Branching Out With Butterflies.

20 Jan

I have repurposed one of my quilt kits to give it a new focus.

I have taken my mixture of butterflies and fossil ferns and transformed it from this single bed quilt.

Butterfly quilts

To these combinations of cot quilt and baby bag.

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The fabrics are still amongst the prettiest I have seen in the years I have been quilting and this way there is no need to lose out just because you don’t need a single bed quilt. There seems to be a steadily growing if  imported trend for baby showers. What better than a set for travelling. You won’t get one of those at Mothercare and there is little chance of anyone giving the identical gift.

The only problem might be actually giving it away.

Crazy Patch Flower Power

15 Dec

I have just received the contrast fabrics for the Gypsy Chique panel that I used to make the bag in the last blog.

They are, predictably reflections of  60’s fashion.

Paisley was popular in those days but translates well to the modern day.

paisley black

Matching butterfly themed fabric.

flighty black

The same fabric in another colourway.

flighty cream

And of course the panel.

gypsy panel

I decided to use them in a crazy patch quilt top as this is a good way to showcase fabrics.

IMG_0097And there you have it.

Find the fabrics here.

And here at the bottom.

Gypsy Chic and a Carousel

23 Nov

Loralie Designs has started reissuing older fabric designs and one I have been using this week is one called Gypsy Chique (sic). I decided to make a bag using no sew fusible web. I have never used it despite selling it on my website.

First  cut out the figures from the panel fabric leaving fabric all round. Then iron it onto the fusible web and cut round the shape accurately.

Back View

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Front View

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Cut 4 pieces of cream fabric and two of wadding and make up pockets for the front of the bag. Put two of the cream pieces right sides together and a piece of wadding on top. Stitch through all layers, turn and press. Quilt through all layers in whatever pattern you like.

Arrange figures on the front of the pocket and fuse.

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Cut four pieces the same width as the pockets and a few inches higher depending on the size of bag. Take one piece and a matching piece of wadding and quilt. Repeat with one other piece and two pieces for the sides and one for the base.

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The other pieces are for the lining.

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Place one pocket piece on each of the matching front/back pieces – wrong side of pocket to right side of bag front/back. Add sides then base to make a bag shape.

Make the unquilted pieces into a matching structure without pockets  or wadding for lining.

Place lining wrong sides of lining to wrong side of bag. Pin or baste.

Cut 2.5″ strips of matching or contrasting fabric and stitch together to make a piece long enough to go round the top of the bag. Fold in half lengthways and press. Place strip with the raw edge against the top of the bag and stitch. Turn inside and stitch again either by hand or machine depending on the look you want.

Cut two 2.5″ strips of fabric for each handle. Cut a piece of Rigilene Polyester the length of the handles you want. Sew the handles right sides together and turn and press. Thread the Rigilene inside, distribute the gathers and stitch to the bag.

Voila one large bag perhaps for shopping.

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You can of course make a smaller one with one or two figures on the pocket.

As for the Carousel in the title. Just a new fabric from Loralie Designs.

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All That Glisters

19 Sep

Boy have I been busy. There can’t be too many more hobbies to discover but I seem to have done it again. I was leafing through a catalogue some months ago and discovered something called Silver Clay. It looked intriguing and I have been looking for a course so that I could learn the basics. I found a very good one in Cornwall at the Cornwall School of Art Craft and Jewellery (CSACJ)

Cornwall School of Art, Craft and Jewellery
Suite 2, Coldrenick Farm Offices
Helland
Nr Bodmin
Cornwall
PL30 4QE
Tel: 01208 264155

Email: info@csacj.co.uk

website: csacj.co.uk

I did a five day course that taught the basics from beginner up to intermediate. The teaching by Julia Rai was second to none and the atmosphere was friendly and peaceful. We made an awful lot of pieces. In fact I was surprised how many we made but I guess you have to make something for each stage.

We started off with a pair of earings and later on in the course I made a matching pendant.

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Each day progressed to a new stage but building on the previous stages. We made a variety of charms, moulded and formed.

DSCN3193Excuse the dreadful photo but shiny things are difficult to take. Beads was next

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Non fireable stones.

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Dry forming and setting stones by drilling.

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This is a piece of glass held in with silver balls.

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A hollow shape made with syringed clay.

