Welcome to 2019

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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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Mid-Year…

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So nearly at the middle of the year, tax time, 6 months till the end of the year and time to reassess what I’m doing.

At the start of the year I made myself a resolution to finish UFOs. I have done a few, not as many quilts as I would have liked but I have also made inroads to finish other UFOs – runners, bags and other craft stuff that I’ve been working on….

I’m doing a Classic Horror Movie Monster cross-stitch from Cloudsfactory that I bought ages ago but have done barely any on. I’ve done Frankenstein’s monster, the Bride and the creature from the Black Lagoon, next is the Invisible Man, then Dracula, Wolfman and the Mummy. I can’t wait until it’s finished and I can get it framed.

3/7 done

I love cross-stitch but I’m really slow to get things finished – handwork is really not my forté so it takes me three times as long to do.

I’ve also been working on using pre-cuts to make a few items. I collect pre-cuts like most quilters do, you pick one up at a show or on sale and it sits in a box or the bag it came in and gets forgotten because you don’t know what to do with it or you struggle with the limitations of the size that its been cut at. I have a jelly roll sitting waiting for me but the project I’m saving that for is something that some friends and I are working on. The other pre-cuts I love at the moment are the mini charm square packs – 42, 2.5in squares – I’ve made a few things with them, but because they are so small its hard to keep coming up with ideas. This is the zippered pouch I’m doing today.

I’m also working on  new quilt. I spotted a wreath on Pinterest sometime last year and it was lovely and soft grey tones with brighter peach flowers on it. I loved the colour combination so much I decided that I wanted to make a quilt in those colours. I did start this quilt last year but it has sat in a bag since as I got distracted by other projects. Yesterday I sat and pieced almost all of it and it will be on the quilting machine next week. I’m really looking forward to free-motion quilting something gorgeous in those wide spans of grey linen. YUM!

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The move is going well. The new space is nearly cleared out and I’m still packing over at the studio. I’m aiming to be out by the end of the month but it is a little flexible. I really don’t want to muck around with moving as it is such a painful process but it is good in a way because it forces you to declutter and clean things out that you’ve left on shelves and in boxes for far too long.

I’m really looking forward to the new space as it means I can work more to my body’s natural hours. I’m a night owl, its well known that I’m no good in the mornings… 🙂 and because of the new space I am able to teach small classes. Nothing just yet, after mid-July when I’m all sorted, but you can book in now – just email or ring me.

Colour Class – 1.5 hours, $15.
Binding Class – 2 hours, $20, learn several types of binding.
Cutting and Piecing Class – 3 hours, $30, learn about all the tools needed for cutting, how to calculate and cut, then how to piece, press and iron.
Basic Pouch Class – 2 hours, $20, includes inserting a zip.
Basic Table Runner – 3 hours, $30, learn to design and piece a basic runner for your table.

I am located in Gosford so classes are intended for locals or those traveling through the Central Coast. If you are interstate please don’t worry as I can do video classes for you – please PM me if you are interested in those. I’m taking bookings now so if you’d like to secure your place please let me know and I will organise an invoice for a $10 deposit.

Anyways, its another wet and miserable day here on the coast so I’m off to make another cup of tea and get back to my sewing.

Marni x

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Creative musings…

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I am not a morning person and will probably never be one. Ever.

Sure I can get into the routine of getting up and going to work, and maintain such a routine but I don’t like it and it has repercussions on my mind and body. When I’m up early (early for me anyway) I actually feel ill. Eating before 10am is a problem because my stomach hasn’t caught up with the rest of my body being awake and just can’t process anything. I’m no good mentally until midday without coffee or a can of some sticky stimulant drink (and that has its own issues). So I crave a life that lets me be free to wander nocturnally and still pay the bills.

I am at my most creative in the dark. In the middle of the night when the world is asleep, the cars have stopped rushing past my bedroom window and silence descends upon everything the darkness touches, I am awake and ready to design, create and make. I’ve never really understood why this is the way my brain works but have just accepted it and moved on. I have read a few things about creative types being more likely to be up all hours so there must be something scientific and chemical behind it.

I like being awake when no-one else is. It’s soothing to me for some reason, I get more done and there are no distractions. The down side for me is that I can’t run my machine at all hours of the night because it is noisy. So I spend the time drawing new designs, writing patterns and cutting up the next quilt. I love to do all the little ‘process’ jobs that come before the actually assembly of a quilt at night. These smaller steps are the ones that many struggle with – first concept through to execution – because getting started is hard. So for me its easier to do at the best time for me, at night, opening my mind to the quiet of the world and just let the inspiration pour through me.

Daylight hours are for work. The hard stuff, the physical, the things that need to be seen clearly and with lots of light shining on every detail. Night is for freedom of thought, dreaming and wondering what if.

The past couple of nights have been late ones for me going to bed well after 2am. I spend some time in my office, sketching and colouring in, dreaming up all sorts of things. Then I head to bed and read for a little while and then when the burn starts in my eyes I sleep.

I’m in the middle of lots of magazine commissions – quilts, wall hangings, table runners, softies and a bit of jewellery. So sketching is a great way for me to get the designs out of my head and tweak them as needed. Nothing works better than graph paper and a pencil, with a really good eraser and a ruler. I keep my set of colouring pencils handy for when I design things with lots of fabrics that way I can mark out each fabric with a colour and get a better view of what I’m thinking. Drawing these things helps me to clarify my design. Even though I have already visualised the finished project in my mind I work backwards deconstructing the piece into its components and then I can work out how to rebuild it and write notes for it so you can make your own versions.

