Well here it is, my first quilted patchwork cushion. I have absolutely loved making it and can’t wait to get started on my next one. It’s been an interesting experience though as this is the first time I have quilted using my sewing machine rather than by hand. This has meant that the cushion came together much more quickly than it would have done (I still have two hand quilting projects ‘on the go’!!!) which is very satisfying.
I used a combination of traditional machine quilting (stitch in the ditch) and free motion quilting (for the hearts and swirls). Although I am very used to free motion stitching, using it on this project has been a bit of a challenge. It felt strange going from the very precise and neat process of patchwork to the completely free and almost messy flow of free motion stitching3. But it works….I think….
“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there”
I was very excited to receive my first logo stamp in the post this week – handmade by the very talented people behind ‘Wood n Stuff Rustic’ (http://woodnstuffrustic.co.uk). I love the feel of the solid wood in my hand and the beautifully carved logo in rubber on the reverse. I ordered the larger size with the idea of sprucing up plain paper bags and simple product packaging but am now very tempted to get the smaller size as well…..just because….
Having a logo stamp tells me that I am a little further along in my journey of developing a brand identity. I am sticking at something….a look…..a motif…..something identifiable and consistent.
ETSY has been busy re-designing shop-fronts. I have used that as an opportunity to re-think how I describe what it is that I do. I seem to have outgrown my first strapline, ‘Coast and Country Textiles’: firstly because with the advent of my greeting cards range, I no longer offer textile products alone; and secondly because my work has naturally graduated towards the coast rather than the country. Time for a re-think.
Playing with straplines is an interesting activity. It has forced me to take a step back and look at my work from the outside. I have had all kinds of conversations with myself as part of the process and in the end I have decided to go with ‘Contemporary Coastal Style’. I will live with that one for a while and see how it feels.
I have always loved stationery. As a child I used to look forward to the start of the new school term as it brought with it a new pencil case and new (second hand) text books which we would cover in brown paper (as per the school rules!). Growing up in Ireland, we had ‘copy books’ not ‘exercise books’ – each subject had a different colour – and I couldn’t wait to write the first word on the first line on the first page. Friends have teased me for having an addiction to ‘colour coding’ and to insisting on all folders in my office being blue! But I can’t help it. Stationery, and the smell of new books, is where it’s at.
This of course, brings me to the point. I have decided to indulge my love of all things stationery and design my own greetings cards. As with all my other work, the designs are based on appliquéd images of my favourite wading birds. I am delighted with how they have turned out. Have a look and see what you think…..
The last few weeks have seen me branching out a bit in a bid to expand my portfolio of products. I have recently completed designs for two aprons to match my Avocets and Oystercatchers tea towels. They are currently in the process of being screen printed and I can’t wait to see the results. I’ve really enjoyed returning to the drawing board and having some fun with my sewing machine as it’s so easy to get caught up in the process of making already established designs to fulfil orders. I may find myself with a bit more time in the near future to focus on the design side of things as I’m currently ‘in talks’ with a local freelance sewer who I’m hoping, will turn out to be my knightess in shining armour. Exciting new steps ahead I think….
I’ve been working on it for a while now and am quite pleased with the results. I used a moonfruit template (http://www.moonfruit.com) which I found pretty straight forward and as you can see, I had fun creating links all over the place 🙂
Do let me know if you come across any glitches. I’ve tested it out a few times but you never know – I may have missed something.
I will shortly be launching my new website which I’ve been working on steadily behind the scenes for the last few months. I’m quite excited about this as it is a proper website rather than just an online store. This means I’ve been able to add all kinds of links – including glimpses of the history, art and music of the beautiful estuary town of Topshsm where I live.
I’ll let you know when it’s up and running but for now, here’s a screen shot of my home page. What do you think?