Apart from a recent jaunt down to the London Embroidery School for the rest of their Lace Series course, the number of in-person craft courses going on has been rather lamentable so I was very pleased to see that the weekend Lampshade Making course at Minerva Studios was still going ahead, albeit with some health and safety upgrades.Read More »
I love making these fabric boxes. It’s great having a project where you get a nice big square area to do some free motion quilting over and they’re a relatively simple pattern overall. This is the third of these boxes I’ve made – you can see my first and second attempts here and for this one I really wanted to focus on the free motion quilting for it.
Dressmakers often use a calico toile, or mock-up, as a way of checking the fit of a garment. An added bonus is it is a good way of practicing any tricky parts of the construction or identifying any problem areas because you’ve shredded your £20 a metre silk you’ve been cherishing for several years, awaiting the perfect project.
After the frustrating mess that was my last zipper bag, I decided the best thing to do was to confront my fears head on and just repeat the pattern again, trying out some different batiks along the way. After all, I had found my zipper foot, and completely understood all the demands of the pattern right?
I was getting a little bored of making coasters but was enjoying being strict with myself and sticking to small manageable projects. Still, fabric coasters aren’t exactly the most useful things and, although I think I still have a bit to learn about getting neat bindings on, it was time to try something new. Today’s inspiration came from a tutorial over at The Sewing Chick for an incredibly cute zipper bag.
This year I happened across the opportunity for my first visit to Seoul, South Korea. For being one of the world’s biggest megacities, cities with a population over 10 million, Seoul has a lot of charm, from a little book library park in the middle of the city, to the rivers that divide it up. The food is excellent and chimaek (chicken and beer) is a genius idea and I would be very happy to see, along with the Japanese izakaya bar traditions exported all over the world. Preferably alongside fabric markets as mindboggling as Dongdaemun.
The thing I always enjoy about my craft shop excursions is they often take you to places you’d never otherwise go. I have to admit, after some internet searching turned up The Quilter’s Cupboard and I started looking on a map, I thought this trip might end up rivalling where Wonderwool, Wales in terms of the amount of adventuring required to get there.
It’s always great when you find a place home to not just one isolated craft shop, but several, all within relatively easy travelling distance to each other. Welcome to Berkeley, quilters’ heaven, home to some wonderfully quirky and welcoming textile institutions.
It’s very hard not to love California with its great weather, beautiful coastline and abundance of really excellent craft shops. I certainly found a few good places when I visited last year. So what better way to guide a road trip south of San Francisco than trying to combine as much sea and fabric as possible?