The Big Garden Birdwatch

One of the things I love about working from home is being able to interact with the garden birds. We put out food and try to keep our garden wildlife-friendly – with a big, deep hedge between us and the other half of our semi, and shrubby bushes and trees in both the back and front garden gardens. So I need no encouragement to take an hour to watch and count the birds for the Big Garden Birdwatch.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 06.38.43

In honour of the birdwatch I made a couple of 3″ embroidery hoop stitched pictures of black caps on Kaffe Fassett backgrounds (the female has a ginger cap, rather than a black one).

blackcap male
Mr Black Cap
Mr and Mrs Blackcap
Mr and Mrs Black Cap

I am looking forward to sewing a flock of bird art!

The lonely tree on a hill: four seasons

A little while back I had a vision. It wasn’t spiritual or enlightening, I just had a picture in my head I wanted to put in to fabric. A picture of a tree on a hillside in rich autumnal colours. This was the result:

lonely tree on a hill: Autumn
lonely tree

 

I have now sold this piece and the lovely lady who bought it commissioned me to make the other three seasons. It has been an absolute delight making these fabric pictures. Have a look at the rest of the year…

lonely tree Winter1
lonely tree on a hill: Winter
lonely tree on a hill: Spring
lonely tree on a hill: Spring
lonely tree on a hill: Summer
lonely tree on a hill: Summer
lonely tree on a hill: the year
lonely tree on a hill: the year

 

 

a really hoopy frood…

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, hoopy is defined as “a really together guy” and a frood is defined as “a really amazingly together guy.”
As an example to put it in context, Zaphod says, “Hey you, sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is!”
Now I do know where my towel is (soft and fluffy and neatly folded in the airing cupboard), but in truth I am merely searching for a title for this post that might make embroidery hoops a little less…pedestrian.
[short aside: did I ever tell you that my old neighbours in Bristol reckoned I probably worked for MI5, as they couldn’t believe I was really a (then) thirty something who enjoyed quilting, National Trust gardens, and spending time with my cat Brian? Needless to say, they were wrong…but then if I were in MI5, I would say that wouldn’t I?]
So then, hoops. I like embroidery hoops as frames for textile pieces. I have a number of traditional frames, but they are more clunky – and much heavier to post – so I find myself stocking up on embroidery hoops. I have made a few ‘Mama Bear’ size pieces of hoop art that have been fun to do and have sold well…
2014 July 14 hoops - 07
owls hoop
2014 July 14 hoops - 13
storm in a teacup hoop
cat hoop
cat hoop
mistletoe4
meet me under the misteltoe
Then I woke early one morning with an idea in my head and grabbed a ‘Daddy Bear’ size hoop…
lonely tree
lonely tree
Next I picked up a collection of ‘Baby Bear’ hoops and made some Christmas tree decorations…the most fun thing to do with your clothes on! I started with some sketches like this one:
hoops7
tree on car roof sketch
Then I chose a snowy background and cut fusible fleece to the size of the inside of the hoops, ironed it on to the back of the background fabric, cut out my images from lovely thick pure wool felt (using my own pattern pieces), dropped the feed dogs and fitted a darning foot and away I went!
hoops1
Christmas tree decoration hoops
hoops4
tree on car roof (my favourite)
hoops6
snowman
hoops5
polar bear
hoops2
robin
hoops3
snow scene
I am making the Christmas tree decorations to order for £5.50 each plus p&p Рorder through my Etsy shop or drop me an email: Christmas tree decorations