Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Our Contribution to a local charity

One of my lovely stitchers has set up a charity in the memory of her young son. Harry was 5 when he tragically died 2 1/2 years ago after suffering an Asthma attack with complications.

Last month his family set up  a website to support other families who find themselves in this awful situation to give them support they need all in one place:

We decided to contribute in a small way to their fundraising at Christmas and make something to bid for or raffle. Everyone in the group made leaves for this festive wreath and I made one of my robin's.
I then hastily stitched it together ready for their stall at a local lantern festival.

This shows the work in progress and Harry's Odette holding the final wreath.
Lovely work from all involved xx

Monday, 24 October 2011

Teaching round-up

Rounding up this half-term's work is a lovely job, lots of great projects and a lovely bunch of stitchers who really inspire each other! Well done ladies!!

This is Lizzie's take on Curious George, adapted from a patter from Hobby Craft (sshh) we made him into a toy rather than a puppet, moved his ears down a bit and gave him the cheeky 'curious' face.

 Lizzie now admits that she got bored with stitching him, but now he is finished he is a success I think. We decided that it is frustrating not to get projects finished off as quickly as you might like - children and life get in the way etc. And we all have a virtual list of projects in our heads don't we!!

 Work in progress, Michelle had a great start with this name,  cute stitching and detail.

The buttons represent the holes in the letters.

 And this is the finished name 'bunting'.

 She then was inspired to make a small character with her new found skills!

And here he is finished!

 Suzie is working towards Christmas and a lovely collection of decorations, lots of details with embroidery, beads and she found some great ribbon from The Works which was very reasonably priced. Lovely work.

Odette is working on some trees using scraps of her son's clothing for the leaves. I think these are going to look spectacular and a lovely way to remember him.

*Someone is making some booties for some new arrivals to the world, but if I tell you who is making them, the mums might work it out, so I'll keep quiet until they arrive in the world :) Cute though huh?

....and this is Lizzie's next project, something for HER, not for the boys in her life! Simple patchwork squares with fabrics we just had lying around, and each time I see Lizzie, she has thought of another way to embroider the plain ones - great skill building, go girl!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Northampton Vintage and Homemade

Coming up next Saturday, just the posters look lovely, so I know I am in for a treat.
Hope to sell lots too!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Quilts and Zentangle!

A stitcher I met 3 years ago is now working in the creche of another group I teach in, it's great to keep in contact and I asked Eleanor to bring in her quilt she has been working on for the last 3 years. Yes, 3 years! But as she reminded me, she has done 2 NVQ courses over that time as well as working and looking after her young son. So here is an update photo and this is the original post from long ago.

My new group were completely impressed with her work and could not envisage making this by hand, so all credit to you Eleanor!!

Suzie has worked well on her cross stitch, she chose not to plan it out exactly on graph paper and I cannot blame her - I would just get on with it myself. But the pattern has not quite matched up and being a very graphic image, it does stand out. We thought about a suitable pattern to use as a filler and came up with a diamond. I look forward to seeing the finished piece this week.

Odette is working on a quilt of her son's old clothes, she has become obsessed with cutting out squares and we laid them out last week. A really lovely balance of colours and patterns. This quilt is going to get bigger and bigger I can tell.

We started off last week with some Zentangle, I suggested it might be a good starting point for an embroidery or some doodling on a scrapbooking page.
I set it as homework, so I hope they have had fun!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

New Skills for everyone.

My happy group of stitchers have started on a new creative journey......very exciting for everyone. They are such a sharing caring group that they share their ideas, resources and time with each other. The encouragement is amazing and just what the group was set up for.

Lizzy was keen to start some scrap booking with pictures of her lovely boys, so with lots of encouragement and bits and pieces from others she set to work. I know that it is very addictive and you can easily get carried away with buying lots of lovely papers and trimmings. So I encouraged her to just make one special picture first, one that could be framed and put on the wall. She put this together with lots of encouragement and over the weeks has bought bits from discount stores and sales at craft shops and has now got a growing collection of stuff to play with.

