Wednesday 30 June 2010

We had a family meeting this week and the kids have decided they each want a turn cooking tea. I'm not entirely sure how it came to this, but I'm not complaining. They each have a day of the week and have to let me know at the beginning of the week what they are planning to make. I'll do the shopping, they'll do the cooking, sounds perfect...

First up today was Sam and on the menu was Asian Chicken Noodle Broth, courtesy of Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. With a little tweaking of ingredients (mange touts substituted for asparagus) and a little help from Mummy, dinner was served.

It was seriously delicious. Noah seemed to enjoy his, despite being rather hesitant and refusing to have anything green in his bowl.

Even thought it doesn't look like it, Ruby loved hers and had seconds. I know it looks like she's being forced fed, but really, she loved it!

I'm sure the novelty will wear off long before the second week materialises, but I for one am enjoying it. I'm loving the company in the kitchen and a little one-on-one time chatting about the day. So if it means I don't actually 'not cook', I love the interest they are showing in looking for recipes and deciding what to make that we will all enjoy.

Noah's up tomorrow...cheese omelettes and strawberry trifle!

A little fabric shopping took place last week and boy am I pleased with all of it. Saints and Pinners continue to have the best collection of on-line fabrics based in the UK and I was able to get my full wish-list in the same place.

First up is this little array of pinky reds, perfect for quilting...from the left...

the stunning Coral Reed by Cloud 9
a restock of Tanya Whelan's fab Dolce Fans
Amy Butler's spots from the gorgeous new LOVE line

This next little grouping are just sublime. A while ago I bought my first stash from Anna Marie Horner's beautiful range and I was addicted on the spot. Not only do the fabrics have the most exquisite feel to them and are a dream to sew, but the colours and designs are quite simply divine.

The blue and red Diamond Mine are stunning, but I think the Little Honey in Meadow wins my heart.

Another group that have been on my wish-list for some time are these from Cloud 9 Fabrics and it was high time I treated myself to a selection. As mentioned previously they are not only delectable in every way, but their organic eco properties make them a double whammy.

Whilst I was shopping I picked up this little stash of everyday essentials...a couple of Free Spirit fabrics and another Amy Butler Sunspots sandwiched between.

Oh and let me share with you a little extra I treated myself to this week...a gorgeous hand screen-printed piece by Melbomba. Mel has printed her fab design on a beautiful linen/cotton mix. Go check out her store. She has some fab pieces. I've got my eye on this one next.

I can sleep easy knowing my stash is looking this good, but the good news is I'm making room by having a bit of a clear out of some great fabrics but no longer work for me....some scrap bags and bigger watch out for the alerts...

Monday 28 June 2010

I was pleased with the outcome of the Wedding Cushion and thank you to those that liked it too, but I think this one was borne out of the antidote to the more sophisticated feel of that. Without realising it at the time, I obviously found it quite sombre. And even before I had finished completing it into a cushion, I had already pulled out all these bright, fun dots, lining them up ready to be "log-cabined".

It could have been as a result of that, or equally a result of my sombre mood of last week. Either way I feel lifted to have been sewing this bright array of spotty dotties this morning.

It will be all cushioned up and in the shop asap. And long may the summery weather and mood continue until the distant future...

Sunday 27 June 2010

After the adivce from some of you, coupled with the fact that I find it hard to go back on an idea I have, I went ahead with the red/gold these for the cushion. Whilst I get carried away with an idea and find it difficult to do a U-turn once, I've started, I'm the first to admit I may have made a mistake and will happily start again from scratch.

However, as the log cabin took shape, I was liking the combination more and more. The inclusion of the limited edition Liberty really pulled together the whole piece. And bringing in a touch of green with it made the contrast with the 2 colours less stark.

I'm not entirely sure that there would be a place in my house for such a combination, but I am more than happy about the end result and think the couple (hopefully) will be more than happy with it.

