Tina’s Patchwork Workout

I am looking forward now and thinking of my new years resolution………….more patchwork.

I put on weight when I worry, I comfort eat. The last few months of getting the cattery built, along with all of the paperwork and legal stuff and worrying about getting customers has been stressful as well as exciting.  But it has also made me eat, so to help me lose weight I am going to do more patchwork.

My Patchwork Workout is accomplished by having the ironing board as far away as possible from the sewing machine and ironing every little seam as soon as it is done, be it one inch or 3ft!


One of my cat mats available from my Etsy shop.

This cat mat patchwork panel is made from 2″ x 3.5″ strips and for every seam that I stitched on the sewing machine I got up, walked across the room and ironed the seam flat, then walked back to the machine to do the next seam. I walked across my room 158 times just to do the patchwork panel. The room is approx 9ft long which means I walked 1422 feet (432 meters) as well as the excercise of getting up and sitting down in the chair at the sewing machine. Quite a work out!! With a lovely piece of patchwork to show for all of that excercise! And being busy I didn’t feel like eating. Think of the area I would have to walk to make a king size quilt using these little strips, could end up being miles!!! Goodnesss, just had another thought, how about putting the sewing machine upstairs and keeping the ironing board downstairs, that would give me a doubly brilliant workout. Who would have thought that doing patchwork could lead to a healthy lifestyle?


New idea, new look!!

So my new idea came because I had alot of enquiries for my sewing lessons but, the same comments were “I can’t do that day” or “I can’t do that time”.  So I am now advertising personalised workshops.  I have a list of workshops to choose from and my clients decide when they want to do them, take a look at my website.  I don’t have to book a venue as I have my little ‘studio’, so if there is only one person that is fine.

But, then I realised my studio wasn’t that inspiring, especially after I had worked in it for a few months, threads all over the floor, books and fabric taking up any flat surface loads of unfinished projects………………… so I spent one whole day emptying the whole room, 4 days painting it, and voila………………..


Shelves with button and bead filled ducks, ribbons, fabric etc


Small trolley with ironing board and fabrics, and lace hanging from corner.


Two sewing machines ready for learners


2nd ironing station with room for cutting out too, notice lovely posh venetian blinds, they make the room lovely and bright.

I love, love, love the space.  And being at the bottom of a beautiful garden makes it even more special.

I have already done two workshops for some lovely ladies that wanted to learn machine patchwork, and they have booked another one, so everything must have been alright for them.  The room worked really well.  (And I have put some money in the bank instead of taking it out)  I feel as though I am now self employed and own a business.  Now to really push myself and get more learners.  In the meantime I have to make some samples of all the things that I am going to teach. I will be going to different groups i.e womens institute, sewing groups etc and hopefully recruit more people.


Beautiful little cushions

Here are two samples I made today for my next workshop, I will be teaching how to make these cushions using the paper peicing (or foundation) method of patchworking.


Crochet with fabric

And a workshop on how to cut your fabric and crochet a pot.  A future workshop will include how to make a bag from drink cans and milk bottles.  In these photo’s I have made a small tote with stuffed crochet handles and the second one is a shaped bag with flap, I am still trying to decide on what to do about a handle, the loops are there ready.  They were made by crocheting around  the milk bottle tops.


The handles took ages to crochet in 4ply cotton.


I might get some white webbing and make an adjustable strap for this one.

Another workshop I am looking forward to doing will be the exploding box.  I am hooked on making these, and they always look so nice when finished.


Some card, glue and fabric this little box is so easy to make


And really impressive when you open it up!

So that is my update, I just wish there were more hours in the day, when you are enjoying yourself the time passes too quickly, does that mean being self employed will shorten my life?  I don’t care, I’m happy and no longer in the boring rat race!