quilting therapy

Is it just me, or do other people find a sense of calm from quilting? Perhaps it’s the warm cosiness of just having the layers of fabric and wadding resting on your knees as you sew, or knowing that people have been making quilts for hundreds of years, or the repetitive stitches – but I love quilts and quilting. I am still a relative beginner and usually tend towards some sort of quirky applique number, but I like to think my latest quilt is an homage to the simplicity of Scandinavian style. I fell in love with this Moda ‘Winter’s Lane’ fabric and will be sad to see it go…but it is in my shop now: tied patchwork quilt

I discovered a new (to me) online fabric shop specialising in extra wide fabric for quilt backs and upholstery; gorgeous stuff and half the price of most of the fabric I have found. So, if you are in the uk and need very reasonably priced extra wide fabric, I can recommend Quiltbacks UK.

Photos of the quilt on our sofa and on our rotary dryer in the garden just didn’t look right, so my lovely neighbour let me use her washing line (so it seems only right to include a photo with her in it too):

my next door neighbour helping control the quilt
my next door neighbour helping control the quilt
Deerey Me tied patchwork quilt
Deerey Me tied patchwork quilt
Moda's Winter's Lane
Moda’s Winter’s Lane
newly finished quilt blowing in the breeze

As you can see from the quilt photos, it has been a beautiful day today – good light to show off the gorgeous artist trading card I received from Marie at Stokes Croft Stitching. You can see how clever it is with the light behind it (mounting it on acetate was a genius idea); a very clever lady!

Stokes Croft Stitching ATC
Stokes Croft Stitching ATC
ATC from Marie
ATC from Marie
co-ordinated note and ATC

And finally…I love Pinterest! I have been making little snow scenes in bottles and jars and, as is so strangely often the case, mini trees in their natural bottle brush state are far more expensive than ones dyed green, but thanks to Pinterest I saw that it should (theoretically) be possible to bleach green trees. They are not pure white, but a rather nice vintage cream – now ready to be re-glittered!

bleached mini Christmas trees
bleached mini Christmas trees

 

 

 

 

Santa Claus is coming to town…!

Such a wet, grey day seems perfect to do some quilting. All snugly on the sofa (half) watching slushy movies, toasty under the quilt as I work on it (with an eye out for muddy pawed cats!). Here is a sneak preview:

Moda 'Winter's Lane' quilt
Moda ‘Winter’s Lane’ quilt

I have also been making good use of some of the Christmas buttons I found. Sometimes I just ‘see’ things in my mind and it is such a joy when they work out as I imagined.

Rudolph won't you lead my sleigh tonight
Rudolph won’t you lead my sleigh tonight
Santa's coming to town zip pouch
Santa’s coming to town zip pouch

The reverse of the wash bag was just right for a left over Halloween button.

black cat button
black cat button
cat on a cold tile roof
cat on a cold tile roof

However, all this Christmas sewing is taking it’s toll – and just to make sure the old bah hum bug doesn’t surface from all this festive overload so early in the year, I decided to make a Spring apron, with a big white flower and a flower pot pocket – perfect for any young gardener.

apron for young gardener
apron for young gardener

Oh and one last thing….

Happy birthday for Monday Mum…see you for lunch on Sunday!

Mum...a few years ago.
Mum…a few years ago.

ta dah!

Just a quick post – the lovely people at Making magazine chose my dalek pincushions as the winning entry for this week’s Monday Makes! I have been getting Making for a little while now (since Sue in my old office recommended it) and have sneakily been waiting for a good subscription offer. Last month’s issue offered a huge bundle of sewing goodies; really useful things like shears and pinking shears and a number of large reels of extra strong thread and…well you get the picture…so I took the plunge and took out a subscription (you don’t need to subscribe to enter the weekly competition on Facebook). I have entered a few things in the weekly competition on the Making Facebook page and was really delighted to win this week. I know it’s just a weekly Facebook competition, but it means a lot to me!

While I am here, I have made a few more things:

Christmas cards with robins…

robin Christmas card
robin Christmas card

I like the way the fabric frays a little around the edges; rather like feathers I think.

robin detail
robin detail

 

glove cats and dogs (not in the shop, as I can’t CE mark them as have not yet been able to track down reasonably priced gloves with EN71-3 dye data – if anyone knows of a suitable manufacturer, do let me know!)…

glove cats and dogs
glove cats and dogs

and a couple more linen zip pouch bags with round trees and little bird buttons…

green tree, red birds
green tree, red birds
green tree, white birds
green tree, white birds

 

I also made a child’s apron with a flower pot pocket and a white daisy growing out of it – will take photos tomorrow.

 

 

and the Christmas making continues

Well, my time continues to be ploughed in to making for the Christmas fair on 4 December – I rarely have time to write much, which I miss. I also suspect that just bunging a load of photos in to my blog is not only a cop out, but makes entries less interesting. Of course I may be wrong and readers may be relieved when they see I have refrained from wittering on.

