Reasons to be quilty!

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Looking at all the lovely new fabrics from Moda in the shop I thought this Regent Street Lawn would make up into quilts very similar to the one I made below. This one was based on the Drunkard’d Path block and was very easy to do. I used hand-dyed fabrics in plain and multi colours with featured Liberty Lawn fabric but the lovely Regent Street lawns, which one could be forgiven for thinking  are Liberty Lawns,would be ideal for something along the same lines!

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The Drunkard’s Path block isn’t difficult and by altering the size of the patches one can have fun creating a stunning quilt which has an updated modern look about it!

large liberty fabric ball small

Using an attractive print like this gives the viewer the idea that the circle is complete with no joins but in actuality it is in four quarters thought the seams don’t stand out!

mid view small

By varying the size of the blocks and using plain squares between them helps the pattern of the quilt to stand out and stipple quilting on the plain squares makes a strong statement.  The circle idea has been continued on the drunkard’s path blocks with quilted petals in each patch.

Using the Regent Street lawns and toning plains and batiks one could make a stunning quilt with lots of character.  A new project for 2015 perhaps?

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Written by Val

Using Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs and Layer Cakes

These pre-cut fabrics are a boon to busy quilters. They come in beautiful ranges of colours and patterns and make up into colourful quilts, runners and throws.

jelly roll quilt1

The single bed quilt above was made from a Jelly Roll of  Avant Garden from Moda. This is a real mixed bag of fabrics as it ranges from large flowery prints to dots and checks. It lends itself to a very jolly and bright single bed quilt which would look good in a child’s bedroom!

charm packs and quilt charm pack quilt1

This throw was made from one Charm Pack of Moda’s batik fabrics. It is really attractive and was so easy to do!

layer cake quilt 1

This quilt was made from a Layer Cake of batik fabrics from Moda. It is such an effective way of quickly achieving a very sophisticated quilt. And the colours in this Layer Cake lend themselves to colour patterning in the quilt design.

DSCF6032 full xmas charm pack quilt

A Christmas themed Charm Pack could quickly be made up into a runner, cot quilt or throw and only takes a short while from start to finish.  This would make a wonderful gift for someone or even a Christmas present to yourself!

 

 

Written by Val

Warm and wonderful fleece!

Fleece is the name of a fabric which has a pile, often a deep pile and is used for making various items of apparel such as sports wear and jackets; home decor items such as throws and rugs; and quilted items. It is a joy to sew with as it doesn’t fray and because of it’s composition mistakes don’t show. Well not as much as they would on cotton!

Fleece is so lovely and cosy that it makes you want to snuggle up in it! There are so many lovely colours and patterns that one is spoilt for choice.  I like to use fleece for backings on quilts, especially cot quilts as  this makes them so tactile and warm for a baby or toddler.  Also a cot quilt could be made using the raggedy edge technique where the seams are on the outside of the work and are brushed to form a ragged edge.  flannels

Another use for fleece is to back table mats and table runners to stop them slipping on polished surfaces.  And with wadding between the fleece and the top fabric they give the article a solid feel which for table wear is good!

I have used fleece to make slippers and scarves and these are so quick to sew. Scarves can be turned out by the dozen they are so quick to make.  Cut the fleece the length you want the scarf to be by twice the width. Fold it in half lengthwise and seam the open edges together. Turn inside out and stitch across the ends sewing a fringe on if wished to add decoration.  So quick!  And patterns for simple slippers can be found on the internet for free. Just do a search for fleece slippers! Other good things to make with fleece are mittens to keep those fingers warm in the icy weather and hats.  There are so many free patterns on the internet that you will be spoilt for choice.

And with Christmas just around the corner use some of the Christmassy fleece to make stockings for the kids or Santa Sacks to hold all the presents!

Reindeer flannel

This is one of the Christmassy fleece fabrics and it is such fun!  I can see it made into a warm and cosy robe for a little one to wear on Christmas morning! And other mornings of course!  And this and the other fleeces in the shop would be ideal for making hot water bottle covers.  A quick way to make a cover is to take a piece of fleece and draw around the outside of your hot water bottle with chalk leaving an inch for seam allowance.  That will be the back. Now draw around again but when you have drawn half way up the sides from the bottom on both sides move the bottle up 4 inches and continue drawing the shape.  Now cut out both your shapes. One will be larger than the other. Cut the larger one across about 1/3 of the way down.  On these two cut edges make a hem and stitch with contrasting thread!  Now lay the first bottle shape out with the RS facing up.  Place the top of the second piece RS down onto this first piece and then lay the rest of the second piece down overlapping it with the top piece.  So you now have two pieces of fleece right sides together with an overlapped piece on one side.  Sew all the way around.  Turn inside out!  Now put the hot water bottle inside throught the lapped opening.  The lapped opening will fit over the bottle so that it is all enclosed. This is such a quick and easy method that you can make lots of them for Christmas presents.  And if you applique animal shapes or flowers onto the bottom of the front kids will love them. Another idea is to applique the initial of the person on the front and then everyone will know which is theirs!   And for the men in your life why not make them in tartan fleece. Tartan is all the rage at the moment so you can’t go wrong!

flannel tartan

And this tartan fleece would make lovely capes and body warmers too!  Or even a onesie!  If you haven’t used fleece before do try it as it is wonderful stuff.  Even a beginner to sewing can have fun with it!  By the time Christmas day arrives you can have a plethora of hand made goodies to give away! Or even to keep for yourself!