In the meantime, I've already cut out a fun combo of fabrics that I am rather excited to see how they piece together. Watch this space...

Thursday 24 June 2010

I've been asked to make a cushion for a Sikh couple who have just got married. I have absolutely no idea what their taste is, how their house is decorated, what colours they like.

All I do know is that the wedding day colours are reds and golds, so I have used this as my starting point. However, this isn't a colour scheme that I would readily put together so I'm not overly sure on this one.

Should I carrying on with this line of thinking? Or go back to the drawing board? What do you reckon?

Tuesday 22 June 2010

I can't believe it's Tuesday already...and I haven't blogged since last Wednesday. And I was on such a roll!

Being away for the weekend is partly to blame. As is the amazing summer we are having. I'm almost beginning to feel how you peeps that live in warmer climes must have it... knowing what to put on in the morning...enjoying coffee breaks in the sun...a general feel of merriment going on.

It has meant that I'm not doing as much sewing as usual. Quite frankly, even though it's one of my most favourite things in the whole wide world, I'm more than happy to give up hibernating in my attic studio for a bit of sunshine.

And that's why the boys' version of my quilt-cum-playmat has taken a little longer to produce. But, just as long as I'm continuing to produce things, albeit at a slower pace, I'm more than happy to take a step back and enjoy the summer we are being blessed with. Long may it continue.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

I'm sure like lots of you, I get asked to do things sometimes that you could never see coming. My friend Roz works on the Leeds Owl Trail and asked if I would make a T-Shirt for their little mascot. I could never have anticipated that in my career I would be making T-Shirts for stuffed toys. But never say never is my motto.

So I set to work and made this rather snug fitting garment that Roz then added the Owl Trail Logo to. Rather fetching, I think you'll agree.

I can't even imagine what I'll be making next.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

I've been lucky to get a fair few commissions recently for already designed pieces, but with an individual touch. It's great to have a twist in the process. The general theme remains the same, so no design time needed to work it out, but just a little different detail to make it not seem repetitive.

On this occasion, the quilt for the new born baby in question was requested with a heart theme. Whilst I wanted to stick to the simplistic style, I decided on embroidering a row of hearts across a linen strip.

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Newborn quilts aren't too big so any fussy design doesn't do it for me. So to do a second row of hearts didn't seem to quite fit in. And repeating any fabrics didn't work for me either. So, here we have Grazia's quilt (that's Grace to you and me), a simplistic, pretty, snuggly baby quilt, that hopefully she will have for years to come.

Monday 14 June 2010

So if orange isn't your thing, perhaps you'd like them in blues...with the addition of those cheeky birds...

Or perhaps you like the orange, but would prefer it with a mix of red...

Whichever way you like them (and hopefully you do) they can be found right here

Friday 11 June 2010

As you can tell, I've had a very productive week in the studio...and you are only getting to see half of it! Life is back to how it used to be. Time to work...there's something novel! No doubt something else will crop up to get in the way soon (yeah, like the long school summer holidays), but in the meantime I'm really enjoying getting creative.

I've been making a few of these pot holders as gifts lately and yesterday decided they'd be great for my Etsy shop. Obviously I still had my lovely Junecraft fabric on the work table from yesterday and whilst I was cutting for the "A Stroll in the Garden" picture, I already had in mind that I was going to use the pear and flower panel for some of these. Actually, I have a zillion projects in my head that these panels will be perfect for. I just love the repeating pattern of seeing a whole linear row of them. It pleases my mathematical brain ;-)

I backed the holders with a couple of fabrics that tied in the orange but gave more of a contrast too. I love the Ikea one on the right, with the sprinkling of orange spots.

They come as a pair and are available here. And if next week continues in the same vein, there'll be lots more by then in there too.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Remember my lovely purchases from the amazing Kayanna of Junecraft a couple of weeks ago? Well, carrying on with my theme of making something out of the huge pile off scraps I collect, I set to cut into them last night to make a picture for Ruby.

