Thursday, 28 November 2013

Riley Blake

I love Riley Blake!  Yes I do. In case some of you are getting worried that I have a new love I should explain that Riley Blake is a fabric manufacturer.  Their designs are gorgeous, scrumptious in fact. Love that word ...scrumptious, it always sounds so......... delicious!

So Riley Blake.  They are based in Utah and have been going since 2008. It is owned by Bret & Cindy Cloward who had previously worked in a family, fabric wholesale business before recognising the need for exciting new prints that would offer a more sophisticated style for fashion-forward sewists.  

Riley Blake Designs colourful fabrics include cottons, flannels, sparkle cottons, organic cotton, knits, dreamy, and laminates in a range of designer and basic prints.  

In addition to all the yummy fabrics they also do a range of  complementary buttons, ric-rac, ribbons and lace, project kits and panels, zippers by the yard, and crocheted flowers. These go under the name of “Sew Together” 

Every couple of weeks I get an email showing me the latest fabric release along with ideas of what to make with it. My only complaint is that it is always quite a while before these new lines appear here in the UK.  

I thought I would show you the latest design from the email I received today.  It is called 

Vintage Verona


It is by Emily Taylor Design and it comes in 3 colurways, coral, green and navy.  The coral is my favourite. It is of ourse 100% cotton.

Just picture the delights that you could make with those 6 combined.  I am seeing a lap quilt.   In case you should be stuck for ideas Riley Blake have a really good blog which always has great inspiration.  

They also have "Cutting Corners College"  which is full of useful information and tutorials, from basic techniques to beautiful patterns and full instructions for quilts, bags, cushions etc, etc the list is quite long. 

My favourite at the moment, which I would love to have a go at making is a little boys quilt.  It is especially lovely as normally it is hard to find fabrics suitable for small boys so to get the instructions how to make this gorgeous quilt is a huge bonus. 

It is called Totally Boy Crazy and uses the Riley Blake fabric line. "Boy Crazy" It was designed by Amanda of Jedi Craft Girl.

I hope you have enjoyed this little look at Riley Blake.  All photos are the property of Riley Blake and all have link backs to their website.  Please check out their wonderful collections.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Shop of the week - Blind Crow Creations

Well last week was supposed to be the last shop of the week until 2014 but a last change of heart by the organisers means that we have one more and this week it is the turn of Rebecca who runs Blind Crow Creations.

Rebecca is a polymer clay artist and makes gorgeous jewellery.  On the "About" page of her shop you can see a series of photos showing how this bracelet came into being.

You can find out more about Rebecca by reading the Craft Britannia blog post.

Here are a few examples of what you can expect at Blind Crow Creations.


You can also find Rebecca on the following social media sites:  Facebook: @BlindCrowCreations, Pinterest: rebeccajwood, and Twitter @blindcrowcreate

Jilly @ Fabrilushus

Monday, 25 November 2013

Missouri Star Quilt Company

Who hasn’t heard of the Missouri Star Quilt Company?  If you do any kind of quilting or patchwork you will surely be familiar with them. 

I first came across them about 2 years ago when I was looking on YouTube for a tutorial on mitring the corners of my quilt binding.  Since then I have watched many of Jenny’s excellent tutorials. I have even made several items using her instructions
For anyone who may not have come across them, here is some background. The MSQC is a family business that has been going for just 5 years.  They have built the business from nothing to the huge success that it is today.  They are based in Hamilton in Missouri which is in Merika.  IE. Across the big puddle from us in the UK.  How I wish they were nearer.  I would so love to visit.  How cool would it be to actually meet the famous Jenny Doan?

You can read more about their journey on their about page:

Their video tutorials which you can find HERE are just one part of their business.  They also sell just about the biggest range of fabrics in Merika and they ship worldwide (If you can afford the postage!  Unfortunately that has always remained prohibitive for me).

They sell fabric by the yard and also a full range of pre-cuts including charm packs, jelly rolls and layer cakes.   They have a ginormous range of notions and anything you could possibly need for quilting you will find here. 

One of the things that make them so special is their “Quilter’s Daily Deal”.  Every single day of the year they have a new deal which is hugely discounted. EG. As I write this today the deal is “Kansas Troubles Favorites II” Charm Pack from Moda Fabrics which is selling at just $2.95 making a whole 78% off the price.  Incredible. 

