27 May 2013

A little catch up...










 









 

Today I am having a lie in, I am normally a morning person, but today I am finding it hard to get going.  I have been thoroughly spoilt with breakfast in bed, Grandpa's favourites as they are know in our house (cornflakes) and my breakfast mug (a very large Cath Kidston mug) full to brimming with hot tea.  I think the first cup of tea of the day is the very best, do you not agree?

It's been a busy few days and I must confess, the Grand Plan had gone a little out of the window, far too many hours have been spent working.  I have however been making huge efforts on the cooking front.  Some of the highlights this week has been slow cooked roast lamb, followed by home grown stewed rhubarb and Cottage pie with a Colcannon topping..yum!  As we speak, Andy is making Bolognaise sauce for tonight's supper. 

Also on the home front, my son Jamie went on his first cub camp.  He took with him a fleecy blanket to wear around the campfire, on to which, on the morning of the camp, I sewed, rather hastily, his old beaver badges. His lovely Auntie Alison is a guide commissioner and has one with all her badges sewn on, so he was very keen to carry on the tradition.  It did seem very strange him being away and despite a few tears at bed time, (him not me!) he had a fabulous time and can not wait to go again.  

On the work front, I have been busy making a cake bunting wholesale order.  I can tell you lots of teeny flags have been cut and hand stitched over the last few days.  On Friday I was treated to a fly by, by the Dakota from the BBMF.  We are extremely privileged to have these wonderful parts of our history flying overhead throughout the year.  My favourite has to be the Lancaster, I can not describe the noise of the engines, you aways hear it first and every time we run from one side for the house to the other to watch it fly over.  It is the most amazing site, even more poignant with the recent 70th anniversary of the Dambusters.

The kits are coming along nicely and I am on target to go live the first week in June, when the children have gone back to school.  I found myself doodling Christmas ideas the other evening.  Personally I am a traditionalist and I love red and off white together, I would love to know what your favourite Christmas colour scheme is, please do share!!  I have now drafted the first pattern and can not wait to get stitching.

Ok so I really must get up now and enjoy the day...the sun is finally shining!!  Have a lovely Bank Holiday.

22 May 2013

Measure twice, Cut once












Today I have mostly been measuring and cutting, measuring and cutting and I now find myself with a rather satisfying amount of colourful felt towers in all shapes and sizes.   A good days work if I do say so myself, she says patting herself on her back before collapsing in a heap!

20 May 2013

Isn't Mother Nature amazing...








In just 16 days the field has changed from this to a sea of sunny yellow rapeseed.  Does it not lift your spirits, although I must confess it does make me sneeze!

18 May 2013

A little escape...













  










I have just had the most fantastic three days in Norfolk, oh how I love Norfolk.  One day I am convinced that I will live there, but for now I have to satisfy myself with at least one visit a year. (There is another one already on the calendar for the summer...hooray!) The weather this time was sadly not at its best (don't be fooled by the blue skies in some of the photo's) it was actually blowing a gale and was very cold, but we did manage to avoid all the showers, which came late afternoon when we were sat nice and comfy with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

My inlaws came to stay and look after the children, and Andy and I went to join my parents.  We have been away only a handful of times without the children and whilst I did miss them dreadfully, I must confess, I did enjoy the child free time.  Having an entire conversation without interruption was quite amazing, as was watching Pointless and other afternoon TV..quite a change from CBeebies.

Although our time was quite limited, we did pack quite a bit in.  Our first port of call on arrival, as always, was to go to the beach.  I had planned if the weather had been sunny, sitting in a sheltered position with a good book and and a flask of tea, in hindsight, this definitely was a little optimistic!!  The stunning beach pictured is Winterton Beach.  It was virtually empty, with the exception of a couple of dog walkers.  Mum and I searched for pretty shells and stones and I think this would definitely be worth another visit with the children, great sandcastle potential. 

So much for lie ins, it would seem 9 years of been woken up early has now become a habit!  It did mean that we were out nice and early each day.  Andy and I went for a morning walk through a pretty Norfolk Broads village called Horning.  It was lovely, we bought a very scrummy Pork Pie from the local butchers shop and spent many a happy moment admiring the lovely houses and boats!  For the final day we ventured into Suffolk to Southwold.   For those of you with young children will recognise this as the setting for the children's programme 'Grandpa in my Pocket'.  It is definitely on my to do list to visit again and maybe explore some more of Suffolk.  Andy is particularly keen to go on the Adnams Brewery Tour, I can not describe the smell as we walked past their Brewery, humm I guess I'll be driving home!

The time passed in a flash, I can not believe quite how quickly it flew by, but I do feel recharged and raring to go, which is a good thing as I came to lots of Pretty Fabrics and Trims orders (thank you!) which are all wrapped and on their way.  For those who have been asking, my new website is coming together well, exciting packaging has been arriving and my intention is to launch the initial collection of kits at the beginning of June...watch this space!!



10 May 2013

How to stitch 'Blanket Stitch'









I love Blanket Stitch, it is my favourite stitch and probably is the most recognisable element of my work.  I find hand stitching incredibly relaxing and there is something therapeutic about sewing a long length of Blanket Stitch, I think it is the repetitive nature of it!  As it is so widely used in my kits, I have put together the following tutorial.

You will find Blanket Stitch a very useful stitch to have in your repertoire, it is basically a decorative stitch used to sew two layers together.  I use it for both my appliques and also on the outside edge of my felt pictures (and anywhere else I get the chance too!!).   

To help, I've taken some step by step photographs of me actually stitching...(during the making of this tutorial, I also discovered it is very hard to photograph oneself whilst stitching!!)  Are you sitting comfortably......yes...then here we go:




Step 1 ~ Start by stitching in between the layers, so that your knot is hidden, pass your needle through to the front.

  
Step 2 ~ Then take your needle to the back overlapping both layers, emerging in between.

Step 3 ~ Pass your needle over the thread creating a loop, pull tight.


  
Step 4 ~ Now for the second stitch, moving a short distance along, take your needle to the back of the felt and through to the front ( a repeat of Step 2).



Step 5 ~ Pass your needle through the loop, pull tight (a repeat of Step 3) and then move along for your third stitch.  Continue by repeating Steps 2 and 3.


 
Step 6 ~ When you have run out of thread, knot neatly and before cutting, take the thread in between the layers, emerging though the back at about 1" ( 2.5cms) from the outside edge.




Step 7 ~ Pull the thread tight and cut, the thread will then disappear and be hidden in between the layers.

Step 8 ~ To begin again, start by stitching in between the layers, so that your knot is hidden, pass your needle through to the back at the bottom of your last completed stitch.


Step 9 ~ Pass your needle through the loop, pull tight (a repeat of Step 3) and then continue by repeating Step 2 and Step 3.
The letters are stitched in exactly the same way, working through from the back to the front, along the outside edge of the applique.
So there you go, that is how I stitch Blanket Stitch, I hope that you found it helpful.  Thank you for all your questions regarding the kits, I am just waiting for the final bits and pieces and then I'll be ready to go...watch this space.  In the meanwhile, here's a preview of what, once stitched, the 'My Happy Place' kit in the Autumn colour scheme will look like:


or should you prefer to frame it:



For your information, I got this box frame from a certain Swedish superstore.

I hope that you've enjoyed the tutorial and if you have any questions, please do get in touch and I'll do my very best to help.