Three dimensional stitchery

I love the Great British Sewing Bee, not least because it inspires me to do stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily try (or buy sewing equipment that I really need!).

I haven’t done much three dimensional or constructive sewing, other than felt animals of various sorts at school or the now famous Bob the reindeer. I have seen letter cushions before and liked the idea of them so I thought I would give it a bash.

The choice of letter was really easy as it was for a present so I set about creating a pattern with the help of a well known Sunday newspaper. Getting the proportions right was surprisingly difficult. Either the uprights were too skinny or the distance between them too large or the crossbar too thin. I can understand now why font design is such an art form because there is a lot to be considered.

Having finally reached a size I was happy with I cut out the front and back, taking a great deal of care to ensure that I got the stripes in the right place and parallel. I then attached premade bias binding around the whole perimeter of each. As a scientific exercise (probably not the best thing to do on a gift!) I sewed one binding on by my old method of using a zipper foot, and one using my fancy pants new binding foot. Unquestionably the latter produced the much better result, and it was considerably easier to use.

Deciding on the width of the joining piece of fabric also required significant thought. Once again it was important to get the proportions correct. And also to decide whether the stripe should go vertically or horizontally. My biggest mistake though was that I sewed it on all in one piece rather than creating sections which matched each junction on the letter. This meant that although I sewed it all on pretty accurately and neatly, when the two sides were joined together there was a twist in the final product.

All that said, I’m pretty pleased with it as a first attempt and the recipient liked it, so I’ll definitely be having another go.

Cat x

Hunting for my mojo


It’s been a few weeks since I actually completed a project and despite having a large pile of things to do I don’t seem to be able to get on with anything.

I’m sure I am not alone in having this problem. All of the fabric stash in the world can’t help you when there isn’t an end product in mind. Having a large resource of magazines and books doesn’t make it any easier either. Should I make a sea-themed table runner or a cake themed table organiser; a new friendship braid quilt or a cushion bemoaning the misbehaviour of. Mondays?

Yes these are all on my list!

I’ve also got a keepsake cushion to be completed, my ‘five fat quarters’ project, some trousers to take in, a new cushion to make for my living room and a couple of birthday presents. Is this a symptom of having too long a list? I don’t necessarily think so but there is something to be said for just having one thing on the go at a time.

Better get the sewing machine out pronto?

Cat x

I don’t care what the weatherman says…

You won’t find me complaining.

Actually, right now, I think there’s a fairly strong chance you will because frankly I’ve just about had enough of the weather we have been having. Whoever normally gets fifty-two million trillion gallons of rain at this time of the year can have it back. Bits of my house are falling off and I’m fairly sure that pretty soon it is going to float away. Even as I type I can hear the sound of thundering precipitation on my rooftop.

Ho hum, at least I don’t have to do the garden, though I think I am going to have to do something about it in due course because the bulbs are valiantly poking their way through the remnants of last year’s perennials. I can snuggle up inside with my fabric and projects, oh and clearing up Spare ‘Oom.

Cat x

The art of being lucky

One of the hardest things about working for yourself is motivation. Every morning you have to hoist yourself out of bed and create your own goals for the day. If, like many self employed people, you have adopted this particular work pattern because of family commitments then you probably have the added distractions of getting other people out of the door by a set time. Which means that by 9am you feel like you have already done a whole day’s work!

In my ‘other’ life I often come across people who ask ‘I want to set myself up in business/I’m just starting out as a freelance’, how can I be successful?’ Well the straightforward answer is hard work. Not even the seemingly most talented individual gets to the top without huge amounts of effort. Those that do get there by a stroke of good fortune often find the time and energy commitment required to maintain their position is far more than they were expecting, and possibly more than they are willing to commit.

Today I am going to put some concerted effort into being lucky. Starting with binding my beautiful quilt.

Cat x