Creating a Diwali Gift Blanket

diwali

Taking place at the beginning of November, Diwali spans five days and is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains all around the world.

Bali Batik Purple VinesCelebrations include lighting lamps, decorating the house and giving gifts. Sweets and incense are ever-popular gifts, however as Diwali coincides with the onset of colder weather and longer evenings for cosy nights in, why not give a handmade gift blanket? Doughty’s has a fantastic range of quilting fabric for a unique and quirky present your friends and family will love.

Since the festival celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, bright colours are essential for any Diwali craft project. Doughty’s Bali Batiks range, with bright and bold prints, are an excellent option to create an eye-catching quilt that will look fantastic thrown over the back of a sofa, as well as cosy to snuggle under as the temperature drops. Continue reading

Top Fabrics for Halloween Craft Projects

Clothworks fabric ghosts and pumpkins

As the wails of ghosts and the cackling of witches echo over the horizon, there’s no better time to order the perfect fabrics for your Halloween craft projects.

Studio e pumpkin fabricWith the exception of Christmas, there is no time of year better suited to crafting than Halloween. Whether you’re making a child’s costume from scratch, decorating a Halloween party, or creating cute and creepy plushies for the occasion, there are dozens of projects you can be starting as the dark nights start closing in.

No Halloween party is complete without decorations. Why not make stylish and spooky wall hangings or table decorations featuring those three Halloween must-haves – witches, pumpkins, and bats – picked out in silver on black? Alternatively, for a more colourful, but equally festive effect, you can’t go wrong with a witch design in the traditional Halloween colours of orange and black. Continue reading

Makower Fabrics

makower

When it comes to blender fabrics, Makower are the market leaders – and with good reason. Made of 100% cotton, the Makower range is both elegant and durable, combining superior cloth with striking patterns and designs. With a standard width of 44”, this line of fabrics is ideal for a whole range of craft projects, and with so many varieties, the only limit is your own imagination.

Here are just some of the ranges we have in our extensive Makower collection.

Dream

Makower Dream

The latest Makower line is a genuine delight. Combining intricate and detailed floral prints with neutral tones of grey, cream, and bluish pinks, these fabrics make for a calming (not to mention charming) material for quilts, pillowcases, and all manner of bedroom accessories.

Uptown

Makower Uptown

If subtle tones and natural prints are not really your thing, why not try the bright geometric patterns of the Makower Uptown line? Eye-catching pinks and purples contrast well against grey backgrounds, resulting in a cheerful collection of fabrics. Continue reading

5 Ideas for Sewing Your Own Soft Furnishings

curtains

Creating your own soft furnishings can be both fun and productive. With just a few simple skills under your belt, you will be able to turn your hand to any number of projects.

Towel motifs

Start by taking your towel, and a piece of quilt fabric for the motif. The Makower Windy Day range is ideal for a bright and breezy design. Draw your motif on the smoother side of some double-sided adhesive and roughly cut around it, before ironing the textured side onto the wrong side of your motif fabric. Cut around it, remove the backing paper, and iron onto your towel. Finally, complete your motif with a straight, zigzag, or satin stitch.

Cushion covers

Patchwork cushion cover

Cushion covers can add a touch of individuality to your sofa. Whether you choose to use a zip opener or an envelope fold for inserting your cushion pads is very much up to you. Both approaches require different techniques but can produce stunning results. Dashwood Studios produce a wide range of quilt fabrics that work extremely well as cushion covers.

Curtains

When it comes to curtains, measuring is everything: remember you’re measuring the drop from the curtain rail to just below the window sill. Using the dimensions of the window itself will only leave you short. Kids curtains require a quality, hard-wearing fabric, and we have a number of colourful designs to choose from. Continue reading

Using Double Sided Fabrics for Quilting and Dressmaking

Dressmaking

When it comes to quilting, the more versatility you can coax from your fabrics, the better. This is why double-sided fabrics are becoming ever more popular in the quilting community.

Double-sided fabrics (also known as double-faced fabrics, or simply double cloth) are woven on the same loom, as a pair of distinct fabrics. They are then bound together with interlinking threads to form a single sheet of fabric. With industrial processes allowing for a neater, more permanent bond, double-sided fabrics are often thought of as a modern phenomenon but, in fact, the general principles used in their production are as old as weaving itself.

Cosmo & Sevenberry Japanese double sided fabricAt Doughty’s Online, we have a fabulous range of double-sided Japanese quilting fabrics for you to choose from, that can really help you get the most out of any prospective quilting or crafting project.

The benefits that double-sided fabrics have for the quilter are obvious. A couple of swatches of material are all you need to achieve a multi-patterned look to your project, being able to use both sides of each fabric, doubling your choices (or, if you prefer, halving your costs). It doesn’t just end with patchwork, though. The reversed side of each double-sided fabric can be used as a striking contrast piece, such as a borderline, hem, or pocket. Continue reading

Gutermann threads: Choosing the right cotton for your craft project

Gutermann threads

Choosing the right thread for your crafting project can make the difference between a beautifully finished, hard wearing item, and one that literally comes apart at the seams.

