Latest News from Arena

Latest News from Arena

  • Chat with Pat Archibald



    One of our lovely quilt experts Pat Archibald will be leading our popular textile holiday to Vietnam later this year. Pat’s fascination with quilting started at a very early age after playing with her grandmother’s scrap bag! Since then she has been a co-owner of Scotland’s first dedicated patchwork and quilting shop, has taught specialist textile classes to students from far and wide and has had her wonderful work widely exhibited in the UK, Europe and in the USA. We chat to Pat more about her love of quilting and how her travels inspire her work.

    We are very excited for you to be leading our Textures of Vietnam trip this November. Can you give us an idea of what you will be teaching in your workshops and what you are most looking forward to revisiting?

    I am looking forward to revisiting some of the hidden valleys and the ethnic minorities that live there who have a wonderful heritage of stitching and weaving. Bac Ha market in the north of Vietnam is exciting in terms of colour and textiles. My workshops will be based on the colours of the areas and will take inspiration from the local stitching patterns.
    Continue reading
  • Spotlight on Karin Hellaby



    This week we have been having a natter with leading quilt expert Karin Hellaby. Karin’s teaching has taken her all over Europe and beyond. She is a regular teacher at the Houston International Quilt Show and has taught in New Zealand, Dubai and most of North America! Karin has recently returned from teaching on our quilting retreat on the beautiful island of Madeira. Later this year she will also be leading two Stitchtopia quilting trips South Africa and the Faroe Islands.

    Here Karin gives us the low-down on how her love for quilting blossomed at a church hall, how her passion helped support her sons through university and how she is lost without her much loved Bernina machine!

    Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in Lanzarote

    Host's report by Fran Keene, Liz Farrar and Judy Petran:

    The weather was cooler than last year (it rained twice) and it was quite amazing to watch the landscape turn green and produce flowers so quickly after the rain. However, guests were able to have breakfast in the sun outside most days – unlike the UK!

    On one evening, we all sat down together in the Italian restaurant, the Dolce Vita, for a delightful meal with wine, enjoyed by all – the bridge was extremely relaxed that evening!

    Once again we must mention that the bridge room is one of the best and most comfortable we have enjoyed and the bridge was well attended, afternoons as well as the evenings. The hotel activities were wide ranging and well supported by the group. Particular mention must be made of one of our most senior members winning the table tennis tournament against all comers, young and old. Awesome!

    Continue reading
  • Q&A with Louise Kelly

    Louise, welcome to the Stitchtopia family! We are very excited to have you on board and to have you leading our Stitch and Quilt holiday to County Donegal in September. What are you most looking forward to about this trip and what can our stitchers expect on this trip?

    Thank you, I am so happy to be part of Stitchtopia and really excited to welcome everyone to beautiful Donegal and Northern Ireland. I really love where I am from, so apart from all the stitchy escapades that we will get up to I am most excited for everyone to see and experience what this wonderful part of the world has to offer. You will meet many a friendly face here, lots of hospitality and plenty of good old ‘Craic’.
    Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in the Algarve

    Host's report by Rob Richardson:

    The Holiday Inn, Algarve is a small friendly hotel about 45 min transfer from Faro Airport. The entire holiday, apart from one day, was blessed with warm sunny weather of the kind that we get in the UK in late spring (this comment does not apply in the case of our 2 guests from the Hebrides). There was such a full programme of bridge and hotel activities that we only managed to fit in one excursion, but it was to the end of the World. I should explain that this is Cape St.Vincent, the South West tip of mainland Europe which was considered to be the end of the World by the locals in the middle ages.

    The main bridge session each day attracted between 12 and 14 tables, and it was was nice to see many different winners. This may be in part due to the complimentary wine with the evening meal and the very swift and enthusiastic wine waiter. The hotel particularly excelled itself on the two gala evenings, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

    Continue reading
  • Spotlight on Janice Gunner

    Our leading quilting expert Janice Gunner speaks to us about her love for Japanese and African fabrics, how she feels lost without her much loved sewing bag and how she funded her first home made quilt through pocket money as a child!

    Janice, you are an award-winning quilter, author and teacher. Tell us how you discovered quilting and how you first became passionate about it.

    I began quilting in 1974, not long after I got married. I had made most of my own clothes for many years and couldn’t bear to throw away the left-over fabric, although my first ‘quilt’ was made from fabric samples I had bought from a local market stall as a child with my pocket money! I joined 8” squares together to make a big enough piece to cover the bed. No pattern, just instinct!
    Continue reading
  • Philippa Naylor Q&A

    Philippa Naylor is an award winning quilter and textile artist. She combines her technical expertise and designer training to produce intricately pieced, applique or whole-cloth quilts which are heavily machine quilted often utilising trapunto. This week we speak to Philippa about her first love of garment making, how she can’t live without her Bernina machine, and how she ended up selling hand made Christmas decorations in Saudi Arabi!

    Hi Philippa, we are very excited about you leading your first ever quilting trip to Italy. Tell us how you discovered quilting and how you first became passionate about it.

    I'm not sure there is an easy answer to this. I have always loved textiles of all kinds, and have sewn from a young age. After finishing A' levels I trained at Manchester Polytechnic, for 4 years, to become a clothing designer. I worked in industry as a lingerie designer and then moved to Saudi Arabia in 1989 with my husband (who was an English language teacher) and set up a wedding and evening dress business. I was in Saudi selling Christmas decorations (that I had made) at a bazaar. The lady on the next stall was advertising her quilting classes and 'encouraged' me to sign up for one (she did this for several hours). In the end I gave in and agreed to go on one of her courses. And of course I loved the whole process. That was in 1996.
    Continue reading
  • Crafty New Year Resolutions

    With the New Year approaching here at Stitchtopia HQ we have decided to make a resolution that is easy to keep; to be more ‘crafty’!

    Our experts have had the same idea and between them plan to learn new techniques, knit more and use their stash of supplies on making fun projects. Read on to see what other crafty New Year resolutions our experts are promising to keep!

    Continue reading
  • Mandy Shaw Q&A

    This week we have been speaking to the fantastic UK textile designer and quilting tutor, Mandy Shaw on how she fell head over heels in love with quilting, her plans for Christmas and she spills the beans on her crafting plans for 2017.

    Mandy, you are a well know personality in the world of crafting and are the owner of an internet based company Dandelion Designs. Tell us how you discovered quilting and how you first became passionate about it.

    I have always made things since a little girl. My dolls and teddy bears were very important to me and I would make their clothes and bedding. I made my first patchwork quilt in the early eighties, while my friends were out dancing I was sewing! And then as soon as I started my family I adorned my home and children with homemade crafts of all varieties.
    Continue reading
  • News From the Bridge Room in Madeira

    Host report by Barry & Maggie Watts

    Have some madeira, m'dear
    You really have nothing to fear
    I'm not trying to tempt you, that wouldn't be right
    You shouldn't drink spirits at this time of night
    Have some madeira, m'dear

    Madeira, roughly 500 miles south of Portugal and 500 miles west of Morocco, was one of the first discoveries of Henry the Navigator in 1419 but it is now discovered by over a million tourists a year. The Capital, Funchal, historically a safe port for vessels heading to South Africa and South America is today a popular stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa. Continue reading

  • Items 1 to 10 of 92 total

    Page:
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5
    6. ...
    7. 10