Wool Tweed Lengths For Sale

If the post earlier in the week about tweed had you hankering for some of the lovely new colours that are now available, take a look at what’s on offer from Quilting Antics.

Quilting Antics

We have had so much interest in our wool tweeds that we thought it was about time that we started to offer them for sale on line. Below you will find our first batch to be photographed. We only have one role of each colourway so it really is a case of first up best dressed…you snooze you loose! When you have made a selection you can either ring the shop on 01729 824708 to reserve your wool or you can leave a comment here. Good luck and I hope you like what you see.

We are also working on some simple patterns, using the tweed, which we intend to give away free on here. Yay!

wool 1 and 2 second attempt copy

Roll number 1. shades of purple, blue, black red and white. 136″ x 10″ (3.46m x 0.26m) £27.50 (can sell as a half length.)

Roll number 2. shades of blue, purple, Grey, white the piece…

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Finished article

Remember the sewing class I was giving, here’s the finished article…

It’s mighty fine, though I could have done with using a bigger zip, and super snugly. I’m going to make a few more for the sofa over the weekend so I’m going to need to go and get some more cushion inserts from somewhere.

Cat x

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Move over Patrick…

10981862_274319482754365_2864875031387427584_nIt’s back!! Like chocolate at Christmas I now have six weeks of indulgence with the lovely Great British Sewing Bee to look forward to.

And what a treat it is turning out to be already.  There are some great characters beginning to emerge, but there is already a firm favourite among my sewsistas…  Whatever his sewing skills might turn out to be, we have already voted the lop02j7dvlvely Lieutenant Colonel into the final. Fortunately he did manage first place and garment of the week so we might just be onto a winner.

It’s great to see more men in the competition, and to see a wide range of sewers.  But we are completely bowled over by Neil’s ‘bish bash bosh’ approach to the task, his cool head and his attention to detail.  If he got a ribbing from his troops before GBSB then imagine what would happen if he won!

So sorry Patrick, we’re not watching you any more, our eyes are firmly on one of the contestants.

Cat x

 

Hot pink upholstery

hotpink chairThis week I have been researching interiors fabrics, which has been both fun and a little bit onerous at the same time.  It’s been a while since I was a student and I haven’t yet worked out whether I am writing too much, not enough or veering dreadfully from the project brief.

For my historical period I chose the Arts and Crafts Movement, mainly so that I could avoid the Victorians, but it is actually an architectural style that I rather like.  Some friends recently bought a beautifully preserved Arts and Crafts house with all of the lovely wooden features still in tact.  They did feel the need to replace the green and black bathroom for something more modern though.  Can’t say I blame them.

Then it was the turn of contemporary fabrics, where I discovered that this year’s Pantone colour is Marsala, an earthy red whicdownloadh apparently will images (1)be giving all designers their theme for the year.  I’m not sure I like it in its purest form, but it is very warm and welcoming. The perfect contrast for this is Indigo Blue, so there are lots of linens around for use as curtains and other soft furnishings.

But my favourite modern fabrics have to be the new tweeds.  Taking a traditional woollen fabric and reinventing it with brilliant new colours is inspired.  I love the feature chair at the top of this post, and one day I hope to do some upholstery so that I can make one for myself.  That’ll be the next course then…

Cat x

Old MacDonald had a farm…

knitted_farm_sheep_600Get those knitting needles back out of the cupboard, scrabble about at the back of the cupboard for your discarded wool and get (pro)creating!

I haven’t gone completely barmy – honest.  I was just having a quick squint at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show website to buy myself a couple of tickets (I’ll find a willing victim to drag along) when I came across their super exciting Knitted farm competition.

download (2)Based on the book ‘Knit Your Own Farm’ by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, the competition is perfect for anyone who enjoys creating knitted animals and the like. While there are four patterns to choose from: cow, pig, sheep and lamb) this could be the moment your imagination goes wild because as long as your animal is to scale you can enter it – I quite fancy creating a turkey, then again, maybe not.

It’s a smashing idea – but if you fancy joining in you need to get your skates on – the deadline for returning the entry form is Monday 9th February and your knitted masterpiece has to be delivered by 20th February.

Baaaaa….

Cat x

Making preparations

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Later this week I am going to be giving a sewing lesson to a good chum who has been bugging me for a very long time to show her how to make cushion covers with piped edges and zipped fastenings. So guess what… I had to make a trip to a favourite haberdashery shop to get ‘supplies’.

Rather worryingly, when I searched for ‘haberdashery’ near my office there were a few too many options. Living slightly outside the M25 means that my choices are all a car drive away so the prospect of so much choice within walking distance was tantalising.

I don’t have to buy any fabric though. I bought a bolt of this lovely plaid before Christmas, intending to make a set of winter cushions for my sofa. This is what we will be using as it will be very forgiving of any beginner errors. I have bought lovely red ribbon for the piping as it will be a real contrast of textures as well as some buttons to cover.

