Posts tagged ‘fabric’

August 12, 2013

Festival of Quilts 2013

Ok so it’s been ages since my last post, but let’s not dwell on that!  I have a recent flurry of craftiness to report on.

Firstly the Festival of Quilts.  This was my fifth year at the festival and it’s one of my favourite days of the year.  I love looking at all of the inspiring quits and stocking up my fabric stash.  But this year it was more exciting because I entered a quit.  I entered the new ‘My First Quilt’ category with my first quilt.  As it was a new category I had no idea what the standard would be or the type of thing people would enter, but I had no expectations of winning but just thought it would be fun to enter.  And it was, it was very exciting (although I was a little nervous) to see it hanging in the exhibition.

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I didn’t place in the category but it was fun to enter and has made be consider one of the other categories in the future, maybe the miniature quilt category (a bit more manageable time-wise).

Here are some of the other quilts that caught my eye.

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And some of the fabric I bought.  I’m loving the combination of coral, aqua and grey at the moment.  I think this will be a new quilt.

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August 27, 2012

Festival of quilts

So my friend and I had a great day out at the quilt festival at the Birmingham NEC last weekend. We set off early to make sure that we got there ready to have a coffee before the doors opened.

We did quilts then a bit of shopping then lunch then more quilts and more shopping. There is so much to see that it’s almost too much for one day. Sadly by the end of the day it gets hard to really appreciate the quality of the quilts.

It’s interesting to see what things other people like and how tastes can vary. I tend to like the ones that are more abstract, pretty, with a lot of texture.

 

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And I love ones that look good from a distance and then even better close up.

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Whilst they aren’t my taste you can’t help but appreciate the time and effort that goes into these quilts.

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Last year I bought loads of material for a quilt. This year I have no quilt projects lined up for the near future so I went for something different. I have just started a textiles course so I stocked up on bits and pieces that should be useful for that.

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August 18, 2012

Blogging at the Festival of Quilts

This is my first on location blog, I’m at the Festival of Quilts! Already seen loads of amazing quilts and done a bit of shopping. Just having a quick bite of lunch before getting back to the rest.

Here are some of the sights…

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More to come later I’m sure!

July 14, 2012

New Project

I was baby sitting for a friend earlier this week… a good excuse to do some crafting.  I didn’t really get much done but set up a new project that I can pick up and put down and do whist watching the TV.  The aim is to practice and experiment with embroidery.

I have this beautiful fabric that I got from Seamstar (a great place for fabric and haberdashery shopping), probably about a year (maybe more) ago.  It’s so nice that I haven’t wanted to cut it up, so I thought I would use the pattern as a base and embellish it with embroidery and maybe some beads and turn it into a picture.

So here it is at the beginning.  You might just be able to make out a line of back stitch along one side of a blue stem to the right of the centre flower.  I’m thinking it’s going to take a while to complete but I’ll keep you updated.

June 17, 2012

Using up the stash!

Well it feels like we’ve had the wettest, coldest and darkest June ever in the UK!  While I am disappointed that we can’t be out in the sun, having bbqs and enjoying the new grass in the garden, it does mean that I don’t mind staying in making.  My current aim: use up some of the stash!

This is my dresser. I got it in a much more orange pine state from a charity shop. I painted it white (many layers!) and changed the handles to make a cute place to keep my sewing stuff. In addition to the fat quarters you can see, the bottom cupboard is also full of fabric and other bits including ribbon, buttons and cotton.  My mission is to use some of it up.

I know from reading other people’s blogs that I’m not alone in accumulating significant amounts of fabric, and reassured when I see that other people have way more than I do.  I have a habit of buying things without a purpose, just because I like it and buying more than I need for projects and never getting round to using up the left overs.  So my aim is to make things that start to use up all of the bits and pieces that I have.

