fabric

Patchwork pit stop, knits on hold briefly

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I have taken a little break this week from lacy knitting and ‘rediscovered’ an ongoing patchwork project which I have been dipping in and out of for about eight or nine years! This started off in my head as a cushion but I actually love making these these carded hexagons (reminds me of my grandmother teaching me how), so it’s progressed to a sofa throw and is now to become a bed throw, though it will be a while before it is finished and that’s totally ok for me. I like organic crafts and a change is as good as a rest. It uses mostly fabric from my stash with a little added here and there. I am sure I will be back to knitting soon.

Tacking card onto a few hexies! This is something I can easily do away from home, no fiddly sewing.
A larger pile of hexagons starts to turn into four rounds of stitched together hexies.
A few sets of four rounds that will become part of the bed throw. The colours are autumnal. The prints are flora and fauna. I still debate with myself what colour will join them altogether – possibly a deep shade of brown – still looking into that for the future (for fabric knowers, Moda plains are a-calling to me!)

I visited a friend’s mother yesterday. She has been stitching for most of her 75 years. I envy her houseful of patchwork throws and cushions. She even has one that was her own mother’s. Maybe one day someone might envy my own houseful of handicrafts. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

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Knitting and Stitching in London in March

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I was at the Knitting and Stitching Show at London Olympia last Friday and I promised friends I’d do a little summing up of my favourite things. One day just didn’t give me quite enough time to see and do everything! I didn’t get to see any of the Live Theatre or do any Workshops. Next time I will book for two days and plan more.

To start with, I was enthralled by the Quilters Guild exhibition of Modern Samplers . Just a few snaps, only three quilts of many.

I was restrained with my purchases, possibly that’s another reason to go for two days next time! I found a wonderful button maker!

I only bought 2 buttons for projects in mind

I bought beautiful fabric to make a summer dress and a pair of beach pyjamas. You can’t tell here but the the cherry one is cotton and the jade a gorgeous cotton/silk mix. Then there’s a kit to learn how to adjust standard dressmaking patterns. Having struggled to make things fit me perfectly I hope this helps in future. Wish me luck with a lot of reading before the measuring begins. I’m also going to make a little fabric trinket bowl – or maybe two or three!

There were lots of lovely yarn sellers including independent dyers and spinners. I squished and admired and took business cards for future delights. I can hardly believe I had enough self control not to buy from each and every one of them on the day. Yarn is usually my downfall and I often go home with bags full!

There was a sweet knitted display called ‘The Enchanted Wood’, fairies and woodland creatures of all sorts. Donations were being collected for the Louise Hamilton Trust, a charity founded by the family of a young woman who died at an early age from Breast Cancer. The display must have been fun to make, these pictures are a small part just so you can get an idea of what it was all about.

Lastly, and sadly too, the exhibition of Dame Zandra Rhodes knitwear was a little small and poorly located (no pics). It was a shame as she only designed knitwear for the 15 years she had a shop off Bond Street and she is a great admirer of knitting skills. I can’t say what I saw inspired me to knit anything similar – imagine 1980’s picture jumpers in blacks and reds, however I think the exhibition company could have made more of this exhibit.

There was so much more to show you, just wish you could have seen for yourselves. If you did go, please share too!

Intentions new and old, including some crafting

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I realised when revisiting the list of things I intended to do last year that I’ve achieved many parts of that list. What I called my ‘Enthusiasms’, aka as ‘Resolutions’ did not fail for once.

I reached my diet goal and along the way my focus changed to become healthier and happier rather than just a little slimmer.

I intended to sort out my craft stuff.  This year I used up my stash when I could. Just a few samples – I knitted a bunch of hats for charity.

Quilt pieces and bunting evolved from my fabric pile, some of which I’d saved since 1994, I even made a sample dress from a duvet cover found in a charity shop (a challenge from friends, see below!).

I have many knitting and sewing WIPs. One HUGE intention was to finish many of them in 2018 – or rip them back to reknit something else. I did some of this! I hated two cardigans I eventually finished – both wrong shapes for me so I gifted them and they were gratefully received. I ripped back three unfinished knits. One turned into hats. The others await 2019. For Christmas I received a book about how to knit to flatter – I think this may get good use this year!!! I don’t usually make toys but have a bunny fabric pattern – that’s one intention for 2019. Another is to finish at least one quilt (there are two part done!).

