In a few weeks time I will be teaching my free motion quilting workshop at Midsomer Quilting not far away in Somerset.
I haven't taught this workshop in the UK before, so to celebrate I have made some new samples of my favourite birds and created some nice things with them.
As you may know, I always like to make samples of things before I start a bigger project. I like to see how new fabrics or paints behave before I launch into a big piece and become familiar with how they behave. It may seem like an extra step in an already long process, but time and again I have been glad I did spend the time exploring and experimenting. I personally find it saves a lot of time and frustration in the long run!
Using some of the sketches I made of the flamingos as a starting point, I drew a new, quirky flamingo and filled it with some doodled patterns. I then transferred it onto a piece of plain white poplin fabric and free motion stitched the whole thing. Once it was finished I had fun using my newly mixed fabric paints (using acrylic paint and fabric medium, as I explained last week) to finish the quirky doodled flamingo.
The paint and fabric medium mix worked very well. As well as making the paint soft, buttery and easy to work with, it also extends the drying time of the paint too, meaning I have more time to blend colours together to get that nice graduated look. This is how the new flamingo turned out.
Which brings me on to the next point..... what do I with all these samples?
It is an important thing to consider. I live in a fairly small house, and space to store things is at a premium. I would love to have the equivalent of a walk in wardrobe of fabrics, equipment, sketchbooks and samples - but until I win the lottery and buy the old textile mill that is in my town, and convert it into a home and studio (pipe dream!!) I need a better plan. So, what I try and do is convert them into something both pretty and useful. Cushions, sketchbook covers, bags, storage pouches and so on. You get the idea.
And this is what the little flamingo has been converted into. I am planning on storing my samples for the doodle bird workshop in it - so everything will be neat and tidy and all in one place. How about that for organised?!
My thanks go to Kati Spencer, whose excellent instructions I followed to make the bag. You can find Kati's excellent tutorial here on her blog 'from the blue chair'.
Here is the link, should you wish to make a similar bag. http://www.fromthebluechair.com/2013/03/messenger-bag-supply-list.html
I must say, I am really looking forward to running the Doodle Bird workshop in November. I have 16 new full sized Doodle Birds to choose from, and several smaller bird projects for those who are new to free motion quilting. As well as developing or improving your free motion quilting skills, you will create beautiful quilted squares which you can transform into other projects, like the bag above, or perhaps a cushion or book cover. If you get completely hooked you could even make all 16 and turn them into a bed quilt - something a bit like this.
The workshop is on the 14th November at Midsomer Quilting. To find out more either contact De firstname.lastname@example.org or myself, or see the brochure on the workshop by clicking here.
Thanks for reading. Happy doodling!