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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Freya Cushion

I recently completed a lovely commission for a friend. She wanted a personalised cushion to give to her cousin's baby girl called Freya that played around with the idea of 'the birds and the bees'. Here is the finished cushion. 
Front of the cushion with birds and bees, 'F' for Freya and her date of birth

Back of the cushion using a lovely retro/vintage fabric

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Calne Music and Arts Festival

I am currently exhibiting two new pieces of work at the Calne Music and Arts Festival. The exhibition contains a great mix of work from local artists and designers. It is open until Sunday so get down there if you can! Here are a couple of photos I took of my new designs before they were finished!

'Twit Twoo' appliqued and embroidered canvas

'Peacock' appliqued and embroidered canvas

Friday, 7 September 2012

Mr and Mrs Bunting

I have recently made some Mr and Mrs bunting for my best friends wedding. Here is a sneaky peek. I will get some better photos taken at the wedding. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

My amazing new cutting table!

I recently made two large pairs of curtains for a client. Not having a cutting table meant that I had to do most of this knelt on the floor, which has left me with very painful knees! Because of this I decided I really needed to get a cutting table and started looking in to purchasing one. I soon realised they were very very expensive to buy. So, I went to my very clever Dad to ask him what he might be able to knock together for me and here is the result! An amazing cutting table! It has transformed my studio space and has made all tasks so much easier - and less painful! The table cost £120 in materials - £100 for the wood and £20 for an off cut of Vinyl to cover the top. I am so so pleased with the results - thanks Dad!!

The table acts as a great storage space too!

To fit the cutting table in to my studio we took down the double bed and replaced it with a single futon which has given me more space and somewhere nice to sit when I take a break!

The table is already being put to good use!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Grace Cushion

I was recently commissioned to make a cushion for a friends' baby. The design features a couple of birds sitting on a blossom branch. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I am going to develop the design further so that I can sell it via my Folksy shop. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Make Your Own Christmas Decorations Course

I'm really excited about a workshop I will be teaching at New College, Swindon in November. The course is titled 'Creative Machine Embroidery Workshop - Make Your Own Christmas Decorations'. The course will teach freehand machine embroidery techniques to use when making decorations such as a table runner and tree decoration. I absolutely love Christmas - especially the decorations - so cant wait to get making! If you would like any more information on the course go to the New College website or contact me.

Monday, 2 July 2012


As well as doing my own creative design work I have started to get commissions for things such as cushions and curtains. I recently re-covered the cushions of a gorgeous nursing chair and foot stool for a friend. I was quite nervous when I first got asked to do it as the cushions were all different shapes and sizes, but I faced up to the challenge and learnt a lot by doing it. In the end the cushions were a great success and I am really pleased with the results - as was my friend! 

Friday, 29 June 2012


I recently discovered the work of Giorgio Griffa via Mint Design Blog. I love the simple designs and use of colour - very inspiring! You can see the complete portfolio here.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Exhibition at South Cerney

I haven't been able to blog for a long time due to getting a beautiful but very time consuming Labrador puppy called Bobbin! She is settling in well to her new home so hopefully things will become easier and I will be able to start dedicating more time to my textiles again.

 Recently I have been focusing on developing some slightly more commercial products that are cheaper to produce and can therefore be sold at a more affordable price. Over the years I have collected vintage fabrics from charity shops, vintage fairs and I also inherited a lot from my late Aunties awhile ago. I have been working on to these fabrics to create pretty embroidery hoop pieces perfect for a little girls' bedroom.  

On Bank Holiday Monday I was part of a small Art exhibition in a church hall in the very pretty village of South Cerney. I was pleased at the response to my new products; I sold a few things and got lots of nice comments. I need to get some slightly better photos taken of the embroidery hoops then I will be adding them to my Folksy shop.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

One of my favourite blogs is Creature Comforts written by  Ez Pudewa. Creature Comforts blog usually focuses on beautiful products for the interior and fashion but this morning it was different. Ez wrote about the challenge of being truly honest when blogging and the desire to try to paint a picture of perfection. She challenged bloggers to write an honest blog focusing on 'Things I'm Afraid to Tell You'. Follow these links to read other bloggers responses: Really Handmade, Hello Cupcake, AppleBlue, Design for Mankind
- you can access more links via the Creature Comforts Blog.

So here is my attempt!

I hate failing / losing / I can be very competitive!
I recently did a Paediatric First Aid Course that involved a test at the end and I got 19 out of 20 - this upset me a bit - especially as the other lady doing the course got 20 out of 20! This fear of losing makes me very nervous about the fact that so many people are now aware that I am trying to set up my own business - I am driven not only by my passion and desire to succeed as a Textile Designer but also a need to prove myself to others. When I left my teaching job and told people I was going to try to run my own business they all said 'Good Luck' and 'You're brave'-I sensed that they thought I was mad and would probably fail!

I am lacking in self confidence
People wished me luck and somehow I manage to translate this to -'they think I am going to fail'- this is probably a reflection of my own self doubt.

I am not always honest about my feelings
I find it difficult to open up and be honest a lot of the time. If somebody asks me 'How are you?' my default response is 'Fine thank you'. I even convince myself I am 'fine' even when I am actually knackered, stressed or depressed and really ought to do something about it! I'm sure a lot of people do the same.It also happens when we are feeling really good. It is not often you here someone say 'I am great thank you!' and at the moment I am genuinely feeling really great!

I worry about money
One of the consistent themes in bloggers 'Things I'm Afraid to Tell You' responses was financial worries. I do worry about money - I worry I will never be able to afford to buy a house - I worry I will never be able to buy the lovely home in the countryside that I dream of. But, I have learnt that money does not buy happiness, if you are too tired and stressed to spend the money you are earning - what is the point!? And actually I have a lovely home in the countryside, I just don't own it. 

Reading about other bloggers worries and fears has been very therapeutic - as has writing about my own. Although I do have these thoughts and worries I am feeling very positive at the moment. I am loving the new freedom I have and I am excited at the prospect of things to come. And the reality is that I may not succeed - I may not be the next Cath Kidston - I may not even make a living from my Textiles but I need to try and I will enjoy trying. 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Beautiful fabric from Backstitch

I ordered some plain coloured cotton fabric from Backstitch on Friday and it arrived Saturday morning. Not only do Backstitch provide an excellent service and top quality products but their fabric arrives carefully wrapped in tissue paper with a ribbon and a hand written note - such a nice touch! It made my day!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Design Studio

Back before the Easter holidays I handed in my resignation for my teaching job, as it was beginning to take over my life and gave me no time to do my own textiles. This week I started a new part-time job which gives me lots of time to sew and make things, hurray!

I've spent some time sorting out my spare room so that it is a practical studio space. I just love it!

Some of my recent cushion designs on top of a quilt I made a couple of years ago.

My inspiration board

Monday, 23 April 2012

Vintage finds in Dorset

Over the Easter break I had a lovely holiday in Dorset. Whilst in Dorset I visited Bridport and Lyme Regis to hunt for some vintage goodies in the markets and charity shops. My shopping trips were a great success and I found lovely vintage embroidered fabrics, some very sweet tea cups, strips of buttons and a set of floral place mats that match my Royal Albert tea set! I plan to use the fabrics to make bunting and cushions.

In Lyme Regis I spotted this amazing piece of graffiti - an origami heron! So clever!