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Bettys Sewing Box

Chilly blasts..

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Hello Everybody out there in crafting land.. I hope this finds you well and keeping warm and reflective on this  Remembrance Sunday🌺

I have managed to bring myself in line with retail regulations this year and embrace Christmas.. so the tree is up, and the shop is looking a bit like Santa’s crafting grotto! Loads of prezzie ideas for the creatives in your life!  Beautiful one-off items made by local crafters, all reasonably priced, so please support the high street and even better our talented home grown makers.
The wool stock is growing with more Stylecraft, Chunky and Aran Chunky wool, craft cotton dk as well as some new patterns. If there’s anything you particularly want please tell me as I can always add items on to an order. 
We’ve had some great workshops recently – I do enjoy them – chatting with like-minded souls, making new friends.. Our Advent Calendar was especially fun, set over two days so much easier this year. We’ve also had two ‘baby showers’ over the weekend, 40 ladies embroidered a patch each to be made into collaborative baby blankets, a true keepsake. Good luck to first time mums-to-be Heather and Emily!

We have a few more courses and workshops to run before Christmas Jacqui is leading another beginners sewing course where there are still a few places remaining, and Kath Perry will be back making her wonderful Hedgehog cushion cover on an evening workshop. Have a look and see if anything takes your fancy! 
I’m working on 2020 workshops now and if any of you have particular ideas or requests for certain workshops or courses please feel free to tell me! Here
As usual thanks for your support and have a great week.


Hello September

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Hello again!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed the break. I often forget that Ashbourne and the Peak District is a holiday destination and many holidaymakers find their way to Betty’s, commenting of the beauty of the area. Today a couple from Berkshire (randomly they were from a village near the one I lived in until I was 4 and we shared the same doctor!) ANYWAY they were singing the praises of Ashbourne how clean it is and the friendly folk here.. it’s good to hear some positive feedback at a time when it’s all doom and gloom and way too many hairdressers.. . and of course everyone likes Betty’s 😊

Any way I’ve been updating workshops – Just when you think there’ll never be a cushion workshop again – 3 come along .. Jacqui has run one already this summer, which was a real success and she is putting another on, and Kath Perry who makes the beautiful cushions we sell in the shop, is coming to share her secrets and make the hedgehog cushion cover. Sophia returns with her wonderful crochet workshops and I’m going back to my arty roots with a sketchbook course and more printmaking… hopefully there’s something here that’ll interest you. We are having another Liberty Evening, bring and show your makes, share some fizz and nibbles and bag some discounts off liberty and courses.

A few of the Betty’s Elves have been busy with their studies, we’re really proud of you – Katie achieved a Distinction in her course and Penelope did amazingly well in her GCSEs. Sophie-Rose is off to University and Emmy starts her GCSE course – I have two words for you ..


..a definite nip

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Oh dear it’s raining again.. I hope you’ve managed to enjoy the summer – we seem to have gone through every kind of weather and now there’s a definite nip in the air – reminding us autumn is on the way! (that and the fact that alterations pile have a number of school skirts waiting to be shortened to thigh length!) 

The birthday celebrations were a success, if slightly chaotic, with 10 people making lampshades in the workroom and very little table space to cut fabric for those customers taking advantage of our 20% discount! Everyone seemed to take it in good part, and it was a happy day and a bit of a landmark for me. A nice little piece in The Local Paper too .. should’ve read ‘Annie actually manages to commit to something for more than 5 minutes’.

Anyway below are a list of courses coming up – I’ve been putting the finishing touches to a new sketchbook course I’m running for the autumn, so please have a look at that if you’d like to veer away from the fabric. Another Lino printing day too.

I also have some free machine embroidery feet – they fit the Janome machines people bought from me. Some people borrowed feet off me and I’d appreciate those back. They retail at £19 (John Lewis) but I have them for £9.95

Happy weekend everybody looks like the 🌞 might be out – according to iPhone!

