Guest Post: The Northern Crafter

I haven’t found any time to craft since Busby arrived, so today I have asked my good friend Katie over at The Northern Crafter to write a guest post to keep up the Make part of Make, Do and Push! 

Busby’s quilt

Katie and I have been friends since we were 11 (so many years ago), and lived on the same road from this age up until University. She’s a fabulous crafter, and recently made Busby this gorgeous quilt (above)! So without further ado, I shall leave you in her more than capable hands:

Hello! I’m Katie and I blog over at The Northern Crafter.  I’m delighted to have been asked to write a guest post for Make, Do and Push today! 

Crafty Katie

I have loved making things for as long as I can remember; everything from sewing to knitting, to paper crafts and baking. My mum is very crafty and incredibly talented; she always encouraged my brother and I to have “creative outlets” as a way of enjoying and expressing ourselves. 

My latest crafty hobby has taken the form of making quilts; it’s a nice way to use up the very large stash of fabric I’ve been collecting over the years. I recently bought a new sewing machine, (the Janome DC3050) which is a dream to work on.  Since then, I have talked about quilts, thought about quilts, dreamt about quilts; some might say I’ve become a little quilt obsessed…! I keep an “inspiration” diary in my bag; I find that it’s a good idea to sketch out my plans before taking the scary step and committing to cutting out the fabric. 

Fabric stash

I buy most of my fabric from eBay in FQ (fat quarter) lengths; it’s amazing how far these little bits of material can go.  I’m lucky to also have a fabulous quilting shop on the way home from work just outside Newcastle upon Tyne called Just Quilting, which stocks loads of gorgeous fabric and waddings, and has very helpful staff who have been able to answer all my questions.  If you live in the North East of England I highly recommend a visit.

If you’ve never tried patchworking and have a sturdy sewing machine I highly recommend you give it a go; the basics you need are a cutting board, rotary cutter and quilting ruler to get you started. I bought mine in a pack from Amazon for about £30. I find cutting out fabrics really relaxing; it might take a long time to do all the preparation before even turning the sewing machine on, but I find the repetitive motion of cutting straight lines of fabric oddly soothing.  

Laying out the squares

My very first quilt was for my 4 year old nephew, and I eventually made it the size of a single bed so that he would be able to grow into it, it started life as a square and grew and grew! I decided to use 5”x5” squares to show off the fabric patterns to their full effect. I’d had the Michael Miller “Little Rascals” fabric for a while, and wanted to use a fabric that would give the quilt a real retro vibe. A lot of thought and care goes into each quilt that I make, from selecting the right fabrics for the individual, right through to battling those mitred corners and making the bias binding. (Look for tutorials online – I like this one best)

Sewing away!
Sewing bias binding

After many hours of sewing strips of squares together, pressing the seam so that they lay flat, sewing strips together to make the quilt, arranging the “quilt sandwich”, sewing over the lines using a “stitch in the ditch” sewing machine foot, making and attaching bias binding – it was finally finished! 

The finished product

Quilting is a complete labour of love, but all those hours are totally worthwhile when you end up with the finished product; a beautiful, handmade object that can be passed down through the generations as a family heirloom. 

Katie blogs over at The Northern Crafter and tweets as @kaykagan

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