Saturday, February 17, 2018

Have you ever heard of Marna Lunt? She's a wonderful sewer and embroiderer from Northern England, she makes the most incredible lampshades and lanterns. I took a few of her online courses which I just loved. You can see them here .

I follow her on Instagram where she announced her new embroidery project Threaduary would start in February. Of course I had to pop over to her blog (being a huge fan) and see what it was about!

Basically it's a project anyone can participate in where you do some stitching (embroidery) everyday and post it on Instagram, being sure to #threaduary . 

Marna is amazing and has been embroidering the most amazing flowers EVERYDAY! My goodness I really don't know how she does it! Seriously hop on over to her instagram to have a little look!

Anyway I thought I'd share the various stages of what I'm working on in my efforts to participate! To be honest I have not been able to stitch everyday like Marna. Where does she find the time and energy?????

My beginnings - layering antique hemp and linen scraps on a scrap piece of batting!

I think I stared at it for a few days (already putting me behind schedule) thinking what I should do! Then I thought I'd better start putting some stitches on it and started rows and rows of slow stitching!

Then a light bulb lit up and I decided to do something floral. Please note I always start with incredibly vague ideas! No planning happens over here! 

First I thought I'd embroider some flowers and then stitch them on, but then changed my mind, of course! I cut them out and pinned them on my background along with flowers and leaves cut from an old French fabric I have.

I started to embroider the flowers, I want my stitches to be fairly random and not too regular. This is quite a challenge as it comes naturally to place each stitch next to the other in an orderly fashion!

I'm using mixed threads - Dmc, antique perle, DMC Alsace threads, Appleton wools and so on. Just whatever takes my fancy at the time! 

This is where I'm at right now. Who knows how long it will take? Especially considering I have no clear direction! 

Mum asked 'what are you going to make it into?' Goodness, who knows??? I'll have to see when it's finished! Any suggestions???? 

Don't forget to read more on Marna's blog and let me know if you decide to do some 'thread therapy' each day like Marna! 

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Simple zipper pouch tutorial

Does anyone struggle to put in a zipper? I did!!!

It took me years to find a method that I liked, there are so many different ways to sew a zipper in a bag or pouch. What's your favourite method?

I'm going to share mine, I can't remember where I saw it but it changed my bag making forever!!

I had a piece of slow stitching my mum gave me, she didn't know what she wanted to do with it! Of course I was happy to take it!! I thought why not use it for this tutorial and make a sweet little pouch.

It turned out really well I'm thrilled with the result and hope this little tutorial helps you too!

So here goes my Zipper pouch tutorial. I hope you like it and find it useful!

Step 1: Prepare your zip. Sew two pieces of fabric at each end. This is optional but always helps obtain a nice clean result.

Place fabric right side down, 1/4'' in from the metal at the end. Sew in place. 

Top stitch: 

The zipper will look something like this:

Step 2: Place the zipper right side down on the front piece:

Lay one of the lining pieces, right sides down, on top and pin in place. Sew using the zipper foot.

Open out, moving the lining to one side, pin:

Top stitch along the top of the exterior fabric:

Your piece will look like this, note the lining is tucked back under the front piece:

Step 3: You need to attach the back exterior piece and lining to the other side of the zipper. Place the backing, right side down, on top. Flip over place the lining as you did previously and pin.

 If you lift the lining and zipper it will look like this:

Stitch across the top as before. Move lining and front to the side. 

Top stitch the back piece as you did previously with the front.

Step 4: open out the front and back and open the zipper. Do not skip this or you won't be able to turn the pouch once it's sewn.

Step 5: Sewing up the pouch

Place the exterior pieces right sides together and the lining pieces right sides together.

Line up the edges and pin all the way around. Make sure when you line up your edges you start from the center where the zipper is. Note: At the bottom of the lining I turn one pin in a different direction to remind mysef to leave an opening there for turning later.

Sew around remembering to leave the opening in the lining.

