Tetraspinner instructions…

ARE COMING!!! Meanwhile, today, I have made another one, to check the latest fabrics – I now have panels in not only the original colourway (as seen in the video!)  but 3 others plus black and white outlines for the colourists in our midst. This tetraspinner  below  is a finished size of 8.5″ across (as are all the fabric panels). I have decided not to include individual triangles for printing in the pattern as the fabric prints make life so much easier, much of the construction work is already done, and the time needed to make one up is halved- the more you make of course, the faster you will become. Suffice to say, it’s far easier than having to print and cut out many individual triangles and then sew them all together….. This has been an enormously educational journey for me, learning how to make a large tetraspinner initially was challenging and fun, working it out as I went along. My original large one consisted of all individually traced, painted, embellished and quilted triangles, and was weeks in the making…. My first pattern and instructions were all written, drawn up, and photographed with numerous steps, and pages and pages of printed matter! The patterns all in two sizes… large and smaller…. Once I thought about designing and printing the triangles on to fabric yardage, to save time, it became increasingly more logical to do this whole thing as a panel, sticking with the smaller size only, which keeps the costs down for one thing and to make handling the finished item much easier – making life so much simpler for purchaser.

Hop across to flickr to see a few more photos of the new fabrics I have designed   – four different colourways and a black and white version for those of you who would like to colour it in your favourite colour schemes…. here is a taster or two: how one of the new panels will look made up!

The fabric and instructions with photos and diagrams will soon be available from 2SewTextiles  in our Etsy shop,  just some final tweaking to be done,  the listing to sort out, and a bit of streamlining for purchase of the fabric panels.  Definitely before the end of September. Deadlines are good.


Project overload – or when you can’t find your scissors

Lately I’ve been engaged in several textile projects concurrently….  Somehow I seemed to keep adding more to the pile…not quite sure how it happens but I think it is because sometimes you are waiting for something to arrive, so in the meantime you start something else…. and so it goes.  The consequence of course is that eventually I become engulfed in a deluge of fabrics, battings, off cuts, threads, papers, rulers, and quilt sandwiches….. It was difficult once again to find even one pair of scissors,  and I have several….they are always under something, but which something is it?  What to do, what to do? Trying to find stuff slows up the creativity, and the pressure to complete things was building, building, building…

All this despite a post  I wrote last year,  in which I concluded that tidying  up after myself was the solution to avoiding being snowed in yet again by textile flotsam and jetsam – at least in theory. Actually, I still believe it’s a sound strategy, although I have in reality been less than successful. How can this be made to work, I asked myself? My conclusion was, that every project (currently I have 6 upon which I am working, and several more that could be added to the list)  needed its own box, into which it can be tidied, before I tackle the next bit of the next project, and so on! The short way would be to rush out and buy 6 new boxes. Easy you think? Sure. But wait. Where will the boxes be stored? Every inch of space in the tiny sewing studio is taken… And it overflows into the bedroom….. And the art studio is also full of things…. The store room is chockers, and the spare bedroom is overwhelmed by artefacts and equipment and books and boxes of things – all belonging to various offspring…

I sent out an SOS to a very good and patient friend…

Who said, “no, you don’t need new boxes.” Who said, “throw out some stuff.” Who said, “donating is good”. Who said, “throw away 20 things”. Who said, “start with the plastic bags” ….. “what plastic bags?” I cried. They have important stuff in them. They have useful stuff in them. There are only two…. Or three…

“I have to make a list,” said I. “No lists, ” said she. But I did have to have a list. It calms my mind, to make a list. So I made a list. Of my current projects. Then I knew I definitely needed at least 6 boxes.

“No” said she. “Just start!!”

It took me two days.

The payoff is – I can find all of my scissors, see my ironing surface and cutting mat…. and I have repurposed 6 boxes into project containers!

ps: to my lovely friend – here are the photos you requested (see comments in the post referred to above) !!! there is even room for Bailey.

pps: Oh and did you notice the tetraspinner fabrics have arrived? that is a fat quarter which will make one tetraspinner ) Not long now! That is project priority number one.




Tetra spinner fever

Loving Illustrator! Designing fabrics! Starting with the basics, moving through a sequence from a simple idea to a more sophisticated end product, learning so much about what can be done …. Developing a pattern and instructions is an interesting journey – I love a challenge!

