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Textiles

Joining strips of fabric

Weaving is one of the few crafts where I have found it necessary — or desirable is maybe a better word — to join strips of fabric together for continuity. Providing the strips are of a similar texture and width — not too narrow and not too bulky or flimsy — this method for joining strips together is very efficient. In the Blue & Moon project, the fabric used for weaving is recycled silk — about 1,50 cm wide and quite resilient. The joined ends should finish up, out of view, at the back of the work

Cross-stitch patterns & charts

Downloadable patterns & charts for all levels of ability

Cross-stitch patterns created from my own designs & photographs — each pattern is supplied with a detailed colour chart for thread picking and suggestions for canvas type. The default chart uses DMC thread colourways as standard, but you can of course substitute with the brand of your choice. For the accomplished knitter, it is possible to use these charts as knitting patterns.
When you purchase one of these patterns through my Etsy store, as soon as payment goes through, you will receive a mail with the pattern download link attached.

Purple iris — for accomplished stitchers

Downloadable PDF cross-stitch pattern & colour chart

Description:
An advanced cross-stitch pattern for capable stitchers, this downloadable PDF file includes a chart with colour key to produce the single iris flower which is a rendition of the accompanying colour photograph in the listing.

The chart includes a DMC thread colour chart, but of course you can use any brand of embroidery floss, perhaps already available in your own stash at home. You might prefer to use a cream coloured canvas in order to avoid stitching all the background in yellow, but that is of course down to personal choice.

Once you have completed your work, you can use it in various ways — perhaps as a wall hanging, or a cushion cover.

Have fun!

Mamma Cool

As something a bit different, I have created this sweet little Afro-theme ornament. I just love her beaded dreadlocks and bright multi-strand bead necklace.

I have prepared about a dozen kits for anyone who might be interested in a simple sewing and crafting project. All the textiles used are original African printed cotton fabrics which have been recycled for these kits. Personally I associate black people with a vibrant and colourful cultural background, so I hope I have managed to capture this in this little doll.

Click to find listing on Etsy

Coffee pot sewing kit

At long last I have managed to add a couple more of these sewing kits to my Etsy store. This particular kit has been surprisingly popular — partly because of its simplicity that even a beginner can handle quite confidently, but also because of the mix of different elements and methods required to complete it.

Anyway, for those of you looking for a fun project — maybe even as a gift for someone — here’s the link to the Etsy listing…

Follow this link to my Etsy store to purchase this kit

Felt Dala horse

felt dala horse
Many of us have become aware over the past couple of months, either through personal observation or via the media coverage, that the period of lockdown seems to have had a positive effect on our environment. Animals have been leaving their natural habitats to venture into city centres, no longer clogged up with traffic and pollution — and have provided a spectacle that very few of us have ever seen before, and are unlikely to ever see again. We have seen levels of pollution drop (though I fear only temporarily) and for those attuned to these changes, the air will have seemed sweeter and the skies much clearer.

Whether it has something to do with the current coronavirus problem and the changes mentioned above, that I can’t say, but certainly I have been feeling a need to simplify my life and remove some of the ‘sophistication’. I’ve been looking for greater contact with the ‘basics’, doing away with empty ambitions which only take me further from my roots and the people and things I love most.

Sadly, I can’t just retire to the woods and ignore all my connections with modern society — but I can concentrate more time on those creative activities which soothe my soul. Strangely enough, technology features quite importantly in these activities, because it has given me a way to connect with family and friends and to admire and be inspired by the creativity of people around the world.

So using this new world as a starting point, I will be applying myself to newly found handcrafts — and honing my skills in old favourites. Here’s hoping that there will be occasions to share them with new and old friends both virtually, and in person.

Dala horse sewing kitAvailable on Etsy

DIY emergency mask template [English & Italian]

For the moment I don’t have a photo to post, but will get one organised soon.
Just thought it might be useful to have immediate access to this mask pattern and tutorial so that you can supply your friends and family with community masks as requested by numerous local authorities at the present time.

They are NOT medical masks, but are in keeping with local community activities such as shopping and recreation where it is important to keep our OWN droplet emissions from spreading when we cough or sneeze.

Feel free to download for your own needs. In the pdf file you will find a template and instructions to make the mask — including tips for down sizing for children.

Mask kit available for those who would like to make their own but have little or no access to the necessary materials for doing so. Click here for details

Versione italiana

Make protective masks

Making masks — whilst it is not possible to make and contribute homemade masks to medical staff, it is possible to make them for your local community where masks are hard to find. In some places (areas of northern Italy for example), people are obliged to wear them outdoors, so in the face of the shortage, homemade becomes a useful source.If you want to have a go, take a look at the two mask patterns Spoonflower is offering for free, both accompanied by a clear video tutorial on how to make them. Scroll down the Spoonflower web page to find the tutorials towards the bottom, along with the mask download links.

I must reiterate that these masks are NOT medical masks and are intended for community use only.

Click for free mask tutorials

Fat quarter drawstring bag

Fat quarter drawstring bag


Looking for things to do during isolation? Here’s a quick and easy idea for a fat quarter — or any textiles measuring at least 50cm x 50cm you have available to use — to make a drawstring bag to use for all manner of things. Here are just a few suggestions — a shoe bag, a grocery bag, a craft bag, maybe to hold your latest sewing or knitting project. The box corners are optional. Download the instructions here.

Kumihimo braiding

One of my most interesting discoveries in recent months has been kumihimo braiding, a Japanese craft which has been around for centuries. The beautiful braids have been used for all sorts of situations that go from swords to cushion trimmings to traditional clothing. At its best, and probably most refined level, the braiding is combined with beading decoration, and certainly in this part of the world, is frequently used to enhance jewellery. In my research I have also come across some amazing articles of clothing which have been ‘constructed’ using yard after yard of flat kumihimo braiding in an incredible array of colour combinations.

In my own experimentation with the craft, I have been creating mono and multi-colour braids using techniques for 7, 8 and 10 warps for both rounded and flat braids. I have combined the braids with pendants of varying types, and with large round wooden beads which I have painted by hand, and also with semi-rounded wooden beads which I have covered in fabric. Some of the pendants are previously loved pieces of Indian jewellery which I presented in here some time ago.

The results of my endeavours are available on Etsy if you are interested in purchasing any of these ‘one-of-a-kind’ articles.

Fibre Art Wall Hanging

A fun, single-day event. See your wall hanging develop as you add ribbons, beads and scraps of textiles to your woven base. You will learn how to prepare a simple wooden frame adding the warp threads which will then be the base for your weft — the threads which are used to weave the background support for your piece of fibre art. According to your personal preference you will be able to attach various decorative details such as coloured ribbons and unusual yarns made available to you during the creative session.

For full details visit https://www.creativeretreatsinitaly.com/prospectus-fibre-art-wall-hanging/

Creare una decorazione per casa tua — un arazzo fatto con la tecnica di tessitura semplice, con l’aggiunto di perline, lana, tessuto e quant’altro. Tutti i dettagli e costi sono disponibili sul sito, Creative Retreats in Italy.

Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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You can find me and my various creative activities through this set of links.