Annie x

Kalimera .. 20% off

By | News

I’m posting this as I’ve had  a few new people sign up to the email list recently – Welcome to this select group everybody! It’s been a busy week at the Box – oh dear did I just say that?! New patio furniture with the sunshine which pretty much guaranteed ☔️. Anyway I’m just back from my second printmaking day in the workroom at Betty’s – it’s such a wonderful medium to work with, extremely meditative – and endless possibilities for printing on fabric and stitching in…

We had another ‘Stevie’ dress in a day  – a really versatile dress and beautiful in denim with some cheeky Liberty trim:

I love denim and Liberty

A quiet week now while I recharge in Crete, then we have a varied summer program of workshops. There are a few changes – such as the lampshade workshop now on 1st August – people already booked on have been notified.

Talking about August 1st – did I mention it’ll be my first birthday at Betty’s- there will be 20% off all the fabric in the shop – including the Liberty – one day only though.. Buck’s Fizz and cake to celebrate too.

Now holiday hair and nails are in order..

Kalispera everybody!

🇬🇷 ✈️

Birthday buzz

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The holidays are upon us – we know this, not because of the weather but because alterations of prom dresses are piling up in the workroom and the alteration Elf is working her magic.. you will go to the Ball!

I’ve been compiling a list of courses that will appeal to the youngsters among us – hopefully there is something for everyone to try. Our first ever ‘dress in a day’ was a success – maybe a little fine tuning in some areas is needed –  like less CHATTING – not mentioning any names Tia! As the course was oversubscribed Jacqui has laid on another session for the end of July. If you’re interested please book online, and remember to come to the shop in advance to get your fabric and that’ll save time on the day

I also notice there’s a little birthday on the horizon – my 1st Betty’s Birthday!! I can’t believe a year has gone past so quickly so Thursday August 1st I propose some treats at the shop, a few deals in store Bucks Fizz and Cake too – so please come and celebrate with me! I have a lot of people to thank not least you for supporting me, for which I am SO thankful, and especially all the Betty’s Elves who put up with me. Oh dear I might just go and shed a tear..

Have a great Summer – I’m off to Crete in a few weeks so will find our elusive sun there hopefully.


Algorithms ahoy!

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It’s  been a bit of crazy Month one way and another.. beautiful weather one minute.. then torrential rain.. Uggs or Birkenstock’s?! I had a few lovely days in Cornwall at the St.Endellion music festival then back to Ashbourne for Easter (still hidden eggs in the shop waiting to be found).
We were all really so sad to see Bennett’s go,  I was hoping to get their beautiful Farrow& Ball unit for Betty’s but there was no way we could get it out of Bennett’s without breaking it… instead we got some grumpy baby dolls – the sort that come alive when we’re not there and create mischief ..But it is sad that so many of the independent high street stores are closing. Ashbourne seems to be taking a bit of a hit and    as a business owner it makes me very nervous, nevertheless we do have to move with the times which is why here I am tucked up in bed with my Horlicks, writing this blurb and tackling the world of social media, because like it or not this is how it’s going to be. So the algorithms are checked and my demographic  (er that’s you.. and YOU Maggie..) are all present and correct. ( don’t unsubscribe yet!!)

We’ve had another delivery of Liberty today with a few new designs, our ‘Tana Lawn’ really is the Rolls Royce of fabric, feather light and just like beautiful silk. Perfect for our upcoming summer top workshop that our lovely Hannah is running in a few weeks.

Our  Stylecraft Wool is growing in volume too with the addition of their  ‘Bambino’ range and more shades of the sock wool and Special DK.
We’ve  also some lovely samples of crocheted and knitted blankets in both the Special DK and Bambino plus lots of  brand new patterns.
shall I post a selfie of me in bed? .. yeah I thought not.
sweet dreams to you out there in on your platforms

Sorry.. did I miss March..?

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It came and went and now here we are in April. So good to have the light evenings, and this sunny weather has improved my mood and lifted everyone’s spirits (I write this on the eve of a wet spell apparently .. )
Anyway as usual the workshops have proved a real success – I love to see so much creativity. Some beautiful ‘Prayer Bunting’ to mark the beginning of Lent.





And the recent scarf workshop took on an eccliastical theme..





