Today we went out to Launceston to visit Jo at Cowslip Workshops. (For those crazy Aussies who pronounce it wrong, that word has TWO syllables, not three! Launce-ston). My Gran has been taking classes at Jo's for years, and I used to tag along when I would visit in my school and university holidays, so these days always try and pop in for a visit when I'm in the area.
Jo has a really lovely place out there, located in the middle of a functioning farm in the Cornish countryside, you'd probably be happy enough to just look at the view. It was pouring down with rain while we were there today, but it was still picturesque.
There's a lovely workroom, filled with inspiring quilts on the walls (regularly changed as far as I can see, all the ones on the wall there today were ones I'd never seen before. They run various workshops in the workroom, which has lovely big tables, and is really well lit.
She also has a lovely little patchwork shop with a nice variety of fabrics and very well priced. While the style of fabrics isn't necessarily the 'all bright and modern' stuff that is so popular in the 'modern quilting movement' I recon everyone would find something that they like there, I certainly did.
There's also a lovely little cafe, where we had some lunch before we left.
They also have exhibitions of quilts (and related things), and the most exciting thing is that they are doing an exhibition showing my Gran's quilts! It's going to be on from the 27th of July until the 11th of August, so if you're in the area you should go check it out. I know I'm biased, but my Gran really has done some amazing stuff!
Above is the fabric that I came away with, not too much and I have plans for it all already. At the top is some laminated cotton by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit Fabrics, and below some pieces of Summersville.
I also got something pretty unique while I was there - a bag of wool batting that they've started making locally from wool from their own sheep. I've been interested in finding some better wool batting, as I was disappointed with what I used before but have heard such great things about it as a material, so I'm excited to try this out and see what I think. Jo was telling me all about how they're making it though, and it's using wool from the sheep on their farm, and a lady hand feeds it into the needle-punching machine locally.
Above and below is a quilt that Jo is just finishing off using this batting, and it was so soft and drapey! You can see that it's been quilted really densely with micro-stippling between the feathers and it was still so soft, no stiffness at all. If you want to see it in person yourself, it is apparently headed up to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts next month.
I'll of course report back when I've used some of this batting with how it works for me, but based on the quilts that Jo showed us that she's used it in it looks pretty great!
They have got an online store, so if you're not in Cornwall you could still take advantage of their great stuff.
**Please note, I have no affiliation with Cowslip workshops, and am not being paid or anything to write this. Infact Jo doesn't even know that I am posting this! This post is my honest opinion of a business that I really hope keeps going strong, as they're a proper local business with the kind of ethics that I like to see and support**