Tuesday, 10 May 2016

How to put fabrics together!

One question I get asked a lot is how to put fabrics together, especially for patchwork.

I always suggest that you start with your 'showstopper', the fabric you know you just have to use - it helps if it has more than 3 colours in it, preferably more, but you must love it!

I have had my eye on this beautiful fabric from Lewis and Irene since it arrived a few weeks ago, I love the detail and the colours but I knew that I would want to put it together with some more vibrant colours to lift the grey tones, this is Butterfly Bright after all!

So, how many colours do you think are in this print, you might guess at a glance perhaps 5 or maybe 6.

In actual fact there are 14 individual colours - and how do you know this? By looking at the selvedge..

Fabrics have dots of colour (or sometimes shapes, such as the butterflies on this print) repeated along the selvedge, these show an equal representation of each of the colours used in the print. It makes it easier to identify the colours which may only have a tiny impact on the fabric but are there, even in the smallest detail.

 This is the perfect tool for colour matching fabrics from different quilting collections to use in a project. Always try to keep selvedges attached to a fabric until you actually use them, this not only protects the fabric, it helps you identify the warp and weft and of course gives you the colour spots.

I soon got to work identifying other fabrics from my shop to put together with this glorious piece. I used another Lewis and Irene fabric with the cowslips on to match with the grey but brought in some vibrant turquoise and lime fabrics too.

What do you think? I like using a mixture of geometric and natural prints and also mixing pattern size for interest. I just need a project to put them into now...

Shall we try another one

How many colours do you think are in this print...

An amazing 16 colours

here is the selvedge with the more traditional circles of colour.

There are so many options with this fabric you could pick out the pinks, the yellows, oranges or the blues and greens.

I went with orange, mint and lime green as I try to break out of my pink and blue/green habit!

I'm not totally convinced with this combination yet so I might play with it in the next few days and see what else I can come up with. When I am happy with my mini collections I will add them as bundles to the webshop to save you some time!

What colours do you love to put together?


If you like my choice of fabric and would like to get an amazing delivery each month you might be interested in the Butterfly Bright Monthly Fabric Subscription Service.


Friday, 6 May 2016

it's time to close the doors...

As you know I moved Butterfly Bright to 81 Cheap Street in January of this year.

This was a deliberate move to take the shop off the high street and make it more of a “workshop” whilst encouraging product sales via the website rather than the shop. With a growing family this means I can fit the business around my children and still offer a valued service to my customers.

After a trial period where the shop has been open part time I have found that this has simply confused customers and so I am taking the decision to move entirely online from mid May.

Workshops will continue as advertised and from time to time I will hold “event days” where the shop will be open for trade.

I look forward to bringing you bigger and better workshops over the coming months and you will of course be able to purchase items from the shop whilst attending any of our clubs or workshops.

Local customers will be able to collect purchases made online from the shop at prearranged times instead of paying for postage.

There are some items I won't be selling online so if you pop in over the next week you will be sure to find a bargain! (I will be clearing all of my Rowan wool and pattern books at 30% off).

I will be open as follows:
Sat 7th May 10am-1pm
Monday 9th May 10am-4pm
Tuesday 10th May 10am-4pm
Wednesday 11th May 12pm-4pm
Thursday 12th May - closed.
Friday 13th May 10am-4pm

After that the shop will be closed to the public other than for workshops and event days.

Crochet Club will continue on a Wednesday evening - please join our facebook group for updates on meetings.

I look forward to your continued support during this next phase of Butterfly Bright's colourful evolution!


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Yarn Shop Day 2016

I wish it could be Yarn Shop Day every day!

the sun was shining and it seemed like everyone was in a good mood!

Carla from The Mousehole Woolery came along to talk to people about her needle-felting workshops and to show off some of her amazing sculptures, hardly a person passed through without being amazed with her work and stopping to ask questions.

It was great to see Maisey and Daisy Mole in the flesh as we are looking forward to running this as a workshop in June. You will get the chance to make Hares and Foxes again in August but book early as orders are already coming in after the interest raised at the weekend!

I particularly liked the toadstool detail in the plant pot!

Lots of customers entered our raffle and the winners will be drawn on Tuesday 3rd May, you have until midnight on Monday 2nd May to purchase tickets online - the prizes are pretty awesome!

I didn't manage to take many more photos of the day because I was so incredibly busy and also juggling my 6, 4 and 2 year old due to a last minute lack of childcare however I did catch this gem of a photo when my youngest climbed up to see Carla's work and gently kissed the mole on his nose!

See you soon


Friday, 29 April 2016

Amitola Shawl by Happy Thimble

I have been saving this post especially for Yarn Shop Day!

Caroline, who we miss greatly at Butterfly Bright, is now knitting up a storm over on her new blog Happy Thimble.

I sent her some yummy new wool to play with and not only did she knit a beautiful shawl with it, she actually wrote the pattern herself! What a clever lady I say...

I am not a very advanced knitter but I hope to try this pattern when I get a chance

the detail is just beautiful and the edging divine!

it looks like it would be pretty to wear and cosy all at the same time.

the shawl is on display at the shop if you want to pop in and have a look, we do have some of the Amitola Lace left but it is going fast with such an inspirational make on hand!

Thanks to Caroline for letting us share her pattern - you can read her version here

4.5mm needles

pm = place marker
sm = slip marker
yo = yarn over
k2tog = knit 2 together
RS = right side
WS = wrong side
RN - right needle
LN - left needle

Start here
Cast on 3, knit 6 rows, at the end of the last row, do not turn your work, but pick up and knit 3 stitches along the side of your garter stitch tab, and 3 stitches along the cast on edge giving you 9 stitches in total.

