Friday, 7 December 2012

Giveaway Winner

Wow this was fun!
Thanks to SewMamaSew for hosting.

Thank you all for taking the time to leave such lovely comments, so are you ready for a winner??

There were 366 eligible entries, Random did the honours and the winner is.... 

which is Ducks and Rabbits who chose the hexadots, congratulations!
I'm e-mailing you for your address, so expect a parcel heading your way soon.

I so enjoyed reading all your comments I thought I'd share the love and happiness and offer you all 15% off all purchases in my shop for the next 10 days, enter the code happy15 at the checkout.

We are putting up the tree tomorrow, I'm finally starting to feel Christmassy and get a wee bit excited, yay! Have a great weekend. x

Thursday, 6 December 2012

hand stamping fabric - tutorial

I have wrapped a few presents for crafty friends this year with handprinted fabric. I know they will love these, and I've had great fun doing it! So here's a little 'how to' if you want to do the same.

You will need:

-washed and ironed fabric to print on (yes, you have to wash it first to remove the size (coating) so you're actually printing on the fabric)
-shop bought craft stamps (I'm using clear ones with an acrylic block)
-Versacraft ink pad for printing on fabric, which are available in lots of colours
OR fabric paint and some foam / sponge / sponge roller (I used Setacolor which I got from Hobbycraft)
-old sheet or something to protect your work surface

Choose a stamp, I used mostly non Christmassy ones, so the fabric can be used all year round.

If you are using a Versacraft ink pad you should be fine using any design. 
If you are using fabric paint and the sponge method try out different stamps on a scrap of fabric first, I found the solid designs (the star) were OK but the stamps with a finer detail were a bit splodgy).

test piece, with varying results

Apply ink to your stamp, by either pressing onto your inkpad, or if you're using fabric paint, apply a little paint to your sponge and dab until you get a thin, even layer on your stamp - too much paint and you'll get a splodge. Practice on scrap fabric first.

If you get paint on your acrylic block edges, wipe it off before you print, it'll get messy otherwise.

To get a clear print, press firmly where the actual stamp is.
Now repeat in your chosen design, random, straight lines, stripes...

When you're finished allow the fabric to dry. Follow the instructions on your inkpad / fabric paint to set the inks to make your fabirc washable. I ironed these for a few minutes to set them. I've used these inks many times and found they wash very well.

Then wrap up your present and share the hand printed love.

Joining in with My Creative Space this week.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hand Printed Fabric - Giveaway

I so enjoyed doing the Sew Mama Sew giveaway back in May I could hardly wait to do it again. 

This time I'm giving away my own designs. This is so exciting for me!

These are available in my Etsy or Folksy Shops (and of course would make a lovely Christmas present for your crafty friends!)

But on with the giveaway...

The winner will recieve one set of 3 hand screen printed panels in each colour, emerald, raspberry and yellow, all are printed on pale grey.

You can choose from the Circles design (top) or these Hexadots. The printed area measures 36 x 25cm (14 x 9.8").

to enter:

- leave one comment telling me which design you would choose

- for a second chance Like my Facebook Page and leave a second comment here telling me you've done so

If you are a no reply blogger please include your email address.
A winner will be chosen by and announced at the weekend.

I will post internationally. 
Giveaway ends Friday 7th December, 9pm GMT (UK)

Don't forget to pop over to SewMamaSew to see all the other goodies being given away.

Good Luck!!

Giveaway is now CLOSED.

You can find the winner here. Thanks for entering!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

a finish

I made an effort this week to finish of my Hexie cushion. You know what, after going through that "I hate it, I love it, I hate it" performance...

Now it's finished I actually love it! 

Particularly fond of the back. 

Linking up with WIP Wednesday, I'd love to say I have another quilty something on the go, but I don't. 

There are one or two lurking in my head though, maybe after Christmas...

Saturday, 24 November 2012

stocking fillers

You probably already know it's Black Friday / Cyber Monday this weekend. There are stacks of great offers all over Etsy.

I have some offers on too, in my Womenswear shop there is 25% off everything, even the items already on sale. 

In my home shop there is free postage on all UK orders (if you're overseas contact me and I'll reduce the shipping)

If you love handmade be sure to pop over to your favourite sellers to see if they have offers on too. 

