Thursday 28 October 2010

I started working on some blocks that I was planning to use with the Orla Car patch I began the other day. I began by sewing together long rows of fabric, but I wasn't overly keen on how it was working out so I cut them into these strips.

I'm liking them alot better like this and have a few ideas buzzing around as to how I now want to use them. But, uncharacteristically, I am going to leave them on the side for a few days and be sure of what I want to do with them. I have about 5 ideas all at once for them and have a feeling they may become a theme for new this space.

In the meantime I had to get back on track with the Car Cushion. I decided to continue on the Log Cabin style that I'd started, with an added sashiko stitching around.

I have backed it in linen with an envelope opening, in a style that I normally use for my cushion covers. I like this style. Is it because I'm too lazy to do zips? Or simply that I like them this way? I like to think it's the latter...

There are going to be a fair few of these, but if you want to grab this first one, it's right here...

Tuesday 26 October 2010

I am now the proud owner of this...

I have been after an Orla bag for aeons (What? You didn't know I liked Orla?) but could never justify the price tag and so have been on the lookout for one on Ebay.

There are always plenty on Ebay, but typically the ones I like always go for way over what seems to be a respectable price for a second hand bag. Also, I was pretty sure that once I had possession of one I would be wearing it to death and was consequently on the lookout for one that had one careful lady owner.

When I looked again this weekend, there it was, the style that I was most after and apparently only worn once.

Bid entered and I sat back and waited.

And as if by magic, or maybe everyone else was sunning themselves in St Lucia over half term so weren't around to bid for Orla bags on Ebay, the bid entered and I'd won!

Two days later the bag is in my possession and forever by my side. And the description of worn only once was so true as this bag is as good as new.

For the time being anyway.

And whilst on the subject of Orla (am I boring you now?), having bought some of this gorgeous Car fabric that Manda was selling, I will leave you with a little snippet of a cushion I am in the middle of making.

Saturday 23 October 2010

The house renos have taken somewhat of a halt for the last few months. The initial steam ran out after we had the majority of the work done and we have just been enjoying what we've had done without the hassle of having people in, decisions to be made, worrying about what still needs to be done.

It's time now to get on with Round 2. Round 2 will certainly not be as disruptive as Round 1. No building work. No overly chatty decorators getting in my way. Round 2 is all about finishing touches.

First off it's a couple of wardrobes being fitted next week in our room and Samuel's. This will make for neater, tidier, cleaner rooms...and that's us too...not just Samuel.

So our clothes will have a home, shoes can be out of sight, computer desk taken downstairs - thanks to my lovely new baby, my Macbook. (who incidently has been my easiest baby yet - no sleepless nights, no dirty nappies - just pure pleasure.

With the end in sight in our bedroom, I am now ready to think about the final finishing touch of a throw on our bed.

I haven't been totally sure what kind of style quilt I wanted. The colourways was obvious, the fabric choices are all picked out, but what style? Nothing too fancy (you know me). Something to let the fabrics speak for themselves and something that fits in with the dramatic wallpaper, but is beautiful enough to stand out in its own right too.

I've recently joined a new Flickr Swap Group and found the inspiration I was after, right there...a brick patchwork.

There is so much inspiration to be had on Fickr and these 3 are just a few of the masses of amazing examples of Brick Patchwork.

This first is by a favourite blogger of mine, Red Pepper Quilts. Rita is one of the most prolific quilters I know and is a real inspiration of dedication and skill. I adore this quilt. Rita uses alot of the same fabrics that I am drawn to, so I think that adds to her appeal.

Aren't these pillows amazing? I have just discovered Megan from 100% Philistine Made and love all these pillows. I love the consistency of colour that Megan uses and this is something that I want to take from her for my throw.

This final example from Cinnamon Toast Design jumped right out at me. It's so calming. The colourways and fabric choices gel so well and I can imagine one never tiring of a quilt like this.

So, I know what I like and what I'm after. Here's hoping I can achieve it as, due to the size of it, this is going to be a rather substantial project.

Friday 22 October 2010

All done and first set of a new product...
Did you guess right?

