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91

CRAFT SPECIAL

MAGAZINE

91 MAGAZINE

interiors / vintage / crafts

JANUARY 2014


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Editor’s Letter TEAM

Caroline Rowland

Editor & Art Director

Hannah Bishop

Happy New Year readers and welcome to our first ever special issue of 91 Magazine! 2013 was a great year for us, with our last issue of the year achieving a record number of hits. It makes me so happy to know that so many of you enjoy the magazine and we really appreciate everyone spreading the word and sharing what we do with others. The craft revolution certainly sees no sign of abating, so we thought to celebrate this, 2014 should start with an issue dedicated to crafting. As we all hibernate from the cold winter days, it is the perfect time to get out your sewing kit, knitting needles and fabric stash and get making. We have a great mix of tutorials from cross-stitch to upholstery to crochet. We also meet some lovely folk who are making a living from their craft and peek inside some handmade homes and workspaces. We’d love to see if you have a go at any of our projects, so please share your pics and tag with #91craftspecial

Sub Editor & Researcher

Enjoy!

Pippa Blenkinsop Editorial Assistant

Lots of Love,

Caroline x x x new venture award winner 2012

91 Magazine is a Patchwork Harmony publication. All content is copyright of 91 Magazine and its individual contributors. Images can be used only with a link back to www.91magazine.co.uk and where possible, the contributors website. Cover Photograph : Tif Fussell

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contributors

rachel basinger

Designer / Maker www.ohnorachio.com

Lucy Davidson

Designer & illustrator www.peasandneedles.co.uk

megan eckman Illustrator and embroidery designer www.studiomme.com

kasia fiszer

Photographer www.kasiaďŹ szer.com

tif fussell

Blogger, crafter, designer, author www.dottieangel.blogspot.com

ruth garner

Blogger and writer www.ruthlgarner.com 4


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jeska hearne

Blogger and stylist www.blog.lobsterandswan.com

emma lamb

Crochet designer and blogger www.emmallamb. blogspot.co.uk

Corinne Lee-Cooke Illustrator www.violetlakestudio.co.uk

leigh metcalf

Blogger www.foundnowhome.blogspot.co.uk

hege morris

Blogger www.hegeinfrance.com

jess payne

Designer/Maker www.ditsykins.com

emily quinton

Photographer and blogger www.emilyquinton.com

Victoria Snape

Designer / Maker www.victoriasnape.co.uk 5


Contents Page 8

Page 68

Shopping: Notions of note

Page 10

The Craft Lovers Guide to Haberdasheries

Page 15

Renegade Craft Fair: Meet the sellers

Page 24

Craft tutorial: Knitted bunting

Page 30

Craft tutorial: Origami vase

Craft tutorial: Upholster a chair cover

Page 35

Page 72

Page 42

Page 76

Craft tutorial: Fabric doll

Interiors: A home with a handmade heart

Page 52

Craft tutorial: Crochet pincushion

Page 58

Craft tutorial: Gift boxes

Page 64

Craft tutorial: Embroidery art

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Vintage Days: Out and about at vintage fairs

Craft tutorial: Contemporary cup candle

Page 80

Craft tutorial: Cross-stitch wall hanging

Page 86

Interiors: A screen printer’s sanctuary


The Craft Lovers Guide to Haberdasheries

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Interiors: A home with a handmade heart

Craft tutorial: Gift boxes

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Craft tutorial: embroidery art Interiors: Screen printer’s studio visit

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Craft tutorial: Upholster a chair cover

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Vintage Days: Fair reviews

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Vintage Tintin buttons ÂŁ1.00 Dee Puddy

Notions of note

Make sure your sewing box is as stylish as the things you create, with our top haberdashery accessories


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Heart Sewing Pin Wheel £1.95 Dotcomgiftshop

Round Sewing Box £29.95 Liberty

Antique style scissors £8.50 Loop

Velvet ribbon £6.50 Oliver Bonas Vintage buttons £0.99 Folksy

Needle case £8.00 Cath Kidston

Vintage dressmaking pattern £5.00 The OK Corral

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Pippa Blenkinsop rounds up the loveliest haberdasheries around the UK and online... Illustrations by Corinne Lee-Cooke

Donna Flower For Donna, collecting rare and unusual old fabrics began as a hobby, yet now she takes pride in being the largest online stockist of vintage fabrics in the UK. Whether you’re looking for faded French 19th century florals, rolls of retro 50s and 60s bark cloth, or even electrifying eighties prints - Donna’s shop is your best port of call.

And what’s more, if she doesn’t have what you’re looking for, she’s happy to help you find it! All the fabrics she sells have a history, so dimensions inevitably vary. Her collection ranges from crafty scrap bags and small samples perfect for patchworking, to untouched yardage for curtains and upholstery.

www.donnaflower.com

Fabric Rehab “To supply unusual and contemporary fabric to the modern crafter looking for something a bit different.” That’s the aim of Fabric Rehab, and one they certainly fulfil! Plain colours are available but bright, bold designer printed cottons are their speciality. Prints range from contemporary geometrics, simple scandi, abstract fifties revivals to sophisticated florals, playful animal prints and novelty kitsch designs of ice cream vans, toadstools and retro phones.

Alongside their extensive fabric collection are patterns and craft kits to make the most of whatever fabric you choose. Shop online or visit Fabric Rehab HQ on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am – 2pm.

www.fabricrehab.co.uk - 3b Dedham Vale Business Centre, Manningtree Road, Dedham, Essex, CO7 6BL 10


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Guthrie & Ghani Named after the surnames of its founders, Guthrie and Ghani is Birmingham’s go to store for anything cool and crafty – whether it be for sewing, knitting, crochet, upholstery or printing. It’s a place where you can indulge your passion for beautiful fabrics – for which

the guiding principles for sourcing are “general loveliness and excellent quality” say Ayaz and Lauren. Some of GG’s gorgeous designer print collections include - Lotta Jansdotter’s bright, scandi come Japanese inspired collection, ‘Glimma’, Jenean Morrison’s – ‘In My Room’ ditsy florals and Tim Holtz’s Peter Blake-esque ‘Electric Elements’ collection.

www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk 169 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8JR

Hoop Haberdashery Hoop Haberdashery are only just over a year old but are already causing a stir in the craft world with their growing range of beautiful haberdashery, yarns, ribbons and notions, as well as a calendar of craft classes. They are proud stockists of vintage inspired prestigious

French brands, La Croix et la Maniere linens & trimmings, and the devine Sajou – a re-launched 19th century producer of haberdashery. However, makers that prefer fun, contemporary brands are also catered for with the likes of Kiriki Press, What Delilah Did and Crafty Kit Company.

