For those of you who might have missed this on our Facebook page:
BACK IN BUSINESS! I have enjoyed a lovely week on holiday. I hope you haven’t missed Inspiration Station too much! To ease back into things this coming week will be an open house – 7:30am-1:30pm, Sunday to Thursday, 6th to 10th April. Feel free to drop in for a coffee and have a read through the magazines, hop on a sewing machine, park yourself at an easel or get scrappy in the paper room and more. A 30QR per day ‘drop in’ fee for as long as you like – no registration required. Just come along, bring a friend and get creative!
This ‘Pit Stop’ week will operate similar to our club nights (https://ourinspirationstation.wordpress.com/clubs/club-night/). Bring along your own project to work on and make use of the space a facilities. Any other materials such as fabric, scrapbook papers, yarn etc can either be purchased from us (depending on availability) or need to be brought yourself.
New magazines just in! Come enjoy a relaxing coffee morning with some glossy pages of inspiration as part of our 30qr ‘PitStop Week’. No registration required.
I picked up a few copies to save for the scrapbook (that I can create in our paper room!). We are still within our first year of operation and it is so satisfying to hit little milestones like this, when other people get as excited about Inspiration Station as I do and I can see the seeds planted over the past year starting to blossom! We have dreamt big and have great ambitions for Inspiration Station.
Once again I would like to thank everyone who has got in behind our little oasis of creativity and helped it grow. May it continue to do so…
Good Morning everyone!
Starting with bad news… We are having some technical issues with the display of our class details on our calendar and class lists pages. We are working on a remedy but it is taking some time. Hopefully we will have everything back online soon.
Then the good news! In the meantime be sure to go directly to our Eventbrite account for class details.
There are lots of new classes on the list for you to choose from. Here are a few of my favourites that I’m looking forward to:
Tuesday 21st January, 5:30pm-8:30pm
Class size: 6 students max.
Description: Get away from the straight lines and venture into free-motion quilting territory. This introduction class to free-motion quilting will set you on your way to giving your quilts a whole other layer of design.
Skills: Troubleshoot issues for thread tension whilst quilting. Learn a variety of free-motion quilting designs.
Requirements: All tools and materials are provided. This is an intermediate project so some basic sewing machine experience is preferred.
Thursday 23rd and 30th January, 9:00-12:00pm
Cost: 300QR (2 sessions)
Class size: 6 students max.
Description: Let your quilt border take the spotlight by creating a stunning woven braid. It looks amazing but actually pieces together with minimal fuss.
Skills: Learn strip-piecing techniques. Pick up tips and tricks for matching seams for perfect points.
Requirements: All tools and materials are provided. This is an intermediate project so some basic experience is preferred.
NOTE: This class is 2 sessions in length – Tuesday 23rd and 30th January, both 9:00am-12:00pm. Both sessions should be attended.
Sunday 26th January, 9:00am-12:00pm or Tuesday 28th, 5:30-8:30pm
Class size: 6 students max.
Description: Learn how to create stunning kaleidoscope quilts using the stack’n’whack technique. This technique works best on large print fabrics (most of the time the uglier the better!). You will start to look at you fabric choices in a whole new way…
Skills: Learn how to identify repeats in print fabrics. Learn how to piece accurate point from equilateral triangles.
Requirements: All tools and materials are provided. This is a more advanced project so some experience is preferred.
Garment Sewing –
Wednesday 22nd and 29th January, 9:00am-12:00pm or 5:30pm-8:30pm
Cost: 300QR (2 sessions)
Class size: 6 students max.
Description: This introduction class to understanding how to use commercial patterns will help you unlock the secrets of making your own clothing. Practice your new found skills on your child, grandchild, friends child or even your teddy bear by making these cute little pajamas. This pattern covers all the basics in an achievable project.
Skills: Understand how to use a commercial pattern from selecting size to cutting to assembling garments.
Requirements: All tools and materials are provided. This is a beginners project so no previous experience is required although basic understanding of using a sewing machine is recommended.
NOTE: This class is scheduled for 2 sessions in length – January 22nd and 29th, 9:00am-12:00pm or 5:30pm-8:30pm. Both sessions should be attended.
Wednesday 5th and 12th February, 9:00am-12:00pm or 5:30pm-8:30pm
Cost: 300QR (2 sessions)
Class size: 6 students max.
Description: Every girl needs a go-to skirt in her wardrobe and now you can make your own. You can even make 10 if you like! Long or short; full, half or quarter; bright, pattern, plain – make it your way.
Skills: Learn how to calculate and draft a pattern for different sized circle skirts, sew in a zip, add pockets and finish a rolled hem.
Requirements: All tools and materials are provided except for the skirt fabric. You will need to bring around 5 yards/4.5 meters of medium weight woven fabric (avoid knit fabric). Regular cottons are great but feel free to add a bit of glamour with a satin or a more casual feel with light denim. Contact me for a more specific guide for fabric yardage.
