Snow again

This is not the first time I have written a blog post about snow. Over the eight and a half years I have been writing this blog, the topic of snow has come up from time to time. Readers, I am a fan. So in today’s post I am sharing some recent snowy delights and showing you snow-inspired fabrics.

I have recently been in Canada. One of my sons lives in Vancouver and no less than seven members of the family in the UK travelled to see him in December. Although it is possible to ski on at least two mountains close to Vancouver, generally speaking there is not a lot of snow in the city. This year was the exception. A beautiful outdoor exhibition of coloured lights in the Van Dusen botanical gardens was magical due to the reflections on deep snow.

In the town of Squamish, it is possible to catch a cable-car up a distance of 1,000 metres and go from sea-level to mountain top. No snow at the bottom, but deep snow on the various trails for walkers. First, you had to cross this suspension bridge.

In Sasquatch, where we all went for a day’s skiing, there was lots of snow. The temperature was minus 18 degrees centigrade and it continued to snow lightly, but we were not deterred.

On the following day, when we had to leave, the sky was blue and the mountains beautiful.

Snow and mountains inspired this New Year themed fabric ‘Fireworks in the Alps’ available here.

This is ‘Little Chalet’, a pretty, small-scale print on a white background. It is available here

The two ski-ers in my ‘Kisses in the Snow’ design are clearly not deterred by the cold weather! This fabric is available here

You can choose to print the designs onto any of the 24 different fabrics available from Spoonflower. There is information about the fabric types here.

To see all the 113 designs in my online studio, click here

STOP PRESS – there is 20% off Petal Signature Cotton until midnight on 13 January 2023. This fabric is perfect for quilting

Here is the small print:

This offer of 20% off Petal Signature Cotton® is valid from 12:00am ET on January 10, 2023 through 11:59pm ET on January 13, 2023. Promo is not valid on other fabric types, wallpaper, home decor or any other products. Promo offer can be combined with 10% Everyday Designer Discount, but cannot be combined with any other promotional offers. Offer is applied to your cart automatically. No code necessary. This offer applies worldwide with exclusions. Previous purchases are not eligible for adjustments. Offer is available on only.

How to Pre-Soak Cotton Wadding

You’ll know, if you have followed this blog for any time at all, that I am becoming increasingly conscious of the eco-friendly qualities (or otherwise) of the materials I use for quilt-making. I am trying to use only natural fibres, because of my grave concern about the issue of micro-plastics in the ocean and of fibres going into landfill that cannot biodegrade (such as polyesters).

I now only use wadding made from 100% natural fibres. Using cotton wadding poses a dilemma for the quilter. Most manufacturers tell you not to machine wash your wadding before use. They also tell you to expect a certain percentage of shrinkage when the finished quilt is washed, encouraging you to embrace a ‘vintage’ slightly wrinkly look. I’m not so keen on that idea and want my quilt to look exactly as I planned it, so I pre-soak my wadding. This is how I do it.

This is one of the brands of wadding I use. It arrives folded along its length and then rolled.

Out of it’s plastic wrapper (which I re-use for other purposes), it looks like this. If you are buying wadding by the yard you will need to fold it along its length until it looks something like this.

Next I fill a bath with barely tepid water, to a depth of about eight inches (20cm).

I put the long, folded piece of wadding, doubled over once, as shown, into the water and press it down below the surface of the water. I ensure that the water reaches all the layers of wadding, without manipulating the wadding too much. Then I set a kitchen timer for ten minutes.

At the end of that time, I let the water out of the bath and then gently fold the the piece again and press out the water.

I lift the wadding carefully out of the bath and put it straight into the drum of my washing machine. I unfold the wadding back to the ‘long folds’ stage (as in photo 2) and curve it round the inside of the drum. I set the program to ‘Spin’, which on my machine takes 13 minutes. The shorter and gentler the spin cycle, the better.

This is the wadding as it comes out after the spin cycle. It is still intact and without any stretching or damage. I dry it, still in the ‘long folds’ shape on a flat laundry dryer.

I have had no problems at all with this method and I am happy to be able to use natural materials without having to become wrinkly!

Amanda Jane Textiles offers unique fabrics for sale here, quilt patterns here, classes here and quilts for sale here

This is my best-selling fabric design ‘Quilt Labels’. Buy them here

Quilt-Labels, designed by Amanda Jane Textiles, on Spoonflower
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