I'm really pleased with how these have turned out and can't wait to get into my studio and get more sets made.

I've already picked out a load of fabrics (my favourite bit of any project) that are sitting waiting patiently for a few spare moments.

The first set is in the shop now

Thursday 21 October 2010

I've been playing around with a new idea and it's almost ready to show.

Ever since Ruby got her little sewing machine for her birthday I've been hankering after playing around with Stitch I. It's that scalloped stitch you can see here.

I haven't been able to get it out of my head and I kept thinking of ways I could use it. Needless to say, it's all come together...

I've had a new product in mind to try out and today when I was experimenting with it, I suddenly remembered Stitch I and new at once how I could incorporate it.

It's almost ready for show and tell and you've probably got a pretty good idea what it is going to be...

Any guesses?

Tuesday 19 October 2010

I had an extra special delivery today. One I have been waiting for for some time. I saw these cuter than cute kits from Kayanna of Junecraft a while ago and I can't believe they are here.

The kits are super easy and perfect for a first project, but oh so funky enough to want to do anyway, however advanced you are.

Kayanna's funky designs have been printed onto fabric and included in the kit is a piece of vintage fabric. To make each Guitar and Dog even more special, the fabrics used will vary.

They are perfect to give as a gift or have fun making one yourself and give that as a perfect gift.

They come in Long Dog and Folk Guitar and are just too irresistible.

They can be found right here.

Friday 15 October 2010

Forgive me for gloating for a moment, but I am actually quite impressed with myself. I always have big plans to make handmade gifts for all the children at Christmas, but time always runs away and I never get started early enough.
But not this year! It's still only October and I've already made the starting point of 4 of my nieces' and nephews' gifts.

The rabbits are all done, as are the fabric baskets. I just need to make a couple of gifts to put in the baskets. Just something little. Nothing too challenging or demanding on time.

So, I am quite pleased with myself. And I'm hoping to even get started on a little something for the grown-ups too. Ok, so now I'm gloating...

Thursday 14 October 2010

Ever since I was invited to join the Flickr group "My morning cup", I've been hooked on these little 'mug rugs' that everyone seems to be making at the mo.
They are very sweet and I love the idea of them. However I am partial to a tray to put my morning cuppa on, so they weren't actually going to work for me.
But, as I said, I love the idea of a splash of colour on the table and adding texture when a full cloth may not be desired or practical. Just a little decorative touch to break up a surface.
So I have extended the idea a fraction and made a couple of mats for various positions in the house. The first one above is now sitting in the middle of the kitchen table. It's already, within the 24 hours it has been sitting there, been used for a fruit bowl, the coffee break, oh and I think breakfast juice and glasses.
I've just finished this second one and it is now sitting on top of our new fireplace. I absolutely adore our new fireplace, but couldn't quite put my finger on what was missing.
A touch of soft fabric to break up the hard surface...perfect!

I'm hoping to make some of these for my shop, so if you like and are interested, drop me a line and I'll make sure I do some in the colourways you like.

(I managed it! and they are right here and here)

Monday 11 October 2010

I wasn't quite expecting to get Jack and Jacketta done quite so swiftly. I honestly thought that I would be making them way past midnight the day before they needed to go.

Even when I started to choose and cut the fabrics on Sunday evening while we were all sitting watching X Factor, I assumed the pile of cut pieces would sit on the shelves for a few more weeks.

I should know really that I am the most impatient person on the planet when it comes to a project waiting to be completed. I can not switch off from knowing it is there. Strangely, I don't have the same compulsion with a pile of ironing...

I should also know that I get rather absorbed when doing something for the first time. The excitement of the challenge, along with wondering whether I will be able to do it is something I can't switch off from when trying something new.

My creative journey is on the whole an organic one. Lots of trial and error. Plenty of making it up as I go along. And certainly a distinct lack of formality of following a pattern or anything of the like. I could never have had the confidence to tackle something like this a couple of years ago. But I am pretty confident with knowing my way around my machine, fabrics, the lingo, so I didn't feel too daunted by the prospect. I did however wonder whether they would come out as they should, or even half-way rabbit-like.

