Sunday, 14 October 2018

Marimekko River Quilt Update

I started the Jenny Haynes River quilt at a workshop at Village Haberdashery in April 2017. Over a year and a half later I am still enjoying the patient process of quiltmaking.

I joined Jenny Haynes again for a Finish that Quilt workshop at VH last Friday and had a lovely evening of chatter and some good progress on my quilt. To make things more interesting I decided to create an improvised quilt backing using all the left-over sections of fabric to save having to buy more new fabric. I think it has made a really interesting quilt backing and I am looking forward to seeing how it is going to look when I eventually get around to quilting the whole thing.

My finished improvisation 'scrappy' quilt back using leftover fabrics from the river quilt making
Jenny gave us some tips about how to sandwich the wadding (batting for USA readers) between the quilt top and backing. We laid the quilt back face down on the floor and masking taped it down carefully smoothing out any wrinkles working from the centre of each side outwards.

Jenny explaining how to sandwich the wadding with the backing fabric and quilt-top to the rest of the Finish that Quilt class. This is the first stage where you lay out the backing fabric face down and tape in place
Next, lay down the wadding. Smooth any bumps or wrinkles but take care not to stretch the wadding by being too aggressive with the smoothing out stage.

Lastly, lay the quilt top over the whole thing making sure it is lined up with the quilt backing. Ideally, the quilt backing should be an inch larger all the way around the quilt as well as the quilting wadding. You can see the white wadding sticking out all around my quilt-top.

Keep on pinning!
I purchased some quilting safety pins which are bent at a 45-degree angle to make it easier to pin together. Jenny advised me to apply the safety pins in the direction I am going to do the quilting stitching. I have chosen to machine stitch length-ways on the black sections and machine stitch width-ways on the grey. On the multi-patterned 'river' part will be a smorgasbord of hand-quilting techniques which I will explore as I go!

Jenny and I co-ordinating our socks with my quilt!
I am looking forward to seeing how it develops as I stitch each section.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Marker pen & Washi tape fun!

I work dangerously close to the art shop Cass Art's flagship store in Islington. A few days after payday Cass Art kindly organised a huge sale. It would have been rude not to take advantage and I had a little blow-out on a few sets of Letraset and Winsor & Newton Pro-makers and a little postcard pad.

Yesterday I spent a fun hour or two creating lots of colourful patterns with my new marker pens and Washi tapes from my stash. I must dash as I've got lots of postcards to write!















Which is your favourite design? I'm feeling the orange and blue abstract grid design (#10) today!

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Frieze Sculpture 2018 at Regent's Park

Enjoy the final days of the Frieze Sculpture at Regent's Park this weekend.
This year there are some vibrant and bold pieces that really pop against the lush greenery of the park.
Here are some photos of a few pieces that grabbed my attention.

Laura Ford Dancing Clog Girls I-III

Tim Etchells Everything is Lost

 Richard Woods Holiday Home

Haroon Gunn-Salie Senzenina
Enjoy the late blooms of the lush summer too as the floral planting gives way to evergreen borders.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Bernina Sewing Machine Service

Some of you may know that my 27-year old Bernina 1025 Sport sewing machine has not been well since the summer of 2017, ironically after taking her for a service to Chapman's in Camden (which has subsequently gone out of business). I have procrastinated about what to do about it for a long time because I needed to research whether it was worth getting my machine repaired versus buying a new one.

I took the decision in August to get my Bernina serviced at Sew Amazing Ltd after reading a glowing review from Karen at Did You Make That?

Sew Amazing Ltd is in Mile End, London, which is accessible by the City and Hammersmith line or the number 8 bus which drops you off just outside. I chose to get an Uber when transporting my machine to and from the shop because it is VERY heavy!

Rob was absolutely certain he wouldn't forget which was my machine when he saw the stickers on the box!
Just as I hoped, Rob worked his magic on my machine and luckily it didn't need any expensive replacement parts, just a good clean up inside and out. There were lots of thread wrapped around the take-up lever which is a part of the machine you can't get to without taking it apart!

I had such a good chat with Rob who is extremely passionate about sewing machines and his haberdashery business. I am going to book him to service the 20+ sewing machines at work (secondary school) because he is such an open and honest bloke!

I am so happy to have my Bernina back in tip-top condition again. In fact, Rob told me I shouldn't EVER get rid of it as it is one of the last batches of machines that were made in Switzerland meaning all the internal workings are metal and made to last! My dad bought me this machine for a joint birthday and Christmas present way back in 1991. It was very expensive at the time I think he would have been extremely happy to know his investment is still going strong!

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Navy Sew Over It Cigarette Pants AKA Grown-Up Trousers

I have 100% embraced the slow-sewing movement by taking an absolute age to complete the Sew Over It Cigarette Pants. Not only have I inadvertently joined an elite gang of mindful sewists I have also joined the ranks of 'grown-up' sewing. I made a pair of navy trousers - not a bright, crazy print in sight!

I cut out the navy crepe in February, attended a Master Class with the delightful Julie Johnston at Sew Over It Islington in March to help me with the fitting.
For the most part, my inactivity can be attributed to my sewing machine still being on the blink so sewing at home was difficult. Another burst of activity happened in May and June at the Village Haberdashery Social Sewing evenings where I would sew a few more elements of the pants.

I eventually finished them this weekend and it coincided with the fixing of my beloved Bernina sewing machine (which I will tell you about another time).

The navy crepe I have had in my stash for years and I have no clue of the origins or fibre content. The pocket linings are leftover scraps from a Camber Set Dress. It is a beautiful Windham fabrics cotton purchased from Ray Stitch.

This is my second pair of Sew Over It Cigarette Pants. I made my first version of these trousers in a soft linen mix which has slightly stretched since I made them in 2016. The other annoying thing about my first pair was I had to significantly take them in on the outer seam which means the pocket openings are so tight I can only just squeeze my hand in!

This second version was adjusted with the help of the lovely Julie at SOI.
Changes are as follows:
  • Redrafted the pocket openings 
  • Narrowed the leg width around the thigh and hip area
  • Lengthened the waistband so I could have a longer overlap
I am totally happy with the fit now and I would happily add another pair to my wardrobe. I hope it doesn't take me seven months to make the next pair!

I must show you the pretty guts too. I couldn't have a completely plain pair of trousers now, could I?

Have you had a sewing project that has taken you ages to finish?

Sunday, 23 September 2018

London Craft Club new HQ Party

On the 11th September, I celebrated the opening of London Craft Club's new HQ in Bloomsbury Square Gardens, Fitzrovia. They were giving out goodie bags for the first 20 keen crafters and I was lucky enough to receive some lovely little crafty items!

The atmosphere was fun and friendly and there were lots to do which included nibbles, an Instagram flat-lay challenge, flower crowns, leather jewellery making and finally a tote decorating task. So much to do and with a limited amount of space due to dozens of fabulous crafters, I managed to get stuck into making a flower crown.

I hot-footed it home after making my sumptuous flower crown so other people could get a chance to make one too as it was quite busy. It was such a great event with so much creativity and hard work evident in a really successful evening!

Fabric flowers + plastic headband + glue gun + creative enthusiasm = flower crown!

Resplendent in my new hand-made flower crown!

Tote decorating with heat applicable vinyl
Leather jewellery making
I am visiting London Craft Club again this coming week to learn how to make some beaded jewellery which I will tell you all about soon x