Cotton Orchard’s Sian Nunn completes the journey of a lifetime

This April, Sian Nunn of Cotton Orchard successfully completed a 260km husky sled journey across the Arctic to raise more than £8,500 for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.

In our previous blog about Sian’s fundraising adventure, we heard that she wanted to complete this challenge to support her close friend Helen whose young daughter Elsie was cared for by Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice when she had leukaemia.

And so it was that, on Saturday 7th April 2018, Sian left Exeter for the Arctic. She and Helen were accompanied by Nicky from Noah’s Ark.

There were 10 people taking part in the challenge in addition to the team’s Arctic survival guide (a Norwegian ex-Navy Seal), the team leader and three workers who had the unenviable job of rounding up the huskies, clearing up dog poo, and providing support.

Each team member had their own sled pulled by a team of huskies. Sian’s first day was challenging because her sled was carrying 50kg of dog food in addition to her supplies, which was a struggle for just five dogs. Sian spent a lot of the day pushing the sled to help the husky team. The addition of a sixth husky for the rest of the week made life a lot easier!

As might be expected, an adventure of this kind comes with challenges. For Sian, it wasn’t the physical aspect of the trek, although she says perhaps she should have practiced scooting as sledding uses the same muscles!

Sian wasn’t even fazed by the -25 temperatures. As a mum to four boys, she’s a seasoned camper and came prepared for the weather. She smiled her way through putting up and taking down the frozen tents, digging snow holes and trenches, collecting and then boiling water on a primus stove, dritech food, frozen sandwiches and 14-hour days.

Her practical, unflappable attitude is probably why Helen dubbed Sian the ‘Bear Grylls’ of the group.

For Sian, the biggest challenge came when her husky-pulled sled hit a curve too fast, throwing her off and slamming her shoulder against the sled anchor. She needed painkillers for the rest of the trip having torn the acromioclavicular joint in her shoulder.

Sian says her lasting memory will be the sheer scale and beauty of the landscape. “There is white as far as the eye can see, and with 20-30ft between each sled, it felt like perfect solitude.

“A journey like that strips you down to the most basic of needs: food, shelter and warmth. Everything else just drops away. I saw something very few people will ever see first-hand.

“It gives you a confidence. You realise you can achieve anything. Everyone should do a trip like that at least once in their life if they can.”

Sian will have a display in the foyer of the Makit LQ&N Fair on Sunday 13th May so you can see pictures of her incredible trip. There will also be a donation bucket if you have any spare change that you would like to donate towards her fundraising total.

four squares with glitter film

Tudor Rose Patchwork is a quilter’s dream

Sandra Crow and her husband took over existing business Tudor Rose Patchwork back in 2008. Their ambition was to build the business as a craft brand that people know and love, both locally and further afield.

Their busy craft shop, online shop, popular products and two workshop rooms, which see a constant flow of workshops and classes throughout the year, are testament to an ambition realised.

Tudor Rose Patchwork is Bedfordshire’s answer to a quilter’s dream. They stock Pfaff and Janome sewing machines along with many of the accessories for these machines.

Their stall at the Makit LQ&N Fair and shop itself offers a huge range of patchwork fabrics, accessories, kits, patterns, a good selection of ‘how-to’ books for patchworkers and quilters to get their next big project from.

They also sell an extensive range of beads and beadworking accessories as well as books on beading and jewellery-making.

If you’re looking for haberdashery then Tudor Rose Patchwork is also the place to come. They stock needles, tapestry and embroidery cottons, yarns, kits and more.

Work with glitter film at the Tudor Rose Patchwork Make & Take

House glitter film samplerChristmas Candle glitter film samplerTudor Rose Patchwork is particularly well-known for its range of heat applied glitter film products, which are perfect if you like to add a bit of bling to your applique, patchworking or quilting projects.

In addition to creating their own designs, the company has just commissioned Kathleen Laurel-Sage to develop a glitter film design for Tudor Rose Patchwork. Kathleen is a popular machine embroider who will be familiar to those of you who’ve attended previous Makit fairs.