And since I've never ventured into the world of making clothes either, I did wonder whether they were going to come out right too. Needless to say, I have now started yet another obsession and am making shorts and skirts for all of Ruby's teddies!

So when they turned out like this, I was more than just a teensy bit delighted and am now so excited to give them to my niece and nephew that I'm actually wondering how I will manage to wait until Chanukah. I'm just only too pleased that Chanukah this year starts December 1!

Sunday 10 October 2010

It's been yet another mad and crazy week. Madder and crazier than ever I might add. Not only has work been testing the boundaries of possibilities, but it seems that when life is so manic, there are a shed load of other things to juggle too.
This week was one of those weeks. Parents' evenings every evening this week, along with a Prize Giving Evening for Sam and then family birthdays galore. This meant whipping up neccessary presents, oh and other members of the family quickly ringing to ask if I could just pop something in the post for the afore-mentioned people's bithdays.
It's really lovely that everyone comes to me for gifts. But it would be a whole lot better if they could do it sooner than the night before!
One relative's birthday is today. My lovely sister-in-law Ruth. Last time we were down at theirs she mentioned that she would love me to make her a Tea Cosy. Obviously I never got around to making it any sooner, so a perfect idea for a birthday. At least I knew I'd be giving her something she wanted!
Ruth and Dan have just redone their my favourite shade of Duck Egg Blue too. So making an accessory for this scheme was an absolute pleasure. And certainly not a problem in terms of having the right colour fabrics in my stash ;-)
I had recently bought these Denyse Schmidt fabrics from Kate, and knew instantly that they were going to work for this project. I'm really pleased with the outcome and delighted to report back that Ruth is too.
I think this may be the beginning of a new range too...

I'd like to think that this week life was going to give me a bit of a break. But it's not looking that way. matthew is away for most of it, which means all falls on me. And it's 2 nephews' birthdays at the end of the week. I'm pretty sure though that I won't be russtling up anything for the 15 year old...too cool for handmade...

Saturday 9 October 2010

I love delivery day at Blueberry Park.

The excitement of having found new products that I think my customers will love gets intensified when I have in my hands these wonderful items that artists around the UK have so cleverly made.

This latest bunch of finds are no exception. Ros and Ed, the talents behind Stabo are a couple who make fab and funky accessories from the softest by-product leather. They are very keen on producing all their products as ethically and environmentally friendly as possible. Just what I, practicality and eco-friendly-ness .

The leather they use is a by-product from the meat industry and much better for the environment than many synthetic products.

I love the fact that Ros and Ed's studio in Cambridgeshire has the thickest insulation and is heated by a wood-burning stove.

I personally feel that sometimes a compromise is made with style in the efforts to make things as ethically as possible, but this is not the case with these at all. Stabo create the funkiest accessories for men and women that I have seen in a long time.

I'm hesitant to say which is my favourite accessory (although I am partial to the iphone case) or which is my favourite design (scooter maybe?). I do think Ros and Ed have created a fantastic range that I think (hope) will be very popular with Blueberry Park shoppers.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

How gorgeous are these little guys? Completely irresistible I'd say.

After a heads up from Kate about how she's got her Christmas gift making under way, thanks to the fab patterns from Fiona, I decided this couple of rabbits would be the perfect gift for my little niece and nephew.

I am DETERMINED to get them done in time.

So, having purchased the patterns, off I popped to Saints & Pinners to get some fabric essentials, including Cloud 9s white flannel. This was typically the only colour I didn't pick up in my selection last week.

Whilst I was there I threw a few extras into the basket. Well, it's illegal to not purchase more than you need. Isn't it?

I'm really pleased with these 2 Darla Ditty pieces that were in the sale. They'll work great for my kits and I always like to pick up nice fabric for the kits. (See, thoughtful after all)

And I just love this Joel Dewberry's Herringbone. It's so fresh and striking. I'm thinking it will work super well as the skirt for the girl. (See, so not indulgent...pure necessity)

So, there, I've laid it on the line. I am making these for my niece and nephew. For this Christmas. That's 2010. So you are well in your rights to hassle me about the progress. In fact, please do, I think I might need it.