Textile Art Class Finishes!


By Judith on April 29, 2020
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It seems like an age since we were last in class creating a holy mess with strips of fabric, wool fibres, thread and hospital bandages (don’t ask!!)!

 

We were well in the throws of making Textile Art Pictures, using a water soluble fabric technique for the background, and then building up a picture on top.

 

I’ve had a few finished photos sent to me of completed pictures, and they are pretty amazing!

 

Class Finishes: Textile Art

Class Finishes: Textile Art

 

Aren’t they fab!  I love how each one is uniquely different, expressing favourite thoughts, colours, flowers and words.

 

I know this particular project was a real hit with some of my ladies, who had ideas and plans for several more pictures!

 

If you’d like to have a go at a similar technique, check out my free tutorial here on how to turn little scraps into applique shapes using water soluble fabric (available to purchase here).

 

And it’s soo lovely to see your scrappy pouches, made using my first YouTube tutorial.

 

Scrappy pouches video tutorial

 

Thank you everyone for sending me your pics!  They bring a smile to my face!

 

Happy sewing!

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Textile Art – New Class Project


By Judith on February 16, 2020
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At the end of February we will be having a half term break from classes.

Which means, a new block of classes kicks off in March up until Easter.

And a new block of classes means a new (optional) class project.

 

 

We’re going to dip our creative toes into some textile art this term, having unadulterated play-time with mixed textiles and medium.

 

I’ve 2 class samples to showcase several fun techniques.

 

Picture 1:

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

This is a 12″ picture in a box frame.

The background can be made with strips of torn linens, cottons, lace, voile, broderie anglaise and anything else light weight which is textured or can fray well.  I even included fine strands of felting wool!

We then use a water-soluble fabric to matchstick quilt the background before adding our composition on top.

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I’ve chosen some flowers and seed heads, but you could quite easily go with a bird, meadow or beach theme.  Let your creativity run wild!

In the making of my picture I used the following techniques:

couching

free motion embroidery

paper aging

embellishing

I also included some cut out some embroidered yellow flowers from an old duvet cover!!

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

What a lot of fun!  You’ll never look at textured fabrics, bedding and apparel in the same way again!

 

Picture 2:

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I love word art!  There’s nothing quite like the perfectly spoken word at exactly the right time to create profound impact and legacy.

 

If you enjoy poetry and literature you can have so much fun with your composition here.  Or how about the name and meaning of a loved one?  What a special gift.

 

The background is made in the same way as picture 1.  I’ve also included free motion sketching and printed text here.  This time though, I’ve embellished my picture with text printed onto fabric.  You need an inket jet printer and freezer paper do to this.

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I’m so looking forward to seeing what artistic impressions are released when this class starts in March!

 

If you would like to join us for some textile creativity, check out all the classes and vacancies here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Sample Swatch Bag


By Judith on June 3, 2019
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My youngest daughter finishes her 14 year school career and turns 18 this month! Where did the time go!

 

She has had one teacher in particular who has nurtured her love of literature and encouraged and inspired her for the last 4 years.

 

So I offered to make her a bag, as a thank you.  I already knew the bag I would make, patchworked and roomy enough to take school files.

 

I had it on good authority that ‘said teacher’s’ favourite colours are black and grey – sadly the 2 colours I have least of in my bag making stash!

 

So I scrounged requested some sample swatches from a generous friend and my vision of a patchwork bag came alive!

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19
Front

 

My daughter loves the touch of velvets and soft wools so while I quilted some of the swatches, I left some of the more ‘tactile’ ones alone!

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present)
back

 

I took a risk with the purple lining, but the bag was delivered today and I’m pleased to report ‘she loved it!’  Phew!

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

Using swatches from (often free) sample books is a great way to make patchwork projects.  Ask in Interiors and Curtain making shops for their last season’s books.

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

 

However, working with swatches is very different from sewing with cotton.

 

Here are a few things to consider:

    • try to remove all the paper from the back of the swatches
    • use a larger stitch length & walking foot when working with thicker fabrics
    • fuse interfacing to lighter fabrics to give them equal body to thicker ones
    • quilt onto a lightweight flex foam (I used Legacy) to stabilise the mixed fabrics & help absorb the thicker seams
    • ‘stitch in the ditch’ before other quilting
    • use size 90/14 Jeans needle (quilting) and 100/16 Jeans needle (construction)
    • for quilting use upholstery thread (top) and standard quilting thread (bobbin)
    • for construction use upholstery thread (top and bottom)

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

June is turning into a busy month of present making!  I will have more to show you before the month is out!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Applique Robin Cushion Pattern


By Judith on October 19, 2017
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Hi there!  How’s your week going so far?

 

I hope you are managing to fit in some sewing time.

 

This week has had a few twists and turns for me.  The Quilting shop where I teach announced they are closing down.  Sad news for staff and customers alike.

 

In better news, I launched my Applique Robin Cushion pattern this week!

 

 

A few weekends a go I taught my first ‘Rockin’ Robin’ workshop at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild.

 

 

The ladies were a joy to teach and totally embraced the ‘mixed textiles’ vibe.  12 cute Robins adorned the table at the end of the workshop!

 

I’ll also be teaching this project in my weekly classes, in the run up to Christmas.

 

 

I can’t wait to see many more versions of my Robin cushion appearing here, there and everywhere!

 

I’ve put together some Robin Cushion kits, using my wonderful collection of tweeds, flannel, linen and vintage cotton. The kits include everything you need to make the cushion front, including the pompom berries, pattern and already enlarged template.

 

 

Stuck for a gift idea or fancy having a go yourself? You can get your hands on one of my Robin kits here, but be quick – they are flying out the door fast!

Happy sewing!

 

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Mixed Textiles Robin Cushion


By Judith on December 7, 2016
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In the December issue of Pretty Patches magazine, you might find this cheeky chappie making a song and dance of things!

 

Christmas Robin (mixed textiles) for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

Many of you will know that my first love in ‘all things fabric’ are recycled textiles.  I have a particular obsession fondess for tweed, linen, wool and corduroy.

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

The only items officially ‘purchased’ in this cushion are the background (Tilda) and the berries!

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

I love mixing textures and textiles!  Here we have sumptuous tweed, soft red wool, tactile cord, a vintage curtain remnant and a few scraps of good old fashioned quilting cotton. Oh what fun I had playing putting these together.

 

I also love satin stitch applique, but I knew with these thicker fabrics standard thread would disappear into the nap.

 

 

So out come the 12wt Aurifil wool threads! These are thick enough to use for hand embroidery, but not too thick to put through the eye of a size 90 machine needle. Win, win! (You can find a great selection here.)

 

As the design came together, I knew I wanted ‘berries’ in the corners.  I scratched my head for a few minutes, and then came up with a plan!

 

 

I un-threaded some jumbo pompom trim I had leftover from another project.  Then I ‘couched’ or satin stitched 3 thread stems together to create a little cluster of berries.  This made it super easy to sew them into the corners of the cushion.

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

A simple envelope backing and you have the perfect gift for all bird and nature lovers everywhere (not forgetting all the tweed & corduroy lovers too!).

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

My recycled, chirping Robin may be in the Christmas issue, but like the loyal and territorial real birds, I think he’ll stick around all year long!

 

So what type of fabrics make your heart skip a beat?

 

Happy bird watching!

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