We have been so excited to hold classes again. We were hoping that they would be held in the new workshop space, but it has been delayed. Not to worry, everyone had a wonderful creative time. Here are some of the makes.
Louise Nichols ran a lovely Festive Lino cut tree workshop. Despite everyone having access to the same ‘ingredients’ they have all turned out differently. It was a really relaxed day and we welcome Louise back in February. If you can’t wait then we have plenty of her kits in store.
Caroline Michelle ran a fun Free Motion applique wreath making workshop. Look at the stunning makes, again, all a little different. Caroline will be back in 2024 to teach more free motion applique classes.
Since I first heard the term Feed Sack fabric, I was intrigued. As I child I helped out on a farm and feed sacks to me meant rough and ready hessian sacks that I could never imagine using to make an item of clothing or a quilt. Then I discovered the gorgeous cotton prints of 1930s American feed sacks and things fell into place.
I read up on the history and found that out of necessity every scrap of fabric that could be repurposed was used. From the 1840s grains, animal feed, sugar, flour, beans and seeds etc were all packaged in cotton bags. Once emptied the bags were washed and used to make all manner of clothes and household items like aprons and quilts. In the 1920s, the cotton bags were made from softer fabric and manufacturers started to print water soluble labels and sewing patterns on their sacks to encourage the practice and make life easier for the home sewer.
During the Great Depression of 1929-1939, the repurposing of feed sacks became even more prolific. Many people were living hand to mouth and the only way of clothing themselves or keeping warm was to make clothes and quilts from the free fabric that came in the shape of the bag. A 100lb feed sack could be opened to create a yard of 44″ fabric–enough for a child’s dress, and about 3 pieces made an adult size garment.
In the 30s competition became more fierce as manufacturers vied to produce the most attractive prints to entice women to choose their product. The 40s were the heyday of feed sack sewing due to the shortages of WW2. There were competitions to encourage the use of every tiny scrap of fabric and so we see lots of scrappy quilts made at this time and the popularity of the postage stamp quilt made from inch squares of fabrics.
When we think of feed sacks we cannot imagine how colourful some of them were but looking at photos we can see that the vibrant feedsack inspired fabrics of today are true to the originals.
There is plenty of information available online on this fascinating subject, some of which can be found HERE and HERE
We were thrilled to spend two wonderful days with Gail Pan. She spent a lot of time teaching and demonstrating techniques for hand stitching, applique and offered handy hints for finishing her bags, pouches and quilts. It was wonderful to see so many women gathered together sewing and chatting and laughing and eating! We look forward to welcoming Gail back with us in the future.
We have a large stock of new and old patterns from Gail and they are available HERE.
If you are able to visit we recommend popping in to see Gail’s own samples but here are a few to tempt you if you are unable to come to the shop.
Mandy Shaw has created a beautiful Redwork Christmas range for this year which includes two panels. The first is a stocking lap quilt that comes pre-printed where you can quilt on the lines or even highlight the redwork designs with red perle.
The second panel is her bunting panel, suitable for many Christmas Projects. Mandy Shaw suggests using each image to applique onto a background fabric to make bunting. Then using the stockings as stocking shaped bunting garland. Of course the images can be cut and appliqued onto backgrounds to make cushions, bags, a quilt or even a Christmas Garland, there’s just so many ideas!
We have put some fabric packs together which include fabric, panels, bunting tape & ric rac for you to make both the stocking & ornament garlands.
Here are some instructions to help you: Stocking Bunting: Cut out all the stockings from the bunting panel 1/4″ outside of their outer line. You will need approximately 30cm x 110cm of a backing fabric & wadding. With the wadding on the bottom, lay the backing fabric wrong side against the wadding (we used an assortment of Redwork Christmas fabrics), then lay the cut out stockings right side down on top of the backing fabric. Pin in place and sew the sides but not the top of each stocking (you will be able to see the outside line to stitch on from the wrong side of the fabric). Cut out each stocking leaving a 1/4″ seam, then turn right side out and press. Work out the centre of your bunting tape, then insert a stocking so that the raw edge is enclosed when you fold the bunting tape in half lengthwise. Pin in place, then work out what distance you want to place each stocking, pining in place as you go. Stitch them into place with a red thread, along the length of the bunting tape close to the edge making sure you catch the back of the folded bunting tape as you go. Lay the ric rac over the top of the bunting tape and stitch in place using a cotton to match the ric rac. Create a loop on each end for hanging.
