Setting the Table

This weekend I got to use my mediterranean blue table napkins for the first time. We had friends around for dinner and served up a Greek menu, starting with nibblies (olives, dips, and tiropitakia); followed by stefado with garlic and lemon roasted potatoes and green beans; and finishing with a selection of tasty baklava. I had found the ideal bowls in our local cook shop , for serving the stefado in, and knew that my blue and white wading birds napkins would add the perfect finishing touch.

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Having fallen in love with the duck-egg colourway of this design and a habit of using them on every occasion, it was heartening to see the blue napkins looking perfectly at home on the kitchen table.

Note to self: remember you have more than one set of napkins in the drawer 😉

Playing with Patchwork

I have fallen in love with all things patchwork. This will come as no surprise to those who know me as there is perhaps no other form of sewing more suited to my obsession with neatness. Not only is a multitude of beautiful fabrics, in rows and rows of pretty baskets filled to the brim with perfectly proportioned fat quarters, readily available in my favourite shop (Coast and Country Crafts & Quilts); but once purchased, these fabrics need to be cut into mathematically precise squares (or triangles or hexagons etc). Heaven!

And there are so many gorgeous patterns and designs to choose from, which leads to hours and hours spent deciding which fabrics to use, for which project, and in which configuration. Bliss!

Once the project is planned neat and precise sewing is called for – as is my trusty 1/4 inch sewing machine foot. Having sewn and pressed and sewn and pressed and sewn and pressed some more, the moment of truth arrives where the corners of each set of four squares meet perfectly (or not!!!) in the middle. How much better could it get?!?!

Needless to say, this passion for patchwork is sure to find its way into my products before long. Watch this space.

 

Sunday morning in Topsham

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in Topsham, Devon. The November sun is soft and low and the estuary is calm and still – disturbed only by the movement of a small boat and the gentle splashing of the resident ducks. 

I’m sitting by the window of the popular Route 2 cafe enjoying breakfast and planning a day of sewing. I’m in the middle of making a batch of Reindeer cushions and looking forward to launching them at the Arty Craft Christmas Fair next month. I’ve had great fun with their antlers, using a lovely silky embroidery thread to create long sweeping lines and plenty of swirls. I love the design so much that I’ve used it as the basis for my Christmas cards and seasonal packaging stickers. 

         
I’ll post photos of the cushions when they’re ready. No doubt I will spend the evening sewing on buttons on the back 🙂

Playing with ‘straplines’

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.

In praise of the pinny

I’ve been branching out a little in terms of my product range which now includes 100% cotton screen printed Avocets and Oystercatchers aprons. I’m delighted with how they’ve turned out. They look great and are so easy to wash and wear. I’m certainly going to add a few more of these to the range and am already busy planning the next design…..

At home in my ‘studio’

In preparation for a ‘Meet the Maker’ feature to appear on the Devon Life website (next week) I arranged for my amazing product photographer to do a photo shoot in my ‘studio’ – aka the kitchen table. We had a lot of fun and for someone who absolutely HATES having their photo taken, I’m really pleased with the results 🙂

Here’s a sneak preview:

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Branching Out……

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….