A top tip that I picked up from somewhere is to cut scraps of fabric into squares ready to use for patchwork rather than leaving them stashed away as scraps.  This makes it easy to create something like these patchwork cushions, particularly if your fabrics coordinate.

Left overs from this quilt

Left overs from a few projects

(the backs)

I also conquered the zip and made these little zip pouches using 5″x5″ squares (same size as in the cushions), bits of ribbon, and some calico that I had left over.  These were a bit fiddly but worked out ok.

And I made another baby blanket, again using 5″x5″ squares.  I love the colour combination on this one. I used some satin bias binding for the edges which makes it nice and tactile and fleece on the back for comfort.

Fabric purchased from the Festival of Quilts 2011 (must use these up before going again in August!)

Still plenty of material to go.  I’m going to struggle more with the bits that don’t seem to match anything.  I’m thinking maybe a scrappy quilt with lots of different colours.

April 22, 2012

Thrifting

I read about ‘thrifting’ on other people’s blogs and have this romantic idea of going into second hand shops and coming out with armfuls of beautiful vintage fabrics, quirky objects and items that can be up-cycled into wonderful new things.  The reality however, in my experience, is not like this.  I’ve popped into the local charity shop and come away empty handed many a time.

But recently I’ve had a little success!  Nothing too amazing but it’s a start. Last week I managed to pick up this decent sized piece of blue material for £5, which might become the back of a boy quilt sometime in the future, and some cotton dollies to add to a couple I got a few weeks ago.  I have a few ideas for these, and one now lives under the glass on my coffee table.

I also got some embroidery and needlework books from a few different shops when I was away in Norfolk last week.   All a couple of pounds each.

They’re all from the 60s/70s but my thinking was that the techniques will still be as relevant today.  In fact some of the designs are quite timeless, or they have come back into fashion.

I like the colour and the pattern of this front cushion

 

Interesting embroidery image

 

One of the few colour pages in 'Enjoying Embroidery'. Sadly most of them are black and white

So I am now inspired to carry on hunting out finds, but think I have learnt a couple of things:

  1. Know what you’re looking for.  That way you can go in and hunt them out.  I found that without an idea of the sort of things I wanted I was in danger of ending up with a load of stuff that I had no purpose for just because it was cheep,  or (more often in my case) coming away with nothing because nothing stands out.
  2. It makes a difference where you shop.  Thinking about it it’s obvious that the contents of the shop is going reflect the people in the local area who donate to it so it’s worth shopping in different places.
  3. Go often.  Because things change and you never know what you’re going to find.

Also while I was away I went into Jarrolds, an independent department store in Norwich, which has a lovely little haberdashery section.  I couldn’t resist getting some grosgrain ribbon in aqua, grey and flowers, some buttons and a length of this lovely patterned binding.

January 16, 2012

Notice the transformation

Me and my housemate were up into the early hours of this morning.  Partying?  No.  Crafting? Yes!!  Inspired by the last photo in my previous post and some that a friend had made we decided to make fabric covered notice boards.  I was making one for my room (which currently has absolutely nothing on the walls) and Beth was making one for a friend.

Notice board before

I started out with an old, probably very cheap, cork board that I’ve had for ages.  With the intention of trying to use things up (bit of a new years resolution to deal with the fabric stash I’m accumulating) I used some batting that I had left over from quilt making, thick cotton fabric left over from some aprons I made and ribbon from my stash.  In order to get the colours I wanted I did add to the ribbon collection with a couple of lovely East of India spools.  I wanted the board to tie in with the colours of my quilt.

i.e. pinks and neutrals

I cut two layers of the batting (which was quite thin) to fit just inside the frame of the board to eliminate the level change.  Then I cut a layer of batting and a layer of fabric a couple of inches larger than the board all the way round, laid them out and smoothed them down and placed the board face down on top.  Pulling the fabric and batting round to the back I stabled both layers to the wooden frame.  Next I arranged my ribbons in different orders until I was happy with them and again stapled them to the back of the frame making sure they were straight and taught.  Et voila…

One notice board with a new lease of life.  I like the eclectic mix of ribbon colour and texture.  The notice holding power of the ribbon varies depending on how slippery they are and how lose the weave is (loser weaves don’t pull so tight).  I like the idea of using pegs to hold bits and pieces on as well.

