Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Festival of Quilts - The Shopping

I was rather excited by all the wonderful stands, there was so much fabric to choose from I didn't know what to do with myself. I was very good and decided not to look at books or other items that I could easily get online or in craft shops. I was there to see the fabric and was not dissappointed. I had a really good look around and decided on the most expensive items that I wanted to buy first then I was able to get lots of other little bits as well and should be able to make some really interesting projects. 

I have six red fat quarters that all go together, I am planning to use these to make some cushions for the bedroom, I want to try some different patchwork techniques.

I have a gorgeous square of red batik fabric with black elephants on it. I have always loved elephants and couldn't resist this fabric. I will probably use it to make a cushion and keep the piece whole.
I have some lovely fabric designed by Paula Ozier, all her ranges come in sets of five patterns, I was tempted to get a whole set, however some of the patterns are quite large and wouldn't work with the smaller items I like to make. In the end I went for two patterns from one range and three from another. I love the hearts and stripes designs, these were the ones that attracted me to her stand in the first place, I then noticed the gorgeous elephant designs and had to have both, good job she had a special offer on when you bought five fat quarters, I didn't bad feel buying so many.

There was a stall selling half metres of Japanese fabrics for £3, it costs about that to get some of them as fat quarters. I bought two pieces, one with little snails designed by Heather Ross, that I had seen in Sew Hip and one with lovely owls on it. I really wish now that I had bought more, they were such good value for money and there were so many other designs I wanted. I only had enough money for a couple which was probably a good thing.

I bought four pink and brown fat quarters, they were very good value at £4, I am not sure what I am going to do with them yet. I also got two rolls of four fabric squares, one has some deep red and gold fabrics, the other has some sewing themed ones. I will use these for small projects, perhaps pin cushions and needle cases. The other items I bought were all scrap bags including some Amy Butler, Japanese fabrics, and Kaffe Fassett. I am looking forward to using these little pieces in my projects, and getting insipration from them.

I think I did very well with my money, I could easily have spent ten times the amount I did, it would have been so easy to buy everything I loved, I am glad I had something to limit my spending as I don't have room for too much more fabric.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Pretty Things from Plumo

I have discovered a wonderful new shop Plumo all the items I have looked at are gorgeous and the items I have selected would fit very well in my craft room.

I love this box, so cute and full of lovely things I also love these crochet stools.

These dolls are so cute, I especially like the doll pattern in the knitting.

There are many other lovely things including clothes and jewellery.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Festival of Quilts - The Quilts

I went to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham on the 20th August. My mum paid for my ticket and gave me some spending money as my birthday present (the big 30 is in three weeks). I had a fantastic day out. This post is about the quilts, I will write another post about my shopping.

There were so many quilts to look at I didn't really know where to start or what to look for, other than inspiration. I found it a little lonely looking at them by myself, it would have been more fun to look at them with someone else. I really liked the quilts that used a mixture of black and bright colours such as this one made up of tiny hexagons.

The amount of work that has gone into them all was amazing. I loved the miniature quilts, they were so detailed and really look like someone had srunk a normal sized quilt.

I was impressed by all the other items on display such as these flowers and there were some other amazing creations.

I loved these thin panels, there were lots of them, some in sets that all had a matching theme or colour scheme.

I especially liked this one with all these gorgeous flowers

This was my favourite of all the quilts I saw, I love the shape and the black outlines.

I came home feeling inspired to finish my purple patchwork quilt that I started eight years ago and to try to some new patchwork and embroidery techniques. I know I am capable of doing some more complicated projects, I just like doing easy things and finishing them quickly!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Purple Jumper

I have finished my purple jumper that I have been knitting for about a month. The yarn is Rowan Silken Tweed, the pattern was from Rowan Vintage Style pattern book.

This picture shows the yarn I used for the jumper and some lovely Debbie Bliss yarn that I bought at the same time, not sure what to make with the alpaca silk yet, I want it to be something special.

Here is the finished jumper.

I think this jumper is going to be quite warm so I wont be wearing it for a while. I think I will make a new skirt to go with it in time for the autumn.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Busy Elephants

One of my elephants has been featured on Bliss Knits blog. The theme was florals and this elephant certainly has lots of flowers. 

My yellow elephant was featured on Blonde Design's blog recently, the theme was yellow.

I am very pleased my elephants seem to be enjoyed by other people, if you would like your own elephant visit my Folksy shop, if you would like a particular colour just get in touch and I will see what I can do.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

New Purses

I have made some little purses from a pattern I designed. This one actually worked first time! They look good and are easy to make. These ones are for presents, but I think I will make some for my Folksy shop.

The first purse is made from Freespirit fabric designed by Denyse Schmidt with a simple white cotton lining.

I have sewn my name labels into the lining of the purses. I love my labels, but most things I make are not suitable for using them. I think they look good on these purses.

The second purse is made from a remnant of corduroy fabric and yellow lining both of which I picked up in a charity shop. The colour of the lining is a perfect match for the pattern on the main fabric. I have added a yellow button to this one, mainly because I love buttons!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Summer Holiday

We went on holiday for two nights to Shropshire, we stayed in a hotel near Bridgnorth. The hotel was OK, but the amount we were paying was good and included breakfast which made the hotel seem much nicer.

On our first day we spent an afternoon in Bridgnorth visiting the charity shops, having lunch, walking around the old buildings, looking at the steam train at the Severn Valley Railway, and going on the little cliff railway. We spent the evening at the hotel having a big meal.

We spent the following day and a half at Ironbridge, there is so much to see and it was all very interesting. We saw the bridge, went to the iron museum, Darby Houses, Enginuity, Coalport China museum, and tile museum. Have a look at this website for more information about the Ironbridge Gorge Museums.

This is me dressed up in Quaker clothes at the Darby Houses. I enjoyed the house as it was full of samplers, tapestries and the craft box and all its bits and pieces of one of the Darby women. The final room was the dressing up room with men's, women's, and children's clothes for you to try on, it was good fun. 

On the afternoon of our final day we went to Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood. We had a quick walk round the Hall, and enjoyed looking at all the toys in the Museum of Childhood.

Sudbury Hall have James May's 'Paradise in Plasticine' garden at the moment which was fun to see.

There was also an exhibition of art work by Takumasa Ono, he has painted a variety of National Trust properties. The pictures are lovely, unfortunately we had no money left or I would have bought a set of postcards.

When we were home again I baked a cake, chocolate and peanut butter as requested by my husband. I made a chocolate sponge cake then put peanut butter and chocolate butter icing in the middle, I melt some chocolate to go on top. It was very tasty.

We spent the rest of the week at home, my husband watched sports and I knitted, did a little sewing, and went shopping. I had a trip to Hobbycraft and managed to almost stick to my list and not get carried away. I didn't have any luck in charity shops unfortunately, I was hoping to have some exciting finds. I also went to Ikea and bought a tray with brightly coloured birds on it. I saw it in Elle Decoration and rather liked it.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Competition Winner

And the winner is ... oddsox!!! Oddsox picked "reds & oranges like a sunshine" for the winning brooch colour. 

Here is a pile of materials I have gathered together for inspiration. 

Here are pictures of the finished brooch.

I hope oddsox likes the colours, I think it has turned out to be more of a sunset than sunshine, but it is a very cheerful looking brooch.

If you didn't win but would like a brooch have a look at my Folksy shop, if I don't have the colour you want send me a message and I can make one for you.