Now I need to take my own advice. I've only bought one Christmas present so far, soooo much to get still! x

Monday, 19 November 2012

print, print, print

I am so excited, my fabrics are ready to go! WooHoo! I have enjoyed designing and planning and printing these so much, now of course I'm hoping they will actually sell. 

This is a big step for me on my journey of working once again, albeit on a very small from-the-kitchen-table sort of scale.

To celebrate getting to this point I am offering the first 3 customers who buy some fabric a free mini 'test pack' of extra fabrics, (which I admit is not put together yet, let alone photographed), you may get some imperfect samples in this. 

You can buy in my Folksy shop or my Etsy shop and keep upto date on my Facebook page, which I intend to try and update more often with offers. 

What do you think?? 

edited to add

*thanks for all your support, all three mini test packs
are now gone - happy sewing ladies!*

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

bits and pieces

A couple of weekends ago I went to Lola Nova's workshop and spent the evening chatting and stitching with like minded folk, very good for the soul let me tell you, I should do such things more often.

We each made a patch / brooch from Alexandra's new book Simple Sewing with Lola Nova, which is packed full of lovely projects to make (there are some great Christmas pressie ideas in there).

My photos are all dodgy, so take a look at Alexandra's (Lola's) tale, peek into her glamorous assistant Flaming Nora's extensive stash and meet fellow pupil Laila, who wrote a lovely post about the evening here.
Aside from all the practical tips, the best thing I learned? To just sew, for pleasure, it doesn't always have to have a purpose. I often only sew with a finished result in mind, I will try and make time for more whimsy sewing (probably after Christmas though!) 


Little Miss turned 5 last week. She's desperate to be a big girl and I'm desperately wondering where my baby has gone. 

Pink Bun popped up on just about everything, he/she is her partner in crime.

There was of course a party, with bunnies and hat making, games and laughter. 
With an exhausted me at the end of the evening, remembering when she arrived, the good times we have enjoyed and thinking of the exciting times still to come.
Five years, gone in a flash.


This quilted cushion cover is finally coming together, I started off quilting it like this, but thought it too busy.

So I unpicked and started again, much happier with it now.

I know this post is all over the place, but so am I these days. Things are starting to come together, starting with my new screen printing screens which arrived yesterday, the next post will be full of pictures, just warning you! 

Friday, 19 October 2012


Well I didn't mean to drop out of blogland, somehow the days have just been too short lately.

Anyway, I've been playing around with some screen printing. I  got Mr to make me a couple of wooden frames and followed this tutorial to stretch the mesh. I followed Leslie from Maze & Vale'great tutorial and hand cut my designs onto paper stencils. 

I had mixed results with the paper, I did some in acetate too, which worked really well, and you get to wash them and reuse them too! 

I love these, I'm calling them hexadots, I'm going to make some larger ones too.

These raindrops were an impulse design, I like how they turned out though. 

Printing onto a vintage pillowcase, the blue raindrops are way too dark, but I love the yellow on there.

Of course I'm just showing you the good ones, there are plenty of dodgy prints that I didn't get the pressure / speed right on.

And some more circles too, because I love these! I'll be getting a screen made up so I can do more of these. 
Tell me, would you prefer to see imperfect circles as above, that have a handprinted look to them or something more perfect and regular? 

I'm hoping to get some handprinted fabrics into my shop soon, I'll keep you posted!

Playing along with My Creative Space and looking forward to a Workshop with Lola Nova on Sunday, handstitching in London Town with great company - this weekend is looking good!!

Now I have a lot of blogs to catch up on, to see what you've all doing. See you soon x

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

back to work...

Deep breath. Little Missy is in school full time now. I'm holding up OK and she's loving it. It's very, very quite at home, all alone. 
I am getting sooooooo much done! 

So back to work...

These have been in the pipeline for such a long time.

I'm very pleased with the results.

You can find them in my shop here,

and here. Just in case you know someone suitable! 

It's very nice to be working again, it feels a bit like a holiday! 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

making progress

A teeny bit of sewing has been going on. I made a couple of Mo Blocks for Danielle's Can't Grow A Mo Sew A Mo charity quilt, you still have a week or so to make your blocks and get them to her if you want to join in.

I am making slow progress on my hexies, I'm not loving this, it will probably look alright once it's quilted. 

My heart is just not in it. Do you ever get like that during a project? Just fall out of love with it and wish you were doing the next project in your head?