Ornament Garland: Cut out eighteen 9″ wide x 10″ long red fabrics from the Redwork Christmas range. Cut out nine pieces of fusible wadding 9″ x 10″. Iron a piece of red fabric to the front and back of each piece of wadding, then set aside.
Iron bondaweb onto the wrong side of each ornament design from the panel, then cut them out allowing 1/4″ away from the design. Peel the paper off the back & position each ornament in the centre of the 9″ wide x 10″ long red fabric/wadding piece (on one side only). Iron in place. Decorate as desired using a machine or hand, cotton thread or embroidery thread & embellish as desired. On the two 10″ sides of the flag, measure down 7″ from the top & mark this position. Along the bottom of the flag, find the centre. Now cut from the 7″ mark on one side, to the bottom centre point. Now cut from the from the 7″ mark on the other side, to the bottom centre point so that you create an pointy garland flag. From the stripy red & white fabric, cut 11 strips of fabric 2 1/2″ wide creating long strips. Take one strip and iron it in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Now you are going to bind the sides of the flag like you would a quilt. Take a flag & starting on the top of the right hand side, position the stripy tape you’ve made so the raw edges of tape line up with the raw edge of the right hand side of the flag. Stitch using 1/4″ seam away from the raw edge, but stop at the corner. Make a little fold in the tape then start sewing down the next straight bit, but stop again at the point. Fold the tape back at 45 degrees away in the opposite direction you need to go in, then creating a fold that sits on the edge of the flag as you fold the tape forward again, laying it on the next straight bit & start stitching until you get to the next corner. Make a little fold in the tape again, then carry on stitching until you get to the top of the left hand side (do not stitch it on the top). Repeat this for all 9 flags. Fold the folded edge of the binding around to the back of each flag & hand stitch down in place. Take the left over strips of stripy fabric & stitch them together end to end so you have a length of approx 4m. Iron in half with wrong sides together. Starting at the centre point of the long folded strip, position the centre of the strip on the centre point of the top of one flag, with raw edges of the strip matching the raw edges of the top of the flag, pin in place. Work out how far you want to space the flags apart & repeat the process pinning each one in place. Stitch in place using a 1/4″ seam from the raw edge. Fold the folded edge of the binding strip over to the back of the flags & hand stitch down. Finish off each end with a loop & maybe a button.
We are very excited to have internationally renowned designer & teacher Gail Pan from Australia, coming to teach here at Coast & Country Crafts & Quilts in Cornwall for two days just after her visit to the Festival of Quilts in August. Both workshops will be hand stitching with a selection of Gail’s signature designs available to use.
Stitching Day with Gail Pan in The Olive Grove Bistro, which is on site where our shop is situated. Tuesday 8th August ~ Cost £85 per person – FULLY BOOKED
This in our big event of the year! We will have exclusive use of the Olive Grove Bistro for the day. The day begins at 10am with coffee & biscuits on arrival & a chance to open your goodie bag. This workshop will offer a gorgeous assortment of bag projects to choose from with Gail assisting you & she’ll discuss different finishing techniques she uses during the day. Your day includes a delicious lunch, as well as afternoon tea & cake provided by the Olive Grove Bistro, so if you have any dietary requirements please let us know (a pre-order menu will be available once you’ve booked). Enjoy a “Show & Tell” by Gail whilst you’re stitching after lunch. Numbers are limited. If you’re coming as a group or with a friend and would like to be seated together, please let us know.
Sewing/Stitching Theme Day for just 12 people held in our workshop Wednesday 9th August ~ Cost £55 per person – FULLY BOOKED Enjoy an exclusive day with Gail, on offer will be a selection of Gail’s sewing/stitching related patterns to choose from. Food is not included, but you can order lunch from the Olive Grove on the day or bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee will be provided
To book call us on 01872-870478 or buy online HERE
Debbie purchased rather a lot of farmhouse flannel, dark grey from us to compliment the layer cake she had found. She lives in Wales and we were the only place she could source it. Her daughter had asked for a quilted jacket and this material is warm, drapes beautifully and was lovely to work with. What a lucky daughter!!!
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