Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Smallbeans Christmas Stitching...

Long long ago (last week) on a cold and snowy night, 12 good ladies came together to stitch. Our Community Centre is cold - I am sorry for this ladies!! But hearts were warm and we stitched for the whole 2 hours.

Photos are blurred, I am sorry again, I was rushing and trying to do everything at once. Speed never pays. And I forgot to get a picture of the happy gathering of Ladies - next time!

But as you can see, work was done and everyone went away with at least 2 finished things and lots of ideas and supplies for making at home.

.....thanks for coming! See you in February I hope.x

Saturday, 20 November 2010

October rushes into Christmas....

I say October, because yet again I have neglected my small space in Blogland to concentrate on the real world - planning, teaching, evaluating and stitching like a demon for my own Christmas sales - I have not stopped believe me!

In the mean time, my merry collection of stitchers have been coming up with some cracker ideas. Christmas is featuring heavily of course, but there are some larger plans in the making too.

This is the work of Suzie, she is very new to stitching but has been inspired already to make a quilt of her baby daughters outgrown clothes.
She just got on with the cutting out before the class and we spent the time, trimming, arranging and balancing the colours and patterns.
I then introduced her to the wonders of 'bondaweb' and a name appeared, Suzie plans to embroider around the letters this week.

Without standing on a table, you cannot see how good this looks, but believe me it's fab. We kept the 'shapes' of the clothes to make this hotchpotch quilt I hope it will go together in a collage fashion quickly, there will be a border of charm squares to enhance the colours and patterns. A great start for this new stitcher and her lovely new project.

......and now for some more projects

Lesley is making a quilt for her son for Christmas, a mix of Union Jacks and a 'nearly' Dutch flag to celebrate his european roots!

Lesley is also making this adorable sleeping lion, from instructions found in a vintage book. The instructions were a little vague and we didn't believe they would work, but as you can see, he is just lush. Lesley could have a few orders for more but she has vowed never to make another one!

Her is the work of another doubting stitcher....Kate is on a mission to complete a rather huge Advent calendar for her boys this year. This is the work so far and we have spent time working out how it will go together, I think it will be about 4' tall when finished!

Staying with the festive season, Emma is making 3 stockings, the attention to detail is amazing and 'sew' neat! Another stitching doubter, I think she is hooked, every week another book of inspiration arrives via the post. She has a very supportive husband - who I hope is impressed with this new talent?

Then quietly beevoring away in the corner is Rebecca, making her very own wedding bouquet.
They are working beautifully and co-ordinate perfectly with her colours, an everlasting keepsake, good work!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Vintage Felt Jewellery 2

For the lovely ladies I met today on another Vintage Felt Jewellery stitching day in Milton Keynes:

Here are the forthcoming events I was talking about, they are normally on my crafting blog, but I have copied them for you -

I have had a number of requests now to do another Crafty session towards the end of the year, hopefully before Christmas - watch this space for details.

In the meantime some dates for your diary:

Handmade & Vintage 2 - York House, Stony Stratford.
6th November. The first of these was a lovely day back in the Spring, lots of great makers and sellers.

Aylesbury Grammer School - 20th November, 10-5.
Arts and Crafts Exhibition. Sounds like a good day out to me if you are in the area.

Fair-trade coffee morning - 27th November 10-12ish, St James's church. New Bradwell. Lovely fair-trade gifts and cards and a my stall of Smallbeans with 15% of proceeds going to the church fund.

MaKe - Madcap Arts Centre - Wolverton, Milton Keynes.
November 28th 10-4
Again, lots of lovely people selling festive delights.
Wear a coat and hat for this one, it will be cold outside, but warm in of course!

.....and here are your lovely brooches! As I said, a good day's work, lots of ideas, lovely colours and very precise work, well done!

I hope I have captured everyone's work, sorry for the bad focus, if anyone has taken close-ups, please make contact and I can put them up too.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

New term= new projects.

We have started the new term in one Children's Centre with a new set of learning outcomes. Sounds very formal? Yes, it could well be, but to enable the course to continue I have to encourage the students to try different techniques and ways of working as possible in the course.
They have taken this new challenge in their stride and have really pushed their ideas. Sometimes with a hint of irony, but mainly because they see the value of the sessions and want them to continue.

Maxine started this project last term and over the weeks has planned other seasonal garlands for her house. A christmas version is well on it's way and will be featured soon.

Veronica needed a quick projects at the end of last term and managed to put this together very quickly while she was planning her next project which would tick all the new boxes.

....and this is the new project, with some bold fabric from Ikea, we planned a great new bag and Veronika made a good start in one lesson.

Carly has been inspired by an illustration from a children's book and is making a patch to go onto a bag. It's looked really striking and she is really pleased with the result, although she thinks her daughter may well nab it as soon as it's finished.

Hira was not sure that these fabrics went together at all. I convinced her that mini collages of flowers in the lovely off-cuts from her sari fabrics contrasted really well with the rich tartan fabric and with a bit of playing around and encouragement from the rest of the group, she was pleased with the result.

