Thursday, 19 October 2017

Let's talk about interfacing, baby......

Ok, so that doesn’t scan quite so well as the original song lyrics, but since I decided to write this post, I can’t get that Salt’n’Pepa song out of my head. And I have to find something to make interfacing a fun subject!

 “Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be, let’s talk about it…..”

 So there have been some questions during the sewalong about materials and in particular, interfacing – weight, brand, type etc. In the book, there is a whole section describing the different types and their qualities, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. I just want to highlight that a few of the projects in Stitched Sewing Organizers rely on a specific type of interfacing to give the best result. When writing these particular patterns, the thickness of the recommended interfacing was taken into account when calculating the maths part of the instructions. For these projects, the particular finish shown depends on certain characteristics in the products used. Aneela has also recommended the two brands she has used most, and which she used in the process of developing the patterns.
For instance, next week’s project, the Project Tote, has stiff handles with fabric bonded to them, and the Fabric Boxes and Sliding Box rely on similar materials to keep their structure. The use of double-sided fusible interfacing means the fabric has a smooth, firm bond to the handles, or boxes, and prevents the lining of the boxes and inserts from bagging. The heavy weight means it has the required stiffness to give the structure. 
It’s this heavy-weight interfacing that is hard to replace or substitute. As per the book recommendations, Fast2Fuse Heavy by C&T or Pellon Peltex 71F (single-sided) or 72F (double-sided) will both give a successful result. The thickness of these products has been added into the calculations for the pattern and for instance, using a thicker interfacing could mean that the smaller Fabric Boxes wouldn’t properly fit inside the larger box, or the insert wouldn’t fit into the sleeve for the Sliding Box. With regards to the Project Tote, the handles may not properly fit and could be very difficult to sew in with a thicker product, especially if you’ve also used a pieced fabric for the body.

Just a gratuitous photo of my cat 'helping' me with the interfacing

(BTW…..If you absolutely couldn’t get the double-sided fusible, or you already have the single-sided and don’t want to buy more, then you could try using something such as Wonder-Under or possibly basting spray to bond the fabric to the non-adhesive side. I haven’t tried either of these methods so can’t guarantee the results. Also, keep the heavyweight interfacing scraps as these will come in handy when making the Covered Tape Measure project later in the sewalong.) 
There are other brands of heavy weight interfacing – for instance Vilene, Sew Lazy, Timtex – however, they all have different characteristics, some are stiffer and less pliable; some are sew in, not fusible; some are less stiff and more flexible; none have been measured and included in the maths involved in developing the patterns in this book.

If the pattern calls for woven or medium weight interfacing, then you can use other different brands or non-branded products. For instance, the Project Tote materials list suggests DecorBond for the bag body, but you could use a different brand medium-weight, fusible fleece, duck canvas or even layer up light-weight interfacing to get the desired result. If you’re using a pieced fabric such as patchwork or a quilted piece, then the wadding/batting would give you the necessary body. For woven interfacing, you can use Shapeflex, Vilene G700 or other similar weight interfacing.

I’ve been lucky enough to see the many stages and samples Aneela goes through when devising patterns, and the things she tries and works at until it comes good. It takes a lot of prototypes being made during this process to come up with those instructions that are straight forward to follow and that will give you the same finish as the item in the photos. Materials are recommended because they work successfully and give the finish that makes us all want to rush out and buy her latest pattern. I understand we don’t all have limitless funds, and I’m really not trying to bankrupt anyone (least of all myself!) by insisting you all go out shopping (although in my experience, we don’t need much encouragement in that department!).  But I guess what I’m trying, in a long-winded way, to say is that if you go another route, use another brand, and don’t get exactly the finish in the book, it may well be the materials rather than the pattern (assuming you follow it properly) that are why.

Oh, and if you’ve no idea what song I was referring to at the start, and you’re not of a delicate disposition, it’s this one. I warn you though, it’s an ear worm!


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Stitched Sewing Organizers Sewalong Finale Prize Bundle

So with a couple of days to go, let's look at the sponsors contributing towards the grand finale prize bundle.....

I hope you're all armed with your copies of the book, and have got the first project ready to go. I'm going to be prepping as many projects as I can tomorrow. I look forward to seeing you all on Monday with the first post!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Stitched Sewing Organizers Sewalong - the prizes

I thought it was time to give you a taster of the lovely weekly prizes we've got coming up from our incredibly generous sponsors......


Come back over the weekend for the details of the fabulous grand finale prize we have lined up, along with all the sponsors who have generously given towards a bundle worth around £250!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Aneela Hoey's Stitched Sewing Organizers Sewalong

Ok, it's been a while, well, over a year, so let's see if I can still remember how to do this.....