It's entitled "A stroll around the garden"

This fabric panel was absolutely perfect for this. Kayanna has screen-printed an array of different flowers that are just crying out to be patch-worked. Even that little sprinkling of dots is just too cute for words.

I had at first been thinking that some of the larger pieces would work beautifully as the centre of a log cabin design. Looks like I'm going to be needing more of these panels. A lot more.

(P.S. Thank you so much for your such positive feedback on the previous blogpost. I have to say, I was really pleased with how the picture came out and to have you all confirm that was just fab, thank you. And it will be going on the grey wall ;-)

Wednesday 9 June 2010

If you wandered into my studio it would be fair for you to think I had been ransacked and invaded by the most violent of intruders. Unfortunately the only intruder around here is me.

I have to admit I have a very messy approach to my creativity. The pile you see below is off-cuts from projects. As I cut and sew I discard the pieces that are too big to be thrown, yet too small to be refolded and put back away.

There's a smaller pile that sits on my desk. These days, with my love of log cabins, this pile is full of strips. There is something quite therapeutic about this little pile. And they have obviously been inspiring me somewhat, because having stared at them for a few days, I realised they were the answer to some much needed wall art for our new bedroom.

I've never decorated in these colours before, so any art we previously had up somehow doesn't look great in this room. Not that a room has to look clinically coordinated. But you wouldn't want to see anything too clashing would you?
So I set to work with my precious off-cuts and in a very short time later had a new piece of art for the room. The question now is, do I put it on the wallpaper wall or bring it over to the other side of the room, on the grey?

I'm leaning towards the grey...I think...

Tuesday 8 June 2010

That's impressive isn't it? Only last night I was tweeting about how I needed a pattern for a Flexi Frame Purse and would you now look?

I won't tell you that I have had the afore-mentioned Flexi Frames for almost a year and been wanting to make one ever since...

Moving on...

With the help of my lovely Twitter friends last night, guiding me to all sorts of wonderful patterns, I eventually settled on this one by Pink Penguin.

I know. Mine looks nothing like Pink Penguin's gorgeous Puffy Pouch. Whilst I love that one and in time will make that too, I really wanted something simpler and smaller for all my cards and lose change.

Over the years I have used all sorts of different purses and wallets and have found I prefer something small and compact. I used to transfer all my bits into something smaller if I downsized my handbag for an evening and found I would never have the right things with me later as a consequence of not transferring them back.

This size purse works for me. Easy to move from bag to bag. And after all, how much room does a credit card take?

Monday 7 June 2010

Not only was it the first day back to work after school hols today, but the first day back to work with no major event looming.

Renovations completed (bar the searching for finishing touches), Bar Mitzvah been and gone. All that leaves is time to focus on work.

Consequently I was able to finish what I started yesterday and now Manolo is off to his new home, where I hope he'll be enthusiastically received.

By the way, did you guess the colour theme?? Manolo's Mum is Argentinian, so a light blue and white colour-ways, with a hint of black was requested ;-)

Personalised commissioned cushions are now available in my Etsy store.

Sunday 6 June 2010

I am very excited to be getting back to sewing projects.

I have a commission for a log cabin cushion for a new baby. A friend that was around over the BM weekend saw the ones I had done and asked if I would do one for her new nephew.

Obviously I am honoured to do so and was delighted that she loved them so much.

And so I set to work. One of my favourite parts of making the log cabins is picking out all the fabrics. She gave me the colour-ways she wanted...light blue and white with a touch of black. (Any ideas why??) I flicked through my piles of fabrics and made my selections.

It really wasn't very long later when it was all pieced together and quilted ready for the cushion back to be sewn in (I'm thinking linen - obviously...). The white strips on the picture above here, are ready and waiting for the name and date of birth to be embroidered on.

It's such a joy to be getting back to some sewing...and equally so to be doing more of my favourite new found pieces. I'm quite wondering if the novelty will ever wear off.