Back to stitching, Karen made this over a number of weeks to hang in her kitchen.

....and Gemma made this very quickly for her mum and now wants to make one for herself.

Many of the stitchers choose to make things for others, Susan challenged herself with recreating this lovely printed card as an embroidery for her friend. An extra challenging project as it was done directly onto felt and needed a lot of planning. I suggested that she draw out the design and draw round it as a template as you can just see in the left of the picture, the details were then easier to measure and place.

It looked rather grand and splendid in a simple frame, with the name of the theatre and the date it was performed to finish off the design.

Back to Lizzy, this was her stitching from last term, which she finally finished off and was actually pleased to see the back of! But its good to get things finished so that you can move onto something lovely. I think the frustrating thing with this project was that she choose a muslin square to stitch the design on and it was very tricky to keep flat and neat, it will look good on the wall never the less. Good work!

More scrap booking, well done Gemma :)

.....and now for something completely different!
Cross stitch is not something I have ever really done, I don't think! So when a new crafter came along, I suggested she look in a charity book shop for some inspiration to get started. This is the first little design, which Suzie cleverly adapted to suit her style.

Week one, choose a design and get started:

Week two, get carried away at home and finish the design, so cute!:

Week three, decide to give it to a friend as a new home gift and turn it into a little padded cushion to hang up:

So, thinking I ought to have a go myself so I know a bit more and can advise others. I found a pattern I really loved and set to work, I had not realised how long it would take! Oh my goodness, hours.......and hours.......but it was less of a chore because I did enjoy just following the graph and not having to think too had about the design. So here is my tree ready to be pressed and framed.
I have now purchased the lovely new Embroidery Companion by Alicia Paulson and there are some cross stitch patterns in there, so perhaps I will have a go at another one??

Never to sell though, they take far too long!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Quilts for London

This week, the after school Craft Club set about on a new project. I had picked up a leaflet during a recent trip to Stockwood Park at half term and was keen to join this great looking project with the children of NB School.

Quilts fo London is a year long project encouraging people of all ages and abilities to make a Pennant for a London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Athlete.

Over the weeks we have been designing and sewing different things and it was an ideal project to do over the last few sessions before Easter.

The children work well when they have a brief (don't we all) so I set them the project of looking at and being inspired by Icons from previous Olympic games. They were easily found by Googling "Olympic Icon Images". We looked at how a simple line drawing represented a specific sport quickly and compared how different countries had devised a visual style.
I particularly like the Vintage group from Mexico in 1968 and the most recent Icons from the Beijing games in 2008. The Mexico ones are very stylish and you know exactly what sports they represent and the Beijing Icons look like Chinese characters as well as the sports they represent. Very cleaver.

Anyway.......the children had copies of these Icons to inspire them and they came up with a number of designs.

Chose the best one and drew it up onto an A4 piece of paper, then fabric. They then used their favourite textile colour pens to complete the design. They cheered when I announced that they would use the pens again! Strange!!

The work so far, looks great, some really strong designs. Next week we will hand stitch them onto a base fabric and add some embroidery stitches.
I really want to let them loose with a sewing machine, but this will need more planning!!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

In the class room today

The talented children in Craft Club have been working really well on this project. We started with some Zentangle doodling.

In week two, we 'framed' a square of the design and expanded it onto a larger square.

The designs were then coloured in with fabric pens, some of the children kept the design simple, some really went to town with their work.

I ironed the fabric pens for a few minutes to fix the colours.

The children have now spent 3 sessions embroidering along or between the lines. I thought they would soon get bored, but they have stuck at it and really worked very well. I will try and do some closeups next week with my decent camera.

I would love to make a large piece of work with these, they are very abstract and work well together I think.

For those speedy stitchers, I introduced them to the Japanese paper cutting theory of Notan. They started with a simple design and then with some more prompting, made their squares more complicated.

For those children who did not quite grasp the theory, we concentrated on making the design work as a balanced picture.

Actually, they were all striking and will be good starting points for the next project I think.

Good work :)