Spring Sale!

Hello lovely people!

Just a quick note to say there’s a SALE on in the webstore. Click the store button and shop till your hearts content. All fabric is reduced and pretty much everything else as well. I decided a big spring clean was in order to make the most of the end of the year and streamline things as well as give you all some excellent bargains.

Any queries please don’t hesitate to ask.

Machine quilting is available from October until the 9th of December (last drop off date). Please contact me for a quote, lay-by options and to book.

I’ll be adding a few other things to the webstore in coming months – patterns, pre-made quilts and vouchers for both machine quilting and regular gift vouchers. These are mainly digital items so will need more work to get them uploaded.

In the meantime, happy shopping!

Marni x

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Change of direction

So…

Let’s start with the general news.

Last week I made the decision to remove all of my stock and quilts that have been on display at Gosford Sewing Centre for the last 4 years. Things have changed at the shop, its moving in one direction and Frankenstein’s Fabrics needed to move in another.

It’s a change that I needed to make because it has removed a level of stress off my shoulders that I didn’t realise was there until I moved the last piece home. I literally sat on the lounge room floor looking at all my bits and pieces, took a deep breath and released a burden that I hadn’t been aware of. It was a very strange feeling and those of you who know me well know I don’t poke around in my feelings too much, so the whole acknowledgment of this feeling was vaguely unsettling. Emotions are now packed back up in their boxes and on we go.

Now, some have asked if I’m leaving and the answer is no. I’m still working and teaching at the shop it’s just time for a change for FF HQ. This year started with a sneaking suspicion that things were on the move and now is that time. Change can be good and bad. I know this is a good change for me so its easy to embrace it and move forward. Bad changes are not always obvious in the moment and often seen with hindsight. You can only trust your instincts at the time and be aware that whatever the outcome you are prepared for the results.

I’ve spent the last two years in pain, dealing with my endometriosis and last months surgery has put me in a better condition but still with some issues. Incurable diseases are like that, but you just have to pick yourself up and keep moving. I hate being idle, I hate being kept from doing what I love so my fight with this illness is only going to keep going. There are things that I will be doing shortly that are part of that fight – if you would like to help please sign up here to my mailing list to stay in the loop. The more we talk about this shitty disease, the more fundraising and research will go towards it and the sooner we get an answer.

The only real diagnostic tool for endometriosis is surgery. Let that sink in for a moment.

The only way a doctor can say “yes, you have endometriosis” is to cut you open and check. That’s some epic level of screwed up right there. Especially when you think about how many other diseases are diagnosed – blood tests, x-rays and scans. Non-invasive and just mildly uncomfortable. And let’s not get into talking about the costs.

So my plans are to fight – because I’m mad that this disease has taken a lot from me this past two years, I’ve put off things because I physically just couldn’t handle it, my sleep patterns are screwed up and I’m on a bizarre cocktail of drugs to deal with it all. So I’m doing something about it in the only way  know how. Quilting.

The online shop will be back up and running soon. Quilting is as normal – current customer quilts are in a nice queue and bookings from mid-September onwards are being taken as we speak. Last drop-off date will be the 9th of December, with pick-up by the 20th. I’ll have a break over New Years and be back after the 12th of January.

Donations are still very much welcome for BlanketLovez – please get in touch via the Facebook page if you’d like to volunteer to make quilt tops or if you have fabric, backing or wadding donations.

My classes are back in September at Gosford Sewing. Class list is here. Bookings can be made directly with me, so we can discuss what you would like to achieve. Email me frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com or ring me on 0416 023 637. Class dates for other things I teach are pending (machine embroidery) and will be dependent on time constraints.

In the meantime, things are just chugging along. Many of the things I’ve been working on I can’t share – gifts and secret squirrel projects – but there will be some new stuff happening soon. I’m almost back to my normal brain capacity after the surgery so I’m definitely itching to get back to my regular levels of designing and sewing. Being forced to be idle has driven me up the wall. I NEED to make something… but I’m sure you all know how that feels. 🙂

Thank you for everyone’s understanding and patience during this time. It’s been a big relief to know I didn’t have to worry about quilting and teaching while I was off recovering.

Onwards and upwards!

Marni x 

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The great ironing debate

Steam or no steam?

Iron and push or press and lift?

Ironing really shouldn’t be that hard but when it comes to patchwork the technique does matter.

