Saturday, 11 June 2016

Family Dewar

I am so excited about this!

These beautiful pen and ink paintings I commissioned the wonderful artist Bea Brouwer to produce to celebrate our second wedding anniversary

I stumbled across Bea's enchanting drawings as I work with her sister who was proudly sharing Bea's latest work one day.

I love the way Bea captures both the likeness and the energy of her subjects.

It was the perfect gift for our anniversary and commissioning the work was so easy. Bea simply used my Instagram uploads alongside some additional photos I emailed to come up with the two final drawings.

I love the contrast of the 'sensible' portrait with the 'true-to-life' jumping for joy moment.

Bea very generously shared some of the rough sketches as well as the final paintings. Now to find the perfect frame...

Bea's work can also be found on Instagram.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Feather Quilt

My second quilt of the year is a wedding present for friends who have finally decided to tie the knot.

The photos were taken in the evening just before hitting the road to Devon and the most beautiful wedding venue - the light is low and warm making the soft grey fabric around each feather glow.

The pattern is from Anna Maria Horner - called Feather Bed Quilt and is super easy to follow.

I kept the back simple with strips of the scrap fabric between the delicate pattern of this Makower print.

Finished off with a light brown dot for the binding.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Lexicon - Words of Wisdom

I was given these lovely vintage Lexicon cards as a gift from a dear friend. Although I knew I wanted to use them to make a piece of art, it has taken me ages to decide on the right words or message.

Finally I decided on this:

It's my version of 'don't be like the rest of them, darlin' that is attributed to a number of people (Coco Chanel and Eudora Welty, American writer).

I think it is the perfect message for the kids as they get older and I know conformity will dominate their decisions.

I also like what it adds to our living room - which is slowly getting there!

Friday, 15 April 2016

A Quilt for Auntie

My wonderful Auntie has been such a great support, especially over the last few years. I wanted to say thanks with a special quilt so decided to make her my version of Denise Schmidt's 'Single Girl' quilt.

Originally it was meant to be birthday gift - but when October came and went I was optimistic it would be the perfect Christmas gift - but life got in the way and finally it was sent in April, making it a surprise for no reason present. The best kind of present!

The first challenge was collecting the 31 different fabrics. I arranged them into an almost-rainbow effect.

Once each segment was cut out, it took little time to sew together a quarter arc of each circle. The grey middle and outside sections were then added before sewing the four squares together to complete each circle.

The final quilt had twelve circles making it big enough to cover a bed or snuggle under on the sofa.

The back was made of simple length-way strips to compliment the circles.

I hand quilted the inside the circles using a spiral design. 

 I like to think of the circles as hugs - my way of 'saying thanks for everything'.

Wrapped and ready to go!

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Butterfly Bedding: Free-motion Machine Embroidery Applique

I found some lovely bed-linen on offer at Mothercare so decided it was just thing for Sophie and something I could personalise with her latest favourite thing - butterflies.

 The bedding I choose was bigger than my duvet but a quick trim and tidy on the overlocker soon sorted this out.

I drew out my butterfly design and copied in onto Bondaweb before ironing it onto the reverse of my fabrics. Each section was then trimmed, the paper peeled off and then ironed onto the bedding.

I then attached my free-motion foot and started sewing over the top of the fabric shapes.

By using a golden yellow thread the sewing is subtle so slips aren't too obvious, but provide some subtle detail.

All finished and given the Sophie seal of approval.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Puppets

One of my favourite songs at music class is Becky's rendition of Goldilocks and the three bears - you have to be there to appreciate the brilliant impressions! So when it came to our last session it seemed perfect to base our gift on this song.

I drew some ideas, measured my hand and designed each character.

I hand stitched the faces, french knots for eyes,

and used fabric glue for the other pieces.

I added a couple of stitches to each ear to make them a little more shaped.

I then zig zagged stitched front and backs together on the sewing machine.

 I think the simple designs are really effective,

each bear has it's own character - perfect for acting out the story of Goldilocks.