How The Story Begins
Hello and welcome to the brand new online store of The Patchwork Shop!
If you don’t know me, I used to run The Patchwork Shop in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. I completely loved my shop: the joy, laughter, friendship and community were second to none. After two years of working REALLY hard, the cost of being on the high street finally got to me, and despite many, many talks with all manner of financial experts and accountants to find a way through, I took the advice of those accountants, and closed my little shop.
To be honest with you, I was heartbroken. I felt ashamed, embarrassed and guilty and felt like I was letting down all my amazing customers.
It has taken me a long time to recover. For a year after I closed the shop, I couldn't even face going into my sewing room at home, never mind sew. But, slowly and surely (and then rather like a tsunami) I got back to machine. I cried with joy at the first thing I made after very many months.
A few months on and the universe, my partner and one of my closest friends gave me the kick up the behind I needed to get back to doing what I love the most in the world. Since I closed my shop, Covid ‘happened’, and the world shifted a little on its axis (did anyone else notice that??). And in that time, I’ve learned a LOT about the online space.
And so, here I am, back with a brand new online shop. I will be stocking a wide range of patchwork and quilting notions, tools and beautiful modern and contemporary fabrics. Please bear with me whilst I get everything back online (it’s a bit of a painful technical process!).
Watch out too for regular workshops and courses for both adults and children on all aspects of patchwork, quilting and sewing. These will be held online and in-person.
Whether you want to get into patchwork and quilting for the first time, have just started or are a complete expert, you are very welcome. If you need help or advice, make sure you join my new Facebook group here where we can have a virtual cuppa, a chat and share our makes...and you can get those questions answered too, just as if you had popped into the shop. I’ll be putting mini tutorials in that group too, along with Quilt-Along's and some fun challenges.
Originally, The Patchwork Shop in Ross-on-Wye was born out of a realisation that life is too short to be spent on things that don’t bring you joy. This really hasn’t changed. I ran a marketing business for 10 years, and before then had a corporate career in marketing for another two decades. Many board rooms, successful client campaigns and cups of tea later, I realised that perhaps the spark of joy wasn’t there that should be.
When I took an introductory patchwork and quilting course quite a few years ago now (well before I needed reading glasses to be able to see to thread a needle), I knew I had found my place of joy, and my sewing home. I was completely hooked.
Skill, technique, colour and design all melded together, and I was both smitten and inspired. Life needed to change from the manic, but not so fulfilling, marketing career and so, the seed was planted for the shop.
A year of research, planning and thinking saw the birth of The Patchwork Shop and I opened in Ross-on-Wye in July 2017.
I’ve since gone on to do my Level 3 City and Guilds Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting which was hard work, but wonderful. Level 4 beckons, but not until after I get married in 2022.
This was my original thinking for the bricks and mortar shop, taken from my first website when the shop opened:
“I knew I wanted to create something a bit different. So, my vision for the shop is to inspire you and make you smile with our bright, cheerful and contemporary fabrics. All excellent quality, all beautiful, and even some designer. I also wanted to inspire a brand new generation of quilters with our kids’ classes - so I do apologise if you walk in, and it’s all gone a bit wild!
Our team is growing with creative and enthusiastic individuals and we’re continuously thinking about what to offer our customers next, new workshop ideas, and how to reward our customers.
If we can make all our lovely customers leave with a smile on their face or in their heart, then we’ve done our job correctly. We hope to see you all soon. Xx”
This vision hasn’t changed; my love for all things patchwork and quilting, and for all my amazing and wonderful customers and students haven’t changed either.
I have some exciting new developments planned (this new online store won’t be ‘it’). Make sure you’ve signed up to my newsletter here, so you get to hear about those in time.
But for now, I hope you’ll join me for part two of this journey, and this time, it’s definitely a case of being Back For Good (thank you to Gary Barlow for stealing his words).