I would like to thank UK Quilters United (www.ukqu.co.uk) for giving me this chance to review Makower UK’s collection entitled Handmade (www.makoweruk.com ). Please note this fabric is 100% patchwork cotton.
When I was asked to do a fabric review, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to play with fabric? I had no idea of the colour or make of the fabric before it arrived and the day it arrived I eagerly opened the package, while still sleepy, and gave it a cursory glance.
The print that stuck out was the mustard safety pins. My immediate thought was okay I have baby prints.
However, on closer inspection, once I had fully woken up I found that it was a mixture of sewing notions with a contrasting set of Sashiko prints.
For those that do not know Sashiko is the name given to very precise form of Japanese hand stitched quilting. Knowing this made this design choice of adding these prints with the choice sewing notions a very subtle but beautiful touch. I was impressed at how the designs incorporated together, and where at first I thought the safety pins were baby related I could now see their relation to the rest of the collection. Not everyone will like every choice in any collection and I am no different. I found the yellow safety pin fabric design number 1890, very jarring on the eye, and both the safety pin designs I thought the safety pins were somewhat a little too big for my choice.
This set could be used as a whole or used in sections; for example, the Sashiko set of four could work well without the others and vice versa the quilting notions, cotton reels, buttons and safety pins could work equally well as a standalone set.
If you are like me, you like to touch and feel the fabric. From the sample I was given – 12 squares 9”x 9” inch – they had a strong finish and tight weave.
I did have a design in mind before the fabric arrived, but I have had to change tack, as the finished product would not allow the large images and large items on the prints of the design, thus not enabling the true emphasis of the fabric.
I found limited my choices of use for this fabric and to me was a negative, mainly because of my chosen medium; machine embroidery. However once the design was finished I was mildly surprised at how well they did in fact work together.
Now I was tempted to only use the Sashiko set, as this type of design is a favourite of mine. This would show a disservice to the collection and the hard work of Makover Uk and their designers.
Because I am going to use this fabric for In-The-Hoop (ITH) machine embroidery, I am fully aware that some aspects will be lost.
Again, for those that do not know ITH machine embroidery is a product made completely by an embroidery machine with no additional sewing via a sewing machine is required. Although you can get designs that do say extra sewing on machine needed.
As the collection pertained to sewing, I wanted the finished product to reflect something sewing related – I searched for a design that I liked and would work, I fell short – so instead I changed my plan.
I did notice that these samples were off angle. Had I chosen to do a time-honoured design that would be a factor I need to consider. However, as I never do things the conventional way, so this was not an issue.
The design chosen was an ITH project by Kreative Kiwi, (https://www.kreativekiwiembroidery.co.nz/product/1587086) for the 5”x7” inch embroidery hoop because it is the most commonly owned hoop size.
The jarring nature of the safety pin design colour yellow and the size of the safety pins influenced by choice to use it as the backing fabric, as this design can be reversible.
The fabric ironed nicely, and the interfacing used on the back sections adhered nicely to the fabric. The nature of the design required the fabric to be cut at a variety of angles and thus not always on the grain or bias.
The cutting was crisp and sharp with very little fraying. To me this was a sign that if was a good fabric and a pleasure to work with.
I also managed to use every design sample.
The finished design shows how, even on small areas the colours and designs complement each other.
So just to recap:
Bad points for me: Safety pins to large, The colour mustard of the fabric, Samples cut off angle.
Good points for me: Ironed nicely, Cut wonderfully, Design carefully put together.