NOTE: This class is 2 sessions in length – Wednesday 5th and 12th February, 9:00am-12:00pm or 5:30pm-8:30pm. Both sessions should be attended. This is an intermediate project so some basic sewing experience is preferred.
I hope we see you soon!
Here is another must know shop location if you are not familiar already. The Singer shop…yey!
It does not have a tag on Google maps but the Al Badie Music shop does, which is next door on the same corner of the roundabout.
As well as selling and servicing a range of Singer sewing machine models they also sell a variety of sewing notions such as pins, needles, scissors, interfacing, buttons, zips and such.
Notably they have a good stock of knitting and crochet supplies. A full selection of needles in different sizes and a reasonable stock of wool choices.
They also have a good selection of DMC cotton for 3QR a skein. They also have embroidery aida in different sizes.
And if I haven’t sold them as a great go to then you have to visit for their felt. They reliably (up until now anyway) have a nice selection of felt that you can buy for around 20-25qr a meter depending on who you talk to.
Hope you get to visit them soon 🙂
I got a moment on Thursday night for a brief visit to Art Elements, the recently opened art and craft supply shop in The Gate Mall. I had heard all about it, checked out their Facebook page and had high hopes for this new shop. I was not disappointed!
There are a lot of things working in their favor. They are very well stocked with a diverse range of media for many art and craft projects. From drawing and painting on different surfaces – textile, ceramic, glass, canvas and paper – to decoupage, marbling and clay work. They have a great stock of canvas in different sizes and shapes, brushes, spray paints, gold leaf…the list goes on. What I like best is that in any product they seem to have the full range of colours available. The products are good quality and seem to be well priced.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves but I can say that it is well worth a visit. I look forward to seeing how this shop develops.
The Gate Mall is opposite City Centre and next to Salem Plaza. See the map below:
They are on the second level in the mall. Give them a call on 4407 7174 if you have any questions about their stock.
So, you need another reason to go and visit?! Okay – Art Elements are right beside these super cool jelly fish! One of the coolest decorations I have seen in a Doha mall yet.
Today I had to stop by Al Mushiri to pick up some supplies for our Bernina sewing machines. In our sewing room we have 6 Bernina sewing machines (1008 models) and Al Mushiri is our go-to for all our machines needs – feet, needles, accessories and maintenance. They have it all!
I was delighted to see that as well as supplying everything Bernina related they have expanded their sewing stock to include many quilters items such as rotary cutters, cutting mats, grids and rulers and lots of other bits and pieces.
Most exciting was the stock of quilters fabrics. Although the souq (as I have written about before) has a reasonable stock of fabric, for those who are ready and willing to hunt and dig, seeing a good selection of quilters fabrics at Al Mushiri was a real treat!
Make sure you head down for a look and shop. Jonathan behind the Bernina desk will be ready and willing to assist you. Or give him a call on 77131068 if you have any Bernina related questions.
To find Al Mushiri is very easy. It is marked on the map below – you want to turn right onto the service road/carpark directly after Ibn Al Atheer Street, which is the first street on your right as you come off the roundabout under the Al Jaidah flyover heading towards the civil defense roundabout. Look out for the big ‘Al Mushiri Co.’ sign.
The building occupies the whole front of the block. There is parking in front but it is limited. You may need to circle around and park in the side street if you come at a busy time…although it is hard to say when that is!
Contact Al Mushiri:
Phone – 44423030, 4443599
Email – email@example.com
With only two weeks to go until our grand opening (EEK! So excited!!) I wanted to introduce you to a few of the fabulous crafters who will be selling their wonderful things in our craft market.
Saturday, September 7th, 8:30am to 1:30pm
As well as shopping at the following crafty/arty stalls we will have food and drinks for sale, some inspirational demonstrations and the opportunity to sign up for our classes in the coming weeks. It is going to be heaps of fun and hopefully very inspirational!
See you soon!
NOTE: Please take note of the date of the following post. When talking about the souq certain information can quickly become out of date. We will endeavor to post updates at the end of this post when necessary. Also refer to the comments section for updates by readers…we welcome all feedback.
A common question – Where do I buy fabric in Doha?
Of course it will all depend on what your project requires. Are you a quilter, a dress maker, a crafter or an upholsterer? Whatever the case you will be surprised at the variety of fabrics available in Doha. It sometimes takes a lot of digging, navigating and negotiation but it is all worth the effort, although the following information aims to take some of that effort out of the adventure.
This post is the beginning of a hopefully comprehensive guide to where to get fabric, who to speak to and how to get the best deal and quality.
Part 1 – Souq Al Aseiry
Otherwise known as the Escalator Souq, Souq Al Aseiry is relatively easy to find. When you navigate the map below the marker that Google provides is actually in the middle of an empty lot…go figure!
Souq Al Aseiry is on the opposite side of Grand Hammad Street to the popular Souq Waqif and within easy walking distance. Parking near Souq Al Aseiry isn’t always available depending on the time of day. It may be easier to park in Souq Waqif (paid parking) and walk over Grand Hammad Street.
