Friday, 12 September 2014

Love Sewing Magazine Feature

In shops now, Love Sewing Magazine issue 5 - featuring my dresden footstool pattern!

As you can see, I am pretty pleased with being featured! Expect lots more of me in print, I have already been given six more article commissions to work on, yeah!

Monday, 8 September 2014

New Patchwork Class at Hulu Crafts!

I am delighted to be able to announce that from next month I will be teaching Introduction to Patchwork classes at Hulu Crafts.

Hulu Crafts have a fantastic online store, full of yummy fabric, yarns and notions. They even have their own youtube channel full of helpful how-to video guides.

I am really looking forward to joining them at their bricks and motor shop in Modbury, Devon where next month I will be teaching an Introduction to Patchwork course. This class is ideal if you have some basic sewing skills and would like to make your first patchwork quilt. I will be teaching you how to use essential tools such as a rotary cutter and patchwork ruler, how to sew an accurate 1/4" seam and from there how to make a variety of patchwork blocks to get you started on a sampler style quilt. It will be a fun, friendly class that will have you hooked on patchwork!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Squeezing fun in between the chores

I should really be working, but then I have been working all day so I thought i'd squeeze out 5 minutes of the bank holiday to share something fun I found time for last weekend.

Got off my bum and started something new (and started making a mess!)

This is as close to a mess as I get in my studio, eek! It was tidied away moments after but I just had to document the rare 'creative mess'! Tell me everyone else also uses prized quilts as design walls?!

I took a lovely vintage cloth storybook panel my youngest was gifted for her naming day and turned it into something that I hope will be much treasured.

Working on a sweet little story book quilt for my little Juliette

It was designed and laid out in such a way as to cut up and sewn into a book, very clever. But the poor panel had bee siting untouched in my cupboard for almost 4 years so I made the decision to turn it into a story quilt rather than a cloth book, as I felt she was a little too old now.

A departure from my usual palette of colours, I stuck with the pastels and vintage prints that complimented the story panels, there a pieces of their baby bedding in there along with a little of their toddler clothing, My daughter is delighted and can't wait for it to be finished - success!!

I have also resisted reading the story whilst I've been sewing, I am saving that treat for when we can both snuggle under it and read together when its finished!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Holiday Knitting - Pebble Beach Shawlette

With sewing taking an ever increasing place in my day as 'work' I have found I turn to knitting more and more as a form of relaxation. In fact I can't remember a time when I didn't have a knitting project on the needles. As soon as one is finished, I have to cast on the next, ready for those rare 5 minters every now and then that I get to indulge myself. Much like english paper piecing, knitting is a portable handy time passing activity, perfect for picking up when there is a dentist appointment, or a school club to wait for or watching the kids in the park.

My knitting has come on so much in the last year, I am really am in love with this new skill and I am excited to see what I can challenge myself to achieve next!

Recently I took part in my first knit along, much like a quilt along, and it was great fun! Everyone knit the wonderful Pebble Beach shawlette designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.

I used some lovely silk merino mix yarn from the Natural Dye Studio, aptly called Sea King. So soft and full of lovely hues of the sea, I want everything I knit to have silk in from now on!

Lovely bfl/silk yarn ready for possibilities!

I enjoyed taking the project with me everywhere, working on it a little at a time and it soon grew. I even took pebble beach to a pebble beach! I loved Helen's wonderful way of getting you to work through the pattern in percentages, very motivational to see them flying by.

Spent some time knitting my #pebblebeachkal shawl on a pebble beach today

 I added beads to my shawl, the first time I have tried this and I will be doing it again for sure. I love the very subtle sparkle they give and the weight to the shawl is a bonus, helping it stay in place when worn.

#pebblebeachkal is off the needles! That beaded picot cast off was a b**ch to knit-first time doing picot and first time adding beads. So glad I did though as it's gorgeous! Now to get it dry before going home from the inlaws in the morning  I couldn't wa

I used Soak for the first time for blocking and it was lovely, its on my birthday list now (oh I hope my husband reads this before next week!) The lace pattern came out wonderfully with the blocking and I know that I will knit another in the future, its just so pretty! Actually, I am pretty amazed that I have knit this, I feel incredibly clever and I am still a little shocked that I can create something so complex!

#pebblebeachkal shawlette is blocked, dry and ready to be packed for my holiday!

I need not fear the cool evenings that are drawing in, in fact I welcome them so I can wear my pretty shawl!

Close up detail of beading #pebblebeachkal

Of course, the next project is already on the needles! If you are interested the full details of my project can be found here on my ravelry page.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Letting a big kitty out of the bag

I have been waiting months to share this with you all and I am bursting with pride now that I finally can!!


