cute

So much easier …

by Helen on September 17, 2014

A few days ago I blogged about the trials and tribulations of making Miss Matilda Catkin.  Fortunately not every project presents as many challenges as Matilda.

Today I am delighted to present to you my Woodland Deer applique which took from start to finish probably less than 6 hours ….

Plus a bit of thinking time beforehand of course!  I hope you like her and she’ll be in the October issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine (out next week – eeek!)

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Another peek behind the scenes …

by Helen on September 14, 2014

Thank you so much everyone for all your kind comments on the making of Miss Matilda Catkin – who I’m delighted to report is now finished, though I haven’t taken her official photographs yet.  But a lot of people told me they liked to see what went on behind the scenes, before I present my finished projects, so I thought you might like a peep into this afternoon’s activities.

Of course before you start work it’s very important to make sure your “helpers” are all quiet and content – especially our little visitor who, I have to say, is more trouble than both the Newfies put together.  However, even lively energetic puppies have to stop and rest sometimes ….

She looks as though she’s finally managed to find her inner newfie – though I don’t think for a moment she’ll stay this way for long!  But anyway, while they were all resting, having enjoyed fun and games in the garden, a long walk, and a delicious tea, I sat down and switched on my laptop.  It’s been cloudy and a little chilly here this afternoon, so I’m back indoors ….

Though there’s no need to light the log burner just yet!  Here’s the view from my laptop – I am stacking up projects that need their patterns writing for this month’s Bustle & Sew Magazine.  There’s my Toadstools Patchwork bag and Miss Matilda Catkin – looking very pretty in her vintage feedsack dress with little lace trim.  She also has a lovely necklace decorated with a flower-shaped button, but I’m not sure if you can make it out very well in this picture.  My Cath Kidston mug was a gift from Rosie a few years ago now.  Sadly it has a hairline crack in the side so I can’t use it for coffee any more, but it looks very pretty holding an assortment of pens, pencils and brushes. At the back is a blue box that contained my new camera – very exciting!  I’m still learning how to use it, but already I think I’m taking much better pictures than before.  Then on the other side of my laptop (I’m a very messy worker I’m afraid) ….

Is what I think will be the final set of three images for my Christmas Woodland Friends hoops.  There’s a bear, fox and (disappearing from view on the right) a rabbit wearing his Christmas stockings on his ears!  I draw my designs out quite a few times, tweaking and changing, before I reach this final version that I hope will be good enough to scan and print ready to work with.  You can see the dotted lines marking the bottom of the hoops and at the top is a rejected bear  – I think there was a problem with his scarf.

Then over the coming evenings I’ll be stitching them ready to photograph for the magazine.  But my canine friends are on the move and I think I’d better go and see what’s happening – what mischief Tilly has led Daisy and Ben into now, I wonder!?

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A solution to my sewing envy

by Helen on August 18, 2014

“The main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is an emotion related to coveting what someone else has, while jealousy is the emotion related to fear that something you have will be taken away by someone else.”

Neither envy nor jealousy are attractive emotions  and I must admit I wasn’t too clear on the difference between them until I found the definition above.  Then I realised that jealousy is most frequently exhibited by my rather greedy Newfies. Ben in particular will stare very hard indeed when treats are being given out to make sure he, rather than Miss Daisy, has received the largest, tastiest portion of whatever’s on offer.

But I have not been suffering from jealousy, but rather have been the victim of a nasty case of sewing envy.  Let me explain ….

Earlier in the year I watched, and very much enjoyed, the Great British Sewing Bee.  Above is the winner, Heather, with the object of my sewing envy – her pincushion dog!!  Oooooh, how I envied that dog.  Every episode she would retrieve it from her bag and place it firmly on her work table knowing she’d have everything she needed readily to hand.  I, on the other hand, am always losing my tape measure, finding my needle book is elsewhere and scissors, well let’s not even think about the places they need to be retrieved from.

Over time though, I came to realise that it wasn’t so much Heather’s dog itself I was envious of, rather than the idea that all those essential bits and pieces could be instantly to hand in a practical and easily portable form.  Then, one afternoon, as I was sitting in the summer house drinking (probably about my third cup!)  tea, inspiration came to me …..

My September House pin cushion.  It’s more than just a pin cushion though.  Firmly stuffed with a few beach pebbles weighting the base (Heather’s dog always went down with a satisfying thud), it has a needlebook hidden in its roof as well as pockets for scissors and tape …

And then some room for pins of course ….

And my case of sewing envy is cured!

The pattern for my September House pin cushion will be in the September issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine published on Thursday 28th August.

 

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September’s Projects …

by Helen on August 9, 2014

Just a quick peek ….

The first two projects for the September Magazine xx

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