At the weekend, the Saturday girls and I made reusable wipes as Christmas Gifts… The circles we used were 4″ in diameter. I created a video of the process to make the wipes and next week I’ll do the same for the bag. The idea is the mesh bag that is made to gift the wipes in is used to collect the dirty wipes and can later be put into the washing machine to hold the wipes as they are washed! Genius! 🙂
This is a little bit different than my normal TipTuesday messages, but as we approach Christmas and I rack my brain as to what gifts I can buy my friends and family, I am constantly looking for new ideas and presents that will have meaning throughout the year. An annual membership of the Quilters Guild is a wonderful present for anyone interested in sewing, patchwork, and quilting whether they are beginners or have more experience. There are also packages for Teen and Young Quilters as well.
What I get out of the Quilters Guild is soooo much, so I thought I would list it in my own words…..
- As this is a national organisation, I am able to link with other members of the Guild across the United Kingdom to share and gain ideas about my work and what I plan to do next. Sometimes just seeing other peoples work will inspire you – it does me! Now that the Guild has embraced social media this is such an easy way to see and share ideas.
- The Guild is broken down into regions within the UK and each region has it’s own events making it a great vehicle for face to face meeting with new friends and learning opportunities during the year.
- “The Quilter” is the quarterly magazine of the Quilters Guild which you will receive as a member and it is absolutely jam-packed with interesting articles and information about Quilting in the UK and around the world. I can honestly say that it is the only magazine I am guaranteed to read from cover to cover.
- Also, as a Guild member, you are able to join specialist groups – there are 5 groups, for Modern Quilting, Traditional Quilting, Minature Quilts, British Study Group, and Contemporary Quilting. What I have learned about these groups is that they are full of people just like me and you – not super duper experts. They are also very welcoming to new members and will provide you with lots of ideas and inspiration for your own work. They have their own meetings and ‘challenges’ which once again will augment your overall experience and learning.
- As a Guild Member, you are able to show your work at their exhibitions within your region, nationally and internationally. It may be that you think that this isn’t for you. However, I can’t describe the pride you will have in showing your own work or that of a small group of you. It is fun and a good challenge. Don’t discount that you may want to do this.
- As a Guild member, you will also get advance booking opportunity for the Festival of Quilts and all the workshops and classes there. This is invaluable. As the interest in patchwork and quilting booms, many of the classes at the Festival of Quilts sell out within the first days so being able to book ahead of everyone else gives you the choice of all the amazing classes on offer.
- Also, as a Guild Member, you will get discounted prices for Guild events, the Festival of Quilts and many shops around the UK
- I also enjoy knowing that my membership fees are going towards preserving quilting heritage, providing support for bursaries and awards as well as supporting the work of the Young and Teen Quilters in the UK.
All this is £46 a year … That is less than the average price for 4m of fabric a year or 1 1/2 Cappuccinos at Costa each month. It is also comparable with many of the commercial magazine subscriptions (and I definitely believe you will get FAR more from the Guild). I have built my knowledge of Patchwork and Quilting over the past 5 years and have used much of the talent and the resources within the Guild to do so.
So if you are interested in joining this fabulous organisation – the link is below – for you to send to Santa!
Subscription form -> https://www.quiltersguild.org.uk/members/subscribe
For those of you in the GillyMac Club, we are now only a few hours away from our Sew-a-Long. To help you I am posting the documents you will need here. They are also in the files section of the GillyMac Club …
See you at 8pm GMT 🙂
[embeddoc url=”https://www.gillymacdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GillyMac-Free-Motion-Applique-SewALong-Notes.docx” download=”all” viewer=”microsoft”]
[embeddoc url=”https://www.gillymacdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/FMA-Sew-A-Long-19_11_18.pdf” download=”all”]
[embeddoc url=”https://www.gillymacdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GillyMac-Simple-Zipped-Pouch-Sheet.docx” download=”all” viewer=”microsoft”]
I am lucky to be in the position to see the advent panels from many of the fabric suppliers in the Summer months, which means I can order them ahead of time. Two weeks ago a bold of gorgeous advent panels arrived from Dashwood Fabrics. I have some new Junior Sewing Bees this year who will love making these up, but it is always good to have one ready-made for them to follow.
