Sunday, 30 November 2008


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

I've never made a quilt before, though I've often often admired the ones I've seen here here here. The measuring and planning and, worst of all, colour co-ordinating (!) have always scared me off from actually beginning. But I've wanted to...

My godson is one in a few months, and I wanted to make something practical; something that he would like to look at, but also something to keep. And I like trees, so after looking in this book for a bit of technical inspiration, I came up with these...

I was surprised how much easier it is to match colours when they're layed out in front of me. Because I've been trying to do it in my head... So far I've just used bits and pieces of fabric I already have, bits from old clothes, from remnants of previous projects, pieces salvaged from my parents attic... but I quite like that, recycling, re-using, makng something with a bit of history, a bit of me. (And some new fabric is on it's way, which is good too ;) )

It took a bit of trial and error to come up with the shape I wanted (my first attempt was a circle, until I realised that was potentially a bit too complicated for a first go!) As I went along, cutting and sewing and altering I realised that it's easier than it looks to get the shapes to go together. Cutting across seams, pressing, squaring up, adding more pieces; its liberating, like playing... free styling is definitely the way to go :)

I keep popping into my little room, to cut a few more triangles, sew a few more together, and I'm really enjoying it. The little forrest is growing, and I'm beginning to see how this can become really addicive...

Sunday, 16 November 2008


I've been looking for a sewing machine for ages. Not a fancy one that does a million different embroidery stitches, but a simple, heavy, sturdy one, one that's made well, and will last...

I must have been talking about my search to my Grandma; about how all I could find were plastic ones for loads of money. And a few weeks ago, look what she gave me...

The sewing machine she received for her 18th birthday. This machine is over 50 years old and still going strong, it's still got the original bulb in the light, all the original bits and pieces in the little green singer cardboard box, including this scary looking contraption...

She used this machine to sew clothes for herself, for my mum and her brothers when they were little, countless things I'm sure. It sews beautifully; slightly slow, because when it was bought, it went too fast, so my Granddad altered it. It feels steady to sew, it's such a pleasure to use.

I'll treasure it.

Monday, 10 November 2008

New books at last!

I've been wanting to put some new things in my shop for what seems like such a long time now, but with one thing and another (work, life, eat, sleep, you know how it goes!) it hadn't really happened.

I really want the books I sell in my shop to be the best I can make (I've written about it before), and recently I've been on the look out for better materials; stronger more durable covers, thick heavy flexible paper, good colours... Last week I went on a great big paper splurge, surely the best kind :) and bought lots of new things to try (waxed recycled felt anyone? wet look paper?)

One thing I'm really pleased with from my shopping spree is the bonded leather used for the covers in these buttonhole books. It's strong, bends without cracking, cuts nicely, comes in lots of lovely colours and thicknesses, and its recycled too!

I've only listed 3 books so far, but there's more on the way :)

Take a peek!

Saturday, 8 November 2008


It feels good today, having time to do what I want whilst it's still day light, not rushing about in the dark. I'm really fighting the urge to go into hibernation at the moment...

But right now, it's light, and breezy. Leaves are blowing off the trees, in the air, in circles on the street, and I'm going upstairs to do some book binding...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Thanks to this fantastic tutorial from Pied Crow Press, I've been learning how to sew endbands this week...

I've been wanting to learn how to do this for ages, and now, thanks to Iris, I can! I can't wait to have a play around with using more colours, and different cores (and better sewing!)

I did start to case this book into a cover, but when I was trimming off a tiny bit of the endpaper, I stupidly cut right across the stitching... dur. But I sewed it again, with a thinner bit of string for the core, and it looked much neater. So far so good.

I got the new cover all cut and measured and fitting, and got the book all stuck in and looking right... but then blobbed a huge glue finger print right in the middle of the endpaper.

And there was something slightly satisfying about getting a stanley knife and cutting the book from its cover. No pictures because it's too dark now. Perhaps I'll keep it as a kind of deconstructable example :)