I am delighted that everyone has embraced the new criteria and I think that giving people the limit of 6 weeks to do a project has focussed them on simple but very effective ideas. More updates soon.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

It's All About The Fabric: Funky Christmas Fabric Giveaway!

It's All About The Fabric: Funky Christmas Fabric Giveaway!: "I'm having my first Giveaway to Celebrate 1,000 Pageviews! As I Blogged yesterday I have reached 1,000 Pageviews and as I'm so pleased I ..."

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sew-hip magazine!

Hurray! We have been featured (all be it quite small) in Sew-hip magazine this month!

This little elephant form issue 15 was made by Emma H. and I sent off the photograph and they very kindly printed it. Emma is very proud and excited and I hope others will be inspired to make patterns from this great magazine!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

A day of Printing.....

I spent yesterday with two lovely groups of families as part of a Heritage project for MK Arts for Health. The charity has been 'given back' some objects found in Milton Keynes for a year. They have planned a whole diary of projects around the objects.

My part was to deliver a printing workshop based on the Roman and Medieval coins found in the area, here are a few pics from the day:

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The tale of 2 Quilts.....

Once upon a time, a stitcher called Veronika started a quilt for her daugher. She jokes that it was 'years ago' but infact I think it was only last September. It took the best part of two terms to make, just 2 hours a week, and V spent quite alot of time just laying out the fabric and planning her creation. Don't we all just love to do that??
Well, here it is and what a quilt!! There were a few 'tweaks' along the way and we had to trim the edges before V bound it because some of the layers didn't match up. But what a quilt!!

Lovely work....
And then there was another story, V has another child and she needed to make him a quilt just as lovely BUT QUICKER!!
So with a bit of searching and re-arranging of fabric, we came up with this simple plan of bands of print and some applique.

Sorry you have to crick your necks!!
Veronika was tempted occasionally to 'add' a few bits and I was guilty of suggesting different things, it's my job to inspire and suggest, but she kept her mind on the job and finished this one in 6 sessions. Not as complicated, but just as lovely.
The quilt is not quite finished yet, the binding still has to be hand stitched round, but Marco knows it is his already.
Well done V!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Summer stitching

This little chap was made in a week by one of my new stitchers, I didn't even manage to 'blog' about her starting the project before he was finished! So here is the lovely elephant in all his glory. The pattern is taken from the Magazine SewHip! and has worked really well. There are lots of great 1st time patterns each month and well worth a look.

He needs a bit more stuffing really, but I do like this exhausted elephant look, I know how he feels!!

Emma is now so taken with stitching that she has bought a whole load of patches from ebay and is planning a quilt for her new bedroom. She hasn't got a sewing machine yet, so we were planning some applique and embroidery to do on the centre panel to keep up the great work.

The colours are looking lovely and I think it will be a great mix of prints, very inspiring.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Half term round up

This is the beginning of a new project foe Leanne. She arrived today with a play for a Haribo cushion for her son ( his favourite sweets) and after doing some research into shapes and colours and possible designs - we just had to go and buy a bag.

We came up with this plan:
Some lovely felt colours, contrasting bears and squares and contrasting stitching for the detail. We are on half-term next week, but I hope Leanne will be able to crack on with this project. It should love lovely....

Now back to an ongoing project from the very creative Sue. This is the book for her son, based on his favourite nursery rhymes and stories. The Owl and the Pussy Cat, its waiting for the Pig, Turkey and the Land where the Bong Trees grow - cannot wait for that, great work!

I hear thunder.....
The Grand Old Duke of York......

This is an idea for the from cover. Unfortunately, Sue admitted, it was put together with no planning and we had to struggle and think of a few options for turning it into a proper cover for the book. It is one disadvantage of working at 2am when you are having trouble sleeping. "It looked ok then". I think we have come up with the best solution, hope so anyway...

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

New Stitchers-lovely stitching

Lets get this straight from the start, I can take NO credit for this work!! Lesley started the beading 8, yes 8 years ago and it is a spectacular UFO (Un Finnished Object)!!
However, she has now found some time with her new baby, to come along and join our crafting group in the Children's Centre, hurray!
I have advised that she doesn't cover the whole flower, which was the original plan, but just highlights areas. This will add more depth to the work and save hours of time.

I have also suggested that she mounts it in a circular embroidery frame and then it will make a beautiful gift for a lucky member of her family!

Olivia's first venture into sewing and she has made a delightful 'Eskimo' character, just lovely. NB, I am probably not allowed to say Eskimo anymore, but I cannot think of another way of describing this lovely 'wool clothed' little person!

Emma is new to the class and has not sewn before, but she is amazing me and herself with this group of animals: first was the fish, then the cat.

Then the cheese (which her husband does not think it looks like cheese, but I think it does here). The 'cheese' was closely followed by a mouse and a sausage dog - great work.

Leanne decided to make a mobile for her son and has worked really well the project. Her stitching has become more confident over the weeks.

She is now working on another small project to practice her stitching even more, before embarking on something larger, great work and growing with confidence each week.