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Design addict, craft supporter, museum / gallery consultant, arts enabler, hoarder, wifey, mum.
Recent Activity
Review and experience of sewing Colette's Laurel dress pattern, with a thick vintage fabric. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at TinkeringTimes
I happened to have a meeting at a very important weaving museum. Queen Street Mill, the last operational steam powered weaving shed in the world, right here on my Lancashire doorstep. It led to a conversation back home about our family history of working in the Lancashire weaving mills, which in turn led to me being given this book. Manuscript Notes of Weaving by James Holmes. From around 1908. We don't know the exact date, but an interesting passage in it talks about the beginnings of the introductions of automatic looms. This was an era that drastically changed the Lancashire... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at TinkeringTimes
Whilst looking for some fabric for a friend in my out of control fabric stash, I dug out some fabrics I knew I'd had for years. They were given to me when I first started machine sewing. Althought they were never quite 'me' I knew there was something special about them and have held on to them for years. Now with the huge revival in fine Liberty fabrics, you can guess the rest. About 15 metres of the stuff! While looking through the Liberty website to try and identify the different designs, I found this wonderful video of how Liberty... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
I'm extremely excited that another Ruth Singer book is out. Having bought Sew It Up a few years back and seen sewing friends rave about Sew Eco , I think Fabric Manipulation: 150 Creative Sewing Techniques is the book I've really been waiting for. As a fan of the fiddly, constructed type of sewing, but being mostly self taught on the details, I'm hoping this is the book that can take me on in leaps and bounds. As with Ruth's other books, it includes utterly scrumptious photography of techniques, fabrics and great close-up step by step detail. She also includes... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
A friend of mine is starting out on her machine sewing adventures. I rattled off a very quick list of top tips for her. Because quite frankly, if you skip all the technical geeky know-how, machine sewing can drive you very crazy very quickly. So since I'd assembled this list, I thought it might as well be shared with anyone else who might find it useful. Let me know how you find them, and what other top tips you'd share with an absolute beginner? 1. Read the manual. You can only have a love affair with a sewing machine if... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
You may know I'm from a gritty part of Northern England where the textile industry dominated the landscape and families of every town around. I grew up in a three storey house built in the 1700s, where the top floor, my bedroom, was formerly the place where looms were kept for the family to work on. Like everywhere else in Lancashire, the industrial revolution swept through and took home workers into hundreds of thousands of factories across black smoke soaked hills and valleys. Where once mills stood on every corner, now precious few remain. Fewer still in working order, as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
SallyF is now following Rebecca Sower
May 15, 2013
Just a quick post to say - you'll know I'm an absolute geek for pattern. Likewise coluring-in has featured time and time again on this blog - I do genuinely find it soothes the soul and brings peace to a hectic mind. So imagine the joy of discovering that some of Charley Harper's divine illustrations of birds, animals and other stylised designs have been turned into colouring books! There's the Charley Harper Deluxe Coloring Book (above) or the Charley Harper Birds & Words Deluxe Coloring Book (below). They've probably been around for ages and are just new to me, but... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
Sewers and crafters around the UK have been cosying up every Tuesday evening to watch The Great British Sewing Bee where contestants follow a pattern, use their ingenuity, and tailor make a bespoke item each week. Reviews of the show among the sewing community are a little mixed, but mostly favourable. We (the discerning, sewing, viewing public) mostly agree that it's not quite clear who the target audience are; that the 'how to' making guides are ridiculous in many ways; and that we still love the Great British Bake Off, the big sister to this show, a little more unreservedly.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
When I decided to crochet a baby blanket for a friend's little one, I had all the usual dilemmas. Sew or crochet? Which pattern? Which yarn. In the end I figured sticking with one colour and a simple stitch would get it finished with as little delay and angst as possible. After a bit of a mooch round Ravelry I settled on this. It's quick to pick up and adapt to whatever size or yarn you want. So off I went. I'm now 8 balls, 16 hours and 24,000 stitches in. Great! But... I'm not sure it's right. After much... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
Need a top quality card for Valentine's? No time to nip out or whip something up yourself? Ta-da look what I found from Jen and Floris at Love vs Design. Just head over here to download the proper pdf and print it out on some nice thick card. Job done. And it has a little secret - a bundle of valentine's vouchers. To put inside and offer the recipient... well that's on a need to know basis... Also it's beautiful. A quick, beautiful card that you made yourself (well you did, with a little help that's all). For all of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2013 at TinkeringTimes
SallyF is now following Lucy @ Attic24
Feb 7, 2013
I'm going to start by saying this is not my tutorial, it's by the lovely Katbaro on Flickr who has been one of my longest standing flickr friends. For years I knew her as an amazing foodie then *ping* out of the blue it turns out she does crafts too. So when I saw this in my festive flickr stream I was instantly smitten, and utterly chuffed to find out she'd written a tutorial for it. Any credit goes to her, I'm merely sharing the love. So pop over to her blog post and get to work... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
You can do these at good fun and very easy.