I didn’t exactly sort out my job/career.  I haven’t leapt into anything in a blind panic.  I have put my family and my health first this year.  I didn’t juggle all the balls of life and succeed with none. No regrets.

I was supposed to make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date was slightly superceded by two friends giving me a list of things to do over the next year to celebrate my birthday. Most were fun, some were treats, some slightly scary. Challenged to wear something from a charity shop (I do that all the time, my ‘take’ on it was to buy a second hand duvet cover then make it into a dress!)

The last on last year’s list was to become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance.  This was a serious plan for 2018 and is ongoing. I muddle along yet our household finances are still primarily organised by my husband. I wanted to take some pressure off him but we agree he is just better at it. As long as there is ‘change’ after the bills are paid and I can add to my craft supplies I’m happy. I am hoping if he reads this he agrees – happy wife/happy life!

Thinking in blue

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First cuts

I am having a play this week with my fabric stash. I have a beautiful selection of blues and I would love to make a new bedcover for a guest room.  I have been hanging onto some of this for years, waiting for an idea to come to fruition. This is a start, it will be ongoing amongst all my other WIPS.  I am not a proficient quilter but I am gaining knowledge and momentum (and also gaining the odd headache as I cut incorrectly or realise I prefer some fabrics to others!).  I would love to see others current quilt projects this week.  Anyone?

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Bazaar – India brought to Kent

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Last Friday I went to a wonderful sale of items from India.  There were amazing goodies to admire and purchase, from fabrics, clothes, beads, handmade papers, purses, bags, ribbons, sari silks, mirrors for shisha, in fact think of many things to adorn yourself or your surroundings and they probably had it there. The sale was housed in a beautiful barn at a country pub in Kent, itself a fantastic building, let alone draped with Indian finery with the scents of incense burning. * ‘Bazaar’ is the creation of Joanna Hall, a Textile and Fashion Designer from Hildenborough in Kent who has been working alongside crafts people in India for more than 19 years.

She works mainly in Rajasthan with weavers, block printers, tailors, jewellers and women who do embroidery, beading and fringing. She manufactures her designs of clothing, jewellery and gifts through a web of trusted craftspeople she has befriended during this time. She also buys and collects from the items they have already designed and are making themselves. *

Lucky for us there was also an area in the garden where workshops were run and we could try out printing with wooden blocks.  This ‘marquee’ was tented in wonderful fabrics and here’s a few pics to share.  Sadly I was unable to get any pics of the barn itself but you can see more if you click onto the website. http://www.bazaarshop.co.uk/events

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Some of us deciding where to start with our block printing

And then some of our results, by no means professional but what a fun crafting session.  Of course, I popped back into the sale room and purchased a wooden printing block !

*Source: the Bazaar website, as shown above.

 

Scraps of Liberty Lawn

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A friend’s birthday.

She is a sewist/knitter too.

It wasn’t easy to decide what to make for her.  I filtered ideas, I poured over a few craft books, I searched through my wool and fabric stashes.

I wanted the gift to be useful rather than just decorative.

Look what I decided to make!

Liberty lawn fabric pieced together to make a beautiful needle case, then wrapped in a spare piece of lawn instead of gift wrap.

She liked it too! I love gifting a home crafted present to someone who understands the effort you put into making it, don’t you?

Fabric no longer a mystery

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There was a beautiful pile of cotton fabric.  There were shades of red, pink, white, cream, pale blue and bright green.  Some had dots and spots, some geometrics, a few floral (quite a lot of floral), one checked and a couple with birds in bird cages.

I measured and snipped.  I stitched and turned. I pinned and stitched some more.

Reveal day – yesterday – was not a sunny one. Unfortunately the bunting could not be strung across the garden to show it at it’s best.

I hope the friend I am gifting it to loves it as much as I do. Some things made for others you just want to keep for yourself!  It’s saving grace is that the bunting is going to be used at a charity event on 11th May.  A good friend is involved in an Open Garden scheme for a local hospice. I hope it enhances the pretty flowers, shrubs and trees that my friend and others have been nurturing for the last few months and years.

http://www.stchristophers.org.uk/opengarden