Saturday, 16 August 2014

My Guilty Sewing Pleasure

Given that it's mid August and everyone seems to be on holiday, the Workroom was unexpectedly packed this weekend. It seems the PlainStitch ladies have not downed tools for the summer but instead are upping their output with the long hours of summer and perhaps a slight slowing of lifes pace in the summer months.

Isobel bought in her fabulous Simple Sampler. It's just such a joy. We were talking through basting ( it's her first quilt - did anyone else first quilt look this amazing?! Mine certainly didn't!). I was trying to explain why I baste by hand. It got me thinking about why we patchworkers often take a perverse pleasure in taking the slower, more challenging path? We could knock up a strip quilt every week for each new fabric collection if we wanted to. But instead a much more enjoyable path is the slightly off centre one. The little tweak to a quilt that might add hours of work, but that MUST be achieved to make it look it's best. We were talking about what people put on the backs of their quilts. I was recounting some of the epic backs we've seen at PlainStitch recently - the Mega-Swoon, the Modern Applique Pieced square back, all HAD to look like that and hang the work!

I've been working on the class samples for my Bee in My Bonnet class this autumn. I just ADORE this quilt. It's been almost as much fun to make the blocks again as it was the first time - i say almost because the fun has had to be severely limited by my very strict instructions to self to make only 1 or 2 blocks of each row instead of a whole other version of the quilt! I have to stop making multiple versions of the same quilt - it's getting beyond a joke!

This quilt is so so many little pieces of fabric. It would be mind blowing if you stopped and thought too much about it. But against a backdrop of massive complexity so many of the blocks come together with such clever twisty simplicity as to take your breath a little bit away when you cut and sew and twist and cut again then realise that you've made the block you were planning without even noticing - it's a joy - honestly - if you like machine sewing do this class - you'll love it I promise!

Although having said all of that about taking the long but more satisfying route - this week at The Workroom we had a very exciting delivery. In that very enticing looking picnic hamper, wrapped in a an old fashioned sweetie paper bag is my new guilty pleasure. We have commissioned a new local product - pre cut freezer paper EPP templates from Weston Turville no less!

If you're an EPP-er I know you're literally squealing a high pitched yowl of delight as you read this. Imagine the joy! Pre cut freezer paper! Just a smidge of glue and you are ready to sew! It's been a personal bug bear(sp?) of mine for years that you can't seem to buy pre cut freezer paper EPP templates. I tried the pre cut cardstock ones, but I'm just not a baster of EPP. I really just can't stand the double sewing element. I'm wedded to my glue pen. So when a friend of a friend at a school gate said they had the means to die cut great swathes of freezer paper into any shape our hearts can desire I knew exactly what I wanted!

So - now available in packs of 100 we can offer you hex's in 4 different sizes from the chunky to the teeny tiny ( anyone going to patchwork vintage purse along with me a la Jackys?). We also have the much loved ( but terrible to cut out by hand and scissors) clamshell which would make a fabulous cushion front for anyone taking that class this autumn? Plus a versatile diamond which would EPP up into an amazing Lone Star Quilt which might just be next summers Boy Quilt EPP project for me?!

Speaking of next summer....Now the weather has taken a little bit of a chilly turn my this summer long obsession is looking a little less bonkers and my lovely scarves are getting some warm wear in, rather than causing me to doggedly pass out stubbornly wearing one in the heat. I have donated one ( the September Blue one) to The Workroom for a week or two as there was a major risk that me and Miss Stitch the Elder would be walking out dressed in the same fabric - which is a little too Vonn Trapp for my liking! If you'd like a nice warm neck this autumn the class is online now due to popular demand! I didn't realise my scarves would generate such interest and from so many sources. Fancy that.

 Anyway, with a slight tang in the air and a whiff of seasonal change starting to creep in on early morning dog walks I'll end by mentioning that we do have a very spooky box of Halloween fabric deliciousness lurking under the counter if anyone has an All Hallows kind of a craft urge starting to brew...spooky pillowcases anyone...?!