Aneela Hoey has written a new book. It's called Stitched Sewing Organizers and is packed with patterns for fantastic pouches, brilliant boxes, wonderful cases and nifty notions.

And what better way to celebrate this new publication than with a sewalong? The Instagram based event will start on 9th October and we have some fabulous Instagram contributors lined up who will each make one of the 15 projects from the book and post on IG on the appropriate Monday. What a great way to start the week!

Now, I know what you're thinking..... "hey, Pennie, 15 weeks from October - there's a certain holiday going to get in the middle of that!" And yes, you'd be right. BUT these projects, quite apart from making excellent gifts also include some that will be perfect for alternative gift wrap. We'll be having a break mid event for the seasonal festivities along with an extra special giveaway in Christmas week.

So, where do you come in?

Well, firstly, you need to get yourself a copy of the book. It's available on Amazon as well as from numerous quilting shops.

Each Monday an inspirational post will appear on Instagram. There may be hints and tips. There may be accompanying blog posts, there may be Facebook posts and tweets. There will not be instructions.

During the week, there may be other posts from other contributors showing their versions of the projects to give you extra inspiration.

Sewalongers (or should that be sewersalong?) will then make their own versions of the projects to be posted on IG using the hashtags given in the button above, and tagging me. All those projects will then go into a random draw to win that week's giveaway prize. The posts will need to be on IG by Midnight GMT on the following Sunday. There will be reminders during the week, don't worry.

Now, I know many of you have got a head start and projects have already been made. And you can post those.... under the following conditions - it must be a NEW photo - it can't be an image you've posted previously.

Also, in order to qualify for the giveaway prizes, the project you post must be as per the pattern. Exactly as per the pattern. I know people love to modify things to suit their own needs, and that's great.... for your second version. But for the purposes of the sewalong the projects need to be as per the book. This 'rule' is a late edition, added after the first week of posts, so for week one only, modifications will be allowed. 

As well as the weekly giveaways, there will be a roundup week before Christmas which will feature a special giveaway. You'll need to post an image of all the projects so far to qualify for this giveaway.

And then in February, when we get to the end of the event, a montage of all your projects will enter you into the grand finale prize draw.

So here we go with the FAQs:

When is it?
The event starts on the 9th October 2017 and runs through to 12th February 2018 with a break for Christmas and New Year.

Who's posting what and when?

9th October - Handy Fold Up Pouches - @stitchingandbacon
16th October - Green Tomato Pincushion - @stitcharmony
23rd October - Project Tote -@lilabellelane
30th October - Fabric boxes - @elisabew
6th November - Fold Up Sewing Folio - @tennjenny
13th November - Boxy Project Pouch - @emilydennis
20th November - See It All Pouch - @heartofcharnwood
27th November - Sliding Box - @lorena_in_syd
4th December - Drawstring Pouch - @amistabaker
11th December - Triple Pouch - @imstudiolou
18th December - Round Up So Far & Christmas giveaway - @tuppencehapennyquilts
3rd January - Welcome Back! - @tuppencehapennyquilts
8th January - Two In One Case - @willowbeckdesigns
15th January - Big Zip Pouch - @annamariegalvin
22nd January - Covered Tape Measure - @kitkabbit
29th January - Needle Book Plus - @guicy_guice
5th February - Book and Tool Folio - @modernhandcraft
12th February - Final Round Up and Grand Prize Draw - @tuppencehapennyquilts

Where can I buy the book?
Amongst other places.......

Owl and Drum | | | Search Press | C&T Publishing

Where can I get supplies?
Our contributors have recommended several suppliers where they have bought their interfacing, vinyl, zips etc from. PLEASE NOTE: for some of these projects, their success depends on using the exact products Aneela specifies in the patterns. Using other products may result in a less satisfying end result.

For fabrics, you can either raid your stash, or if you feel like splashing out on some new choices, don't forget to check out our sponsors and their lovely fabric shops: Sew Hot, Sew Stitching Happy, Pink Door Fabrics, Owl and Drum, Fabric HQ, Crimson Confection, Sunny Day Supply, Stash Fabrics, Simply Solids, Olive+Flo Handcraft, The Village Haberdashery....

In the US most interfacing, vinyl and notions supplies can be found at JoAnn, plus Zipit on Etsy for zippers
In Canada, Emmaline Bags and Funkymonkeyfabrics were recommended.
In Australia we had recommendations for Handbag Hardware Australia's on Etsy, along with, Spotlight and Lincraft on Etsy.
In the U.K., were recommended for all the Pellon products, and Dunelm for interesting vinyls.

