Monday, 25 November 2013

Stitching and Knitting Show*, Harrogate

I seem to have visited lots of shows this year and I had been looking forward to going to Harrogate with some of the ladies from the Liverpool Sewing Club, but last minute changes of plans meant I could no longer make that date. Just when it looked as though I was going to miss the show, I spotted a coach trip in the local paper for a day I could make and then in a further moment of serendipity, I won a ticket for the show from Pin It and Stitch.

So on a sunny Saturday morning I was sat on coach, stitching a few EPP hexies and on my way to Harrogate.  We arrived about lunchtime and had four hours before the coach left, so it was straight into the show.  After stopping off at the Pin It and Stitch stand to say thank you for the ticket (and being tempted by some skinny quarters), I started to look round the rest of the stands. Last year I visited on the Sunday and so I was expecting the Saturday to be a lot busier but I didn’t find that to be the case.  Generally I have thought the shows to be quieter this year than last year and at this year’s Harrogate show there were also some stands that were notable by their absence. One improvement (or perhaps it was just better sign posted) for this year’s show was the extra seating and “picnic area” in Hall F – very welcome when it came to finding somewhere to eat lunch.

I had a shopping list with me, but seeing as my list always includes “bargains” it is quite easy to claim that I stuck to it. As well as the skinny quarters from Pin It and Stitch, my purchases included a Kona Charm pack and some Wickerweave from Simply Solidsa couple of bargain bag frames from Bag-Clasps, some Egyptian cotton sheeting from Empress Mills (which I want to try pairing with Liberty lawn), a ¼” clear foot with guide for my machine, a pair of teeny scissors for my travelling EPP kit (I already have a pair, but am bound to lose them one day) and a vintage pattern from Judith Mansfield Books.

After all my sewing shopping, I had about an hour left to visit Harrogate’s shops and do a little bit of non-sewing shopping. 

Then it was back on to the coach (amidst all the chaos that is Harrogate's coach pick up zone) and home in time for tea. 

(*I hadn’t realised until I came to write this post that the show is actually called the Knitting and Stitching Show, but as I'm a stitcher not a knitter this could explain why I get it the wrong way round.)

Friday, 22 November 2013

Make Yourself a Hexie Little Christmas Tree

After seeing some mini quilts of hexie Christmas trees many months ago before I was even thinking of Christmas, I was inspired to go even smaller and use the idea to make Christmas cards.  By using ½" hexagons, the trees are the right size to fit on to an A6 folded card blank.

These cards are an ideal project to use up scraps of fabrics and you can soon have a small woodland of trees after just a few evenings of stitching.

To make it easier to glue the trees to the corrugated surface of my card blank, I first stitched the tree to backing paper. The trees can be embellished with a much or as little bling as you wish – I chose to add just a star to the top of the tree.

Full details on how to make the cards, including hexagon templates, can be found in my project section.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Quilt Finish

I finished my quilt a few weeks ago but had to wait a while for the weather to be good enough to get it washed and line-dried. There was a certain element of trepidation as I put it in the washing machine –would the cream backing come out pale pink – but a couple of colour catchers did their job and the red did not run.  I was hoping for some bright winter sunshine for the photographs, but “not raining” was as good as it got.

The backing is a Robert Kaufman fabric with woven pattern of circles that I got in the sale at Quiltessential and is pieced with the cream designs from the two French General layer cakes.  The binding is charcoal Color Weave that I picked up in the buy-by-weight section at Abakhans. All piecing and quilting was done with Aurifil 50 wt.

Despite spending several hours working on a layout so that the same or similar prints were not together, whilst snuggled under the quilt I spotted I had not been successful. I think I should just enjoy the quilt and not look too closely again.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Quilt Decisions Made

At the end of my last post, I was undecided how to back the quilt I was making, but the more I thought about it, the less it made sense to go and buy fleece when I already had backing fabric and wadding and so the decision was made to make a “proper” quilt.

A piece of unidentified wadding I picked up as end of roll remnant was just about big enough and I used the spare low volume pieces from the layer cakes to make a pieced section for the backing fabric to bring that up to size.

I did wonder whether it would be possible to tack this on the kitchen table, but thanks to some advice from Mary via Instagram (who pointed me in the direction of this blog post) and a large piece of MDF, I managed to get the quilt sandwich assembled at home.

I was hoping to only have to do straight line quilting, but I couldn’t be sure whether the batting would support a gap of approximately 6”. Checking online it appeared that most batting seemed to be able to be quilted 4” or 10” apart, and so I added a motif in the centre of each square just to be on the safe side.

My final task at the weekend was to machine stitch the binding ready for hand sewing at Sewing Club on last Monday.  All that is left to do is to sew in the loose ends and wash it to remove the guidelines I drew for each motif.