Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Several weeks ago I purchased a make your own little angel kit from Home and Bargain. Like so many other things i have purchased, it has sat gathering dust in my sewing room. Today was one of those days when the demon's of depression and negative thoughts were threatening to consume me entirely. What better way to fight this by making my own angel. Here she is and I think she is fab. I ended up just taking the basic bits from the little kit and going with my own creativity. As I hung her on my memory tree I realised how many other angels are in my life. I am sure you all know who you are and that my life would be incomplete without you.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
There was a programme on last week "Kirsty's homemade Christmas". It was really good she visited lots of different crafts people who assisted her to make homemade items for Christmas in the subject that they specialised in. I have to say I got an abundance of ideas from the show. One of the crafts people was a florist and she showed Kirsty how to make a decorative tassel using beads and ribbon, to adorn a Christmas wrapped gift. This inspired me to have a go at making one myself, but to hang on my Christmas tree as a decoration. I rummaged in my bits and bobs box and these are two decorations I made. They cost pennies to make but look exquisit. When I go to town I always visit the shop bangles and bows in Clayton Square. Here you can pick up costume jewelery from as little as 25p. At this price you do not mind dismantling them, leaving you with some beautiful bead embellishments for a fraction of the price you would pay for a tube of beads. The other added bonus is you often get a good assortment of different sizes, colours and shapes all on the one bracelet or necklace.
A few years ago I visited my friend Janet's house at Christmas and I immediately fell in love with her memory Christmas tree. Ever since then I decided to start my own memory tree. Collecting and making tree decorations each year, each one having a story behind it. I hope that these will one day pass to my daughter and future generations. Here are some decorations that hang on my Christmas tree today. The father Christmas is one of my favorites. I purchased him a couple of years ago in John Lewis Sales at a fraction of his original price. The little nut cracker soldier I purchased this year from past times and whilst I got 20% of he was still a little bit expensive for my pocket, but he was worth it.
Monday, 7 December 2009
My friend Janet gave me two plain wooden boxes quite some time ago. They have been in a draw ever since. This is because I have not had any inspiration as to what design I should paint on the boxes. Last night however, I was browsing through one of my Tone Finnager books (I'm a huge fan of hers) and came across this pattern for the lovey rose. I knew straight away I had to paint one of the boxes with roses. I think this will be ideal for Janet's daughter Emma, as her bedroom is quite Shabby Chic, with pretty pastel colours and textiles from Laura Ashely. Oh and she has a bed to die for, yep I am very envious of Emma's bed.lol
Ohhhh look what I have found. Squidgy Stuff is based at Eccles Farm this is where I did my City & Guilds course in Patchwork and design. If you visit the site you will see some of the designs I was asked to design based on beginner kits for children aged 8 and onwards. I was very very flattered and honoured when Gail Cowley (director of squidy Stuff)asked me if I would like to design some kits for the company. It was quite an experience. It is such a buz to see the final product and I hope that the kits have inspired lots of children to take a step into the wonderful world of textiles. This is just one of the designs from my sketch book for one of the kits. Well this has made my day folks seeing my name next to the words DESIGNED BY lol xxxxxxx
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Once you start making these journal covers they can become addictive. Probably because there quick and easy to make. Here are another two I made a few days ago. The red one with the bead work is for the winner of my bus caption little give away. The winner was GWEN. Congratulations Gwen, if you read this I will be bringing your prize to Liverbirds on Wednesday.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I have been really busy sewing over the last few weeks. trying to finish my ufo's. I finished my grandma country album quit. I decided to layer and quilt it myself. Erm least said about that the better (lol) a little bit of the binding left to sew then that can go in the airing cupbaord. I finished the top of my christmas quilt very pleased with that. it just need to be layered and quilted. I sewed all my wonder blocks together now I need fabric for a boarder. that requires a visit to Dot might not be this year though. Today i wanted to do some quick sewing. i have admired this boot patteren from Tone Finnagans Book Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle. they are quick and easy to do. the black and white one is for my sister Naatalie. The purple one is for a mini christmas swap with my pen friend Leanne in Austrailia. The other one well that would be telling now lol.
