Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Be Inspired with Artisan by Kaffe Fassett

The first time I saw Kaffe Fassett’s Artisan collection, I fell in love with the gorgeous sunny oranges and deep moody blues of the hand-dyed batiks. Kaffe’s woven stripes have been a long-time staple of mine, so I was thrilled to see more woven and ikat designs, this Ocean Stripe being my particular favourite.

His collection of printed cottons are quite possibly even more quirky and colourful than his classic fabrics. Together they form a stunning and dramatic ensemble of colour and prints that is truly Kaffe’s forte.

According to Kaffe, Artisan is a collection he has been yearning to bring to life for quite some time. Inspired by a lifetime of travel and experience in the arts of knitting, needlecrafts, patchwork and textiles, Artisan speaks to a time of simplicity, boldness and high colours which likens to when he first arrived in London in the 60s.

Here is a video of Kaffe introducing the collection himself;

After the release of the collection, Free Spirit ran a blog tour and some of the results are absolutely stunning.

Kaffe Fassett & Free Spirit have just released a 72 page e-book called Sew! Artisan, where Kaffe effortlessly weaves his fabrics into everything from simple patchy quilts and cushions to casual table fashions and even a child’s tent. These images are taken from Free Spirits look-book for the e-book!

The 14 projects are complemented by the full-colour, stunning photography that we have come to expect from Kaffe’s fabulous books and encourage the quilter and sewist to appreciate and embrace the different characteristics of combining these stunning fabrics.

For instance the “kantha” stitched whole cloth quilt is backed by a silky, smooth blush Ikat, allowing the heavier-weight quilting threads to easily pull through all layers while adding a luxurious feel and drape to the quilt.

“My Artisan fabrics were something I had dreamt of creating, inspired by my travels to ethnic markets where I witnessed how people used the fibers and textiles of their regions to create beautifully hand-crafted works.” said Kaffe. “In Sew Artisan! I bring together these different types of ‘ethnic’ fabrics, and show you how they can be sewn together to make quilts, garments, and accessories.”

You can download the e-book from the Free Spirit website here

And view our collection of Artisan fabrics and packs here or browse our e-book here

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

What you can create with Renaissance Ribbons

The detail and bold colours that can be achieved using ribbons make them the perfect material for some seriously stunning little projects that can easily be made in a weekend. Here's a round-up of our favourite projects using renaissance ribbons.

If you were following our #WhatWe’reMaking posts then you will have seen Margaret's gorgeous ribbon & felt necklace, inspired by Janet Haigh’s book - Little Ribbon & Patchwork Applique.

Margaret rolls felt tightly around a fine wooden skewer, then hand stitches ribbons with textured threads on top to create her gorgeous chunky beads. She also used large plastic beads to go in between her felt ones and embellishes to create this fabulous necklace.

Other projects from Janet’s delightful book include ribbon yo-yo’s which can be used to decorate anything you can get your paws on, and ‘crazy ribbon patchwork’ like this one below.


Be sure to visit Janet’s blog for loads more inspiration. She has done how-to’s on the ribbon beads here and the yo-yo’s here.

Amy Butler is an inspiring ribbon artist, having made many beautiful bags and purses. In her ‘Ribbon Creative Suite’ Amy has patterns for seven different projects including headbands, cushions and bracelets, which all look amazing with the high quality jacquard ribbons.

But these lovely ribbons are not limited to small projects only. This stunning quilt is made by Elaine Schmidt and shows how well ribbons can be incorporated into large fabric projects.

Elaine is another pioneer of crafting with ribbons, and her blog is bursting with fantastic ideas such as this ribbon petal cockade (tutorial here) and this crazy mini quilt
If you are keen to give crafting with ribbons a go, check out her hints & tips for sewing with ribbons

You can also find some more free projects with ribbons on sew4home, such as this fold over wallet and these gorgeous dog collar & leash sets.                                   
Are you feeling inspired by all these stunning creations? If so, head over to our ribbons collection now for a browse.

We also have loads more ideas on how to get creative with ribbons on our dedicated Pinterest board.

We would love to see what you create with these beautiful ribbons so be sure to tell us and send in a picture!

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Make Your Own Waste Paper Basket With Fabric In An Afternoon!

As crafters and creators we love to DIY every household item physically possible. From making our own curtains to modge-podging stools and having a mug rug to occupy every surface, it really does make a house feel like a home. Plus it means we get spend more time staring at beautiful fabrics!

Now you can even beautify your own fabric waste paper basket/fabric scraps bin with this easy to use kit by Needcraft, in about an hour!

Our resident tech dude David recently made a ‘My Little Pony’ basket for his little girl (which I secretly adore) and we want to show you just how easy it really is!

Simply follow this step-by-step guide;

Step 1. Gather your chosen fabric, a sharp craft knife, cutting mat and all your kit supplies.

Step 2.  Cut down your covering to a workable size, which needs to be larger than the panel supplied, and press out any creases.

Step 3. Lay your fabric face down on a work surface and place the panel in position on top.

Step 4.  Remove the release paper and slowly stick the panel down onto your fabric, smoothing it out as you go along.

Step 5. Trim off the surplus material by running a sharp knife along the edges of the panel.

Step 6. Snap back the creased edges and remove them carefully, leaving the fabric edge exposed

Your panel is finished, now it’s time for assembly!

Step 7. Stick the self adhesive tape to the outside of the rings evenly. Fold into the ring and pinch firmly, then remove the outer release paper.

Step 8. Remove the release paper from the self adhesive tape on the top and bottom of the panel

Step 9.  Place the tape covered rings on the edges of the panel and roll towards the seam tape. Keep in line with the PVC edge.

Step 10.  Keeping the rings at the edge, press the panels firmly together at the overlap.

Step 11. Fold over the surplus covering all the way round so that it covers the ring

Step 12. Using the serrated edge of the tool provided push the surplus covering behind the ring and use the smooth side of the tool to finish by placing it behind the ring and dragging it all the way round.

Step 13.  Place the base inside the bin and press down to sit on the bottom ring (if you want to you can remove the protective film first).

Ta-dah! Your bin is complete! Now it won’t be quite so hard to throw away a few of those fabric scraps as you know they are going to a beautiful place…

I'm going to make mine in either disco kitty, bamboo stripes or oranges (because who doesn't love oranges?!) to brighten up my work desk. Which one do you think?

Be sure to send us a picture of your fabulous fabric bin!

If you’re still not sure what’s going on, you can watch a video by Needcraft here

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