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June 2011

hula hoops and bookworms


Right before market, here in the UK we had a burst of 'not-seen-very-often' unseasonably brilliant warm summer sunshine weather.

It was glorious, from what I could see indoors, stuck as I was sewing for market.

As soon as professionally possible I hatched a plan to get outside and sit in the sun with several iced coffee's update my embroidery patterns with some new apple varieties.

These are what I came up with, a hul-lula-looping girl with a pink jacket on. Modellled on both my daughter's and their hula hooping ways.

And a little girl with curly hair reading a book, who I have now decided looks like she should be named Bella.  Modelled on my littlest daughter who is a bit of a book worm and used to have curly hair that grew straight (but is not called Bella).

As well as some clothes (modelled on some of my youngest's favourite satorial styles).

This little lady you know already from last week.

This is how I spent most of last week, lightbox and pencil sharpner at the ready putting the finishing touches to some new patterns.


As you may know if you have been here before, I have a complete and utter devotion to embroidery.  I have stitched up a good number of pieces over the last couple of years but I have a confession.

Most of them are lying about here, there or somewhere else still waiting to be stitched up into a little something.  Stitched and then neglected.  Sad isn't it.

So, it's time for things to change, I'm going to start to give these stitchy bits homes to live in.  I've begun already with this cushion I stitched up for market which makes me so happy everytime I look at it because I get to SEE all the fun little details instead of them being hidden away.

I'd love to hear your idea's? what do you do with the embroideries you stitch up? I'd love a few suggestion's for things to make them into.  


In case you fancy stitching up a similar cushion, I wrote up a pattern whilst I stitched and finally managed to cook it up into a PDF.  The instructions can be used with any embroidery pattern and go through piecing the cushion front, quilting and assembly, you can find it here.

from seed to fabric


Everything has a starting point, a particular flashbulb moment when a seed is planted and an idea is born.  In the case of 'little apples' that moment occurred when prompted to design a new fabric line, I began to look for that starting point.  Looking involved flicking through my sketchbooks, most of which are notebooks really, where I jot down my idea's in picture form quickly before I forget them.  Most of the time, these idea's occur when I am busy washing the dishes or meant to be doing something entirely different, so if I don't do a quick squiggle somewhere, the idea is lost as soon as it has been found.

The above detail from one of my sketchbook pages is a real case in point because I do not even remember drawing these little trees with apples for eyes or scribbling down the phrase little apples but when I came across it on the 'flicking for idea's to design a new line of fabric day' I was immediately drawn to it because my mind started coming up with idea's and images galore.

I started sketching a little more whilst I narrowed down the idea's and formed a theme in my mind.  Almost mindlessly I turned an apple upside down and turned it into an a for the word apples. I think this was the exact moment I knew I HAD to call this group little apples because I knew that this little mindless doodle would make a great little selvedge.

And I know I am very heavily biased but I kind of think it does.

So now I had a name, I just had to come up with the actual designs!  The stories behind which will have to wait a day or two.