First, let me thank the wonderful people at Makover UK’s – www.makoweruk.com – for providing me the collection entitled Counting Sheep which is 100% cotton – http://www.makoweruk.com/section/makower-uk-collection/counting-sheep/ – to review on behalf of the United Kingdom Quilters Website.
Worth noting, I have no personal gain other than the sample pack of fabrics provided to me and I will endeavour to be as unbiased as possible. Nevertheless, with each review there will always be an element of choice and personal preference, where my opinion of my likes and dislikes may have some element of influence.
Not all photographs show the true shade of the prints. On some of the photos, I have placed a two pence piece to show scale.
Baby’s collections or nursery fabrics are not normally my go-too ranges because I no longer have small children. However, to coincide with the theme of babies’ month here on the UKQU website, it was the perfect opportunity to review this collection.
Unlike other collections from Makover, I was not overwhelmed with this assortment of prints. That does not mean I thought it was terrible, just thought it lacked the wow factor for me. Maybe because I rarely use baby themed fabrics and if I make nursery items I prefer solid block colours.
There is a choice of 12 fabrics in the Counting Sheep collection. If you are like me, you like to touch and feel the fabric. From the sample I was given – 12 squares 10” x 10” inch – they had a strong finish and tight weave and all fabrics were the same weight and texture.
First, the fabric prints entitled Clouds are weather-inspired, one print with a blue background and the other a light teal. The designs feature suns, clouds, rain and rainbows and could work side-by-side with the same design with different coloured background. The print of this fabric is not multidirectional so take care when placing this design.
In the Bunnies prints this theme continues. There are two print designs, one with a white background and the other light silver. This print would work well in a combination with the cloud prints. Alternatively, it could work next to the same print of a different background. The print of this fabric is also not multidirectional so take care when placing this design.
The fabric entitled Chicks, would also work alongside both the above-mentioned prints. The design of this fabric is multidirectional. There are two prints in the Chicks fabric, one with a white background and the other a teal. Unlike the other prints mentioned these would not work well together as the size – chicks- would nullify the background colours and make it appear too busy.
Nevertheless, it would complement the other prints in the range; the yellow in the chicks brings out the yellow in the bunnies and vice-versa.
The prints entitled Sheep Meadow work well in combination with each other as well as with the other prints in this collection. There are two sheep prints, one with a pale yellow background the other a shade of grey. Again, the print of this fabric is not multidirectional so take care when placing this design.
1956/S Stars Grey
In keeping with the weather theme, the two star prints – one on a white background and the other is grey – brings the day-into-night for the collection. The two prints of this fabric are multidirectional.
1956/Y Stars Yellow
The tones of the yellow Stars and yellow Sheep are similar producing a subtle combination.
The grey of the Star, Bunnie, Sheep, Gingham and Number prints also combine with each other, although the tones of grey vary in shade.
The Number prints, multidirectional designed fabric – one with a dark grey background the other with a white one –brings out other colours in the collection and vice-versa, jars a little for me and I dislike them.
If I were to purchase from this collection I would leave the numbered prints out. Whether that is because of my personal choice in baby prints or a general dislike of them I am unsure.
Finally, onto the Gingham prints – again multidirectional designed fabric – there are three prints in this section and I feel it would have been better with either two or four. One print is grey the other is teal, the third – to be honest not sure -if the colour is red, orange or brown or a washed out brown/orange red combination.
This third piece jars the whole collection and really does not work alongside the other prints.
Overall, a nicely compiled collection, although the title of the collection is a little misleading -Counting Sheep – when in fact only four out of the 12 prints relate to the title. Another name might have been better. I will not insult the designers by suggesting a name, because I am aware not all prints in a range have to have sheep or numbers in them.
…A Nappy Storage Hanger.
To determine the measurement on which to base this hanger you must first decide on the coat hanger you wish to use.
Once decided, you then measure the coat hanger across the longest point and the then from the top centre to the base. Please note not all hooks maybe centred.
Add an inch to the top to base measurement. This gives you your top sections. I padded mine out with wadding to cushion the feel of the coat hanger, not necessary if you do not want to. Remember all these measurements now need a seam allowance adding.
I folded my top section in half and then placed the coat hanger onto the fabric and drew around the top edge to acquire the shape. I then removed the coat hanger and measured a quarter of an inch – my chosen seam allowance – and proceeded to cut out the shape. Then using the front half as a guide I cut the back piece.
Choosing to add embroidery and wadding to the top section, I floated the fabric on my embroidery machine, placing it on top of wadding and a cotton fabric acting as both liner and stabiliser. Considering this choice, the fabric embroidered well. I removed from my hoop and sewed around the edge of my sections securing both the wadding and lining in place. Then I turned the top tip over thus, creating a hem, as this will be an opening for the coat hanger to come through.
The fabric cut out really well. I overlocked– serged – each piece before sewing it together as cotton can fray. Although I did not notice much fraying because of the nature of the finished project, I knew it would over time. The Fabric glided through the overlocker with ease. Sewing them together was also great no slipping against each other. When I had to unpick and area -had one of the fabric designs upside down – it unpicked okay without leaving a mess where the stitches had been like some fabric can do.
I then made up the front and back sections, being careful to watch the direction of the patterned fabric. For the front and back sections, it is the width of the coat hanger squared. I gave the front opening a small envelope / tissue box opening. Thus, allowing more nappies to be stored.
The base measurement is the width of the top section and the depth of your choice. I normally go for between 6 and 10 inches.
This project is just less than 8 inches. I used up the left over fabric from the top and back sections to make the base rather than add a new piece. Hence, the patchwork look, these joined together with ease despite the small size of some pieces.
When determining the side measurements. I use the depth of the base and the height of the front. I also use the measurement from the bottom of the opening to the base. On your rectangle sides, you then use the measurement from the bottom of the opening to give you your side panel before you taper it off to the top. From the top centre measure out half an inch each side of the centre line.
From this measurement, you then draw a line to the edge of the fabric to the previous measurement. Your sides should look like these.
Sew the top section to the front panel and do the same for the back sections. Do not sew the top and back together yet. Sew each side to the front, again do not join to the back.
Sew the base to the front and back sections. Now sew the sides to the back panel and sew the base to the sides.
Finally sew the top sections together remembering to leave an opening for the hanger to come through. Start at the top and sew towards the sides, the sides will pull out; sew over them in a downward angle.
I washed the finish project on a 60-degree wash. I wanted to test to see if the colours ran. I was pleased to see no colour run had occurred.
Once dry I was able to iron, for the purpose of the photographs,
I placed a cork placemat inside so give it structure.
To sum up how the fabric had performed.
• It ironed out well after washing. The fabric had previously ironed well prior to cutting for the project and the seams ironed flat with ease
• No issues cutting the fabric with a rotary cutter
• I was unable to test for interfacing, as none was required
• Fabric was a joy to work with
• The patterns worked well together, even the ones I disliked
• The only BAD point, the fabric samples I received were cut off angle so I would recommend doing a cross grain test to square up any pattern before use.
Again, I would like to thank Makover Uk for the supply of this Counting Sheep collection for me to test.