Hi, I’m Chris Franses – some of you may have come across me Wandering the Web in British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine each month. I also used to team-teach with Barbara Chainey (the ‘Chris’ half of ChrisandBarbara) so you may have met me at the quilt shows at Uttoxeter or Trentham. But, you may ask (and I frequently do) – how did I get to be here?

Frankly, it’s all Barbara’s fault. I hated sewing when I was younger, gave it up at school aged fourteen with sighs of relief all round (in my final report my mother got an A+, I got D-). So when Barbara suggested I joined the patchwork group she had started recently I politely declined. She insisted I wouldn’t have to do any sewing, just come along, drink coffee, eat biscuits, chat to new people, make friends and watch a demonstration once a month. Put like that, how could I refuse? Except I found myself being sent home after the first meeting with a small kit to make a hexagon rosette over papers for a group quilt. Oh.

But, weirdly, I quite enjoyed it. I ended up going to the local market and buying a sack of offcuts for 50p – mostly Dorma sheeting, but that was all that was available locally back in the Dark Ages of the very early ‘80s. I made my first quilt from those, hand-pieced hexagons over papers.

But I did borrow my mum’s old sewing machine to quilt it, which I still have and use.

The next month Barbara showed us how to do Log Cabin – on the machine and ripping the fabric into strips (no rotary cutters back then). I was hooked.

More than thirty years later (where have those years gone??!) I now teach at my local quilt shop (The Corner Patch in Eccleshall) several times a month as well as writing patterns and my monthly magazine article. My monthly blog posts will (probably) be about these activities and other quilt-related ‘stuff’ that I get up to and may also ramble off into the past to revisit earlier quilts that come to light from the back of the cupboard or the photo album.

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