Sunday, 15 May 2011

Need more fabric!

Lots of people imagine that Laura and I must have vast supplies of fabric just lying around waiting to be used. The truth is we always have loads of scraps and offcuts from previous projects (which of course will be used eventually!) but the only large pieces are those we create when we have a specific thing in mind, or when Laura is preparing fabrics to sell at a big show.

I accept this picture is not a thing of beauty! My storage system is basically to stuff as much as I can in these towers of plastic crates. Each tower sits on a wheeled base so I can move it around easily. Being transparent helps a bit when I'm searching for a scrap of a particular colour but there's so much crammed in there I usually have to resort to tipping the contents onto the floor. I don't mind 'cause I usually see some colour combinations I wouldn't necessarily have thought of in the heap.

For my own work I buy a 100 metre roll of lovely mercerised, white cotton poplin every once in a while. It lives propped up in a corner of the studio until I feel the urge to have a dyeing day. There's not much point making a lot of mess for just a bit of fabric so I prefer to dye a big bucketful! These are all 2 metre lengths and will be used for quilt tops, backings, hanging sleeves.... whatever.

I love dyeing layers of fabric just scrunched in a bucket - look at the wonderful marks it makes!

As well as dyeing this week I've also been adding the finishing touches to some little pieces destined for exhibition this summer. Here's a detail of a digitally embroidered moth worked over the top of free motion quilting. The upper wings are simply outlines in the digitised sketch but I've painted them in with metallic paint letting the free motion stitching provide the shapes.

And just in case you think I've been neglecting my duties! Sunday is my day for playing domestic goddess - here's today's bread. I just wish you could smell my kitchen!!

Talk again soon,


  1. Everything looks wonderful! :)

  2. I too have started to dye fabric as needed. Much better use of time and money. I can smell the bread from here. YUM!

  3. The bread is making me hungry! I love the idea of embroidering on top of free motion quilting, but aren't you worried about ruining all the work?

  4. aha your stash is like mine. Where do you get the 100 metres from?
    I smell the bread - can you smell my focaccia here in Tettenhall?

  5. I know what you mean about it being risky to add embroidery and stitch over the top of existing quilting but I love the effect of layering techniques. I guess I've been doing this for so long now that I have a better idea of how it will turn out than when I started! Anyway a bit of risk taking stops me getting bored! Linda

  6. I'd love the recipe for your bread. It looks wonderful!

  7. Hi Holly, I can vouch for the bread - it's wonderful every time. I follow Richard Bertinet's Olive bread recipe from his book 'Dough'. As long as you watch the timings it seems to be foolproof! He has a website if you can't find the book locally.

  8. Hi Clare, we use the cotton poplin stocked by Watson and Thornton in Shrewsbury. Tell them we sent you!