Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Lost my Crafty Voice!

It has been so long since I last wrote anything that I feel slightly embarrassed!

It has been a long 7 weeks with many ups and downs to the point that I lost my crafting voice... it actually wandered off for a long walk without me!

A combination of a manic teaching schedule, 2 Scout groups, a family illness and an 11yo struggling to settle into secondary school left with only just enough energy to crawl into bed and sleep. When you have kids you think that first year is the toughest - I now know that it gets harder as they get older, so much so that it makes the first year feel like bliss!!!!

I have missed my voice here and I am hoping it will come back to full force soon - still not quite there...

Have you ever reached that point?

Any tips for getting it back?

I have also been working my way through module 2 of the City and Guilds. It is all about shape. I have been exploring dyes, drawing and working with paints! So much fun!

Here are some examples of my dyeing journey so far:

It is great fun mixing the colours and experimenting with different fabrics. Above is Linen/cotton mix, viscose wool felt and cotton organdie. They absorb the fabric at different rats so come out slightly differently.

Here I added black to some of the fabrics from the dye chart above.

These are my favourite so far. My dye recipe book is filling up fast with samples, colour washes and recipe details!

All of this is part of my skill development for my course. I have managed to get 4 samples done so far this week for the module. One more complex sample to do and then my finally experimentation piece...

Cable stitch on hand dyed cotton lawn.

Whip and feather stitch on calico with straight stitch embroider as the border.

Couching stitch with ribbon, embroidery threads and perle cotton no 8 on viscose wool felt painted with fabric dye.

It is an amazing journey to be on!

Have an amazing New Years Eve wherever you are and I  hope to see you in 2014 for more sewing/quilting adventures!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Christmas Spinning Stars!

Earlier this year I responded to a request from the Fat Quarterly team for contributors to the magazine.... and my design was accepted!

I did a lot of dancing around the studio and then had a minor panic attack about how I was going to transfer the idea from my iPad to fabric....

Luckily my idea worked!

The lovely fabrics came from Makower and the Modern Christmas line by Henley Studio. I matched it with a white back ground so the stars would float and spin. It is backed with grey Klona.

The quilting is with Tula Pink variegated 50wt Aurifil thread in the spinning stars - I will post a close up of the quilting later in the week. I quilted stars and swirl with white Aurifil 50wt into the background.

My lovely friend Liz helped me sort out the photos and then posed for me!

I hope you like my first pattern for Fat Quarterly -go buy a copy, it is a fabulous e-zine!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sunday Shopping #8

Good Morning!

Sorry I have been gone so long....

Last Sunday I was frantically finishing my City and Guilds Module 1 which I passed (huge sigh of relief!) and we have had a half term week with music lessons, family illness and a birthday quilt to start - more tomorrow.

So here are some fabulous fabric collections that I have found in the last couple of weeks - happy shopping!

First up is Bluebird Park by Katie and Birdie for Moda. This is a fabulous collection of really gorgeous fabrics in three different colour ways. They all make me smile! You should also check out their website which is full of beautiful images and designs.

You can get it from:

Backstitch - coming soon.

I have a growing affection for spots and this range of wonderful spots from Robert Kaufman fits the bill nicely! Spot On is a huge range of different sized spots!

My favourite ones are:

I love that there is a fabulous choice of sizes available as well as loads of colours!

You can get it from:

The last one for this week is Nested Owl from Adornit:

It is sooooooo pretty! And everyone loves owls at the moment! I love the Coral colour way, but the Charcoal collection is amazing too!

You can get some from:

Hope you like them, they are all sooooo pretty!

We are off out for a morning of rugby today then an afternoon of lesson planning - the craziness of classes starts again on Tuesday!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Sewing Classes 2014

We are quite a while away from 2014, but my schedule is filling up fast!

Following on from the successful beginners class on Saturday I have organised more courses in Tetbury which should be great fun!

To find out more about any of the classes below please email me here.

Tetbury Workshops

Make a Patchwork Cushion

Saturday 8th February 2014
10am - 4pm
£45.00 including wadding.

Make an A Line Skirt

Saturday 16th April 2014
10am - 4pm
£40.00 including pattern.

Make an Oilcloth Tote

Saturday 14th June 2014
£45.00 including all materials.

