Wednesday, 23 April 2014

April at Eternal Maker

I just saw a very important delivery at Eternal Maker, a baby boy for shop manager Rachael arrived over Christmas and there is a lovely picture of him with their latest tutorial with an up cycled theme of creating a toy from baby onesie vests, 

photo courtesy of Eternal Maker
Lovely idea- and I'll be talking a little more about up cycling tomorrow with my Fashion Revolution Day post.  Meanwhile, I've been thinking about sewing essentials, the not so exciting purchases (though I find all sewing purchases possibly more exciting than I should) like thread and notions, the things that we use each time we sew, the basics or more precisely, Mark Lipinski's Basics Collection for Aurifil:

I was lucky enough to be sent one of these from Aurifil when Lynne and I wrote 500 Quilt Blocks.  I don't get sent a huge amount of stuff sent to me like this and this is one of the best things I have ever received.  I have about half the box left and all the spools are 50wt.  The colours are the best kind of neutrals that disappear into the fabrics.  Its not a cheap gift but actually good value (individual spools are usually £8 each and there are 12 in this box) and maybe the sort of thing to hint for when your birthday is just round the corner.  You can find individual Aurifil spools here.
For those of you who like embroidery, Eternal Maker have put together a rainbow selection of Cosmo embroidery floss/stranded cotton thread.  My daughter is a keen cross stitcher and I buy her Cosmo threads when I can as they have a beautiful lustre.  As with the Aurifil set, there are savings from buying a set, £10 for 10 rather than £1.10 each.

Scissors: it doesn't get more basic than that.  These Fiskars embroidery scissors are much mentioned on Instagram and blogs as being the business- super sharp and very pointy and they also claim to work for lefties and righties, bonus!

The rotary cutter is as essential a basic as scissors to the quilter and even the garment sewer.  I have this Olfa cutter.  I tried other styles of handle but the retractable blade model was by far the most comfortable.  You can find blades,including pinking here although fresh stock is needed for the standard 45mm.
Pens- for notes, permanent marks, writing on fabric- its hard to beat Pigma Micron.  A 0.25 tiny nib, archival ink which is permanent on 100% cotton fabric so works for quilt labelling.  I also use these pens in my notebook and diaries, different colours for ticking and listing (the habits of a primary teacher die hard).

I know I have mentioned Wonderclips before, more than once, but they are so useful- every time I bind anything I appreciate the 'wonder' part. I use glue basting to as part of machine binding on my quilts and I find two packs of these provides enough clips to hold sufficient sections and remove some for the next glue bit!  

Solid colour fabrics (including some marl/shot colours too) are part of the basics surely.  You often don't know what you'll need until a particular project.  Eternal Maker stock a lot of Kona solids, here are two of my favourites, Melon:

and Lagoon

and you will also find the popular White, Stone and Ash.
If you want a little more variation in solid colour, there are a few shot cotton/chambray, yarn dyed options:
Peppered cottons- this one is Peacock, and there's something of the night sky about it:

Moda Crossweave, this stuff has texture.  It does fray more easily, a little like linen but the effect of the fabric is wonderful.  This is Flamingo.

Essex yarn dyed linen which is wonderfully marled and drapes beautifully.  I've used this a lot in bags and pillows and I think it works well with florals if you want to reduce the floral feminine effect and similarly well on more masculine items.  This is ' Essex yarn dyed Denim'.

And there is standard Essex Linen which comes in solid colours and has all the benefits of linen texture and body and the cotton gives it stability so it behaves itself when you cut sew and press it.  This is 'Light Blue'

And lets not forget tone-on-tone basics, quietly doing their bit whilst the noisier fabrics sing out loud and want to be centre of attention.  Here are some that caught my eye…

Nice to get back to basics this month ;)   

sib blog


  1. Can't beat a good basic. I splashed out on the Aurifil basics box last year and have never regretted it. I always have a suitable neutral to hand and I just restock individual colours as I run low.

  2. OOOOH, this is my kind of stuff! I love anything minimalist and these fabrics are to die for. I have very few sewing tools, thank you for showcasing the best so I know what to buy to build up my collection.


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