Thursday, 19 November 2015

Deck the Halls Sewing Class and Kit

Come and join us for a Festive sewing class.  We’ll teach you everything you need to know to make a personalized Christmas stocking or Santa Clause Sack.  

Date and Time:            Dec 9th 6:30-9:00pm

Location:                     Elderdale Community Centre, Breightmet, BL2 5JF.  The building can be hard to find.  It is across from Number 20 Yewdale Gardens. You can’t quite see the building from the road.  It is behind the row of bungalows.  We’ll have a sign up so you can find us.

Cost:                            £20

Supplies:                     You can either bring your own fabrics or buy one our kits at a 15% discount.  See supply list below.

Supply list for Santa Sack:             You will need .5 metres or outer fabric
                                                         .75 metres of lining fabric
        Fat quarter of the middle fabric
        Small amount of fabric for your letters
        One metre of pompom trim
        One metre of ribbon or cotton webbing

Supply list for Stocking:                 One fat quarter of outer fabric
                                                        One fat quarter of lining fabric
                                                        Cuff fabric (8 x 20 inches)
                                                        Small amount of fabric for your letters
                                                        ½ a metre of pompom trim
                                                        Button, bell and ribbon.

We’ll have lots of ribbon, trim and fabric for sale as well.  You can have a rummage through our buttons and bells box, so no need to buy them.

You can also just buy the kit or have us make one for you.  Kits are £15 for sack and £8.50 for stocking.  We'll make one for you for £25 or £17

Friday, 21 August 2015

MakeFest Update

Wow what a day!  Thank you to everyone who came by our stall at Makefest.  We were rushed off our feet.  A special 'thanks' to Adriana, Liz, Susan and Nichola for volunteering!  I could not have managed without you.  The event was amazing.  The only down side is that we didn't have time to look around the other booths!  Maybe next year.
We have over 200 hexagons made by people of all ages and in several different languages.  There are also pictures of puppy dogs and bunny rabbits which will also be used as part of the quilt design.  I'm playing around with them to design on a pattern, and am leaning towards flowers. The other side will have all of the "writings" on it.  Can't wait to read them.

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Women of Westhoughton last night.  They have made some for our project.  Thanks!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Museum of Science and Industry MakeFest 2015

This year we will be part of #MakeFest2015 at the Museum of Science and Industry.  We will be teaching people how to do traditional English Paper Piecing and making a community quilt.  Would you like to volunteer to help out on the stall?  Just get in touch.  Here's an overview of our project.

Here's a video link for paper piecing hexagons video

Quilting circles in a virtual world. 


We’ll be promoting our new social enterprise, Breightmet Long Arm Quilting Studio, and working on a social media quilt project.  We’ll be teaching how to do English Paper Piecing (hexagons) and having people write a secret message on the underneath side of the paper which will be revealed when the quilt top is complete. The theme of this project is "comfort".  I’ve chosen this topic because quilts are comforting, something to snuggle up under when we are cold or ill or relaxing on a lazy Sunday morning. When the quilt is complete, and the paper is removed, I will tweet the positive messages daily and do regular Facebook and blog posts as the quilt progresses. People can join in the “virtual quilt-a-long” or visit our studios and work on the project with us.  I'll also use the text as my quilt design using on our long arm quilting machine.


We will be teaching visitors how to make a quilt using traditional English Paper Piecing.  Visitors can make-and-take a small sample of patchwork with them which can be finished at home and can join in our virtual quilt project. 

People have been using this technique for centuries.  It is simple and effective. All ages are welcome and no experience is required.  It’s also good fun.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Sun Printing: Experiment One

I've been wanting to try this for ages: Sun Printing.  It's pretty straight forward, you paint over your fabric and place what ever objects you want to make an outline of on top, which blocks the sun from exposing the pigment.  First, I covered some cardboard with bin bags (need a water proof surface to put your fabric on) and chose some flower cuttings to print.

Here's my diy plates... easy peasy

Here's a couple of pictures with the plants scattered on the fabric..... I also wanted to try adding some text.  I used plain copy paper but I was too thin.  I think I need something that won't soak up the paint.

In the bottom picture, I have shifted the bleeding hearts to see if it was ready...  The areas with the most details were where the plants were pressed firmly against the cloth.   I'm pleased with the results but will alter the way I use the plants in the future.  Here are some close up pictures.  The whitest areas are where the plants were flat.