I am trying to fit in a bit more non-business stuff. This week I made 12 jars of dumpsideary jam (spiced apple, pear and plum) from Gloria Nicol’s book ‘Fruits of the Earth‘  and shortbread Christmas trees to photograph for Christmas cards from uk.Moo.com and four Christmas cakes to be fed weekly with brandy. What’s more Mark and I went out for lunch today – just the two of us (and he bought me flowers on Friday…should I be worried?). Tomorrow afternoon I am giving blood , so that too will be a non-business activity.

shortbread snow scene
shortbread snow scene
edible snow scene
edible snow scene

 

I also signed up for an artist trading card (ATC) swap run by Ali at very berry handmade. I confess that although I had seen the size of the card, it had not sunk in just how small it actually is. The finished card sits easily in the palm of my hand – and that makes cutting out all those leaves exceedingly fiddly. I worked out the design on paper and then painted the dog in fabric paint on natural calico, then used a temporary spray adhesive to hold it in place on the background fabric and ironed on some stitch and tear to stabilise the fabric while I stitched on the leaves and highlighted the dog’s fur in black and white, adding a French knot nose. I made a backing and cut down some bias binding for the edging. It goes in the post tomorrow and I am a little sad to see it go, but I am excited to see what I receive in the post in return!

little dog 'Autumn' artist trading card
little dog ‘Autumn’ artist trading card

On the business side, I have had orders for dalek pincushions and will be making still more this week.

dalek pincushions
dalek pincushions

 

I found some old fashioned milk bottles in Lakeland and am very happy with the look of the snow scenes (not edible!) I have made in them – what do you think? I am running out of space in our dining room/my work room for snow scenes, but am reluctant to fill the living room with them as I don’t want us to get bored of Christmas before it has even started. I generally refuse to put up the tree or any decorations (other than the wooden advent train) more than a week before Christmas, so really hope these things sell!

old fashioned milk bottle snow scene
old fashioned milk bottle snow scene

 

Finally, I just want to share my latest indulgence. For a long time now I have been drooling over Lilla Lotta‘s printed tapes and treated myself to this one:

Lilla Lotta printed tape
Lilla Lotta printed tape

I am not sure how I will use it, but I have an urge to make a number of items relating to fairy tales and think this will fit in. I like it so much I went back and ordered some more – I considered this one, because it’s lovely:

Lilla Lotta red riding hood tape
Lilla Lotta red riding hood tape

I decided though that I don’t want someone else’s image of a fairy tale, as I want to use my own images, so opted for this one.

Lilla Lotta magic mushrooms tape
Lilla Lotta magic mushrooms tape

If you are tempted to buy yourself some of these printed tapes, you will need to get a wriggle on as Lilla Lotta’s Etsy shop says she will be closed for at least a year from January!

Right then, now I have done a wee bit of writing, i want to do some reading…Vastgotaspets och tradgard, Knitsofacto and Twigg Studios, here I come!

 

 

Christmas is coming…the daleks are getting fat…

Christmas is coming…the daleks are getting fat…

Well it’s something like that. I have been getting myself a bit stressed about how much sewing I have to do for Christmas and for my first craft fair* and have been trying to get as much stock made as possible. I had been making things I know well as I can make them quickly, but as I calm down a bit I am letting myself have fun designing new pieces. While I was beading daleks for custom order Christmas stockings I began to think about the possibility of a dalek pincushion and this week set about designing one. I am rather pleased with my first attempt, what do you think?

dalek pincushion
dalek pincushion

Of course do remember that a dalek is not just for Christmas!

Stallholders at the Christmas fair are being asked to donate a raffle prize and as soon as I hit send on my email, I knew a gingerbread house was a silly thing to offer as cooking is not part of my business. Bags are more my thing…but then surely a bag could be a gingerbread house…

gingerbread house handbag
gingerbread house handbag

I will probably add a bit more detail to the windows, but it was fun to make (and sent me off on  the trail of some gorgeous Christmas buttons to make a second (or third) gingerbread house bag.

I  am totally immersed in Christmas. Most years I hate the commercialism of it all and the way the shops fill with decorations and gifts as soon as Summer holidays are over, but this year I have no option but to jump in to it head first. I have been making more free-motion sewn cards and even a bit of hand emroidery.

 

French knot polar bear Christmas card
French knot polar bear Christmas card
tree Christmas card
tree Christmas card

Today I also gave in to Pinterest and made a snow scene in a jam jar – I first saw these on Pinterest last Christmas and I think they are so cute. For gifts (not for sale) I am also going to make some edible snow scenes in jars, with shortbread trees and sugar snow.

jam jar snow scene
jam jar snow scene

 

I have had some time off making things though, including a trip over the bridge to chat to some textile students about the things I make. I was a bit nervous – it’s a really long time since I have even been in a school – but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Everyone was lovely and they showed me their beautiful past projects and we talked about their upcoming projects. I am looking forward to seeing the end results.

Yesterday one of my old work colleagues came over and we had a National Trust day – the Courts and Lacock. It kept looking like it was going to pour with rain, but held off until we were having a meal in the pub in the evening. I rather like grey skies they add a touch of gothic drama.

Lacock tree of light
Lacock tree of light

I will sort out the other photos and pop them in to Deere Diary in a bit.

