After the heat of last week there is no doubt that summer is here. Phew! it was a warm one, and whilst it was perhaps a little too warm for comfort, I do hope it isn't the only bit of summer we get.
To celebrate summer I have created a selection of hats to help the wearer keep cool and protect their skin from damaging UV rays. I always need a hat when the sun is hot as my head easily gets overheated and I also don't want to get any more sun damage to my skin. Having lived in South Africa and New Zealand I am very aware of the consequences that!
I thought it would be fun to design a hat that looked good, was pretty simple to make, could be reversed so that if you get fed up with one colour you can always switch to another - and last of all, still looked great even when it had been squished into a bag for a while.
I also wanted to make a hat that would fit almost every head - from tiny to 'grande'. This is what I came up with.
Using traditional patchwork and quilting techniques as inspiration I have made a selection of different hats. For those above I have used the foundation paper piecing technique to create 'Cat and Mouse' and added some cute little ears to the top of the hat. I also made a version of a 'Mariners Compass' and added some twisted soft cord to add to the nautical theme. For the larger hat I divided the hat into sections and made a 4 patch variation with a slightly heavier weight upholstery fabric.
The nice thing is that every hat is made from the same basic pattern. All that changes is the fabric and a slightly different patchwork technique - it is amazing how the 'same' hat can look so different.
For the blue 'Love Hearts' hat I used foundation paper piecing again and for the 'Cute as a Button' baby hat I used strips of fabric and the very simple stitch and flip technique. The baby hat also has additional ties to help keep it on its little owner's head. This and other similar embellishments are easy to add during construction.
This is my current favourite adult sized hat; 'Tulips' is a simple white hat embellished with little raw edge applique tulips and a lace band. It has a beautiful red/pink lining hiding inside.
But I think 'Woof' is my all time favourite. More raw edge applique makes this a simple hat to construct. I had some more of that soft cord left, so added it around the sides of the hat.
'Flying Geese' is made from - you guessed it - a strip of flying geese that were left over from another project. In fact, and orphan quilt blocks could be used up in this way with a little bit of jiggling. The lining fabric in of this hat is the same as the minty green outer - just in a different colour way.
And 'Out in the Garden' is a very simple hat indeed - no patchwork piecing at all, just a busy print on a medium weight open weave canvas type fabric. Perfect for someone who enjoys spending time in the garden. Another piece of lace makes it look a little bit more special.
Buttons, buckles, beads, pom poms, ribbon, ric-rac..... anything could be added to make a hat stand out from the crowd.
(I have a few more hats cut our and ready to stitch on my workbench which will be at the workshop too.... think Dinosaurs, Pirates and Caterpillars!)
If you would like to have a go at making yourself (or someone special) a hat similar to these I will be running a workshop at Midsomer Quilting on July 22nd. There are a few spaces left, and you can book yourself on the course by contacting De at Midsomer Quilting:
By phone: 01761 239333 or 01761 232509
By e-mail: email@example.com
By post: Midsomer Quilting, Norton Green Garden Centre, Chilcompton, Bath, BA3 4RR.
To see more about the workshop I have created a brochure which you can see on my website by clicking here or by clicking on the brochure cover below.
If you are visiting the shop De has all the hats on display - why not try one on for size?
I look forward to seeing you if you decide to join the fun!
Thanks for reading.
A few weeks ago a blog post from the members of 'Through Our Hands' dropped into my mailbox. In it they invited anyone and everyone worldwide to join them in creating a small piece of art (A5 in size) to be exhibited at the Festival of Quilts (UK) this summer. Not only is it a great opportunity to have your art hanging in this really exciting exhibition, but if you join in you will be helping them to raise money for the charity 'Save The Children' too. After the exhibition all the portraits will be 'shuffled' and you will receive someone else's portraits to keep. It really is win - win!
There is still plenty of time to enter, (your entry needs to be completed and with them by 31st July) so why not find out more about the Portrait Shuffle and see if you would like to join the fun too? Click here or on the leaflet below to go to the Through Our Hands website for full details.
After paying my entry fee, which covers a minimum donation of £5 to Save the Children, I received my entry pack through the post. In it was a small A5 canvas to work on and a discount voucher for Festival of Quilts tickets. That was a nice surprise!
All I had to do was think of whose portrait I wanted to put onto the canvas and which medium to use. The portrait can be worked in any media you like - photography, drawing, paint, collage, print, textiles........ whatever floats your boat. I chose to make a small quilted piece of fabric to mount onto the canvas. Over the past year or so I have used a lot of portrait style images in my work, so I thought about taking one of these images and creating something similar.
But then I thought why not make something new? I have a nice photograph of my nephew that I took a few weeks ago and decided to use that to get me started. Here he is! (Well, half of him.)
Using GIMP software I twiddled about with the filters, levels and threshold settings and arrived at the image on the right which I was able to draw onto a piece of fabric with Derwent Inktense Pensils.
I added the rainbow as the last time I saw him we were looking at rainbows together. All that was left to do then was to quilt it. I thought I'd leave the long tail threads on instead of cutting them off, and stretched them over the edge of the little canvas along with the fabric before stapling it all down.
I'm popping it in the post tomorrow and looking forward to seeing it alongside all the others at Festival of Quilts.
Why not have a go yourself - it was lots of fun to make - and for a very good cause too; savethechildren.org.uk
Find out more info from the organisers, the Through Our Hands team by clicking here.
Thanks for reading.