In addition to all this they also offer a long arm quilting service and quilting retreats.   You can find the MSQC here:

Somewhere near the beginning of this post I mentioned that I had used some of the tutorials to make my own things and I thought you might like to see.  I am including 2 of the videos as well.  If you want to see more of the MSQC videos then go here:

The first video is how to make 3 tote bags from one charm pack.

I have made no end of these tote bags. Here are a few of mine.


I have made them in all kinds of sizes including this dinky child’s one.

My 86 year old Dad made this one.

The second video is the disappearing 4 patch block.

I have used this mainly for cushions and these are a few of mine. 

I love the way the different fabrics and colours totally change the look of the whole project.

I hope this has inspired you to check out all the wonderful tutorials. Oh, did I remember to say they are free?  THEY ARE FREE!!!!

Here are the links again

Friday, 22 November 2013


Do you every fancy treating yourself to something nice?  It is rare that the urge comes upon me and when it does I quite often get something practical.  A couple of weeks back I decided it was time to treat myself.  I fancied a new scarf.  I knew exactly where to look too.

Dawn of Jarg0n is one of my Craft Britannia team mates on Etsy and I have been lusting after one of her 50’s style scarves for ages.  I have lost count of how often I have looked through her shop trying to decide on my favourite ones.

In the event Dawn actually did me a special custom order in a beautiful blue and purple fleck wool.   Having got my scarf sorted I decided that while I was at it I may as well go the whole hog and have matching fingerless gloves and a matching bow, head band. 

Dawn got on to it straight away and I was amazed at just how quickly she had them finished and in the post.   I couldn’t wait.  When the parcel came a few days later I was absolutely delighted.  The whole set is just gorgeous; beautifully made and gloriously soft.  I am going to be warm and cosy this winter as well as looking very glam.

You want to see them now don’t you?  Well here they are.  Aren’t they lovely?

Ok, Now I’m going to model them for you.  I am afraid that I don’t really do them justice.

If you like my new winter woollies why not have a look in Dawns shop.  She has lots of lovely handknitted goodies. In addtion to gorgeous winter wear Dawn also makes lovely tea cosies and gorgeous children’s toys as well as other items.   As an added bonus Dawn has free shipping until the end of December.

Here is a little taster of more of Dawn’s gorgeous goodies.


I hope this has inspired you to take a look at Dawn’s gorgeous shop Jarg0n.

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Fabric Guild (A Craftfest Christmas Blog Stop)

I LOVE fabric!  Who doesn’t?  Surely there isn’t a person out there who doesn’t get all overcome with excitement at seeing all the latest fabrics?  The bright colours, the gorgeous prints, the sensual textures….. No?  Must just be me then!

I use a lot of different fabrics but my favourite is 100% cotton in bright colours.  It works well for the things I make. Handles easily, cuts like a dream, doesn’t fray, sews well and washes up great.  What is not to like?

Since I began my adventures in sewing I have made my fabric purchases in various places.  I actually started out with good old John Lewis. The first thing I made was a skirt from an Amy Butler pattern and I got the Amy Butler fabric in JL’s.  It is a good store but the choice is limited and it is pricey.
From that beginning, I have long since progressed.  I have visited various places and used a lot of online companies including the Bay.  I have purchased good fabrics at great prices and not such good fabric at over inflated prices.  You live and you learn.  To a large degree fabric is one of those things where you get what you pay for.

That having been said, there are places that sell good quality fabrics at very reasonable cost.  My very favourite place that does just that is the Fabric Guild in Leicester. Before I tell you more, I have to tell you that I have just one complaint about it……. It is in Leicester and I am out in the Lincolnshire Fens! My other half would probably see that as a plus point.  If it was on my doorstep I would be in there every week.  Luckily for me, our youngest daughter lives in Leicester so I am able to visit every few months.

So let’s tell you more.  The Fabric Guild, as already mentioned, is in Leicester.  It is a family run business and the staff are all very friendly and helpful.  It is run along the lines of an American style warehouse club and therefore not open to the general public, you have to be a member which costs a one off fee of £5.  (More about that later.)  They do not exhibit at trade shows.

