Fat Quarters book & giveaway

I’m pleased to be part of this gorgeous new book from Lark Crafts. Fat Quarters, Small Fabrics, More than 50 Big Ideas comes out this week and I have contributed three projects.

Fat Quarters book

Fat Quarters book

My projects are:

A patchwork pieced tie, using complicated bias cutting and lovely fabric from Lu Summers.

An origami-style folded decoration on a cushion. I love the styling of this project on the yellow chair.

A little bag with oval floral pockets which is looking for a new home – see below

There are lots of nice projects in the book including some gorgeous quilts which I am tempted to make and a pincushion by my friend Heather, which I will *definitely* make.

 

 

I’m giving away the bag to one lucky reader (UK only please). To enter, please share this post online and comment below, telling me approximately how many fat quarters there are in your stash! Giveaway open until Midnight Tuesday 31st March.

Ruth Singer bag

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Sews

Last week I had a short and ineffective battle with creating a simple 1920s-ish dress for an event. The dress was an utter failure, although the fabric has now been recut into something much better, to be made in less of a rush! I wore an original1920s coat and simple skirt and blouse instead, inspired by Lady Mary’s similar outfits in the current series of Downton Abbey.

The incident reminded me that there’s quite a large crossover of Downton fans and sewing fans who might like this special issue by Stitch magazine which came out this summer.

I designed three of the projects, a lilac silk stole, a pleated silk necklace and my favourite, a paper pieced patchwork notebook cover. I used the Downton Abbey fabrics from Makower, which was the editor’s choice not mine, but I do think they look nice in tiny hexagons.

The issue also includes lots of really nice clothes, embellished garments, accessories and kids clothes. As always with Stitch magazines, they are beautifully presented and well explained.

I’ve got a copy of the magazine to give away, just leave a comment telling me who you think is the best dressed in this series. I’ll pick one commenter on 24th October and send the magazine (UK only).

Old Textiles at October’s Sew Sociable

This month’s Sew Sociable will be all about old textiles. I’ll be giving a talk about my love of antique textiles, about museum collections, about my own collection of textiles and how I take inspiration from them to create my own textile art. Anyone coming to the event is enthusiastically encouraged to bring along their own historic textile treasures to show to the others. I hope I’ll be able to to identify things, or at least tell the owners something about them, and offer advice on looking after them. I’ll also be bringing along books about antique textiles for you to browse.

What to bring?

Quilts, handkies, embroideries, tablecloths, vintage clothes, handbags, trimmings, haberdashery, old sewing books… anything textile related is welcome!

 

Sew Sociable October with Ruth Singer

Sew Sociable October with Ruth Singer

Sew Sociable is a free monthly event for all stitchers. There are talks, events, activities, competitions and lovely food and drink in St Martins Tea & Coffee House, St Martin’s Square, Leicester city centre. Antique textile Sew Sociable takes place on Friday 17th October 7.30-10pm. The venue is easily accessible by train and bus for those coming from out of town, and there is parking nearby too. All welcome, even if you haven’t been before.

On My Mother’s Knee

I’m exhibiting at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, in a show called On My Mother’s Knee, opening later this month. I’ve created a new series especially for this show called Tool Shed. I’ll also be showing these two aprons.

The exhibition catalogue is available online.

When I was approached for this show in February this year, I had to confess that I didn’t learn sewing at my mother’s knee. I learned at my stepmother’s elbow as a teenager, after spending my formative pre-school years doing carpentry with my dad as well as plenty of other crafts with other members of my family.

Nor are the works I’m showing traditionally domestic – or at least not traditionally feminine. My new work is inspired by my late grandad’s tool shed and uses his well-worn handkerchiefs as the main cloth. I had an idea to use the family hoard of well-used domestic linens in some way and this exhibition fitted in perfectly.

I’m also taking part in an artists In Conversation event on Saturday 23rd November at Llantarnam, alongside the awesome stitch talent Caren Garfen. The exhibition also includes my friend Louise Frances Evans who has been a great inspiration for me, the fabulously fun crochet of Kate Jenkins, the amazing Julie Arkell, Kirsty Anderson, Lynn Setterington and Jessie Chorley. What amazing company!

2014 textiles workshops

Just a brief outline of the new workshops to come in 2014, full details soon!

Workshops 2014
All workshops are 10am-4pm on Saturdays at Ruth Singer Studio, Leicester. £55 each or book 3 for £150

Miniature Art Quilts. 25th January
Criminal Quilts 2

Shadow Embroidery. 23rd February

Criminal Quilts 2

Cut-surface quilting. 22nd March

'Squares'  hanging, 2013. More details here

‘Squares’ hanging, 2013. More details here

Family Stories. 26th April

Whiting Laundry

Handmade fabrics. 31st May

Suffolk puff cushion

Smocking, Shirring & Gathering. 28th June  Rescheduled for 21st June

English smocking

Found objects and amulets . 19th July

Metamorphosis detailPhotos on Fabric. 30th August

Monumental Folly pincushion  25x15cm More  details here

Monumental Folly pincushion 25x15cm More
details here

Wild Dyes. 28th September Rescheduled for 20th September

mixed dyes

Trapunto Quilting. 1st November

Trapunto quilting

Transparency. 6th December. Rescheduled for 13th December

shadowwork detail

Beginners Dressmaking Course

New dressmaking class starting in August

Dressmaking open session
Wednesdays 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th August & 4th, 11thSeptember,  10am-1pm
£20 for each session or book a term of 6 for £100
Book here

This Wednesday morning session is for new and improver dressmakers to practice with support and learn new skills. Bring your own project to work on and get help when required, and make use of space to spread out, tools, sewing machines and expert assistance. In each session we will cover a different technique to help you develop your sewing skills. Techniques will be demonstrated in the first part of the session (approx 30 mins) and then you are free to use the rest of the session as you wish:, getting on with your own project or practicing the techniques. You will also have access to Ruth’s library of sewing books and magazines for techniques and inspiration. All levels are welcome at the sessions.

Week 1 – Using a pattern; the basics.
Week 2 – Facings and interfacing
Week 3 – Seams and hems
Week 4 – Zips – inserting a basic zip and introduction to invisible zips

Week 5 – Darts and curved seams
Week 6 – Buttonholes

Term 2
9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th October & 6th, 13thNovember
(content of workshops TBC but suitable for all levels)
Book here

Why learn to sew?

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. 

 

Untitled

 

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. 

 

Mother & daughter sewing team

 

You learn a skill for life that you can pass on.

 

skirt workshop 2

 

You get to wear something totally unique like a skirt made from 1960s curtains. 

 

Apron workshop

 

Or an apron for your husband with skulls and roses on. 

 

coastal creatives bag course sept 2006 - 14

 

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. 

 

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.

 

 


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!” 

Sophie

 

Creative hen parties for stylish brides

Hen parties
Creative, enjoyable and stress‐free hen parties at Ruth Singer’s beautiful studio 





From £25 per person for half a day, £50 for a full day

Parties for 6‐15 people available for evenings or weekends

We can come to you too if you have a suitable space

Activities include Corsages and fabric flowers, textile jewellery, pincushions, tea cosies, lampshade restyle, embellished undies or garments, bag‐making and more.


Contact me for more information