www.hoophaberdashery.co.uk - 92 High Street, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 6JB

the linen garden This gorgeous online shop is run by the talented Vicky Trainor - designer maker behind The Vintage Drawer. Most of the time you’ll find Vicky carefully embellishing her range of wedding stationary, gifts and homewares. She uses a unique form of floral fabric collage in which she layers up snippets of vintage cloth, lace and cut out fabric flowers and combines them with old buttons and delicate hand embroidery. A self confessed hoarder and a vintage inspired assemblage artist, she is constantly acquiring beautiful reclaimed haberdashery. After a while Vicky realised her studio was fit to bursting, so she decided the best solution was to open an online

shop where she could share her finds with fellow crafters. Now Vicky provides creative souls with inspiration and the goods to make beautiful crafty vintage gifts and keepsakes for themselves. And so The Linen Garden was born. Feel free to pop in anytime and scroll through the pages of aged ribbon, lace, crochet and paperie.

www.thelinengarden.co.uk 11


Our Patterned Hand Located in East London’s trendy Broadway Market, Our Patterned Hand is yet another of our capital’s textile trading treasures. It’s only small, but packed full of expertly curated dressmaking and soft furnishing fabrics from linen to Liberty print jersey, including many organic and fairtrade. They like to source local fabrics and stock a range of prints designed by Hackney artists – but are also the only retailer outside of the Hebrides to

stock genuine Harris Tweed! In addition they host a series of sewing workshops which cater for absolute beginners to more experienced stitchers – pop online to see what’s on offer. And, if you are planning to visit the shop, we recommend visiting on a Saturday so that you can sample the culinary delights of the famous Broadway Market food stalls too!

www.ourpatternedhand.co.uk - 49 Broadway Market, London, E8 4PH

Raystitch This modern take on the traditional haberdashery is split between two levels. The ground floor shop is where you’ll find all the gear you need to be a seamstress from patterns to poppers - and the basement studio is where you can learn exactly how to use it all at one of their regular sewing tutorials. Upstairs is centered around a huge antique cutting table, partially covered with trays of buttons, and walls are lined floor to ceiling with shelves laden with beautifully displayed fabrics and ribbons - all organised by type and neatly stacked. Contemporary designer prints

feature prominently, but every now and then you spot a vintage mini Vulcan sewing machine, giving the occasional nod to textile traditions. Owner Rachel likes to get involved in exciting collaborative projects with talented designers and recently commissioned renowned illustrator Alice Pattullo to create a range of 8 celebration ribbons especially for Raystitch featuring party rings, jellies and balloons.

www.raystitch.co.uk - 99 Essex Road, London, N1 2SJ

Sew Over It You’ve chosen your fabric and pattern and you’ve been to a workshop to learn the basics, but now you just need somewhere you can practice your skills with great company, facilities and direction – so why not visit the Sew Over It Cafe in Clapham? For just £5 an hour you can use all the mod sewing cons available as well as benefit from expert

advice from staff who are always happy to help in any crafting crisis. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet like minded makers and what’s more there’s the bonus of unlimited pots of tea! A day creating and chatting over a nice brew – it’s hard to think of anything better! And, if you do get caught short on materials, there is a shop where you can stock up on supplies!

www.sewoverit.co.uk - 78 Landor Road, Clapham North, London, SW9 9PH

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Sew Vintage to a more advanced, two day tweed handbag making workshop. Also on offer is 1:1 tuition, as are group sessions and parties. Unfortunately their online shop isn’t up and running just yet but if you’re not local why not come and make a day of it and combine your trip with a visit to Shepton Mallet Flea (held every couple of months) which is just a stones through away.

Sew Vintage is located in the heart of Wells’ ‘crafty corner’ – an exciting new development of boutiques just off market square which is putting this small Somerset town on the makers map! The Sew Vintage brand encompasses both haberdashery, which of course includes vintage treasures, and the sewing parlour, in which a variety of workshops are held. Classes range from a beginners two hour crochet flowers lesson,

www.sewvintagewells.co.uk - 38 Market St, Wells, BA5 2DS

The Cloth House Are you partial to some organic unbleached cotton? Do you appreciate a tactile hand loomed silk? Then The Cloth House is for you. They are the largest retailer in our shortlist, with not one shop, but two, both located just moments from London’s busy Oxford Street, yet they can by no means be compared to the high street chains that surround them. Fabrics are ethically sourced worldwide,

many from India where the buyer supports and works with local artisans to develop great colours and prints of hand-loomed, block printed cotton which are unique to The Cloth House. At the No. 98 store, a particular treat is the numerous spools of hand embroidered Indian trimmings on display as well as boards bound with every type of lace trim you can imagine!

www.clothhouse.com - Berwick Street, London, W1F 8SJ

The Old Haberdashery Our tour now takes us from the buzzing London streets to the pretty country village of Ticehurst in East Sussex where you’ll find the delightful Old Haberdashery. Step in past the beautiful window display to discover an emporium of reclaimed haberdashery and sewing ephemera alongside a selection of gorgeous vintage textiles, gifts and homewares. Driven by a passion for recycling and transforming the old into new, owner Sonia opened the shop in 2010 to inspire vintage and craft lovers alike. Sonia selects all her stock by hand, often relying on aesthetic impulse, “it all boils down to texture and colour. If it sings to us we’ll snap it up” she says. Make sure to look out

for her vintage haberdashery range now stocking at Liberty of London department store too!

www.theoldhaberdashery.com 33a High Street, Ticehurst, East Sussex, TN5 7AS 13


Contemporary Cotton Craft Fabrics

Annali designed by Stephanie Thannhauser for dashwood studio For sales enquiries email: sales@anbo.co.uk

www.dashwoodstudio.com


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Meet the makers

91 Magazine visits Renegade Craft Fair to chat to some of our favourite makers and �nd out a little about their chosen craft and what inspires them

Interviews by Ruth Garner Photographs by Emily Quinton

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ack in London for another year, the Renegade Craft Fair came to town in November – bringing with it a swathe of talented designers and makers selling their unique, handmade items. Since its debut in Chicago in 2003, Renegade has gone from strength to strength, and now in its third year, the London stop has become a must-visit event. This year was no exception, with the gathering of creatives being of an exceptionally high standard. The event was bigger than ever, with more than 100 stalls filling the vast Old Truman Brewery on London’s Brick Lane. The range of products on offer was equally impressive: from fabulous clothes and accessories, to handcrafted homewares, gifts and stationery, there really was something for everyone. To get a flavour of why Renegade is so special, to find out a bit more about crafting and why they love it so much, I spoke to eight of the sellers who caught my eye.