The best entrance into Souq Al Aseiry is marked with a large blue diamond. The reason this is the best entrance is because of the cashpoint machine just inside the door. It is much easier to pay in cash than with card at each of the shops. It is also easier to haggle a discount when dealing with hard cash.
The door looks over onto the large empty lot and mosque on the other side of the road. If you walk further down the road from the ‘Blue Diamond’ door (towards the mosque, away from Souq Waqif) and turn left around the corner there is the second entrance to Souq Al Aseiry. This door leads directly to the bottom of the escalator.
Al Aseiry operates on the same opening hours as most of the souqs in Doha.
Saturday to Thursday: 8:00am-12:00pm (midday), 4:00pm-10:00pm
Friday: Closed in the morning, opens from 4:00pm-10:00pm
It seems that the best time for visiting is Saturday morning. Not only is it nice a quiet and you are more likely to get a good parking space but this also seems to be the day they receive new stock.
It is important to remember that each shop has seasonal stock, peaks and valleys in their inventory, and although one had great small prints last time you visited they may not today. Likewise a shop that had nothing of interest before may have replenished their stock. It pays to dig around as many shops as you can – you never know what you may find!
Become a valuable customer. Visit frequently, say hello and build relationships with the shops you prefer. You will be remembered and your loyalty will be rewarded with great discounts.
There is strength in numbers! Go shopping with a group of friends. Let the shops know you brought your friends with you and they will express their gratitude through discounts or some extra fabric.
Speak up! Tell them what you are looking for and they will do their best to find it for you. Sometimes they even ask you to take a seat and go to do the legwork for you, bringing you stock from other shops to look at. If you can bring a sample of a fabric you want to match for color or quality then all the better. Just ask for “same same”.
Some shops can be overwhelming with the amount of stock. Instead of digging around bolt upon bolt of fabric ask if there are fabric books available. Most shops will have catalogues of their stock so you can sit down and leaf through at leisure.
Be picky. What you are looking for is out there…don’t settle for thinner cotton just because it is the right colour. Most fabrics are so reasonably priced you can often afford to get a meter of something not-quite-right just in case. But most of the time a little more digging or pushing on to the next shop will reward you with exactly what you were needing so you are not unnecessarily adding to your stash. But, keep note of that backup fabric ‘just in case’.
Don’t be afraid to ask for “best price”. You are expected to haggle.
Take your time. Fabric souq shopping can’t be done in a rush!
Inside Souq Al Aseiry there are a good number of fabric shops (25-30ish) on the lower and upper level. Visit them all if you have the time!
Here are reviews of a few of the shops in Al Aseiry. (Please feel free to add you own reviews or experience in the comments section below):
So, just inside the entrace after the cashpoint machine your first stop should be Arafa Textiles. A man by the name Kabeer is who you want to speak to. He is friendly and helpful and gives great discounts. Arafa Textiles has a great range of prints for quilters, most of which are displayed in fabric books.
The average label price for cottons are 25-30QR but best price for regular customers can be as low as 15QR. You may need to earn this discount but it is easy to become a repeat customer at this shop!
If you pass Arafa and start heading up the stairs you want to stop on the landing half way up. To your right and in the far corner there is a hidden gem.
In a small corridor space you will find Al Safeena who provide bed sheet fabric with widths of 2.4m and come in a reasonable range of colours. These are great for quilters who are looking for backing fabrics.
At the top of the stairs you will find Lulu Fabrics. This shop is an example of building a good relationship. Lulu’s stock was in the past a quilters goldmine with great holiday and quirky prints. Although they haven’t recently had any fabrics to my particular liking the guys are brilliant. I still stop in to say hello and they are always happy to see me. I can count on them to remember what I might have been looking for. They save or order with me in mind and on more than a few occasions I have dropped by and they have pulled out the perfect fabric with my name on it. Excellent!
Next door to the right is Al-Rawdha Textiles. They have a very good range of prints in good quality cottons. They also make life easy with a great catalogue of fabric books to peruse (books pictured earlier in this post). Fabrics here are slightly more expensive as a rule but still excellent value. The quality of their cottons is also a little better than others so you get what you pay for.
Telephone: 66824678, 55208096, 55202089
This shop has a great range of good quality plain cottons and linens. They also have a nice selection of knits. The staff are very friendly and eager to work the best deal with you.
Doha Al Anwar
This shop has a great catalogue of prints and stands out as having a variety of different colour ways in the same or similar patterns.
Head downstairs to my personal favourite! Golden Rose is more pricey but stocks excellent quality fabrics, all imported from Japan. The owner is a wonderfully friendly guy and great fun to speak to. He has great knowledge of his stock and is very willing to help. The stock covers a wide range of textiles – cotton small prints for quilters, knits, silks, linens, fake furs…the works!
Coming up next…
So, that should do for now for Al Aseiry. Check back again soon for Part 2 of our Fabric Shopping Tour!