Saturday, 25 November 2017

A few of my favourite things.

Greyson Perry dresses at the Walker Art Gallery

BBc Radio Merseyside wallhanging

Liberty Bell Chester

Heidi Hopper
I love going to museums, galleries and exhibitions, I am lucky to have lots of these on my doorstep (so to speak) The latest one is a Greyson Perry exhibition which is currently on at the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.  It is a selection of his alter ego, Claire, dresses.  It was really very interesting and I enjoyed see the outfits and reading the stories behind them. 

A few months back I took part in creating a block for BBC Radio Merseyside who are celebrating its 50th Anniversary. My friend Michelle was a star as she took all the blocks that people made and put them all together creating an amazing triptych banner. 

Last week I heard that one of my favourite shops Liberty Bell is closing its doors for the final time on Christmas Eve but will still be operating their on line business.  It is just such a magical place so I had to visit one last time. I am always spoilt for chose as to what to buy, this time I chose to purchase Miss Heidi Hopper kit.  You all should know by now I have a thing for rabbits . I really enjoyed making her, especially her little jacket. 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Sewing Projects

If any one still occasionally glances at my blog in the hope I have written something, I am sorry that it has been so long since my last post. Unfortunately my cable that I use to transfer my photos to the lap top decided not to work anymore.  I am pleased to say I now have a new one and can now share what I have been up to over the last few weeks. Today's post is about the sewing projects that I have worked on during the month of October.

The little bears are about 4 inches high they are really fiddly to make because they are small but they are so cute.  I added red or green ribbon and a tiny bell around their neck as I hope to hang them on my Christmas tree.

Tiny bears with big hearts.
The prairie stars was doing the rounds on Facebook, a free PDF pattern from no cape mom. who can resist free patterns. I have adapted mine in size as the original is made up using a 5in charm pack, finished star 6in. My prairie star measure 3 1/2 inches and are available to purchase on my website.

Prairie point star Christmas decoration.
The Victorian ladies boots I have made before as gifts for friends and family.  They are adapted from a Tilda pattern for a little ice skate. My favourite part is deciding what embellishments to add to them.

Victorian boots with beautiful embellishments.

Up cycling costume jewelry into new decorative pin broaches.

 I have been collecting unwanted and broken costume jewellery for some time now as it great to use as embellishments. I recently purchased a pack of kilt pins that had little loops where I could attach beads and chains I am not a jewellery artist and it was a bit of a learning curve but I think they turned out great. The heart broaches are made up of wool.felt and cotton. Embellished with embroidery thread and jewels and an absolute pleasure to make.  Both are available to purchase on my website. 

Wool, felt and fabric bejewelled heart broaches.

Floss made from Melly & Me Floss and Pocket pattern.

Tilly Patch
Finally, these two beautiful bunny girls are made from a pattern I purchased from Melly & Me. The pattern is called Floss and Pocket. Pocket is a boy rabbit but when I went through my fabric stash I didn't have any fabric suitable to make Pocket's dungarees. However, I have plenty of fabric that makes beautiful dolly dresses so Tilly Patch was born. I am not sure if I will make Pocket but then again it is the perfect excuse to go fabric shopping!

Well we are now into November and I am still very busy with one thing or another which I hope to share with you all very soon. Thanks for bearing with me and dropping by. X:)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Beach treasure finds.

My starting point Crosby beach.

The days findings

Treasures on display.

I am really quite fortunate to live so close to the Liverpool coast line and within walking distance of Crosby Marina, which is one of my favourite places.  On Saturday I felt the need to walk along the beach, feel the wind on my face, the sand between my toes and the relaxing rhythm of the sea.  However, it was not quite as idyllic as that, the weather was a constant drizzle of rain, so I did not take my shoes off and the tide was way out so I did not hear the sea and the wind was quite bracing. With all that said I had a very enjoyable two hour walk along the beach.  It is the first time I have ever walked the full length of the Anthony Gormely iron men.  Like most of us I would often pick up a pretty shell on a visit to the seaside but it wasn't until I met my beautiful friend Gill that I truly fell in love with beach combing. Gill is truly a lover of nature’s found treasures and her collections leave me breathless, as does her amazing art work which, you can see at Fishermans Path Studio. Once home I gently washed my lovely finds and left them to dry before placing them in a little craft tray box.  My favourite find of the day was the crab claw. It has the most amazing colours of rusty reds and tiny speckles of blue on it.  I am looking forward to venturing out again soon, weather permitting, to another place along the coast looking for more of natures wonderful treasures.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

From Silk to Chalk.

