confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Crafts

favourite blogs – stumbles and stitches

I was catching up on my blog reading yesterday (I sorted out an RSS reader for myself, so that I could spend less time finding them and more time reading, like I said I wanted too here) and I found an old favourite Stumbles and Stitches .

Stumbles and Stitches have the honour of being the second blog ever that I started reading/following regularly (you’ll have to wait to find out which was the first blog I started reading).

Goodness knows how I found it (so long ago), probably on Facebook via Networked Blogs. Stumbles and Stitches are two friends in the USA, Angel and Jenny, who decided to keep in touch with a blog when one of them moved a long way away.

Their blog reads like a letter to each other. You get to see the crafting and sewing that each friend has done and their comments on each others work . Angel and Jenny are both good writers, so Stumbles and Stitches is easy to read, and has lots of good photos and the tutorials are easy to follow (who could want more?).

These are some of the tutorials they have done recently;

Hanging Stocking Ornaments

some very handy roll up totes

and my personal favourite Pocket Pouch  (because I can see this turned into a handbag for me with a nice long strap attached)

See what I mean about the great photos?

I’m off to turn a spare chest of drawers into this:

but maybe not so pink.

Why don’t you hop over to Stumbles and Stitches and have a look for yourself?

Tell them I sent you.


Remember this?

Remember this from a couple of posts back?

I like subtle colour graduations in my sewing  and although I like all of these fabrics individually, I wasn’t happy with them together like this.

Well I got some time the other day and undid it all and I’m now (relatively) happy with this layout:

A couple of hexagons have been removed and the rest of the unsewn ones added. I don’t know what I’m going to make it into when it’s finished (it’s almost pillowcase size), but at least I like how it looks now.

I quite like it on the brown background too.

Stitching has now restarted. I will show you what it looks like when I’ve finished it but it’ll take a while, so don’t go holding your breath or anything will you? 😉

Claire Bear

P.S.  UPDATE: I wrote this on Friday night and saved it so that I could blog it in a couple of days’ time.  Since then I have got so much sewing done that I thought I’d show you how far I got in the 24 hours after I took the layout photo above.

I was tempted to sew it on my machine (now that I can get to it!) as I would chain-piece a larger block-based quilt, but didn’t because I thought it might be a bit too fiddly. Hang on, I thought, chain-piecing might not be a bad idea. Not a traditional way of sewing hexagons, but the traditional way wasn’t working for me, so why not?

So I did.

Each of the columns you can see in the photo above was made into a little pile, and I just worked through one pile at a time, sewing one little seam at a time.  I took time out to get the bus to Mr ClaireBear’s parents’ home for his Dad’s birthday meal, and to go to the supermarket to get a week’s worth of shopping, and I slept.

This is how far I got in 24 hrs, which represents about 5 hours of actual sewing since the last photo:

Remember in my last post when I talked about how much chaos and stress slows me down and I end up doing nothing?

Amazing how much I can get done when I’m not stressed about things.

It took 3 months to sew 9 hexagons together when I wasn’t happy about where it was going, and just 5 hours over 1 day to sew 44 hexes together once I was.

Of course, it’s still not finished, and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. I can’t make it into a bag, pillow-case or a cushion cover, because I won’t take the strain of that kind of use.

I’ve uploaded it to my flickr account and I’m going to see what the others in Lily’s Quilts’ hexalong group have to suggest.

I might just back it and quilt it and turn it into a wall-hanging, I’ve never done a wall-hanging before, it could be my first.

Let the compliments begin 😉

Claire Bear

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

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