A while ago, I blogged about my visit to the wonderful Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and their store-exclusive ‘souvenir’ fabric that I was at a bit of a loss what to do with.
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For my previous coasters, I’d stuck to following some great online tutorials. To me though, patchwork seems like one of those skills where it’s far better if you understand the concepts behind constructing a block and can mentally deconstruct patterns, much like making temari, rather than just learning to follow a pattern blindly.
What is Chilcompton famous for? Or maybe you’re wondering, where, or what on earth, is Chilcompton. UK resident or not, you might be forgiven for not having heard of this small village, tucked away in the middle of nowhere in Somerset. If you’re not from the area, the nearest recognisable city is probably Bath, but even that is a 45 minute drive away, which in UK units is quite a long way. So what is it that draws so many people, even internationally, to this quaint piece of rural England?
This Goldwork & Silk Shading Monogram was a Royal School of Needlework day class (well, two day class would be more accurate) that I took nearly two years ago! The good news is that it does seem to still be running at Hampton Court and possibly some of the satellites so if you do feel inspired maybe there is still chance to catch it.
Next skill in the list to learn, bindings. I was somewhat encouraged by my success with my first two attempts at coasters and also wanted to try some patterns a little more reminiscent of a quilt block. The added advantage of this also being that I got to play with more colours all at the same time.
As someone who really loves lurid colours, it probably comes as no surprise that, when it comes to fabrics, I really, really love batiks. There’s enough variety of prints, patterns and colours that I could probably be entertained forever. The ‘mottled’ effect you get from the resist dyeing process also means that one piece of fabric has a huge amount of variation within it, which for me all adds to the creative fun.
After trying some ice dyeing and really enjoying the results, I though I’d give a try to a combination of speckle dyeing and painting. Normally I tend to dye fibre to spin but it’s a little bit hard to maintain defined spots of colour in the spinning process, plus, while handspun definitely has it charms, there’s a lot to be said for the near perfect regularity of mill-spun yarn.
With the new Bernina safely resident in my apartment, rotary cutters, mats and some fabric that let’s just say I grabbed with convenience as my primary concern, I was ready to have a go at my first simple sewing projects. The plan: to do things small enough and not so labour intensive that it wouldn’t be heart breaking if I had to throw them away.
One of the great things about being completely thrown out of routine is it suddenly feels like a very good time to try and sneak in all the things you ‘never had time to do.’
Paper quilling was a fairly recent discovery for me. I saw some intriguing greetings cards in a small shop, which resulted in a bit of internet research and the familiar ‘I’ve got to try that!’ feeling. Luckily, quilling, or the art of twizzling, squeezing and screaming at paper to turn into various decorative shapes, is relatively inexpensive to get started with. You can do it with just some scrap paper, a toothpick and some glue if you’re feeling really brave.