91: Who are you and what do you do? HOLLY FRANCESCA I’m Holly, and I’m the owner of Holly Francesca. I make art prints and greeting cards which are based on iconic places throughout the world. 91: Can you sum up the look and feel of your work in three words? Fresh, colourful and simplistic. 91: What is it about maps that you love so much? Why do you draw them and not other things? Well, a lot of my work is based on me wanting to learn more myself. I feel really stupid when I don’t know where a city is in the UK! By having a slight

educational element to my work it means that I’m learning myself and others might learn something from them too. 91: What do you say to people who say that they can’t draw? Everybody can draw. Everyone can – if you aren’t such a brilliant artist then that naivety can be quite unique in itself. You’ve just got to give it a go. I spent most of my childhood with everyone laughing at my handwriting, and now everyone says my handwriting is artistic! www.hollyfrancesca.co.uk


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91: Who are you and what do you do? My name is Katie, and I run a stationery brand called ‘Oh Squirrel’.

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OH SQUIRREL

91: Why do you like reworking old photographs into your products? I really like that most of the photos I’ve acquired have been discarded. They are from jumble sales and house clearances. It’s sad that they aren’t loved anymore, so I like to give them a new lease of life. 91: Where do you find your inspiration? From all over really. I read a lot of blogs, and a lot of old books too. 91: What does the future hold for Oh Squirrel? Well, more of the same please. I left my old job to do this full-time in June, and it’s been a whirlwind ever since then!

www.ohsquirrel.co.uk 17


91: Who are you and what do you do? I’m Harriet, from ‘Hello Harriet’, and I think my crazy cat lady status has gone into all my products – so I sell lots of cat themed items!

HELLO HARRIET

91: Why cats, dogs and rabbits? I just really really want a cat, so that has spread into my products! 91: Can you describe the look and feel of your work in three words? Really super cute! 91: How do you stay inspired? I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, and also on Twitter by looking at other people and getting inspired by them and their work. 91: Is there an item you’re most proud of? Probably my nail transfers, they’ve been really popular recently.

www.helloharriet.com 18


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BENU

91: Who are you and what do you do? I’m Pauline and I have a full-time job as well as running my own jewellery business, ‘Benu’. About a year ago I stumbled upon a guy who sold leather in Spitalfields, in loads of different shades. I picked some lovely gold and bright blue, suddenly loads of ideas came rushing to my head and I was so pleased because I had managed to start something of my own. 91: Can you sum up the look and feel of your work in three words? Unique, colourful and fun. 91: Is leather easy to work with? Would it be a good material for someone new to jewellery making to use? Absolutely. I was new to jewellery making until about a year ago. It’s so easy to work with; you can manipulate it, cut around it and cut within it. There are so many beautiful different colours to work

with. It’s the perfect material to work with if you’re looking to experiment with jewellery making. 91: Why are designer/maker markets like Renegade so special? They are special because people have put so much effort into what they’ve created. I love what I do and the feedback I’m given at places like this is so encouraging. www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BenuShop 19


ZEENA 91: Who are you and what do you do? My name is Zeena Shah, and I’m a textile designer. I screen print lots of lovely home accessories and stationery goods. 91: Can you sum up the look and feel of your work in three words? Folk, Scandinavian and owly! 91: You run workshops for people to learn your craft, do you think everyone has got crafting and creativity in them? I do. A lot of people that come to my workshops think they can’t do it – but actually they can! 91: Which is your favourite design: Owen, Clive or Fred? That is a really hard question! Fred – because he was my very first print. 91: Where do you draw your inspiration from? From the things I find! For example the leaf in the street, the bird in the trees – everywhere. www.zeenashah.com 20


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ANNA DENT

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91: Who are you and what do you do? I’m Anna Dent, and I design patterns and I sell products which have my patterns on them. It’s mainly homewares - coasters, tea towels and lampshades, but also cards and prints.

91: What is it about 40s-70s Scandinavian design that appeals to you? It has a feeling of energy and warmth and a human touch to it. One of my favourite designers is Alvar Aalto, who was an architect and furniture designer. There is a real simplicity and humanity to his designs.

www.annadentstudio.com 91: Who are you and what do you do? My name is Rachel and I run ‘Prickle Press’, a design and letterpress business. I design and make everything from simple greetings cards and postcards to wedding stationery and personalised stationery.

91: Why do you think fairs like Renegade are so special? Some craft fairs can be narrow in who exhibits and who visits – whereas here there is such an amazing range of people, and there is stuff on sale to please everyone. It’s really vibrant and there’s a great atmosphere – it’s fab!

PRICKLE PRESS

91: Why letterpress? I learnt it as a hobby and I fell in love with the detail and the time it takes to get the perfect impression. I also love the tactile nature of it. 91: Is it a craft that anyone can learn? I think it takes great skill to do it really well, and there are definitely some techniques that you need to learn, but I am trying to make it more accessible by running workshops just so that people can have a go, even in the simplest way. www.pricklepress.co.uk 21


ANNA WISCOMBE

91: Who are you and what do you do? I’m Anna Wiscombe and I design and make a range of contemporary wooden products, including lots of homewares and a line of jewellery as well.

91: Can you sum up the look and feel of your work in three words? Scandinavian, colourful and rustic. 91: What is it about working with wood that you like so much? For me, it’s the fact that you can take any piece of wood, work with it, and it’ll come out different each time. It’s such a beautiful, natural material to use. 91: Having grown up in the Dorset countryside do you find that you miss it, now you’re living in London? Yes, very much! I love London for things like this [Renegade]. But for me, nature and where I grew up is a massive part of my inspiration, so I have to divide my time between both places. 91: Do you have a favourite winged friend? Probably the family sets. They are really popular and I love making the little birds. www.annawiscombe.com 22


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loves....

Lolly and boo

pom pom galore jasmine white patchwork studio

evon candles melody rose


a little string of yarny goodness...

... By Dottie Angel


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a little string of yarny goodness...

... By Dottie Angel

I

f you are new to knitting or indeed a little rusty dusty, this little how-to is perfectly perfect for brushing up on old skills or practising some newly acquired ones.

what you’ll need: • scraps of worsted weight yarn in colours of your choosing • size 10 knitting needles • blunt sewing needle for weaving in ends • sharp sewing needle • sewing thread • pins • scraps of ribbon, lace or doilies • scissors 1

Step 1 This little string of yarny goodness comprises of 3 different sized knitted flags - you may make as many or as few as you like for your string: flag #1: cast on 12 stitches, using garter stitch (knit stitch), knit 42 rows, cast off flag #2: cast on 14 stitches, using garter stitch, knit 24 rows, cast off flag #3: cast on 16 stitches, using garter stitch, knit 36 rows, cast off 26

When you have made as many flags as you require, take a blunt needle and weave in the cast on thread, but do not weave in the cast off thread as you will need it later for stringing your flags together.