There are more courses at Prema Arts and Under the Edge Arts in Wotton Under Edge which I will post as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A Birthday Quilt

The last 12/13 weeks have been consumed by my City and Guilds course and work.

In fact I haven't done any sewing for fun for an age... it will be worth it when I submit my work on Friday (fingers crossed).

I then have 2 weeks to pull together a quilt for Midi who chose a wonderful bundle of fabrics from M is for Make way back in August.

After some discussion and looking through mummy books Midi has decided on a porthole quilt, but he isn't sure of the shapes yet.

I learnt this technique at Fat Quarterly Retreat with the fabulous Lu Summers in July. It is great fun and fast so I should be able to get the quilt top done pretty quickly...

Now comes the problem - his birthday is 2.5 weeks away... yup, a VERY tight deadline...

Oh well, I will get going at the weekend when I get 5 minutes peace!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Gloucestershire Modern Quilt Guild


On Thursday evening the all new Gloucestershire Modern Quilt Guild will meet for the second time!

I am so excited that our little group is slowly taking shape - these takes time, but I am an impatient person when it comes to quilting!

We are having out first evening at Prema Arts Cafe, which is going to be our regular meeting place. It is a really cosy building with sofas to sink into and stitch! The lovely Adam who owns the cafe is kindly letting us use the space for fabric gossip and stitching! (It is my most favourite place to go and hide!)

If you live in the area and have an interest in Modern Quilting you are very welcome to come along - and no quilting experience is necessary!

You can email gloucestermqg@btinternet.com for more info!

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sunday Shopping #7

I love finding new to me designers like Denise Urban.

This collection is called Moonflower:

I love the yellows and greys together. The flowers are gorgeous!

You can see it close up at Fat Quarter Shop:

They are so lovely!

You can get them from

Fat Quarter Shop

Another spectacular designer is Valentina Ramos, whose collection of fabrics is stunning and bright:

I love the brightness of the colours and  the intricate designs on the flowers. I need some more vibrant fabrics in my stash and these are perfect!

You can get them from:

Eclectic Maker
Fabric HQ
Hawthorne Threads

I hope you like these 2 collections!

They made me smile and discovering new fabric designers to follow is always a bonus!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday Shopping #6

Today is a day for sitting inside under quilts and watching movies... on the other hand with 3 boys playing rugby, we have spent the morning getting cold and wet...

At the moment they are drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream whilst waiting for the bath to run - there is more mud in the house than on the pitch!

So fabric window shopping is in order to lift my flagging spirits!

First up is the lovely Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille:

It is a collection of pretty pinks, greens and red that make me smile! I love the mix of colours and the delicate flower designs. It would make a wonderful quilt for a little (big) girl.

You can find it at:

The Quilt Room
Honeybee Cloths
Fat Quarter Shop

Another new collection that I adore is Secret Garden by Nel Whatmore.

I adore Nel's fabric and I have used her last collection in a few smaller quilt pieces and a quilt in progress. This collection is full or gorgeous purples, greys and lilacs. So need to get it  my life!

The Cotton Patch
Eclectic Maker
Hawthorne Threads

Continuing the pink and floral theme this week, I love Petal by Tanya Whelan:

I have a few scraps of Tanya's previous fabrics that I have stashed for a while waiting for a plan. Her ginghams are my favourite ginghams ever! Plus this spots look really yummy!

You can get some Petal from:

The Cotton Patch
Quilters Haven
Fat Quarter Shop

I hope you like today's fabric shopping. They are so pretty and delicate, perfect for making into quilts to snuggle under this autumn.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

40 Kids Making 40 Aprons....

A few weeks ago the deputy head at my boys school emailed me about making aprons at school with the lovely year 2 (they are all 6/7 years old!)

She had omitted to mention that it would be 40 kids making 40 aprons.....

That is 40..... believe me that 40 small children in a room is a lot of little faces!

So I went along with my lovely sewing machine, lots of pins and scissors.....

I had drawn a template for the girls aprons and we used a sheet of A4 on folded fabric to cut a chefs apron for the boys - no curves allowed here!

There were lots of lovely parents helping with cutting and sewing on of buttons. It was my job to turn the top edge of the aprons and stitch some webbing on with the kids.