Most advent panels will be exactly like this – so if the one you have bought is a little different, the process is likely to be the same.
Panels generally come with instructions written on them. Following these instructions will get you to the stage of the panel sewn-up with no wadding or backing. Normally the panel is split into two parts, one that has the background of the panel and the other which has the pockets ready to be cut out on it. For the pockets, depending on the design of your panel you will cut out a strip of pockets or a single pocket. For my 2018 Dashwood panel, I had 5 strips of pockets to cut out. Read the instructions carefully so that you cut around the right lines.
Once your pockets are cut out, the normal next step is to iron down a hem on the top and bottom of the pocket or pocket strip and then go on and sew them he down on the top of the pockets or pocket strips. Next, the fold in the pocket needs to be ironed in place. For a single pocket, all that may be needed is a hem ironed down on each side of the pocket (meaning all sides are now folded over with the top one also sewn down). If you have a strip of pockets as I did, you will need to create box pleats between each of the pockets (as seen below) and then the ends are simply turned under.
Whichever way you need to iron the pockets, the next stage is to pin them on the other background piece and sew around them (side-bottom-side). If you are using pocket strips, you will also need now to sew a line to create divisions between the pockets on your strips. This is quick and easy to do and there is a printed line to follow.
With the panel now complete with the pockets on the background, you can now trim around the background as directed in the instructions. It is important to keep the panel as large as possible when you trim it as it will become smaller again when it is completed.
To give the calendar more body I used fusible wadding to iron onto the back. I only ever use fusible wadding for small projects, like bags, purses and calendar. It is pretty useless for larger projects. Once the wadding is ironed onto the back of the calendar use this combined piece as a template to cut out fabric for the back of the calendar. I used a Dashwood Flurry in Cream as it is in the same colour range as the panel itself.
At this point, I also added in some ribbon to create loops to hang the calendar from. I used four 8″ strips of 3/4″ ribbon. I fold them in half and placed them equidistant along the top of the calendar with the loop/fold pointing inwards and down onto the calendar (opposite to the way you may think they need to go). The backing fabric is then placed on top, with right sides together, and then sewn around with a small gap left for turning. The calendar is then turned the right way out, pressed and then topstitch all the way around, tucking-in and closing-up the turning gap.
Voila! We are ready to pop in some chocolate coins for each day of Advent.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a Doodle Fiesta going on in a little part of the internet. This internet-based event was built upon the GillyMac Doodle Challenge that ran for 6 weeks over the Summer. In the Summer over 150 doodle novices put pencil to paper and over 6 weeks learnt 30 different doodles and many went on to follow my lead and sew them up into pictures. The success of the doodle challenge meant that nobody wanted to leave it until next August for another challenge, and so the October (two weeks) Doodle Fiesta idea was born.
The reason we are doodling is to improve our understanding of doodle shapes so that the doodling movement becomes effortless. This takes time and practise, but once you have a few doodles learnt well, applying them using the sewing machine and darning foot is far far easier. The end goal is to increase your repertoire of free motion patterns which you feel secure in applying to your quilts.
For the Doodle Fiesta Event, instead of learning new doodles, I wanted to share how the same doodles (learnt in the Summer) could be grouped to provide a totally different look. For each of six days last week, a new doodle group was published and the doodlers got busy practising them. For this week, they are sewing up those doodle groups with great success.
The key points which have been learnt over the Doodle Fiesta.
- Doodles can be combined into groups and layers to provide more interest than a single doodle.
- Grouping doodles of different intensities works best eg. avoid using all doodles with lines close together or far apart, instead using a mix works well
- Groups and layers are made up of the doodles you know. Whilst they look complicated they can be broken down into known parts.
- Creating shapes to doodle within and around adds a simple new element to showcase your doodles from.
- Doodling is free and provides the BEST training for free motion sewing – keep doodling
Our next doodle meet-up will be motifs for Christmas… nothing complicated … single line doodle shapes that can be learnt and used on paper or on fabric ~ this will start on 10th December and run for 5 days. Everybody is welcome to join – watch out on this blog, subscribe to the GillyMac YouTube Channel or ideally join our facebook group – ‘GillyMac Doodle Challenge 2018‘.