Just occasionally I get to do a bit of fun sewing. Not often enough. I had a bit of time off over Christmas & had a lovely few hours making a quilt from my friend’s baby, Tillie, who was born in early January.
The bugs fabric is by Paula Ozier, there’s quite a bit of Cloud 9 in there too, as well as some Liberty, Kaffe Fasset & Amy Butler, and some plain organic cottons and the yellow border fabric (and backing) fabric is an old curtain. The blue with black sprigs is a V&A heritage print.
It is quite unusual for me to use so many shop-bought fabrics but mostly they were scraps left over from other projects or samples I bought to find out what the quality was like. Or just because I loved the idea of fabric with bugs on it for a baby quilt.
I am pretty obsessed with irregular, improvised log cabin patchwork at the moment; I’ve got a massive quilt on the go but can’t work on it until I have moved into the new studio where I’ll have space to spread it out!
I’m sharing the love with a workshop on this very technique in April.
Log Cabin Patchwork Cushion
Sunday 28th April
Discover the delights of this traditional patchwork technique with a contemporary twist. You will learn how to create irregular, freestyle log cabin patchwork, incorporating beautiful vintage and upcycled fabrics, and make the finished piece into a cushion cover. This is patchwork for those that enjoy improvised designs, exciing colour combinations and hate fussy measuring and cutting.
£55 including materials
Intermediate (suitable for those who have used a sewing machine before)
My inexpert quilting efforts are very much inspired by the amazing Lucie Summers. I adore her colour combinations and designs. If you can get there, I strongly suggest you try and make a trip to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August. Inspiration, fabric and lovely people. What more could you ask? (oh, and I will be teaching there too!)
I’ve also just booked a teaching slot at Fat Quarterly Retreat too, so I hope I can learn a bit more while I am there!
I will be signing copies of my book Sew Eco at The Knitting & Stitching Show in London on Friday 12th October 10.30-11.30.
You will find me on the Bloomsbury Books stand M19 where I will also be demonstrating how to make these flower brooches from scrap leather.
I’ve been asked many times over the last year why there is has been such a growth in people wanting to learn to sew. I can’t tell you what everyone’s motivation is, but I know at first hand just how excited people are when they make something for the first time. The sense of satisfaction is huge.
It is like baking a difficult cake and getting to eat it EVERY DAY. You make something amazing then it lasts forever. You learn a skill that will grow with you and enable you to carry on making amazing things that you are enormously proud of and that you loved making.
You learn a skill for life that you can pass on.
You get to wear something totally unique like a skirt made from 1960s curtains.
Or an apron for your husband with skulls and roses on.
Or a gorgeous handbag. (This really was her first time sewing).
You might want to learn to sew to make your own curtains, to make fabulous cushions, to make your own clothes, to make quilts for new babies, to make lovely handbags, to make your own wedding dress. All these things, and more, are possible with a little bit of knowledge, some new-found confidence in using a sewing machine and a little bit of fabric (although I recommend a LOT of fabric).
My Learn To Sew workshops get you set up and ready to sew with confidence. The groups are small (no more than 6) so you get plenty of help and also have a nice social time with other equally-scared-but-excited new sewists while you share tea and biscuits. I use a variety of machines (old and older) and there is nothing scary about them at all – they won’t whizz away without you and unless you try very hard, you won’t break them. I will tell you all about the kind of fabrics you are best to start sewing with, so you won’t end up having any polyester-satin-related tears when you are sewing on your own. During the class you will learn how to prepare, measure and cut fabric properly so your sewing isn’t wonky and you will – I PROMISE – come out with a finished cushion cover at the end of the session. In just 2.5 hours you will learn how to sew and the world will be your oyster. Or fabric shop.
What you say:
“I recently attended an afternoon group course at the Ruth Singer Studio & came away with not only a gorgeous cushion cover, but much sought after new skills! Ruth is organised, friendly & clear and was on hand throughout the whole sewing process to ensure I fully understood what I was doing. I really enjoyed myself & would definitely attend another – today cushion covers, tomorrow the world!”
Learn to Sew workshops are suitable for anyone who has never sewn before or has used a sewing machine a little and wants more tuition. This class is also good for those who are very rusty but if you can already sew in a straight line, try one of my other classes such as dressmaking or bags. Anyone over 12 is welcome to come to my workshops. You don’t need to bring a sewing machine or anything else – you can buy fabric from me; either some cheap and cheerful upcycled curtains, or maybe organic cotton or a special vintage fabric.
Beginner workshops coming up at Ruth Singer Studio, Leicester are listed here.