My friend has promised to buy cookies to eat as we stitch so it looks like we’ll be having a fun afternoon. If I remember to take a photo I’ll share the finished results with you.

Cat x

Feeding the fabric addiction

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One big, and very exciting, development in Planet Cat is that I have finally signed up for the soft furnishings course that I have been threatening to do ever since time immemorial. This means that I now have a valid excuse for buying all those interiors magazines and spending far too long in my favourite places ordering samples of beautiful and luxurious fabrics.

This is not good. On two counts… Firstly, I already have an enormous collection of a whole variety of sewing based literature (and can I ever find that pattern I was saving to make…) stashed under my bed. While Mr C was busy disposing of his old Top Gears and no longer useful cycling magazines over Christmas, I was sorting mine by type and working out how many I could store before they become a fire hazard. Secondly, I already have more samples than you can shake a stick at. In fact, for my first assignment I am supposed to get samples of six different types of fabric and write about them. Only six! I’ve got all I need but that means I don’t have to go to the fabric store, I need to up my game!

My main motivation for doing the course is that curtains really are my bête noir. I don’t know what I do to them but they really don’t like me. I suspect that one of the problems is that I over engineer them, but also I think that I have an innate fear of wasting that much fabric. I have, in my time made some pretty brilliant Roman blinds, but that’s just a case of applying maths to material and I can do that.

I’ll keep you up to date with my progress, meanwhile I’ve got fabric collections to research!

There and back again

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Well hello there! It’s been a while, for which there are many reasons, but most of them desperately boring so I won’t go into them. Just be grateful that I have resurfaced!

Do not think however that I have been idle in my absence… Oh no! While a considerable amount of time has been spent helping Kid achieve his fundraising goal for the great Japanese adventure, I have managed to sneak in a little craft project here and there.

At the tail end of the year the fundraising involved making a substantial quantity of Christmas decorations. This was a bit trickier than you would think because we had to devise projects which the Scouts could handle and produce goods which people other than their indulgent parents would buy. One of the simpler items we created was a wooden heart which was sanded and varnished then hung with a little piece of vintage ribbon.

These sold very well, but I was still left with a shoebox full at the end of the process. Having stored them away I had a mini flash of inspiration and popped into a gorgeous little shop called Fair Lily in Great Missenden to purchase some of Annie Sloan’s Emperor’s Silk chalk paint.

I painted each of the hearts with a single coat of paint, and when dry applied some clear varnish then buffed it up to a nice shine. Once this was finished I applied gold size to one half and then laid on a very fiddly bit of gold leaf. The result is pretty cool methinks.

Valentine’s Heart anyone…?

Cat x

Something old, something new

I’ve been trying to work my way through a list of projects, many of which are stored on various chairs around my house. (You may remember from earlier posts that I have a wonderful creative space, but nothing seems to stay there long.) Each week I transfer the individual tasks onto a new page on my diary; the number never reduces!

However this week I have had a big push, and as well as completing the last of my alteration jobs, including a major deconstruction of a very well made but poorly fitting dress, I have pressed on with some of the lingerers.

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This is half of a favourite pair of shorts owned by one of KC’s school friends. Not only were they too small for the owner, but they had seen a lot of wear. I was asked to make something new out of them and accepted the challenge.

Now I don’t know if you have ever tried taking a pair of very well made shorts apart in order to harvest the fabric… it is not easy. At one point I handed the seam ripper and offending garment to Kitty and she did some of the hard work for me. The secret I discovered was to take it slowly and work around the structure of the garment to incorporate some of it into the design.

After a few false starts I managed to create the front of a cushion, using lots of the scraps to make straight cut binding for the piping.

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Given that the shorts fabric was a bit rough, I decided to make the back more tactile, and used a white brushed cotton which is very snugly. I covered buttons with some of the smaller scraps and had a little binding left to add a line of piping on the button flap. I tried a technique which is new to me, raw edge appliqué, to attach the recipient’s name. As a steam a seam convert I think this is something I will try again.

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I think this is probably the first time I have competed a proper upcycling project, but I think it is definitely something I will do again, though maybe not with a pair of shorts!

Cat x

The things I do

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A rainy Bank Holiday is never wasted if you are a crafty creative type. In fact it is an ideal excuse to get out the sewing machine, some fabric and make a lot of mess. Once the dogs have been walked (not by me – hurrah!) and the quantity of food in the house has been established (plenty) there is nothing to stop me from getting on with a few outstanding jobs.

Hiding under a dining room chair is a bag full of current mending projects and other third party requests. One of which is a bit bizarre.

Essentially I have been asked to convert a blanket into an item to be used for a stag weekend gag. I was given pretty precise instructions so I am hoping I got it right. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to how the game proceeds. Hopefully the Stag will go on to lead a full and happy life!

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Cat x