Thursday, 24 March 2011

Vintage Fabric Fat Quarters

Sourcing vintage fabrics to use in my design work has become a huge part of what Get Smitten is all about - it's almost a kind of rescue mission; fabrics with a past being up-cycled into something exciting and new

As my collection grows (and grows!) and I find myself sourcing more & more supplies for my Make Do & Mend creative workshop students (Get Smitten branded bamboo crochet hooks are in the pipeline!), I thought I'd share some of my treasures with you... in the literal sense

Many of the vintage fabrics I own are pre-loved linens and therefore fairly large in size, and so I have been able to cut them into fat quarters for you to use in any of your own small creative projects. Rest assured that all linens are scrupulously washed & ironed before being deemed fit for their new lease of creative life!

'Fat quarter' is a term mostly used in patchwork - it is when a yard / metre of fabric from the manufacturer's roll is cut into equal 4 sections rather than in 9" / 25cm strips as is traditional when buying smaller quantities of fabric. Having a 'fat' quarter gives you a more useable area of fabric to work with when you are cutting out shapes or strips to use in small sewing projects. The standard size of a fat quarter is 18" x 22" or 46cm x 56cm as shown in the diagram

And so, for your sewing pleasure, I am delighted to announce the arrival of Vintage FabricFat Quarters at the Get Smitten boutique. Naturally, supplies are limited... and stock is changing as new treasures are found - so be sure to check back often!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I'll be posting some ideas of how you can use them in projects over the coming months

Lisa x

(photos of vintage fabrics by Lisa Pocklington, fat quarter diagram by Janet Wickell via

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 3

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed recently some comments around my entry in Beth Nichols' Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 3 from her fabulously inspirational Do What You Love website. This is the first time I've ever participated in a swap, so I'm exuding newbie excitement!

The principal is simple; the organiser sets a theme (in this case, a postcard sized piece of stitchery on the subject of love) and a date by which to have your entry finished. From the list of interested participants, they then email you the name & postal address of the person you need to send your piece to. I believe this year there were participants from 15 countries

I set to work straight away on my piece as I knew instantly that a) I wanted to incorporate text, vintage fabrics & crochet and b) I wanted to use the phrase from Beth's website,

do what you love, love what you do

For the back I decided to make it look like a traditional postcard with a real French stamp, a message to the recipient and minimal stitching - I used image transfer medium for the wording both to provide a different texture to the front & to trap the paper doily in place. I enhanced some areas with simple embroidery stitches in a variegated yarn

The front & back pieces were then joined together with my trademark crochet border and I added 3 tiny crochet hearts suspended from one corner. I love it!

I contemplated sending it directly through the post as is, but was concerned about the fragility of the dangling hearts; it would have been such a shame for it to be damaged in transit. So instead I wrapped it up in a pretty parcel as I do with all my Get Smitten™ deliveries with tags and my new Par Avion sticker. I also added in a note in one of my handmade greetings cards as well as a Get Smitten™ magnet as a special surprise gift!

When my recipient's details arrived to me from Beth - I could hardly believe it! Turns out luck of the draw had paired me up with Heather from HKPowerStudio who I had recently met online via 2 other totally unrelated sources! What a happy coincidence! It was super tempting but I managed to refrain from giving the surprise away to Heather in advance. This is the message I received on Monday morning...
Lisa, I did a great big HAPPY dance when I got my mail today. I'm glad you kept the surprise from me... we really do keep bumping into each other across the web don't we? I absolutely LOVE the stitched postcard you made, it will be hanging in my studio, I've just got to enlist my husband to invent a way to hang it so I can appreciate both sides. I love how you used the transfer material on the back side. The piece I made incorporated photo transfer and a photo I manipulated as well as some stitching. I really adore it, thank you so very much for all the love you put into the piece! Cheers, Heather
Isn't that great?! I have a feeling Heather & I will remain online friends for quite some time - maybe even meet up in-real-life one day too! You can view all the entries in the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap on the Flickr gallery here. Entries are still coming in so keep checking back.

And yesterday, I received this little gem all the way from Jessica Swift in Atlanta, USA. She didn't provide her email address for me to be able to thank her personally, so if you read this post Jessica - thanks so much! I love that you posted it directly in the mail. I wonder what the postman made of that!

Do you know of any great swaps to take part in? I think I might be hooked!

Lisa xx

Monday, 14 March 2011

Colour Love: My New Favourite Toy!

This weekend I treated myself to a few guilt-free hours on a site I've been wanting to investigate for a while: ColourLovers. It is one of those sites that I may have to impose a time limit to being on for fear that I would lose most of the day otherwise! Endless possibilities of colour adventures not to mention the interaction with other members who can (and do!) pass comment on your creations

I remember when I studied textile design at Uni that I became fascinated with the world of colour trend prediction - an area I still feel inspired by to this day - and I regularly check up on current trends in colour palettes to feed my addiction and to double check that I am heading in the 'right' direction (commercially speaking) with my design work... but I digress!

So with my new Colour Lovers profile created, I plan to make weekly visits there & create colour palettes from my collection of vintage fabrics and many of the vintage treasures I have found over the years - then I'll pop back here to share them with you! Sharing is caring!

The site allows you to play around at many levels with colour - creating & naming colours, palettes and then using them to make patterns. For my first 'project' I took my Get Smitten website header and used it to create a palette.

The Colour Lovers system then asked me to name the colours (once a colour is named by a member it keeps that name throughout the site & can be used by other members in their projects)

I then took the Get Smitten palette and used it to colour a pre-made pattern which I named Cherry Pop (below) - I love the retro 1950's vibe. Wouldn't this make fabulous fabric?! Which brings me neatly on to the other possibilities within the site. Colour Lovers has teamed up with Spoonflower - a very smart on-demand fabric printer (more on them another time!) - to allow you to order up small runs of the pattern you have just designed and Imagekind to order prints or artwork of your colour creations. Pure genius

I'm incredibly excited at the prospect of my weekly colour fix adventures & hope they provide you with some colour inspiration too! Look out for the weekly posts entitled Colour Love

Lisa x

p.s - if you are already a Colour Lover yourself - let's be friends!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Organizing the Bookcase

psst, hello! I'm back... the hiatus was a little longer than I'd anticipated; I was recovering from an op pre Christmas and had promised myself a decent recovery period... but February came & went (mostly visiting family who I was unable to see over Christmas) and oops, now it's March!

Sometimes life goes like that and you just have to ride the wave. I have had plenty of time for reflection (one of the positive outcomes of illness I believe) and begun implementing certain changes both in my lifestyle and for my fledgling business - more on that another time!

One thing I've learned of late is to listen to my intuition more - our inner voice (our real inner voice, not the sometimes snidey one that pops up to crtiticise us, but the one that is deep within us and knows our greatest desires and dreams) speaks to us often and we are not attuned to heeding its wisdom. I have decided to be kinder to myself and listen more often to this inner voice - afterall this is where our authenticity & truth resides. If I feel tired, I allow myself a nap. If I don't get a blog post written for almost 3 months, I don't beat myself up over it.

And so my return to blogging is marked with this wonderful animation called 'Organizing the Bookshelf' as I feel I have being doing something along the same lines with my life of late. I love the beauty and simplicity of this video and those who know me will attest to my near obsession in having things organised by colour! Enjoy!

Lisa xx

video by Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp & Sean Ohlenkamp

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