Friday, 27 November 2009
Firstly let me say I am sorry I have not blogged for a little while, I have not had anything completed to show or blog about. However, I have been sewing like mad all week but i just feel like I am getting no where. Today I managed to make this Christmas red Viole table runner for my sisters mother-in-law. I really hope she likes it. Viole is such a silky fabric its is tricky to work with, still its done now phew! Mmmmmmm??? I can feel some journel covers coming on with the left overs.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Saturday 7th November was our area day and it was a great success. The speaker was Rosalind Johannson and she talked about her experiences and textiles of Africa. It was truly interesting and her worked reflected the colours and cultures of a country that has been through so much through the years. In the afternoon Rosalind taught a work shop making a wall hanging using African fabrics. Whilst I did not participate in the work shop due to other commitments. I did take the hand out and purchased the pack of fabrics. i had a brain wave when i got home I was going to make my own interpretation and instead of a wall hanging I would make it my journal quilt for November. Two birds with one stone hey. The picture of the African person I copied from a scrap of fabric I begged from Hiedi. I made my own stencil and using fabric paint stenciled the image to the cream fabric. I enjoyed making this little piece of work but best of all I had a great day Saturday and I am so looking forward to our next area day in May 2010.
This is my journal quilt for October. I really thought that I would enjoy making these journal quilts but I have to say they have been quite a chore. However, I only have one more to make (December) and I have completed the year. On this particular one I practised my machine free motion quilting and I have to say it is my best attempt so far. It is true what they say practise practise practise and the results soon pay off. I also decided to do my own stitchery for this journal. I am a avid follower of Leanne Beasley (Leannes House) and Natalie Lymer (cinderberry Stitches), both Australian ladies create the most fantastic sticheries and there stiches are so precise. I adore their work if you get a chance check out there blogs.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Oh dear What a mess. A few weeks ago I was having a penguin day (a day when you walk around the house flapping not knowing what to do with yourself)when I suddenly decided to make a Christmas quilt. I quickly scanned all my Country Threads and Homespun Christmas issues for inspiration and found a quilt I liked and looked relatively quick to make. I had decided in advance that this was going to be made from my Christmas fabric stash and no matter what I was not going to purchase any to make this quilt. I cut out all the necessary patches and began to sew. Oh this was going to be a walk in the park and I would have it finished for Saturday 7 November, to take to our area day for Show and tell. Once I had finished sewing all the blocks and began laying out the design I discovered I did not like the stars being made using various fabrics. I decided I wanted each of my stars to be of the same fabric. So some juggling about, more cutting of triangles and some unpicking, I have changed the quilt top slightly but it is now taken a lot longer than expected. Also I have run out of the white fabric which is a serious nooooooo, so a trip to town today is called for. With all that said I love the quilt and although it won't be finished in time for Saturday, it will be finished for Christmas. Fingers crossed lol.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Happy Birthday to my lovely sister Natalie who is 35 today. Here we are having fun last week in Teneriffe. What a fantastic holiday we all had. I have not laughed so much in such a long time. This time was no exception. How we all fitted into the bus was hysterical. Plus the picture does me no justice what so ever. I mean were did all those chins come from. There was a Spanish security guard watching us and his face was a straight as a poker player. God only knows what he was thinking while two grown over weight woman and a teenager squashed themselves into a childs fair ground ride. This picture makes me laugh so much so i have decided to have a give away. Leave me a caption for the picture. Mine was "Ding Ding move along the bus please". I will put all the captions I receive in a hat in two weeks and send the lucky winner a prize. Good luck everyone xxxxx
Meet my life long friend Christine. We have been friends since the very first day of senior school (September 1979). Chris came and flat sat for me whilst I was on holiday. It was only today that I realised we have been friends for 30 years this year. I am truly blessed to have her in my life, we have shared so much together over those thirty years and our friendship has stood the test of time. I love you lots Chris but not enough to look after the farm you made me on farmville lmao xxxx
Saturday, 17 October 2009
This is my adorable grandson Cole. I called in today and whilst I was there I was given the honour of changing a dirty nappy and feeding him an expressed bottle. What a lovely treat. Michaela and Ian are taking to being parents like ducks to water and are doing a fabulous job. So very proud of all of them.
