confessions of a fabric obsessive

Monthly Archives: October 2011

pinboard tutorial – fail

Every single self-respecting craft blogger has tutorials on their blog, and I’ve been wondering for ages what to do for my first tutorial.

Give away a trade secret? Show off something related to crafting but not my speciality?

As you already know, I’m passionate about fabric and colour, so when I decided to cover a very boring pinboard with fabric, I thought “That’s it! It can be my first tutorial. I’ll need to take lots of photos, and then write it up when it’s all done and then bob’s your uncle!  It’ll be great!”

Oh dear.

Oh dear, oh dear.

Here are the photos with a little commentary by me.

Very boring pinboard

Pretty fabric cut to size with just a little bit extra around the edges of the very boring pinboard

Spread the glue (PVA or craft glue) onto the very boring pinboard

Iron fabric, place squarely on the pinboard, smooth out any wrinkles. Make sure there are no airpockets, and make sure that the fabric is pushed well into the corners

Leave to dry overnight

Get up next morning to find lots of wrinkles and airpockets where there wasn't enough glue

Sad Claire

Try to fix the wrinkles and airpockets by moistening with plain water then smoothing out, wait for it to dry. find out that this works, but the bumps come back as soon as it starts drying out again.

Sad Claire

Re-wet the whole lot, peel fabric off pinboard, start again with more glue (lots). Discover that the back of this particular pinboard is corrugated cardboard and bows when it’s wet. Put a weight on the board on top of a plastic bag, so the glue doesn’t stick the weight to the pinboard. Smooth out the wrinkles in the glue next day, and wait for it to dry.

Trim loose fabric at back of pinboard

Give up and cover up the lumps and bumps with colourful pictures. Piccy's courtesy of Hobbycraft's magazine

Vow to never, ever use craft glue to stick fabric on a pinboard ever again.

Stick to spray-on adhesive, like I used to cover the drawer fronts of my filing cabinet.

Remember to mask with newspaper to stop spray going everywhere next time. I'm sorry this photo is so rubbish, the fabric looked a lot better than this when I first did it. I'll tidy it up soon, I promise.

I like the look of the selvedges on this fabric, so I deliberately left them showing

Find another boring pinboard, and some more pretty fabric.

Iron fabric

Use repositionable spray-on adhesive, smooth everywhere, make sure you go right into those corners, flip over and neaten up the back

…and they all lived happily ever after!

Claire Bear

Reminder – help Claire Bear raise money by buying from her Etsy shops in October

FYI, this includes my Halloween brooches





As many of you will know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I have decided to donate 50p from every item purchased from and paid for either of my Etsy shops (Handmade by Claire Bear and Claire Bear Shop) for the whole month.

I have updated my shops with a lot of new stock today, and although it is the 3rd of October already, I will be backdating the 50p per item donation to cover all items already purchased this month.

You wont notice any increase in prices, because there aren’t any. My prices are staying the same, throughout October: I’m the one making the donation.

Having said that, if you want to make a donation, here is the link to donate  online


Happy buying

Claire Bear

me (in hat) with some friends at the start of one of the Cancer Research UK's "Race for Life" in 2010

a very tired me after walking the 2010 Cancer Research UK's "Walk for Life"

I thought this was a sewing blog?

It is, it is, I promise. I just got a little sidetracked for a while and life got in the way of sewing.


OK, this update is slightly overdue. I have been a very bad hexalonger and not worked on my hexagon quilt for so long.

Here’s a photo of what I have so far.

I love the fabrics individually, but I’m not digging the scrappy hexes look, know what I mean? And because I don’t like how it’s working out, I’m not working on it.

actually, looking at this photo, maybe I should use this as the layout?

I think the triangles sewn into hexagons may have been a mistake.

Basically the whole thing, as a whole thing, isn’t working for me and I’m probably going to unstitch everything and start again.

What I was aiming for is something that I just found out (literally, I’m typing this in one tab on my browser and listening to the tutorial on youtube on another tab) is bargello.

If you want to know what the bargello technique is, look at these quilts.

and these

(yay to me for working out how to embed videos in my blog, don’t you think?)

I’m not quite that ambitious, but I was aiming for a “wave” of different colours. Can you imagine little hexagons of colour instead of squares and rectangles (all the same size, of course, the hexes wouldn’t fit together otherwise, even I know that)?

Help! Advice and opinions please!

Confused Claire Bear

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