My world is full of colour. I love it, dream it, mix it and match it. My bedroom and craft room are full of colourful clutter because that is what inspires me. I could never design in an office that was all white, with clean lines and everything in its place and so very neat. My design method is entropic. Chaos and colour all rolled into one brain. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Many people ask me how I come up with so many things all the time. My answer is because my brain never stops. I walk around like a normal person all the while my brain is chugging along at the back designing, calculating and dreaming up new things. I can be having a conversation with someone and can literally feel my brain working in the background. If I stopped I think my world would stop, my life would stop and I wouldn’t be me.

I wouldn’t have my creativity any other way. I enjoy what I do, it makes me who I am and it makes me happy. I am so grateful to have found my life’s passion at such an early stage in my life.

How do you create? Design? Are you a morning or night person

 

Find me here:

Hurtling…

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And so here we stand a mere week out from Christmas 2013.

I’m not quite sure I believe we got here as fast as we did – it really does seem like a blur. Especially since we had so many big things happen in the last 12 months –

– The shop front closing and the restructuring of the business

– Dad being home for more than a year!

– New directions with the 55 Fox Fiasco

– And all the other random good stuff that happened.

Also in that time I started a new job… I’m doing some freelance work for the College of Law which is the complete opposite of the work I do in the shop. I’m working on word documents, behind a computer all day, not behind a sewing machine. My brain is finding the balance a little hard to come to terms with but the work is important as it is legal information for up and coming law students.

Nothing will take me away from the shop permanently, I’m just doing this job to help them through their busy time as I have the necessary skills and the flexibility with my time.  🙂

So to catch you all up with what’s happened since I last posted a blog entry (eep! the 21st of October) here’s a quick montage of pics –

I think that about covers the majority of what happened.

I’m not closing over the holidays – so if you need anything please feel free to ring, email or place your order through the shopping cart. I’ll only be going to the post office on non-public holiday days so please allow a couple of extra days for your deliveries.

 

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Last week at the shop front…

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So this week is the last week with the doors open at the bricks and mortar version of Frankenstein’s Fabrics.

Unsure of what this week will bring as there is still so much happening outside of the packing, cleaning and moving.

We are open this week from Tuesday to Friday 9am -4pm and then on Saturday we will be at the Handmade Craft Market from 9:30am – 2:30pm.

Make sure you get in and grab some bargains as the sale will finish up at midnight on the 31st, with stock at the market on sale as well.

Some snippets of what’s available….

So now that I have my new video camera I’ve been planning what I will be doing for the first couple of tutorials.

Liz kindly requested a demo of French Knots and as I will be doing some of those on the project that I’m working on tomorrow I thought it was perfect timing. I will add in a few other stitches that also feature in the same project. In the video I will also talk about ways to make stitching easier on yourself – products I use and sell that aid in embroidery.

The second video will be on appliqué. The methods I use and how I approach it. Appliqué is a wonderful technique that can be used on pretty much anything you can imagine.

I’ve recently purchased some funky sewing baskets –

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Small baskets are $23 and the medium baskets are $27, plus postage.

I must admit I am addicted, like most craftspeople, to storage…. between my fabric and stationary addictions storage is right up there. Top 5. Wayyyyy up there.

I have boxes and bags, stackable containers, tubs on wheels, cupboards with little drawers and jars with lids that go ‘thonk’. You know the ones I mean…. Storage is something that I think calls to us, that makes us feel like we are achieving some glorious organisational utopia.

Being organised and creative don’t often go hand-in-hand. Due to the ‘creative process’ keeping things tidy and streamlined can be a struggle. I for one like to work in a neat workspace, so I tidy as I go, or do one project, tidy and move onto the next one.

If anyone has any storage tips feel free to leave a comment below. 🙂

Anyways, I’m off to bed shortly (after I get in a little more sewing), so I hope to see you all in store this week or online to celebrate the last four days in the shop.

Thank you all for your support and kind words along the way with this massive change.

Marni x

 

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A third of the way…

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I really cannot believe we are already 9 days into the second half of the year. It always seems to me that everyone does this mad scramble about now (I blame tax time and school holidays), running around like headless chickens when really we all have plenty of time. The same amount of time. For the same things. That we’ve all done before.

So why on earth do we panic every year like this process is brand new and we’re terrified of it?

My theory on this is that its because it all has to do with money.

The one thing that we all want/need/have/lust after/hate/love. Money as they say makes the world go around but I do believe we would be better off without it. Go back to the old barter system, or exchange goods for services rendered. Makes more sense in my mind anyway.

But unfortunately the greedy and the powerful would not have the world that way and because they are greedy and powerful they seemingly have more control and say so.

This blog post this morning was meant to a happier one but money was definitely on my mind this morning as I too am trying to work out when I can set aside a few hours this week to get my tax done. Luckily I have the most awesome of accountants and I let him do all the hard work – I just need to make sure I send him files all in order. 🙂

So to end this blog post on a happier note here’s a peek at what I’ve been up to this last week and what I’m working on this week.

 

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Progress

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Over the last few weeks I have had several requests for personalised quilts for babies (some already born and some pending).

I thought it would be nice to share some progress shots and talk about what I am doing with these quilts.

This first quilt is for Isobel. She is about to have her second child –  a little girl due in a few weeks time.

This is the colour scheme. There are 9 fabrics.
Using the owls from the border print I created 3 owls shapes to embroider on some of the blocks.
I used some cardboard to make a viewing window to ensure the owl embroideries fit inside each block.
DMC embroidery threads in 3845, 5200, 703, 917, 414 and 791
My nice little stack of pellon squares to back each of the embroideries.
Using the viewing frame to make sure the owl is centred when tracing the design onto the block using a light box.
Blue washable marking pen
Pellon backing.
Pin the corners to secure while you are stitching.
Backstitch using 3 strands of thread.
Finished embroidery.

As the quilt progresses I will take more photos.

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