Saturday, 29 April 2017

Marimekko Jenny Haynes River Quilt Top


After attending the Improvisation Quilting workshop with Jenny Haynes at the Village Haberdashery I had such a lovely time I booked myself on another workshop. This was a more advanced quilting workshop based on a technique called the drunkards path. Here is a great video from LoveBug Studios that explains how to sew this style of quilters block.


Jenny Haynes has made some beautiful quilts using the Drunkards Path technique; the Sunflowers quilt and the new River Quilt.

Jenny Haynes Sunflower Quilt (Image Source)
Jenny Haynes River Quilt (Image Source)

To make the full River Quilt you need 1.5 metres of three different fabrics. I already had all three fabrics I wanted to use already in my stash (although not quite enough so I had to buy a metre more of each colour).

The colour scheme of the guest bedroom where this quilt will eventually live is grey, white with highlights of yellow. I have already made some bold Marimekko cushions in the Rasymatto and Unikko prints you can see below.


The first part of the workshop was spent cutting out the sections of the Drunkards Path blocks. Jenny provides the acrylic templates and to make things easier I cut everything out using a rotary cutter. Then onto sewing the curved blocks, ironing and then cutting down to size using the square templates provided. 





When I got back home I laid out the quilt blocks so I could get an idea of how the final quilt will look. As well as the three main fabrics; Grey Essex Linen, Marimekko Rasymatto Cotton and Black Kona Cotton I used a number of scraps of spotty black and white fabric from the stash. There is also an addition of Yellow Kona cotton to continue the punctuation of yellow found in the Marimekko fabric. 




The gaps in the quilt above are left for the Marimekko fabric which I had ordered but unfortunately it didn't turn up in time for the workshop. I have also added a black spotted cotton in some of the sections of the black area of the design but I am still undecided if I will add this in the final quilt top.

What do you think fellow sewists?

I'm looking forward to sewing this together and then the long task of quilting. I think I will do a combination of machine and hand-quilting to add a range of textures.

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Alison Glass Chroma Baby Quilt


I started this baby quilt during an improvisation quilt workshop with Jenny Haynes at the Village Haberdashery back in March. To create the quilt top I used the beautiful Chroma Collection for Andover Fabrics by Alison Glass. I was sent the fabric by a friend Kathy who works for Andover Fabrics in New York, the collection is not yet available to buy until June 2017. Lucky me that got a sneak preview!


I have spent the past month slowly hand-stitching the quilt. I added organic wadding and self bound the quilt using the backing fabric. I forgot to take photos of this process so if you would like to try this method yourself hop over Ludlow Quilt and Sew blog who has a great tutorial about how to do it.

I also used up lots of embroidery thread left-over from my textile students days from the 1990's.
Does anybody remember when Maderia threads produced hand-embroidery floss in these packets? I used them all up (and lots more) on this quilt!


I got a real sense of satisfaction completing this baby quilt and it got me wondering how long it took me to make it.

Session 1: Selecting colour combinations, cutting and machine stitching together = 6 hours
Session 2: Cutting out backing fabric, wadding, pinning together, hand-basting all together = 3 hours
Session 3: Creating / pinning the self-binding, sewing binding and 1/4 hand-quilting = 4
Session 4: Hand-quilting with fine thread = 3 hours
Session 5: Hand-quilting with fine thread = 3 hours
Session 6: Hand-quilting with embroidery thread = 6 hours
Session 7: Hand-quilting with embroidery thread around the border = 3 hours

Approximately 28 hours to produce a predominantly hand-sewn quilt. I have to admit after session six my hand was sore after 6-hours of hand-quilting.

I am hoping all the hard work will be worth it when my friend and her wife receive this gift for their baby girl in June!



I alternated between thinner sewing thread and the thicker embroidery thread to add more textural interest to the quilting. As the fabric was so busy and colourful I chose to sew regular running stitches in straight(ish) lines across the width of the quilt. The thread I selected were picked from a wide range of colours found in the prints. 






You can see the different coloured threads more easily on the reverse of the quilt, although some of the finer sewing threads blend into the background.




I have been inspired to make my own quilt and I am already mid-way through the construction of a double-bed sized quilt. I will reveal more in my next blogpost.

I hope you enjoyed seeing copious amounts of patch-worked and hand-quilted Alison Glass fabrics as much as I had sewing it!

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Liberty Laurel Dress


I finished this pretty summer dress yesterday after hanging around in an almost finished state for nearly a year. I started in May 2016 and have only just got around to finishing the bias bound neck and fastening at the back in April 2017! If you are not familiar with the silhouette it is the ever-popular beginners shift dress the Colette Laurel.


I remember cutting out and making the majority of this dress last year but luckily I gleaned a bit more information via my 'project' section of the Foldline sewing enthusiast platform. Foldline is a great online community of sewists where you can create a profile and interact with other sewing enthusiasts. You can also write pattern reviews, create an online visual of your stash fabric and contribute to a forum.


Above is an example of my laurel project as seen on my Foldline profile. I added a few notes about the changes I made. Apparently I have added 6cm to the length of the dress (I had forgotten that detail which is bound to happen if you take 11 months to finish a dress!) and the Liberty cotton was purchased in a 30% off online sale. The Liberty print is called Kinetic from the Spring / Summer 2016 collection. You can get it from Sharkut for £14.99 per metre.

Not much else to report other than I used the same closing technique as my Sew Over It Ultimate Shift dress with a hair-band cheat rouleau loop and a lovely button I had in my stash. I used the reverse side of the button as it had pretty flecks of grey, pink and white in it that picked up on the colours of the Liberty print.

I hand stitched the self-made bias binding into position including around the opening at the back.

It fits well on the upper body but is probably a little wider than I'd like at the hip area as I did my usual grading between two sizes from bust to hips. Perhaps I don't need to do this on my next version as it is a fairly loose fitting shift dress. It does however look nice worn with a belt. When I get a chance I will post some photos of me wearing it.






Pattern: Colette Laurel Dress (I made the top here) = £12 (second make from pattern) = £6
Fabric: 1.1 metre of Liberty Kinetic Tana Lawn = £15
Gutterman Thread: Pink from stash = free
Rouleau Loop: Hairband from stash = free
Buttton: From stash = free

Total: £23

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Art Exhibition Adventures

Joseph Frank at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Bermondsey until 7th May 2017

I visited the Joseph Frank exhibition last week and enjoyed the bold and beautiful prints created by this artist and designer. The work is displayed brilliantly with the original textile prints artworks alongside floor to ceiling lengths of printed fabric. A fun interactive touch is there are several pieces of furniture upholstered in the prints for visitors to sit on.

Upstairs hangs a wide collection of still life and landscape paintings produced by Frank throughout his career. They are bold watercolours that showcase his interest in colour, pattern and texture.
I would highly recommend a visit to see this exhibition before it closes on the 7th May.


Teheran 1943-45


Himalaya 1950
Window 1943-45




Alternative Facts by Fatherless at Stour Space, Hackney Wick until 1st May

This exhibition at the Stour Space Gallery involved a little adventure to get there starting at Hackney Wick station and a walk down the canal towpath next to the Olympic Park. I really wanted to see this show by the Fatherless print collective as I already own one of their prints (below) that I bought from the Pick me Up exhibition in 2013.


They have an interesting approach to making art. As a collective they all add to each piece of work they do layering screen-prints over the top of each other using bright and bold imagery and colours. The artists in the Fatherless collective are Jarrod Hennis, Javier Jimenez, Greg Lang, Dave Menard and Londoner Ben Rider.