The Fabric Guild has the largest selection of quilting fabrics and sewing craft supplies this side of the Atlantic.  Compare that to the average stores which all tend to have the same ranges.  The Fabric Guild often has the latest ranges direct from the USA. Price wise their prices for the latest fabric ‘releases’ are about the same as you would pay in an American shop but they also have a huge range  of clearance fabrics at £3/yd. or less.   The stock changes very regularly so there is always something new and different.

Because the Fabric Guild is not a shop you cannot simply ‘pop in’ whenever you want.  They are open to members on Fridays 10.00am to 3.30pm and Sundays 8.30am – 1.00pm.   Groups of 5 or more can visit on Thursday’s 10.00am to 2.30pm by prior appointment.

I mentioned previously that you must be a member.  You are probably thinking at this point, “Ok so how much is that going to cost me” Lifetime membership of the Fabric Guild is only £5 and for this you will receive 6 invitations and 6 newsletters a year. Your invitation is flexible and alternative dates are easily arranged. Membership also entitles you to a special bonus voucher (worth approx. £1.25) for every £25 you spend – these vouchers can then be swapped directly for things like scissors and cutting equipment.

The great people at the Fabric Guild even provide free coffee and biscuits and you can take your own lunch too.  Believe me you will need sustenance to keep those energy levels up! There is a nice seating area down the back where you can deposit your OH with his magazine.  Mine waits patiently and when I have too much to carry, I drop it off with him until it is time to go and pay.  NB. if you get as carried away as me you will need someone to help you carry your bags.  OH is as good as any and if you are really lucky he may even pay!

This is probably a good time to mention that if you are unable to visit Leicester then the Fabric Guild do also sell online.  (Shop links at end of blog).  In addition to gorgeous fabrics they also stock, wadding, sewing notions, books, threads, beads, buttons, card and scrap-booking craft and decorative knitting wool.  Delivery is free when you spend over £200.

So time to show you some of the lovely stuff that is in stock right now.

This is just a very small sample. What do you think?  If you love fabric as much as me then you need to schedule a visit to Leicester and the Fabric Guild.  I can’t recommend them highly enough.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Craft Britannia Shop of the week - NanFan Jewellery

It's Sunday so that means the Craft Britannia team have just announced the new shop of the week.  It is actually the last SOTW for 2013.

This week it is the turn of a shop called NanFan Jewellery which is run by Nana who lives in Sheffield. Nana originates from Denmark and grew up surrounded by fairy tales.  The jewellery that she makes totally by hand, is inspired by nature and those fairy tales from her childhood and her homeland.

Here are some examples of her work all of which are currently for sale in her shop.


You can read more about Nana’s shop and her influences here: and also on the Craft Britannia team blog here:

Also check out NanFan’s social media links:
Facebook: @NanFanJewellery
Pinterest: Sycamoon


Saturday, 16 November 2013

CRAFTfest is now open

CRAFTfest is now open!!!!!! For those of you who may not have heard of CRAFTfest it is an online craft fayre that runs for a full 8 days.  It is open 24 / 7 enabling you to shop for all those Christmas goodies from the comfort of your own living room.

There are over 100 stalls at CRAFTfest all offering their latest handmade creations so there is bound to be something to tempt you.  Fabrilushus is taking part and you find my stall HERE.

The Fayre is easy to navigate as similar crafts are grouped into sections. This is the main link and here are links to a few of the sections. Homeware Baby and child  Art  Jewellery  Gifts

Why not pop along and take a look.  Everything is handmade by artisans who put their heart and soul into every item so you know you will be purchasing something really special.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Craft Britannia shop of the week - Feather And Sixpence

It's Sunday so that means the Craft Britannia team have just announced the new shop of the week.  Before I go any further I just want to say a BIG thank you to Nadine and Erika who put everything together and make it all possible.  BIG thank you's also to everyone who promoted my shop Fabrilushus over the last week.

This week it is the turn of a shop called Feather and Sixpence which is run by May who lives in the city of Bath.  There must be so much inspiration right there. In fact here is a watercolour painting showing some of Bath's Georgian architecture.

May sells a colourful array of quirky illustrations, children's art, modern paintings, abstract art, watercolour paintings, illustrations, wall art, art for the home, affordable art and beautiful, unique, original gifts.   You can visit her shop here but the following photos should give you a good idea of the kinds of things you will find.

 You can read more about May and Feather and Sixpence on the Craft Britannia team blog here.

Jilly @ Fabrilushus