Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Plush Addict

One of the best things about being a sewing teacher is being able to buy fabric for classes!

I get to buy lots of different types of fabric and often I buy things that don't suit my taste, but my students turn them into amazing items!

I am always on the lookout for new places to buy fabric and to be able to recommend to my classes. Over the last week I have ordered from a shop I have been following for a while on social media - Plush Addict.

They have a wonderful range of wonderful fabrics including all the latest designer ranges.

I needed a whole collection of Kona Solids for a class I am teaching tomorrow. We have been making wonderful cushion covers with a eight point star. The fronts have a mix of pattern and Kona solids.

I hadn't realised that Plush Addict carried all 277 Kona solids until last week when I managed to get hold of some much needed Bone. They delivered the order so quickly I knew I had the right place to order fabric for my class.

So on Friday morning I started shopping - £89 later I put a quick note on the order saying I needed the fabric by Tuesday morning did they think I needed to pay for tracked deliver.

To my delight the bundle arrived on Monday morning with a wonderful note and a bag of sweeties!

So pleased with they service and the selection they carry!

Go check them out!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Monthly Sampler Group

Following on from the success of the monthly patchwork and quilting group in Tetbury, I will be starting a monthly sampler quilt group in September that will run for 10 month.

We will be learning how to make 2 different blocks each month that will build over the course of the 6 months into a gorgeous sampler quilt.

After we have made the quilt top, we will be learning how to sandwich the quilt and machine quilt. By the end of the 10 month course you will have a wonderful patchwork quilt and all the skills you need to make more patchwork quilts at home.

The group will start on Thursday 18th September from 11.30am until 2.30pm at the Catholic Church Hall in Tetbury.

The cost each month is £25 and includes use of sewing machines, cutting equipment and support between session.

If you want to sign up, please email me for more details.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

June Classes

The months are passing so quickly - how did we make the middle of the year already?

I have a couple of exciting classes in June at the fabulous Dolly Bobbins in Malmesbury.

Hand Turn Applique

Monday 16th and 23rd June

10am until 12pm.

A fabulous 2 day workshop all about hand turn applique and make a mug rug.

The 2 day course is £30 including all materials.

Beginners Sewing

Sunday 22nd June

10am until 4pm

Come along and learn how to use your sewing machine to make a gorgeous pin cushion and zippered purse.

This workshop will give you the skills and confidence to use a sewing machine.

The workshop is £45 including all materials.

If you want to book a place please email me or Dolly Bobbins in Malmesbury.

Sunday, 1 June 2014


At the moment I am having a bit of trouble sleeping and I am not able to just lie in bed... once I am awake there is no hope!

But waking at 4.30am ish has some advantages...

the house is super quiet,
I get to listen to my boys sleeping and dreaming,
a mug of tea with no pestering is bliss,
I can work through my course work,
I can make plans for what I want to try next....

Trying to put the time to good use is important me, otherwise I feel frustrated that I am just sitting there!

So this morning I was up at 4.15am and lay in bed for a while, then started planning my day.

After out textile trail day I have been researching natural dyes and how to prepare fabric to dye with leaves and flowers. The effects are really stunning.

One of the things I have discovered is that shop bought cotton needs to scoured before it can be used for dyeing. Even when it has been machine washed it still has chemicals and additives in the cloth that stop the dyes from fixing permanently to the fibres. I have been using Prepared For Dyeing (PFD) fabrics, but having run out I picked up some cheap cotton from Ikea to have a dyeing session.

I wanted to dye some black and charcoal for my course work, which needs to be worked in black, white and grey only.

As you can see the results were varied:

The fabrics are top left to right: Hessian, PFD cotton organdie, Ikea calico. Bottom Left to right: cotton scrim, Ikea cotton and PDF natural cotton.

They were all placed in the same dye bag and the hessian and organdie have absorbed the most black dye. The others came out grey and the Ikea cotton was variegated. Even those these are pretty cool I want more black!

The charcoal came out much better:

The Ikea cotton, which is quiet thickly woven came out blotchy again.

So at 6am I decided it was time to try scouring my fabric form Ikea and some cotton organdie. I know 6am is totally crazy!

It is a interesting process that requires Soda Ash, Metapex, water and time to simmer the fabric for at least an hour!

This is the second pot full this morning and is the Ikea calico. I am hoping this works because this is cheerfully cheap and took the colour well last time, just want to see if I can improve it!

The other Ikea cotton and organdie are drying on the line...

Fingers crossed this works!

Can I also say that I am expecially proud of my dyeing book?

Lots of experiments and colours! Need a new book soon!

Also mixed some Manutex dye thickening paste this morning which is currently being stored in clean margarine tubs... best label them before the boys put some on their toast!