Monday, 22 April 2013

Get 'em young....

I am a great believer that crafting is the perfect outlet for the young. It occupies their hands as well as expands their creative minds. So I always make sure that I try to get something crafty for my two nieces and my nephew for their birthdays. James is sold on Lego, and you can't get more creative than that for a boy who hasn't made it into double figures yet.

Last weekend was my niece Kiah's 6th birthday so I got her something we could play with together - a set of beads that you put on a template, iron, and hey presto - you have a star, a heart, or in this case, a princess! Here are all the girls together 'helping'.
We actually made a pretty good job of it. She may not be quite old enough to let loose on the sewing machine (Jade on the bottom right was 9 before I taught her how to use it) but Kiah is keen, and I dont think it will be long before she takes after Aunty Sarah and gets stitching (well not if I have anything to do with it!!!)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Getting Jazzy with the girls!

One of the things that I love about teaching is seeing the finished items that people go away and make. You design the piece, make the sample, write the instructions and then let it loose into the world and see what happens!

This was my Jazzy Jelly Roll class that I taught about a month ago - a quilt using the Jacobs Ladder block.

On Saturday 2 of the ladies from the Granary quilters brought their finished quilts in.

Megan used some bright colours with turquoise, lime and orange to make this cheerful little number.

 Helen still has to bind hers, but these warm chocolate colours give a cosy feel to hers.

Great job ladies!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Someone's making friends!

The fabulous Gina came to my shop last year to teach her brilliant Diva Dolls class. Well, as she is returning to teach it again in May I thought that I really should get around to finishing the embellishment on my mermaid that I made over the two days when she last visited. She (I haven't come up with a name yet) was put together on the two day course but is still less than decent in her attire and not really fit for company. I will post some pictures once she is more appropriately dressed!

However, someone seems keen to make friends with her, no matter how she is dressed.

Maisy is always keen to see what Mummy is playing with this week and she seems to have made a friend!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Sometimes it can be tough to get going on a project because you HAVE to! Owning and teaching in a shop means that I have workshop ideas that I pop in the diary... fully intending to get to work on the sample immediately. But I am a creative butterfly, and sometimes the space between the thought and the deed stretches out as I get distracted by something new and shiny! This has happened to me with paper piecing. Since using the technique for the New York beauty on my last post it has become my new favourite thing. I have been playing with a paper pieced rose design that has turned into a quilt, and a workshop for next year, but it is not the sample for the workshop I am teaching in July! So this weekend I sat myself and had a good old talk with myself, forcing me to get my head back on track and prioritise. So this weekend the rose went into my "play with me latter" box and the "I gave you my heart" quilt was completed. 

Though I am completely 'pinked' out I actually rather enjoyed it in the end. Perhaps I should listen to myself more often!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Of points & pies

One of the greatest things about owning a shop (apart from all the lovely fabric you get to drool over) is that you meet so many very talented people! Once such lady is Cherie Luckman. Not only does she work part time for us at Bee Crafty, but she is also a very talented teaching with a growing repertoire of fabulous quilts for us to add to our workshop offerings. The latest is the New York Beauty class that she will be teaching in May (sorry - class full). It proved so popular with all of us staff that we talked her into giving us a private class on  a day when the shop was shut. So here is my first go at paper piecing, which is not quite finished but is well on it's way!

I am dead chuffed but have no idea quite how to quilt it yet but that will come... I hope!

The pie mentioned in the title is my contributions to my WI (Hampton Hargate) when we had a pudding night. All attendees had to bring something yummy and there were 9 fab puddings to share. Mine was a rustic pear and apple pie with cinnamon and lime marmalade glaze. If I say so myself, it wasn't at all bad for a non-baker!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Now some pictures... and less words!

After the kind response to my post about why we create - I thought I would share some pictures of some gifts I have made lately that got a mention.

This is the cot quilt mentioned last time - with a matching doll that i fear will have to stay with me as I have fallen completely in love with her! I have even given her a little friend - a little stuffed chicken in her dress pocket so she wont be lonely!

This Easter Weekend it was the 9th birthday of my gorgeous nephew James.  So what to get him???? Well for his birthday I made him a quilt covered in pictures of space, so when this space themed Glow-in-the-Dark fabric arrived in the shop I just couldn't resist!
This is the back so that no matter which way up his chucks it on his bed he will be able to find it in the dark!

He was delighted as he had been asking for some more pillows on his bed so he can snuggle up !

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

No pictures... just words!

Today I don't want to show you any pictures. I want to talk to you about why we create... why I create.This may be a bit more mushy than my normal posts, but please do bare with me...

I think that it is important to remember that when we make a gift of our creativity, we are giving you a piece of our lives, our hearts, our souls because every stitch comes from thought, and deed, and love. It is something more than any wallet can ever value, and should be held in your hands as something precious to be valued for as long as the gift can be remembered.

A girl that I only speak to on the phone is just leaving her job for maternity and so I made her a little cot quilt. She rang me full of excitement and emotion, especially as we have never met in person. She wondered (happily) why I had taken the time to make her this gift. I explained that this is what we quilters do! We mark time and events with gifts from our own hands, whether that is to celebrate a birth, cheer up a friend when they are ill, or show our sympathy and solidarity with a disaster happening to strangers on the other side of the world. We create to show that we care.

I recently made a baby quilt for a much anticipated litte girl in Canada (some friends of my Dad's). I used pictures of the little lady as well as parents and delighted grandparents in the quilt. Now the lucky little lady is growing up with this quilt! One day - perhaps in decades time - another child may play on the same quilt, and hear the story of how a lady called Sarah made this gift for Grandma from half a world away. Perhaps they will look at my name on the label and wonder who I was. I have become a part of their family - and part of their family history - without ever having met them. This is what making can do for you - it creates links between strangers across time! 

So if you are a creator, or a recipient then you are a giver and a receiver of treasure from our heart to yours!