1 reply
The hard work from the Secrets & Codes project has all paid off. 30 ten year olds were able to show off their hard work in front of their friends, family and local community at the launch of the Hadfield & Padfield Heritage Trail. After a busy few weeks pressing, framing and labelling back at Tinkering Textiles headquarters, all the textile pieces were displayed alongside work from other schools in the village for the official grand opening of the Trail. The embroidered lines represent an architectural feature of a nearby Victorian school (forerunner to the children's own school.) The buttons,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
For work, I was visiting some schools to look at the work they do across the artforms. At one junior school I was given a few sketches some 8 year olds had done. I was staggered. The intricate, complicated, beautiful patterns they had managed to create was way beyond any expectations for their years, probably even for a 15 or 16 year old they would have been impressive. It wasn't a fluke, there was page after page after page, from every child in the class. Something staggering was going on. It turned out the children had been using something called... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
London Landmarks at SeamStar Does what it says on the tin. Online stockists of some of the finest patterned fabric (by which I really mostly mean cotton) in the UK. I've picked out a few of my favourites below but there are hundreds of gorgeous options. Many of the sites also sell haberdashery, trimmings, patterns and stationery too. Enjoy! 1. Ray-Stitch 2. Fabric Rehab 3. M is for Make 4. Eclectic Maker 5. SeamStar 6. The Eternal Maker 7. Saints & Pinners 8. Celtic Fusion Fabrics Papillon at Ray-Stitch Busy Street by Summersville at Fabric Rehab Monsterzmash from M is... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
I've been planning to blog about this for, oh about a year now... Angie Lewin's Plants and Places is one of the achingly beautiful books I received as a present last year. I've been a huge fan of Angie Lewin's work since she very first began designing printed Dandelion themed fabrics for St Jude's quite a few years ago. It shares the process she goes through from quick sketches out in the countryside, to blocking colour in and transferring to paper and fabric prints. The book is available here, and you can buy Angie's fabrics here. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
You may know I'm a huge fan of colouring in. It relaxes me, helps me feel free and childlike again, and polishes up my thinking about how to use colour and pattern. I recently came across a real grown up colouring book Garden Party! with a nod towards those fantastic 1970s vintage children's illustrations. There's a sample page show above, and 29 more inside. The publishers say it's "Set in a dreamy landcape of stylized patterns, this garden party buzzes with life. Whimsical and wild images of birds, frogs, bugs and other creatures populate flowery fields that pulse with psychadelic... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
I don't know a single person who crafts that doesn't love a good tutorial. No matter how experienced, enthusiastic, professional or skilled you are, there's always more to learn. Seeing how other people do those fiddly creative things can be so inspiring. I have lists of tutorials everywhere but I've finally hit on a genius way of keeping them all fresh, in one place, where I can not only find them but see them at a glance too. Pinterest is perfect for such a thing. So from now on I'll be noting them all there, on my Make This board.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
It's only taken roughly forever, but I decided it was about time to have a craft page on Facebook. So here it is. Tinkering Textiles. Do head over there and like it. Here's five reasons why... 1. Because I still get that nerdy happy feeling when someone subscribes to a blog, likes a page or retweets a tweet. You can put that nerdy smile in my tummy. 2. This blog you're reading now will, as ever, have craft (and other) news of worldwide interest with some meat to it and my usual careful curatorial ways. But it takes a while... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
Ooh the colour ways are delicious - so bright and popping. Someone's going to be very happy indeed to receive that package!
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2012 on packaging and branding at Cupcakes for Clara
A whole four years (or more) ago I made this cushion. It was possibly my favourite vintage fabric ever bought. Thick dense durable crispy cotton in rich sumptuous colours and bold 1970s popping floral pattern. It sold on etsy and off went the parcel to the other side of the world. Imagine my surprise when randomly perusing Pilgrim's design lifestyle blog - in fact snooping around her house - when there was my little bold punchy much loved cushion. A double take and a few emails later confirmed that it was indeed the very same item. Such a heartwarming moment... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
So Secrets & Codes is nearly complete. After 8 or 9 workshops the pupils' works are almost finished. Soon I'll be framing all their textile pieces, and putting together some sort of interpretation booklet. In the meantime a consultation event will take place, sharing the work of all the local schools involved in the project with their local community. Here's ours. I'm so proud of them all, they've found parts of it challenging in different ways and have all wanted, so wholeheartedly, to persevere and get it done. But this isn't an ending, as my work comes to a close,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2012 at TinkeringTimes
*Disclaimer - the above is not my list but lovely Laura of Cupcakes for Clara... I'm not one for looking back, or new year's resolutions and such. I try and be the person I want to be in small amounts ever day, and work out how to be better rather than deconstruct what's already done. But I saw this and it stopped me in my tracks. How often do we stop and remind ourselves how far we've come? How hard we've worked? What difference we made? Recently I learned the importance of saying things out loud; and a certain group... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2011 at TinkeringTimes