Now follow this simple repeat alternating between the two balls of yarn every two rows:
1. k3, pm, yo, k1, yo, pm, k1, pm, yo, k1, yo, pm, k3
2. k3, sm, purl to last 3 sts, sm, k3
3. k3, sm, yo, k to first marker, yo, sm, k1, sm, yo knit to next marker, yo, sm, k3
4. k3, sm, purl to last 3 sts, sm, k3

Repeat rows 3 and 4 for as long as you like, this forms the basis of the triangle shawl.

The eyelet rows are made by keeping the k3, yo at the start followed by k2tog, yo repeated across the row to the centre, yo, sm, yo (for the middle) the continue K2tog, yo to the last 3 stitches, sm knit 3.

You can choose to do this once or repeated on RS rows whilst keeping WS rows as row 4.

Finally, I used a picot cast off (make sure you leave yourself enough yarn as it uses approximately 3 times as much yarn as a standard cast off. 

Picot cast off - *cast on 2 stitches, cast off 3 stitches, put the stitch on the RN back onto the LN and repeat from *. There is a great you tube tutorial to help with this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUQ-K6upor0



Monday, 25 April 2016

A Patchwork Sewing Machine Cover

I have been meaning to make a cover for my sewing machine for years, and it seems that the new shop is quite a bit dustier than the old one so I decided to actually get on with it!

Using a charm pack is a great way to get a patchwork result that you know will work, I had a few of these Moda Chic Neutrals ones left so I cracked one open.

The squares were soon pieced together using my trustee quarter inch foot

I measured the sewing machine and adjusted the cover to fit exactly

The cover is lined with a different fabric by Studio E in case I want a change! I thought this print was very appropriate...

I think it looks jolly smart in the shop entrance - it even matches the lovely sideboard currently on loan from The Old Shambles in Sherborne - this sideboard has already sold but Paula has lots of lovely new furniture in all the time so do have a look at her facebook page!

What do you think?

I had been asked to come up with a workshop for a sewing machine cover so I will be adding this to the diary soon, keep an eye on our webshop for details.

You can buy the sewing themed fabric from my website here

I also have a few other sewing machines to make covers for so I may come up with some alternative designs in the next few weeks, watch this space..

I hope you enjoyed this post - do please leave a comment or ask me any questions if you like!



Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Fox and the Hare!

We had a wonderful day at the Butterfly Bright workshop yesterday with Carla from The Mousehole Woolery teaching needle felting to a very keen group of ladies!

Carla brought with her some inspirational creations of her own and set the scene for a day of making

When I popped in towards the end of the class there was such an air of concentration as the ladies were finishing their pieces,

busy grooming and shaping final touches to the animals in hand

there were so many fantastic details like the beard on this handsome fellow

Each animal had a little bit of unique character and a bit like children I would never know which belonged to who, but each creator certainly recognized their own!

I have to say I was extremely impressed with their day's work!

Carla will be popping on Yarn Shop Day on Sat 30th April 2016 to give a needle-felting demonstration and she will  be teaching her next class "Maisey Mole" with us on Saturday 18th June.

Carla will also be back on 20th August to teach the Country Hares and Foxes workshop again for anyone who missed it this time round.


ps. you can check out Carla's amazing creations on her website


Friday, 15 April 2016

I must use that charm pack!

I opened a beautiful Moda charm pack a while ago and used half of the squares to make this mini quilt - you can read about this on a previous post

The other half of the squares were mostly blues and greens and I soon set to work on a project I'd spotted and pinned on Pinterest ages ago..

There is a patchwork element, a scrunching element, a boxing element and more,

you even have to sew a button on!

I was really pleased with the finished bag - all completed within the day, in between customers, conversations and cups of tea.

If you would like to make one I will be running a workshop on this soon, so watch this space!




Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Kids Summer Cotton Trousers

My daughter isn't quite back at school yet and with Daddy off coaching cricket I had a helper at the shop today - of course she was soon eyeing up the fabric and designing an outfit for herself!

This pretty and bright fabric called Lil Dotsy from Michael Miller was her favourite and we settled on the idea of some comfy summer trousers...

I googled for a pattern and came up with an easy tutorial by Sew Delicious

I took her inside and outside leg measurements drew out a rough shape and started cutting!

It really was quite a quick and easy method to sew up and Daisy was soon admiring them but she wanted a little more detail,

some pink elastic was just the trick and we added "tweedle dee and tweedle dum" style braces!

Ta dah!

Why don't you give them a try!




Monday, 11 April 2016

Riley Blake canvas road map play mat

I finally got round to making one of these panels which arrived from Riley Blake

I love the heavier weight cotton canvas material which will be a bit more durable than the usual quilting weight cottons and yet still quite portable if you want to take it anywhere.

All the panel needed was an edging (although you could add a backing if you wanted to) and I chose a bright red bias binding to pick out one of the colours in the pattern.

It gave me the chance to use my new binding clips which I have to say were a lot quicker and easier than using pins.

A lovely neat finish!

There is so much detail on this panel

and even a parking lot for kids to match up different coloured cars

All in all it was a quick and easy project

 and would make a lovely gift for a little person who loves their cars!

The finished mat is 114cm by 90cm and you can buy the panel on our website here.



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