Wednesday, 31 August 2011

1930s Feedsacks

Last weekend I went to the Vintage Textile Fair and bought these 1930s feedsack fabrics.

These cotton fabrics were used to package feed in for sale. 
Cotton had become cheaper with the introduction of synthetic fabrics and feed 
companies were competing for sales. 
The women at this time were using these cottons for quilts, clothing and all sorts of 
other household items, so the companies became competitive trying to produce lovely 
designs that the women might want so they would buy their particular brand of feed.

I am not sure what I might make with these but will enjoy having them.

The winner of last week's prize draw was arncar - can you email me on to let me know where to send your prize. 

There will be another prize this week.

Thanks, Robyn

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Two More 1800s Blocks

Hi everyone - progress is going really well on these little blocks - they are just 6 1/2" finished.
These are two of the next set of four.

Ultimately there will  be 64 of these little blocks mixed in the with some bigger blocks. 

We are going to do this as a Block of the Month probably starting near the end 
of this year or early next year, depending on how progress goes. If I can keep up the 
current rate it should be sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Next 1800s Blocks

Oh these little 1800s blocks are so much fun. 
You see progress so quickly - 20 blocks made already.
This is the next set of four.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to comment and be in for a little prize.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Japanese Pieced Blocks

 Sunday was a productive day in the sewing room - when I probably should have 
been out in the sun pruning the roses!

So happily in my sewing room, I made decisions about the setting of my Japanese blocks - posted last Saturday - and then got some of the pieced blocks made.

I am going to make all the alternating pieced blocks in this design so they unify the quilt. 
Here is a taster. I like the secondary pattern that is being created with these pieced 
blocks running across the quilt.

This block is also from Susan Briscoe's book and is based on traditional kasuri fabrics 
from Japan. Here are some sample pieces that I picked up in theflea markets in Kyoto, Japan.

Kasuri is the Japanese word for ikat. Kasuri is woven from threads that are specially dyed before weaving. As the threads are woven they create the pattern, so imagine the planning and measuring that has to go into the preparation before the hank of thread goes into they dye pot.  You can tell that a piece is genuine by the uneven edges as the dyes soaks intothe tied areas slightly.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Japanese Block Arrangement

Now that the sewing for the Hamilton Quilt and Craft Fair is pretty much done and I am back
 in my sewing room progress is being made on some outstanding projects that have been 
on hold for a month or two.

I have had my Japanese Blocks from Susan Briscoe's Book "125 Japanese Quilt Blocks" 
laid out on the floor and have finally decided on the layout for this quilt. 

The blocks need to go on point I think, but that will mean taking off the circle in the central 
block and turning it slightly so the scene sits up the right way.

Obviously I need one more block, but I actually think that I will make four more so I can create another row to make the quilt rectangular rather than square. I think this quilt will go on a wall and I prefer longer quilts for walls.

Now I need to go back to the book and the fabric and see what I am going to do in the alternating blocks. This is going to a bit limited by the fabrics that I have available. I want to continue using my Japanese silks and some of them I only have small pieces of. This is not going to be that helpful for pieced blocks. So watch this space to see what I come up with.

I will also be offering small prizes over the next few weeks to encourage all you guys that are following and commenting in person, but not online. So go ahead - it is easy to post a 
comment and you just might win a prize. 

 I will be making the prizes match the posts - so if you win by commenting on a Japanese
block you would get some pieces of Japanese silks or if you comment on the 1800s 
project some Reproduction fabrics and so on.
I have chosen some lucky numbers so try and be that one each week!!!!!

Monday, 15 August 2011

1800s Basket Block

Progress has been good on the 1800s blocks. This one is a basket.

And here is the collection so far - I think they look so much nicer altogether than one by one.

They won't quite be laid out like this when the quilt is made but almost. 
There are some bigger blocks to go in amongst these.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

1800s bird and snow

Well, the snow has continued in Wellington and so has the sewing
 - it hasn't been very inviting to go out and about. Although we did you out in the snow to 
take some photos.

My sister-in-laws garden complete with snow - in the Lower Hutt hills.

View out the apartment window - central city Wellington - look at that snow falling! 
But not enough to be thick on the ground here yet.

Now for the new block design - I am liking these simple folk arty style appliques. 
And making four of each is so manageable.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Snow and the next block

Well it is official - the polar blast has hit Wellington - we have light snow
falling in the central city. If it gets dramatic enough I will post  a photo!

But here is the next 1800s block

And here is the collection so far

Friday, 12 August 2011

1800s Block 2

Here is block two of the new 1800s project - these are such fun to make as they are
 small and manageable and it is fun choosing which colours to make each block in 
so that they are all different.

The sun is shining in Wellington and the weather is mild - so nice. But with the paper
headline reading: "Hunker down for Polar Blast" it seems this will not last.
So it will be lots of good sewing time over the next few days.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

New 1800s Project

The sewing is all done for the Hamilton Show so now I can start something else 
- isn't it a great feeling - that starting!

But do check out our stall at the Show for all the new sewing and the new look.
It is on at Claudelands from 8 - 11 September.

Now for the new project  - this is an 1800s design and is made from our range of 1800s Reproduction fabrics. This the first block of many.

I need to make four of this block and then four of another 15 designs,
but they are quick and fun to make. They are small - 6" finished.

Then there are some bigger blocks to intermingle with the smaller ones. 
When it is finished it will be a Block of the Month, so start finishing off a project 
or two so you are ready to join it in about 4 - 6 months.

And stay posted for more progress - I hope it will be daily for a week or so as I am down in Wellington looking after my lovely Mum-in-law who is in recovery mode at the moment.

Friday, 5 August 2011

August Pin Cushion Club

Last week was Pin Cushion Club and the technique I wanted to teach this month was wool applique.  It has been a bit of fun, because you should have seen the first design I came up with - I think it has to be my worst ever. And the girls in the group agreed - they really wondered what had stuck them when I presented it at the end of last month's session - they burst into laughter and threatened not to come if that was what we were making - and rightly so!!!!!

But the poor little grotty pin cushion did manage to find one fan!


His name is Smudge and he is now confirmed as my biggest fan! Or is he just plain dumb! Anyhow he has a new toy to play with - everything has its purpose in life!

Anyhow this is the Pin Cushion that we made and I did learn a lot about working with
 wool in the process and I think this one is a success and the cat can't have it 
when he has ruined his one.

We ironed on a product that we call silk stabiliser because we first used it for backing
our kimono silks to give them more stability and because it comes from the supplier 
with just a code number! This stops the edges of the wool fraying or looking raggedy 
when you blanket stitch it on with raw edges.

I do like the little touch of Kaffe Fassett fabric in amongst the wools. 
Our wools are hand dyed by our local and in-house designer, Karen. She does do a
 stunning range of colours and is constantly designing new projects for us to use them in.