Archive for October, 2012

It’s getting to that time of year

So Christmas is slowly creeping up on us, but if you’re like me Christmas shopping belongs in December, however there are a lot of very well prepared people out there who start a lot earlier in the year. This means the Christmas craft fairs start around now = my little sewing machine starts earning its keep! I’m doing my first Christmas stall this Saturday at Maidstone Musuem, 10 – 4, if you’re local come and say hello!

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I tend to work well under pressure, so am normally sewing right up to the night before but this time I’ve been really organised and I’m nearly all done. Everything is made and washed, price lists are printed, all I need to do is iron everything and do a quick mock up. I kinda like this feeling, I can spend the next few nights curled up on the sofa knowing I’m good to go Saturday morning.

How do you prefer to work, last minute scramble or all done with time to kill?

My Two Favourite Things – Sewing & Shopping

I’m not sure whether you know but this weekend has been the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. It’s a great place to go for inspiration and even better, shopping!

Saturday morning, bright and early mum and I hopped in the car and took a road trip to Alli Palli. It’s the second year we have been so I had a bit of a game plan, I had a shopping list and I was NOT allowed to stray from it. I’m pleased to say I was a good girl and stuck to it.

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I desperately needed a new square ruler so went for a 9 1/2 inch, I’ve not had a yellow one before so we will see how I get on with it.

I needed some buttons for making tree decorations, I made some last year to sell on my stall and they were a big hit so I will have these done and in my shop soon. I got the buttons from the lovely ladies at Eternal Maker and The Button Company. They sell loads of beautiful fabrics and a wide selection of buttons, ribbons and haberdashery items. I would say 90% of my buttons come from here (the rest are from my nans collection!). I also picked up some fab “Where’s my ‘stache?” from Alexander Henry and some “Snowflakes in Red” from Laurie Wisbrun’s collection Brrr! for Robert Kaufman. I also grabbed some antique brass D rings for my Art Student Tote.

Next stop was Pin it and Stitch where I grabbed a bit of Summersville Weave in teal that I plan on using for my next Hexie project.

Last but not least my final purchase was………drum roll please…………..Field Study! You know that stupidily hot animal print fabric I keep raving about, yup I bought some for my Art Student Tote and for the straps and lining some floral from the collection. I got these over at Village Haberdashery another shop I would highly recommend, all the ladies on the stall were really friendly and helpful. They asked to see a photo of my bag when it’s done so fingers crossed it’s a success!

By now I had spent plenty, so mum and I stopped for lunch with our friend Chris who was there for the day to do a workshop (and some shopping too). We soon said goodbye to Chris and made our way to the exhibition that was on display. There was some amazing work but this in particular caught my eye

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I can’t imagine how long it took but I just love it, all the detail involved, the colours, everything about it is just fun.

Another great day at the Knitting and Stitching show, I can’t wait for next year!

Hexies – My Latest Addiction

I know I am very late to this party but I have finally plucked up the courage and had a go at EPP. I can honestly say I don’t know what took me so long, I love it! For a long time now I have been admiring my online friends EPP projects and dreaming of a hexy covered home but have been a little nervous about having a go. I decided to follow the progress of the Fat Quarterly Hexy MF along to get more of an idea on the technique, it’s been really useful and I would recommend anyone interested in trying EPP takes a look.

In case your not familiar with EPP here is a basic explanation –

EPP or English paper piecing is a hand sewn technique used to sew hexagons and other shapes together using a paper template. The seam allowance is turned under the template and then shapes are sewn together using small stitches, usually whip stitch. Once the shapes have been sewn together the paper is removed.

Now I really like the look of EPP but the biggest thing that put me off was that it seemed like quite a lengthy process and labour intensive. With all my other projects on the go and the monsters running riot I just wasn’t sure I would have the time. I had a twitter chat with Lynne over at Lily’s Quilts who said it was great and I should definitely have a go, so I kept following the Hexy MF, bought some fabric and continued to contemplate when I would find the time to start.

Finally this past week I managed to find the time to sit down and start. Monster no 1 has been at school, I’ve got a lot of my WIPs finished and didn’t want to start anything major as I’m waiting for all my supplies to arrive so I can start my AMH Art Student Tote (I’ve got the pattern now so fabric shopping will commence next weekend!!). I needed something to work on for The Ladies Wot Stitch meeting, It was time!

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I hadn’t bought any paper pieces as I really didn’t know when I would start the project, instead I had a pile of old birthday cards that I used to cut my own (I like to recycle and do my bit for the environment). I decided on 1″ hexies in three fabrics, I couldn’t decide what to do with them so figured once I got going inspiration would hit me, I’ve narrowed it down to a Clutch bag, cushion or maybe even a smallish quilt. I think it’s going to be one of those little projects I carry around just incase I get a few spare minutes, while Monster no1 has swimming lessons or waiting to pick him up from school.

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I found a free paper template online and used this to make my card templates and cut my fabric, I used just over 1/4 inch seam allowance. I decided to use the glue basting technique, I thought it would be quicker and I like quicker! I used the cheapest glue I could find, I think it was a Sainsburys one? Any way I found it fine to get along with, the only thing I would do differently next time is not fold the fabric quite so tightly round the templates, it will make sewing a little easier.

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I am completely smitten by EPP, it’s a nice relaxing project and very different from other projects I’ve been working on lately, hubby likes it too as the sound of the sewing machine isn’t drowning out the tv in the evening, we can sit on the sofa together watching a film while I happily stitch my little heart out.

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If you haven’t given it a go then you should and I would love to see what you make, it might help me to decide what to turn my hexies into! I could even set up a Flickr group to share our photos, if your interested leave a comment below.