Saturday, 23 February 2013

Textile in Focus

Textile in Focus at Cottenham near Cambridge 
was on 15th, 16th and 17th of February this year.
I went on the Friday as usual and was bright and early as it opened.
Did my usual go round taking everything in,
I met up with lots of friends  and caught up on the latest projects.
Brought lots of goodies which I will post later.
The Exhibition in the sixth form was outstanding and the demonstrations
by artists such as Linda Monk and Jenny Furlong were
very informative and inspirational.
Above, is Sharon Osbourne in action.
She is so inspiration and her made books are out of this world.
There is a no photograph rule now at Textile in Focus
but Sharon always lets us as she thinks its important to share.
What do you think about this, photographs or not?

More Quilts

These two quilts have been slowly coming together over
the last couple of weeks.
Eileen has chosen just vibrant colours to wrk with,
it's fantastic.
Janet is making the fan quilt for her Grand Daughter.
See more quilts and textiles by visiting my portfolio site

Friday, 22 February 2013

Ros's Quilt

Ros is making this quilt to take out to her
 home in Cyprus.
It is so fresh and crisp it will look great on a king size bed.

More Dorset Buttons

More Dorset Buttons are being made each week and
they are getting bigger and more ornate. 
These ones were made by Bev.
Lots of beading and sequins are being added,
I wonder who is influencing the BLING!
( me, never!).
HERE is a good article for making a Dorset Button,
if you haven't tried yet.
I stitch using the stitches of the blanket stitch inside the
hoop ( blanket stitch then twist the stitches on the 
hoop into the middle).
 Rather than wrapping the spokes it still
gives you great effect all the same but you need to wrap tightly.
Enjoy having a go.

Button Sampling

At City and Guilds some of the samples need to include using the
machine feet and attachments. I encourage students to 
use the buttonhole foot and try some of the machines 
pre-set button hole shapes. 
Sara also tried different size buttons on her sample 
to really learn how to use her machine.
Other fastenings are being added.
its well worth experimenting and stretching yourself
so you learn new things with your machine,
or return to those techniques you aren't sure of.

Bead and Button Making

This month at classes I have been teaching all about 
Circles, Beads and Buttons and as you can 
see by the above pictures some have had a real
play and made them out of unusual materials.
Just by wrapping a long triangle piece of fabric around a 
knitting needle and securing it with thread or wire.
You can then heat gun it or use a soldering iron.
(Remember to be careful!).
Layers of sheers and man made fabrics work really well.
When cool slip them off and you can use as embellishments
 on your work.
Add paint foils and powders to really get effects.
See more in previous posts and I am sure there will be more to come.

Moda Sampler Quilt

Jenny has been making the Sampler blocks week by week.
The quilt is for her Grand Daughter. 
She chose a Moda Jelly Roll to make the blocks from
and chose a cream sashing to highlight each block.
I love using Jelly Rolls and Charm Packs as you have all the fabric you need
to make some spectacular quilts.

Patchwork Bag

Helen saw this bag pattern called "Autumn Days" in 
the Popular Patchwork magazine.
It was designed by Sara Jaskiewicz and Sadie Yeomans.
Helen liked the look of it and decided she would make it with
a charm pack of fabric she had been stashing! 
She found the instructions quite clear and as you can see 
by her bag it turned out well.
Instructions are always a bug bear and it is often making an item
and sharing it you decipher what they mean and
 what alterations you would make next time.
I often have to translate patterns because they are not as clear as we 
would wish.
I went out a purchased the magazine as I liked the bag shape too!
Working my way through my bag as I blog.
Will show you the results shortly, with my alterations.
If you would like to visit Popular Patchwork's website
click HERE

Textures With The Soldering Iron and Stitch

As some of you know who follow Quilters Cottage Norfolk
and the classes we have been doing a lot of 
layered work, using different fabrics, stitch and the 
soldering iron!
Above is two very different items, a purse and a book cover.
Both using the technique but then adding their unique 
creativity to it.
See more by clicking on the labels below.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Folded and Twisted Hexagon Flowers

