Monday, 18 August 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew in August

Well we definitely are on the downhill slope to Christmas now, in a couple of weeks time the schools will go back here in England so that usually means that the Christmas cards will be appearing in the shops very soon after! In Scotland they are further ahead of the game, on a visit to a local garden centre with my mum last week we were tempted by the recently laid out boxes of Christmas cards but managed to resist and head for the ice-cream instead :)

For crafters though it is never too early to start thinking of Christmas, so in an effort to have you all organised for Christmas it is time to head on over to this month's Christmas Angel, Erin, who blogs at Missy Mac Creations for August's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party. Erin has a beautiful baby girl to make for this Christmas, so it will be extra special this year over at Missy Mac towers :)

If you are new to the party, let me fill you in on the details. Paula and I decided at the end of last year that Christmas 2014 was going to be different, this time round there would be no late-night sewing sessions or frantic last-minute dashes to the Post Office. This time we were going to work on Christmas and Holiday projects throughout the year so come December we would be so organised we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves :)

We decided to share our plans with our blogging friends and invite them to be organised too, with a monthly Link Party to provide a gentle nudge. As ever we have a lovely incentive for you to get crafting and linking and this time it is a great Christmas Ornament Pattern Set courtesy of the lovely Alicia at Posie: Patterns and Kits to stitch, isn't that cottage adorable?

To win the pattern set all you have to do is head on over to Missy Mac Creations and link up a Christmas or Holiday-themed finish that you have completed this month. The link up will remain open until the end of the month, when a random winner will be drawn. Couldn't be any easier, could it?

My own Christmas crafting this month is one jewellery roll for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law,

 and I have started making some Christmas coasters to go with the wine charms from May's link party.

They will hopefully be finished before the end of the month! 

So now it is your turn to show and tell, head on over to Missy Mac Creations and share your Christmas makes. 

As ever we are grateful to our lovely and generous sponsors who have provided us with such great prizes for the Link Party.
Fluffy Sheep QuiltingRay Stitch HaberdasheryBackstitch

Quiet PlayQuilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter ShopPlush Addict Logo  Posie: Patterns and Kits to Stitch by Alicia Paulson

Friday, 15 August 2014

Simply Sashiko

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a Japanese Textiles talk and workshop conducted by the very charming Katie Chaplin of Japan Crafts. Katie gave us a fascinating talk on the origins of some Japanese textiles and introduced us all to a whole new world. Who knew that weavers of Japanese cloth had their own special saw tip fingernail manicures?

To illustrate her talk, Katie passed around examples of the different textile techniques mentioned, including the glorious kimono you can see above. Surprisingly, vintage textiles are not particularly sought after in modern-day Japan apparently, so can still be found at reasonable prices. The same cannot be said for modern kimonos, which can command eye-wateringly high prices. When you hear that a kimono made using the Shibori technique similar to tie-dying can take up to one year to make, the prices are not, perhaps, quite so surprising after all!

Katie brought along some kimono type jackets for sale as well as a whole range of bag kits, which proved to be very popular with her audience. I may just have succumbed to a bag kit :)

In the morning we had a chance to have a go at Sashiko embroidery and were given a range of patterns to pick from. I chose a wave pattern for my first attempt at traditional Sashiko embroidery. We used a tool that I hadn't come across before to transfer the pattern on to the plain blue fabric.

I have no idea what the tool is called, but with its blunt tip it was brilliant for transferring the pattern using Dressmaker's Carbon Paper. Naturally, I had to add one to my basket! I am guessing that it will be great for turning out corners too from the shape of it.

Katie had some gorgeous printed FQ's for sale too, so I treated myself to a couple as I had had an idea of what I might do with the Sashiko panel when I had finished it.

My youngest son is just about to move into his very first flat, so I thought that this was manly enough for a bachelor pad :) The central Sashiko panel is surrounded by 2.5" square borders of three Oriental-themed fabrics, and the borders are machine quilted with a half-circle pattern to echo the Sashiko embroidery.

I came across this manly-looking fabric in my stash and thought that it was ideal for the envelope back.

If you were at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last weekend you might have come across Katie's stall. Apparently it was strategically placed on the route between the cafe and the toilets, so bound to be passed by everyone at some stage in the day!

Our next session is on couching, another technique that I have never tried so I am wondering what I can do with the results from that.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Liberty and linen - a match made in heaven!

A long while ago, right at the beginning of the year, I shared a sneak peek of a project that I was working on with some vintage linen and Liberty fabric. I am delighted to finally be able to show you the completed project.

As regular readers will know I am often to be found rifling through the linen baskets at vintage and antique fairs, and frequently come across something that needs to come home with me. A recent purchase of a vintage linen traycloth and a FQ of Liberty Lawn fabric, when combined with a FQ of Pearl Bracelets, was the inspiration behind this jewellery roll for my soon-to-be new daughter-in-law.

Why, did it take so long to share it though? Well, that is because there was the small matter of a publishing deadline to meet!

This is my first ever project to be published, and not just anywhere either, but in the fabulous ezine, Fat Quarterly. Issue 18 is all about Zakka, creating items that are cute, practical and fun and I am in some illustrious company I can tell you :) With a beautiful fabric basket, charming clock and a tasteful tablecloth being just some of the great projects to pick from there is something in the issue for everyone.

So, if you are looking to add a little Zakka style to your stitching you should definitely check out the current issue of  Fat Quarterly

With several other vintage traycloths lurking in my cupboard and a jewellery roll of my own that has definitely seen better days, I think I might just have to make another one for myself now too. 

Linking to Show and Tell Monday, Fabric Tuesday,
Sew Cute Tuesday
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