Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Feels like Spring Time...

.. well not quite! It may be cold and gloomy outside, and I have to switch the lights on by 2pm but there can always be a little bit of spring in my studio. So as I was finding it a miserable the other night I decided to get creative and create my own bit of sunshine!

So some felt, scraps of fabric, a few buttons and some beads and the sun came out! The quilting was fun, but it would have been easier if I had bought home any of my feet when I brought home my sewing machine but alas... so this was quilted with a zipper foot! Who knew that was even possible?

I am still on the hunt for a bee button to put at the top, so I will be paying Etsy a visit, but apart from that it is all done!

It has proved so popular that I will be teaching it in the shop on 21st January next year and hope it makes some other people remember those spring days that seem so far away!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Getting into the Christmas Spirit!

Well it's not long now - and we are all gearing up for the onslaught! I am feeling a little festive now that I have finished my designs for the Christmas Beaded Baubles class.

I finished the black one last night whilst listening to an internet radio station that plays Christmas songs constantly, just to get me in the mood!

If you fancy coming along, just let Bee Crafty know and I will see you there!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Clearing out and clearing up!

If you are anything like me, you probably collect scraps of fabric like it is going out of fashion! Rather than throwing them out, I have started collecting them in boxes - all colour coordinated and organised. So now I have them, and the collection is growing, the next question is what do I do with them?

Well, the answer came to me last weekend - and here it is. A bed coverlet using scraps as small as 2.5 inches and I am thrilled. The ladies in the shop liked it so much that I will be teaching it next year as a 'stash-tastic' quilt.

I like it so much because when I look at it, I can see bits of every quilt and gift I have made over the last two years, as there is a part of all of them somewhere. It shows my own quilting history.

I hope everyone has as much fun making it as I did!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

Well I have been busy with work and life, but I have finally got around to making some bits and pieces. But before I share, here is a quick picture of myself, Julie & the fabulous Jennie Rayment who joined us in the shop on Friday.

She was brilliant! She said some lovely things about our little shop and enjoyed herself so much she is going to come back 3 times next year to teach some more yumminess! I really do have the best job in the world!

Well on my last post I teased you with a picture of a few bits of twisted bargello, but now we have some (almost) finished ones (just borders to go)! It took some doing but I eventually finished the twist part. I still have to choose a border but I am getting used to it before I steam into that decision! I was a bit worried that my usually bright colour palette would be too much this time... but I love it!
This one belongs to Barbara - though she blinked as I took the picture!

And this one is Jean's
Vicki had planned to finish hers too - but baby Logan arrived 3 weeks early and put paid to that!

Sunday, 23 October 2011


I know that I haven't posted in a while, but we have been so busy in the shop that there just hasn't been time to make anything, let alone blog about it. But yesterday we had Jill Adamson in the shop teaching the second part of her bargello twist quilt course and I was lucky enough to take part (while poor Julie was left to man the shop! But don't worry, the tables will soon turn....)

We had lots of fun, lots of laughs and Anita didn't let us down with her cinnamon and pecan cake (yummy!). But there was lots of concentration today, as we had to start piecing our strips together and a bargello twist is quite a challenging pattern. However, once we got started it all became clear, and, apart from the occasional 'dammit' we all ran away with it! There were 7 of us today, and here are the fabulous results....

Mine is the one with the black twist (I just HAVE to be different!) They are all brilliant and I can't wait to see what they all look like when they are finished!

I was so inspired after finally getting a chance to get sewing that I carried on once I got home! It wont be finished by next weekend... but I am determined that it wont become another UFO!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

All done

Just a quick post tonight as I am banjaxed after a long day followed by a visit to the cinema to catch the last instalment of the Harry Potter story (such beautiful and atmospheric music!).

So my Gift of Quilts is finished, and hanging up in Bee Crafty until I post it off in a couple of weeks so at least I get to enjoy it for a while. It was great fun but I am glad it is all done! I already have the next quilt making a noise in my head so will be ready to get on with that soon. I always try to finish one before I start the next one!!!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Some help and a little excitement

I have finally got the binding stitched onto the outside of my quilt for the Gift of Quilts project for the Olympics (where 500 quilts are given out to all competing countries) so I thought I would post a quick pic... but someone had other ideas!
 I had to shoo her off so I could start on the finishing touches before the quilt goes off later this month. I am quite excited as all the quilts are going to be photographed and published in a commemorative book, as well as being displayed at the Stitch & Craft Show at Olympia ll, London, 15-18 March 2012. That is definitely a trip to London book!

Another item happened today when I bought this month's addition of the Embroiderers Guild Stitch magazine - one of the ladies who will be teaching in our shop has a project published! Kathleen Laurel Sage will be showing us all how to make fabulous jewellery and it is quite exciting to have a 'published' teacher pay us a visit! It's cool having a 'stitching celebrity' pay us a visit!

If anyone is interested in joining me on her class, she is teaching Machine Embroidered Jewellery at Bee Crafty on Saturday 5th November. These are the samples she sent, and I am really excited!