Friday, 16 October 2009
Yes folks, I am officially a Grandmother. Michaela gave birth to a beautiful seven pound perfectly healthy boy on Monday 12th October. His name is Cole Terrance Smith and he is adorable. It has been a very busy week to say the least so I habve not yet managed to take any pictures of Cole, I hope to do so tomorrow. Also look what I have just completed? Yes my Grandma's Country Album Quilt. Phew :) All I need to do now is save the pennies to have it long arm quilted. I am really pleased with the end result and it was a lovely quilt to make.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Why is it that we all have the never ending to do list and a certain amount of UFO's, yet we still manage to start a new project? This year I promised myself I was going to finish my Grandmothers Country Album quilt, I still have two borders of flying geese to attatch. My medalion quilt,(designed by my friend Janet)I am stuck on the 6th boarder. I can not decide which pattern to use or what fabric to do it in. I still have several postcard swaps to honour but can't seem to get around to making them. This morning I came into my sewing room and looked at my list of things to do and decided I was going to get stuck in. First things first, lets have a look through the fabric stash to co-ordinate the next lot of fabric for the medalion quilt. I opened my red fabric draw and what did I find, a beautiful srip of fabric with lovely roses and hearts in gold framed squares. Before I knew it, I had made three delightful pinchshions for Judy to sell at the AGM. The theme is the red Rose of Lancashire. I have another three cut out and ready to go but I think it time for a coffe break now.
Janet and I attended are very first meeting as area reps for Merseyside and West Lanc on Saturday. It was lovely to meet the other ladies who represent the rest of region 13. It was truly an eye opener to see just how much work, time and effort goes into organising regional days and area days. Our area day will take place at St Lukes church in Crosby on 7th November 2009, the guest speaker is Rosalind Johanson. I have to say that the hard work was already done for this event by the previous rep Kathy, (a truly committed and lovely rep, a hard act to follow). Janet and I only have to add a few personal touches to the day and ensure it runs smoothly. It is the next area day (7th May 2010)that will be our make or break. With that said I am sure it will be a great sucess and I look forward to meeting lots of new people during my time as joint rep with Janet.
Monday, 28 September 2009
Meet Josie my very first COMMISSIONED Doll. While I was in Birmingham my daughters friend Kathy, came to stay with her for a girls night in at my flat. Kathy fell in love with the dolls I have made that decorate my sewing room. When I got back from the NEC, Kathy asked if I would make her a doll based on her mum JOSIE and she would pay me for it. I was a bit dubious at first as I did not think I could pull such a request out of the bag. I have only ever made a doll following someone else's pattern from magazines or kits. I took a deep breath and before I knew it i had agreed to the task. Kathy gave me her specifics for the doll (ie; three quarter lenght jeans, black wool cardigan, leopard skin bag and scarf, type of shoes etc.) This really was a challenge. I did a few scribbles in my sketch book and made notes on how I visualised the doll and how I was going to achieve certain aspects of Josie. I have to say Josie's hair was the most challenging part of making her, Kathy said her Mum has short blonde her. I have just finished Josie tonight and I am thrilled with the end result I hope Kathy will be to.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
I have struggled with these journal quilts and I am a couple of months behind. Here is March and April. March was based on the great news I received from my daughter Michaela that her and her partner Ian were expecting a baby. My heart was so full of love for them both. April I went to a Party with all the colleagues from work and I bought a gorgeous pair of shoes. As you all know I am a shoe girl so April was based on my shoe fetish.
Hurray I am finally back on the Internet, I have had a nightmare of a time with BT but thankfully all is now resolved. Yesterday I went to town with my niece Paige. I took her to Quiggins as she wanted to buy some rave paint, for a friends birthday present and some bracelets for herself. Whilst we where there Paige spotted a little basket full of Ribbon slides that were selling for a £1.00 each. I told Paige not to waste her money and that we were going to Abhakan fabrics were she could pick some ribbon and buttons and I would make her some ribbon slides. We then went and bought a pack of clips and this is the finished result. Total cost to make £2.22.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
This is a sneak peek at the ABC wall hanging I am currently making for my soon to arrive Grandchild. I purchased the pattern for Daisy's and Dungarees at the NEC. I have not followed the fabrics or the colour scheme of the original pattern. I bought the felt from Oliver Twist and chose my own colour scheme. I found it a bit difficult at first looking at the pattern but not working with there colour scheme. A few times I found myself questioning would my wall hanging be as nice? Once I had completed the top, there was no doubt at all, I am thrilled with the colours. There is a lot of hand sewing, not my speciality I have to say, but each night whilst watching TV I have taken my time and hand sewn all the letters. I have a little bit more hand sewing still to do before I can layer the wall hanging. Finally a bit of machine quilting in the ditch, bind it and put the sleeve on. I hope to have it finished by the weekend. Whilst Michaela has seen the original pattern, she has not seen the colours I chose but I am sure she will love it just as much as me. Best of all I look forward to teaching the baby the alphabet through something that has been made full of love.