This evening the quilting club have been busy in the workroom making June’s block for this month – the ‘Annie’ block!!
I’ve been booking in lots of new courses for you to peruse. Jacqui is coming back to run another beginners sewing course, and I’ve made a date for the much anticipated Printmaking course. Look out for a few courses we are running in conjunction with Ashbourne Arts Festival, I’ve been going to it for many years so it’s nice to be a small part of it.
After the success of my wooden bunting (no complaints so far) Steve has made me some more wooden flags to continue along the front of the shop. With time a bit tight I wondered if there were any budding artists who may like to paint a flag? just putting it out there.. let me know!
Happy April everybody,




By | News


Isn’t it great is it to have this sunshine at the moment? It’s really put a spring in my arthritic step, nice to leave work while it’s still light too😊 

My major accomplishment this month was to eventually get the wooden bunting up outside the shop.. I’ve been on about it for ages and though I must confess to lacking in original ideas, I can honestly say this was something that pinged into my brain back last year, and was all mine – not a Pinterest board in sight! It is pretty much as I envisaged, and I’m really pleased with it. Hoping to eventually continue it above the tea room windows too.

I recently attended a trade show in Birmingham – loads of lovely textiles and charming sales people ready to pounce. Fortunately I had Hannah with me who all but frog marched me round the exhibition keeping me (and the business credit card) in check. However I did manage to order some Style Craft wool, in lots of gorgeous colours. I’ve been so impressed by the crocheted blankets coming out of Sophia’s Crochet group and the Knit and Natter ladies, that this seemed a popular choice and soooo soft! Sock wool too-  the kind that knits up into fair isle as if by magic! 

Once again we’ve had some great workshops, it’s always good to get positive feedback so when a customer told me she left Betty’s on “cloud 10” after a recent Free Machine Embroidery and appliqué class I felt a bit emosh. Crafting really is  great therapy – really good for the soul. So enough scrolling through Pinterest just get on and DO IT!

Shrovetide is upon us too and the shop will be closed for a few days. Have a lovely safe time and see you soon

Annie x

Jane made this lovely panel, not without gnashing of teeth .. but what a great piece of art to adorn your sofa!

Hello from Planet Betty’s

By | News

Well so much for January being a slow month! The workshops have started with a vengeance, we’ve had some lovely new stock as well as lots of Liberty and a selection of new fabric from Art Gallery. The website is up and running with online payments for workshops, and this month we should be able to sell our fabric online too. The workshops are my favourite and it’s
Hi  been lovely to see all the creativity emerging from the workroom.

Free Machine Embroidery with Appliqué

Beautiful and simple fabric collage – reminds me of North Cornwall coastline

This Felted picture has been hand embellished using free machine embroidery! Stunning 🌟

Lovely inchies

I love these just beautiful – use up all those miniature treasures you can’t bear to bin – make an exquisite artwork.

The resident Elves have been busy making Valentine cards – £2.75 each or two for a fiver 😉

Go on treat yourself to a lovely unique and handmade card!

Also lots of lovely fabric packs. The Elves’ biggest achievement this month must be sorting and colour coordinating the buttons!

We had a few firsts this month – our first bullet journal session – this is a chance to get motivated and achieve our goals. We meet the first Tuesday of the month 10.30- 11.30am. Also ‘Stitchfulness’ – take time out and do a bit of embroidery in the moment – we meet the last Monday of each month 10.30-12. Both sessions are student led so only the cost of a cuppa.

We also have our regular Knit and Natter every Monday 10-12pm in the tearoom.

I need a large G&T having got to the end of this blog AND managing to insert photographs😳 maybe I don’t need a 14 year old to do it for me after all 😊

Have a great February keep warm



Brrrr.. it’s Chilly out there ❄️

By | News

Two weeks back at work and it’s been lovely and warm in the shop with lots of activity going on. Our beginners sewing group has started, Quilt and Crochet groups have resumed and our new ‘Sewcial’ monthly sewing group, has begun. We had the first workshop of the year on Thursday with 6 people learning the delights of Free Machine Embroidery ! It sounds really cheesy but it is so nice to meet and connect with other creative people.
I’m busy planning lots of new workshops, and trying some new techniques to introduce to you such as sashiko and shabori.
We’ve had some new arrivals in the shop, a delivery of Liberty fabric, some beautiful Art Gallery Fabric and Tracy has brought us some more of her beautiful journals.
Check out our new website, all the workshops are there too and can be paid for securely online.
As I write this snow is coming down – it’s a cold January night, but this afternoon I noticed some snowdrops pushing up, and evenings are getting lighter. Keep warm everybody and have a great weekend.
Annie ✨

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