For the last four days I have been at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham, together with some members of our quilt group. It’s such a great trip and I will be writing about the Festival in the next few days.
I’m going to begin with breakfast. We have stayed in the same hotel for several years and so have ‘Crafty-UK’, who have a stand at the Festival and of course we meet them at breakfast and ask how things are going. In the photo below are Andy Robinson (centre), his partner Joanna Bayes (right) and Angela Timbrell (left) who makes up samples for them.
On this visit, Andy, who owns the company, gave each of us a quilt template (for paper piecing) each morning. What fun!
There they are, next to my breakfast of toast and Marmite, plus Lemon and Ginger tea! This is a closer look at three of them.
On the final day, the piece itself had a diagram of how they all fitted together. I definitely plan to make it up. I’m looking forward to it, as I love English Paper Piecing.
I am interested in business start-ups (see below for more posts on this subject), so I took a few minutes to ask Andy how the company began.
One day, Andy went into a shop to have a logo embroidered on a shirt and met a quilter. Over time he got to know the quilter. Andy was a cardboard box designer with lots of experience in Computer-Aided Design and Manufacture and he had his own CADCAM equipment. Knowing this, the quilter asked Andy to cut out a template for patchwork. At first the template was cut out in thin plastic. The quilter was quite excited and said ‘No-one makes these!’
At the time, Andy wanted to make a change from his full-time job, so he looked into this idea. He had some templates made, did a show (where they had a small part of a stand) and found the products were popular. ‘We were different’ Andy says. He then bought his own laser-cutter. This year (2018) is their fifth at the Festival of Quilts. The company has now moved into making quilters’ rulers. Part of their business involves making sets of templates for teachers.
You can find Crafty-UK on Ebay (crafty-uk.acrylic-templates) and can contact them at: http://crafty-uk.co.uk/
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This is my ‘Jukebox’ fabric design. You can find it here.