These are some of the Folded and Twisted Hexagons that the participants on 
Textile Tuesday made. The fabric hexagon is one that fits an A4 width of paper. 
You need them large to begin with because the hexagon
flower will end up half the size.
It was a real morning of concentration due to all the folds and 
needle techniques.
I had started with the easier Twisted Square to begin with
so they weren't overwhelmed by all the folding.
Some went away and made enough to make a bag!
You join each hexagon flower by putting right sides together and
 over sewing.
To see how they are made visit a video on my tech site 

Jo's First Creative Textiles Session

Jo has not long moved to Norfolk and has come along to her first 
Textile Tuesday Session @ The Art Room.
She brought along a quilt to show us, which we all admired 
and she was soon joining in with 'Twisted Squares and Hexagons'.
We also admired her very neat sewing bag which is a recycled 
car cleaning bag. Very nifty and such a good idea.
Jo admitted the car cleaning kit is long gone but the bag is great.
We all love to see how others store and arrange their sewing supplies.
Thanks Jo and lovely to see you.

Monday City and Guilds Textiles

City and Guilds Creative Textiles is half way through now and 
everyone has lots of work to show and are really cracking on 
with their projects. There is techniques to learn each week
 and students also bring in items that they 'Show and Tell',
that is relevant to the session. This week it was buttons,
Hence the buttons on the bag and Twisted Squares and Hexagons.
I started teaching with origami and then went through to showing 
how to make the fabric folded squares and hexagons.
Everyone has enjoyed the challenge and like the little bit
of 'magic'. 

Invest in Your Work

This booklet made me smile.
It was a booklet as you can see printed in 1937,
with all the fashionable embroidery stitches of the time in it.
Stitches that I often teach on a daily bases.
A lovely little booklet and on the back page
an advert which could be relevant for today,
'Invest your work with beauty that lasts'.
Teaching Creative Classes I inspire my students to 
play, explore techniques and really enjoy their creativity.
This shows in the results they get and what they share with others.
Enjoy and celebrate your creativity.

Textile Thursday

Textile Classes are always fun and so many amazing textiles are created.
We 'Show and Tell, every session and this inspire others.
I share a technique each week and there are so many techniques
the worlds are oyster.
There's lots off laughter too!
Mo above, is making a cushion/ pillow for her daughter to 
take in her pack back around the world.
She was telling us some of her stories!
I love bag making and I show different ones each month.
The ones above are based on sixteen 5" squares, with
a twist.
What a session!
See more by clicking on the written labels below.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Dorset Buttons With A Difference

Each week at City and Guilds we have 'Show and Tell'
of the previous weeks samples and this week
we were looking at the buttons made and fastenings.
I demonstrated Dorset Buttons and as you can see
Gill has made some of her own and in different ways.
I was taught these when I did my City and Guilds and have used them ever
since and in many different ways myself. 
I use them as embellishments,
they often appear in my sculptures or in part on my embroideries.
I love teaching Textiles and seeing the skills interpreted in many ways.

Circles in Textiles

City and Guilds Creative Textiles cover many areas
of making textiles and techniques.
This week, along with circles of all descriptions, 
we have been looking at Fastenings.
Buttons, pop studs, hooks, eyes and zips etc.
It's a chance to make and learn different ways of using them.
 Also, have the opportunity to use different feet on a sewing machine.
Above, you can see a mixture of artwork and samples.
While looking through some students found antique
fastenings in their collections. 
It was great to see and also date some of them too!

Circle Quilt

At City and Guilds Creative Textiles we have been doing
all thing circular these last couple of weeks.
Jenny brought in her Circle Quilt which she had made at a 
Summer School Workshop.
It has fantastic piecing.
It's great to see a good label on the back explaining the quilt.
Well done, Jenny and thank you for sharing.