A quick Google search should help you find alternative suppliers.

What's the skill level required?
The projects range in skill level, but each project has a detailed and precise set of pattern instructions, and over the course of the sewalong, even beginners should be able to tackle all the projects with growing confidence.

What will the prizes be?
We've been very fortunate to secure prizes from a number of organisations, including Cloud 9 Fabrics, Sew Hot, Aurifil, Make Modern Magazine, Love Patchwork and Quilting, Dritz, C&T Publishing, Fabric HQ, Stash Fabrics, Simply Solids, Olive+Flo Handcraft, Sunny Day Supply, Zipit, Crimson Confection, Owl and Drum, Pink Door Fabrics, The Village Haberdashery, and Sew Stitching Happy.

What hashtag do I need? Who do I need to tag?
You need to use the following hashtags on your project posts - #stitchedsewingorganizerssal, #stitchedsewingorganizers, #aneelahoey. You should also make sure you tag me - @tuppencehapennyquilts

There is now a Facebook group too -

I missed the start, can I still join in?
You can join in at any time, but you can only win the weekly giveaways by posting the correct project on the appropriate week, and for entry to the final draw you will need to have made all 15 projects.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Foxglove Showcase

Blimey, it's dusty in here, and just look at those cobwebs.....

It's been about 18 months since I last blogged. So it was going to take something pretty special to get me back to it. And here it is. 'Foxglove', the beautiful second collection of Aneela Hoey for Cloud 9 Fabrics, and today it's my turn for the 'Foxglove Showcase'.

With 12 organic quilting cottons to choose from, I wanted a pattern that would show them off to their best advantage, and this Dresden plate pattern was just the thing. (Kelly's pattern reminded me of a smaller version of Aneela's Bloom quilt pattern, which I knew Kelly had made a beautiful version of a few years ago.)  

I picked some Kona solids from my stash, and was lucky enough to find five that matched perfectly.  

Aneela's designs just cry out to be fussy cut, so it was only right I picked one of the gorgeous ginger foxes to grace the centre circle.

Choosing the neutral backing was easy, but deciding on the quilting proved more difficult. I eventually settled on close echo quilting, and I love the texture this gives, along with the different effects that show up in angled light.

I choose two of the directional prints for the back, the navy foxes and the navy foxgloves, and then bound the cushion using the orange stem dots, possibly my favourite from the whole collection.

'Foxglove' is available in stores now, so make sure you get your orders in. Check back on Aneela's blog tomorrow and see who's next on the 'Foxglove Showcase'.

Those stats we all love:

FQ bundle of 'Foxglove' by Aneela Hoey
'Crosshatch' by Carolyn Friedlander
Various Kona solids, I'm afraid I don't know the exact colours


'Stacked' by Jeliquilts.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Shall we start with this one?

Earlier this year we heard there was to be a new niece or nephew, and so I immediately started planning a gift. The new parents-to-be requested a playmat, and, never one to take the easy way out, I liked the idea of an animal alphabet. I did some Googling, and bought this fabulous pattern from Don't Look Now in Australia.

New Niece who caused a bit of a stir arriving 5 weeks early!

And then I panicked..... And procrastinated...... And pondered...... And went back to panicking! I really don't know what possessed me. Not only was I an appliqué novice, I was also a total FMQ virgin, and let me tell you, this pattern will tolerate no vestiges of FMQ innocence!

I borrowed my lovely friend Nathalie's humongous Husqvarna machine, as there was no way my little Janome was going to cope with it. That was terrifying enough in itself - the Husqvarna sat at the end of the table for 3 weeks, breathing fire, and just daring me to think I had what it took to press its hallowed pedal.

My favourite part of the process was picking the fabrics for the appliqué. 26 letters and animals, many of which were made up of component parts that needed to be cut from different fabrics and layered up. All in all, including background and backing I used 90 prints and solids, all of which came from my stash - 53 hours spent on a quilt and I didn't even have to buy anything!

Once the hours of painstakingly tracing all the pieces was over, and the layout was done, it was time to start the business of free motion stitching round all the appliqué. The first few animals did not go well, but soon the Husqvarna and I were a well bonded team, and powered through them.

The stroke of genius was the fake giraffe for the back, lying forgotten in a cupboard for years (I don't know why I have fake giraffe, before you ask) and serendipitously discovered when looking for something else the night before the playmat was to be delivered.

I loved making this playmat. It taught me a lot of new skills and severely tested my patience at times, when I was tired. But it's great fun, a fantastic finished product, and the recipients loved it. Would I make another one? Ermmmm.............