Friday, 17 August 2012

Holiday sewing

...although it may be more accurate to call this post 'holiday shopping'...
We've been having a lovely time off school and work so far, with lots of pottering about and relaxation. Last week we had our family holiday, a wonderful few days in north Norfolk, staying at a B&B we have now been to three times and all enjoy. I realise that I only have three patchwork shops that I visit in the UK, and one of these is in the Georgian town of Holt, Norfolk. It was fun to browse around, and I picked out a few fat quarters ready for making Christmas gifts.
This week, however, I had my big sewing day out! My friend, Helen, and I met up at this fabulous patchwork location. It is a great half-way venue for us, with each of us driving around an hour and a quarter to get there. I'd dabbled in patchwork as a teenager, and tried to make a ridiculously complicated quilt with no experience (!), and then, years later, found a course to go on at the Bramble Patch. Helen and I realised that it will be five years' ago in November since we started the course.
This month the Bramble Patch is celebrating 25 years of being in business, so there was free coffee and cake all day to celebrate, as well as an impressive exhibition to look round. 

I loved these wall hangings, with original designs and ideas. This was one of my favourites, based on the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park:

The details in it were amazing, and inspiring!

I also liked this idea of incorporating embroidered fabric into a quilt, especially as I have some I could use in this way -

During the morning there, Helen and I shopped for different fabrics and inspiration. I purchased three patterns, as I need some new ideas for making gifts for other people. It was useful to be in such a large shop to get a bigger picture of things to do! I tend not to maintain a large stash of fabric, and prefer to keep to a cupboard full of materials that I am likely to use within the next year, but managed to add a few more fat quarters to my supplies.

We went out for lunch, then returned to chat to the lovely lady in the long arm quilting room. She quilted the first two quilts I made, but since then I have managed to do my own, with simple designs. However, my recent giant star, in Flea Market Fancy, was still hanging in my sewing cupboard...

As we were about to leave in the morning, I picked it up on impulse, and decided to take it with me. I was just too worried about messing up all that white with my own attempts! Fortunately the quilting lady was so kind, and spent ages with me choosing backing fabric, wadding, thread and the quilting design. Can't wait now to see it finished, though it will be a few weeks, as there is a queue!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Imogen's bag!

Imogen sent me this sweet photo of the lovely bag she made with my patchwork bag pattern! Isn't it gorgeous?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Summer sewing

Miss PatchyRose and I are ten days into our six weeks' off school, and very much enjoying it so far. We have had several days' out, to a music festival and London, and spent a lot of time with different friends, just enjoying their company. The weather has finally been sunny and warm, after weeks of rain, enabling us to enjoy the garden and a lovely new, deep paddling pool. We are also really enjoying the Olympics!

My sewing aims for the summer are to finish off various bits and pieces. So far, I have completed a patchwork bag for myself, using the scraps of Flea Market Fancy that were left over from the giant star quilt. Like many people sewing and blogging, I rarely make anything for myself, so this was a fun project!

This bag is larger than the version I make for children, big enough for a magazine. I even managed to add a small pocket on the inside...

For the moment, it is hanging up in the sewing room, but ready for use!

In addition, I have now completed four stars, combining some beautifully soft linen with leftover scraps of patchworking fabric. I started off with no particular plan, but have decided to leave it at four and create a small wall hanging. I'm not sure the linen would work well with anything larger.

My plan was to resist buying any new fabric, although in fairness, it has been a while. A friend and I are going to meet at our favourite patchwork shop in a couple of weeks, which is about half way between our two houses, giving each of us just over an hour's drive. So, I was saving myself for that trip, until I came across a blog entry on Very Berry Handmade, showing some gorgeous and unusual fabrics for sale at Celtic Fusion Fabrics. This wasn't a website that I'd come across before, but I couldn't resist these lovely dandelion prints and some coordinating fabrics...

The green fabric is actually from a completely different range, Echo, but is one I've admired for a while. I'm really pleased with how well it blends with the other fabrics, and will hopefully come up with a design to use them all together.

In addition, Gwen at Celtic Fusion Fabrics kindly added an extra bonus piece of fabric, this sweet chicken print:

I absolutely love it, and already have a plan for it!
Hope you are enjoying your summer too!