flossieteacakes flossieteacakes

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Florence Knapp  I like to sew and write. Contributor to the V&A’s book, Patchwork & Quilting. Author of Flossie Teacakes’ Guide to English Paper Piecing.

Today I came across these pictures of Nell, back when she was a feral wolf-dog (scroll left for the feral bit). She’d just been presented with a handmade Liberty print dog bed and was putting it through a rigorous two-hour structural inspection - it passed with flying colours due to the dense quilting, which seemed to make the fine Tana lawn indestructible.
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So much has changed since then: not least that I love dogs and no longer need to undertake such crazy sewing projects as a way of coming to terms with the fact that I’m sharing my house with one. She outgrew this bed within about six months, but afterwards I cut it up and framed a portion of it and hung it on the wall in my sewing room (totally dog-hair free, in case you’re wondering 🙅🏻‍♀️).
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#goldenretriever #goldenretrieverpuppy #libertydogbed #libertyprint #dogbed #tanalawn #libertyoflondon #libertylondon

Hand-pieced hexagons progress, using my current favourite Liberty collection, A Palace Garden.
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I’m as shocked as you are by how few words this post contains - I’ve no idea why, but my head feels curiously empty tonight 🤯.
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#almostwordless #womanoffewwords
#apalacegarden #libertytanalawn #libertyprint #tanalawn #hexagons #handpiecing #slowstitching #handsewing #notshortonhashtagsthough

I visited the House of Illustration tonight with my daughter to listen to Lauren Child, Jessie Burton and Angela Barrett talk about daydreaming, creativity, writing and illustrating. Their conversation focused particularly on the appeal of miniature and they shared photos of their own carefully curated dolls houses - I was in heaven. They were such vibrant, funny and intelligent women - a perfect evening.
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Kings Cross (and actually the whole of the south east) was bathed in an odd mist tonight, which increased the volume of my hair several times over, until I could barely make it through doorways without turning sideways - if anyone has found a magical solution for this, please do share it!
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It was funny seeing this area at night - so beautiful and perfectly lit (I’m not referring to the photos of illuminated cranes with that comment - that was just to show the mist!) I used to live around here 17 years ago and it was very different back then - Kings Cross was never a nice place to walk through and had a big drug and prostitution problem - it’s so much more gentrified now, but it did make me wonder where they’d moved all those people to.

My daughter and I spent a lovely morning at @stitch_school learning embroidery stitches. The first photo shows one of their gorgeous class samples; the second shows my favourite stitch that I learned today.
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I also finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini this weekend, which was wonderful and I think will be one of those books that stays with me for a while. But now the hunt for what to read next recommences - I really dislike the feeling of being between books, but am a most indecisive chooser, so the limbo can last for several hours (or worse, a few evenings!) as I read first chapter samples on Kindle, look at reviews on GoodReads or chat to my dad about what he’s currently reading for his four(!) book groups, before finding something that feels just right to dive into. How do you choose books?
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Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend, Florence x

The back of my #rainbowsoupepp, just after I’d sewn the last piece in place - it was such a good feeling to have finished this as it had been languishing for a few months. I used quite a lot of silks, hence the pinked edges on some pieces (did you know you can get pinking blades for rotary cutters?).
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It’s rained for most of the day, so I’ve enjoyed the excuse to stay inside with the heating on. I’m not-so-secretly hoping for the same again tomorrow ☔️. Wishing you a happy weekend and whatever weather front you’d like best to exist around you :)
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#rainbowsoupepp #epp #englishpaperpiecing #englishpaperpiecingeverywhere

A few weeks ago at Sussex Sewing Club, I borrowed @quiltingonthego’s ‘finger pincushion’ all day. My current project involves using lots of pins while piecing hexagons with a running stitch and Carolyn’s little pincushion transformed my previously stop-starty workflow so dramatically that I made one of my own as soon as I got in.

There’s a pattern for the pincushion on p24 of her latest book, The Handmade Quilt. I also pieced one of the simple quarter-square triangle blocks from Carolyn’s book first, so that I could incorporate two fabrics into my pincushion, although it’s a ten minute make if you skip that bit, so I’m planning to make a whole wardrobe of them. Scroll left to see it in action. It should be said that Carolyn did actually say that I could keep the pincushion I’d stolen from her...but as I was using my thread catcher also made by her at the time, it felt too self-indulgent to actually take it, even though I wanted to. She is a most generous stitcher - thank you, Carolyn 💛.
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I’ve had something of an Instagram break recently (I think I did the same thing last year after posting every day for a fortnight for #greatbritishquilter; this year, I managed nearly THREE weeks, which I was quite proud of, but as much as I love social media, too much leaves me feeling the need to hibernate. I’m not sure how posting a photo a day for a month feels such a big commitment, but somehow it does. But what a wonderful month of inspiration and meeting new people it was - a huge belated thank you to @verykerryberry and @sarahashfordstudio - you two amaze me with your wonderful energy and thoughtfulness. x
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#fingerpincushion #thehandmadequilt #carolynforster #libertytanalawn

Today’s #greatbritishquilter prompt asks for a quote, which I’m taking to mean a personal motto for quilt-making. Different ones seem relevant on different days, but today I spent two hours unpicking dense machine appliqué stitches, trying desperately not to damage the fabric beneath, and wondering why I had overridden that quiet voice in my head that had been telling me it wasn’t going to be right even as I was first making those stitches. In life and quilts, instincts are always good :)
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Thanks to @verykerryberry and @sarahashfordstudio for hosting #greatbritishquilter.