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3b

2 3a

Step 2

Take your little bits of ribbon and lace, and with pins secure in a pleasing fashion to the flags. Make sure the cast off thread is at the top left hand corner before you place your bling. Perhaps consider leaving some unadorned. With sewing needle and thread, carefully hand stitch in place.

Step 3

Place your flags in the order you wish them to dingle dangle when strung together and one at a time, take the cast off thread and with the blunt needle, attach to the neighbouring flag, leaving a small length of yarn between them. Do several overlapping stitches to secure and thread along back of newly attached flag and carefully trim with scissors.

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Step 4

Take a spare bit of yarn, and on the right hand side of the far right flag, attach with the blunt needle.

Step 5

Note how happy your little yarn of string is, then look around your nest for a suitable place to dingle dangle your little string of yarny goodness, or perhaps consider gifting to another to brighten their day and their nest. 27


WIN!

This little string of yarny goodness is just one of twelve which will feature on Tif’s blog ‘the ramblings of dottie angel’. ‘12 strings of happy for 12 marvellous months’... each month she will show how to make a string of happy using various bits and bobs, after which, she will give away the little string to one happy reader. Find out more here: www.dottieangel.blogspot.com


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a vessel of precise proportions


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Hege Morris shows us how to create a structural origami vase from nothing but a piece of card...

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rigami, the Japanese art of paper folding, has been around for hundreds of years, but we think 2014 is going to see a resurgence and modern take on the art form emerging. Follow our paper folding steps to this geometric inspired vase.

what you’ll need:

• cardstock (140gsm) • ruler • pencil • scissors • glue

Step 1

Decide on the size of your vase. A4 paper was used here, but it was cut down to 16cm x 26.5cm. While origami is normally done with quite thin paper, for this project we’ve used a thin card for a better, more sturdy result.

Step 2

Start by folding the paper in half horizontally.

Step 3

Then fold the two horizontal sides in half again.

/folding tips/

Step 4

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Your paper should now sit up like this.

make sure your folds are super crisp and accurate. Use a ruler to help you. When the horizontal lines have been folded, the vertical lines must be folded in the opposite direction or it won’t work!


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Step 5

The first vertical fold should meet the first horizontal fold.

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Step 6

The second vertical fold should meet the third horizontal fold.

Step 7

Step 8

The next two folds you have to measure and line up correctly. You simply measure the gap between the first and the second fold and fold your paper with exactly the same distance. Here it was 3” or 7.5cm. If you prefer you could draw a line with a pencil and erase it later. Repeat the same folds on the other side of your paper. When you have folded all sides your paper should look like this. (left)

When all horizontal and vertical lines have been folded, pick up your paper, put the edges together and glue them.

Fill with dried flowers or use a jam jar to hold your flowers set inside your paper vase

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Frances Dolly Sew this dainty dolly and dress her up in pretty orals - a family heirloom in the making?

by LEigh Metcalf


G

ather together some fabric scraps or go for something really special like Liberty print, and make this unique dolly who we like to call Frances!

what you’ll need: • pattern - download here • flesh coloured canvas or heavyweight linen: 41cm x 26cm (head, legs and arms) • 26cm x 15cm piece of plain or patterned fabric (for shirt) • 20cm x 26cm piece of plain or patterned fabric (for apron) • 38cm x 13cm piece of plain or patterned fabric (for skirt) • 9cm x 3cm piece of felt to match shirt (for collar) • 36cm ribbon to match apron • 36cm trim for skirt • merino roving wool 50g ball & matching thread (for hair) • fabric paints in red and white & fine paintbrush • embroidery floss in colours for eyebrows, nose, eyes & lips • embroidery hoop • Polyester toy filling • 2 tablespoons of rice to weigh doll down a bit • needle, thread and pins • pencil or disappearing fabric pen • button or bow for hair (optional) • doll rolling pin and whisk (optional)

Step 1 Iron fabrics and cut pattern pieces out (all except the head front) in your chosen fabrics.

Step 2 Use a disappearing fabric pen or fine tip pencil to trace the doll face, then put the face fabric in a small embroidery hoop.

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Step 3 Embroider and paint the face: Use one strand of embroidery oss doubled over, backstitch eyebrows and nose. For the eyes, satin stitch three lines of black for the pupils making the two on the sides slightly smaller than the middle line. Satin stitch the eye colour in a circle around the pupil, coming around tightly in the centre but for one stitch near the top, leave a speck of background fabric showing as a white highlight on the eye. Paint in the lips with red fabric paint. Mix white and a bit of red for the cheeks. After the lips dry, highlight them by embroidering the outside of the lips, backstitching around them. Cut out the head along the pattern line after it dries.

Step 4 With right sides together, stitch head front to shirt front and head back to shirt back. Stitch right sides of legs together (do twice for each leg). Stitch right sides of arm pieces together (do twice for each arm).

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Step 5 Turn out legs and arms and stuff them with polyester filling. It’s helpful to use a chopstick to turn out the legs and arms. Stuff them quite a bit as you don’t want saggy limbs. Turn out body and pin the arms and legs between right sides of doll front and back, making sure the right arm and left arm are on their correct sides. Pin and sew around, leaving a gap on the side or top of head for turning out. Your gap needs to be at least 6cm. Go slowly pinning and sewing and if needed, do one limb at a time and then sew the gaps between. Turn your doll right side out. Stuff body and stitch up head: drop in 2tbps of rice in the body and then stuff through the head opening and whipstitch it closed (you won’t see stitching after hair is in place).

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Step 6 For attaching the hair, take a wad of the wool and move it around with your fingers to determine hair shape. Knot your thread and go in under “hairline” area where you want to make a parting. Run the thread through the majority of the hair from the hairline towards the back of head to make the parting. After the parting is formed, stitch along one side of the head similarly to how you made the parting, grabbing wool where you want the hair to curve and then run the thread back through the head to pull it tight and secure.

Step 7 Turn under the bottom length of her hair to hide the ends and stitch them under and secure them as you go. If you don’t like the shape it’s taking, just snip your thread and start again. Do the same for the back of the head. Starting at the parting, grab a wad and mound it over the backside of her head and stitch it on weaving it in and out in the same manner as the front. Once complete, add a button or bow to accessorise her hair.

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Step 8 Take your skirt fabric and with right sides together stitch the short sides to join in a ring. Turn up hem on each side and press. Fold wrong sides of the skirt together with hem edges matching up. Pin in your trim inside the opening between the hems. Stitch your trim in place. To gather the skirt, start at the seam and make two rows of running stitches. Leave your thread tails long. Tug on the top two threads to gather the skirt. Knot threads and use a needle to stitch them inside to hide them. Tie your skirt ribbon around the stitches to hide them.

