Sew an accessory case for Mother’s Day

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns, Sewing | Posted on 06-03-2015

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner we wanted to give something special to all the Mother’s out there. What better gift than a free pattern! Whether you are looking to make a gift for your Mother, or treat yourself to something new this accessory case will be a pretty, yet practical present. It is time to dust off your sewing machine as the lovely Cherry Heart, aka Sandra has designed a fabulous fabric ‘Ready to Roll Case‘. The accessory case is ideal for housing all of your crafty trinkets. There are ten slots for smaller items and one large pocket at the end perfect for slipping in your tape measure or pin box. This could be varied to suit what items you plan for the roll to be used for. It could even make a funky pencil case or even make up brushes.

Sandra chose a selection of floral prints from the Tanya Whelan ‘Petal’ collection. A soft pastel colour palette, which reflects her yarn choices in much of her crochet work. Sandra’s usual attention to detail can be seen in the form of embroidery stitches, including a simple running stitch and heart, the perfect finishing touch.

If you would like to make this accessory case you can find the free pattern available to download from our website today!

sew an accessory roll

sew an accessory roll

Photo courtesy of Cherry Heart

 

Antique Needle Case

Posted by Amy | Posted in Sewing, Treasured | Posted on 30-01-2015

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When Yvonne brings in something to share you know it’s going to be an interesting piece, whether she has been knitting, crocheting or sewing. She will always put her own spin on a knitting pattern or add a little something here and there. As ever she has kept up her reputation with this incredible vintage find. She may not have made it herself, but she has treasured it for many years and it is craft related.

From a distance I saw the plastic tub sat on my desk and through the transparent lid I could see a butterfly. My initial thoughts were, hmmm a butterfly? Eeeek! I suddenly remembered the chrysalis Yvonne has been taking care of over the winter period. Had she really brought in the butterfly? Panic over, the exquisite golden butterfly is in fact made of brass, and is the most beautiful antique needle case. Yvonne remembers being given the needle case when she was a little girl. It dates back to the 1800’s and still has the original needles inside.

vintage butterly needle case

The wings are hinged and move ever so slightly.

vintage butterfly needle case

vintage butterfly needle case

Do you have any hidden sewing treasures like Yvonne? If you would like to share them with us, please email in your photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Fabric Friday #fabricfriday

Posted by Amy | Posted in Sewing | Posted on 05-12-2014

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Each week on Instagram and Facebook we like to share a favourite fabric from one member of staff. Fabric Friday adds a little sprinkle of fun to a Friday afternoon. It has now been going for a few weeks and we have started to gather quite a collection. It is nice to see someone’s personal choice amongst the extensive range of Coats fabric we stock. I know my eye is often drawn to particular colours or designs. When a favourite bolt of fabric is plucked out by someone else, it really does open your eyes to something new, something that could so easily have been missed. It is lovely to see the enthused choice being made, deliberating between designs and studying the print in detail. When Stuart Hillard was here for a book signing back in November we asked him to choose, as you can see from his picture below, he didn’t choose just one, he chose them all.

fabric friday dena designs

The Dena Designs – Fox Playground in yellow caught Emma’s eye. She loves the detail in the print, especially the foxes. Plus the print is constructed in a way that there is no upside down.

barbara fabric friday

Barbara selected Nel Whatmore – Secret Garden Agapanthus in pink. She was drawn to the floral print.

stuart fabric friday

Stuart Hillard couldn’t decide on just one fabric, he wanted to choose them all!

ellie fabric friday

Ellie chose Kaffe Fassett – Sateen Belle Epoch in red. The Kaffe Fassett Sateen Flame came a close second.

yvonne fabric friday

Yvonne admires the design work in Tula Pink – Fox Field Pony Play in dusk.

colette fabric friday

Colette had her eye on Amy Butler – Hapi Trapeze Voile in charcoal with the plan to make a simple fabric scarf.

What would your fabric Friday choice be? Share away with the hashtag #fabricfriday or post your comments below.

 

 

First Sewing Projects

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects, Sewing | Posted on 27-10-2014

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The Coats fabric landed in store early April and made its way online in the summer for all to discover. The fabrics are of exceptional quality and can be used for various projects. Even if you don’t sew, or only sew a little there are many ways you can utilise the fabrics, why incorporate them into your knitting or crochet projects?

The first sewing workshop took place in June and since then we have held many more, from learn to sew to hand applique. For anyone who regularly visits the Craft Barn or plans to organise a trip why not combine your visit with a sewing workshop. All project based sewing workshops include fabric within the price. Here are some photos of cushion covers made on the moving on from learn to sew workshop that took place in October here at the Craft Barn. The workshop was taught by Rowan tutor – Vicki Walker.

cushion1

cushion2

cushion3

cushion4

cushion5

Over the past couple of weeks customers have been popping in store with their own sewing projects. It’s nice to see the fabric being made into so many different items.

