Wednesday, 27 November 2013

I love a happy cat...

This is a rare cat post the doesn't include a pic of one of my terrible trio. But they were the inspiration  for this little wall hanging for Create and craft and the 'fat cat' ruler.
 
This is so much fun to make and has so many possibilities - as well being super cute which always raise a smile!
 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Its amazing what a little bling can do!

You can never have too many sequins at Christmas,  and here's my newest decoration that I ran up during a rare moment of peace this week! I must admit that I love it and now have to make a few more!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Playing with circles

I love teaching. There is something so rewarding taking a idea, developing it into a design and then passing it on to others and seeing them run with it.
That is exactly what happened with my Zen Quilt. I needed to create a design that made good use of circles as I was supposed to demonstrating one of Simplicity's circle acrylics. I had also just bought a fat quarter bundle of Moda Christmas fabric that had a bit of a Japanese vibe about them, and so taking inspiration from those calming Zen Gardens, I came up with this!


A zen garden is a miniature representation of a landscape and nature which is an aid to meditation. The boulders represent mountains, and the ripples in the gravel present water flowing through the landscape. My circles represent the boulders and the quilting is the raked patterns in the gravel. I am very pleased with the results and they great on camera. It caused such a stir that I put it on in the shop as a workshop. And these ladies kept busy!


The different colours and fabrics created different moods and they are all looking fantastic! It proved so popular that I will be running the class again in 2014. It really is a hard life!!!!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Keeping busy

Being a crafter seems to be synonymous with being busy. Every one I speak to says that there are just not enough hours in the day to do all the things that they want to do. And I am one of the most guilty of that - the ideas that I have far outstrip the hours I have to complete them!
But somewhere I read that the more creativity you use, the more creativity you get so I will just keep on moving forward. 
My newest enterprise is a regular craft column in the Hunts  News and crier that features Bee Crafty. I wrote the first installment and Julie will be writing the second so keep an eye out for the odd crafty hint! What fun!

We are hoping that we will attract new people to crafting, and introduce them to the positive effects that creativity can have on our lives. This first installment is about the sociability of crafting, and how it brings people together.We all know how much fun it is to craft together and I hope that we will be able to spread this message a little further!

Friday, 1 November 2013

I love a good wedding ... ring

One of the great things about working with Create and Craft as a guest presenter is that I am 'forced' to play with products I wouldn't usually have the time or inclination to use. This often pushes me in directions I hadn't contemplated and often towards the more traditional end of the quilting spectrum.  The thing about traditional patterns as far as I am concerned is that the have been 'done' and that traditional meanings boring. I have definitely changed my mind recently, especially since I had to demonstrate a wedding ring template. I just love this traditional pattern and couldn't wait to get to grips with the very useful acrylic that Simplicity produce.
 
This first one is a table runner that I created to show the Double Wedding ring template using the fantastic Downton Abbey range of fabric from Makower. I loved this and using the right templates meant that it ran up quite quickly. (sorry about the quality of the photos, my design wall or the floor are not really in a great lighting positions!)
 
 

 
All of the shapes are cut from the basic template - with the centre having 4 curves, 4 melons (the little white leaf shapes) and the combination of lozenge shapes that make up the rings. I just love it as a table runner and it shows the fabric off a treat!
This next one is a variation called Pickle Dish and uses little triangles instead of the traditional lozenge shape of the one above. It still uses the rest of the elements used in the above Double Wedding Ring but is a bit more fun. I only did a small sample of this variation as it would be tempting but time consuming to make a full quilt for each acrylic they send me :) it would make a great table mat!
 

 
 
Diamond Jubilee - this is yet another variation on the double wedding ring which uses a diamond shape instead of the leaf shaped melon but still uses the 4 segmented shape.
 
 I am absolutely dying to use all three variations in a single quilt which I think would look stunning. I just need someone to add a few more days to the week...
 
What this has shown me is that I shouldn't turn my back on traditional patterns just because I feel that they are old fashioned and have nothing to offer me. Now I have had a go I am looking at the wedding ring in a whole new way! And I might have to take a look at some other traditional patterns with a new modern eye!!!!
 
 And just as a shameless plug - I will be teaching this at Bee Crafty on Saturday, 15 February 2014!