Step 9 For apron, place ribbon tie backs inside apron front and back, and pin them down to hold in place. With right sides together, stitch together leaving an opening at the bottom for turning out. Turn out and press. Top stitch around apron. If you wish to add a pocket - with right sides together, stitch pocket front to pocket back, leaving an opening and then turn out. Sew on pocket by stitching around the two short sides and bottom and make a line down the centre to create two pocket compartments.

Step 10 Cut collar shape from felt piece. Stitch on yarn or ribbon to each end (approx 15cm to each side) to tie at the back. Stitch just under half of the felt so that you don’t see the stitches on the topside. Create a bow with the remaining yarn or ribbon to attach to front. Centre using just a few stitches and knotting at the back. 40


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Give Frances dolly to someone you love!

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A home with a handmade heart Leigh Metcalf’s home is peppered with personality and character, all down to her passion for crafting and finding that perfect vintage gem

Photography: Leigh Metcalf Words: Caroline Rowland


INTERIORS

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Leigh likes collecting handmade items from other independent designer makers. This little bird is by New York based artist Ann Wood.

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eigh Metcalf lives with her husband and two young daughters, Lois and Ellie, in a three bedroom terrace in the leafy suburb of East Dulwich, South London. Leigh is a photographer, writer and blogger who is a regular contributor to 91 Magazine. She is also a talented crafter (see her doll project on page 35) and her home is filled with a great mix of handcrafted items and vintage finds. Leigh and her family have only lived here for 18 months, but have managed to turn their rented property into a cosy family home with lots of personality. While there are restrictions on how they can alter the interior, they have negotiated with their landlord to allow them to remove wallpaper they disliked and repaint. They were also allowed to change light fittings and window treatments, making the most of what can be altered to suit their taste.

Left: Leigh at home. Right: Leigh’s landlord allowed them to change some light fittings to suit their taste. Opposite page: The living room filled with vintage finds and found objects.

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Little Ellie’s room has a soft, pastel colour palette, with lots of crafty makes by Leigh dotted around.

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Leigh tends to gravitate towards old things for her home, rather than the new, and aspires to the work of John Derian, a decoupage artist and interior designer. Her style could be described as ‘flea market chic’ – but without being too junky or polished. As well as being influenced by designers such as Derian, Leigh uses Pinterest, magazines and books to gather ideas. She also takes inspiration from beautiful shops with wonderful styling. For example, while browsing Liberty of London one day, Leigh spotted some fabric letters hanging in the children’s section spelling out Liberty, so took this idea and spelt out her daughter’s name, Ellie, which hangs in her bedroom. A simple project, but one that brings pride each time she sees it.

Leigh loves tea cup trios and collects salt and pepper shakers. Original and vintage artwork add interest in various areas of the home.

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Lots of Leigh’s handmade projects are displayed around her craft room and eldest daughter, Lois’ bedroom.

“Each room has a different feel due to the chosen colour palette”


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In the front room, which has become Leigh’s craft room / sitting room, there are lots more examples of her crafty talents. An embroidered wall hanging of an Amsterdam street scene hangs above the fireplace – something Leigh made during a workshop with embroidery designer Jessie Chorley. She also incorporates handmade items designed by other people – such as the Jess Quinn doll that hangs on the wall and a cute handmade bird by Ann Wood. Cherished pieces such as a collection of paintings by her uncle are scattered around the home too, giving a real feeling of uniqueness and sentimentality. When decorating and styling their home, Leigh generally starts off with a colour and

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Leigh generally gravitates towards old things for her home, it has a natural and organic feel.

builds the room around this scheme. Each room has a different feel due to the chosen colour palette. Her daughter Lois enjoys bright primary colours in her bedroom, while little Ellie has a softer, more pastel coloured room. The inspiration for this room came from a vintage cross stitch Bambi growth chart Leigh had found – she pulled out the soft colours on this item to inspire her other purchases for accessorising the space. Leigh’s home has a truly natural and organic feel. It’s clear her love of finding beautiful objects is at the heart of the interior, and her passion for handmade gives the space a wonderfully personal touch, and proves that learning a few simple crafting skills means you can give your home a huge sentimental hug.

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Crafting Nordic style Crochet designer Emma Lamb shares her pattern for this cute Nordic inspired pin cushion 52


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P

incushions are a great project for beginners to develop their crochet skills beyond the very basic stitches. As they are small and quick to create they are a great way to explore new techniques and ideas without investing lots of time or materials. With this Nordic inspired pincushion you’ll learn how to work a ‘spike stitch’ (also known as ‘drop stitch’) to create a basic zig-zag style pattern by alternating two contrasting colours. Sometimes it can take a little while to master this stitch and get your tension just right so that your spikes aren’t too tight or too loose but once you get it, it’s just like riding a bike - you’ll never forget!

what you’ll need: • Debbie Bliss Eco Baby organic cotton, 125m / 50g - 1 skein each of 14033 (orange) and 14016 (cream) • cotton fabric approx. 15cm x 25cm • 25g of toy stuffing • sewing thread • 4mm crochet hook • yarn needle • sewing machine • sewing needle • scissors & fabric scissors

Crochet abbreviations (UK terms): st(s) - stitch(es) ss - slip stitch ch – chain dc - double crochet htr spike stitch - half treble spike stitch

Size / gauge: Crochet body should measure 8cm x 10cm when blocked. Although accurate gauge is not essential for this project it is better to aim to match the specified gauge for a neater finished product.

How to... Half treble spike stitch

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Step 1: Yarn over hook. Step 2: Insert hook below next stitch on second / third row to pick up yarn. Step 3: Pull loop through to front of work. Step 4: Loosen the tension on this loop so that it comes to the top of the work and creates a long stitch making sure that it sits neatly on the front of the work. Step 5: Yarn over hook and pull through all loops to finish the half treble stitch.


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crochet instructions You will need to make 2 panels - one for the top and one for the bottom... • Foundation chain: Using 4mm crochet hook and cream yarn ch 18 loosely. • Row 1: Miss 1 ch, dc into next and following 16 ch, turn - 17sts. • Row 2: Ch 1, 17 dc, turn. • Row 3: Repeat row 2. • Fasten off cream yarn. Using orange yarn work 4 rows as follows... • Row 4: *Dc, htr spike stitch into 2nd row below, htr spike stich into 3rd row below, htr spike stitch into 2nd row below*, rep from * to * 3 more times, dc - 17sts. • Rows 5 to 7: Repeat row 2. • Fasten off orange yarn. • Next repeat rows 4 to 7 four more times alternating between cream and orange yarn. • Next repeat row 4 and row 2 with cream yarn. • Fasten off and weave in loose ends. • Block to 8cm x 10cm.

