Last year for my birthday I was a very lucky girl, I got an iPad Pro and pencil. I very quickly bought Procreate too and have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use it to create digital designs. I’ve had some of these printed onto fabric and have tried some embroidery over the top. I used Prinfab to do the digital prints, I was really pleased with the quality.
This is the first sample I did, using wool embroidery yarn, and I’ve kept this for myself!
Two of my designs are now available in my Folksy shop.
I’ve used DMC embroidery threads to add the details and it gives a nice texture to the finished piece.
I also created a repeat pattern printed fabric, although I’m still too scared to cut into it! It was inspired by the badges I make, and the tiny bits of embroidery they feature.
Other new products that I’ve recently added to my shop are these Lavender Bags. I’ve made them using off cuts of felt and fabric from other embroidery projects, so they are reducing waste as well as being fun to make, and even though I say it myself, rather cute. I’ll be making more for definite! The lavender used for stuffing is grown in my own garden, and most of the ribbons used are recycled too, from gift wrap and clothing.
And finally, a new craft magazine arrived on the shelves of all good newsagents this week! It’s from the Take a Break family and is full of simple craft projects, including one from me! I designed a pattern for some crochet coasters which work up quickly in Aran yarn. The magazine is only £1.99, a bargain I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m also in there giving advice about keeping your embroidery and cross stitch projects neat!
If you go to your newsagent today (in the U.K!) you will be able to buy Take a Break Monthly magazine featuring an embroidery tutorial by me!
It’s a Valentines inspired piece but there are plenty of ways to personalise it for other occasions such as wedding or anniversaries? Perhaps even a Christening gift.
It’s in the monthly magazine and the front cover looks like this:
It was really fun designing this project and I learned a few things about working with a magazine as well.
However (blatant advert for my own shop coming up) if you don’t fancy making a gift for Valentine’s Day there are some really rather nice bits in my Folksy shop
And also these beautiful pieces from other sellers on Folksy
Dottery Pottery – Trinket Dish
Vanilla Wind – Little Bunnies
Love Lottie Knits – Lavender Hearts
I thought this card from Gaynor Marshall Designs was pretty apt for me!
How is January going? I hope you’ve had a good start to the year. It’s been quite busy here. There’s been quite a lot going on behind the scenes: I’m working on a commission that I can’t share yet, and some other exciting stuff I can’t share yet either! However in between all that I’ve been doing a bit of embroidery and I think that 2019 should be the year I learn more about, and practice, embroidery!
I started the year with these little Drop Cloth samplers that were so much fun to do. So far I’ve only sewn one up into a pincushion. Will I ever dare stick a pin in it though?Embroidery kits are a great way to try out new stitches, and I’ve been having a look at what I might try next…
In the mean time I’ve dug out my embroidery books and have designed a simple layout to try new stitches, and also some I’ve not used for a while, in a sampler. There are so many embroidery stitches to do but it’s difficult to work out how to utilise them sometimes, so I find I use the same stitches over and over. Even if I don’t find a way to use them in other embroidery I’m enjoying giving new techniques a try. I’ve also decided, inspired by my Instagram friend Alison Sye, to time how long I spend on the embroidery. So far it’s 10 hours.
Clockwise the stitches I’ve used are
Whipped running stitch
Laced back stitch
Running stitch with lazy daisy
Basket Weave Stitch
Cloud filling stitch
Lazy daisy stitch worked in a grid with french knots
Laid trellis work.
I’m drawing the lines with an erasable pen so that it doesn’t get too chaotic ( I’d still like the sampler to look good!) and I will do some more blog updates on what I’ve stitched. And maybe at some point I will incorporate the lovely new stitches into some pieces for my Folksy shop!
Hello everyone and a very Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a good festive break. I’ve enjoyed a bit of time offline, doing some embroidery and a bit of crochet too.
The embroidery is a drop cloth sampler pincushion kit. It’s totally different to any embroidery I’ve done before and it’s really fun making it. It’s from Beyond Measure which is a gorgeous online shop selling highly desirable haberdashery and more.
I’ve started a new cleckheaton jumper in style craft life DK in Silver Nepp which is a gorgeous yarn with multicoloured slubs throughout. However I might have made it a bit small so I might be pulling it out and starting again!
I want to share a few of the handmade gifts I made for Christmas this year; I didn’t make many as the three weeks before Christmas I’d put aside for making got ridiculously hectic with some other projects.
I knew my parents were getting a slow cooker for Christmas so I made my mum a crocheted pot holder for it. The pattern is from Emma Lamb’s book Crochet Home. I made it using DK cotton yarn which worked out to be just the right size. For some reason I didn’t take a finished picture before it I wrapped it. Here’s a work in progress photo, it was finished with a scalloped border. I then went on to make another of the pot holder patterns in Crochet Home for my godmother. I used the same DK yarn but this one came out rather on the large size! I still liked it though, so off it went!
