Friday, 27 November 2015

Not Stitching and Not Knitting

At this time of year that I would normally be writing about my trip to the Knitting and Stitching show at Harrogate, but this year I have decided to take a break and not go. I will miss meeting up with friends, but there will be other opportunities for this. With shows, I feel I have to justify the ticket price by equating it to P&P charges or by taking a workshop. However, there is also the cost of getting there and the travelling time to take into consideration. This year, I’ve decided to stay at home and spend the day sewing instead. There is nothing I really need to buy and until I looked back on my previous purchases from Harrogate, I didn't realise just how many I’ve still to use.

From 2012, the Clanger and Soup Dragon went to their intended recipient and some of the 505 spray has been used, along with a couple of FQs and the hexie paper pieces. The majority of the FQs, the purse frames, knitting needles, fabric scraps and sewing patterns remain unused.

From 2013, the little scissors and ¼” foot are in frequent use, but the fabrics, purse frames and pattern are still untouched.

Last year’s purchases have fared slightly better. The Flatter spray is in regular use (but is still half full), the shot/peppered cotton and Liberty FQ have been used in quilts and most of the threads have been started (but not finished). The vintage Liberty, purse frames and magnetic clasps have yet to be used.

Happen as well I’ve decided to give Harrogate a miss this year as the evidence suggests I would have come back with yet more purse frames! Now all need to do is to resist the Black Friday sales.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Sticking and Stitching at Stitchscape

Last weekend a group of us booked the Stitchscape sewing studio in Newton-le-Willows for an entire day and took along lots of  Liberty scraps and glue to try something different to our usual sewing. After unloading the cars (free parking is available next to the studio), we found that Diane from Stitchscape had made place names to welcome us and had the kettle on for cups of tea and coffee.

The studio accommodates six people and we used the large central deskspace our morning’s activities. Cutting tables, ironing boards and a sofa were also available so we had everything we needed to hand.

The morning was spent upcycling various objects by covering them with Liberty fabrics. A variety of tins, boxes and even an old cassette storage case were given new leases of life. I created a tabletop waste bin for my sewing threads, trim-offs, etc from a catering-sized coffee container and some of my Liberty scraps, before moving on to covering a pair of shoes that had seen better days.

After a break for lunch (there are kitchen facilities available including kettle, toaster fridge and microwave), some of us continued with the glue whereas others switched to a needle and thread for sewing projects, hiring a sewing machine from Diane when needed. My afternoon project was to cover a mini suitcase in more Liberty lawn. Liberty’s mini suitcase retails for £65 but a case at about a tenth of the price from Home Bargains and a jar of Mod Podge were more in keeping with my budget.
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I had primed the case in preparation so that the original design wouldn’t show through, but given my final choice of fabric this wasn’t necessary (if I do another, I’ll just sand it down with some fine sandpaper or wire wool). Covering the case was fiddly in parts, but a thin-bladed craft knife helped me to hide most raw edges under the brass hardware. I made good progress with the case at Stitchscape and just a bit more sticking and trimming was need the following day to finish the case. Once any stray primer had been removed (or covered with a metallic marker pen!), the final result looked quite neat and tidy.

We enjoyed our session at Stitchscape so much that we have booked it again for a day of Christmas activities in December. Stitchscape also offer classes, details of which can be found on their website along with contact details for Diane should you wish to discuss booking the studio for your group.

(Please note, our Saturday sessions at Stitchscape are booked and paid for by the group members and all opinions in this post are my own.)