Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Hillarys Blinds Country Craft

Hillarys Blinds are asking bloggers to cut, stitch and craft a unique creation using one of their four fabrics. I choose the Calluna Amethyst because I thought that it was very pretty and I love the deep purple in it. I was very excited when my material arrived but the big question still remained what would I be making with it? I thought about all the usual things that I could do with it - recover something, make a bag, design an apron, make placemats but none of them really felt original. I can sew but I don't currently have a sewing machine so I wanted to do something crafty that I was able to make at home that wasn't going to use equipment that I don't currently have. One night whilst getting into bed I realised that we have a huge gapping wall above our bed that would be perfect for a picture or some artwork. I love unique pieces but they usually cost a lot of money because they are bespoke, so that became my inspiration - create a unique piece of wall art.

I chose to create the outline of the UK using different fabric to separate out the different regions. I found lots of different fabric scraps that I had (and I also raided my Mum's fabric collection too) to use along with my Calluna Amethyst. The first thing I did was print out a picture of the UK which I used as a guideline, I then drew out each region making it much bigger as a template which I could then later use to cut out the shapes in the material. When I finally had my full template cut out of paper and laid out I looked at it has a whole and I ended up taken quite a lot of Wales to bring it into proportion with the rest. It was also fun to have my boys helping me at this stage to put the UK jigsaw pieces together. I finally measured the outline to make sure that it was going to fit on my 30" x 40" canvas frame that I had.

Once my boys were in bed I got out the pins to pin the pattern, material and bonda web together so that I could cut out the regions from the material, I also laid out the material next to each other so I could so what it might look like together. At every stage of the process I was very careful to ensure that the regions continued to fit together. I then found an old white sheet to use for the background and I carefully ironed on each piece starting at the bottom and I worked my way up. If you have never used bonda web before you should have a go, it is very fine and when heated (as its name suggests) bonds two pieces of fabric together and it makes sticking everything together much easier. 

The next step was to stretch the sheet around the canvas frame and see what it all looked like together. This bit was quite tricky and I had to enlist the help of my husband and my dad to help stretch whilst I stapled, then I trimmed the material down on the back once everything was in place.  Finally it is finished, and up on the wall!

I am really pleased with how it has turned out and I am already beginning to think about what other pictures I could create using the same technique - the London skyline, an abstract pattern? The possibilities are endless and what great presents they would make. Crafting is something that I love to do and I have found this project very relaxing and a great way to take my attention from the business of life at the moment. There is also something extremely rewarding about seeing your own handiwork up on the wall everyday.

This is the finished picture up and on the wall!

If you want to find out more about the Country craft competition you can here at Hillarys Blinds.

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