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Margaret has sewn a quilt using the Tula Pink Fox Field fabric range.

margaret_tula_pink2

Anne has made a bag out of various fat quarters of Coats fabric she purchased in the Craft Barn.

anne_fabric_bag1

A mish mash of designs that work well and make a lovely patchwork bag.

anne_fabric_bag2

anne_fabric_bag3

Barbara has made bunting for us to display in the Craft Barn. A gorgeous way to show off the fabric range.

barbara_bunting

She also made these little characters, who have now found a home in the tea shop with Jayne and Julie.

barbara_fabric_mice

Gemma has made cute fabric dolls and upholstered dining chairs in Coats fabrics.

gemma_dolls

Gorgeous choice of Tanya Whelan fabrics for the chairs.

fabric chairs

Have you purchased any fabric online and made your own creations? We would love to see them and share here on the blog. Please email them in to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Stuart Hillard Event – 2nd November 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Sewing | Posted on 23-10-2014

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On Sunday 2nd November Stuart Hillard will be visiting the Craft Barn to celebrate the launch of his first book – Sew Fabulous. Stuart took part in the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee. He did exceptionally well finishing runner up in the whole series. Since then Stuart has continued to share his love of sewing recntly launching his book – ‘Sew Fabulous‘.

stuart hillard

Stuart will be here from 10am until 1pm. signing copies of his book, joining in with any sewing chit chat and generally sharing his knowledge and love of sewing! We look forward to seeing you there.

Take a sneak peek into Stuart’s book below. There are patterns (including pattern paper), instructions on how to do various skills – including rotary cutting and binding a quilt. The book is available to order online here.

sew fabulous

sew_fab2

sew fabulous book

Create Your Own Unique Colour Workshop

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Sewing | Posted on 18-08-2014

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Barbara is taking over today’s blog post. She has written a lovely piece about her day on the Amy Butler Create your own unique colour workshop at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. Barbara is a team leader in the Craft Barn and can offer expert advice on all things crochet, knitting and her favourite passion – patchwork and quilting.

“I jumped at the chance to spend the day with Amy Butler on her Create your own unique colour workshop at the NEC in Birmingham on 6th August. Amidst the chaos of the eve of the Festival of Quilts, with all the noise, hustle and bustle of busy crews setting up for the show was a small classroom of absolute contrast. Our classroom was one of perfect tranquillity as we got swept away in a sea of colour and pattern to create our own colour collages. We began with Amy’s wonderful, inspirational talk and slideshow of her own journey, capturing images from all over the world of people, places, textures, patterns and colour that have inspired her to create her lovely designs. It was a real treat to listen to Amy talk about getting inspiration from all around and inspiring others to do the same.

amy_designsAmy Butler’s new designs and fabrics

We were asked to bring a selection of fabric, ribbons, colour charts, images and any bits and bobs of interesting ephemera to use in our collages. There was also a table packed with the same, for us to choose from, this was a real treat on the eye with all the amazing colours and patterns.

ephemera

moodboard_bits

moodboard_bits2Once we had made our choices we began to assemble our collages, which involved a lot of cutting out and sticking down, as you can imagine this was fun!

barbaraAmy was on hand to give guidance for anyone who needed it and chatted at length with all the members of the group. It was amazing to see everyone’s collages evolving throughout the day and I think everyone went away very happy with what they achieved, I know I did. I definitely recommend that everybody should spend a bit of time exploring different colours and patterns to create their own unique colour story it is a lovely way to ignite your creative fire. It really was a great day and I met some lovely ladies, so thank you to Amy for sharing.”

barbara_mood_board2Barbara’s finished mood boards

barbara_mood_board1Everyone who attended the day with their completed colour stories

groupEveryone came away with a beautiful jelly roll of fabric, a note pad, pen and Amy Butler pattern.

gifts

Fabric now online!

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Sewing | Posted on 25-07-2014

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Earlier this year we opened our fabric room. An area within the Craft Barn full of bright colour and dazzling prints. The fabric is all from the Coats range, which includes print designers Amy Butler, Dena Designs, Nel Whatmore, Kaffe Fassett and Tim Holtz to name but a few.

If you aren’t local to the Craft Barn in Warrington the good news is that all of the fabric is now available to order online. To make it easy when ordering online the fabric is sold by the quarter metre. Single quantities will be cut as fat quarters and multiple quantities are cut continuously with the final quarter of any odd-numbered quantity cut as a “skinny quarter.” To purchase one metre, enter 4 in the quantity box. Here is an example of how it works. Where you see 112cm this is the width of the fabric and may vary should the fabric be wider.

1 quarter measures 50cm x 56cm
2 quarters measure 50cm x 112cm
3 quarters measure 75cm x 112cm
4 quarters measure 1m x 112cm

We also stock many patterns from Amy Butler. Below is a selection, ranging from bags and cushions to simple garments. Have you ever visited the Make It Coats website? There are many free patterns available to download for free. This is also a fantastic resource if you need a guide to sewing in zips or binding and finishing.

honey bun poufs

anna_tunic_pattern

Here are a selection of Tula Pink fabrics cut into a bundle of three fat quarters.

tula pink fabric

Or how about Amy Butler?

amy butler

Then the fun and playful Dena Designs.

fabric2_2

If you can’t sew, or are little rusty, then take a look at all of our Rowan workshops. They are taught by Rowan tutors and all include fabric within the cost. The sewing classes are limited to 8 participants and for all machine sewing workshops there will be a Pfaff machine available per person.

There is a further 15% off all fabric both online and in store until midnight Sunday 27th July 2014 BST. Take a look at all of our fabric range here.