Introducing Sensory Squares: personalised photo quilts that are designed to provide stimulation and keep hands busy.
I have developed them after numerous requests from people interested in making my Stitchbooks suitable for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. They are suitable for anyone who needs something tactile to fiddle with. Each square has a mixture of photographs, fiddle activities and sensory materials and they attach together to form a larger quilt.
For more information visit my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/…/sensory-square-personalised-photo-fi…
I'd love to know what you think and for you to share this with anyone you know who might be looking for a special gift for someone in their life with sensory needs.
I had a lovely day last Sunday at the Fairytale Fair in Worthing, talking to loads of people about my Stitchbooks and new Sensory Squares.
I had lots of interest for a day Stitchbook course in Worthing so I am currently sorting one out - details to come shortly! For now here are lots of great photos from the day thanks to Ed Watts Photography who was on hand throughout the day.
This week I have been settling into my lovely new studio at the Hotwalls in Portsmouth. I was previously working from a studio I shared with other members of Fire Monkey Arts (16 plus members) so could only use it a couple of times a week. Now I have half of a studio that is mine to use any time I want!
I'm sharing with the lovely Jessie from The Sacred Obscene who is another textile artist and the studio is a lovely mix of plants, embroidery and interesting artifacts. Below are pictures of her lovely things.
Anyone in the Portsmouth area I'd love you to come and visit. I'm in the studio most days between 11-4. The best day to visit is the 3rd Sunday of every month when there is an open day at the Hotwalls, so all of the studios will be open for you to visit.
Ok, so I had quite modest ambitions to follow the sorbetto sewalong in real time and produce my lovely new top within the allotted time. I was sure I could achieve such a simple goal - it's an easy top and I have time, right?
Alas, things have conspired against me and I am hideously behind. It's not that I haven't put the time in - the fabric has been cut and the bodice constructed, it's just that somewhere along the line something has gone awry with my measuring accuracy and although my toile fit well, the actual top was far too big. I blame the sewing fairies of course (and not any lack of attention on my part!). I have no idea what happened, but now I am in the annoying stage of trying to fix the issues.
I know that I cut the fabric carefully for the real top, so the error must have been in the toile - meaning it is pointless to re-cut from the pattern without making another trial. This seemed far too tedious so I resigned myself to just trying to fudge the alterations as I construct it.
The main alteration was to make the pleat in the front a little bigger to take in a few centimeters from the bodice. I also had to take it in a little at the sides which has lead to a whole host of problems with the sleeves. Honestly, the whole thing has turned into a bit of a headache and now I have done the only sensible thing which is to hide it under a pile of other to-do projects and forget about it for a couple of days until i've forgotten how much it's stressing me out!
Anyone else ever had so much stress from such a simple pattern? Anyway, hopefully I'll come back to it and finish it soon! - Will update when I do!
It's taken me much longer than i'd like to complete this next stage! I wanted to read all of the pattern changing advice before making my toile to try and minimize final fitting problems.
I agonised for ages over which size to make and after reading all of the comments about how it was quite loose, went for the smallest size I thought I could get away with (4).
I made a narrow shoulder adjustment before the toile as well as I always have a problem in that area. I followed the sewalong instructions - at first confused about the differing amounts of seam allowance on the example picture, but this was handily explained in the comments section (different amount of SE for bias binding on sleeves to inserted sleeves.)
The toile was really easy to make as it's such a simple pattern, so it made up for all of the time i wasted waiting for the new instructions to come out!
The fit was pretty good at first glance, but I had to make an adjustment on the shoulders as I don't have much of a shoulder slope and it was sitting away from my body at the neckline. I pinned the shoulder seam at the neck edge to fit, altered the seam on the machine and transferred the change to the pattern.
Below is a photo of the fit after this adjustment, it still sits up a little at the neckline, but I'm hoping the binding on the final garment will help with that!
I have quite a short torso so sometimes I have to alter the bust height on a top but I think it is ok here. It is perhaps something to think about in future if I want to remake the top.
The final adjust I made was to the sleeve - adjusting the bicep width. I am by no means muscly, but the sleeves seemed to be quite tight and pulled a little during extreme movement, so I thought I should add in a little extra room. Below is my attempt to alter the pattern following the sewalong instructions, so we shall have to see how it turns out on the final garment!
Next stop - cutting out the main fabric, I can't wait!
Ok, so part 2 of the sewalong is to gather materials. I printed out the pattern and spent a good deal of time crouched on the floor piecing it all together. Now i've just got to decide which size to try.
As for fabrics I gave in and went to the fabric shop (rather than using up something in my stash) where I bought two options. Firstly a bright green and pink cotton which has a large floral print and a soft plain blue chambray. I'm not sure which one i'm going to go with yet, i think i'll wait until I've made the toile and make a decision. I love the print and bright colours of the green, but I wonder whether the pleat will get lost in the pattern and therefore detract from the main design feature.
I have decided to take part in the Colette Patterns Sorbetto Sewalong!
The Sorbetto is a pattern i've been meaning to make forever. I have actually got it printed out somewhere but i've never got around to actually making it. Now that Colette have updated the pattern further and created some design options I feel it's time to go for it.
I think i'm going to go for the short version with sleeves, as i'm cold far too often to wear anything sleeveless!
So....my jobs are to print out the pattern, wield the sellotape and stick it all together and decide on a size. Then I need to route around in my fabric stash to see if I've got anything suitable or if I can justify a trip to the fabric shop (I know which one my bank balance would prefer!).
Way back in August I finished my first weekly Stitchbook Journal and I realised today that I haven't posted anything about my new one since then!
Even though I haven't been blogging about it, I have still been beavering away creating pages using photographs from the the things I have been doing. I'm going to share some of them over the next few weeks, as I've only got a few more pages to go until i'll have finished this volume too!
My favourite is this double page spread about the Victorious Festival weekend that I had a stall at with my friend Kendal (Eyecandy on Facebook). Not only did we get to showcase our work to thousands of people we also got to experience the wonderful festival for free. Excellent times!
And below are our Victorious stalls (I can't believe how sunny it looks - especially sitting here in February with the rain beating on the window in front of me!)...
It seems an age since I've posted. I've been taking a little break from things after the madness of Christmas craft fairs, but now things are starting to hot up again. I've already confirmed three craft fairs for this year and have many more in the pipeline. Hope you continue to follow my sewing adventures!
Last week my latest 6-week workshop came to a close and I am so proud of the 5 lovely Stitchbooks that were produced! The attendees worked so hard through the course and had loads of creative ideas for their pages. Below is a little peak at some of the book pages they produced and if you feel inspired by their work take a look at the details of my next workshop and come and have a go yourself!
Kim is a textile artist based in Portsmouth. She studied Illustration at Kingston University before becoming a textiles teacher. She combines the two disciplines to create retro inspired fabric artworks and playful images of pop culture.