Sometimes being creative can be a drain. The constant demand for new ideas can actually block the flow of inspiration and the deadlines and work that come with creating new patterns for publishing can mean there is little time left to actually play, think or dream of new projects.
So you just have to hit pause. Which is exactly what I have been doing for a couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong, there has been no rest! But rather a little respite from the deadlines and compulsory sewing and writing.
It has given me the chance to play a little and in doing so I have found new ideas for work. How lucky can one be when the research and development of new projects actually can be playing with fabric and having fun?!
One idea I have been wanting to try for a long time is some machine appliqué clamshells. One evening a stack of the new Tilda Cottage Collection was calling to me, I was in a festive mood and it has some perfect christmasy coloured prints.
I used my tried and tested technique for turning under the raw edges of the clams and then machine appliquéd them to a linen base. You will have to excuse the poor finishing of the clams, this was certainly a case of the head working faster than my hands! I was in such a hurry to get the idea out of my head and tested that this was only ever intended as a practice piece. Of course, I couldn't resist finishing the piece and turning it into something useful! I just made up enough clams to cover the base of my scrap of linen and I let this this determine the size of the pouch.
A quick bit of hand embroidery, add some lining, wadding and a zip and I have a zippy pouch. For the hand embroidery I printed out the wording I wanted using my computer and traced it on using my lightbox and a Frixion marker as I never trust my poor handwriting to do it freehand.
I always print a few different sizes on the sheet so that I can choose the one that has the best fit when I hold it up to the project rather than having to go back and forth trying different ones.
I squared up and trimmed the embroidered outer and then cut the linen backing, lining and wadding pieces all to the same size. The linen outer allows the pretty Tilda prints to do all the talking, I really love how these prints can be so festive but without a hint of christmas images in them.
For the lining I used a salvaged piece of stripe shirting. I love how its simplicity is the perfect match for the outer. I used Vlieseline 279 cotton mix wadding which gives the pouch a little structure but a lovely soft handle.
I do hope in the run up to Christmas there will be more time for me to play but for now I must get my head down and meat my end of year deadlines! I hope you all get the chance to work on some pretty and frivolous projects too, all work and no play is good for no one!
Stockist enquiries for the Tilda fabric which was supplied by Groves Ltd can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org where they will be happy to assist you. The wide range of Vlieseline products can be found at Lady Sew and Sew and Six Penny Memories.