Many of you will know or will have heard of, Abbieanne Patchwork and Design. She’s a wonderful character, full of exuberance and a joy to be around so when I happened to be on holiday in Cornwall this summer I thought I’d call in and see her famous ‘Therapy Cupboard’.
Abbie is oft to be seen in the ticket booth or selling programs at the Malvern shows and that’s where I first met her, usually sporting a vibrant hair colour. She’s also active withing UKQU, writing patterns and mystery quilts in her own unique style. When I had booked our caravan trip for a week in July, I hadn’t realised how close we were going to be and it was a chance comment, on Facebook, that led me to her door.
We have a caravan, our friends a motorhome, and we love to travel around the country to see the sights. We were really nervous this year that we wouldn’t be able to get away at all but were lucky to have booked for the week soon after lockdown eased. We took all our requirements with us and had a fantastic week weather-wise. You really can’t beat Britain when the sun is shining.
I have introduced my best friend to the wonderful world of patchwork (some would say ‘worn down’) and I am running a new workshop – Doris, Day a Month, Improvers Quilt – which she signed up to do. She really wanted to use a range of blues and, although there are plenty of on-line shops (check the UKQU shop where there are many to choose from) sometimes it is nice to visit a shop, feel the fabric and select in natural light; to see how each bolt of cotton reflects and reacts with its future partners makes a joy out of the hour or so it takes. Abbie offers a drop-in service so you can call in and buy, safe in the knowledge you won’t be rushed or surrounded by people. I messaged her to book an appropriate time and along we went.
Her Therapy Cupboard is a true Aladdin’s Cave, or should that be Abbie’s Cave, full of wonders. Fabrics line the walls, a full rack of threads, buttons, patterns and beads abound. She runs workshops from here with safety screens (you can’t see them in the picture but perspex screens are used to separate each workstation.) Also hosting sit and sews outside in the garden. Then there is the famous Tom, a black cat that has adopted Abbie and the Therapy Cupboard as home. He was feeling a little camera shy and was asleep under the table whilst we were there.
So to the choosing – I always find it best to start with a fabric that catches my eye, one that I fall in love with and work out from there. For Doris, we need a wide tonal range from the lightest background to dark. Luckily, Abbie had a good selection to choose from and it didn’t take too long to jostle bolts until we had the perfect ‘quilt in waiting’. My friend chose a dark blue with a koi swimming across the surface for the darkest of tones, which will be perfect for the central square which surrounds a Mariner’s Compass. From there we worked down the tonal layer to the lightest, the background, which links all of the sampler blocks to make a coherent whole.
As for me? Well, it would have been rude not to buy something. Do I have a plan for it? No chance. Do I have a pattern or project in mind? Nope! I just went with the heart – the new Stoff black cat with a metallic hint. (Very much like Tom) A paler batik, something I’m always looking for as when you need them, you can never find them, and a brighter, rainbow, bubbly batik that just reminded me of summer. So, if you are calling by on the A39 just past Wadebridge, at Whitecross opposite the Royal Cornwall Showground, call in. I’m sure Abbie would be happy to see you.
With thanks to Abbieanne Patchwork and Design. You can find her online here.