Tuesday, 26 February 2013

First fair of the year

It's been three months since my last fair; the longest lay off I can remember and some of the time at least used productively. Nevertheless I feel quite nervous preparing for next Sunday's textile society fair in Manchester. The early morning start, rush to set up amidst trade buyers who arrive early and most of all, will I sell anything?
I've always enjoyed this fair as there is a great mixture of vintage and ethnic textiles, both fashion and furnishing so it appeals to a wide range of customers, often very knowledgeable about the fabrics they are looking for.

I'll be taking more fabrics to sell than usual alongside my designs; quilts, manglecloths, sheets and some fab 1950s curtain fabric. I have however been sewing madly and have more than enough cushions and shades to fill the stall, hopefully enough for my spring open house which follows 2 weeks later (see details to left of post)

I first used this lace before Christmas when it sold so quickly I had had no time to take photos; I have made more now including this pair combining the lace with antique French linen, first world war sheets which had never been used to be precise

This group combines the lace with vintage linen, also mother of pearl buttons

I always buy warm red fabrics with roses, they're great for living rooms or on beds

The brick red and cream of this quilted toile cushion tone beautifully with the Hungarian monogram on cream linen

This beautiful blue print, roses again, has made a lovely pile of cushions

Pair of sweet candle stick shades

I like this simple floral shade, lovely for a cottage interior. Hope to make another before Sunday if you need a pair of shades

Finally some lovely scraps of quilted fabric, too small for real cushions they've made pretty lavender sachets
Do hope you'll come and see but ring or email for details if you'd like to buy any of the items and can't get to Manchester. I'm also pleased to say we have a date for the first Country Chic fair of the year. It will be on Sat/Sun April 20/21 at Whixley village hall, details to left or visit Polly's website

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

a new perspective

We're having a wood burner fitted so the contents of the living room are dispersed around the house. I'm rather taken with the sofa in its new spot in the bay window of the sitting room. It won't work in the long run but a nice spot to perch in today's sunshine or to use for today's photos

Of course any photographer could tell me that sunlight shining straight into the lens is not a recipe for the perfect shot and must admit cushions are clearer when placed on a sofa to the side of the window

The quilt looks soft and inviting slung over the sofa; sure a cat will find it before long

Its a pretty traditional eiderdown with sweet rose print.

A slightly larger example which sits nicely on a double bed.  Measurements and prices of all the quilts and cushions are on the blogshop; click on image to right of the post

I have 3 very nice Durham quilts at present. I love these simple handstitched quilts which lie beautifully over a duvet or can be used as a throw or even curtain. Even the white underside with handstitched quilting looks good in a minimalist contemporary setting.
This quilt has some lovely florals and I particularly like the cherry red against the denim blue patches.

This quilt could work well as a hanging or maybe the strong colours would be good in a teenager's room.
 There is some damage to the edges and to a few of the patches but such a lot of work has gone into the design and stitching that it is well worth saving.

Finally a lovely floral quilt which is completely reversible; the warm pink for autumn and winter and the soft blue for the warmer months maybe. There is no patchwork here but lots of lovely hand sewing and 2 lovely prints, turn the underside down for contrast if you can't choose between the 2 prints.

I've taken more images so if you're interested in any of the eiderdowns or quilts just take a look at the blogshop

Monday, 11 February 2013

A blue period

Finally back to full time sewing and it appeared a pattern was emerging. Apparently I had bought a lot of blue fabrics over the last few weeks. Certainly they all looked harmonious when piled on the workroom couch.

I particularly love this china blue French cotton; the roses are beautifully drawn and are on a soft greyish cream ground. I've combined them with a soft blue stripe and white linen.

This classic blue Vichy check makes great lampshades; I've a pair and a single one at present which would be lovely for a kitchen or bedroom

I had a larger piece of this smaller check and made a shade with tied bow trim; like it on this nice old base.
Enough left over for sweet pair of candle shades..perhaps better suited to decoration than practical lighting.

Another favourite blue fabric is French mattress ticking and I've made a group of cushions in it as well as the popular slouch shape bag.

This check cotton is often made into shelf trims and tablecloths; I have several of these to sell but used one piece to make a pair of cushions. Combined with white linen they make a fresh spring like look for the living room or kitchen.

Finally a piece of linen ticking; much softer than the cotton variety this is great for lampshades especially large ones. It's been a while since I came across this colourway which is more often found in red

I'm finally updating my blogshop! All these and more will be there, hope you'll take a look.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Inspiration at last!

My workroom is restored and I can finally settle to work. I've been reading a lovely book "Natural Home", a Christmas gift, and the gorgeous images have inspired me to store my essentials more attractively.
Love being able to look at these colour coordinated cottons and vintage linen buttons.

It goes without saying that I've had to hang onto the less appealing Ikea baskets in order to store the myriad pieces of fabric that are just as essential.
I was glad I hadn't cleared out too ruthlessly this weekend when I attended an inspirational workshop at the Welbeck studios. Louise Presley of Hope and Elvis has run workshops from her studio for some time but this was my first. I had seen Sally Falkner's work at Lustre, Nottingham University's prestigious designer maker event,  last November and loved her quirky characters, so when Jane suggested we go to a workshop run by her I jumped at the chance.
Sally generously shared her pattern and ideas for the face and body and offered suggestions as to how we might dress our inventions.
She uses all manner of fabrics to make and clothe her creatures but says she is most often inspired by a piece of doll's clothing or furniture by way of a starting point. Often she creates an installation placing her character on a bicycle or chair.

Mary is accompanied by her lamb.

I love this vintage machine although have to say really fell in love with Louise's computerised Brother machine which I used a couple of times. It was very much a hand sewn creation however and I love the organic way Sally works waiting to see how the character develops before finally choosing accessories and colours

I loved needle feltinga pair of slippers complete with pom poms; I'd never tried needle felting and was impressed by how quickly it was achieved even for the impatient like me
My starting point was this piece of bluebell blue cashmere sweater which made the perfect jacket and turban for my mouse. Jane bought a fab velvet hat from Sally's collection which inspired her choice of outfit

I was pleased to have a completed creature to take home and show off ( didn't actually distract my husband from the rugby but you can't expect miracles) but it had taken all day so I think Sally's prices are very reasonable!
I'm looking forward to trying again and will be looking through those scraps and digging out my Sindy knitting patterns for inspiration but in the meantime really need to make some cushions etc to sell. Have bought lots of lovely fabric recently so watch this space; do get in touch if you're looking for something in particular