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I was dreading ring day as I was convinced that my rings would end up misformed. However, not only were they both perfectly round and fit just right, they were not as difficult as I thought they would be.

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Silver, gold foil and liver of sulphur and very hot fingers produced this one.

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This one had liver of sulphur and liquid gold. I also thought I had ruined it with the liver of sulphur but a bit of polishing soon sorted it out. In any case apparently refiring returns it to the original state.

DSCN3183I did one more but I don’t like it so am going to experiment a bit with a different finish.

My biggest problem was jump rings, I just can’t get them to meet properly. Practice, practice, practice. Looking at the closeup photographs I think I will also use my large magnifying glass when cleaning the greenware to make sure the finish is just right. Normal eyesight, especially aged normal eyesight even with glasses is not enough for perfection. However, I always say that you only really learn when you make a mistake so I should be really good at this given time. In any case I shall be keeping these as examples of each technique and ‘what not to do’s’ and for practising polishing etc.

I did buy a kiln but in fact you do not have to have a kiln to make silver clay jewellery. A butane torch does the job on most of the pieces. This means that you can do it with a lot less outlay and still buy a kiln in the future if you want to branch out or make in quantity. Mind you as it only takes three minutes with the torch, quantity is eminently possible even with this method.

If you are thinking of taking a course, not only is the teaching superb but the srroundings are beautiful and peaceful. The studio is in the middle of the countryside whilst at the same time being very close to the A30. So easy to get to and still ‘away from it all’.

Whilst I was looking at the pieces in a display cabinet at the studio I came across some really beautiful glass used in jewellery. As a result I am taking a class on that too, this time with Marion. Another thing worth noting is that if you do not want to do the standard syllabus it is possible to have a class tailor made for you so that you learn what you want, especially if you have a grounding in the subject already and want to hone it.

Right, I’m off to do some polishing. If you are interested in how the glass making goes, watch this space.

If You Want To Get Ahead Get A Hat.

13 Sep

The latest pattern we are working on features hats of different ages.

I can’t claim any input into these as they were drawn and traced off by Daughter number one. I did try to master the software but my flat pack mentality intervened.

I did do the stitching but that, with a good pattern, is the easy bit.

The advantage of this pattern is that you can let your imagination fly. If you like ribbons and beads they can transform the finished hat into something beautiful.

I tried the patterns out in three colourways.

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Details:

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We took these patterns to the Harrogate show and they, together with the shoes, went very well.

Here is a link to my web page if you want to buy.

http://nsaaquilting.co.uk/product.php?cat_id=1&sub_id=3&pro_id=1011

http://nsaaquilting.co.uk/product.php?cat_id=1&sub_id=3&pro_id=1012

Sunbonnet Sue, Ex-UFO

19 Jun

The two sunbonnet quilts are now finished.

They didn’t turn out too badly.

One top finished.

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Here it is on the frame ready to quilt.

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Close up of quilting.

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Quilting round figures.

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The two quilts finished and bound.

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Just the labels now. I have a few without labels so I will have to have a labelathon.

Details of pattern etc on my original blog.

 

If You Go Down In The Woods Today

14 Jun

I am back with further admiration for Sue Box Designs.

I refuse to go through the hassle of stitching badly digitised embroideries and so I tend to stay with the designers I know never come into this category and she never seems to sell a bad design.

I bought some of her Timeless Teddy designs when there was a not to be missed deal on some months ago.  When I was looking to make a baby quilt they were the obvious ones to use.

I had never made a triple Irish Chain design quilt so I thought I would have a go. Unfortunately my first attempt ended up with a rather long, thin quilt but I solved this problem by making it into two square quilts, eminently suitable for protecting both floor and baby. I think floor quilts for babies are a very sensible idea. We never wear shoes in our house yet the carpets still need cleaning from time to time and as for houses with dogs, well what can I say?

Obviously serendipity.

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The thing that always strikes me with her designs is that the original artwork is superb. However, the detail in the artwork must make for a lot of work in the digitising.

If you want to try out her designs there are lots of free ones on this link.   If  you want to try out a particular collection before buying each collection has a free sample.  The one for the teddies is the last one I posted above.

If you fancy making a triple irish chain google it. There are lots out there but this one is easy to understand.

 

 

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