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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New year, new hobby: patchwork quilt making

Lewis & Irene quilting fabricIf you want to mark the start of the New Year with a bang, why not try taking up a new hobby? This will not only be something fun to do but will also give you a new string to add to your bow.

If you are not sure which hobby to take up, then why not consider patchwork quilt making. Great fun to do, it is also inexpensive and you will have a unique quilt at the end of it to enjoy. Here’s a few tips to help you get started:

Know your terminology first

Before you jump straight into the excitement of making your very own quilt, it is worth getting to know the difference between patchworking and quilting. Patchwork is the art of sewing separate fabric pieces together to form the top of your quilt. Once the individual fabric pieces have been cut, they can then be formed into one large quilt top by joining them all together.

Quilting on the other hand refers to the sewing together of the three layers that form a quilt – namely, the patchwork top and wadding along with the backing.

Get the correct equipment

Haberdashery

The first thing you need to think about when taking quilting up as a hobby is getting the proper equipment in to use. This is very important as it will allow you to produce better quality results, easier. You will need a rotary cutter, a self-healing mat and a clear, acrylic quilting ruler. It is also wise to have a mechanical pencil handy for marking seam lines and the like on your material with.

Obviously, you need the relevant fabric and wadding to work with too. In terms of fabric, cotton is usually advised for beginners as it looks great, is easy to work with and washes well. Continue reading

Christmas gifting at Doughty’s: hampers & fabrics

Christmas fabric

Christmas is approaching fast and we are all starting to think about all the wonderful things it brings, from building snowmen to putting up the decorations. Of course, many of us are also starting to think about Christmas shopping too and what we can buy for the loved ones in our lives.

If you have someone who enjoys working with quilting fabric and creating beautiful items, why not think about the ideas below for their perfect present? If you have been really good this year, you could also treat yourself too!

Christmas fabric hamperChristmas Hampers

If you have a loved one that is passionate about crafting, then why not treat them to one of our fabulous Christmas hampers? All the hampers contain everything they will need to sew or quilt, from luxurious quilting fabric in various lengths to a selection of brightly coloured threads. Coming in a stylish hamper basket, they are superb value for money whilst offering the best quality materials.

Scandi print Christmas fabricChristmas fabrics

This is the ideal thing if you enjoy making quilts, decorations or clothing to give as gifts to family and friends for Christmas. We offer a wide range of Christmas fabrics to buy so you can create something unique based on your personal preference or to the taste of who you are making the gift for. Classic Christmas themed fabric will get you in the festive spirit or you can try something different like our Scandinavian fabric to ring the changes. All the various ranges we offer have eye-catching designs and will allow you to craft something truly original. Continue reading

Why choose cotton fabrics for your quilting project?

Purse friendly cotton fabric

One of the best things about quilting is the fabulous range of fabrics to work with. One of the very best for beginners and more experienced quilters alike has to be cotton. Available in many designs and colours, it is the one fabric many people return to time and again.

If you are about to embark on your next quilting project, then read on to find out why you should choose to use cotton quilting fabric.cotton prints

Christmas scandi cotton fabricIt’s simple to find and great value

Cotton quilting fabric has the distinct advantage of being readily available in both big chain stores and smaller craft shops. This means that you will be able to find some easily wherever you live and will not have to spend lots of time hunting around for it. It is also great value for money and will not end up costing you inordinate amounts by the time your project is done. Continue reading

Creating your own Batik designs

BeeswaxIf you are looking for a simple yet stunning way to add a personal touch to fabrics, batik designs are a superb choice. Originating from Indonesia, this was traditionally a way that Indonesian ladies would produce fine patterned linen. Once made, the batik fabric can be used for a variety of purposes such as patchwork quilts, dressmaking and home furnishings.

