Category Archives: Fabric

Finished! Simple Sampler Corfu Quilt

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I started this quilt at the beginning of October last year, as part of The Sewing Directory Simple Sampler Quilt Along.

I hadn’t made this type of quilt before, and most of the patchwork techniques were new to me.  Kerry explains them so clearly, I really enjoyed the process.

The fabric I chose was inspired by a Corfu holiday,  and I’m so pleased with the way the blues, greens, pinks and neutrals have come together.  I’ve included some subtle metallics to represent the light on the sea and stone.

I planned to make a lap quilt and used the bonus partial seam sashing tutorial to join the blocks together.  When I realised how much bigger this made the quilt I decided to go further and add 6 extra blocks to make it into a small double bed size.

I wrote about some of these blocks in a January post, and the others are –2017-03-09

  1. Folk Flower by Anna Maria Horner.  Creativebug
  2. Butterfly – Sew Magazine, October 2016 (You can get back issues of Sew Magazine on Readly, with a free months subscription using this link)
  3. Whippersnapper by Anna Maria Horner. Creativebug.  I’m very pleased with the placement of the little house on this one.

The back is a cream and black floral, with a stripe of cream Moda Zen Chic scraps.

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And I mustn’t forget the support of my little fluffy helper.  Hetty thinks anything on the floor belongs to her!

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Thank you very much Fiona and Kerry for organising the QAL.  I learned so much, and it’s inspired me to carry on quilting!

 

Ice Cream Soda BOM – fabric pull

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I love English Paper Piecing, but I’ve only used hexagon templates.  So when I heard about Tales of Cloth’s Ice Cream Soda block of the month club I thought this was a chance to try putting some more shapes together.

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Ice Cream Soda photo from talesofcloth.com

Kerry of Very Kerry Berry spoke at the South West Modern Quilt Guild last week about choosing fabrics for a quilt, so I’m using her excellent advice to help with my fabric selection.

I started with my ‘hero’ fabric, which is Kaffe Fasset’s Millefiore in orange (top photo).  It has lots of colours in it which can inspire other fabrics choices.  The next step could be to buy other fabrics in the same collection, but I like my quilts to have a scrappy look.  So I went to my stash of scraps and smaller pieces.

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These are the golds and oranges, with some mustards coming in too.

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Kerry suggested using some of these added fabrics as inspiration to lead to other colours. The flower print (bottom left) has the gold, but also grey and black, so I added some of those.

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Then I put a black and white filter on this photo of my whole selection to check the contrast.

I’d like some more dark fabric.  There is a burgundy in the Kaffe Fasset that I don’t have.    Also some more pale blue and paler neutrals.

One of the things I really like about the Ice Cream Soda quilt is that you can make a few flowers and see how they work together.  I plan to use the fabrics I already have for the first couple of months.  Although I do have a shopping trip planned with my very talented friend Nicola, and it would be rude not to buy any fabric then, wouldn’t it?!

Make & Review – Sewing Happiness

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I’ve been making a few projects from Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida this month.  A while ago, I volunteered as a pattern tester and Sanae very kindly sent me a copy when it was published.

As well as a book of projects, Sewing Happiness is part memoir, and account of how Sanae came to sewing.  Like Sanae, I’m a huge fan of enjoying ‘the practice’ and doing something regularly to get better at it.  Without pressure, but also wanting to improve.

Last year I took part in the 100 Day Project.  Every day for 100 days I cooked a new (to me) recipe. And guess what – I got better at cooking.  I’m more confident, more able to substitute ingredients, more willing to give a new technique a go.  Some days were more successful than others, but it was always edible!  Sanae’s experience of sewing sounds very similar.

I also like her take on using social media “There is an overarching sense of terror about creating something that didn’t exist befoe and putting it out into the world for judgment, but when you do it repeatedly, the confidence muscle strengthens”.

I’ve made four of the projects from the book so far.

The fabric origimi butterfly above is for a tooth fairy pillow.  There is a little pocket formed by the wing folds.  It took me a little while to get the folds right, but I’m delighted with the result.  It is so pretty and delicate.

Then I made a fabric bucket to hold bottles in the bathroom.

The blue triangle bag was my tester pattern and is another project that uses origami folds.  I especially like the strip of contrasting fabric used as the handle.  The infinity scarf is made from double gauze – melissa makes made me one as a gift, and I’ve since made several for friends inspired by her use of contrasting fabrics.

It’s unusual for me to try so many ideas from one book.  The projects are straightforward, but have some interesting and unusual techniques too, and they are perfect for showing off special fabric.