 

* St Mary’s Church (bottom of Bathwick Hill in Bath) 7pm to 9.30pm Wednesday 4th December 2013

here comes the bride!

I do!

No, not me! It is little Ellen Mouse’s big day. I had a custom order for mice bride and groom – so much fun! Used the end of a sleeve of a 45 year old wedding dress and added silvery Christmassy touches. The groom is wearing a black pinstripe suit shot with gold, with a red waistcoat and silver buttons and cravat. The beads and small parts mean that these mice are decoration only; not toys and not suitable for children.

blushing bride
blushing bride
mouse wedding couple
mouse wedding couple
soft focus mouse bride and groom
soft focus mouse bride and groom
soft focus mouse bride
soft focus mouse bride

mouse groom

Ellen Mouse bridal closeup
Ellen Mouse bridal closeup

 

The wedding photography was fun…who says soft focus is outdated???

wedding photographer to rodent celebs
wedding photographer to rodent celebs

 

I won!

My dear friend Irene at vastgotaspets och tradgard had a giveaway to celebrate 1000 posts (well 1004 actually) and I won this beautiful yarn. I am going to pop in to ‘Wool’ in Bath to ask advice about a scarf or shawl pattern that would suit both the yarn and my crochet inexperience.

yarn to die for!
yarn to die for!

 

Oh Rio!

Somebody found my light tent…!

Rio the cat finds a new place to sleep
Rio the cat finds a new place to sleep

Just as well the background sheet is washable.

 

the stockings were hung by the chimney with care

I am sorry I have not posted in a while – so busy! Not only have I been lucky enough to have a load of custom orders, I am also sewing like mad to make stock for a Christmas fair (Wednesday December 4th, 7pm until 9.30pm at St Mary The Virgin Church on Darlington Street, Bath)…added to which I had a small mountain of cake to bake for Mark to take in to his office for his birthday.

Excuses over, here are some of the custom orders…no names in case they may be gifts!

slippers
slippers
zipper pouch
zipper pouch
slippers and bag
slippers and bag
Ellen Mouse tunic
Ellen Mouse tunic
pug dog drawstring bag
pug dog drawstring bag
pug dog slippers and drawstring bag
pug dog slippers and drawstring bag
Ellen Mouse tunic
Ellen Mouse tunic
Dr Who stockings
Dr Who stockings

One of my custom orders – Dr Who Christmas stockings – set me off on a Christmas stocking fest (all now in my shop!). I bought some more Dr Who fabric and intend to  make some for the shop too.

Skandi Christmas stocking detail
Skandi Christmas stocking detail
Skandi Christmas stocking
Skandi Christmas stocking
Skandi Christmas stocking detail
Skandi Christmas stocking detail
Skandi Christmas stocking
Skandi Christmas stocking
glittery blue and gold Christmas stocking
glittery blue and gold Christmas stocking

My favourite has to be this welly boot Christmas stocking made from oilcloth – I love it when I can realise and idea.

oilcloth welly Christmas stocking
oilcloth welly Christmas stocking

welly boot Christmas stocking

There is also a little Ellen Mouse in my shop – sporting a Christmas pinafore!

Christmas Ellen Mouse
Christmas Ellen Mouse
Christmas Ellen Mouse
Christmas Ellen Mouse
Ellen Mouse
Ellen Mouse

Santa baby…

The weather has turned cooler (I am back to fighting our two cats for my work chair now they don’t want to sit in the garden all day) and I have started to feel a little shiver of panic about how much sewing I have to do for Christmas. To ease my nerves I made a Christmas stocking before breakfast!

I like Christmas, but this year I wonder if I will be too busy to enjoy all the usual preparations. However, I will get my Christmas cakes made shortly…slug of brandy for the cake, slug of brandy for me…

Oh Ellen...come out of there!
Oh Ellen…come out of there!
first Christmas stocking of the year
first Christmas stocking of the year
Moda 'Winter Lanes' fabric
Moda ‘Winter Lanes’ fabric

I also finished another Ellen Mouse to go in the shop:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Ellen Mouse…and a giveaway!

Ellen Mouse is getting ready for Christmas, with a reversible Christmas pinafore. This one is a custom order, but I will be putting them in my shop soon too…along with Christmas pinafores and other accessories for those who already own an Ellen Mouse.

Ellen Mouse shows off her pink frilly knickers (they are sewn on as they are small and I don't want them to be a choking risk for young children)
Ellen Mouse shows off her pink frilly knickers (they are sewn on as they are small and I don’t want them to be a choking risk for young children)
Mouse in a tea cup
Mouse in a tea cup
Ellen shows off the red and white reindeer side of her reversible pinafore
Ellen shows off the red and white reindeer side of her reversible pinafore
Ellen Mouse shows snowman side of her reversible pinafore
Ellen Mouse shows snowman side of her reversible pinafore

 

Facebook giveaway!

If you would like an Ellen Mouse of your own, hop on over to my Facebook page Deerey Me and ‘like’ the page and add a comment to the giveaway post there. Good luck!