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amidst the turmoil

2 Jul

Argh! Things have been so busy. I’ve taken on some temporary work as an English teacher, and it’s making it very difficult to find the time to either craft or write about the crafting. But… finally I’ve created something. I’ve finished the quilt that I bought fabric for in Australia – the ice creams and hearts. It’s taken pride of place in my store of quilts (i.e. on top of my wardrobe – space is VERY limited). I’m planning to donate it to the Swindon Craft Fair raffle so if you’re coming along, look out for it!


the crafter’s ‘things to do’ list

19 Jun

The holiday to Cornwall is over, as are the birthday celebrations i.e. real life has set in once again, reclaiming me mercilessly.

The upside of this – and it’s a big one – is that I can get back to making things. First things first though, I need to feel back in control and this can mean only one thing – a new ‘things to do’ list. A big part of mine at the moment is trying to organise all the fabrics I picked up recently at the junk shop. I’m preparing them by cutting them into 8 by 4 inch pieces for some new patchwork quilts, and then putting each set of fabric patches into a pastic wallet in a folder.

Enter… my beautiful big bird yellow folder. Well, it needed to be gorgeous to house such wonderful fabrics. The idea is that as well as keeping the fabrics neat and without creases, I can easily use the folder to mix and match fabrics and know when I have enough to get a new quilt on the road.

What do you mean ‘garish’?!

1 Jun

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of bright colours. And hey, a little bit of colours clashing – that’s just another way of having a little fun. Like red and pink… sounds good to me. Or ‘blue and green should never be seen’ – HA! That’s what you think. My new patchwork quilt is no exception, and as well as bright colours, I’ve sprinkled in a few ‘silly’ patterns.

batty about batting

31 May

I’m moving out of my comfort zone… away from patchwork quilts to the more traditional technique of quilting through two layers of fabric and a sandwiched layer of batting (so that the quilt bobs up and down, following whatever pattern you so wish). This kind of quilting creates a beautiful effect.

BUT. I’m finding my adventures to be a little too expensive… I guess you could say that I have a traditional quilting habit on a patchwork quilt budget. While patchwork quilts also need to have three layers, the middle layer (for warmth) can be an old blanket – cheap as chips. But this doesn’t work with traditional quilting which needs a really springy middle layer (called batting) if the sewing detail is going to stand out.

I’ve started the quilt above for my baby neice Malika and I’ve had to be…erm… a little creative (cough cough) with the batting. Rather than use the bamboo stuff I found in the shop for a whopping £40 (people, do you know how much pasta that would get me?!), I went for tripling up a mattress protector I found in a cheapo shop for £7. I know I know, this probably makes me an awful person (not 100% cotton? GASP!) but believe me when I say that If I’m going to be a quilter I’m going to have to be a cheap stingy ***** of a quilter.

Other ideas for saving money when it comes to quilt batting? The people in the shop might look at me funny if I keep going back for mattress protectors. Ideas on a postcard…