Here are some tips to help you get started…

Know your threads

We have hundreds of different Gutermann threads available to purchase from our online store but, if you’re not familiar with the different types of threads and their properties, the sheer numbers can be daunting.

Gutermann invisible thread

Natural cotton thread: a standard thread, suitable for most projects involving light fabrics.

Sew All Thread: a polyester-based thread that combines easy sewing with strength and durability. Ideal for use with any fabrics.

Sulky cotton thread: specially designed for machine embroidery in all cottons.

Metallic threads: for adding metallic detail to your quilting.

Top stitch thread: A thicker thread, ideal for buttons and bolder decoration. Continue reading

Bank holiday crafting ideas for all the family

Bank Holiday Crafts

Easter may have been and gone but, with the May Day weekend just around the corner, there’s still plenty of time to catch up on your springtime crafting projects. Here are some you can do with the whole family.

Springtime patchwork mini quilt

Studio E Spring Lamb FabricThis micro version of a quilt is the sort of project you can complete in a few hours: perfect for a bank holiday wind down.

Start off by cutting out six blocks of 6 x 6 inches (15 x 15 cm) in six coordinated cotton fabrics. Choose something evocative of springtime – lambs, birds, flowers, and other bright designs. Our wide range of quilting fabric also includes simple and stylish designs from Makower like this charming yellow floral pattern.

Makower Sundance fabricSew together three rows of two blocks, allowing ¼” for the seam. With right sides facing one another, pin together the first and second rows and sew together, before doing the same with the third.

Create a springtime design to put in the centre of each square and fuse to the fabric using fusible web.

Once done, simply cut a piece of batting sufficient to fill the whole thing, pinning the front and rear fabric together, sewing as you go. Continue reading

Dashwood Studio Fabrics

Dashwood Studios is an independent UK design house which consistently produces a beautiful range of fabric collections ideal for quilting. Entering their fifth year of business, this small company delivers contemporary and innovative fabrics that will prove inspirational for any quilter, no matter what level of experience you have.

The company combines the very best aspects of art and craft. This means that not only do you receive exceptional artwork from some of the most well-renowned designers in the world, but the quality of the fabric itself is second to none. All Dashwood cotton prints are super soft to the touch and flow like water through your fingers. Their fabrics come printed on 44″ wide, 100% cotton, schreinerized basecloth.

With so many ranges and designs to choose from, where do you start?

Here are just a few of our favourites.

Club TropicanaClub Tropicana

The Club Tropicana range of quilting fabrics is bright and vibrant, featuring a host of tropical birds, fruits, plants and insects. A particular delight is this one featuring a colourful aviary of toucans and parrots on a plain, white backdrop.

ConfettiConfetti

The Dashwood Studios Confetti range boasts bold designs and stark colour contrasts, giving you a material that will work well as the centrepiece of any project. This design benefits from a dark background, making the flowers really stand out. Continue reading

Mother’s Day Crafts Ideas

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s the ideal time to think about making a hand-crafted gift. Here are a couple that are fun and easy to do.

Mother’s Day Mug Rug

Mug matMug Rugs are great fun to make, and are perfect gifts for every tea-loving mum, being the ideal size for a brew and a biscuit.

Start off with a 2×3 grid of patchwork squares as your background, then draw (or trace) your design on contrasting fabric (our jelly rolls are just right for this part of the rug). Cut out the pieces and iron them onto your background using an iron-on adhesive such as Bondaweb.

Then you just need to sew around your design using a zigzag stitch and add any embellishments, before finishing off the edges of your Mug Rug as you would a normal quilt.

They’re a lovely, personalised gift. Just be ready to make your mum a test cup of tea when you give it to her.

Mother’s Day Pincushion

pincushionsIf your mum is a quilter too, why not make her a beautiful and useful pincushion?

Using a vibrant red quilting fabric for the pincushion body, and a lighter design such as Makower Scandi Hearts for the inset, ensure the inset fabric is cut into strips.

The effect we’re going for here is a cushion in the red, with a heart shaped cut out of the front/top piece of fabric, behind which we can stitch the inset fabric.

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5 Great fabrics for Valentine’s Day craft projects

Valentines Day craft projects

As the thought of spring begins to bound onto the horizon, our thoughts naturally turn to Valentine’s Day just beforehand. This cute and heart-warming occasion is the perfect chance to craft something for a loved one. A hand-crafted quilt or item is a great way to show them how much you care.

If you are starting off your Valentine’s Day craft project and need a few ideas on which quilting fabric to use, let us help:

Dove House - chalk hearts on slateDove House – chalk hearts on slate

The first quilting fabric we would recommend is this one from Lewis & Irene. Made from 100% cotton, it is superb to work with and will last a long time when used. The design is pure Valentine’s Day with love hearts and messages on the fabric setting the right tone of romance or friendship. Measured at 44″ wide, it is inspired by sunny days in the countryside where you can relax with family or friends.

 

 

White RoseWhite Rose

This beautiful quilting fabric has the look of linen and is in a red & white rose pattern – perfect for this occasion. It has all the features that make using cotton so great from non-crease to light wearing but has a more luxurious look about it. At 44″ wide, it will help make a truly stunning gift for someone.

 

 

 

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