• Spring hexagons

    Thursday, 17 April, 2014

    Hello again.
    I love this time of year - with light mornings and evenings I get to drive to work in the light and enjoy a beautiful drive along the A49 ( I know it's a bit slow and frustrating with lots of lorries and few places to overtake) which runs through some lovely countryside - I must admit that sometimes I'm tempted to take a detour to explore some of the countryside - but that will have to wait for a non work day!
    At the moment it seems as thought Spring is here and so I've looked out a project I started a while ago - but the colours are just perfect for this time of year - so I going to attempt to complete it in the next few weeks -

    I've used the Big Shot and the Bigz 1 1/4"Hexagon die to cut the hexagons.
    I ironed fusible web onto the back of the fabrics before cutting out - so that I could then fuse them onto a backing fabric and applique in place - thus saving time.

    I'm not quite sure how this will develop at the moment - but I'm thinking of a table centre - so watch this space and see what develops.
    Enjoy the Easter weekend - if you're travelling I hope you don't get stuck in traffic - but, if you're not the driver, you could take some hexagons to hand piece just in case!!
    I've planned a breakfast party for some friends on Easter Monday - it means getting up at a ridiculous hour to bake bread rolls - but the smell is almost worth it and the taste of the breads with home made jams and lemon curd certainly are. Pictures next week!

  • Pincushion cube

    Thursday, 10 April, 2014

    Hello again.
    I'm back from the very busy Creative Stitches show at the Excel in London. I enjoyed meeting a lot of people in the workshops, which were fun, and I was really please that so many were able to complete the needle case in the time we had.
    Now for a quick and useful project for this week - a small pincushion.

    For this pin cushion you will need 6 pieces of fabric about 3" square and fuse some interfacing to the wrong side.
     Stitch 2 squares together using a 1/4" seam, and leaving the top and bottom 1/4" unstitched, as in the photo - 
    Repeat so that 4 squares are joined together -
     Then add the top, and bottom squares -
    leaving one side open - 
    Turn the pin cushion the right way out and stuff.
    Then slip stitch the opening closed and your pin cushion is ready for use.
    How's that for quick and easy. There's even time for a cup of tea!

  • Applique fun

    Thursday, 3 April, 2014

    Hello again,
    I'm currently in London teaching workshops, again, at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London Docklands. The stand looks lovely again - so do stop by if you're in the area, and maybe join in one of the workshops - they're free, and they're fun!
    So what else have I been doing this week?
    Helping Eve make a cushion for her mummy for Mother's day
    sewing on a 'proper' sewing machine, ( sorry this photo will not rotate!) - and this was the result -

    Mummy was very happy with her present and very impressed that Eve had sewn it -she's just 5, and is developing a real love of sewing - it's so much fun and such a privilege to teach her.
    The die we used for the cushion was from the starter kit, and also At the moment the shapes are only fused in place, but we may go back to it in the summer and stitch the shapes in place.
    I've also managed to applique elephants onto a towel for Abi so that she can enjoy swimming whist on holiday at Easter, and I used the Cuddly Creature Elephant -, and used a fusible web on the wrong side of the fabric before cutting out the shapes,and then pressed them in place before stitching with a zig-zag stitch.

    So now all I have to do is decorate a towel for Oona, because I've already put butterflies on a towel for Eve, using the same die that she used for the cushion above.
    Well that's all for now - I hope you enjoy the rest of your week, and maybe I'll see you at the show.





  • Because she truly is worth it.....

    Thursday, 27 March, 2014

    This week - in preparation for Mother's Day - 3 quick and easy projects for that Special Mum.

    Because lots of Mums like a cup of tea - a new tea cosy, coaster and mug warmer - you can make all or just one of them. I chose bright fun fabrics from my stash - but you could make it from your bits basket - it's the love that's it's made with that counts!
    For the projects I obviously used my Big Shot and dies - 2" finished square - or for even quicker cutting, use this die that cuts 4 squares at a time -
    For the tea cosy I cut 70 x 2" finished square.
    For the coaster - 4 squares, and for the mug warmer 4 squares and 6 half-square triangles.
    I made a card template for the tea cosy, after measuring the teapot -
     and pieced 2 rectangles 5 rows by 7, for the front and back of the cosy.