 

Written by Val

 

Still time to make for Christmas!

book

This booklet from Traplet publications is full of good ideas for making patchwork projects for Christmas.

book close up cover

There are twenty five projects which will provide something for all abilities. In fact they are so good that you will want to make them all. My favourites are in order; the Christmas cards, the Christmas Bunting, the Snow Angel and the Christmas Stars throw.  And with all the lovely Christmas fabric it will be hard to know which one to make first and what fabric to use.  I love the glitter fabrics as they make any project look good and used in conjunction with Christmas prints they are a sure winner.

book cards book bunting book angel book star quilt

These fabrics will make your mouths water!

colourful glitter fabric xmas layer cakes etcSanta Claus fabric etc

Have fun mixing and matching whether you are making Christmas sacks or stockings, table runners, card holders or tree skirts. And don’t forget all the trimmings that one can add such as beads, lace and ric rac!  There is still plenty of time to get them finished.  Have fun!

 

Written by Val

The sun is shining but time is rushing by!

This is proving to be a wonderful Autumn with lots of sun and thoughts of Christmas seem far off. However time is rushing by and now is the time to think of Christmas sewing and gift making.

xmas table best

At the Sewing Studio we have a new table of Christmas goodies. They are so lovely that they make one’s mouth water and how to choose one over another is very difficult.

hessian fq x4

There are bundles of hession and linen fat quarters for £12 which would make lovely bags for giving presents in or table mats or runners. With four lovely designs to choose from the options are legion!

ribbons

Lots of bundles of stiffened ribbon. The colours are just right for Christmas but could also be used for immediate projects and being on the tough side would make wonderful bag handles or hanging cords for wall hangings and pictures.

stiffened cotton lace green

This stiffened cotton lace is 6 inches wide and there are 1.8 metres on a roll. It costs just £6.95. A bargain!  I can imagine this lace made into napkin holders or flower pot coverings for the flower arrangement on the Christmas dinner table!

star lace snowflake lace

These fancy laces are so lovely. The stars are just gorgeous and the snowflakes could even be draped over the Christmas tree. And I love the old fashioned wooden reels that they come on!  I would buy them just for the reels!

xmas tags close up xmas gift tags

And if you are short of gift tags these innovative tags will be just the job! Lots of designs to choose from and not expensive at 85p each. They look like wooden tags with a hession tie and have button decorations. I love them!

xmas ribbons in box narrow xmas ribbons

Lots of Christmas ribbons in various sizes and designs. Lovely for using as braid. Why not sew some on the top of Christmas stockings or around a tree skirt!

xmas shape packs

And why not add some Christms shapes to the stockings or tree skirt or make a Christmas picture to hang on the wall. Choice of reindeers or snowman with robins. The hard work has been done for you. Just pull off the backing paper and iron onto your chosen fabric.  Such fun!

And don’t forget the Christmas felt. Extra thick and some with stars. So useful!

starry felt

And if you are like me you will be starting to think of gift ideas. These work boxes make ideal gifts and not just at Christmas. Why not put some essential sewing equpment in one and give it to a child to start them on their sewing adventure! There are so many to choose from that there is sure to be a design for everyone!

shelf of workboxes sewing items workbox x 2 large owl workbox

Or even a work box stool to keep you company while you watch television!

workbox stool

Visit the Sewing Studio to see all these wonderful things and start on your Christmas sewing early!

 

Written by Val

Lots of new fabrics!

As I wrote in my last post there are some lovely new fabrics at the Sewing Studio including the Moda range called Avant Garden which I gave you a sneak peak of last week.  This is a lovely range with a wide selection of patterns and colours.

close up shelf advent garden advent garden shelf

As well as buying the fabric by the metre it is also available in jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm packs which makes it very desirable for patchwork projects.

close up pink Advent Garden scene2 Advent Garden scene advent garden cherries pink advent garden advent garden 3

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The range includes abstracts and flowery and fruity patterns as well as large all over patterns of landscape vistas! The larger florals as shown in the first picture would cut out to be appliqued onto fabric to create fabric pictures or cards. In fact this selection of fabrics from Moda lends itself to avant garde designing and will turn every patchworker into an artist!

The other new range of fabric which I have found to be very exciting is the range of cotton flannels. These are small geometric patterns and also flowery patterns to mix and match.  Lovely autumn colours mixed with sugary brights!