Literally meaning ‘wax writing’, Batik uses wax imprints of objects on dyeing cloth to give a sublime pattern. The outline of the printed shape remains white where the wax has resisted the dye to give the finished effect.

white dyeing clothHow to create your own Batik design

You can create your very own beautiful Batik design by following these easy steps:

1. Wash the dyeing cloth you will be using to remove the sizing. Next, melt some beeswax in the top of a double boiler and boil water underneath to melt it. Continue reading

Cosmo and Sevenberry: Beautiful designs for Japanese Patchwork Quilts

Cosmo & Sevenberry Japanese Fabrics

Japanese patterns are increasingly popular at the moment and it’s easy to see why. They rely on delicate designs and tasteful repetition to produce an aesthetic feel that few other cultures can replicate. Whether you’ve visited Japan in the past and are looking for a tasteful reminder or you just adore the style, our range of Japanese quilting fabrics is sure to make an effortlessly chic addition to your next project.

Cosmo & Sevenberry Japanese fish fabricA patchwork quilt is a brilliant way to spruce up a room and our Cosmo and Sevenberry range of fabrics will truly set your handiwork apart from the rest. These quilting fabrics are 100% cotton, authentic Japanese designs and are printed perfectly every time.

Cosmo and Sevenberry Gilded Japanese prints feature a broad range of gorgeous, bold colours and stunning patterns that would make an ideal focal point of any quilt project. This bold collection features delicate flowers, beautiful butterflies and an absolutely sublime fish pattern that will look right at home at the centre of your project. We love the contrast of the colours in the fish against the true black fabric and the delicate detail in the scales that never fail to draw the eye.

Cosmo & Sevenberry dragonflies on dots fabricIf you’re after a delicate pattern to add to your project, our Cosmo and Sevenberry Japanese prints are the answer. This range is full of delicate repeated patterns that are sure to fit with any theme and they just become increasingly gorgeous the closer you look. We just adore the dragonflies on dots print, especially due to the way the delicate dots spiral around the sweet little dragonflies.

Cosmo and Sevenberry’s newest range of Japanese prints follow their trend of offering truly stunning prints. We’ve always loved cherry blossoms; from the overwhelming beauty of their symbolism within Japan to how simply impressive they are on fabric, so this intricate cherry blossom print truly was a dream come true. The contrast of the dark and light tones combined with the delicate pattern will help this pattern to find its new home in your heart.

Make your next quilting project stand out with our incredible range of Cosmo and Sevenberry quilting fabrics! Shop the full range now online at Doughty’s, or give our team a call for further guidance and recommendations.

Summer Dress Making with Jersey Fabric

In 1987, the New York Times published an article exclaiming how jersey fabric, a new development in the fabrics industry then, is the finest stretch material for comfortable movements. Even after decades, jersey materials have not lost their charm and comfort. In fact, the material has improved over time with variations in its thickness, design and finish, adding to its variety for combining with other materials such as jeans, cotton, silk etc.

Floral jersey fabricWhy choose jersey fabric?

When selecting a fabric for clothing, we generally keep three elements in mind.

– Season (Winter or Summer)
– Event to wear the dress (casual, formal or informal)
– Durability

All stretch fabrics are usually more durable than non-stretchable materials, however, the benefits of jersey materials over other stretchable fabrics are their usability for a wide variety of applications.

You can wear a casual jersey t-shirt to a sports event or a knee-length formal dress to your best friend’s wedding. You can also use jersey fabric for pet clothing, furniture coverings and various other applications.

Unicorn jersey fabricMaking Summer Dresses with Jersey Fabric

Jersey is a soft and draping material that adds value to the flair and style of your dress. A unique and light-weight choice for silhouette, it brings style along with comfort. Thinking about making summer dresses with jersey? Have a look at our tips.

Choose Fabric from a Reliable Source

Jersey materials are available in a variety of weights and thicknesses. Needless to say, low quality or thinner jersey fabrics are susceptible to wear and tear when exposed to pressure or environmental conditions. High quality jersey fabrics go a long way as they are treated to withstand extreme conditions. When purchasing fabric, make sure that you choose it from a reliable source that provides top quality jersey materials. If you are on a budget, you can purchase jersey fabric at Doughty’s Online, a trusted supplier of high quality, low cost fabrics and quilting supplies. Continue reading