Friday, 24 August 2012

Book Talk- Contemporary Quilts by Sandra Meech

After my mini foray into patchwork recently  a friend leant me Contemporary Quilts by Sandra Meech. 
This book gives a introduction into contemporary quilt making. The blurb describes it as  "as an essential too for quilters and textiles artists who want to break away from traditional designs... " It focusses on the artistic side of quilt making rather than  the basic principles of traditional quilting and gives a good insight into how to plan and develop a contemporary quilt.

The first part of the book discusses  where to get inspiration for your quilt, looking at areas such as elements of the natural world , architecture or even emotions and experience and also touches upon how you can use your own photographs or images to inspire your pieces. It then moves on to discuss how to create different surfaces to use within your work before discussing  composition  and colour principles.

I especially like the  areas where it shows you how to take you own original art work and apply this onto your quilt.

The last section has a more practice focus discussing the different techniques  of how to apply stitch creatively into your quilts using techniques such as appliqu├ęd and embroidery in a contemporary way and then also  briefly discusses  quilt construction techniques.

The book does appear to have been written with a competent quilter or textile artist in mind and assumes that you already know the principles of the craft. Personally I think the most appealing thing about this book is the beautiful image of the various work it shows on every page.  Its a book that I can will defiantly call upon when I'm in need of some guidance with my creative work , and I think the principles discussed can be applied to may other projects as well as quilting

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Getting my sights on a prize!

Well I have been doing pretty well  at maintaining my motivation over the last few weeks and doing this blog has a lot to do with that.  But as I move on with more projects over the last few weeks I  want to  ensure that this doesn’t drop off as I  find other things to talk about here and therefore  feel that I don’t need to push so hard with my own projects.Obviously the thought of having a wardrobe unique and handmade wardrobe s a big motivator  but I still think I may need a further  boost to get me even more motivated!
image from 

For a long time I have been longing to have a dressmaking dummy. Whilst in Uni we  used the gorgeous traditional  a Kennet and Lindsell tailor's dummy like the one above  and  I have missed not having one around especially when I come up with ideas for  items that I can’t find a pattern for and don’t feel that confident with my own pattern cutting skills just to make it on the flay. Now alas as the K+ L models are custom made to a specific  measurements  and are  completely out of my budget  so I think it would be sensible to have an adjustable one.  Apart  from the expense I can only just about get away with my ever expanding collection of millinery equipment and  hatboxes I  don’t think a collection  of dressmaking dummies in a variety of  shapes and sizes would be  tolerated!

So I have promised myself that if I have completed a total of 8 more sewing projects ( not including the dress I’m working on at the moment )  by the end of November  I will  treat myself  to an adjustable dressmaking dummy as a Christmas present to myself.
image from 
Now on a practical note I think this adjustable one  with legs would be perfect as it   means I could do shorts  leggings and trousers as well as  dress and skirts . 

Floral Adjustable Dressmakers Dummy
image from
However the girl in me adores the slightly more aesthetically pleasing  floral patterned one.  I suppose I should air on the side of practicality I can always make a  cover for it.  Anyway before I can get distracted by  finding the perfect one I better get back to the sewing! Xxx

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A new project begins!

Well I have finished my patchwork project, I am no longer calling it a quilt as it has actually turned into a cushion instead.

Halfway through the project I had a feeling that something was not working and I started being reluctant to work on it. After laying it on the floor  I realized that I didn’t actually like the fabrics I had used and they didn’t work cohesively  together as a quilt.

Determined not to  gain yet another abandoned project I realized that although it was not destined to  adorn a bed in quilt form it would make a rather  quirky cushion so using the  squares I had made I adapted the layout slightly and have now completed it. I am much happier  with the finished result of a cushion  and have  learnt  a lot in  the process.

Next time I attempt a quilt I will defiantly take more consideration  with my fabric choice and colour scheme and   will take the time to  design the overall pattern  layout of the quilt and plan it out  so I know what each square will be before I even  cut the fabric. 

Completing the patch work project has defiantly made me feel a lot more  confident about my machine sewing skills and I now am at my most comfortable  sitting at my machine so I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I have already moved on to my next project .

After rummaging in my  vintage pattern collection I have unearthed this lovely pattern from 1980 to use.  I have opted to  make up  the red dress  as I prefer the shorter sleeves and  am not too fond of patch pockets.


So after selecting this lovely fabric to make it up I ready to get started again. Wish me luck xx