I designed and made an embroidered tree for my sister which I loved doing. She has a beautiful collection of Christmas decorations so I hoped this would fit in well! I enjoyed it so much that you might see a limited collection of them in my shop next winter…
During a browse on Pinterest a few months ago I’d come across some little tiny dolls made from scrap fabric which were super cute, and I thought I’d like to have a go at making some as a gift. After doodling a few ideas I made a little pattern and thoroughly enjoyed making a little lady, a cat and a fish with two tiny blankets. I used some scraps of Liberty cotton, wool felt and some vintage pearl beads. The cat and lady are filled with lavender so they can be popped in a drawer with your clothes. I gave them to a friend in a little tin and I will definitely be making more of these!
One of my commissions before Christmas was to make a Christmas card with the three kings on, I’ve not made any cards for a while now so it was a nice change.
This Christmas I managed not to have too much of a melt down about actually giving people the gifts I’d made them. It seems silly when I make stuff to sell to complete strangers that giving something to someone I know well (and who usually likes me!) is so hard, but there you go! I can’t help being a bit daft.
Hello! How are you? My goodness it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post! Hope you are all okay. I’m fine and very busy getting ready for the festive season. I’ve got quite a few fairs lined up in November and December which will hopefully be lots of fun. I’ve put a full list of the fairs and so on on my events page, and there is (will be soon) more information on my Facebook page. It would be great to see you if you are in the Nottingham area!
I’ve got a few new products I will be taking to the craft fairs and thought you might like to see them on here too.
My sewing machine has been getting quite a bit of use lately, as I’ve been making these zipped pouches. Each purse is lined in cotton and features a hand embroidered patch, which I’ve hand stitched in place. I’ve made them in two sizes, a small coin purse (which fits a bank card in too) and a larger pouch, which could be used for all sorts of bits and pieces. Sewing and crafty bits and bobs, makeup, or a handy pouch for all those odds and ends that end up in the bottom of your hand bag. I think they’d be suitable for all ages!
I’ve also been making a crocheted version of the small purses. This is a pattern by Rosina at Zeens and Roger which she has kindly given permission for me to use and sell from. They are so much fun to make, and I’ve really enjoyed choosing the lining fabric too, I’ve used quilters cotton which comes in so many fun prints I always want to buy loads. These purses have been a great stash buster and I’m hoping they will be popular at my fairs.
And badges… lots of badges have been made. I love the pink and gold ones especially. They are perfect for filling festive hosiery! A selection of badges (no two are ever exactly the same!) are available at the Victoria Walker Boutique, Leeds, and The Focus Gallery, Derby Road, Nottingham.
Thank you for reading,
June is a lovely busy month here at Shirley Rainbow HQ. I’ve just finished my time as Folksy Featured Maker, which was really fun. You can read my interview here. I was also asked to write a short piece for their blog about Hoop Art, which you can read here, which shares some of the wonderful embroidery available from Folksy.
Today I set up my display for Art in Shops which is part of Sherwood Art Week. Lots of shops let local artists and crafts people use their shop windows to display their work for a week. My textile and embroidery hoop art (above) is on display (and available to buy!!) at TSB and Sherwood News at 656 Mansfield Road. I’m looking forward to the Secret Garden Craft Fair tomorrow, and seeing all the yarn bombing. The exhibition I’m taking part in starts next Friday, at Sherwood Methodist Church, Mansfield Road, Nottingham; I’ll be there to help with invigilating the exhibition on Friday lunch time. I’ll do a blog next week with all the fun stuff that went on. If you’re in the area though, Sherwood Art week is a great event with lots to do and see, check their website for all the details.
It’s also Just A Card week next week, which is an online campaign to support all designers and makers, encouraging people to buy from and support independent shops as every sale counts, even ‘just a card’! I’ll be taking part in their Instagram challenge next week.
Images courtesy of Just A Card.
I’ve also got both of my children’s birthdays in the next two weeks, and I’m making a dress for a wedding I’m going to on the 30th June! Yikes! I’d better crack on with it…
I’m absolutely delighted to be letting everyone know that I’m the Featured Maker on Folksy for the next two weeks! Folksy is where my online shop is based, and is a real champion of British craft and handmade products. I’ve been selling with them for four years now and find it’s a great platform.
On the Folksy blog you’ll be able to read an interview I did with Hannah Berridge of Hannah Berridge Ceramics – just click here! You might also find me popping up on their social media too to share some more about my embroidery.
I’ll also be offering a 15% off discount in my shop until 11th June with the code MAKER15. As ever, 1st class postage to UK addresses is free!
I’d love to hear if you have any comments about my interview, just pop them in the box below.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who has supported Shirley Rainbow over the last four years, I really do appreciate every comment, either online or in real life, and of course every sale too!