Monthly Archives: December 2018

  • And relax... Simple ideas to fill your festive break with extra Hygge!

    We will be closing our door and shutting up shop on the 23rd December so that from Christmas Eve our staff can enjoy a well-earned break with their nearest and dearest.

    We love the meaning of the Danish word 'Hygge' (pronounced 'hoo-ga') which encompasses the feelings of cosy contentment and well-being from enjoying the simpler things in life, and we will all be aiming to add as much hygge as possible to our festivities! Think snuggling under quilts on the sofa, with candles burning (or even better a log fire) and some tasty food and drink.

    We asked each member of the Ray Stitch team what they were most looking forward to doing this Christmas...

    RACHEL:

    I love entertaining and have a big extended family who will all be popping by at various times. Food and drink are very important....

    Mulled Apple Juice Recipe:

    1 litre of good quality apple juice

    Peel from 1 orange cut into strips

    1 cinnamon stick and 3 cloves

    Simmer all the ingredients together for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse, and the gorgeous smell to spread around your home.

    ZOE:

    As well as spending time with my family and eating ALL the food, I am really looking forward to having the time to curl up on the sofa with a good book. There really isn't a better way to spend a dark chilly evening. Top of my list is The Golden Thread by Kassia St Clair - a fascinating social history which uses the different fabric and its' uses to look at human creativity and civilisation throughout the centuries.

    ANA:

    For me, Christmas is all about coming together and celebrating with delicious food, and although the main meal is great, I love the meals using the 'leftovers'. Bubble and Squeak is a firm favourite on Boxing Day, with cold meats and pickles - yum! And I always end up making a variation of Turkey Noodle Soup in the days after Christmas: this can be tweaked with whatever you have in your fridge and it makes me feel warm inside, especially if I'm a little under-the-weather.

    Basic Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe:

    1 litre of chicken stock
    4 small carrots peeled and chopped
    140g medium egg noodles
    200g ish shredded, cooked turkey
    200g frozen peas
    1 bunch spring onions

    Bring the stock to the boil and add the carrots. Boil for a few minutes and then add the noodles. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Add the turkey and the white parts of the spring onions, simmer for 1-2 minutes making sure the turkey is hot. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the green parts of the spring onions.

    Things to add if you have them: coriander, ginger, a squeeze of lime, or any other veg you fancy.

    ROSIE:

    I have spent the last few weeks making gifts for my friends, so I am looking forward to doing some selfish sewing and knitting over the Christmas break!

    TESSA:

    I will be doing a lot of travelling over the festive period so I will be using the time to catch up on some of my favourite podcasts. My recommendations would be Fearne Cotton's Happy Place, in which she talks to guests about ways to find joy in the everyday and Thread Cult, which although hasn't released a new episode for some time has such great previous podcasts that it's worth catching up on.

    *****

    We would like to thank everyone who has shopped online or in person with us - we appreciate every purchase, especially in a world with so much choice available. We are very grateful to our customers, our talented tutors and makers, and all the fantastic and inspiring speakers who helped to make this year so wonderful. Thank you all!

    We have lots of plans and ideas buzzing in our heads for the new year, but for now, we would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a new year full of creativity and positivity x

  • Christmas at Ray Stitch

    We aren't here to panic anyone - yes, there are just 2 weeks before Christmas Day but don't worry, we have got ideas for gorgeous gifts and special stocking fillers perfect for the sewists and makers in your life - with no last minute rush to complete everything yourself. Plus read on for inspiration on how to wrap all your presents in the most beautiful and thoughtful ways (and not add to landfill.)

    We have a huge range of Fat Quarter Bundles in stock - the possibilities of FQB are endless and because of their size, most of these projects are super quick to run up. Perfect for those with a tight deadline. Try a search on google or Pinterest for hundreds of ideas! But these also make great gifts in themselves for anyone who loves to covet fabric (we've got our hands up!) because you get the whole collection to work with.

    Another option are charm packs or mini charm packs - precut squares of either 5" x 5" or 2.5" x 2.5" - that are perfect for quilters. Used alone they can be made into a cushion cover or in multiples to make a small quilt.

    Or how about choosing some fabric from our print collections along with a pattern and giving them together to a lucky recipient? Sewing a new project whilst eating all the festive food sounds like heaven to us!

    It's not all about fabric, we know! And it's the little details that can make a project, or start someone off on their journey of making. Clockwise from top left: Wooden Buttons, Iron-on Patches, Ray Stitch Gift Vouchers for use in the shop or take a class in our Sewing School, Goodie Jars filled with all sorts of loveliness for adults and children, Ray Stitch Cross Stitch kits including letters and motifs, and multi-coloured Felt Rolls.

    Books are a traditional choice at Christmas and we have a whole library to choose from! So whether you are after an instructional workbook, an inspirational coffee table book, a book of patterns or even a fictional story to get lost in, we are sure we can find the right one for you your giftee!

    We love scissors! And good tools make a job a joy to work on. We have all sorts of scissors, snips, shears (& even rotary cutters) but woe-betide anyone who uses the fabric scissors on anything else. We aren't sure goodwill to all stretches that far!

    We have got some seriously luxurious fabric in stock, including sequin tulle, organza, chiffon and crushed taffeta - perfect for party season, or why not bring the bling into your home furnishings? Sumptuous velvet cushions or sequinned table runners anyone?

    And for the more challenging person to buy for - how about a Maker's Journal? This beautiful concertina sketchbook can be filled with ideas, notes, drawings, pattern references or even swatches of fabric, and can either be used as a conventional book with pages that turn, or pulled out to reveal a linear thought process or narrative.

    ***

    So once you've found the perfect present you will want to make sure that it's wrapped accordingly. At Ray Stitch we are passionate about sustainability and using materials as conscientiously as possible - and that goes for wrapping paper too. Christmas wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter and plastics which mean it can't be recycled. A lot of wrapping paper has sticky tape attached to it which also makes it very difficult to recycle. 5 million tonnes of paper gets sent to landfill every year in the UK alone! To help combat this problem, you can use recyclable wrapping such as brown craft paper, or why not try fabric wraps this year? These can then be reused and made into something else, or kept for the next gifts.

    Ditch the sellotape in favour of fancy ribbons, sequinned trim, ric rac, bakers twine, metallic cord or even embroidery thread in contrasting colours. Decorate with dried flowers, bells, pompoms, fabric covered buttons or stamp sets for maximum originality. We have collected all the ribbons and crafting bits and pieces here so click for the most stylish (& eco) wrapped gifts under the tree.

    ***

    Finally, we will be closed on Christmas Eve, 24th December and opening again in the New Year on Wednesday 2nd January. Last online orders will be posted on Thursday 20th December so make sure you get in before then to avoid disappointment. We will also be shouting this on our social media channels so you will get warned! Until then, happy sewing and good luck with all your festive prep :)