Will be doing some more of these in the future, weather permitting...LOL

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Block of the Month Update

We've been busy making new blocks for our sea side quilt-a-long.  I'm planning to scan in the applique templates so you can join in.  Here are our last two blocks:

Light house

Beach Huts

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Allotment Textile Art Collaboration with Susan Syddall

I spent yesterday with textile artist Susan Syddall experimenting with new image making techniques and fabric dyeing as part of a brainstorming exercise for an upcoming exhibition: Allotment.  The project is a mixture of independent and community art work.  We will be visiting various allotments in Bolton to collect stories about planting, growing, brewing up and all things in between.  It will also be an opportunity for our studios to get involved in the project and try something new.

We had a go dyeing fabric with eucalyptus bark...

And image transfer on to fabric....
But we spent most of our time brainstorming and eating biscuits.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Block of the Month and Quilt-A-Long

We are now on our second block for our "seaside sampler".  The first block was a sailboat.  Jackie has embellished hers with top stitched waves, appliqued sun, a cross stitched anchor and embroidered birds.  If you would like to make one yourself, here is the pattern.
Our second quilt block is called "whirligig".  It's a simple spiral shape which can be stitched together 'as is' or as chevrons.  Here's a picture of the block made both ways. Here is the pattern

I'll be posting all our patterns here on our blog.  If you fancy having a go, we'd love to see some pictures. 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Gawthorpe Hall

Yesterday I had the privilege of seeing a few of the lovingly made quilts from the Textile Collection and help Rachel (the curator) to photograph and archive 3 of their quilts.  The process was fascinating.  All of the quilts are stored in protective boxes with tissue paper and polyester film to prevent damage.  Each quilt is taken out of the box, while wearing white gloves) and accessed to see if it is sturdy enough to hang and be photographed.  If it is deemed to be too fragile, it is placed on the floor instead. 

Rachel inspects each quilt looking for clues to determine the date, fabric content, origin, damage and social relevance.  The quilt in the picture above had magenta fabric in it which was a new dye colour in the late 1860's.  The blue and white fabric in the very centre was from much earlier, and was probably the most precious fabric.  Much like today, we tend to put our best/favourite fabric in the centre or as the focal piece.

This quilt is actually an incomplete one.  It is only the top of the quilt.  It was paper pieced and had the original papers still inside.  You can read hand written words and numbers on it.  Fascinating.  Here is a close up.
The next quilt was stripy "thrift" quilt.  The wadding was mainly made from a woven blanket, but had a cut up wool jumper in it.  You can see the shape of the sweater outlined in the sunlight.
This section of the quilt (where the jumper was used) was very damaged.  It isn't clear why.  It could be something to do with the inserted jumper. It's hard to say. (Here's a picture of the back and front of the quilt)

The last quilt we looked at was a "whole cloth" quilt.  The front and back are one continuous piece of fabric, versus a pieced top.  It's design or art work was added through the quilting process.  They are much harder to photograph, as you can see.  Whole cloth quilts were mainly made in the North Country and in Wales.  Rachel used the clues in the design to work out which area it was from.
Thank you Rachel and Vanessa (Director) for inviting me to visit you at Gawthorpe Hall.  We are working on some exciting partnership visits in the near future. 

Friday, 30 January 2015

We've had several "quilt club" meet-ups at the studio and have set regular times for our future groups.

We'll be having a day time group on the first Friday of the month from 2-4pm and an evening meet-up the third Wed of the month 6:30-8:30.  Hopefully, this will accommodate everyone's schedule.  Here's what you can expect if you are visiting us for the first time...

At the beginning of each meet-up, we will have a show and tell of what you’ve made or are working on.   I’ll do a demo of how to make a new “block” and then everyone can crack on with their sewing, socializing and sharing.  You can also practice your free motion quilting skills on our LAQ.  I’ll be on hand to help you with your projects, though everyone is really happy helping each other as well…. Fantastic

Each month we’ll be learning how to make a new block.  You can save them up and make a sampler quilt. Making different blocks will improve your sewing and patchwork skills, which most people listed as one of their priorities. We’ll have enough fabric on hand for everyone to make their own “block”.
You're first visit is free and then £3.00 or £2.50 for concessions.  This will help cover the cost of fabric, thread and tools.  No need to bring anything, unless you would like to.  Sewing Machines are limited, so feel free to bring your own.