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Well today I learned something new...

It is always fabulous to learning some new, and for me it was zips! Zips scare me - or at least the idea of sewing in a zip scares me (a real fear of zips could lead to difficulties in the trouser-doing-up-department and no one wants that!). So today was brilliant for me! That is what is so great about about having your own shop - you can arrange for courses that you really want to go on!

So today was "Playing with Zips" with the lovely Kathleen Dague. I learnt how to deal with a centred zip, a concealed zip and a lapped zip! And I even know what to do with 2 more of those strange feet that came with my sewing machine - result! Kathleen provided us with practice zips and calico, as well as detailed written instructions so I am 'pretty' sure I will be able to recreate it on my own.

So we had a go with those three zips, and then used two fat quarters to make up an adorable costmetic bag using a centred zip. Here is mine...

I fell in love with the little blue butterflies, and then couldn't resist the splash of lime green. The pocket lining and inside the bag are also lime green. My mascara will be spoilt! Beware, all my friends may get one of these for Christmas!!!

The ladies on the course had a great time, and the Dundee cake went down a storm!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Delivery of loveliness

I am such a lucky girl! Look what came in the post today!

The lovely Kathleen Laurel Sage is coming to teach this in our shop in November and her samples arrived today. I am so excited and can't wait to let loose with my soldering iron.

I have also been having a colour-fest! I know it needs an iron but I didnt have one while I had my camera with me!

I am planning to quilt flowers from the patterned fabric in lime green and pink in the orange strip in the middle. It may be fun, or it may be a complete disaster, but I wont know until I try. It was made from strips of 'junk' less that 2 inches wide so no great loss if it ends up in the bin!!!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Finally... a bit of sewing!

Well the shop is 2 weeks old tomorrow, and I finally managed to get my sewing machine out! This is just a quick cushion cover to display one of my favourite families of fabric we have right now. It's not quite finished but we cant have everything!

This is just so delicate and calming - I love it!

The second set of pictures is in contrast to the serene nature of this one...

Those of you who read my blog when I (eventually) get around to updating it will know that my lovely Dad has redone my bathroom. His friend Rob sells tiles and gave me a fabulous discount on the slate that now adorns the walls of the afore mentioned bathroom. Well Rob and his partner have recently had a baby boy named Max. So to thank him for his kindness, and in response to the lovely things Rob said about the quilt I made my Dad, I decided Max must have a baby quilt.

So here it is!
The back and the front do not come even close to matching, but I thought that the dinosaurs would appeal as Max got a little older - and it looks like it wont show too many marks.

I do usually co-ordinate - but decided to just go with it for once and see what happens. I rather like it and I hope Max will too!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Festival of Quilts

I forgot my camera when I wrote my last post, but now I have finally made it to the bottom of my FoQ shopping basket I have my hands on it again. Thanks to Julie who kindly took a picture of me quilt and sent it to me. It is nice to hear what people think of your work, especially when they are as talented as she is!

So here is me - proudly posing by my quilt, despite the fact that I hate having my photo taken!
It was a great experience having your work on display, though it was quite a trial collecting it after the show. Like many people, I had not been sent the final piece of paperwork required to collect the quilt, so after queuing in the wrong line for 30mins I was shifted to another queue in order for someone to check my id (luckily I always have my driving licence on me!), give me a receipt and then re-join the original queue. It was nearly 7 oclock by the time we got away. Next time I will get it posted!!!

The quilts were fabulous as usual - and the winners were absolutely mind blowing! As you have probably seen many pictures of these quilts I wont bore you with any more. However, this Tetris computer game inspired quilt made me smile. The picture looks a bit yellow but it is in black and white - which was what the earliest version of the game was available in.
We also met up with the fabulous Jennie Rayment who will be teaching in the shop in November. She is doing her amazing "All Squared Up" and she had a larger version on display at the show, which demonstrates what you can do with the six blocks she will be teaching.

There are still a couple of places left so if you are interested in coming along just let us know by emailing us at info(at)

All in all it was a terrific day out. The Sunday was a little calmer than I heard other days were, so it was easier to get around and look at all the loveliness on offer. I bought a few bits but will save that for another day!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Normal service soon to be resumed!

It has been all go here! The shop is now up and running and we had a brilliant opening on the 6th. The shop was packed full and buzzing which makes all the hard work worth while. I wont bore you with too many of the details because I have now opened the Bee Crafty Blog and will publish pics of the opening there in a day or so (once they all come back from our photographer!) 

I have been so busy myself that I havent had much time to do much, though I did drag my tired rear end to the festival of quilts to see my own hanging up. I would show you a picture of me gurning next to it but being a numpty I left my camera at home. What a great day out that is! So much to look at and so many lovely things to buy! I may not be losing pounds, but my purse certain was!!!!

So in leiu of a quilt picture I will share one of the cake that a friend kindly made for us for our opening. There was no shortage of people keen to share it with us!

And Yes! the champagne went down a treat after closing I can tell you!