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make the insert • Lay the two crochet body pieces on the fabric, allowing approx. 5mm all around, mark and cut two pieces from the fabric. • Lay the two fabric pieces on top of each other and pin together. As these are such small pieces of fabric it is not essential to ‘tack’ them together with thread before sewing. • Using the sewing machine and starting before the corner on the short side of fabric, allow a 5mm seam allowance and sew around. Stop after the last corner to leave an opening to turn the fabric inside out. • Turn the fabric inside out and firmly stuff the pincushion insert with the toy stuffing. • With the sewing needle and thread use small overcast stitches to neatly and firmly sew the opening closed.


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finishing touches • Lay the two crochet body pieces together, using the 4mm crochet hook and orange yarn join yarn through both pieces and ch 1. • Join the two crochet body pieces together with a round of dc sts - 24 dc sts along each long side, 3 dc sts into each corner and 15 dc sts along each short side. • Before working along the last side remember to add the pincushion. Finish with a ss into the first dc st. • Fasten off and weave in loose ends.

Last, but by no means least, pop all your most useful pins and needles into your new pincushion so it is ready for your next crafty adventure!


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THE GIFT OF LIFE... Jeska Hearne shows us how to make these beautiful vintage style gift boxes. Fill with seeds and your loved one will have continued enjoyment from your gift for years to come


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bsessed with everything vintage and keeping special family memories alive, this little project reminds me of spending time with my Grandad in the garden - planting seeds and digging through all the treasures in his old shed. I started making these little boxes for other nostalgic people and budding gardeners. Try boxing up some herb or spice seeds like cumin or parsley for a cook you know, or some Forget Me Nots for a loved one.

what you’ll need: • Empty match boxes • Scissors • Paint tester post in two colours • Paint brush • Used dry coffee grounds • Glue • Gold glitter • Vintage paper scraps • Vintage style paper labels

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• Small paper tags - tea dyed and dried • Miniature glass bottles • Transfer letters • Double sided tape • Seeds • Waxed paper bag • Paper • Printer or typewriter • Stapler


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Step 1

Step 2

Cover your match box using favourite scraps of garden related vintage paper using the double sided tape to secure the paper from underneath. (I used an old fruit growing book that had started to fall apart). Trim the edges to keep neat.

Paint the inside of your matchbox drawer and leave to dry, two coats should be enough, then repeat with your alternative colour on the outside of the drawer.

Step 3 For the ‘soil’ edges of the seed box, mix together your coffee grounds and some of the glitter so you get just a hint of sparkle coming though, then apply a line of glue all around the edge and dip into the coffee and glitter mixture, leave to dry. Once dry scrape away any of the glue or coffee that may have gone inside the box edges, so the drawer can slide easily.

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Step 4 Now carefully ďŹ ll the glass bottle with your chosen variety of seeds.

Step 5 Using the transfer letters choose a corresponding letter to your contents and rub onto the tag, alternatively you could use a typewriter to do this.

Step 6 Using a typewriter or printer, write out your seed sowing instructions on a piece of tea dyed paper. Cut to size and roll up to ďŹ t inside the box.


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Step 7 Once your lovely little seed box is all put together, pop it inside the waxed paper bag and staple a hand typed personal message to the front. Now it is all ready to give to a green thumbed friend or budding window box gardener.


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Continue the new year party theme into 2014 by stitching this cute Party Animal Squirrel designed by Megan Eckman 64


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quirrels don’t just store up nuts all year long so that they can lounge around during the winter months. They turn into party animals once the snow flies! Paper party hats and tiny maracas are a must at any squirrel gathering. This unusual embroidery pattern lets you sew a party animal who’s easy to clean up after.

what you’ll need: • 8” embroidery hoop • white cotton fabric (or canvas) • an embroidery needle • embroidery floss • pencil or disappearing ink pen NOTE: I would recommend using 3 strands of: DMC #434 brown embroidery floss for the squirrel and his acorns DMC #3833 pink embroidery floss for the words and the squirrel’s party hat DMC #3818 green embroidery floss for the oak leaves and the squirrel’s maracas

step 1 Download and print off the template for the design. Click here to download.

step 2 Trace the design onto your fabric lightly with pencil or using a disappearing ink pen.

step 3 Place your fabric in the hoop and start stitching. See over for our stitch guide. 65


stitch guide

Split stitch

Satin stitch

broken stitch 66

Make a stitch about the size of a grain of rice, then bring your needle back up through the middle of that stitch, ‘splitting’ the stitch, and then back through.

Stitch a series of stitches close together to fill a shape to make solid blocks of colour.

The simplest of stitches - just straight up through your fabric and down again following the lines of your pattern.


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Old chair, new life

Jess Payne gives us a crash course in revamping an old chair in n�d of a contemporary update


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a few tips before you start... • It’s always best to replace foam/wadding rather than reuse as new will comply with the most current safety regulations. • When stripping down a chair, personal protective equipment is recommended (goggles and mask) – flying staples and old dusty foam are not nice! • Protect your work surface with an old blanket or towel.

what you’� n�d... • Screwdriver • Staple remover • Hammer • Pliers • Staple gun • Scissors • Primer • Paint (two colours) • Paint brush (2” is good)

• Sanding paper • Masking tape • Craft glue • 1” foam block • Skin wadding • Top cover fabric • Calico/bottoming cloth • Pen/Pencil/Ruler • Safety glasses/mask

preparing & painting the chair... • Unscrew and remove seat pad and any back to the chair. If there are any rusty screws, replace these with new ones. • Sand chair and wipe down with soapy water, leave to dry. • Prime chair with 1-2 coats of primer. • Paint chair (including any back) with 2-4 thin coats of the main paint colour. • Leave to dry for at least 24 hours (longer if using an oil based paint).

get the look... we used Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion (Shirting) as the main colour and Laura Ashley Sample Pot (Chalk Pink) for the dipped legs. 69


Reupholstering the seat.... • Carefully remove staples that are securing the current fabric. Once all staples are removed, discard the top cover and any filling. You will be left with a wooden seat base. Wipe this down with soapy water and leave to dry. • Place the seat base over the foam block and draw around it with a pen. Cut the foam with a sharp pair of scissors around the mark. Glue the foam to the board and leave to set. • Place the skin wadding and top fabric over the foam and board. Move the fabric to get the optimum pattern placement. Once happy, flip over (you can pin your fabric to the foam if you are not confident flipping it over freehand). Cut your fabric and wadding leaving a 4” allowance. • Pulling your fabric gently to the wood base, secure one side (in the middle) with three staples about an inch apart. Move to the opposite side and do the same. Then with the two remaining sides repeat this step always ensuring that you are pulling the fabric to take up any slack. • Once you have the three staples along each side, flip the base over and check you are happy with the pattern placement. If so, continue to staple along each side working from the middle outwards. When you get to the corners, fold the fabric carefully so that when looking at the chair the inside of the folds are not visible (you should just see the outside of the fold). Complete all four corners. • Cut your calico or black bottoming fabric to the size of the chair base (no allowance is needed) Fold this fabric inwards and using the same stapling method as described earlier attach the fabric to the bottom of the chair base. • Now put the chair back together and admire your handy work!

get the look... 70

we used Kauniste Sokeri Pink Finnish fabric via Hus and Hem Ltd


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vintage days

91 Magazine gets out of the office to check out some of the best vintage events happening around the country - and for a spot of shopping too of course!

