Thursday 28 February 2013

a fabric kinda week...

it's been one of those weeks...
a fabric kinda week...
the best kinda weeks ;-)

first up, i had a delivery of delicious green konas from the village haberdashery (more on what they are for another time...unless you follow me on IG...and then you will know)

second up, some scrumptious oakshotts that have been made into something for a commission - again more about that another time.

also this week i had delivery of several fabrics from 2 new collections that i think rate as 2 of my all time favourites. they are so beautiful.
firstly i ordered a couple from the much (by me) awaited new Cloud 9 collection - Tsuru by Rashida Coleman-Hale. boy is it beautiful. 
the bottom one is to make some pj bottoms for moi and the top is a little extra sneaky peak. i think i am going to be needing a lot more of these as well as the others in the collection.

finally but by no means least, by sheer quantity, let alone sheer beauty are these little bolts (there really isn't a lot of fabric on a bolt...ahem) of beyond stunning Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander. if i could have done i would have taken these to bed with me last night...

i know this appears like a lot of fabric, but it is necessary, all has a purpose, all is already cut i said...all necessities.

Thursday 21 February 2013

half term round up

half term is never easy...
juggling the kids...
squeezing in work...
and not forgetting this half term the daily visits to see dad who is in week 5 of being in hospital.
it really hasn't been the best of weeks, but looking back on it, despite all that, it has been pretty full and productive.

clockwise from top left the week included...

1. completing day 1 of training for the 24 hour walk i'll be doing in may...
2. printing the new designs...
3. finishing my honey loop cowl...
4. finally sending off bee blocks and siggies...
5. packaging up the new lampshade kits...
6. customary half term venture into town to meet dad for lunch...
7. starting (and almost finishing, Liz) a long over due custom order.
8. oakshott lampshade sample

not a bad week all said and done.

Tuesday 19 February 2013


 i am proud and delighted to announce my new Patchwork Lampshade Kits, the first of the series made with Leanne's fantabulous Little Housemartin screen printed fabrics.

 it seems an aeon ago that Leanne and I caused hysteria on IG with my makes with her wonderful fabrics.
you can blame the courier service who shall remain nameless as I am too dang fed up of them to want to read their name on my blog. suffice it to say that it had something to do with the old excuse of swearing blind they had put a note through my door to say they had tried to deliver. chin wag!

moving on...the kit contains a selection of strips of Leanne's fabrics along with a lampshade kit and full instructions to make a beautiful and unique patchwork lampshade for either a pendant shade or a table lamp. it comes in a choice of 20cm or 30cm diameter shade.

i really am quite delighted with these kits and hope you love them (and will want one!) too!

as i said this is just the first of a series of different kits that will be available, one of which includes naturally a couple of blueberry park options and another that i am just putting together and very excited about. it is rather a sophisticated shade that i think may just cause some hysteria of its own.

Monday 18 February 2013

umbrella quilt...

 i ticked off a WIP from the list today...

after waiting for my stripes to dry (i had to print up my own binding fabric as i didn't have just the right thing in my stash) i set to sew yesterday and finished it off today.

i am so in love with this umbrella prints range and can't take my eyes off it.

a while ago i got sent some pieces from the elephants love water collection and instantly fell in love. it's no secret that umbrella prints are one of my favourite pair of clever designers and this range is a real winner. 
the red/blue combo is always a success and coupled with amy and carly's eye catching designs on beautiful organic cotton, elephants love water really is a must have range.

i wanted to do something relatively simple and let the bold designs do the talking. i paired the fabrics with some coordinating solids and backed it in a red solid for simplicity.

 more simplicity with some straight line quilting through the wonky windmills and we were done.

i really encourage you to try elephants love water if you haven't already. you won't be disappointed. check out a stockist near you here.

i've listed this baby quilt in my etsy store here

Thursday 14 February 2013

the process...

it goes from this...

 and this...

to this...

and then this...

 to finally this...

and a bit of this...

all in less than 24 hours.

i love the process of design to screen to printing and it's been quite a while since i did it.

happy days.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

new skills...

 a few weeks ago i bought a new toy and after a shaky start of the wrong foot being sent i finally had a spare 5 minutes to try it out yesterday.

 me being me i jumped right on in. no trying it out on fabric to see how this would actually work.
oh no, not me, i just grabbed the nearest block hanging on my wall and set to try.
if it worked great, if it didn't, well, it wouldn't be the first time.

 i knew exactly the design i wanted to try.
i'd made this sashiko cushion a while ago. i just love the stitch and thought it would work quite well on the x+ block. i actually had this quilting design in mind for my scrappytripalong quilt and so i thought this would be a good place to try it out. see...not all blind thoughtless jumping in. there is occasionally method to my madness...occasionally.
ok so it may be a little wonky and uneven but for a first attempt, not bloody bad at all! it is actually easier than quilting with a regular foot where i seem to ruche up the back no matter how careful i am at basting.

i am really pleased with how this little block has turned out and now just a teensy bit excited to quilt the scrappytrip along.

new toys, new skills...even more sewing fun!

