The best way to spend a Sunday has got to be chilling out in a cute cafe and getting your craft on. Luckily for me, Joe Blogs were teaming up with Hillary’s Blinds and The Crafty Hen to do exactly that.
Held in the adorable tea rooms at The Butterfly and Pig in Glasgow, it was really exciting to arrive to all the tables set up with materials for various projects and a cake menu. Why are there not more cake menus in my life? After placing an order for the most incredible Red Velvet cake, we got down to business. On today’s agenda: book binding and making plush fabric birds!
Given my current situation of flat hunting, looking for cute home furnishings is on my radar, but I’m yet to get into the nitty gritty fine details of looking for rugs, blinds and all those important finishing touches. In all honesty, I’ve never delved into this world properly and I have to admit I am pretty blown away by it! Before Sunday, if you asked me about blinds, my initial reaction would be “Eh? I don’t know, they just block out the light, stop being weird” But oh my gosh am I wrong. Turns out there is so much variety available – as if I was going to let my little apartment suffer! With the day’s tutorials lined up, there was an incredible variety of fabrics to choose from. It was really amazing to see these were only a small selection of materials Hillary’s actually create their blinds with… and one of the selections on their website is for Retro blinds. AWESOME!! This realisation is making me so much more excited for decorating. You reach a new phase of life when you find a new level of appreciation for something as simple blinds, let me tell you!
Anyway, after a bit of ‘what would look spectacular in my handbag’ debating, I opted to use this beautiful geometric fabric to cover my book with. Geometric patterns go with everything. Going back to my school days I’m used to covering books (we all remember doing that with wall paper, right?!) but this was the first time creating one with a sturdy material that was built to last and can easily slip on and off the cover, making it something I know I’m going to have for a long time. Covering your books with fabric is actually incredibly easy, all you need to do is make sure the fabric is large enough to fit all the way round and around have about 2/3 inches of material at each side so you can slip your cover in and out of it. Add a couple of stitches (where the fabric meets) on the top and bottom of all four sides and Bob’s your uncle! And the best part? You can hot glue on buttons, ribbons and any other fun embellishments you can get your sticky mitts on. As you can tell, this is going to be the first of many fabric book covers I make!!
Our second project of the day was to create these beautiful plush birds. These are a little trickier to make for those who aren’t used to sewing, but they lead to a lot of hysterical outcomes. Some of my fellow crafters left with things that more closely resembled seals and snakes, but it was so much fun to do that no one felt out of place. These birds work best with two contrasting kinds of material, making it fun to play around with combinations. To make these you cut out two silhouettes of the bird and in your contrast fabric, a wider piece that will join it just below the neck, around the base (where the wings would be) and carefully stitch them together. Because you’re working inside out, the seams are all hidden when you flip the material right way around. Add in some stuffing through the tail and once he’s nice and plump, stitch it closed. Sounds simple, but there is potential for a lot of errors! I really enjoyed making this because if you add a little bit of catnip into the belly, you’ve made yourself a really sweet cat toy. They will also make lovely doves for the tree when Christmas comes around — hopefully we’ll all have nailed it by then!
Overall an excellent way to spend the day with some lovely ladies. A lot of us are already talking about getting together again soon to have our own crafternoon but who knows what projects we might do next time. The world’s our oyster! So if you’re at a loose end and on a budget, get your gals round and use up some of those material scraps you’ve been hoarding. I promise you it’ll be worth it.
Big thanks to Hillary’s Blinds, Joe Blogs, The Crafty Hen, The Butterfly And Pig for setting up the afternoon!