Embellished Flowers

Pat has been Embellishing for a while. She has her own machine.
Theses flowers are just beautiful, based on Poppies.
She had begun them and then got a book on Embellishing for Christmas,
 there is a similar picture within it.
You often find this, you are inspired to make something.
Start looking around and you find similar ideas and items.
Pat added some of the techniques the book covered and enhanced 
her flowers.
To see more click on the written labels below or 
visit Embellishing on my portfolio site

Garden Cushion

This is a cushion that Val has made using a photo transfer technique.
Its beautiful and I love to see the various techniques combined.
Suffolk Puffs, in the corner we did those the week before
and I wrote an article about them 

Cut Back Sheers

Textile Tuesday at The Art Room, is always busy with lots of 'Show and Tell'.
Me demonstrating and everyone doing their own projects
or the inspiration of the day.
This Tuesday, it was Cut Back Sheers.
As you can see by the class samples above they are all different!
So, once you have layered up your sheers, threads and snippets,
you can then freemotion stitch a pattern or in areas so that you can
then use a soldering iron to burn back to reveal back to the sheers.
Health and Safety here.
 Well ventilated room. 
Make sure you have a stand for your soldering iron.
Make sure you are working on a protective surface. 
Use a tool to move the hot sheer out of the way.


Since moving to The Art Room Dereham,
I have a new assistant called,
Caroline. She has helped me so much give even more
service to my clients and I thank her for her patience!
Caroline is an Artist and goes to the Art Classes with Claire
at The Art Room Dereham.
Now little did she know that she would be hooked!
I showed the Embellisher machines on her first afternoon,
so she could get the machine and all the things out with it when a
client wants to embellish. 
Caroline made her piece and she was a way!
She now has her own Embellisher Machine and there is a sample of her work in the first pic.
She has been with me three weeks and has brought a second hand sewing machine
and is using a Moda Jelly Roll to make her first quilt blocks.
Her dogs haven't got away with it either,
with all the cold weather they now have their own coats.
Well done Caroline and it's great working with you.

Cases with Zips

Another virtue in sewing I have been adapting is,
The art of using 'zips'.
For some reason many have been put off by over zealous 
Needlework teaches and have never sewn in or considered doing them since.
I show a very easy bag and here are two different versions of it. 
Made by Jo and Mandy.
The top is the flat bag and the bottom picture shows it with
the zip in the middle and has sugar bag corners.
just made with a square of fabric and your ZIP!

Nikki's Bag

Nikki has finished her bag made with the fabric made from her
Alpacas. Notice it has buttons too!
This has been a challenge due to the tweed and it wasn't able
to turn inside out of the lining so a binding was used.
Great bag and Nikki is now making her next one.
It takes 16 squares and a little origami!

Sugar Bag Corners

Jo has made this bag with lots of details.
The main body of the bag is lots of patch worked pieces. 
The sugar bag corners are on the outside of the bag and decorated 
with buttons.
The handles are able to move up and down with the buttons
and button holes.
I have been extolling the virtues of buttons and button holes
this month at class and lots of students are trying them for the 
first time. They are finding out how liberating it is 
to finally be able to do and make them.
Well done Jo for liberating your button holes.
I tell everyone it take a bit of practice.

Bags and More Bags

Textile Tuesdays are wonderful for 'Show and Tell'.
We always have a lot of bags. 
I started it off two years ago by making several different bags 
each month and sharing the making of them at class
and it has just taken off. 
We are now officially Bag Ladies!
Some take up the challenge more than others!
Beryl's bag above is made with Amy Butler fabric and looks
wonderful and is a great Summer Bag.
Pat has made hers out of recycled upholstery fabrics and 
it for those awkward and last minute things that when you are going away are always
left over and you don't know where to put or pack them!
See more bags by clicking the written label below.

Cotillion Bag

HeatherAnne has made this wonderful bag made from a kit by Quilters Trading Post. 
It is called a 'Cotillion Bag'. Now 'The Cotillion', is a type of dance made popular in
18th Century France and became very fashionable because it was performed in formation.
 Couples made up a square or opposite lines, making it a very social and very popular.
Now a lady of this time would have had a bag,
 to put her 'other shoes' in and some 
'overnight' things just in case it was a dance too good to leave!
Or a well invitation came her way to stay at the family house!
It made me laugh as HeatherAnne wanted to adapt the bag for her
Church Books! 
A very novel way of distorting a history of a bag!
It makes her giggle and the rest of us that she is taking her dance overnight
bag to Church!

Sampler Quilts in the Making

Eileen and Janet are both using Sampler Quilt Patterns 
to make these two very different quilts.
The colours are just wonderful!
See more quilts by clicking the written labels below or visiting 'Quilt"
on my art portfolio site,