Monday 11 February 2013

a rewarding fat rascal...

it seems as if teaching is what i am supposed to do.

having not taught officially since my middle baby was just 1 (nearly 13 years ago now) it seems to be playing a big part of my life once again.

the screen printing workshops are really taking off and this year i have a series of sewing workshops lined up at the wonderful and inspiring RHS garden, Harlow Carr in Harrogate.

i am going to be teaching several workshops throughout the year, from pretty screen printed napkins to piped cushions and the first of which on sat 9 march where i will be teaching how to make a patchwork zippered pouch and tote bag.

so if you fancy coming along to this fantastic venue to learn some new skills or simply to have fun sewing in a wonderful environment  please do join me. all details are on the website - just click on the link here and then click on 2013 Guide under Courses and Workshop Guides on the right hand side. my courses start on page 30 (creative section) and then all booking details are down on page 38.

the course includes a stroll around the beautiful gardens all in the name of inspiration and i am sure there will even be time for you to nip to the on site Betty's afterwards for a well deserved tea and fat rascal!

Friday 8 February 2013

friday workshop take 2

 friday came around mightily speedily this week. 
it seems only 2 minutes ago that lizzie came over for a one-one workshop and here i was this week with jess, her mum wendy, vicky and chrissy round for their workshop.

 in my former life i used to be a teacher and doing these workshops has made me realise that it's not the teaching i grew to dislike, but the being in a classroom teaching unmotivated kids.

 teaching screen printing on the other hand has given me my passion back. 
when you have keen, star students in front of you and you get to pass on the wisdom of something you are passionate about, well quite frankly life doesn't get much better.

it is a privilege to have such lovely people come and want to learn something new and to show as much passion as i have.

 it was quite an intense day, in the best possible way. everyone was full of ideas and creative juices were running high.
i never saw such looks of concentration in the classroom.

 when all stencils had been cut we headed down to the print room (the basement) and after a quick session on how to actually pull a screen everyone set to work on their own screens.

i don't know about them but i was beyond excited at this point! i couldn't wait to see how their designs were going to turn out.
seriously, i needed to give myself a pep talk at this point.

and what star students they turned out to be...
after the printing and the cleaning up came the magic...

 seeing their designs transformed...
how cool are all of these?
i just love how different each and everyone's work is...

vicky brought her fab bird and birdhouses design printed out and ready to cut...
chrissy punched holes a crazy to make her striking design...
wendy did 2 - she used cat post-it-notes as silhouettes to cut out - and also took inspiration from melissa bombardiere's wonderful belbird design (i love melissa's work)...
and jess produced a wonderful piece that looks  tribal.

 the next workshop isn't until march 15..i'm not quite sure how i'll get my fix until then, but it's certainly something to look forward to.

if you fancy joining me for a fun passion  filled friday (does that sound wrong?) there are still a couple of places left for march 15. 
please do join us (mother's day is march 10 so put in your request for a great gift) can book a place here.

Friday 1 February 2013

wonderful way to spend a friday...

what a fantastic way to spend a friday!

i had the pleasure of liz coming over for her one-one screen printing workshop.
liz has done a couple of screen printing courses before and so had a good idea of what she was up to.

she claimed she wasn't very artistic but if you see what she produced i think like me you would disagree rather swiftly.
liz brought some sizzex paddle punches with her. I haven't seen these before and they are so cool! It would be very difficult to cut these shapes for stencil printing and liz used these in such a creative way. I just love the effect she achieved.

we spent some time talking techniques (actually we didn't stop talking for the over 3 hours liz was here) so that we could perfect her already more than basic skills.

 one advantage for liz booking a one-one session was that she had more me time (not necessarily an advantage you might say) and we were really able to work on her skills.

she also had plenty of time and could work on 3 different designs.

 whichever workshop you book on you get tote, tea towel and fabric pack to work with.
i love how the stars came out on liz's tote!

with a little bit of time left liz set to work on her 3rd design - partly hand cut, partly sizzex paddle punched. 
how cool is her tea towel? just genius!

liz really was an a* student in both attitude and aptitude and i had such fun hanging out and 'playing' with her today.

thanks liz for a wonderful time!

if you would like to come and do a fun workshop there are a couple of places remaining on my march class or like liz you could book a one-one for that little bit more me time.

next week i have my next group workshop and i can't wait!