My beautiful friend Michelle outside the silk Museum in Macclesfield

House Coat made from silk maps.

Silk cloth with embroidered motifs

Tiny bird one of the motifs from a piece of silk.
Pretty Polly mini wall hanging.

At the beginning of September my beautiful friend Michelle invited me to tag a long on a trip to the Silk Museum in Macclesfield.  We had a great day strolling around the museum and finding out all about how Macclesfield was once a major player in the silk trade. Famous for their Macclesfiled silk buttons in particular.  One of the many things that fascinated me was this amazing house coat, made from silk maps during the second World War.  The pattern was in the Woman's Weekly magazine and it required 12 maps to make. How amazing is that! There was so much to take in and it was such an inspiring trip, my mind was over loaded with ideas. I was extremely sorry I did not have a sketchbook with me, to jot down notes and sketches but I did take lots of photos on my phone. Another thing that caught my eye was a small piece of silk fabric that had silk embroidered motifs on it. Honestly they were tiny. I pointed out the tiny bird motif to Michelle, who at first could not make it out. As soon as I got home I just had to make my own interpretation of the bird. Using pieces of brocade silk fabric, I made the patched background. The bird and flower came from a bundle of rainbow coloured silk fabric pieces my good friend Janet gave me. The branch I embroidered in a thick chain stitch, using silk Perle. It was such a delight to make and is title "Pretty Polly"

 A half welsh dresser

Ceramic doors nobs.

The finished welsh dresser.

Just over week ago I managed to get my hands on a half welsh dresser. I have been yearning after one for a long time but never really had the space.  I decided it was time to rearrange the sewing room and make a space for my new purchase.  Its previous owner had already started painting it white but I wanted it to be a lovely sea blue colour.  I bought a tin of chalk paint, the colour was called "Marina" and set to work.  Whilst shopping in my local Home Bargain I came across a lovely set of ceramic door nobs that where perfect for my welsh dresser, at only £1.99 for a set of two.  However, I needed four and my sister came up trumps by popping into her local Home Bargain and found me another pack of the same door nobs.  I am thrilled with how it has turned out and is right at home in my sewing room.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Mono printing, sewing and a teapot.

The Royal British Legion, Liverpool.

Mono printing class in full swing.

The Greatest Show on Earth.

New teapot.
Honestly, where are the weeks going never mind the days?

A few weeks ago my gorgeous friend Michelle sent me an email with the details of an upcoming event at the Royal British Legion, organised by Up For Arts Liverpool which, is run by BBC radio Merseyside.  This particular event was mono printing with the lovely Becky and I was delighted that I was able to attend.  Mono printing is one of my favourite techniques. We made collages by cutting images out of magazines and then mono printing them on to whote sheets of paper. My collage consisted two hydrangea's which I placed in a jug, I then added a butterfly just about to land on one of the flowers. It was a great creative day with lovely company, which I really enjoyed.  I had big plans for my mono print, I was going to turn it into a textile piece of art over the next few days.  After the class I met a new friend (Ildiko) for coffee and a chat, then I did some shopping and got the bus home. It wasn't until I got home that I realised I did not have the plastic wallet that held my collage and mono print.  So sadly I can not show you what I did on the day or the amazing piece of textile art it was going to turn into.

Last week I was able to sew together my latest quilt "The Greatest Show on Earth". I just need more red fabric for the binding. I have given you a sneak peak as this will soon be available as a pattern on my website.

Last but not least I received a lovely unexpected gift from my sisters Mother-in-law, Eileen on Sunday.  Eileen bought me this gorgeous rabbit teapot as a thank you for inviting her to Sunday lunch. However, I don't think this guy will ever hold a drop of tea, he is far to pretty so, he has found a home on the shelf in my sewing room. Talking of tea I think its time for a cuppa, bye for now X:)

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Ok body, I'm listening!

