Monday, October 16, 2017

Fabric and craft supply storage

A problem most of us who sew face is how to store our ever growing supply of fabrics, trims, buttons and so on! It's such a dilemma!


It's easy when you first buy a fat quarter or meter of fabric and haven't cut into it yet, but what happens when you start using it and have uneven bits hanging off it everywhere???? This for me is when the mess begins!

So first of all where do you store your fabrics? On shelves, in drawers, in plastic bins??? With what logic do you categorize them? There are so many possiblities! I'll tell you what works for me but I would love to hear other ideas as I'm always trying to improve my organisational system!

Here are my categories:

1. Large, small pieces of fabric  and scrap pieces - Large pieces go on shelves, fat quater pieces go in drawers and scrap pieces go in Ikea plastic containers




2. Colours - all of the above are divided into colours

3. I have a separate draw for geometrics - stripes, checks, dots etc - this one is always a mess!

4. Antique hemp, old tea towels, old sheets etc - go on their own shelf


5. Antique florals - on their own shelf


6. Mid to heavy weight stripes - all together


7. Plains - all together 

8. Vintage embroidered tablecloths, tray cloths etc - folded in plastic containers + they are divided into coloured and plain 


Then there's the tiresome task of  keeping them tidy. When they are a mess I can't find anything does anybody else have that problem???

I found a fabulous method on Pinterest that has revolutionized my shelves! I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago. You can read about it here.

This just the fabrics, of course we don't only have fabrics do we??? We have trims, felt, buttons, zippers, batting, threads and the list goes on. Some I have successfully stored and others not so well! Maybe someone can suggest some better methods!

For my trims (old and new) and smaller doilies I have these fabulous Ikea drawers. They have dividers! I wrap them on trim cards and store them in rows. This works quite well but does need to be tidied fairly often!!!


For my antique trims I made some fabric baskets that fit nicely into the drawers.  


These classic wooden Ikea drawers are great for zippers, sewing machine threads and so on. I decorated mine with some lovely gift wrapping paper I found on a visit to Melbourne. When I was home in Sydney I saw my sister had done hers this way and loved it.


I love antique and vintage tins and have been collecting them over the last year. I love these for my buttons! And they look so pretty to have around!



My felt is a bit of a mess to be honest! I divide the felt into colours and slip them into large bags and have them in a largish plastic container. It's rarely in order so is a continual thorn in my side! Any suggestions?????

There are many ideas on Pinterest for storing fabric in a tidy fashion. I guess the method you choose depends on how much space you have. My sewing room is small so I have shelves along one wall, I like to see my larger pieces of fabrics there.

Earlier this year I bought Margaret Sampson George's book and was interested to read she stores her fabrics in plastic containers based on large and small prints. I considered trying this method but feel dividing by colour is better for me.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I would love to hear what works for you! If so please leave a comment below.
 
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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Watercolors

I'm going off track a little today and am going to share some other fun creative things I like to do!

I've always admired watercolor painting. I think I love the soft colors and washed out look that can be achieved with watercolors. In a previous post (here) I mentioned I visited my friend Carla and she showed me some little tricks for watercolor painting. 



I really enjoyed my mini lesson with her but as I'm no great 'Picasso' I felt I needed some more instruction! There are plenty of places to go to for this online. One of my faves is Creativebug . You can do a free 2 week trial and then if you like it you can sign up for just $US4.95 a month. They have endless courses for every type of creative activity.



First I watched a half hour live session they did (here) which offered great ideas for creating watercolor tags. I think pages of these exercises will help with controlling the brush and seeing what effects you can achieve. It's important to note I am a complete novice so will be keeping it simple! I don't expect to be painting large lovely artworks to hang on the wall!!!! 



Another great place is You Tube where I found many demonstrations (I'm yet to try them). They all make it look so easy boohoo!!!

Here are a few I really like:

Jay lee Watercolor painting

Wonder Forest by Dana Fox

makoccino 

Jenny Journals

Then you can look down the side bar and see many more suggestions.


To help inspire me I also created a Pinterest board called 'Painted flowers style' as we all know there is a wealth of inspiration to be found there!!!!


And doodling inspiration too which could be used for sweet tags as well!



Of course I couldn't limit myself to just painting I had to make myself a little practise book! I did a free workshop for this with Roben Marie Smith (here). I can't seem to find the link to that mini course but if you sign up to her mailing list every so often she will invite you to join so course or tutorial.



I didn't decorate the front of mine as I love the cover and binding as is. I used the Midori traveller's notebook style of binding with elastic band so I can remove the pages or add more if I want to.

I sewed watercolor postcard paper (as taught by Roben Marie) and also added an envelope so I can store pre-cut tags and pieces of paper in there ready to be painted!!!

 

There's a lot of fun to be had! I hoping to find some more time to play around and improve! I'm looking for to making lots of tags!!!!