In February 2008 the Liverbirds had a work shop with the very talented Jackie Martin. The work shop was how to make a cover for a journal/notebook. I loved every minute of the class and was totally hooked. To make the basic cover you need to follow just a few simple rules. To embellish the cover is another matter because there are no rules what so ever. You can let your imagination run wild and I mean wild. Over the past year and a half I have made several journal covers, many I have given away as gifts. I thought I would share some pics of the ones I still have in my possession. The green one with the leaves on is the one I made in Jackie's class.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
This is my lovely sister Natalie, wearing the top and skirt I made her for the special captains dinner evening. Her husband Paul took the photos on her phone so she could send them to me via e-mail. Doesn't she look fabulous. Natalie and I were both extremely pleased at the way the outfit turned out. I was worried that she had put such faith in me for such a special outfit. Bearing in mind I am not a dress maker and although we bought a pattern for the basic size there was a lot of pinning, cutting and adapting done to the top before it was what Natalie wanted and felt comfortable in. Still we got there in the end and me and every one at the event thought she looked beautiful.
Saturday, 29 August 2009
I have had a lovely morning, playing with the soldering Iron, the Viole's, the felts and my fancy stitches on my beloved Bernina. As you can see I have made another two postcards and a note book cover. Whilst it has been good fun I must now tidied the terrible mess I have made. Viole's, felt and bits and pieces are scattered across the sewing room. Tabitha has had a field day with the Viole's rolling around the floor amongst them. Bless, it must have wore her out look, she is having a rest in the scrap basket.
I adore Margret Beals work. i have met her every year at the NEC. The first year I bought the starter Kit, the next year I purchased her book and each year now I buy more felt, Viole's and any new templates she has. Her work always fills me with inspiration and I come away from her stand thinking of all the things I am going to create when I get home. however it never seems to go quite as I plan. The first time I used the soldering Iron the smell made me feel very nauseous I had to buy a mask. I was also to heavy handed and kept burning through all the layers so I just produce lots of holes in my work. It is life everything in life practise and patience and perseverance gets you there in the end. Here is my F is for(fusing flowers)postcard for fabric cards alphabet series. I think it turned out pretty good.
I took this photo the other day from my sewing room window. the block of flats you see is Chestnut House were I live on the top floor. I was very excited because as you can see from the picture the scaffold is being assembled on the outside of the flats. Also the compound for the equipment is being constructed in the car park. according to the power that be it is a month a head of schedule so far. I can not wait to go home it will be so fantastic a pristine new flat with my fabulous view. Mmmmmm how lucky am I.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
This my friends, is my beautiful daughter Michaela. Colin took these photographs yesterday. I know I am bias but I think she is simple stunning. Also I have to say hats of to Colin, he is bloody good at photography. I was considering asking him to take a photo of me and my bump but I have to many bumps to chose from lol.
Saturday evening I attended Amy Buttlers presentation. What another great night, although it did not start off as such because I was feeling quite nauseous before the meal. I was blessed to be in the company of a few of my Liverbird friends Sue C, Hilary G and Hillary H. As you can imagine our introduction was received with laughter from the other ladies who were sharing the table with us. Amy's presentation was so enjoyable. She shared her experiences of a recent trip to Bali and a trip to India, the sites, the colours and the culture of these two places that have been a huge influence on her most recent designs. Amy also showed us her latest range of fabrics, bags and her rugs. She was a lovely person to meet, but best of all she is a shoe girl like myself. I was pleasantly surprised when she admired my shoes. Hilary G took these two photos for me.
I was very very very lucky to be one of about 12 ladies who got tickets for Ferrets master class on the Saturday. I attended the class with my Friend Sue C, and we were lucky because after 3 hours and 20 minutes all the tickets were sold. I think Ferret's work is amazing, my friend Janet knew this and it was through her that I was able to get a ticket. I was thrilled to be learning one of the techniques she used in her quilt, "Nude Tryptict". you could either make a Rose or a swan. As you can see from the picture I chose to make the rose. It was a great day and I loved every minute of it. The ladies in the class were a great bunch and there was plenty of laughs along the way. Ferret herself was lovely. A truely talanted person and she was extremely generous in sharing her knowledge and advice. I was really pleased with the piece of work I produced on the day.
I have recently returned from a fantastic trip to the Festival of Quilts at the Nec. I had a great time, this photo is of me getting on the bus to take us to the exhibition. The quilts were amazing, as were the side exhibitions and although I was there for the full four days I am sure I did not manage to see everything.