    I cut 2 pieces of wadding and 2 pieces of cotton fabric for lining, slightly larger than the pieced patchwork.
    I layered the patchwork right side up on top of the wadding and then covered it with the lining,
    pinned and then stitched a 1/4" seam across the bottom of the patchwork, repeat once more with the other piece.
    Press the lining to the back, pin all 3 layers together and trim to the shape of the template -
    Pin the front and the back of the cosy together and attach a binding around the raw edges.

    The coaster is 4 squares joined together and then layered with wadding and backing and then a binding is used to finish the raw edges.

    For the mug warmer use 4 squares and 6 triangle - join as shown in the photo -
    Layer the wadding and backing and then bind as for the other projects. Add a square of Velcro to the points of the mug warmer - one on the front and one on the back .
    Projects completed - these took me less than 4 hours to complete - so there really is time to sew something for Mum.
    Next week I'm off on my travels again - this time to the Creative Stitching show at ExCel, London.
    So if you're in the Docklands area of London during 3rd - 5th April come and see me, and join in a workshop, on stand Y08
    Now I'm going to start cutting the workshop kits for the show - so please come and use them.


  • Sewing For Pleasure!

    Thursday, 20 March, 2014

    At last - all the prep has been completed and the stand looks lovely!  We have decorated with beautiful double sided butterfly bunting and we've embellished an apron, cushion and towel - to show off this  lovely die.

     So far we have run 3 workshops, only 24 for to, and all 3 have been full and at least 30 needle-cases have been completed and others taken home to complete.

    So do come along - don't miss out - the earlier you come the more likely I am to still have a voice!!!! I think I'll might be using sign language or flash cards by Saturday afternoon.

    Also you can find Beth, my beautiful youngest daughter, demonstrating the dies and Big Shot on the Cotton Patch stand. You'll also be able to see some lovely quilts displayed, that have been made by Nik from Cotton Patch.

    It's a great show - I'm surrounded by temptation - buttons, ribbons, not to mention thread and wonderful fabrics - too much to choose and so little time - which is why the Big Shot and dies are so fantastic, I still have more ideas than I have time to create, but it does re-dress the balance a little.

    If you're coming to the show - ENJOY - and don't forget to come and see us on stand G08 - very near the main entrance.
    Bye for now.

  • Sewing for Pleasure!

    Thursday, 13 March, 2014

    Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC Birmingham is next week - Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd, and I'm looking forward to going, as I'm sure many of you are. BUT this week sewing for pleasure is a misnomer! I am preparing all the kits for you to use at the show - over the 4 days that means 27 workshops for 18 people - and to save you the maths that works out at 486 kits (plus demo kits for me) - and I have been cutting everything for each kit, today I'm packing ( so you see why pleasure isn't quite the right word).

    What are we making? - you'll have to come along and see - I'm on stand G08 and the workshops are free - so come along - rest your aching feet and enjoy a small project that you can take away at the end of the workshop.
    Now don't stand me up!!
    See you next week.

  • Pinwheel perfect

    Thursday, 6 March, 2014

    This week I thought it would be nice to make a big  - either for a cushion, or a really quick quilt! How does 18" sound? and it only uses one die 657628 -
    For each block you will need 2 pieces of fabric  8" x 42".
    As the die is asymmetrical you will need to make sure that you cut all the trapezoids the same - so I decided to cut each fabric with right side uppermost. You can turn the die 180 degrees to make the best use of the fabric -
    Each block needs 12 trapezoids of each colour.
    Join  4 pairs of patterned trapezoids together, 4 pairs of plain and 4 with one plain and one patterned - see photo below -
    Join these 3 pieces together -
    Make 3 more of these, and then join the 4 pieces together to complete the block -
    The photo  doesn't do justice to the size of this block - you could just make 20 of these and have a small quilt.
    There will be more on this block next week - I think - maybe a super quick quilt.
    Until then keep sewing.

