What is most apparent from the 40 Makes Challenge is that I am a bit of a crafting flirt. I like switching from fabric to wool and back again. Occasionally I make cards – but generally for my own use at Christmas – and I do a spot of baking but since my family is a largely unappreciative audience on that front it’s generally for the school fair.
My longest love affair though has been with fabric. Even through the Seventies when everything came in brown I had a stash. And even now I can remember certain items of clothing I made purely by the cloth they were created in. Nowadays I am completely spoilt for choice with all of the lovely fabrics available online and it is more of a question of what not to buy rather than what I should.
Texture plays a big role, which is why I love Japanese import fabric with the mix of linen and cotton that gives that very special feel to the cloth. I also love the way that many of the manufacturers of this fabric produce such eclectic collections with prints that can be cut in different ways to create completely different items.
Similarly I love Sarah Waterhouse Textiles because she uses a mixture of hemp, linen and cotton which creates fabrics with a very unique touch to them. Somehow they feel more organic and tactile than a flat cotton which is highly processed. (I should confess here that I’m the sort of person who buys sized eggs because I like the fact that they aren’t all uniform in the box.)
One fabric which you will see time and again in my creations is calico. In the UK this is a plain-woven textile which is made from unbleached and often not fully processed cotton. I like the slightly rough texture of it and the working quality. I discovered recently that it originates from the city of Kozhikode (known by Europeans as Calicut in the 11th century) in Kerala, India. The fabric was made by the traditional weavers called chaliyans.
Most of the time you will find the calico I use hidden away, either as a lining or as the casing for a cushion pad but I’m going to experiment with making it more visible on some of my projects together with some of the linen/cotton blend I like so much.