I've never linked to something on You Tube before but I love this so much that I just had to share.
Molly Lewis has written a beautiful, funny and poignant song. And how can you not agree with the sentiment?
These beautiful fabrics arrived the other day and I absolutely love them. They were designed by Lauren of My Aunt June, who I'm a massive fan of.
And it was such good timing because I need all new sofa cushions for spring and I'm intending to make myself one out of that fantastic ships fabric.
And I highly recommend that you do so. But not before I've bought some more!
This is what I've been working on for the last two days. No sewing involved, just sorting and sorting and tidying.
Because that mess is my studio. Caused by a combination of teaching workshops, filling wholesale orders, sending out etsy orders and buying new supplies.
I don't normally work in this kind of chaos, but it's suddenly all slipped out of control and yesterday morning (after teaching a hugely busy workshop at Cartwright Hall the day before) I walked in to this mess.
The problem is that my studio is 4 metres by 2.5 metres and has to house my entire business. Including finished stock, all materials, all books, all paperwork and all WIP's. And it's just no longer big enough, no matter how many times I rejig it.
Unfortunately working outside the home is simply not an option and within the home we just have no more space - no attic, no garden shed, no cellar space. Just my 4x2.5m space and not an inch more.
So what I've done is pack 4 bin bags full of fabrics that I don't use but don't want to get rid of, to put away in our roof eaves and I've sorted and refolded all my fabrics, felts, wools, linens and leather pieces so that they all take up the minimum amount of space. I've also been harsh with myself and put all the tea towels that I was saving to make into cushions etc, in the kitchen tea towel pile to use as, ummm...actual tea towels ( crazy). Same with the pillow cases, that are now destined to have my actual head resting on them!
But after 2 days I'm vaguely despairing of the fact that there still isn't enough space and of the fact that it's still not finished. That said, I am however determined to beat it in to submission.
I'm about to put some new spring inspired pure wool felt bundles in the shop.
The yellows and greens are beautiful and are attracting me in different forms, including this pile of lambswool and linen.
This last week has been crazy, so I'm more than a little behind with these results, but the winners of Fat Quarterly as picked by the Random Number Generator are -
Comment 34 -
Sarah of www.littlepaperbird.blogspot.com
Comment 10 -
Kerry of www.verykerryberry.blogspot.com
Comment 51 -
Marabara of www.marabara-design.blogspot.com
The wonderful Fat Quarterly team will be in touch soon to send you the link to your very own copies of issue 4.
Yesterday Lily turned 3.
Every year when I try to write about Lily I struggle to put in to words who she really is.
Over the last year Lily has changed and grown in many ways. But in the main ways, the important ways, she's stayed exactly the same. She's bigger and louder and more confident. But she's also still as gentle and sweet and loving as always. And she is still honestly and literally the most grateful child ever to be born.
The 'Thank you Mama's' are always unbidden and always genuine. She thanks me for every dress, skirt, legging, blouse, toy, quilt and blanket that I've ever made and tells anyone passing that I made her dress, skirt, blouse etc, with such pride that it can honestly bring tears to my eyes.
If I do something specifically for her it's often greeted with " for me? " said with such surprise that I often wonder if we neglect her without realising!
Lily will see that I'm tired or stressed or emotional and say to me "You ok Mummy? You ok?" She will stroke my face and climb on my lap whenever she thinks I need a cuddle. When Bella was little, I secretly enjoyed when she was poorly because it meant proper cuddles together, but with Lily, proper cuddles are on the cards each and every day. Alongside "I love you's" and "You ok?".
Which is not to say that she isn't cheeky and naughty and downright rude at times, because she is. She has recently started asserting her stronger and stronger opinions, with vehment "No's!" and "Yes, but's!" And can be an absolute nightmare to dress, feed and get out of the house if she's in her contrary mood.
But she's amazing. Amazing and wonderful and yet even more amazing. The way she speaks, the way she ambles, the way she kisses, the way she laughs, it's all amazing and beautiful.
And we're ever so grateful for her. For the "it's morning time" that greets us in her singsong voice every morning, to the hugs and kisses and immensely gentle care that she shows her new dolls and old dolls and dogs, bears and leopards alike!
If you met her, you'd know. Lily's not the same as everyone else, but that's not to say that she's not the best! Because she is.
And we love her to a painful degree.
Love. You. Lily.
Forever and a day. And the day after that.
