Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This was a project I loved making. It was inspired by two of my great-Aunts (Biddy - really Carol and Isa). These two ladies are wonderfully full of fun. I spent a lot of time with them when I was younger. They are cheeky and always got the best out of life. The clothes for the doll were based on those cute little dresses and bloomers I know both wore as kids many years ago.
I love their names. They are so out of fashion now but are really inviting.
I made this doll to bring a smile to the face.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
This month's Handmade Magazine features my pattern Three Bears Hanger Hugs on the front cover. This is a project I designed especially for children's cupboards. I used to love having special children only hangers for my clothes when I was a child. They made me feel special, like my clothes were really wonderful, and given my age, the hangers made me look after my clothes better.
Now I'm all grown up and a mum, I thought it would be nice to make some special hangers for my daughter as well. This was the inspiration for Bear Hanger Hugs.
The design of these hangers is simple - a bears face and paws that seem to reach out to you. Because I made bears, there had to be three (naturally - I remember my childrens' stories).
The pattern is fun to make up. It's nice to work with felt and blanket stitch. I hope you enjoy this pattern too.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I am not fond of time spent in my kitchen. Anything that can make it more fun for me is a welcome distraction.
Recently I wanted a new oven mitt to replace the threadbare one I have used for over a decade. I went searching in the stores and they were all cheap and thin. That wasn't going to protect my delicate little pinkies!
Then I remembered I AM A SEWER. Why not create my own. And if I am going to do it right, why not create an oven mitt with attitude. This is the results - a horror movie print wonder.
I liked it so much I have just finished one for my mum for my birthday featuring her favourite Egyptian theme.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
I created this simple felt flower pincushion as a wonderful way to enjoy lovely tools while sewing. Pincushions are so useful and a pretty one can make your creating day brighter.
- 1 A4 sheet cream felt
- small piece of pale purple felt
- small scrap of pale pink felt
- matching embroidery thread in pink, purple and cream
- 10cm square fusible webbing
- polyester filling
Size: 10.5 cm square
- Print out the flower template at full size.
- Use the printout to trace a flower shape and a centre shape onto the paper side of the fusible webbing. Roughly cut out the two shapes (not on the pencil lines).
- Iron the flower shape onto the pale purple felt. Cut neatly around shape on the pencil line with sharp scissors.
- Iron the centre shape onto the pale pink felt. Cut neatly around shape on the pencil line with sharp scissors.
- Cut out two 10.5cm squares from the cream felt.
- Iron the flower shape onto the middle of one cream square. Iron the centre into the middle of the flower.
- Outline the flower and the centre in blanket stitch using two strands of matching embroidery thread.
- Stitch together the biscornu shape: mark a pin mark half way along one edge of each of the cream squares. Match the pin mark on the flower top square with the corner of the other square and pin the square together on this seam. At the corner, pivot fabric and pin for second side seam.
- Work progressively around the side seams with a line of blanket stitch in two strands of matching embroidery thread. There will be 8 sides in total. Stitch seven of the sides and leave final side open for filling.
- Fill the shape to the required level.
- Blanket stitch the filling hole closed.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I checked today and found that I have had more than 30 craft patterns and articles published over the past 18 months. I've also created and posted more than a dozen free projects using recycled elements here on my blog in this time.
Looking back this seems like a quite a lot of ideas so I've decided to capture some of the ways I come up with these projects.
- I surf for inspiration all the time - I try and immerse myself in craft ideas and by soaking in ideas some lead to something new for me. I have a wonderful library of craft books and magazines which are well read. I also browse regularly on Google images and Pinterest (my new favourite). Together these sources cane give you so much especially if you pick a topic to search and let the search engines take you places. Surfing ides also helps make sure you do not create something very like someone else by accident. Pinterest also gives you the benefit of boards to collect your ideas quickly in an organised place which is brilliant.
- I keep a notebook and pencil handy to note ideas anywhere. Inspiration occurs anywhere and remembering the source later can be heartbreaking when it slips your mind. If I note it down quickly, I have a starting point. Recently, I have added the camera on my phone to this ideas capture process (just to be slightly modern).
- I am very disciplined with my idea development process. I continuously set myself goals for new project development. I believe the more you create, the more ideas come from the process. I also can try new techniques that lead to other ideas. I try and create around 3 or 4 new completed projects a month. I also am very disciplined in breaking down projects into bits I can work on in different setting like at night after work, on the weekend, while waiting at sports, etc. I use lots of little bags and note steps down as I go (especially measurements and thread colours :))
- I try and look for something a bit unusual in my designs to make them stand out. What I mean by this is looking for slightly unusual ways of interpreting the ideas for example taking inspiration from science, from hardware, from architecture, from poetry, from philosophy. Recently, I created a softie of the Sun. It started by getting the words "Where the Wild Things Are". The words started me thinking about the wildest weather I knew - in the solar system. I then remembered the wonderful images of smiley faces from the 1970's and suddenly these ideas came together in a new soft toy.
- Faces are key to a personality design. I really focus on creating wonderful faces when I develop projects. The eyes are supposed to be the window to the soul. I think a great and winning face and especially the eyes, will win a project over to your heart everytime. I collect wonderful face designs and work on them regularly.
- I seek out and really listen to feedback on my projects. I have a wonderful family who are really honest with their feedback on my ideas and I love coming up with ideas they can't find too many faults with. Its a bit of a personal challenge I enjoy. If you can find a genuinely honest assessor of your work, and can take on board what they say, your work really improves.
Monday, March 25, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my copy of Handmade Magazine this month - and found myself as the artist featured on the front cover!
The project I did for Handmade was a collection of Macaron softies. I love the real ones' but these are even better (because they are no fat and will last forever). If only cooking was this easy!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
I seem to have a motif for things that flap in my projects featured in magazines this month. In Australian Patchwork and Stitching Vol 14 No 1 my Birds of a Feather softie project graces the pages. I love the photos of this project. It was a nice one to make, using redwork and clean lines. The eyes are my favourite parts of the birds.
In Inspiring Country Threads Vol 13 No 10, I have my Country Angel with matching bunting. This is a cheeky faced softie, and the bunting works well. I am very pleased with these items.
If you love projects that move through the air, then these could be just what you need.