Friday, 29 July 2011

A quick update...

With the shop opening a week tomorrow, you can imagine that everything is SHOP SHOP SHOP! So not much in the way of personal creativity is going on yet! However, on the shop front we have now finalised the workshop list starting in September through to December. 

We have some real highlights coming up with a visit from the fabulous Jennie Rayment doing her manipulating magic with "All Squared Up" in November:

"Unique and innovative designs all created by manipulating squares in ingenious forms. Use these designs for quilt blocks, garments, home d├ęcor or where ever you wish. An excellent class for all fabric manipulators or ‘wannabees’ – no experience - just a desire to tweak and twitch a little. (All designs 5” square) "

Kathleen Laurel Sage will also be paying a visit in November doing some exciting jewellery with organza and a soldering iron!

Gina Ferrari with be teaching her ever popular "Machined Books" using machine embroidery techniques to produce these unique textured works of art.

The talented Anne Stacey will be teaching a regular monthly class for the less confident quilter based around a sampler quilt and the delightful Jill Adamson will be teaching her twisted Bargello quilt, a stunning Christmas dinner setting with crackers as well as getting us all started with some knitting classes.

So we are well on our way!

Here are some graphics of the leaflets as I cant work out how to embed a pdf into this blog. If anyone is interested in the pdf, please leave me a comment with an email addy and I will fire one off to you!

Anyway, that is probably enough now... where did I put that pricing gun?

Monday, 25 July 2011

And the fish are jumping....

Paul & I took a trip to a shopping centre in Spalding the other day and we were admiring the gardens. Aren't these fish sculptures lovely! I need a couple for my garden... when I finally get a pond!!!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The countdown has begun!

With less that 2 weeks to go, I am officially running around like a loony trying to get everything done!
The stock has begun to arrive and it now looks less like a shell and more like a shop! Here are a couple of sneak peeks!!!!

Obviously still a work in progress but with less than 2 weeks to go until we open it is a relief to see some stuff going in!

Also, the Bee Crafty Facebook page is up and running as we count down to our opening on 6th August.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A new (surprise) member of the family

Just in case you thought my life was all work and no fun, I thought I would introduce you to the newest source of amusement in our house! If you don't like cats then I suggest you stop reading now and come back later hehe.

Meet Captain Jack Archibald Pemberton the Third!
Our neighbours found him stuck in a bush out the back of our houses on Saturday morning when they heard him crying. Poor little mite! They know I already have 2 cats so asked if I could look after this sweet little kitten until we worked out what to do with him. I couldn't refuse.... I mean.... just look at him!

So join us he did! Since he arrived there has been a bit of a Mexican stand-off interspersed with a lot of hissing but I hope that wont last for ever. Anyway, I took him to the vets to get him checked out and see if he had a chip (which he hasn't). Until then we thought he was a she, but now he is correctly labelled, and carbon dated at about 14 weeks, and now we have named him he must be staying, unless the notices I put up in the area result in his real owners coming forward. I don't hold out any hope for this though, as the circumstances he was found in suggests he may have been dumped out of a car!

But as you can see that doesn't seem to have bothered him! He got a clean bill of health and was wormed to boot!

Before you ask about the name, he is debonair and I think he looks like he is wearing a grey trench coat, hence Captain Jack (which has nothing to do with my deep love of Doctor Who, Torchwood and all things Barrowman...) and for a fella with this level of sophistication; one name was never going to be enough! He may have started off in the gutter (hedge) but he is rising to greater things lol!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Things are coming along apace!

Things are moving with my new shop! Stuff is beginning to be delivered now that my lovely Dad has (almost) finished the shop fit! There is still the top for the coffee bar to arrive - but that is not coming until next week.

Today there was some excitement as we got the first of our fabric deliveries, some King Tut threads and we got around to hanging a couple of quilts.

This is one side of the workshop area....

We will be teaching the twisted Bargello on the left in September and October and probably the middle Bargello in 2012.

Then to greet you as you walk in we have one of mine - made of Moda Citrus to brighten your way!

 This may become a class if enough people ask for it as well!

Well, best get back to it now! Plenty of work to do.....

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Now that's a talent!

A bit more of Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from Friday.  One section of flower show was called the "Thailand Zone" and there was a chap sitting there carving fruit. The results were amazing! Here he is carving a melon into a bunch of roses....

In this bowl he has carved melons, carrots and a beetroot, and the parrot is the top of a pineapple!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A riot of colour

Paul has had a couple of days off this week, and I deserved a few days break from work, so yesterday we headed to London to the wonderful Hampton Court Flower Show. Neither of us have been before, so it was a totally new experience! As it was, the sights and smells were incredible! There was so much to see so I won't bore you with ALL my photos, but I can't resist sharing a couple!

Some orchids don't quite look real...

 Some of the stands were amazing - so perfect that they didnt quite look real!


I will share a few more pics another time - don't want to overdose you on flowers!

All was lovely! A great day out, despite the rain!