Note: where the zipper is I cut a little 'V' to remove excess fabric, being careful not to cut too close to my sewing line.

If you would like a pouch with squared off corners - at each corner draw a square (mine for this pouch was 3cm), flip it over and repeat on the other side.

Open out the corners, pin and sew going back and forth a few times to strengthen.

Trim the excess
Turn the pouch, machine or hand stitch the opening and the pouch is complete!

I hope this was helpful! Thank you for reading.

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Saturday, February 03, 2018

Homespun Block of the Month 2018

Today I'm super excited to be able to reveal the large project I worked on with my sister Sarah last year. 

A little more than a year ago Homespun Magazine asked us if we would like to design a quilt for their 2018 Block of the month program. We were both thrilled and honoured to be asked to do such an important project as there have been some seriously talented and famous designer before us!

We got to work immediately! Fortunately I was visiting home for Christmas so we put together our design, divided the work so we were ready when the fabric arrived. 

We were so lucky to work with the new Tilda Lemontree collection. It's just gorgeous, if you haven't seen it yet check it out at your nearest supplier.

The first issue is out on newstands this month with the first block. I haven't received mine yet but will definitely post some photos when it arrives.

The quilt includes a variety of tecniques, from needle turn applique, embroidery and traditional patchwork piecing.

I'm definitely considering following the monthly program and remaking the quilt. Call me crazy but I think I'll do it!!!

We hope those who decide to make this gorgeous quilt enjoy it. We would love to see your photos and know how it's going. You can tag us on Instagram @roxycreationsbyrachel and @roxycreationsbysarah . We would love to hear from you!

If you don't live in Australia, there are many stockists of Homespun in Europe and the US. Another alternative is to buy the magazine in digital form. Just pop over to Homespun's website here for all the links. 

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Quilting and embroidery tutorial

Today I'm thrilled to post my first ever tutorial! I've been wanting to do one of these for a long time now and have finally taken the plunge with this one! Hopefully there will be many more to come!!!

It's a very simple tutorial using one my fabric kits recently listed in my shop (here). I thought it would be cool to give some ideas as to what to do with it! So here goes!

In the kit you will find:
- one larger piece, beige with white spots
- around 15 scrap pieces 
- felt bunny cut out (it's been handcut not with a diecut)
- 5 handcut felt flowers

You will need:
- batting (optional)
- co-ordinating cotton fabric if you want to line your end product and/or add handles
- zipper if you want to make a zipper pouch or small bag 
- embroidery floss in various colours
- off white cotton thread
- pins and embroidery needles
- scissors + usual sewing notions
- sewing machine

How to:

Cut a piece of batting to your desired size. Mine measured approximately 26cm x 17.5cm (10'' x 7'').
Choose what fabrics you would like to use and randomly lay them on one piece of batting.

Pin or baste in place:

For your backing piece - or prepare a second one in the same way you did the first or take a larger piece and place a few fabrics as I did.

Machine quilt both pieces. I did this randomly, I didn't draw any lines I just went along randomly with the machine in rows. Be careful to catch the edges of the fabrics so they don't lift.

The front and back will look like this:

Place the felt bunny on your front piece and applique it with small stitches using a same colour cotton thread:

Place the felt flowers and put a small stitch with cotton thread to hold them:

Embroidery- center of the flowers : 4 strands of DMC moline thread , French knot. The leaves are single daisy stitches here and there. Please note I didn't draw my embroidery on, I just placed the stitches randomly.
Tail : stem is backstitch, leaves are single daisy stitches, berries French knots.

I made my little project into a zipper pouch, which I love, love, love!

I haven't included the making up of the pouch on the tutorial as the kit could be adpted to so many different projects. 

You could also make it into many other items, here are some ideas:
- fabric basket
- easter egg hunt basket/tote (I have a pattern here to which this kit could be adapted)
- sweet little wall art
- book cover

And the list goes on! 

Thank you so much for reading!
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