Things got busy around here in winter, but some new fabric panels have just been listed in the shop. I've been wanting to work with bigger and bolder shapes lately, and do some more two-colour screen printing, and these are the first batch of prints. Hope you love them as much as I do. Plus happy spring if you live in the Southern Hemisphere...finally!
I had a lot of fun organising and coordinating which fabric colours/patterns to put together for July's fabric scrap packs. And as an added bonusRead More
It's already OVER halfway through May, so probably about time to mention the May fabric packs! There's a 3-fat quarter panel pack and a scrap pack, both in bright colours (in an attempt to counter the dull weather here in Melbourne). And fabric packs now come in cute little fabric pouches, because I love cute little fabric pouches.
Stocks of the packs are limited and there are only a handful of each left, in case you've been thinking about getting one. Happy sewing :)
The other day I was doing something and then I had to stop, drop what I was doing and just start making a quilt, as you do. And a quilt with a pattern, no less. A quilt pattern is something I've been working on for a while but it just wasn't, well, working. But suddenly it all made sense - I'd be trying to map it all out on the computer and the process was confusing and annoying. Then I realised all I need to do is just measure actual fabric, cut, arrange and sew. So I just did that.
I started by cutting up four of the fat quarter panels from the March Special Fabric, and arranged them in a way that kind of 'worked', to my eye anyway (see above).
On a whim I added one plain fabric panel, of a lovely charcoal hemp/organic cotton. This is a thing I always seem to do when sewing quilts made from my own fabric - break up the crazy pattern/colour by adding some plain textured/coloured fabric to even things out. Suddenly the quilt-in-the-making was looking kinda how I wanted, plus it was a bit bigger, which was a bonus (laid out and unsewn, it was around 100cm wide x 120 high - around 39" x 47").
The sewing together bit is pretty straightforward - I just take each row and sew the bits together, then sew the rows together. That's what I'm in the middle of doing now, so watch this space to see the finished product! Next week... In the meantime, happy weekend.
Heat bags (or wheat bags?!) are the best and I use them all the time - on sore shoulders, a weary back or just to keep me warm in winter. I've got a few long-shaped ones but none that are square, which seems like a massive oversight! So today, when I got some sewing mojo after making up some fabric scrap packs for the shop, I decided to make a big square patchwork heat bag and add a handle, so I can hang it up when it's not in use.
It was such a fun project and didn't take long at all - around 1-1.5 hours. I just grabbed a bunch of fabric scraps (some tiny!) that when laid out made a square around 32cm x 32cm. I then arranged the fabric in a way that looked good (sometimes cutting the bits to make them look/fit bitter), sewed 4-5 horizontal lengths into strips about 26-28cm long, sewed the strips together until they were about 24-26cm high, added some batting and did some very basic quilting stitches to hold it in place, made a handle (you don't have to patchwork this if it's easier to use a length of plain fabric, but add a bit of interfacing to give it body/strength), then sewed it up and filled it with wheat.
The bag's finished size is 24cm x 22cm (9.5" x 8.5") and the handle's 13cm x 4cm (5" x 1 1.5"), so if you want to make one a similar size add 1cm to each side for a seam allowance :)
Click through to see some in progress shots
I'm doing a bunch of screenprinting today, to ward off Monday-itis and get some orders sorted out. The ink colours I'm using are very pastel and I just realised it's kind of summer here in Melbourne, though it feels like we got no spring. Oh well, at least that means endless salads, like the beetroot and cabbage slaw I had for lunch (and yes, I get to keep the reject plates - this one's got a hairline crack in it, what a shame!)
I'm thinking of using the paper I rest my squeegee on between prints (bottom photo) to wrap some orders - I usually throw that paper out but today the mess of ink and patterns looked pretty cool. Watch this space.
I always have so many scraps of tiny remnant fabric, leftover from sewing projects and whatnot. These bits might be small but they're full of colour and texture and personality - little snippets of designs I dreamt up in a notebook and turned into a real-life thing. And the texture of the fabric really shines when you've got little itty bits - the raw roughness of flax linen, the supersoft and pure white of quilting cotton and the body and texture of organic hemp.
Yonks ago I made a heap of buttons and did a little tute (hello, old blog!) Back then I started out with a process that was a lot more complicated (involving sewing the fabric edges and gathering it, eek) but there's a much easier way and all it involves is buying a couple of really cheap tools, so I figured it's about time I did an updated tute. It takes no time at all to whip up a bunch of buttons yourself once you're set up, so get onto it!
TUTORIAL: FABRIC COVERED BUTTONS
- Fabric scissors
- Fabric scraps (preferable of different prints and textures, but that work together)
- Metal self-covered buttons - shells (the front) and backs (shanks). I use the 23mm size, 7/8", which is US size 36).
- Self covered button assembly tool, to match your button size
- A circle template to match your button size (you can get fancy ones with an inner circle cut out, so you can see how much of the fabric will show on the finished button, but I like the surprise of not quite knowing!)
STEP 1: Use the circle template the cut a bunch of fabric scraps to the right size.
STEP 2: Place the fabric, right side down, on top of the tool base. Then place the button, right side down, on top of the fabric, along with the blue presser tool.
STEP 3: Press the button and fabric into the base. You may need to apply a bit of pressure and sometimes it's easier to turn it upside down, as per step 6.
STEP 4: Smooth out any kinks in the fabric at the button edge.
STEP 5: Position the button back/shank on top of the neatened fabric.
STEP 6: Place the blue presser tool on top of the button back (hollow side down) and turn upside down. Press the tool base. You'll feel it click when the back is locked in place.
STEP 7: Admire your handiwork!
That's it! Sooo simple. Once you start making some buttons, you'll get addicted and want to make a heap. What do you do with them? I've put them on clothes, cushions, used them as decorations on gifts, used them tied into hair elastics - the possibilities are many. Or get flat backs and glue a magnet on the back and put them on your fridge. Happy crafting!
I'm working on my first quilt pattern, which is pretty exciting. It will be super simple to put together, using just seven pieces of fabric, and will look similar to the quilt below, which I made recently. I'm so into easy sewing projects that you can finish off in one or two sittings.
Oh, and the best thing about making the below quilt? The back is hand painted using the same coloured ink as the quilt front. It took about 10 minutes to go crazy with the ink and a paintbrush on a blank piece of organic quilting fabric, and was so much fun. I've been thinking of selling little pots of paint, so you can paint your own fabric, so watch this space for that. In the meantime, wish me luck with the Tetris-like project of creating a quilt pattern that actually works. Fingers crossed.
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Every now and then I reach *peak fabric*, ie: I end up swimming in a sea of the sceenprinted goods. This week was one of those times, so I promptly made up a whole bunch of colour-coordinated fabric packs, which are available as of today. And if you want to be the first to hear about such things in the future, make sure you sign up for the (infrequent) mailing list and get first dibs.
Oh, and I also went crazy making fabric covered buttons, so all orders received in May will get some buttons thrown in, for good measure. I hope you love buttons as much as I do.