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March 2011

February 2011

round and round

This time last year you couldn't pop around to this blog without tripping over an embroidery or several, it was a full on stitchy embroiderfest for a couple of months.

And then, all my other hobbies got in the way of my floss, along with designing for Moda and the embroidering suffered a sad demise as a result.  So with enough being enough, I have dusted off my hoops and started on those little back stitches once more.  

The above little piece of stitchiness started as a series of doodles a few long months ago and shows a little quartet of young pips dancing round and round (and round and round....). My girls loved singing 'round and round the garden' and 'ring o'roses' when they were little.  Still do.

I am still a little unsure of my styling of the boys in the above, they are a little on the girly side aren't they? with their floppy fringed hair and silky lookin' scarves.  I dread to think how I would have dressed my daughters if they had in fact turned out to be sons...................(doesn't bear thinking about).

I've written up the pattern for the above embroidery and will be listing it any minute now.  You can find it by travelling by link and popping over to my shop

I am thinking of putting together a few posts on embroidery how to's and would love to know if there is anything in particular you would like to see in them?  If there is something you always wanted to know or something you just can't get the hang of.  Let me know!!!

Hope you are enjoying the Wednesdayness wherever you are!!!!!


I finally mangaged to get out and grab myself a copy of Sew Hip featuring my first ever magazine interview!

The interview itself took place last December, just as I was recovering from a horrid bout of flu.  I was a little worried about how I'd answered the questions and how I'd come across but reading this yesterday I felt completely elated to read my answers with no cringe worthy experiences (((thankfully))).

The questions cover my path from starting a blog to designing for Moda as well as a few insights into my design process.

The interview appears in the March issue.

I'm currently busy working on some new fun stuff which I hope to be able to start showing later this week.

Hope you are enjoying a great start to the week!


on page 5...

This time last year I worked my weekends away at a department store in a neighbouring city.  Every Saturday I would dutifully take the half hour train ride to get to work and each Saturday became more boring than the last.  In order to 'prepare' myself for the graft to be, I developed a habit of taking an earlier train than I needed to so that I could arrive at my destination a whole half hour earlier.  Said half hour was then spent in a large newsagent en route, swooning my way through the pages of one quilting magazine after another.  It was my equvialent of an early morning pick me up so that I could begin the day inspired and on a high.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that less than a year later I would see an advertisment for my new fabric line on page 5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  of one of these inspiring magazines - American Patchwork and Quilting.

Wow! is all I can say.

and isn't it amazing where a year can take you????!

Big, big thank you to Jenny for spotting and sending me a copy of the magazine so quickly.  You my dear are a doll.

Jenny also hid this piece of fabric from the 'Hello Betty' collection by Chloe's Closet of a few years ago just because she knows I love it. Hello Betty along with Swell and Sweet by the Urban Chiks are amongst the fabrics I am always on the lookout for (so if you know of a supply, please lemmeknow ;)

BTW: In case you're interested the quilt pattern shown in the ad will be available as a downloadable pattern from the United Notions site come April.

I'd love to know your thoughts if you read any of the big quilting and patchwork magazine titles, do you follow the quilt patterns in them or just use them for inspiration and to keep up with the news?????

Also do you have any recommendations for magazines you love?

the girl on the tree swing

This is the story of how the girl on the tree swing came to be.  

It began in the autumn of 2009 when I found myself doodling a few pictures of girls on swings.  I have 2 daughters as you may know, age 7 and 10 and consequently have spent many hours in a variety of parks pushing my daughters on one swing or another for several hours at a time.  As you may know, once a young child gets their little bottom onto the seat of a swing, it stays there superglued  until you come up with a clever distraction.  I always think that I have never seen my daughters happier than when they have been sat swinging away to their hearts content.  So back to the sketching, it wasn't going well as the swings looked kind of clunky and angular until I 'married' two of my favourite things to doodle, girls on swings and trees!!!

Around this time, I was really wanting to try out a few stitching techniques I had seen online.  I was really inspired by this doll quilt of Tacha's and thought my girl on the tree swing image would be a perfect one to try something similar in.  So I came up with the girl the tree swing mini quilt you can see above which I then came up with the idea of giving away. 

I don't know why but it did seem a good idea at the time.

The giveaway and the quilt were very popular, I think that there is something so sweetly idyllic in the tree swing image that we all identify with either ourselves or when we see our own daughters happily swinging away.  It takes us to a place we all want to be.  So by popular request, I decided to write a tutorial for the quilt.  Above are just a few of the quilts made by others using the tutorial, posted in my flickr group.

A few months later, I thought it might be a good idea to recreate the tree swing image (and keep it for myself this time!).  I was in an embroidery mood this time, so my girl was recreated in stitch.  One of the striking things for me looking at this embroidery now is how carefree and dreamy it looks.  I say this because when I was stitching this up, I was in a lot of pain (I later found out that this was due to a bladder infection - not nice at all).  It's funny to think how the embroidery completely belies the pain I was in.

If you are interested, I have a tutorial for making the filling stitch in this embroidery here.  The girl on the tree swing embroidery pattern can be found here.

This embroidery has been so popular ever since I launched it, that I thought where else can I take this?  The answer of course was fabric!

First there were spoonflower prints, these were handrawn and coloured illustrations of mine scanned into the computer, with just the background added in windows 'paint'.

Then came (or will come soon!) the Moda fabric - 'girl on a tree swing print from my 'Sherbet pips' collection.

One thing I love about this print is the way Moda printed it.  When I designed the print (you can see a cropped image of my original illustrator artwork in the banner at the top of this blog) it was made up of two girls swinging, one with a red dress and the other blue.  Moda decided to repeat some of the images as mirror images and this is what makes the fabric itself 'swing' (look at the fabric and see how those little girls all look like they are in motion!) very clever.  Another thing they did was to change the hair and dress colours of the different images across the print.  Surely one of these reminds you of a little girl you know?

As for the girl on the tree swing, you just never know where she might turn up next...........