Sunday 25 August 2019

August at Plush Addict

I've put a lovely selection together from blog sponsor Plush Addict for August, even if I do say so myself!  Something for everyone- quilters and garment sewers alike, plus some free projects to download.  If you read this over the weekend, there's free postage too, finishes Monday 26th Aug.

  1. Andover, Libs Elliot Greatest Hits FQ Bundle.  All the colours of the rainbow with some quirky modern prints.  These fabrics are available as yardage as well as this mega bundle.
  2. Andover Libs Elliot Greatest Hit Quilt Pattern- Free download
  3. Art Gallery, Clever Little Fox Knit.  A lovely bold animal print,  Art Gallery jersey is always great quality, washes well and has good stretch recovery.  
  4. Makower Forest Cushion Pattern- Free download- for fabric in 5. 
  5. Makower Forest Green 10 FQ Bundle.   Forest animals and woodland scenes are always appealing, this is a lively colour palette and the same prints are also available in an orange colourway.
  6. Makower Grove 18 FQ Bundle.  Nature-themed prints in a soft colour palette.
  7. Makower Grove Messenger Bag- Free download Using the Grove fabrics and this circle panel.
  8. Ringspun Stretch Denim in Medium Blue.  Also available in grey, black and light blue.  Suitable weight at 10 oz for jeans, skirts etc, 2% lycra
  9. Cashmerette Ames Stretch Jeans Pattern, UK size 16-32/ USA 12-28.  This pattern pairs nicely with the Ringspun stretch denim.

Sunday 18 August 2019

Patchwork USA by Heidi Staples: Book Review

I've just had the chance to review a lovely book that I've spotted coming on Instagram from talented author/designer Heidi Staples @fabricmutt.  She has such a cute zakka-style aesthetic and is always very generous sharing free patterns/tutorials on her blog.  Patchwork USA: 24 Projects For Your Handmade Journey is a road-trip inspired book of makes from the quick 'daytrip' style coasters, snap shot needlebook, to 'weekend getaways' e.g. Hobby Kit,  Color book and finally longer projects- 'Summer Vacation'- like quilts and pillows. 

It is a very pretty book to look through, the photography is so nicely done- clear, cute and with a lot of vintage props!  All the makes are straightforward, there's only one pattern piece which is a corner rounding template, and the enjoyment is in fabric selection and fussy cutting.  It's also a hardback so as it stays open easily and feels extra good in my hands! Let's take a look through first, then I'll show you what I made!

The opening pages are the usual tools and techniques and this is where you refer back to when making a zipper pouch, hand sewing hexagons etc.  Heidi's thoughts on fabric combinations are excellent and especially helpful if you get stuck putting fabrics together to achieve a particular look or using certain colours or prints.  It's very well written and easy to understand with lots of tips and tricks.

The projects all feature some little extra text touches. There's a Historical Marker note telling the story behind the project.  Design tips come under Scenic Route and  Rotary Club lists the fabric and cutting requirements.  Some projects have a Tour Guide section with helpful hints and also a Detour for any project variations.   I made the Penny Pouch, more about that later!

I love these little banners on the Curio Pocket, made with tiny flying geese!

There are three quilt projects, a mini and two larger quilts.  All are easy makes using simple shapes.

At the end of the book, there are some ideas for gifting your makes, playlists and even recipes.  Again, lovely extra touches.

Here's my Penny Pouch.  I used a mix of vintage fabrics from some squares that I was given, plus a few fussy cuts.  

It is a quick make, most of my time was spent arranging my fabrics for colour and print balance.  The zip was from one of my favourite shops, Rose Garden Patchwork.  The colours were just right.

You can just about see the Heather Ross Tiger Lily butterfly print that I chose for the lining.

It's definitely for my use!  The 'K' was from one of Ayumi's Lighthearted fabrics.

 Patchwork USA is a delightful book, a good picker-upper if you need a quick sewing fix or you're lacking in inspiration and a real pleasure to read.   A big thank you to Search Press for sending me a copy to review.

Sunday 11 August 2019

Zadie Jumpsuit Wrap Dress Hack in Lyocell/Tencel

I was lucky enough to try some Lyocell chambray fabric as part of the Minerva Maker team.  Lyocell is a sustainable fabric, you may also have heard it called Tencel.  It has increible drape properties that I can attest to after making this dress!  I loved my Zadie Jumpsuit, pattern by Paper Theory and this is an easy hack of the same pattern. All the details are documented in detail in the Minerva post
check it out here.

The fabric is a little challenging to work with, similar to rayon challis.  It snags easily and is hard to unpick, but it wasn't as tricky to cut and it is a delight to wear.  

These photos were taken in early summer on a day out at a local steam railway.   I was into model railways when I was around 10 or 11 years old and  a steam train is such a fantastic sight that I don't think that childhood passion will ever leave me!  It made a suitably prairie-style backdrop for this dress too!  

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Cowslip Workshops, Christopher Wilson-Tate Antique Quilts Exhibition Part Two

Welcome to part two of personal favourites from Christopher Wilson-Tate's recent exhibition at Cowslip workshops.  Part one is here.  Many of these quilts were also displayed as part of a show and tell at the Wimbourne Fabrics booth (Moda) at this year's Festival of Quilts. 

I chose the quilts above and below for their use of colour.  The top one is silk so it really shimmered.  It dates from 1880/1900 and is from the North country.  I couldn't find any notes on the one below but I was drawn to the orangey, yellow prints. 

This quilt also featured a cheddar colour but this time a solid fabric.  The black fabric looks solid but close up you can see the small floral print. 

This Medallion quilt was one of the older quilts in the exhibition with some of the fabrics dating from the 1770s.  It was made by Mary Gibbs from Sussex, dated 1812.  Such a simple but effective design.  This quilt was the design source for Christopher's first Moda fabric collection, Regency Blues.   Like many of the quilts on display, it was more like a coverlet than a quilt as the wadding layer looked so thin from the side.

This Wedding quilt is my other joint favourite quilt (see the first post for the other one!).  The washed out paste colour palette is very appealing, as are the organic applique shapes and the medallion design.  It's a North Country Wedding quilt from Durham, completed in 1884 and apparently very rare.  It was even better close up...

I love the diagonal ridges on the white background fabric, it looks like a twill weave.  It also looks quite tough to sew through.  You can also see by these details that the applique is raw edge throughout and attached by herringbone stitch.  It combines function and decoration and you can see it's held those fabric pieces in place for over 140 years!  Herringbone stitch also uses a lot of thread, this quilt must've taken many reels considering the quilting stitches too.

This Irish quilt dates from 1780/90 which surprised me as it still seems so fresh with all the spot and sprig light fabrics contrasting against the blues, pinks, yellows and greys.  Another one of my top choices from all the quilts on view,  I do love the hourglass block.   This quilt was also the inspiration source for Christopher's next Moda collection, Regency Ballycastle.

The next quilt was the centre piece of the exhibition.  It was massive, 260cm x 300cm and was originally an exhibit at The Great Exhibition in 1851 at the V&A.  A masterpiece! I was transfixed by the little thread knots, I assume they were holding the hexagon papers in place?  You can see the scale by my blurry thumb floating in front. 

On these last two pictures, I was a little confused by the bluish line around the quilting design and stitches and wondered if any of you could throw any light on this?

It looks like water soluble marker that hasn't come out but obviously that isn't what would've been used for quilts of such age.  Is it pounced chalk maybe that has remained in the fabric?  The marks look too continuous for this.  Anyone have any ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

***Edited to add*** See below in the comments for the explanation!

Such a gorgeous exhibition, I felt very lucky to catch this one.