Purists might prefer to stick with a more traditional method printing to fabric sheets and  piecing the tetraspinner, or painting and embellishing at their leisure, taking time to put it all together for fun;  kids can make them from paper and coloured pencils and card; those short on time might rather enjoy the speed of construction aspect with purchased pre printed panels! So I am offering all three, and two sizes. Overkill you may think, but these are going to make great fete items, gifts for those hard to buy for folk, party icebreaker entertainment, diversional therapy! Not to mention the fun to be had making one, or two, or three….

Fabrics will be available in a small selection of colour ways, once I check swatches! Keep an eye out for them on Spoonflower

Original hand painted and beaded, cotton printed panel and cotton printed triangles designs, Spoonflower fabric print made up.



Tetraspinner update

I have been working on this, I promise!  Half a day at the computer and  my tetraspinner pattern and instructions are almost ready for proof reading!!!! (well I did the bulk of it a few weeks ago, before mishaps and unexpected travels and other textile art got in the way!)

Also, yes! the fat quarter panel fabric arrived, and I have finally made it up – super quick to do, one afternoon, just the finishing touches of hand sewing to do… could have done that whilst I was watching a movie this evening but did not give it a thought, I think I am a bit spun out…  the pattern will have instructions for making fabric and card versions in two sizes. The original colourways will be printable, and there are also black and white outlines  to do your own colouring if you so wish.

Today I spent some time working on a black and white fabric design which hopefully will be available for purchase from Spoonflower along with the original colourway design. I need to test out the black and white fabric once it arrives, that will probably take me about a month to complete I should think. After that, the fabrics should be good to go! The pattern might hit the 2SewTextiles shops earlier than that… 2Sew Textiles website

outline morsel
an outline morsel…. fabric print to come! 


Beginning to think it is easy to take leave of one’s senses and to become completely obsessive…  I have been exploring 3 dimensions as a mild diversion from the landscape art quilts, precipitated by a void as I had run out of the wide stiff bag wadding which I use as a base for that work. Since I had to wait about three weeks for it to come in to my local patchwork store, and the fact that it also coincided with the sudden and irrevocable demise of both of my vacuum cleaners (yes I had two!)  within days of each other, which then negated all possibility of my filling my time with housecleaning, AND of course I had to do SOMETHING. I am not a gardener. I wish I was sometimes, it would keep me fit and think of all that lovely fresh air in my lungs…. but the dog likes to ‘help’ and she is more of a hindrance.

Having been somewhat fascinated for some time by cyclic tetrahedrons, and as I always relish a challenge,  that is what I thought I would tackle next….  having enough stitch-n-shape on hand as an ideal stabiliser, I set to work figuring out how to do this. My other great love affair (the one with the computer) had me thinking I could do this and print all the 24 triangles I was going to need…. on fabric, just need to work out how the design would need to be…. but that was taking a long time, and eventually the upshot was, as I couldn’t at that point get my head around how to actually get my designs ready to print as a pattern on to fabric, (well I did my head in trying to master kaleidoscope patterns… which was a deviation from the tetrahedron idea…) I concluded it still might just be quicker and simpler to do it all by hand…. as you do. Sometimes I am quite old-fashioned. After all, I only wanted to make one….

Th process:

  1. draw the designs
  2.  trace and redraw them in Illustrator – just to get everything nicely symmetrical, (and it’s playing with magic)
  3. print out and trace them on to fabric
  4. back with stabiliser wadding
  5. quilt
  6. colour
  7. embellish
  8. stitch together

EASY! So I thought… 4 weeks later, I do have the finished article, and I did have a lot of fun on the way. It satisfied my desires to piece, to paint, to quilt! It’s really an art quilt form, this cyclic tetrahedron that I call a TETRASPINNER… This one is approximately 17 inches x 17 inches, and 8 inches high – really rather large but it seemed to me it might be easier to make at these proportions. I was actually wrong in this. It gets a bit tricky at the end…

You can see a VIDEO HERE of the finished item.

I have a fabric print in the pipeline for making a smaller version that would be much easier to handle, and will save anyone wishing to make one the hassle of designing and painting the triangles needed to make it up. While waiting for a proof swatch to arrive, I am working on a pattern that will be downloadable and printable on A4/letter size paper, and which will be available in at least two sizes; similar colours to those you see here, and also the black and white outlines so you can choose your own colours. Instructions for comstruction in fabric and on card will be included.

In the meantime, these are some progress photos…  (the last one is a fabric design I am experimenting with… )