Wednesday: Umbrella instillation in Church Alley.

Umbrella Shadows

Thursday: Freebie chest of drawers.

Red Work

Friday: Colourful stitchery.

Mmm! Nannies cup cakes!

Saturday: Hexi quilt and TV therapy.
I can't believe it's already been a week since the launch of my website and my amazing trip to the festival of quilts.  I came home with my head buzzing with even more ideas for future projects and was looking forward to all the creative things I was going to do this week. However, you know the saying, "best laid plans"? Well I certainly did not plan on coming home from work on Sunday feeling rather unwell, to wake up Monday with a head cold that continued to develop into a chest infection that has really knocked me off my feet.  I spent Monday and Tuesday flitting between the couch, the sewing room and my bed. Needless to say not a lot of creativity was achieved.  Wednesday saw me at the Doctors and armed with antibiotics and pain killers I ventured into Liverpool City Centre for some much needed fresh air.  The umbrella instillation in Church Alley is to raise awareness of ADHD.  The sun was out as I walked under the instillation and I loved the shadows the brollies made on the pavement. They reminded me of patchwork hexagons.  Feeling a little better by Thursday (yey for the antibiotics) I decided to embark on a summer clear out of my sewing room.  I managed to empty and remove 10 of the plastic stackable drawers and put their contents into the freebie chest of drawers. Notice in the photo two of said 10 drawers with their contents, which have still got to be sorted and put away.  Believe it or not this took me hours to do and by the time I finished I was exhausted.  Later that night I managed to do a bit of doodling which turned into a little stitchery.  Friday was a continuous coughing day.  I noticed my husband had put cough mixture on our shopping list! I think he was trying to tell me something?  I had a little visitor Friday afternoon, although he is not so little anymore, my gorgeous grandson Cole. We managed to make a batch of scrummy yummy cup cakes which I had to keep supervising from a distance in between coughing fits.  Its now Saturday and I have finally given into my aching body. So today, I am going to sit on the couch with hand sewn hexi quilt, watch TV and rest. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Festival of quilts 2017.

"My Liverpool Home"

Mr Stuart Hillard

My "Eleanor Stuart" quilt.

Margaret and Andrew Beal.

Annabel Rainbow, Laura Kemshall, me and Linda Kemshall.

Yesterday I visited the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham NEC and oh boy what a whirl wind of a visit it was.  My first port of call was to the "In the spot Light Exhibition" to see my quilt "My Liverpool Home". There I met the lovely Rosemary Preece who has been my go between regarding this exhibition.  As you can see from the fab photo, I met Stuart Hillard, who is such a tonic.  He very kindly took a few minutes out of signing his new book, to hear all about my Eleanor Stuart quilt.  This was inspired by his log cabin quilt that I saw when I heard him speak at regional day in October 2016.  This quilt will soon become available as a pattern on my new website so please keep an eye out for it.  I caught up with some people I already knew and also made quite a few new friends.  I chatted away to the very talented Gillian Travis and her friend Fiona such lovely ladies. A quick hello to Jennie Rayment, then I popped over to Margaret Beals stall. I became a fan of Margaret's work many years ago when I read an article in Stitch magazine.  I was fortunate to meet her at  FOQ and purchased her book, some felt piece and a soldering iron.  I always stop by to say hi to her and he husband, Andrew, such a great couple who always make me feel welcome. Last but not least my trip would not be complete if I did not drop by to say hi to my beautiful FOQ friends Laura and Linda kemshall.  Again I met Laura and Linda a few years back at FOQ and at the time I was such a big fan of their work, I was completely in awe when I met them in person. However, they chatted away to me and made me feel like we had known each other for ages.  Yesterday was no exception when I popped along to their stand TG9 to say hello and see their amazing exhibition "Through Our Hands a Portrait Shuffle" hosted by Laura and Annabel,. Well done ladies on a fabulous exhibition.   Finally, I'd like to say a big thank you to all the people who took the time to chat to me and if you took a business card, please drop by my website or my facebook page or even find me on instagram and say hello. X:)