Is still want to make some aprons, a dopp kit and try some sashiko.  And surely  there is room for a floral crown in my life?!

If you want to make beautiful presents which don’t take forever, it is a wonderful book to have.

Simple Sampler Quilt Along

I was on holiday in Corfu when Fiona announced the Sewing Directory Simple Sampler Quilt-Along. I love the sampler quilt look and there are some interesting techniques I haven’t tried before.

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Colour inspiration was all around me.

Blues, greens, sun bleached stone, bright pink flowers, and some sparkle.

I’m also including the amazing teal/sea green I see when I’m swimming in the sea – bit difficult to get a picture of that!

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I love scrappy quilts (and I’ve got a lot of scraps to use up!), so I’ve pulled out some smaller pieces from the big bag in the cupboard. Liberty Lifestyle, Amy Butler, screenprints from Umbrella prints and some scraps of pink Gypsy Bandanna from around 6 years ago.

Metallic Essex linen for the golden light and sparkly sea. Pictured with Moda Mixologie green and stone scraps.

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These are bigger pieces. The blue floral is Liberty City Poplin (from a dress which didn’t suit me), chambray left over from a skirt, Rifle Paper Co Rosa Floral and Rhoda Ruth Starry Sky in teal and shadow.

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I’m looking forward to taking part, and seeing all the other lovely colour combinations.

Link to the Simple Sampler Quilt-A-Long

Screenprinting with Jane Foster

I’ve been thinking about printing my own fabric for a while, and came across Jane Foster’s courses while googling one day.  I love Jane’s work, and the chance to learn from her – too good to miss!

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Jane is based in Kingsbridge – about an hour from me – so I drove down there on the most beautiful day.  There were four of us, and I think we were all a bit nervous!

It was fascinating to hear from Jane about her career and life as an artist.  And I fell in love with screenprinting on my first try.  I’m not very good at drawing, but the process makes  simple designs look great, so it’s ideal for me.

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I designed a flower using paper cut outs and round stickers, and struck with that for my one and two colour prints.

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We printed three bags, some scraps of fabric, and paper.  I also made tiny niece Greta a bag.

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She was a bit confused there was nothing in it (she had a very good look to make sure!), but soon came round when we showed her how to put toys in there.  (Also, she’s wearing the smocked dress I made – my sister knows how to make me happy).

Whenever I go on courses I am amazed by the variety of work produced – here is one bag from each of us.  Could they be more different?!

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You can find out more about Jane and her work at www.janefoster.co.uk – course details are in the Shop section.

Colette Jasmine revisited

I decided this week to remake the first pattern I made successfully – as in, actually wore! – the Colette Jasmine.

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I definitely had beginners luck the first time round, especially with my fabric choice, which was a slightly sheer vintage flower print with a bit of stretch.  It worked without any alterations, which was very encouraging.  I was even fortunate in not stay-stitching the neckline, as I liked the lower v-neck when it stretched.  Told you I had beginners luck!

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This time I used another vintage print which I bought as a bolt, with it’s original label still attached.

I lowered the neckline by an inch at the front (to get that stretched out effect) and attached the sleeves flat so I could serge the seam edges.  I also took it in a little at the waist and hips.

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I love this top.  The bias cut gives such a flattering line.

It was fun to go back in time – and here’s the first version I made in 2012.

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Stashbusting

I’ve joined the 2013 Style the Stash Sew A Long site – I do love looking at other sewists’ stashes, and hopefully will keep me motivated to stash bust.

My first thoughts on summer stashbusting – I’ve tried to keep it fairly short.  Who knows, I may achieve some of this!

This is a 1930s batik from Bali.  I’ve had it for about three years and it deserves to be seen, not stuck in a drawer!  You can’t see from the photo, but the fabric is damaged with small burn holes, so I feel ok about cutting it up.  I think I will make a Sewaholic Cambie dress, using the blue border for the bodice.

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I’ve only got small amounts of the next two fabrics.  They are both vintage, I’m not sure how old.  The Kelly skirt might be a good pattern for them, as it doesn’t use much fabric.

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The green print on the left is vintage Laura Ashley.  I was on a fabric buying ban when I bought it, but couldn’t resist the  colour and bright flashes of pink in the print.  That’s one of the problems with buying vintage – it won’t be there the next time you visit the shop!

I’m going to make pyjamas for Karen’s Pyjama party from the pale blue brush cotton – also vintage.  These two fabric were from Fountain Antiques in Devon.

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Finally, a couple of modern Liberty prints for summer dresses.

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