Today’s #greatbritishquilter is Walking Foot, FMQ, or Hand-quilting. My preference is actually for a team of willing elves (or kittens) to work through the night and do the quilting for me, but failing that, I’d choose to do it by hand. This is an old one made for my daughter, now accessorised by her cat, Honey - it always makes me happy when she lies right in the centre of the medallion (scroll left). This photo was taken yesterday, but there’s a really similar one from years ago that appears in my book, which seems to suggest Honey’s life is an uneventful one, mainly concerned with curling up somewhere warm.
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Thanks to @verykerryberry and @sarahashfordstudio for hosting #greatbritishquilter.
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#libertyprint #libertytanalawn #englishpaperpiecing #englishpaperpiecingeverywhere #catsonquilts #imintheguild

Today’s theme for #greatbritishquilter is Project you Made to Keep, which I’m taking to mean a totally self-indulgent project, unrelated to becoming a gift/useful item/tutorial/pattern/book. For me, that’s my map of the UK made from Liberty prints - it has no purpose, is full of inaccuracies, still hasn’t found the right frame to go on the wall, but I have really fond memories of making it. As I sewed around the craggy coastline, I imagined old ladies pegging out washing in clifftop gardens and people taking their dogs for walks on deserted beaches - it was the most oddly immersive and day-dreamy project. I’d really love to do a map of the world next 🌍.
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As always, thanks to @verykerryberry @sarahashfordstudio.
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#libertyprint #libertyoflondon #map #fabricmap #mapquilt #libertytanalawn

Today’s #greatbritishquilter prompt is Your Sewing Machine. I mostly hand-sew, but when I do turn this on, it’s a joy to sew with. It’s a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 and when you take your foot off the pedal, the presser-foot hovers a fraction above the bed of the machine, meaning you can turn your work with the needle down, without manually lifting for presser foot - it’s the most amazing feature for making small adjustments in alignment or if you’re doing a lot of appliqué around complex shapes. It also has an inbuilt walking foot and lots of other good features.
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This half-finished skirt has lived on my machine since last winter - I think it’s a Wiksten Tulip Skirt made in Seasalt needlecord (did you know that Seasalt sell dressmaking fabrics?). The motivation to finish it disappeared after I wrapped it around myself and found I resembled a small potato in it (not a reflection on the actual pattern, so don’t let that put you off if you’re considering making one; just not the right style for me) but I love the fabric too much to give up on it entirely, so it will live on my machine for the foreseeable future, moving on and off temporarily as other projects get started and finished.
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Ps. It is oddly satisfying to go onto the #greatbritishquilter hashtag today and see all the sewing machines lined up - I feel so much affection for the sewing machine as a form - it represents a cosy friendliness in my mind.
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Thanks to @sarahashfordstudio and @verykerryberry for hosting #greatbritishquilter.
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#pfaffquiltexpression #pfaff #pfaffsewingmachine

Today’s prompt for #greatbritishquilter is Quilts on Location. I took this while the photographer was setting up his studio to get a flat shot, taken from high above, for my book. The photos in more natural locations were done on a different day and I have shots of this quilt draped over a rocking horse, hung from rafters, a roof, over church walls, in trees branches and spread out across enormous boulders - I’ll share them in a blog post at some point, as I’d quite like to record all the funny details of that day before they disappear from my head.
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Thanks to @verykerryberry and @sarahashfordstudio for hosting #greatbritishquilter.
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#therippleeffectquilt #englishpaperpiecing #epp #flossieteacakesguidetoepp

Today’s #greatbritishquilter topic is Favourite Antique Quilt. I feel quite greedy with old quilts - my favourites expand into the hundreds and I can see the merit in every one of them being the ultimate favourite, so whittling it down is an impossibility. It’s often less to do with the final aesthetic, and more to do with the fragments of story that exist around the quilt or how much of a sense of the maker you can grasp in the stitches and fabrics, whether that’s a quilt made from crepe de Chine dressmaking remnants and then hung at a window lined in blackout fabric during the war (third photo, by Elizabeth Mary Evans c.1945, taken from the book Making the Australian Quilt 1800-1950 - the contrast of the delicate fabric and its desperate, utilitarian purpose seems poignant), or EPP papers cut from shopping lists. The quilt in the first photo is made by Bertha Neiden, completed in 1914, and it now lives at @quiltstudy. Bertha was a Russian emigrant, ending up in the US, where she worked as a seamstress in a department store, possibly using the offcuts from her work in this quilt. The second photo shows the Ridehalgh Quilt, which I’ve visited in person at @thequiltersguild in York. It’s stunning and you can read the story that goes with it if you zoom in. The Quilter’s Guild has a wonderful catalogue of its quilts online and something new seems to jump out at me each time I visit it.
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I have no idea why I haven’t talked about these quilts in the correct order.
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With thanks to @verykerryberry and @sarahashfordstudio for hosting #greatbritishquilter.
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#ridehalghquilt #berthaneiden #antiquequilts #elizabethmaryevans

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