All of the class had a go on my sewing machine under close supervision!

I love the enthusiasm this age range have! They loved the speed control on the machine. We sewed at tortoise speed on the short bits and then we went super sonic with the longer stretch across the front! There was lots of 'ooohhhhs, aaaahhhhhs, and wows!'

It was loads of fun! And the smiles on their faces when they had made their aprons was priceless!

Monday, 7 October 2013

City and Guilds Progress 1

So it has been 8/9 weeks since I started work on my City and Guilds.

The first 5 modules are all about the design elements of machine embroidery. They are all about letting go of the creative safety net you sit in and jumping into an unknown world of drawing, painting and colouring..

I will admit I was a bit worried at the start, and in many ways I still am, but the worry is giving way to excitement and creativity!

I started with peppers:

After drawing them I had to take a section of the drawings and enlarge it:

I had to take 2 sections and work with colour to develop their design potential.

The next step was to look at texture through design elements - this was like machine quilting so I really enjoyed this section:

It was great fun working through this part! I could see lots of potential.

Next was cutting up the design and experimenting the pieces to form a final design piece:

Now comes the fun bit.... making embroidery samples and completing an final piece of embroidery.

So far it has pushed my abilities, scared me and made me want to know more.... so a great journey so far!

I have to remind myself daily that there is no right answer - it's not like maths! My brain is struggling with that concept!

Once the embroidery piece is finished I have to pull it all together in my first portfolio on Line Design.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday Shopping #5

The week has flown by again.

We are currently in the middle of an illness bug that is doing the rounds at the boys school, so I have been busy working, Scouting and look after them. Roll on week 2...

So shopping....

No I haven't been spending pennies again but I have been window shopping!

First up is a bundle I bought a couple of weeks ago from Alice at Backstitch. Alice has the most amazing selection of Klona solids. I love Klona solids because they are perfect as a solid colour in quilts, plus I use them for my classes when teaching pouches, purses and clutches.

My supplies were running low so I got this amazing bundle of colour:

Backstitch, Bright Bundle

This made me gasp with joy when I opened it. The colours are amazing!

Backstitch has a wonderful new website and if you order from it this month you will be entered into an amazing giveaway so go visit!

This next collection of fabric is a must have on many quilters lists. In all honesty is growing on me and I think I might need some for my stash so when it has worked itself into a pattern I will have it ready!

Briar Rose by Heather Ross is a lovely collection of fabrics with delicate designs. I would need a little girl to make a quilt for......

You can get Briar Rose from

The Village Haberdashery
The Eternal Maker
Fat Quarter Shop

Hope you like exploring these 2 collections of fabric.

I had planned on updating you on my City and Quilds progress on Friday, but completing as much of first embroidery sample as possible took all of my child free time! Check back tomorrow and there should be some progress pictures!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Sunday Shopping #4

I had a fun week last week getting fabric for a quilt for a lovely friend who is 18 next year.

You may remember that I made a quilt last October for my friend Lily who was turning 18. Well, when I delivered the quilt Lily's twin sisters put in their orders. Luckily they aren't 18 until next year.

Becca loved Angela Walters first collection, but I missed out getting bundles. Plus I was put off by the panel.... I just didn't know what I would do with it. When I spotted Legacy by Angela this year I knew it was perfect. This week I found a wonderful bundle at a new-to-me shop, Stash Modern Fabric:

Legacy by Angela Walters

It is an absolutely beautiful bundle, plus they had a wonderful bundle of coordinating solids which will make designing a quilt so much more fun!

Pure Elements solids 
I can't wait until it arrives! Sometimes I wish I could teleport over the pond to be able to collect the fabric in person...

You can get Legacy at these wonderful stores:

Stash Modern Fabric
Fat Quarter Shop
Hawthorne Threads

I have a slight obsession with Tula Pink.... it is more like a massive obsession!

So her new and totally fabulous collection Acacia is on my MUST HAVE SOON list:

It is so fabulous:

My only issue is that I need to save up to buy the entire collection, I just can't choose a single colour way!

You can get them at these wonderful shops:

The Village Haberdashery
Fat Quarter Shop
Hawthorne Threads

Hope you like these 2 collections.

Happy Shopping!