The wealden times fair WHEN / WHERE: 21st-23rd NOV 2013, Bedgebury Pinetum Wa�ed Garden, kent

H Reviews by Pippa Blenkinsop Photos BY Caroline Rowland

ere at 91 we’d heard great things about the Wealden Times Fair at Bedgebury Pinetum Walled Garden in Kent but had never been, so when we were invited to the winter extravaganza back in November we jumped at the chance! Being our first visit we didn’t know what to expect. As the dark clouds came over on our way, we became slightly worried that the event really was in


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a garden! However, when we arrived, kitchenalia and home accessories. we were relieved to be welcomed into Fellow shoppers included stylist Selina a cosy cluster of heated marquees, Lake, who was waiting for a crafting sweet with the smell of mulled wine. workshop to commence at the lovely Cool Crafting stall, which was packed Gathered inside were over 150 full of sewing delights from Liberty sellers spanning fashion, jewellery, fabric fat quarters to cute DIY kits. food and gifts but looking through Meanwhile at the opposite end of the our 91 vintage lover lenses we bypassed some of the more reserved show was a buzzing food marquee set out with long lines of tables covered stalls in favour of the bright retro, in kitsch Dutch oil cloth and decorated handmade and interior sellers. A with huge paper lanterns which particular favourite, Pom Pom and hung from the ceiling – a Twiddle, delighted with their quirky papier-mâché animal heads, pom pom great place to grab a garlands and colourful patterned tins. spot of lunch. Other favourites included Jolly Lovely with their crochet and salvaged fabric soft furnishings and Made in Pixieland featuring the whimsically illustrated paper goodies of Claire Maraldo. Friends of 91 Sarah and Paul from Goose Home & Garden were there with their divine selection of muted rustic furniture,

next fair: 5-7 juNe 2014

Opposite: Pom Pom & Twiddle; Above: Made in Pixieland; Left: Goose Home & Garden www.wealdentimes.co.uk


The vintage and handmade fair WHEN / WHERE: 7th december 2013 The Town Ha�, Chipping Sodbury

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hose of you that read our blog, Patchwork Harmony, may remember that I earmarked this fair as a must visit – well it certainly lived up to expectation. On a crisp December Saturday, in the historic Cotswold village of Chipping Sodbury, over 30 of England’s best vintage inspired makers set up shop. I’d never visited before but was pleased to see some familiar faces and excited to discover several new talented makers. It was lovely to finally meet the famous vintage fabric fanatic Donna Flower whose stall was piled high with floral fat quarters and stacks of reclaimed patterned sheets and curtains with the odd retro knick knack dotted about. In the main hall I was rather taken by the magical creations of Jane Chapman who makes whimsical miniature fairy furniture embellished with moss and dried flowers – who says they don’t exist!? Particularly beautiful too was the Faded Rose Vintage stall whose display of feminine French antiques was crowned by a show stopping globe de mariee.

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Left to Right: stacks of fabric on Donna Flower’s stall; Classic vintage china from fair organiser Country Cottage Chic; Kitsch collections at Cowboys & Custard, also an organiser.

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www.vintageandhandmade.co.uk

The fair is suited to collectors and crafters alike – and if you are the latter then the International Quality Kitsch vintage haberdashery stall complete with trays of vintage inspired charms to make you own jewellery, was one not to miss. The stall also featured dead stock plastic stocking filler toys with original packaging, as well as kitsch home accessories including mini hand painted oriental lanterns and plastic Jesus and Mary shrines. And of course you couldn’t leave without sampling one of the mouth-watering cakes from classic sponges and seasonal specials to suitably vintage bakes topped with glacier cherries and sugar coated oranges and lemons – the perfect way to top off the visit! Thanks to organisers Cowboys and Custard and Country Cottage Chic for such a great day out!

next fair: 22nd Feb 2014

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{c}upcycling Rachel Basinger’s contemporary take on the teacup candle is a great way to transform plain crockery into a Super sweet gift


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his simple, inexpensive idea makes for a perfect hostess or bridesmaid gift or is a great alternative to chocolates for an end of term teacher’s present. You can recreate our blossom branches design but why not get creative and come up with your very own!

what you’ll need: • A plain porcelain or china tea cup • Porcelain pens • A small length of candle wick {available on eBay for pence!} • Two cups of candle wax {usually in pellet form, available online} • A metal wick cap {I got mine from a tea light once finished} • An old jar to melt your wax in • A saucepan {ideally not your best one!} • A bamboo skewer

step 1 Firstly, using your porcelain pens, draw your chosen design onto the outer surface of your cup. The great thing about this is that you can personalise it however you wish in terms of pattern and colour - and it’s a contemporary alternative to the usual vintage teacup. Here I went for blossom covered branches to adorn my cup. If you make a mistake it’s really easy to take a damp cotton bud and simply wipe away the error and dab dry with some tissue.

step 2 Once you’re happy with your design, pop your cup into a cold oven, turn the oven on to 160 degrees celsius and leave to bake for 90 minutes. Once baked, turn the oven off and leave the cup to cool inside the oven. 78


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step 3 Whilst your cup is cooling - thread the metal cap onto the wick - this holds it in place and keeps your wick straight throughout the candle for an even burn. Pinch the tip of the cap with a pair of pliers to hold the wick in tight.

step 4 Once your cup is cool, take it out of the oven and place your wick in the bottom and use your bamboo skewer to loop it around and keep it straight and central.

step 5 Now comes the fun part - place a cups worth of wax pellets into the jar and pop the jar into your saucepan on a medium heat. Pour boiling water into the saucepan around your jar to create a ‘double boiler’. Make sure no water goes into the wax - and no wax into the water in the pan {or you’ll have a mighty cleaning job on your hands}. Heat the jar of wax until melted and clear, then carefully pour the wax evenly into your cup.

step 6 Allow to dry, then take your second cup of wax and repeat. This should fill your cup to the top and give you a nice even layer. Once it’s completely dry and solid - all that’s left to do is trim your wick - giving it a centimetre above the wax for ease of lighting. 79


Designs on a Dala The Swedish dala horse has become a covetable and collectable item. Lucy Davidson creates a tribute to this famous piece of colourful folk art in her handmade cross-stitch wall hanging


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ere at 91 Magazine, we think 2014 is the year of the wall hanging. These tactile, handmade works of art will create texture and interest on your walls. They can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish, but why not have a go at our cute dala horse design to get you started?

what you’ll need: For cross-stitch: • Embroidery ring 7” x 7” • Embroidery silks • Ivory aida (cross-stitch fabric) • Scissors • Tapestry needle • Dala horse cross-stitch pattern (Click here to download)

For wall hanging: • Dala horse cross-stitch • Sewing machine • Patterned fabrics • Interlining/wadding • Fabric scissors • Doweling • Tape measure • Fabric pins • Wooden beads • Threads • Ribbon • Leather cord • Plain paper

Cross-sttich.. step one

step two

To cross-stitch your Dala horse design, firstly secure the ivory aida in the embroidery ring. Separate your embroidery silks and thread your needle with 3 strands. Knot the opposite end of your thread and bring your needle up to the fabric surface ready to start stitching, with the knot on the reverse of your fabric.