I personally like to use a bit of steam. I don’t press the steam button on my iron but just use the steam as it happens. I really dislike the finish that ironing without steam looks like. Especially because we use 100% cotton for quilts it needs a bit of steam assistance to get the wrinkles out. But this is a choice – personal preference plays a huge role in many of the things we do in this hobby so try both options and see which you prefer.

Ironing clothes to me is a bit easier because you can just push the iron allover your shirt (mind the buttons!) and its in a lot better shape than when you pulled it out of the clean clothes basket. However, your shirt does not require accuracy because you aren’t going to join it up to another shirt. This is where the push v press and lift comes into play.

Pushing the iron can drag the fabric and warp the seam. Meaning your nice straight seam is now a nice curve and won’t match up to his buddy in the quilt. Fine for shirts not fine for patchwork pieces.

Pressing and lifting the ironing gives you far more control. It means you are heating the area that needs to be pressed and lifting the iron away without distorting the seam.

My general rules are:

  • Press the seam open or to the darker of the fabrics
  • Press the seam and then turn the pieces over and check the front of the fabric to ensure that the seam hasn’t rolled (see photos)
  • Press seams in opposite directions to make joining pieces easier. e.g. Quilt with 9 rows of blocks in it, press all even numbered rows to the right and odd numbered rows to the left
  • You can always re-iron something
  • Sometimes a fabric will tell you which way it wants to be pressed – don’t fight it unless you absolutely have to
  • Make friends with your iron, you will be using it a lot. I iron more patchwork fabric than I’ve ever ironed clothes in my lifetime
  • Starch is your friend too, use it on tricky to manage fabrics, any time you plan on cutting triangles and anytime you feel a fabric is misbehaving

If you have any questions about ironing please let me know in the comments.

Happy quilting,

Marni x

 

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Welcome to 2019

Welcome to 2019 at Frankenstein’s Fabrics HQ!

This year has a lot already going on. Things that have been in the pipeline for a while and are finally coming together.

Classes:
I’m teaching a few different things this year including machine embroidery. It’s a specific project based on learning techniques and I will have more info on dates, prices etc towards the end of the month. To sign up for the mailing list click here.

Patterns:
Those of you who follow news in the crafting world may have seen the shake up that was announced by Craftsy a couple of weeks ago. Basically they decided to streamline their pattern platform and culled a lot of designers. I was one of them. To be honest it didn’t bother me because I had other avenues in place for selling and I was planning on moving away from Craftsy anyway. Many designers didn’t and they short notice has left many adrift.

So new to the website is a pattern only store. It’s a dropdown from the store button, under the header and will include free and paid for patterns. I am slowly transferring my designs there. They are all digital downloads. If you would like to purchase a hardcopy pattern please email me frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com with your address and what pattern you would like. Payment and post will be arranged. 

Website:
I will be tweaking the website throughout January, not only doing the pattern store but also getting rid of, changing and adding new things. I will be trying to blog more this year as well as now that some things have settled down I can focus again. The product store will change too, details to be advised.

Machine Quilting:
Machine quilting in 2018 was hectic. So in order for things to not get so crazy in 2019 I cannot stress enough that you book in your quilts with at least 6 weeks notice before you need it finished. Deposits are $50 – no exceptions. Bookings are welcome at any time of the year. Spaces do fill up so even if you haven’t finished the quilt yet please get in touch and secure a slot. Any questions please email me frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com or ring 0416 023 637.

My other job:
I am still working with the team at the Gosford Sewing Machine Centre. I am there Tuesday 10-3, Wednesday and Friday 10-4:30 and Saturday 9:30-12:30. If you need to see me in person this is the best way to do so. Please ring if you’re not sure I’ll be there. Frankenstein’s Fabrics stock is located in the shop as well.

Special Events:
This year there are a few special events that will be happening. Shows, charity days, one-off teaching days etc. If you would like to be kept in the loop for these notifications please sign up to the newsletter here.

Magazines:
As many of you know Express Publications shut down its remaining magazines in June last year. I had been a project contributor since 2007. It was sad to see it go this way after so many years, but things change and we must move forward. At this point in time I have no plans to contribute to magazines again. Mainly because when Express stopped publishing I was in the middle of some health issues and had decided to slow things down a little for myself. I am still working on my health and don’t necessarily wish to add that type of deadline stress back into my schedule just yet. I would consider it if asked and it would depend on the project.

January Special:
January is my birthday month so I decided that I shouldn’t be the only one getting a present! Stay tuned for a surprise a little later in the month.

That’s about all for now, so I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and that 2019 brings us all the things we wish for, especially some sewing time!

Marni x

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