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These cotton flannels would make delightful dresses for little girls or warm winter shirts and blouses for bigger girls as well as being ideal for cosy and warm lap quilts and throws. Especially quilts made with the raw edges on the outside which are frayed to give a soft feel to the quilt. The above photos are only a small selection of the flannels available. Go and have a look and be as inspired as I was! With winter coming soft cotton flannels are just the thing!

Written by Val

This and that!

The summer is nearly over and the kids are back at school. Now is the time to think of doing a class or two. The Sewing Studio offers a variety of classes to suit all.  With Christmas on the horizon why not sign up for a workshop making Christmas items.

Mary Bradley is offering a workshop on a Christmas wall hanging or a Celtic cushion. This is on the 2nd October from 10 – 1 and is £11 per person. It will be great fun and focuses on a stained glass effect using narrow bias binding. The finished results are amazing!

christmas candle stained glass

 

celtic cushion

Or there is a Christmas Workshop on the 4th October from 10-4 costing £15 per person. In this workshop you can make an Advent Calendar or a Christmas Stocking. Or perhaps a table runner with matching table mats, napkins and napkin rings. There will be Christmas fabrics available in the shop including Christmas panels. There are samples to view in the shop!

And here is a sneak preview of some fabric just in from Moda called Avant Garden. It isn’t on the website yet but it will be soon. I thought it was quite delicious and this piece especially was reminiscent of the work of Clarice Cliffe.

new fabric new fabric advent garden

This link will take you to the Moda Bakeshop where you can see a finished quilt using the Avant Garden fabrics complete with quilt pattern,

http://www.modabakeshop.com/2014/05/avant-garden-turning-squares-quilt.html

Have fun and enjoy!

Written by Val

Lots more fabrics and other things!

There are so many lovely new fabrics in the Sewing Studio that I am awash with ideas as to how to use them.  And what to do first?  The pictures below don’t do these lovely fabrics justice. They are so soft and flowery and just look so right for a light and airy quilt to finish off the summer.

new fabric labelnew fabric 2 new fabric 1  And then with thoughts of Autumn in the air these fabrics also are inspiring me to do something autumnal. The thing is what?

 

new fabric autumn colours

Such lovely autumn leaf colours. And the range will mix and match so well.

And as if the fabrics weren’t making my mouth water I thought this dear little bunny would make a delightful present for a child or even a new baby!

 

bunny

Isn’t she cute! A small girl would really love her!

And more delicious Christmas fabrics. I’ve already started on making Christmas things and these lovely leafy prints will be a good addition to my stash. The pre-cuts are so useful and come in handy when one wants just a few fabric prints at a time!

xmas holly leaves xmas fir tree fabric xmas layer cake

I then treated myself to the template below. This template is used specifically with jelly rolls or strips of fabric. It makes the most delightful cut out shapes and I can’t wait to use it. However I will have to wait as we are off to Harrogate tomorrow for the Northern Quilt Show where we are exhibiting. However when we come back I shall play and I will put up pictures of the things that one can do with this template. So watch this space!  There is no shortage of jelly rolls at the Sewing Studio so it will just be a matter of making a choice. Now what could be easier! 🙂

template precuts layer cakes

And last but not least can I tell you about Falmouth Progressive Quilters first exhibition. This will be held on Friday 5th September and Saturday 6th September at the Bosvale Community Centre off Hillside Road which is off Boslowick Road, Falmouth. There will be lots to see and tea and buns!  Do come!

Written by Val

Layer Cakes

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Pre-cut fabrics are a boon for busy quilters as they save so much time and are also very economical as there is no wastage.  The quilt in the picture above is made from a Moda batik layer cake. A Layer Cake consists of 42 ten inch squares which make up into a useful sized quilt. Enough for a single bed quilt or a throw.

layer cakes

Most of  the Moda ranges of fabric come in layer cake selections as well as charm packs (5 inch squares) and jelly rolls (2.5 inch strips) and are so useful for traditional quilts as well as strip quilts and more intricate pieces of work.

layer cakes batik

Be Jolly Layer cake

Why not try a Layer Cake if you haven’t used one before. You’ll be surprised at how versatile they are!

Written by Val

Lovely new Moda Marbles!

all the shelf

We have some lovely new fabrics at the Sewing Studio. Among them are these lovely Moda Marbles. Plain fabrics with an interesting textured look.  They will be absolutely ideal for mixing with other patterned fabrics from Moda and the colour range is amazing.  There are literally hundreds of colours so you will be spoilt for choice!

blue fabric

This is a close up of one of the blues.  A really useful blue which could be used for skies or sea scenes.

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blue green fabrics

Here is a close up of the turquoise which is just as lovely!

~Turquoise fabric marbles

Just the right colours for summer quilts! And they handle beautifully and will sew well both by hand and by machine.  As well as the blues here is a close up of a gorgeous rust colour!

brown marble close up

You can find these Moda Marbles at the back on the first floor where all the fabric is.  And as well as these beauties there are lots more new fabrics to be prerused! One can never have too much fabric!

Written by Val