The glorious world of fabrics and quilt making

I have always loved looking at fabrics and patterns. I regularly pop into White Stuff and lust after the pretty printed tops (and buy them too!), I ooh and ahh over Laura Ashley bed covers, and I can never walk past a Cath Kidston shop without going in and checking out the fabrics and lovely patterned accessories and bags.

I’ve recently discovered the huge range of patterned fabrics in craft shops and from online suppliers. How I didn’t know about these lovely fabrics, I just don’t know! Going into fabric shops when I was younger consisted of buying cheap poly cotton in bright colours for a school cushion project, and white cotton to tie-dye and to try out batik and sewing samples. It never occurred to me that there is such a huge range of lovely fabrics available to buy in so many different styles. I’m really loving the fabrics from Liberty, and some designs by Amy Butler and Tanya Whelan.  I haven’t even touched the surface of all the ranges out there…

Working in the city of Bath, I am very lucky to be near some wonderful shops, and even more lucky to be a quick 5 minute walk to a fantastic little craft shop called The Makery. The second that you walk in to this quaint little shop you are surrounded by beautifully laid out craft supplies, a great range of bespoke buttons, ribbons and fabrics…it’s my idea of heaven! I am really hoping to go to one of the courses that they hold in the shop at some point in the future…

…I headed to The Makery on my lunch break last Thursday to buy some fat quarters…what is a fat quarter I hear you ask?…well after checking it out, it’s fabric cut to about 20” x 22”!…I was on a mission to find some patterned fabric that I needed for a crafty day with one of my friends, Emelie. We both needed to get some fabrics together as we were kindly being given a day of teaching on the basics of quilting with Emelie’s mother-in-law to-be, Andrea. So here are the fabrics that I chose to add to my fabric stash. All are sold at The Makery and some can be found on their website…

I love the red and blue piggy fabric with the odd pink pink in the pattern…and don’t you just want to eat the apples!

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Planting onions

I really enjoy getting outside in our garden space, tidying up the leaves and looking at the plants we have growing. Everything I have growing is in a container or a pot but at the moment things are looking very bare and empty. We have a shady courtyard and have tried a few times to grow veg and plants. We had a few successful ‘crops’ last year, we managed to grow rocket, salad leaves, a few tomatoes, some chillies and one courgette! This year I’m hoping for a few more successes and to grow some flowers in window boxes, root vegetables and a few more plants.

To start things off I prepared one of the planters and planted some onion bulbs. I’m really not too sure how they will turn out or even if they will grow but it is a start to getting a more populated set of planters!

Making a start with crochet

During the summer I had my first go at learning to crochet and I didn’t have a lot of success. I found it hard to hold the hook and yarn, plus I got quite confused with the patterns and different techniques. I managed some of the basics but every time I tried the stitches were uneven and didn’t look quite like the pictures in the books! I put my crochet hook down in the summer with the aim of mastering the knitting basics instead.

This weekend I finished writing my new year goals and I decided that I should have another go at crochet. I got my books out scoured over the gorgeous pictures of blankets, bags and little illustrations of the basic stiches. After a bit of concentration, warming up my hands, and practicing a few times, I managed to create a block of double crochet…

and a basic granny square using an odd ball of wool I found.

I was so happy with the outcome as the crochet stiches looked even and much more like the illustration in the book. I think starting with knitting must have helped me get to grips with tension and reading patterns.

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New Year, New Projects!

Happy New Year to you! I hope that you are looking forward to the year ahead as much as I am. I wonder what the year ahead may hold?

For the past few weeks we have had really cloudy and rainy weather but at last blue sky and fresh cold weather has made an appearance…

 

…and with the bright weather has come some clarity for the year ahead…I always try and write a few resolutions every January and I’m reasonably good at keeping them! However this year I’m going to set goals for what I want to achieve. I’m hoping to learn new things, share my inspirations and projects with you and spend quality time with good friends and family.
My wish list of projects to complete this year includes…
1) Complete my adventurous knitting project, a gorgeous Rowan cosy cable cushion
2) Pick up a crochet hook, refresh myself on the basics and make a start on a project
3) Learn the basics in quilt making and make something by the end of the year that I’m proud of
4) Try some new recipes, perfect my cake baking and biscuit making skills
5) Pick up some basic sewing skills using my lovely new sewing books I had as Christmas gifts, and make a few projects for the home

6) Get gardening again and find some new things for the home

There are quite a few things on the list, I just hope I can decide what to start first! What are you hoping to make and create this year?