Since early this year I have been working with publishers FW Media on a set of instructional video kits for their Stitch Craft Create website and they are now live and available to purchase!

The Kits include everything you need to make either a simple gathered skirt or a patchwork cushion, along with access to an instructional video where I take you through every single step of the constriction process.

Months of work went into this and it was torture keeping quiet about it! Filming was crazy, surreal and fun, not to mention all the gorgeous fabrics I got to play with. The girls at FW Media designed such a cool set and were a real pleasure to work with.

I am hoping they will be well received by the public, I know that I am immensely proud of what I have achieved and I am already working on my next project for them!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Simple Makes for Grand Gestures

Both my girls are leaving their schools this week, it has been a week of tears and emotion!

It felt only right that I should make gifts for both of the girls to give. Seeing as Eloise's teacher was having her first baby and that she has ferried my daughter around to countless out of school sports events when I was busy and couldn't make it I felt a special gift was required, a quilt.

Then I got to thinking, while I was making one baby quilt surely it wouldn't take much longer to make a second. And so it was decided rather than making a whole mountain of gifts for the army of preschool helpers Juliette will be leaving, the pre-school would also get a quilt gift. One to put on the sofa in the quiet corner, for sleepy new little children in September and those not moving unto big school.

It seemed just the perfect excuse to break out my rainbow charms that I have been saving for probably a good two years now (does anyone remember those charm swaps I organised - they were all the rage in 2012 ha!) I added a few more from my stash to make up the numbers.

Going rainbow for the teacher gift....daughter is not only moving teacher but leaving the school and teacher is having first baby. Knew those rainbow charm swaps would be useful one day!

A little late night organising along with some quick chain piecing later and I was quilting before I knew it.

Quilting a rainbow this morning

Volia, two simple but lovingly made cheerful quilts, to leave behind happiness where my children once were.

Rainbow finishes drying on the line. Teacher gifts are done!

I'm off to find the tissues again, and stock up for the smallest one's last day tomorrow too!

Quilt Stats:

Small cascading rainbow quilt:

42 rainbow 5" charm squares
27"x31" aprox
Pieced wadding, but mostly 70/30 eco blend
Ikea Numbers Duvet backing
Citron sketch binding
Quilted in crosshatch through the squares, Gutermann 12wt cotton in variegated rainbow

Large cascading rainbow quilt:

56 rainbow 5" charm squares
31"x36" aprox
Pieced wadding, but mostly 70/30 eco blend
Unkown Pirate Map backing
Scrappy rainbow binding
Echo quilted 1/4" either side of charm squares with Gutermann 40wt in pale blue

Friday, 11 July 2014

Pack Patch Mini QAL with Quarter Inch Mark

Last weekend I needed a little indulgence, a bit of selfish impromptu sewing. Then the lovely Chase from Quarter Inch Mark came up in my Instagram feed with her delightful Pack Patch Mini qal.

Image from Quarter Inch Mark

It was so sweet and charming I just had to join in. Of course I didn't really qal with Chase and the other ladies because I had come in right at the end. But I did still work through the directions for each week in order, interpreting the themes that Chase had set. I must say it made for the most interesting way of selecting fabrics, with different themes like Cheddar, Country Mouse and Town mouse and many more!

So I set to work with my scrap basket, making myself limited to just using these scraps made the challenge more fun!

Started a new totally unnecessary project and it feels amazing!  @quarterinchmark qal blocks are so tiny and cute!

In an afternoon I had all my mini blocks made! Fresh on Sunday morning I set to work sashing and had a finished mini quilt top by elevenses!

My @quarterinchmark #packpatchminiqal is ready for quilting, thanks to mother inlaws donated denim shirt for sashing! #thrifty #totalscrapquilt

Sashing only needed 1/2 yard but I don't really keep any solids on hand over a fq. So I used an old cotton denim shirt, donated by my mother in law for my scrap/recycling basket. I think the soft denim colour gives it a lovely country feel. I arranged all my blocks in the order of weeks 1-10, just as chase did. I like how it looks, despite the fact that at no point did I give any thought to whether the mini would look cohesive overall, I just concentrated on each little block in isolation.

All that remains is quilting and binding. Very handily I am giving a class on machine quilting this Saturday at Social Fabric, so the Pack Patch Mini will be used for demonstrating some fmq to my class. Then it will come home to go up on my studio wall!

Indulgent sewing is certainly good for the soul! I hope you all enjoy a little selfish sewing time this weekend!