Thursday, 20 February 2020

to see or not to see your stitches

This one of six has been a lesson on finding the right thread.
Whether you're happy to show a few stitches
 or want them completely hidden is a personal preference.
Generally I use an offwhite or a pale grey thread,
which are usually okay if I'm piecing patterned fabrics.
I have used darker threads in the past when I'm stitching dark fabrics.
And so we have the dilemma of stitching dark and light together.
I am a pretty lazy stitcher, in that I like a long continuous thread with few knots.
 However I'm not keen on the white showing through the green.
I tried a medium blue but wasnt keen on the stitches showing on the paler fabrics.
 So I've taken the decision to sew quality stitches,
afterall I am in no rush,
so mindful stitches it is.
Apologies for the colour of my photographs
the green I have used is really green in real life.
Check out my Instagram page for true colour pictures

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

lets start at the very beginning

 Last summer I went to the Festival of Quilts 
and met my friend Rachel.
Yep I met Rachel from Stitched in Color
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever actually meet
the lovely Rachel who I've known online for years.
Minutes after our meet
we were sat next to each other oohing over the antique quilts 
being shown by Christopher Tate from the
I partitculary loved the intricacies of the tiny hexagon quilts.
And so the seed was sown.
As you know I like to make my own templates,
 finding precut papers in tiny sizes from 
was a shortcut I was willing to take.
An idea began to form in my head,
the easy option would be to go for the 'pretty' route,
but you know thats not really me.
I began to struggle with the idea I had,
I knew what I wanted the quilt to look like, 
I just needed solid inspiration.
And so I have finally vowed to make a Charleston Farmhouse quilt
and stick faithfully to their colours and ethos.
Charleston Farmhouse is the beautifully hand decorated
home of Vanessa Bell and friends of 
The Bloomsbury Set.
The descriptive I'm working towards is 
a quilt that Vanessa Bell might have bought from
 I have chosen to sew purely with Kona cotton solids
(purchased from WoolWarehouse UK)
I feel this quilt will be busy enough without added patterns.

Colours for reference
Starting at the top left.
spice, wasabi, ballerina, kiwi, stone,
curry, parakeet, pepper, silver, holly,
creamsicle, cerise, pickle, candy green,
mango, mahogany, buttercup, gumdrop,
bluegrass, biscuit, maize, glacier.

There have been and will continue to be many decisions
regarding the design and colour.
I hope you will follow along with 
the rollercoaster ride I feel this quilt will take us on!
Calling this quilt 'The Vanessa' quilt for now.

Monday, 3 February 2020

a new hope

I have missed this little space of mine.
I have been lost in the world of fast-o-gram
for too long!
I am still english paper piecing
and currently working on a 
half inch hexagon quilt.
This will be my quilt diary.
 I shall be sharing more details and decisions
but for now I just want to get this first post published
and get on with stitching!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Christmas stocking embroidered label tutorial

When Mary aka Sunnydaysupply asked me to design a stocking 
that could be personalised,
this was my idea.
My Sleigh bells ring candy cane stocking 
is just my example.
You could embroider a name or a place,
whatever you fancy!
This is an embroidery tutorial,
not a stocking tutorial.
Pop over to Sunnydaysupply for a super easy stocking tutorial,
it will change the way you make stockings forever!
 Okay so to begin with I drew the diagonal lines as a guide,
and then used picmonkey on my phone,
as I did with my felt stars tutorial.
I lightly trace the words.
 As you can see I had a few issues with those 'gs' going over the lines.
I will adjust as I go.
I have already drawn diagonal lines on my stocking template
 (for a printout see sunnyday stocking tutorial)
I find writing the wording onto the paper stocking
a good idea for perfect placement.
I used a window to trace the words.

 Call me mad, but I did indeed English paper pieced
my stripes!
I find its less wasteful and for me quicker than messing around on my sewing machine.
I imagine in the future I will machine the stripe.
 Tip* its helpful to number your strips before you cut them up.
 Once you've assembled your stocking,
you will need to transfer the wording onto the fabric.
This is where that perfect placement on the paper template really helps.

 As with all my labels I use a water soluble fabric marker.

 Remove the paper templates,
and stitch away!
I have used a perle cotton 8 thread,
 stranded embroidery thread works well too.
The main idea here is to keep your stitches small,
especially round the curves.
They don't have to be perfect,
but if you find you've gone a little wonky
 Once all the stitching is complete,
dab the letters with water to remove the soluble pen.
Give a light press, making sure the lighter seams lay
on the darker side.
Now you are ready to make your stocking!
Hop on over to Sunnydaysupply
click on the link to their blog
where you will find their easy stocking tutorial
 along with lots of inspirational ideas.
I have hand quilted my stocking and added pom poms.
You can do whatever you fancy!
How about a couple of felt stars?
As an alternative to embroidery why not make felt letters
as seen in my previous tutorial
If you're on Instagram remember to share
with #sunnystockingsal
we love to see your ideas!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Festive felt stars tutorial

Its been awhile hasn't it?
What better way to make a come back than with a tutorial!
My pal Mary aka Molly Flanders
is having a Christmas patchwork stocking sew a long
and has asked me to make some simple add ons to personalise your makes.
Check out the stocking tutorial at the blog SunnyDaySupply
And then come back here for extra inspiration.
These felt stars are super super easy
and really quick to make!
As with all my labels I start with an alphabet font that fits the occasion.
I have used PicMonkey
You can also image search 'alphabet' or 'alphabet colouring pages'
Save the image you want onto your phone, computer or you can print it out (at your chosen size) 
Repeat these steps for the stars.
 You will need two stars per badge.
I use my phone as a lightbox to lightly trace the letter with a soft pencil.
( do this at your own peril)
Decide on the size you want and cut out the letter.
 Trace around the letter with a pen.
 Make sure you flip the letter over so the ink marks will be hidden on the inside.
 Okay call me controversial, but Ive glued my letters with PVA!
You can most definitely stitch your letters,
I just wanted to make this a fun project
with not too much sewing.
 I have sewn a pin onto the back of the second star.
This is not necessary if you intend to hang your stars like decorations.
I used contrasting colours for the backs, the letters and the stitches,
you can use complimentary colours if you prefer.
At this point you could just stick the stars together as seen above.
Ive chosen to make them a little more special.
Stitch around the edge with embroidery thread.
 Add a little stuffing if you like.
And that's it!!
It really is so simple.
Once you've made one, it becomes a lot quicker
to make lots more!

These stars can be used to personalise anything,
I'm thinking parcels, garlands or decorations for your tree.
Don't forget to hop on over to
for this stunning patchwork stocking

Friday, 5 August 2016

my festival of quilts entry

 Yep you heard it right,
I have entered, my first ever quilt show!
I feel quite insane now the Festival of Quilts is upon us.
I just wanted to give anyone visiting the heads up.
I havent entered for any sort of fame,
I've entered as a life goal,
and because I'd like to share this quilt with 
my friends and followers.
Please be is not one of those perfectly machined quilts
Its 100% handsewn and hand quilted.
The Exhibition runs from 11th to the 14th of August
at the Birmingham NEC UK
I will be attending on Sunday afternoon.
Thanks again for stopping by 
Clare x

Monday, 1 February 2016

The name game!!

 Way back in 2013 I was invited by Cindy from Liveacolorfullife
Many months and many quilts have past,
but today's the day....finally!!
Cindy was horrified to discover that although I'd dutifully responded
somehow I got lost along the way.
Now the Name Game has been resurrected  
I'm thrilled to play along.
Thank you Cindy...of course I'm still speaking to you! xxx
Pop over to Liveacolorfullife
for some new pictures and some old words!!