At this year’s Make & Take from Tudor Rose Patchwork, you can pick one of four ‘Mug Rug’ (coffee coaster) designs for just £3.50 – Easter Basket, Christmas Candle, Sunflower or House – and learn how to cut glitter film from a template and apply it to fabric.

A member of the Tudor Rose team will be on hand to guide you through using glitter film. Each kit contains everything you need to finish your coaster at home.

You can find Tudor Rose Patchwork online at:





The Stella close up

Bradford & Watling Make & Take

Bradford & Watling LogoOne of the Make & Take areas at the LQ&N Fair in Peterborough on Sunday 13th May will be hosted by quilting company Bradford & Watling.

Bradford & Watling is a brand new enterprise, a collaboration between good friends Emma Bradford and Josie Watling. Between them, the duo has more than 30 years’ quilting experience.

As you’ll see from the Make & Take (more about that below) and the Bradford & Watling stall, Emma and Josie are on a mission to make quilting convenient and accessible for all ability levels.

Kit in Tissue
the Jane instructions
The Jane Kit pieces
The Jane Close up Quilted
Sister's Choice Suffragette Block

They supply pre-cut quilt kits – designed and hand cut by them as well as beautifully packaged - in a range of difficulty levels, sizes and designs to suit everyone from beginners to advanced quilters.

The kits contain all of the pre-cut fabric needed to make a quilt top or smaller blocks for cushions, table runners or even bags. In addition, each kit includes detailed instructions and matching binding. This is a fantastic option if you dislike or find it difficult to use a rotary cutter.

All of the fabrics have been carefully colour matched. While some of the kit patterns are likely to stay the same, different colourways will be available throughout the year. For example, you can currently purchase blocks in the colours of the suffragette movement. Later in the year, a stunning poppy design will be available to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

Bradford & Watling also offer a mix and match range of quilt blocks so that you can put together your own sampler quilt, as well as kits to make baby quilts and more.

The majority of kits from Bradford & Watling only require the use of a sewing machine and a pair of scissors so there is no need to invest in a lot of equipment if you are a beginner. And, as the kits are pre-cut, the smaller ones can be made in as little as an afternoon.


Make & Take your own quilt block

In the Make & Take area for Bradford & Watling, you’ll have the chance to make and take away a single quilting block for a special show price of £5 (usually priced at £7.50). Choose from one of three designs that can be made into cushions or for which more blocks can be purchased to make a quilt.

Emma and Josie will be running short demonstrations explaining what the kits are and how they can be used.

We’re delighted that Bradford & Watling have chosen the Makit LQ&N Fair as one of their first fairs to attend. We would like to wish them every success for the future.


Revisit the Makit LQ&N Fair 2017

The Makit LQ&N Fair in Peterborough 2017 was another testament to the enthusiasm and excitement that surround our beloved textile crafts.

We saw many new suppliers join us and of course, our regular supporters and friends came along to make this event even better than previous years! We had many positive comments from visitors and exhibitors about the day and that’s made the months in the organisation really worthwhile to provide such a prestigious event to the crafting communities.

If you missed it, or if you just want to revisit the day, sit back and enjoy as we take you on a visual journey through the Peterborough, LQ&N Fair 2017.

And so the day begins!

A steady flow of visitors arrives to get us off to a good start to the day. Taking their time to walk through our Guild Village, stepping in to the wonderful exhibition by the Embroiderers Guild, and our record-breaking attempt THE BIG STITCH! Then on to the Craft Haven to ask questions of the exhibitors and to help them and get inspiration for their own projects.



The Main Hall

The biggest thing you will notice as you walk through one of our Fairs is the space our visitors and exhibitors have to move around. We take great lengths to ensure it is as comfortable and stress-free to manoeuvre around and there’s always a place to rest weary feet or sit and catch up with friends along the way!



That’s all folks!

After a busy and productive day; visitors slowly depart ladened with their new purchases and full of ideas, our trade suppliers pack up and head on home – some with many miles to cover before a welcomed brew!
Until next time…