Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Creative Tuesday

I'm on a quest at the moment to get all the various half finished, started then forgotten projects around my house completed. Only problem is I keep starting new things...like last week when I made this Cath Kidson  apron and a little business card holder. Then today I picked up some more felt to make the 3D jammy dodger from Mollie Makes.

So I've decided to dedicate tuesdays to working on the various ongoing creative projects around my house. Today I planned to do a bit more re-upholstering of the dining chair I've been working on, slowly, for over a year and stitch together some of the screen printed tote bags that I printed and cut out months ago..but just haven't got round to stitching together. 

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to dedicate my entire day....the weather was amazing so got lots of washing done and hung out, and I really really needed to vacuum then house, it seriously couldn't wait any longer. And I ended up going out for lunch. But I defiantly made head way on my projects.....

I got one of 4 dining chairs finished a while back so today I was working on the second one.  I got the calico layer on and started tensioning it. And due to how the fabric is attached to the back panel, the top layer of fabric is also in situ...I just need to keep it out the way until the calico is sorted and tensioned. 
 I've chosen this for the top fabric. It looks a bit richer than this in real life. Once its finished I'll take a pic in light the shows off the clouds better. 
 I had 10 calico bags cut out ready to be stitched together with two designs. The heart design  and the geometric flower design that I used in my roman blind
I only got this one completely finished...
 And I got the edging stitched on to hide the seams on the inside of 3 other bags. 
So that was my creative tuesday this week...its my birthday next tuesday so not sure what I'll get done, I'm sure I can squeeze in something.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Vintage knitting patterns

On my last trip back home up to Scotland I happened to stumble upon an amazing little treasure trove of a vintage fair at The Hillhead Book Club just off Byres Road. One little stall had a whole folder full of vintage knitting patterns that looked amazing, I could't resist. Then when I got back home and told my Mum she said she had loads of them out in the garage. Woo hoo! So my collection grew again!

Since then I've been getting a bit obsessed with vintage patterns and gone a bit crazy bidding away on e-bay.

With lots of ideas I've picked a pattern to do and got the yarn. The pattern is in 3ply but I could only find baby wool in 3 ply (and I didn't fancy it in white and baby pink). So, with the advice of my Mum, I got 4ply and I'm going to use narrower needles. I've tried a tension square and it seemed to work so think I'll just go for it and see how I get on. My aim is to finish it by the end of the year but I feel like I've got quite a lot of unfinished projects around the house so I'm saving starting it until I've completed some other things.

Most of the knitting projects I've done so far have been either really chunky wool or required 4.5mm needles at the narrowest. To get a bit of practice in the littler stitches I knitted this cute hat for my friends little baby. Its in 4ply and knitted from a Patons pattern.

What is your experience of knitting with old knitting patterns? Does my idea of using narrower needles sound realistic? 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Creative Tuesday

Things have been pretty busy the past few weeks at The Next Stitch Towers and despite blog posts being a bit sparse there has been plenty of stitching going on!

I'm working on a potential new business venture at the moment (don't want to reveal too much at the mo until it comes together a bit more) and that has been taking up a lot of time, the computer has been stealing hours from the day again. So, last Tuesday I decided to spend the whole day making things.

A few weeks ago I got some funky Cath Kidson fabric at the outlet shop at Bicester and decided to make it into an apron. I just sort of made the pattern up as I went along and held up against me to check size. I wanted something that went right around my waist as I tend to wipe my hands on my side when I'm cooking (bad habit from my mum I think). I had some pom pom trim that I wanted to use up too.

So after the apron I looked to my pinterest board of crafty ideas I love and made a little business card holder. Ok so I don't have a business yet, never mind business cards but I'm working on that - just doing a bit of planning ahead.

Monday, 12 September 2011

screen printed roman blind project - with how to pictures

After what seems like months and months, a few weekends ago I finally managed to get the blind for my creative space/spare bedroom finished off and hung up.

It all started at the beginning of the summer when I was going to my Textiles class and I hand screen printed a big piece of fabric. The whole printing process was done in the same way as described my previous post except this time I wanted to make a negative image of my design. So last time I used a stencil like this, made with paper.

For the negative stencil I used sticky back plastic (which took AGES to cut out) and looked like this.

So following the steps in the previous post I printed in alternate baby pink and pale lemon yellow.

Creating the blind was pretty tricky as I wanted to follow the line of the pattern but I hadn't been exact in printing the pattern square which just made it all a bit complicated and I ended up having to make it up a bit as I went along. Normally it would be easy to make the blind if your fabric pattern was square to the weave of the fabric.
Here is all the bits and pieces I needed to make up the blind:
  • blind tape
  • cord
  • velcro
  • rods
  • toggle and thingie to wind cord round
  • black out lining (I didn't want the sun to shine through the fabric as it would alter the colour of the print)

So I squared off the lining fabric using the corner of my dining table and my quilting squarer. I cut the lining to the size that I actually wanted my blind to be so that there wasn't bulky edges. As the lining was blackout lining and does't fray so I could get away with this. 

I wanted the edging of the back of the blind to look like this...
So to do this took a bit of figuring out and in the end I ironed a seam in the printed fabric where I wanted its edge to be.

 And then pinned the line of stitch so that when folded the ironed seam would fall to the edge of the lining fabric.

 I checked it all lined up properly before stitching.
 So I stitched both sides of the blind this way so I had a big tube. Then with the fabric folded as in the above picture I stitched along the bottom of the blind to make a big sack.

Next a 'D' shape bit of wood which I had cut to size was inserted into the bottom of the sack and this acts like weight for the blind to help it sit straight.
Next was to pin and stitch the bling tape on where I wanted the rods to sit that would create the folds in the blind. 

Next I inserted the rods into the blind tape and stitched them in place at the edges.
Then to finish off the top of the blind I ironed down the seams then stitched the velcro along the top

 So on the right side of the fabric you see a big rectangle of stitching where the velcro is stitched on

 Then using the blind cord I rigged it up using 4 lengths, which you can sort of see in the pic below. I just pined them at the top to secure. When the blind is hung up its those lengths of blind cord that get fed through the little eyelets.
 Almost there...I painted this 1"x1" bit of wood which is where the blind is hung from. It gets screwed onto the wall (cue hubby), the little eyelets screwed into the bottom and the blind cords rigged up through them and hey presto its done.

Here is the blind hanging up in the 'studio' / creative corner of my spare room!