These are my first jersey snoods. They're as long as the woolen ones but are obviously a lot lighter and softer to wear.
They can be worn in a super long cowl style or wrapped around your neck two or three times.
At the moment I'm wearing mine wrapped around three times, because it's still pretty chilly out there.
But once it warms up a bit (it will warm up won't it) I shall be wearing it loosley around my neck in a scarf/cowel like way.
Although I managed not to be distracted by a raspberry blowing child today, the sun refused to come out to play, so I still don't have any real pictures. But there are a couple of plain blue and grey snoods as well as 5 different stripy ones at the moment.
And although I keep photographing myself in the stripy ones, I've actually surprised myself by wearing the plain grey one the most!
As soon as Mother Nature and Lily decide to cut me some slack, they will all be in the shop!
I bought this fantastic barkcloth at a vintage fair a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much that I sent Jim out to get more money and didn't let go of it until his return!
I bought it with the intention of making cushions, but as with the rest of my barkcloth collection, I am now struggling with the actual cutting up of this perfect pair of curtains.
I picked this other piece up at the same fair and love it just as much, but of course, now I'm struggling with the same dilemma. Preserve it and add it to my collection or chop it up and reuse it and get a whole new enjoyment from it?
In an attempt to move one step closer to making the cushions, I ordered some really beautiful Klona (not Kona) cotton from Alice at Backstitch, to make contrasting piping. I've become a little obsessed with piping on cushions lately so when I saw these new solid cottons at only £5.50 a metre I ordered a couple to experiment with.
Klona cottons are a medium weight cotton, made in the UK, that are perfect for quilting, bag making, clothing etc and I like it so much that as soon as my order arrived I immediately ordered more. Along with making piping I'm intending to find the time (hmmm) to make a Fat Quarterly inspired solids quilt and this will be perfect.
Still have to actually cut into that barkcloth though.
With the weather getting ever so slightly warmer, I've been needing to move away from wearing my wool snood day in and day out, to wearing something a little lighter, but still warm.
So I made a lighter, but still warm snood out of a striped cotton jersey and have been wearing that day in and day out, instead.
I had intended to show the product photo's of the new jersey snood, showing it full length and wrapped around only twice etc, but I instead I found myself distracted by a certain off camera 2 year old.
And so instead I'm going to have to wait for another sunny day before I can show the new snoods off or put them in the shop (there are blue and white, green and white and a red and white one) and hope that I can keep a straight face next time.
I did manage to pull it together at the end though. Too little, too late as it turns out.
Making clothes for Bella and Lily is one of my favourite things. I love the fact that I can use my choice of the most beautiful fabrics out there rather than having to rely on what's in the shops. And the fact that I can use prints that may not be immediately obvious for childrens clothes, but that look beautiful on the girls.
And the girls love the fact that they get to wear clothes that I made. There is honestly nothing better than hearing Lily very proudly tell anyone and everyone (!!) that mummy made her skirt or blouse. Or having Bella walk in to the studio and pick and choose the fabrics for her next skirt.
And as far as I'm concerned, whilst there are lots of pretty, flouncy, girly clothes out there, the ones that are the most useful in the wardrobe are the simple, easy to wear blouses and dresses that can be worn over leggings for running and playing in or tights for a dressier look.
Because I get a lot of emails asking about making these simple but fun clothes, when Karen and I were working out the time table for our upcoming workshops, we realised that a workshop teaching how to make some easy to make and easy to alter and embellish childrens clothes would be a lot of fun.
So with that in mind we're holding a full days workshop where you can spend the day in a lovely park side setting, learning how to stitch a basic yet classic tunic blouse suitable for ages 6 months to 7 years, incorporating long or short sleeves and easily adapted to become a dress.
And once you’ve mastered that, you can spend the rest of the day sewing a simple pair of unisex trousers again suitable for 6 months to 7 years, in styles both fully lined for the colder months and lightweight for coolness in the summer.
The workshop is being held on Saturday 26th February and runs from 10 - 4pm.
If you want to find out more you can look here and if you would like to book a place, you can do so here. Or if you would just like more information just email me or Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you'll be able to join us, but if it's too short notice, don't worry, because we're also holding another workshop on April 2nd to learn how to make cushions and lap quilts based on one of my favourite quilt blocks, the School House. But more on that very soon, along with upcoming half day workshops, on some quick and easy basics such as zipper pouches and modern quilted cushions.
****edited to add - there are now only two places left on the workshop ******