Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A Quilt for Erin

Since working full time my sewing has slowed down considerably. This quilt for Erin has taken so long - but then all good things come to those that wait!

The starting point was some left-over material from Erin's curtains. I found complementary fabrics and started to think about design. I decided on a capital 'E' in a serif font - reminiscent of fonts found on American football jerseys - with each section built of different blocks.

I hand-quilted the letter and then machine-quilted the white space framing the E.

The back is made of series of blocks reflecting the front within multiple frames and the border is made from a large spot fabric - my favourite design for binding.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

A Wonkatastic Birthday Party

It was inevitable that with the combination of the Big Friendly Read theme for the summer reading challenge and all the activities celebrating Roald Dahl's 100th birthday that Finn would want a Roald Dahl themed birthday party. 

Invitations were created using the fabulous app Canva and invited guests with a Golden Ticket to the 'Birthday Whoopsy-Splunker'.

Food was kept simple with lots of sweets! The main focus was kids costumes! For the birthday boy himself he obviously wanted to be Willy Wonka - Gene Wilder version - obviously!

I used a Burda pattern - which included a tailed coat. It was the toughest pattern ever! I made it in age 9 and it fits perfectly - lets hope he doesn't grow too much soon. The waistcoat was from the same pattern and the cane and hat from Amazon.


I made the bow from two sections brought together in the middle and elastic to keep in place.

Sophie wanted to be Fantastic Mrs Fox - Wes Anderson version! Finding yellow fabric with red apples was impossible so I decided to make my own! I made a simple dress and drew apples with fabric pens.

I designed my own fox mask and tail.

The finished outfit was a great combination.


Instead of entertainment we went with traditional parties - all with a Roald Dahl theme - Pin the tail on Fantastic Mr Fox,

 Golden Egg Race,

also - Golden Ticket Balloon Pop (balloons with tickets being popped for prizes) and the finale - Boggis, Bunce and Beans Obstacle Course (think 80s Crackerjack with Stu Francis time trials!).

The pièce de résistance was the bespoke cake made by a local baker to order. Each book a different flavour cake. Finally the parting gift was a book and lollipop!

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.