  • Oh Sew Sweet.....

    Thursday, 27 February, 2014

    Now I can reveal that it was my grand daughter Eve's 5th birthday on Tuesday and the fabrics were part of her birthday present -

    and here she is checking out the fabrics - I also added a selection of cotton threads for her to use - we now just need to make a date to make the cushion - photos to follow.
     On Wednesday I had a lovely drive from the office to visit the Oh Sew Sweet Shop in Mapplewell, nr Barnsley.
    I had a beautiful drive across with sun shining across the moor, and then a delightful  afternoon at the shop.
    I was there to demonstrate the Big Shot and Bigz dies and met some lovely of Lorrayne's lovely customers -

    I really enjoy introducing customers to the benefits of using the machine and dies - speed, precision cutting being 2 of them.
    Here is Lorrayne - busy cutting fabrics for me at the end of the day - because of course it would be rude to visit a shop and not buy any fabric wouldn't it -

    and here is a glimpse of some of her lovely fabrics -
    The shop is a delight, and with the added bonus of a sweet counter by the door - where you can buy your old favourites!
    I managed to justify a small selection of fabric -

     to make quillows for grandchildren - I know I have plenty of fabric at home, but these I will have 5 quillows made, one for each grandchild, ready for Easter - watch this space to see if I manage it!
    Well that's all for now - I'm going to plan the blocks for these fabrics and then go and raid my stash for fabrics for the other 3 quillows.
    Have fun sewing.

  • Beyond Stitches

    Thursday, 20 February, 2014

    As you may already know the Sizzix team have been at the Stitches trade show, and before that in Frankfurt for Paperworld trade show - which has meant literally months of preparation and planning of projects - and now we can start afresh with lots of exciting new projects.
    The stand at Stitches looked absolutely amazing - and Debi Potter created a stunning central display - using a variety of dies and lots of different materials - all in shades of white. If you haven't seen it yet take a look at Debi's blog.
    At the show we met lots of lovely customers, new and old, and although it was hard work -(talking all day!) it was really enjoyable.
    As you can imagine I haven't had much time to create a new project this week - but someone very special has a birthday next week so I thought I would put a kit together so that she can make a cushion using her new sewing machine ( after the birthday I will reveal more details and hopefully the finished item)
    I've used the Big Shot and die 656335 - primitive hearts (
    to pre-cut some hearts.
    The patterned fabrics are from the Woodland Walk range by Fabric Freedom, and the pink fabrics are from my stash.
    I think I may buy some coloured ribbons too and she can create to her hearts content - I can't wait to give this gift.
    Now I'm going to make a cup of tea and plan a project for my next workshops at Sewing for Pleasure in March.
    Until next time - keep sewing.

  • The way to a man's heart!

    Thursday, 13 February, 2014

    I know that I said I would be using a different heart die to embellish a cushion, table runner or place mats this week but ...... change of plan!
    As I was thinking about what to make for this week's blog I started to think that neither my husband or son's in law would be particularly impressed with any of the above - but what they do all like is cake, which I happen to love baking. So ......
    I've embellished brownies with hearts -
    First bake some brownies or any other favourite tray bake and allow to cool, when cool cut into squares.
    Using die 656334 - x-bigz-die-hearts cut the smallest heart in thin plastic or thick card -

    Place the plastic over one square of cake -

    and sprinkle with icing sugar -
    I just happen to have a lovely cake stand to display the brownies on -

    Now this will put a smile on my husbands face - and anyone else in the house tomorrow - and the great thing is - you can make it in time for Valentine's day tomorrow - or you could even buy ready made cake and decorate in the same way.
    So now I'm going to do the washing up - and then get back to the sewing machine - or maybe I'll have a cup of tea and a slice of brownie first!
    Enjoy your weekend.

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