More on the new studio

IMG_6946_2 IMG_6955 IMG_6956 IMG_6961 IMG_6970 IMG_7028 P1030254 P1030255 IMG_7081 IMG_7157 IMG_7083So I’m in my new studio, I taught my first class in there and it’s absolutely perfect.

It will no doubt take a while yet before I’m completely done and before my living room looks normal again but I’m on my way. Nice as the studio looks now, the living room (where I taught before) looks like a bomb site. I’ve been packing and pulling stuff off shelves and sorting things out but right now there is just tons of stuff waiting to go into the studio.

In the studio then my floor is hot pink, it needs a coat of varnish still but it looks gorgeous. I’ve bought a super massive solid dark wooden table off a friend. It nearly broke Sean and myself getting it up the stairs and then out down the external stairs as this baby is heavy but it looks amazing and can sit 8 people! The first curtain is up and the first storage unit is up.

Today I’ve been getting intimate with my bags of scraps, seriously there is about 7 big bags! I did a lot of ironing them to patch some onto a quilt I didn’t like (but love now it has patchy circles on it!) but there’s still a lot of sorting to do. Maybe by colour (-) yes I may have to succumb to a *system*…

My studio is warm and cosy and colourful and spacious, it’s a cat free zone so all is staying clean and cat hair free, I’m surrounded by gorgeous plants, the pond, trees, birds, foxes and of course many cats. The neighbours’ chickens are right next to me. It’s pretty idyllic! It so bright and peaceful in there, I kinda want to move in!

I’m running lots of classes in the studio so come and sample one: http://bookwhen.com/cheekyhandmades

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Sewing machine reviews pt 2, Elna Grasshopper

Sewing machine reviews pt 2, Elna Grasshopper

Last Christmas my dad turned up with this little beauty. She was made in 1947 and still purrs away today. I use her all the time as she makes a gorgeous straight stitch and has a tiny free arm. And looks so handsome too 😉

She is operated with a fold out bar which you push with your knee, rather than a pedal. It takes a little getting used to but it’s pretty cool. At least it never wanders off like pedals do.

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It comes in an at green metal case, making it look like something used in WW2! The case folds open to provide a work table around the machine, which is very handy.

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To wind a bobbin you place the empty bobbin on the pin at the side and the machine “knows” you are winding a bobbin and automatically turns off the needle. That is something that wasn’t incorporated back into machines again until fairly recently and is very snazzy!

She’s a beautiful old lady and I would highly recommend getting one if you ever see one for sale. It still stitches as beautifully as the day it was made!

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Bespoke hand stitched indigo quilt

Bespoke hand stitched indigo quilt

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A long time ago I was shown photos of a quilt made in India, sold for a shocking price by a well known interiors shop, and asked if I could make something like it but unique to the client. Of course I snapped up the commission and I’ve been working on it on and off ever since.

I’ve never had such bad luck with a project.

We bought this beautiful hand printed linen for the back and I sourced lots of indigo prints online. As always I washed all the fabrics first to make sure they were then colour fast and had done all their shrinking.

I decided to hand quilt it, using a thick cotton bedspread as wadding as this have the quilt a heavy bed spread like quality.

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After working on it for many hours I realised I didn’t like what I using instead if wadding. It was heavy but not comfy, bulky but not lofty. But I had put so much time in it ready. I carried on stitching.

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It needed washing after one of my cats used it for curling up on so without a thought I bunged it in the machine on a cool short wash. All the fabric had been pre washed so I did not expect what was about to happen. Something blue ran so badly all the gorgeous linen and all the white in the patterned fabric was patchy blue. I almost cried. Instead though I decided it was a sign to start again. I ripped ALL the stitches out, months of work. I separated the front and back and took out the offending middle. I washed all pieces in colour run remover twice to remove most of the blue wash.

Then I started again with a gorgeous cotton wadding.

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This time everything went according to plan. It still took a few months to hand quilt but I was so chuffed when it was done. It looked gorgeous. One last gentle wash cycle and then it could be handed over. No. Way. What happened here? I took the quilt out of the machine only to find it covered in tons of white “bobbles” like some cheap polycotton duvet cover. No. Way. Turns out the expensive cotton wadding had worked it’s way out through the quilt top. Many mang tedious hours of removing most by hand later and I was SO ready to send that quilt off to it’s new home! I love you but I cannot live with you. Sorry quilt. Off you go.

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Blue

Blue

Some of my favourite blue things…

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lovely tunic I made

lovely tunic I made

sewing classes MONSTER

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cheeky handmades