The treaty of blogging elevates you to the official position of ‘go-to’ person on your chosen topic!
I got a call from my good friend Vicki lately who needed some Salvaging done, I was her woman!
Her late Grandmother, a prolific seamstress, had an insatiable addiction to haberdashery in all its forms. I have never in my life seen a stash like it, with every description of wool, fabric and fibre imaginable, and for that matter unimaginable! I believe she made almost everything she wore. I would love to see some photos of her in her finery. This lady had an eye for quality, and she makes my hoarding won a minimalists award.
My trustee day tripper Fionna and I set off through the vales of Ards along Strangford Lough, through Balloo to Killinchy. This was to me an uncovered patch in our quilt of scenery here in NI. A grand day out, with beautiful coffee shops along the way, and sheer views over the water here and there.. it feels like you’re driving to the edge of the world.
We came upon our destination, where Alan, Vicki’s dad was clearing out. After the salvager’s excitement of seeing a few remnants and juicy tit bits, we were baffled as roll upon roll of beautiful material, and balls and balls of the finest wool kept appearing.
As many an unconverted salvager would, the builders who were there at the time, were more highly amused and baffled at our delight in filling our car literally to the roof with our ‘treasure’. Much the same as Vicki’s husbands response! Luckily Ivan has given up on noticing my stock-piling.. almost. He uses this skill for the house work too! Hee Hee.
Now, if you have an interest in some remnants, or what to do with rolls of leather.. give me a call, or drop in, it’s looking for a home, there’s only so much my garage can hold. xx
Patchworking is a favourite of mine when it comes to sewing. The main reason is that its really quite easy, whilst also being very prolific (once you have all the materials.) I have been steadily building my patchworking resources over this year, almost entirely from charity shops. Old skirts and shirts, curtains, sheets, remnants – its amazing how a bunch of very discordant patterns come together once carefully arranged and coordinated. Whilst i’m all about mixing it up, i have generally found that too many different textures and types of material generally don’t work, due to the variety of tensions they create in a row of sewn squares, so i now stick mostly to cotton.
I made these single quilts as gifts for Lucia and Isla, my two cheeky little nieces. Both are backed using salvaged thermal curtain lining, making them fairly heavyweight and cosy. I have previously experimented with patterned or decorative borders, but having done so i resolutely conclude that a plain edging brings out the best of the main patchwork area.
Giving everyone a patchwork quilt wasn’t really a feasible option this Christmas, nor any other Christmas for that matter, so i made these smaller cushion projects for my sister-in-law x2 (can’t seem to work out the plural). With less expanse to work with, selecting the fabrics takes a bit more thought. I used some Sanderson prints and a bit of good old Cath Kidston to make sure they were pretty enough! And finally, to step the whole thing up a notch, i got these woven labels made up to personalise my work.
This year was quite prolific for homemade Christmas presents, and as promised, i am going to do a little series on the projects and how they came together. Having always been someone who can’t understand those who start doing christmas shopping in the summer, i rather surprised myself by starting some of these projects in October. Our holiday in Skye in November also featured quite significant sewing productivity.
These little make-up bags were my first projects whilst there, which were made for salvage sis Gemma and my sister-in-law Marianne. The red cord was a charity shop remnant, and the lining a very thrifty find indeed – 3 metres of Liberty fabric for a few pounds, same source. The bunting is composed of various scraps and off-cuts.
I have been pondering a new sewing machine for a few months now, since my £100 friend purchased about 8 years ago started to show signs of tiring. The thing about sewing machines is that you can a decent model quite cheaply, but the servicing will often cost 3/4 of the initial value, and if, like me, you put it through its paces, you will probably need to service it every year. So, after extensive on-line research, i took a trip to David Drummond, possibly the best sewing shop in the world, ever. This guy excels in 2 things – machine knowledge, and customer service. I had a fair idea of my requirements, which happened to match exactly this little gem:
(If you are bored already by this post, things are about to get a lot worse…)
It features 40 stitches including overlocking and 5 1 step button holes, top loading bobbin, automatic needle threader, and, my favourite part, a funky feature which stops the needle either always up or down once you stop sewing. Granted, if your not a sewer, this will seem like a fairly meek offering, but to me, its magic! It also comes with lots of fancy accoutrements, many of which i am yet to identify:
Best of all, it has an ace freehand embroidery function, something i have featured on most of my christmas presents this year (see posts in the New Year.) Buying the machine from a specialist shop got me thinking about the lost value of face-to-face trading. I got an amazing deal involving lots of freebies, including a free servicing of my old machine so i can sell it and make up some of the cost. I honestly came away wondering what the sales guy could have possibly got out of the deal, such were the numerous perks showered upon me. I went home and convinced myself that i couldn’t have found a better deal online, plus the added bonus of doing business with the most tanned, gold-clad man i have come across all winter.
My plans for a manic sewing day today have been laid to rest by an unfortunate slip down the stairs this morning, leaving me less than dexterous. Not to worry though – i have all of the Christmas holidays to put this baby to the test!