Start by counting out how many stitches you will need based on your pattern. It’s best to start from the middle out. Make a half stitch over a single aida square as shown. The stitch should be worked from the hole on the top right to the hole on the bottom left of an aida block on your fabric. Continue along the line to the required amount of stitches.


step three To make the second stitch you will need to go over the top of the first, but this time from top left to bottom right. This will create the ‘cross’.

step four To follow the Dala horse pattern it is best to print out the pattern so you can count and mark off the stitches when completed.

wall hanging.. step one Release the cross-stitch from the embroidery ring and iron. Iron on a hot heat, placing a tea towel over the cross-stitch to prevent any damage, then trim the cross-stitch to 4.5”x4.5” square.

step two Using an A4 piece of plain paper, fold in half to find the middle. Trim the bottom at an angle to make the point as shown. Pin to your fabrics to use as your template and cut out.

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step three If the patterned fabric is too thin you can use an interlining/wadding to bulk it out, pin this to the patterned fabric.

step four Pin the cross-stitch so it is in the centre of the pennant.

step five You will now need to appliqué your cross-stitch to your patterned fabric. First, ensure your stitches are at the correct tension by testing on some scraps of fabric. Once you are happy with the tension on your sewing machine, appliqué the cross-stitch to the patterned fabric.

step six Trim the ribbon to 4” strips and fold in half. Then pin the ribbon strips making sure the fold is facing towards the bottom of the pennant. Secure in place using a couple of stitches.

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step seven

step eight Turn right side out and press with an iron. Stitch a running stitch around the edge of the pennant, making sure you pin the gap that you used to turn the pennant right side out and stitch.

Place your backing fabric on top of the patterned fabric (right sides together) and pin. Once happy, stitch around the edge using a 1cm seam allowance. Remember to leave an opening so you can turn it the right side out. Trim the corners so there is no excess fabric.

step nine Cut the doweling so it’s about an inch wider on either side of the pennant. Drill a hole each end of the doweling for the leather cord, this is optional. Thread the doweling through the ribbon loops. Finally, thread the leather cord through the drilled holes and secure with a wooden bead.


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Words: Pippa Blenkinsop Photography: Kasia Fiszer

We visit the garden room studio of screen printer and homewares designer, Megan Alice England


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looded with light and offering lovely views, the former garden room of screen printer Megan England’s home, located in the beautiful regency town of Cheltenham, has been transformed into the perfect working studio. Previously unused, the bright yet compact space is now alive with creativity. Freshly printed fabric dangles above your head whilst shelves are piled high with pots of ink and jars filled with labels, yarns and buttons. Inspiring vintage finds and pretty pansies are displayed on shelves above an essential large work table. On the table sits a retro Singer sewing machine, whilst leaning against it are numerous silk screens - stained by multiple layers of coloured ink these are artworks in their own right, let alone Megan’s beautiful creations waiting on a side table to be packed up and despatched to a lucky customer.


It may be small, but everything in this studio indicates that it belongs to somebody with big talent. Indeed, although she describes herself as a screen printer, since starting her own business making and selling a range of hand printed gifts and homewares, her role now stretches from seamstress to sales negotiator. “I don’t have a typical working day - I do everything myself!” she says. As for most makers, it is the creative part of her job which Megan finds most enjoyable - the designing and printing. “It all starts with a drawing” she says, for which nature and everyday objects are her primary sources.

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Daisies, cornflowers, taps and scissors are just some motifs which she has gone on to digitally manipulate into prized prints. She then transfers her designs onto acetate before exposing them onto silk screens ready for printing. Once printed, the fabric is washed and ironed and used to create everything from raspberry lampshades to heart coin purses. Megan’s best sellers are the witty products whose designs literally link to their function to create a visual pun such as the toothpaste print wash bag, big lash mascara make up case and peg print peg bag. Although always artistic, at school Megan didn’t really enjoy textiles, “it was fashion based and just involved pattern cutting” she remembers. In fact it was only during her Art Foundation course, where she was able to experiment with fabric in different ways, that she fell in love with the subject. She then took a degree in Contemporary Textile Practice where she specialised in screen printing. Megan graduated in 2007 and after completing two work placements with screen printing companies in Australia, decided to go it alone!

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“Yours is my favourite stall, it’s so fun and bright” is the usual reaction to Megan’s work when she exhibits at contemporary craft and handmade fairs. Megan attributes this not just to her light-hearted, familiar subject matter but her palette of eye popping, own recipe inks including lime green, clementine orange, raspberry red, mustard yellow, turquoise and her personal favourite, cornflower blue. To make each colour all pigments are accurately weighed to ensure consistency followed by a thorough mix with the electric whisk. “I like my creations to pop” says Megan, so she tends to use only one colour per print to make it more striking and emphasise the design. When it comes to designing Megan avoids being fashion led, “I just try to use a good range of colours and designs so that there is something for everyone” she says. Yet despite her preference for a timeless look she admits that “certain colours teamed with certain designs look quite retro such as the clementine orange pansy.” Whilst she may seek to maximise the visual impact of her products, she minimises her impact on the environment. All the inks she uses are water based and her fabrics consist of 100% natural, unbleached cottons and canvases. Not only does this make her products perfect for the eco conscious buyer, but with their untreated materials they also bring organic warmth to any interior. To sell her fabrics by the metre is just one of Megan’s aspirations, as is the desire for her prints to eventually be instantly recognisable. “Hopefully one day I’ll hear people say “look, that’s a Megan Alice England print”” she chuckles. She may laugh, but with her dedication and distinctive look it could just be a matter of time before she becomes an iconic brand. www.meganaliceengland.co.uk 91


Pattern design: Victoria Snape

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Patchwork Harmony

publication. All content is copyright of 91 Magazine and its individual contributors. Images can be used only with a link back to www.91magazine.co.uk and where possible, the contributors website.

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91 Magazine Craft Special