Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Cupcake alternative design.

As part of each City & Guilds piece you have to show an alternative design. This could be just a drawing but I decided to make a quilt sample.
I have used a different cupcake shape and have used the bondaweb method of applique followed by hand stitched blanket stitching around the shapes. No tucks and no trapunto so a much flatter design.
Here are two of the cupcakes in close up.

And here is the completed mini quilt top.
I am now going to back it, hand quilt around each cupcake and bind it in a black and white spot fabric.
Only thing is.....I wonder what happens if you actually prefer your alternative design..........?

Monday, 24 November 2008

And the winner is.........

Thanks to everyone else for your comments and for taking part.
Please email me your address Jude and I will get the fabric in the post to you.

Sorry no photos today but I am still making progress on the cupcakes - hope to have some photos for you later in the week.
Had a good day in Harrogate yesterday but it was much quieter than previous years so perhaps the credit crunch is starting to bite!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Cupcake Update.

Progress has been slow this last week, not for any particular reason.......
Although I have been decorating the kitchen (cleaning it actually takes longer than the painting!!). And I have been teaching........
Anyway I embellished the first cupcake sample with bugle beads which I do actually quite like although I did not know if they would be big enough. I also blanket stitched around the top of the cupcake which I also quite liked.
Sue, my tutor didn't like the blanket stitching so I am going to try without on the real piece first before I decide. She has so much more experience on this that I am going to take her word on it for now!
Also this week I have been dyeing fabric for the cupcake wallhanging. This photo shows why you should wear rubber gloves! Although it is only so bad because I spilt a whole plastic bag full of dye on the utility room floor!

Because I was so busy cleaning the floor I did not work the dye into the fabric as much as I should so the purple pieces have come out more mottled than I wanted. However I think they will still look OK so I am going to use them.

I have decided to have a real push at getting this first piece finished for our December college weekend (6th & 7th). I have been doing the artwork which I will show soon and I am trying to work on some aspect of this piece every day!
Tomorrow I am going to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate....lots of shopping to do!!!
And don't forget - still a couple of days to enter my giveaway - see next post!

Monday, 17 November 2008

My First Blog Anniversary!

Well I did not quite make it to my 100th post but my first blog anniversary arrived on Saturday. The weekend was very busy as I was at college all weekend.....
But here it is - the giveaway!!
As promised it has a Welsh theme and a vintage theme.

This is an original pack of Laura Ashley patchwork squares from the 1980s. There are 100 squares, 5 designs and this will make up to 1 metre square of patchwork.
All you need to do is leave a comment on this post before midnight next Sunday - 23rd November and your name will go into the draw to win this lovely fabric.
Don't be shy - say hello!
I would love to 'meet' more of my blog readers and I will happily post this fabric anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Cupcake Progress.

I have been working some more on the cupcakes.
First I needed to attach the polyester wadding for the trapunto using the wash away thread. The wadding is then cut away around the shape.

I then machine quilted in a spiral pattern to try to mirror icing on the cupcake. The wash away thread was really difficult to remove - it is the Madeira brand. It says on the package that it can be removed by the steam from the iron but I could not get this to work. In the end I had to wet it with a damp cloth. I am sure that it would disappear after washing in the machine but I did not want to do this with this piece. Also I was unhappy with the stitching holes left behind.

I then made the second cupcake using the fabric I had painted with the pearlised paint. I much prefer this look - much softer and more like real icing! I attached the trapunto wadding with a glue stick and tacked around the shape so that I did not get any stitching holes in the painted fabric.

I spiral quilted it again.

Next stage is the embellishments which I will probably do at college. I have enough materials to make two more cupcakes but first I need to decide what to do with them as I am not sure about making them into a wallhanging anymore.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


For my second City & Guilds piece I am working on the theme of cupcakes!
Cupcakes seem to be very popular at the moment - on cards, in magazines, fabric and knitted ones too! There was even a National Cupcake Day in America in October! They always make me smile!
This wrapping paper from Asda is my inspiration.
Initially I had decided to make a cupcake wallhanging - but now I amnot so sure so I am going to work on this a bit more this week and have a chat with my tutors at the weekend.
I wanted to record my progress so far as I hope it will help get my creativity going again. The first problem was the bun or muffin cases. I had the perfect fabric but struggled with the pleats. Anyway one of the reasons why our weekends at college are so great is that all the tutors and students have loads of helpful ideas. (One of the main reasons I would not like a distance learning internet based course). Anne-Marie came up with the perfect solution - by varying the stitching on each pleat I got the perfect cupcake case shape. The stitches are closer to the edge of the pleat at the top.
I then appliqued the case onto my background fabric followed by the top of the cupcake. I need to get some texture into the top so I am going to try machine trapunto next, then a swirly quilting pattern and finally the embellishments.

One of my tutors ideas was to try painting the fabric for the tops so I am also going to try this. I have used some pearlised fabric paints. I have done some samples but the pearliness doesn't really show up on the photo.

Hope to have some more progress to show before the weekend which is our November City & Guilds class.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Repurposed Fabric.

One of my greatest pleasures in patchwork is reusing fabric. I firmly believe that patchwork should not be just for those who can afford to buy fabric at £10 per metre but should be accessible to everyone. More importantly I much prefer working with repurposed fabric particularly if it is also vintage. I almost never buy fabric at full price - I buy from discount fabric stores such as Kisko in Leicester and Aberkhan in Mostyn as well as a couple of outlets in Yorkshire such as The Shuttle in Bradford which can be found at many of the quilt shows.

Anyway to get back to the point - for the last couple of weeks DH and I have been to our local Sunday market which has lots of second hand stalls, and I have bought quite a few items for repurposing. Shirts are my favourite but I also like skirts, curtains and even baby clothes. Of course all are 100% cotton and my golden rule is never to pay more than 50p for a clothing item. I will pay more sometimes for curtains!
Here are 4 shirts I bought yesterday. One of them is even a designer label!
What I need now of course are some darker blues to go with them!
I do also buy from charity shops but often I find their prices too high for me - with the exception of vintage Laura Ashley which I am always on the lookout for! Oh for the thrift shops of America! - I could spend an entire holiday just looking round them - however I would not be able to afford the excess baggage charge!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

American Presidential Elections

Our TVs have been full of the American Presidential Elections and the coverage will be on all through the night tonight.
Whoever becomes the next US President will affect us here in the UK but I do not want to make any political comment - I just wanted to share these fab crochet patterns which came with the heading - 'Crochet the next American President'.
Well they made me smile!

Barack Obama

John McCain

Blog Anniversary!

On 15th November I will have been blogging for one year!
It may also coincide with my 100th post!
As it seems to be tradition in Blogland I will be having a giveaway - the clue will be vintage fabric! All you will have to do, as is also traditional, is to leave a comment on the giveaway post which I will post on November 15th. I know I have quite a lot of readers out there but soon you may have to actually introduce yourselves! Looking forward to meeting you all!

Here is some 1950s fabric we saw on our recent trip to Wales! This is not the giveaway fabric - but there is a Welsh connection!!

Halloween Party

Halloween is the birthday of my good friend Caroline and we always have a party to celebrate. Every year she adds to her Halloween decorations for both the house and garden.

Here I am with my eldest son - my how tall he is getting!

The birthday girl with her hubby!

And finally - my pumpkin pie!!