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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Around the World Blog Hop

Last week the lovely Lisa from The Quilting Bird (http://thequiltingbird.wordpress.com) asked me if I would like to get involved in an around the world blog hop. I was delighted! What a fabulous thing to be asked to do and what a wonderful way to link up with bloggers I have been following and others I hadn’t yet met.

The rules of the Blog Hop are 1) Acknowledge the person who nominated you 2) Answer four questions. 3) Link to one to three bloggers to carry on the Around The World Blog Hop, it’s like passing on the Olympic flame!

So here goes………

What are you currently working on?

Like many people I would imagine, I am currently working on a few different projects. In fact, I end up wasting time trying to decide which one to work on when I find myself with a bit of time spare.

One of these projects is my first ever quilt. Last year my mum bought me some of Lynette Anderson’s books for Christmas. I love the ‘cottagey’ feel to her quilts. Having never quilted before I decided to start with the Flower Spool Quilt in her book ‘Country Cottage Quilting’. I just loved the fact that it was made up of tiny squares. It brought me right back to my childhood when my mum would sew my summer dresses and I got to choose the fabric. I always went for the same sort of thing…..pretty flowers…the tinier the better….and always blue!  I also loved the way that her quilts incorporate appliquéd motifs of things like cotton reels; quirky birds; pretty flowers; and a host of cottage garden images. As appliquéing is what I do most of the time when I sew I thought this would be a perfect way to get into quilting.

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This is a photo from Lynette Anderson’s website. Mine won’t be as professional as this but it gives you an idea of what I’m working on at the moment.

I have been working on this quilt for over 6 months now and am hoping to get it ready in time    for Christmas so that I can give it to my 10 month old step granddaughter as a pressie. Two months to go – fingers crossed!

Alongside my first quilt, I’m also working on trying to keep up with orders for my cushions. Since investing in some professional product photography the orders have been coming in pretty regularly. High quality photos really do make all the difference.

I’ve sold out of my Curlew cushions so it’s a busy weekend of sewing ahead, particularly as an order for one popped into my inbox this afternoon.

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This is my curlew cushion – inspired by the lovely estuary town where I live.

How does your work differ from others?

I always find this a difficult question to answer. The owner of the local gallery shop says that she was attracted to my products because of the high quality of workmanship. It’s hard to say those sorts of things about your own work but I do know that I take a great deal of care and have always been a perfectionist.

My style has changed quite a bit over these last few years. I used to make seaside inspired home accessories like beach huts and bunting cushions. But since I moved to Topsham my work has become more refined I think – more subtle. So instead of the usual sailing boats and quirky seagulls cushions which can be found in most seaside towns, my products now depict elegant wading birds using fabrics that mirror the soft dusky colour pallet of the South West wetlands.

So far I have designed cushions featuring Curlews; Oystercatchers; and my signature design, Avocets. Two of those have been turned into screen printed tea towels which have proven to be very popular. My plan is to have tea towels available in all three of my current designs and in time, to grow my range to cover a whole host of wading birds.

Why do you write/create what you do?

When I was younger I dabbled in bits of dressmaking and then just stopped sewing…..until four years ago when I had a sudden urge to make and frame a lightly stuffed seagull. I shyly showed them to a local shipowner who loved them, bought them, and my business was born.

I don’t think it is at all a coincidence that four years ago was the time when I met my other half. I finally felt free and grounded. I had never thought of myself as a creative person until then. I guess it was just waiting to get out.

I find sewing a great way to relax and put aside the stresses and strains from the working day.

How does your creative process work?

I love the feeling I get on a Saturday or Sunday when I know I have a whole afternoon to myself when I can take over the kitchen table, put a Jane Austen audio book on, and settle down to a a few hours of sewing. Time just goes by and I find that I’m wholly absorbed by what I’m doing. Some processes are more relaxing than others. I always get a little tense when I’m about to do the Avocets’ beaks. Free motion machine embroidery stitch doesn’t give you much room for getting things wrong when it comes to delicate bits like that. But I’m getting better….and quicker…..and am freeing up more. My favourite bits are the swirling lines on the wings. I love allowing myself to be completely free with those so that they look like lightly sketched pencil lines.

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Passing on the Hop

So that’s me…and now I would like to introduce you to the lovely Cathy at Blueberry Patch and the equally lovely Amie of the Sewing School who will be taking up the mantle and hopping the blog to their parts of the world.

http://cathy-blueberrypatch.blogspot.co.uk
http://sewingschool.blogspot.co.uk

This weekend the postman delivered…..

……the August 2014 issue of Style at Home magazine containing a six page feature of our lovely estuary home.  It was so exciting to see our home unfold as I turned the pages. My handmade avocet, geese and hare cushions look fabulous in situ and I love the close up shots of some of our favourite pieces. It is strange to think that readers all over the country will see  our home but I am delighted with the way it has turned out and very grateful to that out of the blue email that started the whole thing off.

Walshe ADJ19

 

 

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