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Fabric, Table Runners & Mice? – May. 2020

Friday 1st May 2020

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re all doing okay, and I hope you’re all keeping yourselves busy with some sewing projects. I have, and I’ll be telling you all about them. But before I do, I’m going to start off with some fabulous fabric news!

We’ve recently released Lewis & Irene’s ‘Thalassophile’ fabric range. This nautical-themed collection will help you to bring home the sea, coast and the ocean. Now, I know that some of you will be thinking ‘I love these fabrics, but I don’t know what I’d make with them’ – believe me, I’ve had moments like that myself on many occasions. Not to worry, in the next week or so, I’m going to be making something with these fabrics (as soon as my sewing supplies arrive), but until then, I’ll give you some inspiration on what you could make with these fabrics:

Bunting, Beach Bags, Cosmetic/Make-Up Bags, Soft Toys, Cushion Covers, Wall-Hangings, Seaside Quilts, etc.

Now yesterday I mentioned in a post on social media that I would be telling you all about how I got on creating the ‘Under the Oak Tree’ Table Runner designed by Sally Ablett from Lewis & Irene. So, here goes.

I love all the fabric brands we stock, but Lewis & Irene is one of my absolute favourites. The fabrics are just so lovely. So, when we released our ‘Under the Oak Tree’ range last October, I knew that I wanted to do a project with them. I just can’t believe it’s taken me so long to actually start doing it.

This particular project involves using some tricky and skilled sewing techniques e.g. precision piecing and patchwork, quilting and binding – so if you’re a complete beginner, I definitely recommend you having a practice at those skills first before giving this one a go – I did and it paid off.

I’m not going to go into full detail with this, or else we’d be here all day – so I’ll keep it simple 😊

I started by cutting out all the squares and triangles listed in the pattern’s instructions, and then assembled my four main patchwork blocks. Personally, this was one of my favourite parts about this project as I love anything to do with patchwork e.g. stitching together squares, triangles, hexagons, etc. Once that was done, I attached all 4 of my blocks together.

The border strips were then cut and joined together to get the length needed and were then attached to my blocks.

Now the next bit is important, so please read carefully. The fabrics included in this kit were to make the Quilt Top and Binding Strips ONLY – you will need to get the Wadding and Backing Fabric separately. You can use any wadding you like, e.g. fusible or not. I personally used double-sided fusible fleece for this project. For the Backing Fabric, I used the ‘Under the Oak Tree – Dark Brown’ fabric so it tied in with the other autumnal fabrics, but you can use any colour of backing you like. You will need approx. 1.75m. Finally, for your binding strips you should have enough of the Bumbleberries Caramel in the kit to create both the border and binding strips for your table runner. But if your binding strips are going to be wider than 3.5” inches, you may need to get another Fat Quarter.

So, I ironed on my fusible fleece to the front and back pieces to create my Quilt Sandwich. The next thing to do then is to quilt over your table runner. As I used double-sided fusible fleece, I didn’t necessarily need to quilt over my table runner as both my quilt top and backing fabric were completely fused together with the fleece in between – plus I would be attaching and hand-sewing my binding later on, so that counts as quilting (I think).

Anyway, with the Bumbleberries Caramel fabric, I cut up the remaining fabric into strips and joined them together to create my binding and then, using Philippa Naylor’s binding technique (definitely recommend).
I stitched all around the edge – adding four mitred corners along the way for good measure – and then joined up the strips in the middle sections.

The last step was to fold my binding over and hand-stitch it to the back of the table runner. Now it took me the whole day to get this bit done (believe me I had a sore lower back and index finger afterwards but don’t worry I’m fine now), but it was worth putting in the time, effort, and apparently my back and finger into it, because I am absolutely over the moon with how it turned out.

For months now this table runner has been nothing but a picture on a piece of paper, but to see it in the flesh is a joy. I have to commend Sally Ablett and Lewis & Irene for creating this table runner design; the pattern and instructions are so easy to follow, the fabrics are beautiful, and the table runner itself is stunning.

You can find all our Lewis & Irene fabrics, including ‘Thalassophile’ & ‘Under the Oak Tree’ here on our website.

I’d like to end this blog by mentioning a couple of things. Firstly, you may remember in last month’s blog that I made it my goal to get the Corrine Lapierre ‘Mouse Family’ felt craft kit finished (as it’s been over 8 months since I first started making it). Well, I am delighted to tell you that the mouse family is now finished! And here’s their Family Portrait – Say Cheese!

Secondly, at the end of this month it’s World Otter Day (you may not already know, but I absolutely LOVE otters). I’m going to be working on something for then – fingers crossed I can get it done in time x

Well that’s all for May’s blog, thank you all so much for reading – we’ve got lots more to look forward to next month, just you wait and see 😊

Thanks for all your support and please keep safe and well xx

Best Wishes,
Rebecca x

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