Recently I've been...

Crocheting some spring bunting. You know when you suddenly get a vision in your head of something you want to make, well that happened to me on Friday evening and for once I had no other projects on the go! It's going to be crochet bunting, inspired by spring blossom and blue sky. I'm not sure how I'm going to join it yet, I was thinking just a rustic brown twine, but am now considering crocheting over this in the beige colour. What do you think?

Loving these Roxwell Press notecards. I was lucky enough to be a runner up in Michelle's recent twitter competition after first discovering her on instagram. I adore them, particularly the blue teapot and will be framing at least a couple (for when I finally get my act together with our hallway gallery wall), the rest will be reserved for very special friends! 

Exploring the top of a local hill. The weather has been pretty rubbish here for the last couple of weekends, so during a break in the rain a few Sunday's ago the boyfriend and I hopped in the car and headed to local Houghton Hill (no idea if that's it's official name) for a blustery walk. I drive past the footpath signs every day on my commute so I love that I now know the landscape beyond the glimpse you see from the road.

Tidying my craft room desk and enjoying my new yellow jug turned knitting needle holder. Oh where would we be without Pinterest? I pinned this image of knitting needs in a vintage pot ages ago and have been looking for something bright and cheerful to keep my knitting needles in ever since. This yellow jug from a local antique store has made the long wait worthwhile, can you even get any cheerier than lemon yellow? 

What have you been up to?

p.s. My desk is never usually this tidy!



Getting hands-on with free machine embroidery

I have wanted to try free machine embroidery for so long. I love its sketchy simplistic quality coupled with the use of colourful fabrics and threads. I also adore the work of Lara Sparks who I discovered at a craft fair a couple of years ago, her gorgeous embroidered birds and wildflowers are something to behold - those florals and feathers strike again! So you can probably guess how excited I was to find out she runs workshops for beginners from her home in West Sussex.

Despite my desperation to have a go for myself, (time for a confession here) it's a craft I've been quite scared to try. My sewing machine and I have a relationship based on mutual apprehension; if no one makes any sudden movements we can both just about run up a cushion or a curtain without any hitches. Free machine embroidery involves adjusting the tension, taking off the foot and other things that sound like they might test this relationship. Taking a workshop was the perfect way to overcome this fear and I’d really recommend it if you have any crafts you’d love to try but can’t bite the bullet on your own.

The workshop day was brilliant we had a short introduction and demonstration from Lara whilst enjoying tea and biscuits. Then set off to have a go ourselves, playing first with simple lines and shapes, then following a line drawn wildflower sampler. Finally we could choose either a cushion or lampshade and make a final piece. I chose a lampshade (as you can see) and stitched this gorgeous blue tit, I can't claim anything on the design as it's a copy of Lara's but I'm absolutely thrilled with it! 

It's currently in my craft room (a fitting place to remind me to face my craft related fears). And I'm looking forward to having another go as soon as I've brought some colourful machine embroidery threads. I’m thinking of trying some daffodils next and stay tuned for a how-to post once I've had a bit more practise!

Have you ever tried free-hand machine embroidery?



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