HandmadebyClaireBear

confessions of a fabric obsessive

Category Archives: sneek peek

Almost no sewing at all

This is just to update you all with my current status. I’m sure a few of you will have noticed there’s been a bit of a gap in my blogging recently. My other, non-sewing (teaching) life has temporarily taken over and will continue to dominate my waking hours for a while yet.

I’m very sad about the lack of fabric-y sewing goodness that is going on in my life as a whole, but on the other hand I’m working in a job I love that will (eventually) allow me to sew professionally too.

Not enough hours in the day to get enough sleep, never mind do fun stuff. I have loads of photos that I need to blog about, and so many sewing projects in the pipeline to tell you all about too.

I just need a ten day week, or perhaps a thirty hour day?

In the meantime, here’s a few photos to show you what I’m thinking of (when I get a chance to have non-teaching thoughts, that is):

My Spoonflower shop is doing well. I have a few collections of fabric designs including one collection completely created from my own photographs. I am regularly getting messages that this person or that person has bought one of my designs.

I am, as always, incredibly behind with my Craftsy Block of the Month.  I might get a chance to catch up around December when the college is closed. Maybe. If I do, you’ll be the first to know.

Quilt requests have been backing up.

I want/need to make one for myself as well.  Maybe over the summer holidays?

My WIPs list is so long, I despair. I’ll have to just pick one at random and sew till it’s finished over the Xmas break.

I can’t remember if I blogged about my day trip to the Fashion section of the Collections Resource Centre that belongs to Leicester Museums. I went with a group of other clothes-and-sewing-mad women and there were so many oooh’s and aaaah’s and oh wow’s ….

I know I haven’t shown you all the photos I took at my first trip to the Festival of Quilts (or have I?) at Birmingham’s NEC a little while ago. Maybe next year I’ll go for two days instead of just one. So many quilts, so little time…

The winner of the traditional quilts category at this year’s Festival of Quilts

I don’t make traditional quilts but I appreciate them like crazy…

TTFN

Sew-less Claire Bear

At the moment I am loving:

If in doubt, rip it out!

I’ve been busy with a birthday gift for the last couple of days. Trying to sew satin in a hurry is never a good idea. Here are a few tips I have been reminded of the last few days while making a dozen dress-up capes for my nephews 6th birthday party. I think they’re going to be knights, but my SIL requested capes rather than amour, which is probably a good thing really.

1) Before you cut anything, measure to make sure you have enough, then iron so you aren’t cutting through creases (I only cut though one crease) which gives you odd lumps here and there.

2) When trying to use a new foot to roll a hem, find and read the instructions.

3) When you’ve given up on the new food and have decided to do the hems the old-fashioned way, fold and pin the hems and then iron them so they stay. This is very important for slippery fabrics like satin or lining!

4) If your sewing machine tries to eat your fabric more than once, unplug it, clean it out properly with the small paintbrush that you keep specially for cleaning it with and then change to a fresh sharp needle.

5) Don’t think that sewing fast means that the whole thing will be finished quicker. (see 1, 3 and 4 above). The tortoise might not always finish faster than the hare, but at least he keeps his fingers, thumbs and sanity intact!

6) If it looks bad enough to annoy you, rip it out straight away, re-iron and resew it. You’ll be happier later.

7) If you’re going to change the pattern/tutorial you are following from double-sided to single-sided because you don’t want to cut/use two pieces of fabric per cape, don’t round off the corners. You’ll need square corners so you can mitre them. Trying to hem rounded corners is a nightmare, leave it to the robots.

8) If you spend a fortnight trying to work out which fabric to use and getting sidetracked by all of the dressing up cape patterns and tutorials out there in blog land (who me?), you’ll only have 48 hours to get all 12 of them cut, sewn, finished, packed and posted off to get to the birthday boy in time for his party. Think faster and give yourself more time to sew!

They’re finished now and on their way to birthday-party-land. Here is a photo of the finished capery.

Ellen over at The Long Thread has the best superhero cape that works really well as a children’s dressing up cape (and therefore a knight’s cape). The instructions are easy and the finished results are pretty good, even after all my modifications and the sewing machine’s attempts to eat them! Plus, The Long Thread is one of my favourite blogs and I’m so glad to have finally tried one of her tutorials (albeit modified).

:O)

ClaireBear

Not panicking at all

My sister has gone into hospital to be induced today, which means that my niece will be appearing today or tomorrow (fingers crossed).

The quilt for my niece is not finished (to be honest, not actually started, although I did pick out the fabrics for it last night). Not that I’m panicking (well maybe a  little bit).

Partly worrying because the baby’s not due for another week and my sister’s having to be induced. The medical people have decided that the baby is coming out now. And partly because I haven’t started cutting for the quilt yet, never mind sewing.

These are the fabrics I have chosen (although I don’t have enough of the purple/violet ones at the end, so I may have to dig something else out of my stash):

And these are the quilts that I have seen on the internet that I like and pinned on my pintrest board so I wouldn’t forget (click on the photos to see the original blogs they came from):

by Krista at Spotted Stone Studio on flickr

so far, all of these are too much cutting and sewing for the amount of time I have, eek!

I need something simple and quick

I want to make a zig zag one like this

or a rail fence like this

but this stripy one would be quick

I haven’t done HST before, but is this really the time to learn?

or I could go back to the one I made before

I think I’m leaning towards the Purl Bee’s stripy one, or maybe a really large rail fence, with three rows, two squares per row and some white sashing.

I want to start cutting today or tomorrow, so fastest one could be the one that actually gets made.

Wish me (and my sister) luck!

Claire Bear

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