I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't start something new until the old project was finished.
Must. Stick. To. It.

If you haven't already entered, the LMQG is hosting a fabric giveaway, thanks to Ray Stitch. Giveaway closes on the 22nd. Go!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, 14 September 2012

shared creative spaces

A little bit of creativity has been going on around here lately and it's about time I shared some of it.

I have been a bit depserate to sew, but had no time to plan / cut anything out so I just dived into the scarp jars and sewed. I have no idea where this is going, but I like it.

Over the summer I let Missy Big who's 7 have a go on the sewing machine, she's been more than keen to try it out.

She broke into her stash (a birthday present) and made a simple skirt for her Build-a-Bear.  

I added the lace trim - there are rules about how close her fingers can go to the needle / foot. 

Of course then the bear needed an apron, for when she bakes. So Missy Big dived into MY stash. She did the lace bit herself this time.

During the holidays we visited my Mum up in Staffordshire and she took us to Unit Twelve, a wonderful gallery / studio / workshop space that she talks about and visits frequently. We happened to go whilst a workshop was taking place, Jennifer Collier was teaching some ladies how to make hair band decorations our of paper with puzzle pieces, buttons etc to decorate. 

Missy Big was mesmerised, she loves to make and she kept going back and silently watched everyone stitching, cutting, experimenting. She took it all in, not even a juice and a biscuit could keep her away. It was a pleasure to see her so captivated. She was desperate to have a go, but it was a pre-booked workshop that was almost over. I promised we'd have a go when we got home.

Of course she remembered every last detail and managed to come away from Granny's with a bag of old jigsaw pieces ready for her creation.

She chose her old scrunched up papers carefully, and designed a new one, so it was just right. She carefully drew around a jam jar lid and then cut out her circles. She took her time stitching them into suffolk puffs and then drawing them up to 'puff'.

She had chosen a hairband and picked out a scrap of navy silk from my stash for the base. I stitched this bit, 'the boring bit' and when the base was ready she carefully positioned, rearranged and co-ordinated the paper puffs, buttons and jigsaw pieces then glued them all down. 

She did a great job, I think this looks pretty cool. I'd even wear it out myself, if she'd let me!

Linking up with Our Creative Spaces.

Friday, 7 September 2012

a week of wonder

Brace yourself, there are half a million photos coming up. 

I've had the most amazing week, I'll start off with the LMQG meeting, they are always fun, interesting and inspiring but this one was a bit special. Sholto Drumlanrig, the designer behind the new Liberty Lifestyle Craft Fabric range gave us a talk in Liberty's Hertitage Suite. 

My photos don't do these justice, I only had my phone with me (argh!!) so apologies. These are the original artworks and the final designs once scale and colourways have been decided upon.

It was fascinating to hear about the inspiration behind the range and how prints from Liberty's heritage archives are sometimes reworked or used as inpiration in current collections.
We got to see some of the next range and know the theme for the third collection too, but I'm not allowed to share. Sorry. What a terrible tease! 

We've also been lucky enough to get tickets for the Paralypics, two swimming events and athletics too. 

My goodness it has been amazing, eye opening, inspiring, exciting, tense, thrilling, I could go on...

The swimming was my favourite, we watched Johnathon Fox, Ellie Simmonds and many others smash World Records. I was completely in awe of these athletes, we watched in amazement as some of the contestants got in the pool with no limbs, I wondered how it was that swimmers without arms were racing against those with arms. How could they be in the same catergory? Surely those with arms had a clear advantage? 
I was blown away to see the swimmers without arms win. Again and again. I can only describe it as like watching dolphins glide through the water. Astounding. 

Union flag bowler hats on and flags galore we went in to cheer ourselves sore and support team GB (and anyone else who happened to run past).

We had terrific seats, row 5. ROW 5!!!

It was a little overwhelming in there, it's massive. There were so many events on at the same time we didn't know where to look. We were quite close to the F11 Visually Impaired Long Jump finals so had decent views, wow those guys were impressive, it must take tremendous courage to run and leap when you can't see.

I think this moment was the girls' favourite.

If that's not enough to cram into a week it was also a return to school, Missy Big into juniors (gulp) and Little Miss into Reception, she'll be doing full days in a couple of weeks. It's going to hit me hard then. She's completely ready, I on the other hand am a bit wobbly. 
I'm sure a little sewing therapy will see me right. x