Teaching, Competitions, New Work & a Skydive 😬

Hi everyone,

Again it’s been a busy time and i’m just constantly playing catch-up BUT I have finally got around to organising future workshops at the Sewing Studio. All dates are now online Here

Theres lots of the regular workshops plus some new ones as well.

I just love teaching and I’m really looking forward to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham this year as I’m there for three days teaching. You can book via ticketmaster  https://www.theticketfactory.com/thefestivalofquilts

I’m please to say I’ll be teaching at the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show in November too. I’ll let you know the booking info as soon as I have it.

So the last bank holiday (the extremely hot bank holiday) I took part in Belper Art Trail. It’s always a great event and again I met lots of lovely people and talented artists.  Thank you to everyone that came to see me.

My new kits are now available on Etsy. Both have been tested rigorously to make sure they are easy to understand and produces great results. My art quilt hare is a great way to use up scraps and a project you could adapt to put you own stamp on it. The memory box kit is a relaxing project which get addictive.

My Etsy shop


At the moment I’m just finishing quilts to enter in the Festival of Quilts competition.

Lastly, something very close to me.

I’m doing a skydive in July along with a friend. We’re are raising money for Mind, a charity that continues to help and highlight mental health issues.

I don’t like asking for money but please sponsor us 😘


Skydive for Mind


Thank you for reading








Well What A Year 2017 Has Been For Me !

Hi everyone,

As we’re fast approaching 2018 it’s been nice to sit down and think about my last blog post for the year.

Its been such a fantastic year for me as a Textile Artist. I’ve been busier than ever.

This year I have taken part in Belper Art Trail, Derbyshire Open Arts, Melbourne Festival and Winter Open Studios at Banks Mills Studios in Derby. It’s been a first for me as I’ve have applied to be part of an art event.

I’m looking forward to being a part of these events in 2018

Another first for me is being part of a textile art group. Earlier this year I applied to become part of the textile group – The Midlands Textile Forum. I travelled over to Birmingham for an interview and a few weeks later I became a full exhibiting member of the group.

My first exhibition with them was themed ‘Lie of the Land’ and went on display in Bishops Castle back in August. We have various exhibitions coming up in 2018 …….

I put forward my art quilt – ‘Mother Earth’

In September this year I became the Area Representative of Region 10 for the Quilters Guild. I’m honoured to be part of this and really looking forward to organising and planning events for next year.

Another first for me is being interviewed for a podcast. I delighted to take part in an interview with the lovely Susan from Stitchery Stories. It’s an interview about my whirlwind of a year, confidence issues and what’s next for me http://www.stitcherystories.com/amijames/

The workshops I run in the Sewing Studio have been so busy this year. I’m overwhelmed how quickly the places get booked up.  I’ve got so many found memories of them all.

My new dates are available on the website http://www.simplyneedlecraft.com

I’m still working on my coursework but not too much more to go. It’s been hard work trying to fit it in but I’m getting there and more importantly I’m really enjoying it.

Everything that has happen this year has opened doors for me next year.

Im really excited to be traveling around to teach. I’ve got some many brilliant venues coming up. Next year starts again with me doing something for the first time but this time it’s…….😊

I’ve really had a fantastic year, everything has been so overwhelming and unbelievable.

Next year looks like it’s going to be just as good.

Thank you for following and reading.

Merry Christmas to you all



I’m Back Behind My Sewing Machine

Hi everyone,

At last I’m back where I feel most comfortable…… behind my sewing machine getting relaxed by stitching.

I always roughly draw up a design and plan……..however 9 times out of 10 it never looks like the original idea 🙂 

I’m focusing on landscapes at the moment …. so I’ve started stitching, with plenty more to do. 

It’s been a hectic few weeks as Derbyshire Open Arts took place and the shop became a gallery…..

I’ve been busy preparing for the Midlands Textile Forum exhibition at Bishops Castle in August. The subject is ‘Lie of the Land. My piece in the exhibition is called ‘Mother Earth’. It still needs mounting and framing though…….

Some extra news – 

I will be exhibiting at Melbourne Festival, Derbyshire in September which I’m very excited about. It’s a fantastic festival.

Melbourne Festival

and i’ll also be at Bank Mills Studios in Derby 24th – 26th November 


I’ve managed to take some time off this week and carrying on with the landscape theme I decided to go a walk in the woodland national forest close to our house. I’m not the best at drawing without a visual example so it best for me to take photo,s……..

I’m planning on having a calmer week next week so I can get plenty of coursework and stitching done……..fingers crossed. I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂 

Thank you for reading 


Derbyshire Open Arts…… This Weekend

Good Morning Everyone,

So it’s finally here……Derbyshire Open Arts starts Saturday and runs until the 4th June.

Its been manic preparing for the events but I’m finally near the end.

Saturday the shop will be open 9-4pm unfortunately I won’t be there for most of the day. However I’m here Sunday and Monday -10-3pm to meet visitors to chat about my inspirations, methods and techniques.

Hope to see you there..


Shiny New Blog…..

Hi everyone,

Yes this is a new blog, I’m still blogging over at Simply Needlecraft a Haberdashery but I felt as I’m progressing more as a Textile Artist I really to keep you updated.

So here it is…..

If you don’t already follow me I better introduce myself.

My name is Ami (obviously).  I’m 36 years old and live in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire with my hubby, son, Rowley the Beagle and Olivia the Pygmy Hedgehog.

I own Simply Needlecraft Haberdashery and Sewing Studio and I’m a Textile Artist.

My creative journey started in 2011 when I learnt to sew and became addicted to quilting.

Since then I’ve gained City & Guilds certificates in Hand Embroidery and Machine Embroidery – both techniques I use quite heavily in my work.

But at the moment I’m currently heading towards the end of a level three City & Guilds in Design and Stitch with Sian Martin.

I’m part of Midlands Textile Forum, which is full of very talented ladies. I’m honoured to be part of the group and can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

Art Quilts are my passion and I tend to stick to it but have been known to try different techniques.

All of my past work can be found on http://www.amijamestextileart.com

However now my blog is up and running I can now keep you updated with projects on the go, inspiration, methods and of course the parts that didn’t go to plan.

So this week my inspiration has been…..

Over the weekend we had a visit to Staunton Harold and Ferrers Centre and popped into the garden centre too.

I couldn’t help myself so I ended up taking lots of pics. So this was one of my favourites, the colours and textures are fascinating.

I really find drawing and painting the design out roughly really helps me to think of techniques and steps I need to take to get the design I want……

Two days of fabric dying, cutting and stitching I finally ended with an art quilt I’m happy with…..

I have lots of doodles in my sketch book to plan further floral quilts but time is short at the moment. But it’s definitely something I’ll come back to at a later date.

This week I’ve been in the Sewing Studio teaching Free Motion Embroidery for Beginners.

This is a great class. We start by making samples of different designs using straight and zig zag stitches. At the end of a two hour session they have created masterpieces to take home and gained experience and techniques that hopefully they will go on to use…..

You can find details of all my workshops Here.

Thank you for reading & I’ll blog again very soon.