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  • Nicola

Making plans...

I'm busy planning for this year's Festival of Quilts so in my Spring Newsletter I asked my lovely subscribers for their thoughts on quilt kits. I wondered whether they ever bought them, and if so, whether they're drawn to large quilts, small projects, or block of the month programmes.

And the results of the survey? Well… opinions were pretty evenly split *pause for laughter* I really should have known! However, I managed to twist my ankle quite badly last weekend, so I've had plenty of 'feet-up' time to mull over some proposals.

It made perfect sense to kit my most popular pattern, the Spellbound Sampler, especially when I stumbled (no pun intended) upon a source for the gorgeous Sundrops fabric collection that I used in my original quilt. I will be pairing the Sundrops prints with some new background fabrics that will give the same soft, vintage look as that first quilt. And as sampler quilts naturally lend themselves to block of the month programmes, I will be offering it in instalments alongside a full quilt kit.

I will also be kitting four smaller projects and the graphic nature of the sampler blocks makes them perfect for cushions and bags. From the Spellbound Sampler, the Wise Owl block will be paired with a new cushion design - yet to be named - and the Moonlit Bat with another new project, the Shipshape Tote. From the Sailing By series, the Cornish cushion features the cheery Seagull block and the Shipshape Tote will be paired with the Whale, which creates a fun, two-sided bag.

Which brings me to the Block of the Month and I am excited to announce *drum roll* that I'm introducing a new Block of the Month programme, called the Midsummer Sampler. The blocks and setting are being finalised ready for some serious pattern writing and I'm eagerly awaiting the new collection launches this spring. But the fabric will definitely mix any new finds with my favourite, softly-coloured Liberty and Tilda prints. I'll be posting more details later in the year, but the Midsummer Sampler Block of the Month will start next January and will run for eight months.

Having thought carefully about the contents of my kits, I then had to consider how best to package them. I wanted each kit to be pretty to look at and a pleasure to open, but also light enough to post economically. My first thought was cake boxes, but they're too flimsy. Next I considered subscription-style boxes, but custom printed boxes are expensive in the quantities I wanted.

I'll admit to being a bit stuck but hobbling around a gift shop looking for a birthday present midweek I started really noticing the packaging (or was I just clinging onto the shelves?) and I think I've come up with a good solution. Below is my prototype for a printed card sleeve which can be wrapped around a clear cellophane bag. I'm looking forward to working with my local printer to make it come to life.

My gorgeous box of Sundrops fabric will be here any day and I see lots of cutting, folding and wrapping in my near future. I'm looking forward to introducing my kits at the this year's Festival of Quilts at the NEC this August and I'm really hoping that they're well received. It goes without saying that if there's a a pattern in the shop that you'd love to see kitted, I'd love to know :-)

Nicola xx


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