Monday, 28 February 2011

Colour block for scaredy cats

I've been doing a spot of fashion trend research. Now, I'm the last person to be into fashion really (apart from Viv of course. All Hail Queen Viv!) but from my internettings today I've found out all the key trends for 2011, and out of the squillion different trends out there, this colour block malarky is a big deal.

 (This image is taken from Vogue)


 No way would I wear it myself, but I can see that it is very foxy indeed. Thus, a little experiment with some left over bits of silk from other projects and voila! A bit of colour block that even I can handle. Nice, even though I say so myself.

Colour block box pouch

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The need for a walking foot has become very apparent

Swallowed all my fear and went for it. Holy cow, wrestling all this material through my machine was an experience. I donned The HusWife's cycling gloves (nice rubber bits on the finger pads to ease the material through) and spent a very sweaty evening trying to quilt this puppy. I ended up simply sewing each block as I couldn't face the trauma of any more as there was untold pulling and shifting of material. Much swearing and anxiousness, I tell you. I'd hand basted of course, and then The Magnificent Mum (and the internet) told me that using those curved safety pins was the way to baste. NOW YOU TELL ME! Anyhoo, hand stitched the binding and actually, it looks ok, but is not going to win any awards. It's for my goddaughter as her pressy for her christening and thus I think she'll forgive me. I've got til she gets married in approx 25 years to master the quilting bit :-)

Second quilt, front

Second quilt, back

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

My creative space

Today I'm going to start cutting into this little lot:

Manly fabrics

Well I say little, there are quite a few more out of shot :-). I'm making a man quilt, so it's all block colour (mostly, bar the odd bit of gorgeous weave) and it's cashmere, silk, wool, linen, denim, corduroy, silk velvet. These fabrics have been staring at me for 2 months whilst I finished off a few other bits and pieces. Now, my babies, your time has come.

Other creative spaces to be found here, at the most excellent kootoyoo

Sunday, 13 February 2011

A last push

Log cabin patchwork
This puppy has been lurking about since last summer. I've noticed that I go hell for leather on a project for a while, get it to a stage where I could nearly finish it, and then stop. I made 32 blocks ages ago but finally got round to piecing them all together. With all the left over material, I've made a backing that's totally random (but failed to photograph it whilst there was still light) and I think I might love the backing more than the front. Hey ho. Anyhoo, the utterly terrifying bit comes next. I've never actually quilted anything properly before so heaven knows how it's all going to turn out. I'm also unsure how to quilt it - just use long rows of stitching one way or the other? Or in both directions? Or go round and round the log cabins? I think the fear is going to prevent me from getting any further for a little while...please, if you have any advice, don't hold back!

Log cabin patchwork

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Brilliant blokes who know their threads

I had the most excellent good fortune to meet Philip from Crescent Trading one lunchtime last week. I cycled down Great Eastern Street, went round the back bit where all the warehouse places are and found him. I found him and all his lovely cut price, end of run fabrics in 2,000 square foot of freezing cold warehouse. Such a jolly, helpful interesting fella; he was either running outside to tell the local builders to "eff off and move their bleedin' vans" or dancing smoothly through the rolls and rolls of fabric, schmoozing all his customers, being witty, clever and helpful. He talked me through the rules, "Well then darlin', you can have a minimum of 1 metre of the suitings, but most of the other stuff you need to buy by the roll."

Boy, did I dig the suitings. Got a 50% silk 50% cashmere in wine red ("It's a steal, 30 quid, proper bargain - was 130 a metre, and did you know cashmere is going up in price and getting very difficult to get hold of now as them that make it ended up eating most of their stock this winter..."). Also got some beaut green wool stamped Ministry of Interiors, Kuwait ("Well you see they don't make their uniforms with any old rubbish, so they get the cloth woven and if it's ever so slightly off colour then they don't use it. And some of it ends up here.")

Of course, it turns out he supplies some of my fave fabric shops (The Cloth House and others on Berwick Street) and they put their whack on the price (as you would), so from now on, Crescent Trading will my first port of call for all fabric musings.

And the only reason why I found the most excellent Philip and his reasonably priced and delicious fabrics was because of Spitalfields Life - a most brilliant blog that has turned my head and has made me explore all sorts of wonderful places. B-rilliant.