My housemate took hers to an advanced level by adding pockets to the bottom; pretty and useful!

Two posts in a week, woohoo!  Next make… not sure yet.

 

November 30, 2011

Presenting my third quilt!!

I introduced this quilt here.  I made it for my sister for her 30th birthday and it is now signed, sealed and delivered so here it is…

(I managed to catch a moment of sun to take some pictures!)

I was very happy with the final result.  I love the mix of colours against the grey solid background.  I think the fabrics stand out really wall in the simple design, which is why I chose the simple design, along with time constraints.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the back (oops).

I quilted it with a simple stitch in the ditch along the horizontal joints.  I haven’t really experimented much with other quilting designs, maybe on the next one!

I love the tones and patterns of these fabrics

This is the third quilt that I’ve made.  The first one was for me, and the second for my mum which I haven’t posted yet but will do soon.

It’s make, make, make here as this weekend I’m having my first craft stall with some of the ladies from sewing group.  It is the first time any of us have tried to sell any of our makes so it will be interesting to see how it goes.  I will post with an update and photos of the fair.

October 5, 2011

New project low-down

Way too long since my last post.  This is due to general business, and not much of the making kind unfortunately.

But anyway, this is my latest project which is currently work in progress.  Here are the essential facts…

What: A quilt

Why: A present for a special person on a special birthday

Size: A lap quilt approx 60″ by 60″

Target finish date: Early November (making it by far my quickest quilt.  Not that hard given that the first one took two years!)

Design: I wanted to do a simple, square design as it suited the person I am giving it to and I figured it will be quickest.  I came across this quilt on a blog that I’ve recently started following and it looked perfect so I am doing something very similar

Fabrics: A mix of blue/greens selected from the vast range at the Quilt Festival.  I really love the patterned fabrics and I went with grey for the background colour because I like grey and thought it would be fresh but not too bright.  Turns out the person I am making it for has just got a new grey sofa, happy coincidence

Grey, blue, green colour palette

 

Progress: I’m just over two weeks in.  I’ve cut all of the squares and have pieced all of the strips.  Not a bad start but I’ve run out of grey fabric (I’m not great at planning these things!), so waiting for a trip to the fabric shop at the weekend

Strips pieced together

 

In the mean time: I’ve done a fair bit of baking, started my next baby blanket and had an amazing, unseasonably warm weekend away with friends.  See below…

Cherry and coconut cakes

 

Strawberry cheesecake muffins

 

Chocolate tiffin in the fridge

 

The state of my kitchen at the end!

 

Beautiful beach in West Wales

Next up date will be sooner (hopefully x)

August 25, 2011

Sewing Group

Every couple of weeks or so, I get together with a few other ladies for sewing group.  It’s very informal; about seven or eight of us gather at someone’s house and each bring our own projects to work on.  This week we had: baby mitten knitting, felt needle case making, card making, bags and bunting, cardigan knitting and bandanas for dogs!  So its really more of a craft group than a sewing group.

Spot the Royal Wedding mug!

 

We are a real mix from beginners to the more experienced; the focused and the chatty; the perfectionists and laid back (who can knock up two or three cushion covers in an evening!).  But we all enjoy it and it’s great to get together, have a natter, help each other out and share tips and ideas.  Sewing can be a bit of an isolated hobby so its good to do it with others and it makes you put time aside to do it.

Having dutifully washed and ironed the fabric I got at the quilt festival, I spent the evening cutting squares for my baby blankets.  I think I’m going to use fleece as the backing for the blankets to make them nice and cozy.  Trip to the fabric shop required to get some fleece.

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