of fabric in 10cm increments. They have accessories, sewing machines, thread, wadding and much much more.

I am very lucky I have Banbury Sewing Centre, Bicester Fabrics, Bicester Wools, Freelance Fabrics and Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre all relatively close to me. Traveling a little further afield, I love visiting Birmingham Rag Market which normally runs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with Tuesday being the best day for fabric. I love browsing all the Indian fabrics which are so decorated in embellishments and always brilliant vibrant colours but if you are looking for a bargain then the  £1 a metre stalls are always worth a look. 

Birmingham Rag Market

If you are visiting the Rag Market, the The Fancy Silk Store is a must as it is right by the market. This store is set over 4 floors and you cannot see the walls for fabrics, every inch of this shop has fabric including bridle, curtain, dress, furnishing, evening and theatre fabric. If this wasn’t enough, Barry’s is another one to visit a short drive away. 

One other store I must mention which Vicky and I came across at the Knitting and Stitching Show at the NEC, Birmingham and visited in Bradford is Bombay Stores, the UK’s largest Asian Department store.

Bombay Stores. Bradford

A little further afield in Florida last year I researched possible fabric stores to visit whilst on holiday. 

was on my list,which is like one of our department stores with a fantastic fabric section. 

is a whole store for arts and crafts, a bit like our Hobby Craft but on an American scale!

I have to admit I also had some fabric posted to our hotel from an online retailer while out there. 

have the best selection of tulle I have ever seen and I was wanting to make a Minnie Mouse dress at the time for my little girl which required soft tulle.

Pom Pom Dress, Tulle, America, Minnie Mouse,
Ponk Ponk Dress

A couple of my favorite on-line stores at the moment are Elephant in My Handbag , Flamingo Fabrics and The Fat Quarter  I use a lot of jersey and french terry and the first two are great for this and The Fat Quarter is brilliant for quilting and patchwork fabrics.

My latest discovery which was right under my nose is The Tartan Reel in Brackley owned by Janey. I went to see Janey a few weeks ago regarding Carry on Quilting and we chatted for ages about fabric. What struck me most about Janey’s shop is her wall of Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton.  Every colour you could ever ask for. Our chat resulted in a part time position working with Janey, what more could I ask for?

Th Tartan Reel, Brackley

Take Care 


Quilting Journey

My Quilting Journey

Upon discovering a workshop, Stephanie and I decided to share it and make it our sewing workshop leading to us being able to spend time together doing a hobby we both love.

Stephanie decided to use the space exclusively for her quilting project as I decided to use it for everything to take the pressure of my very small house.  

Then lockdown hit us and we had to put these plans on hold and it was possible I would be unable to see Stephanie for what could be weeks! This got me thinking “What the heck and I going to do all day long at home for potentially months?”

I dug out all my scraps and remnants and decided to have a go at a simple square patchwork 

quilt. So The Lockdown Quilt project was born. It was the perfect project, made of all the leftovers of projects past, like my wedding dress.  I really enjoyed making the Lockdown Quilt and was a bit disappointed when it was finished.

But my friend Hannah then announced that she was expecting a baby. Wait a moment I thought – I have an idea for a perfect gift….(pictured)

Stephanie and I were having a natter one day at the unit once we were allowed out again and we thought it could be fun to learn more quilting skills and what better way than to run some courses in our space so other people could come along on this journey with us. This is how Carry on Quilting was born.

Now our workshop is up and running, we’re doing all these courses and I’m the first in the queue for them all.  Our new courses will be published soon for next year.

Look out for my second blog to see how I am getting along.

Take care



Lazy Sunday Morning – Part 2

Its Paper Foundation Piecing Technique!

I bought the book…

Kaffe Fassett’s Shots and Stripes Book

All his other books can be seen on his website in this link Kaffe Fassett’s books

Upon reading the story behind the quilt, the words ‘rather tricky’ and  ‘not good for beginner paper piecer’ made me realise it was a more advanced technique,and I was in awe of how it is created.

African Collage designs feature in Kaffee Fasset’s ‘Shots and Stripes’ book which is full of marvelous designs from his shot cotton and striped fabric range. Whilst flicking through the book I was very taken with his Samarkand Table Runner.

Kaffees inspiration for this quilt was the fairground shown in this picture and I just love how he has gone from this picture to the bright, vibrant colours and angles of the table runner. 

This book opened up my world to Kaffee Fassett and his extensive range of quilt designs and many books he has  published. One of those books is called ‘Quilts in the Cotswolds’. I thought this might be good for course ideas for Carry on Quilting.  So this book might have also fallen into my Amazon basket along with a charm pack of his fabric. 

I am looking forward to working with these books and fabric very soon.

Take care 



Lazy Sunday Morning


Whilst laid in bed one Sunday morning looking at my phone like I expect a lot of us do, this quilt on Pinterest caught my eye. I sat staring at it trying to work out how it is sewn together. Is it sewn in rows or sections? Is it foundations piecing? I just couldn’t, and still havent worked it all out! 

So…..this started me looking into it a bit more with the help of Google.

After a little searching I discovered it is a design by Frank Havrah “Kaffe” Fassett, MBE, an American-born artist who is most famous for his colourful designs in the decorative arts.

He is known for many arts but my interest is in his design of fabric. His work with fabric features an urban, contemporary edge with a bold, adventurous sense of colour, perfect for modern quilts.  I love bold bright colours with my favorites being pinks, purples and greens. 

I have discovered this mezemising quilt, designed by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior is called ‘Lucy’ from their book Shots and Stripes which I have on order as I am so intrigued to find out how this fantastic pattern has been created.  Do have a look at his website, I hope you will find it as inspiring and interesting as I have.

I may be a little late to the party but the more I delve into this gentleman’s career spanning over the last 50 years, the more I want to find out about his work.

I haven’t finished my research here as his work really intrigues me and one of his books is titled ‘Quilts in the Cotswold’ which I am very excited about receiving and hopefully we will be inspired to create a course using his fabric here at Carry on Quilting.

Take care until next time.