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Tue, 19 Jan


Online Interactive Workshop

Tuesday 19 January 2021: Online Workshop (Shoal Sewalong)

Due to huge demand, Nicholas Ball hosts a THIRD repeat of his three-hour Online Interactive Workshop to complement his Instagram Shoal Sewalong!…

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Tuesday 19 January 2021: Online Workshop (Shoal Sewalong)
Tuesday 19 January 2021: Online Workshop (Shoal Sewalong)

Time & Location

19 Jan 2021, 18:00 – 21:00 GMT

Online Interactive Workshop

About the Event

Nicholas Ball - Tuesday 19 January 2021 - 6.00pm to 9.00pm (GMT)

Online Interactive Workshop: Improv Quilting Shoal Sewalong

Following on from his hugely successful #improvtrianglesewalong, broadcast via Instagram in early 2020, the marvellous Nicholas Ball has teamed up with CraftyMonkies to deliver this course on not just one, but FOUR consecutive dates in light of the huge demand for tickets. The same course content is being repeated on the following dates, all of which (regrettably for anyone hoping to partake) have already SOLD OUT:-

Friday 15/1/21 - 6.00-9.00pm, GMT - SOLD OUT

Saturday 16/1/21 - 4.00-7.00pm, GMT - SOLD OUT

Sunday 17/1/21 - 4.00-7.00pm, GMT - SOLD OUT

Tuesday 19/1/21 - 6.00-9.00pm, GMT - SOLD OUT

Nicholas' Improv Quilting Shoal Sewalong workshop will complement his next social-media Sewalong (namely the #shoalsewalong) which will be airing via his Instagram channel (@quiltsfromtheattic) from early January 2021. Needless to say, we're all absolutely delighted at this collaboration and the fact that Nicholas has been able to accommodate three consecutive dates to cater for the huge interest/demand!

Introduction by Nicholas:-

Since the #improvtrianglesewalong I hosted in early 2020, countless people have asked when the next one would be. The Shoal quilt from my book Inspiring Improv remains one of the most popular projects and I’ve seen some awesome versions, made in all manner of fabrics. When it came to deciding upon the theme for a second Sewalong, it was a no-brainer! I’m so excited to host the #shoalsewalong in January and banish what can often be the 'dreary grey' of the New Year with colourful fabric fish. I’m thrilled to offer this special CraftyMonkies workshop alongside the Sewalong, timed perfectly to give you all the hints and tips you need to sew your improv shoal!

What You Will Learn in this Online Interactive Workshop:-

During the workshop, you take the fabric you have chosen during week one of the Sewalong and learn how to sew the fish units. I will expand upon the instructions given in both my book and the sewalong. I’ll start by showing you the basics of my triangle and freehand curve techniques, before combining them to create unique and varied fish units. As a bonus, I’ll share how to add even more individuality to your fish, with extra fins, gills and patterned bodies. They’ll even be some seaweed!  After making the units, you’ll learn my top tips for joining them together using my jigsaw method, getting a heads-up before that part of the sewalong. Plus, I’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have about quilting and finishing your #shoalsewalong quilt top.

Skill Level for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

This workshop is suitable for all skill levels. The triangle technique is a great introduction to sewing in a more liberated way and is sure to fuel your creativity The freehand curves will provide the beginner with a firm foundation to cutting without rulers, upon which they can expand the technique. More experienced sewers can challenge themselves with more daring curves and different shaped fish.

Material Requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Whilst not essential for either the workshop of the Sewalong, my book Inspiring Improv (published in 2019 by Lucky Spool, available to buy via Amazon) will expand upon the techniques learnt and provide many more improv tips and tricks. My original Shoal quilt is also one of the 12 projects.

Fabric Requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Whilst difficult to give exact fabric amounts and measurements when sewing in an improvised way, please use the following as a rough guide. There will be lots more information about choosing fabrics for the sewalong when it starts in January, with videos and Instagram posts.  For those of you that like to plan ahead, use the following as a guide.

FOR THE FISH - an assortment of large scraps in your chosen colours. This fabric will be used for the fish bodies and tails, so a healthy assortment of different sized rectangles and squares will work best.

FOR THE BACKGROUND - an assortment of large scraps in your chosen sea/water colours. This can either be one fabric, for a more cohesive look, or a variety for a scrappy version.

Additional scraps from your stash in coordinating colours for gills, fins and seaweed.

The more fish you make, the bigger the quilt will be. There is no right or wrong size. Remember, this is your sewalong quilt, so make it how you want to

Please don’t stress about these requirements! They are simply a guide and I’ve yet to teach a class where something couldn’t be made because of the wrong fabric pieces. If in doubt, gather up a selection of prints and colours you like and you can cut during the workshop. Accuracy at the cutting stage is not so important using my techniques, so it won’t take long at all if you want to cut your pieces along with me. As mentioned, they don’t need to be perfectly square, so feel free to use scissors!

This is a technique-based workshop. We will be making fish units which you will then piece into your finished #shoalsewalong quilt in your own time. Feel free to make as many or as few of the fish units as you like. Don’t feel any pressure to cut up all your precious fabric!

Equipment Requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

  • A sewing machine
  • Good quality thread in an appropriate weight for piecing (I recommend Aurifil 50wt)
  • Rotary cutter with a new blade (especially important for the curve technique)
  • Cutting mat
  • Patchwork ruler (we can make any size work, but a small 1” x 12” is very handy, as is a 12.5” square.
  • Fabric scissors
  • A willingness to explore your own creativity

Additional Information relevant to this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Nicholas is truly so excited to offer this workshop as an add-on to his 2021 #shoalsewalong. He says it’s a great way to sew with like-minded people, inspire one another and see how all the fabric fish are progressing! As a thank you for booking, you’ll be offered a Discount Code which you can use to purchase one of the fabric bundles Nicholas has curated in collaboration with Crimson Tate in the USA.

Have a great festive season - we look forward to you joining us in the New Year!

Tickets for this Online Interactive Workshop (via the Zoom platform) will be limited & allocated on a first-come/first-served basis! If applicable, any free pattern, or other information, relevant to this course will be forwarded to you after booking and approximately 5 days before the course date. The ticket price of £25.00 is based on ONE person attending this crafting class.

IMPORTANT - Ordering MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT Online For Any Class/Workshop!

In light of the ongoing potential for lockdowns in some/all parts of the UK due to Covid-19 outbreaks & subsequent Government-imposed restrictions to people movement and business operation, we advise everyone to please book your place & order any materials/equipment online in plenty of time ahead of any course dates.


  • Online Workshop: Sewalong

    This ticket is for the CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Workshop with Nicholas Ball on Tuesday 19 January 2021 (6.00pm-9.00pm, GMT)

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