Oh last but not least I thought it might be a great exercise to practise mixing colours. I found a great tutorial for this, again on Pinterest (here). I could literally sit and do this all day!


I hope you found this post enjoyeable! If anyone has any other great suggestions for tutorials etc please let me know!

I'm am working on a rather big project and will be sharing some of that soon. When I launch it I will be offering a special discount to those on my list!


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Friday, September 29, 2017

Folding fabric tutorial

I don't know about you but one of my biggest challenges has been how to fold my fabric so it always looks tidy!

No joke this is typically how my shelves used to look most of the time!



I've always wondered how those people with super tidy fabric shelves and drawers do it!

It's easy to fold your fabric when you first buy a fat quarter or meter of fabric and haven't cut into it yet, but what happens when you start using it and have uneven bit hanging off it everywhere???? This for me is when the mess begins!

With no system in place it's a tiresome task keeping fabrics tidy and even when they were tidy the piles were always uneven with bits hanging out. Plus when they are mess I can't find anything! Does anybody else have that problem???

Well I found a fabulous method on Pinterest (here) that has revolutionized my shelves! You must try it, I promise you won't look back! 

I mean seriously look at those shelves now!!!!

 Now with this new method even when they are messy they are not like before. In this photo you can see a neat pile on the left and messy pile on the right! Not too shabby!!!!!



I thought I would share the tutorial putting it into practice so you can see the results for yourselves!

First of all you need to prepare a cardboard template. I wanted 3 piles on my shelf so I made my template slightly smaller than the space designated. Mark your width and height. I have different templates for drawers, shelves with 3 piles and shelves with 2 piles for bulkier fabrics.




Always start folding the width



Make one fold



Then remove the card, place on top and fold again



Continue this process until you reach the end



Now start folding in the height direction. When you reach the end you can slide the card out.



Tips and tricks. Some fabrics are tricky as the have bits hanging and are not rectangle or square. Here you will need to see which way is best to start and try to fold so those tricky end are folded inside.



Any little ends I tuck inside and not over the outside.



Finally for larger pieces of fabric start with them already folded in half.

Messy pile and neat piles



Oh and coffee/tea is a must!


Messy drawer with now neat bits! Yay!!!!



Summary this method is garanteed to work. All your fabrics will be folded the same size, lay flatter and will be less creased! 

The downside is when you have to overhaul your whole fabric stash it's time consuming! I do a little at a time so as not to be overwhelmed. 

When I'm working I just throw the fabrics in a pile and then when my project is finished I take out my template and fold!

Let me know if you try this method and how it worked for you. I'd also love to know any different fabric folding methods that work well too!

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Happenings

I know, I missed a week blogging, my aim is to blog every week but sometimes it's just not possible!! I think I need to plan my blog posts and pre- prepare so that way when times are busy I can still post on time!

A lot has been happening around here! Best of all the weather has cooled so I have more energy to work! We've even pulled out our doonas (duvets) so we can snuggle up at night! Love that!!!

School is back, so the morning school run has begun! 


Lulu decided to do some DIY and decorated her science ring binder. She was totally inspired by Jordan Clark, such a clever young college student. You can see her blog here and should definitely check out her You Tube videos here.


I had a market stall in town last Sunday. That was lovely and fun to see some of my other creative friends, it's great to catch up on what they've been doing over the summer. This lovely handmade market is held once a month in the Vecchia Pescheria (old fishery). The benches are marble and all uneven from centuries of fish selling!


Of course growth chart making is never far off. The last few I've made have been really fun and a challenge as I had to tackle some new theme requests. I was very pleased with the results!



I have a very talented friend Io & bianca (who I've mentioned before) who creates beautiful ceramics.  A visit to her instagram page is a must! Lately she has been painting her ceramics more, they are stunning, and she has started to do little watercolour paintings. I saw Carla at dinner and told her how much I loved her paintings and how much I would love to learn to use watercolours. I find them very intimidating though! We organised to meet a her house which was quite a challenging task with all our kids activities! I went yesterday, even though Carla had a fever, she insisted I pop round for a mini lesson! So kind!

When I arrived we swapped belated birthday gifts. We are always late with our gifts as we always like to give each other something we've created and/or supplies!

I gave Carla a stitched wall decor piece I made for her. She loves white, anything old and bunnies. I gave a sneak peek of this piece in a previous blog post where you can see what inspired me!



From Carla I received so lovely handpainted ceramic hanging decorations, a gorgeous much (to add to my large collection) and a watercolour set - paint brush, paper and watercolours. Such an amazing and thoughtful gift! 



I just loved watching her paint her gorgeous little designs and had a chuckle at my efforts! Mine aren't finished yet, I may or may not post those depending on how they turn out! Here are a couple Carla painted!


What has everyone been up to lately, any creating????

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