Friday, August 29, 2008

100th post (and a special edition giveaway...!)

Well, according to my blog stats, this is it, the 100th post.  I feel like I should be saying something profound, but if truth the known, I'm just too tired tonight!.  It's been a busy week, we've been to the beach, sorted our kitchen out and now have floor again, and school started on Thursday.  So, while the little ones were off being educated, I took a trip to a sewing machine shop, and came home with this beauty...!

(apologies for the awful photograph, the camera was on the wrong setting)

So, now I have the machine, I need something to sew..., hmm, now what could I make?

How about a special edition owl?, say, larger than my other owls and, oh I don't know, you choose the colour.  Right, that's settled, leave a comment, by midnight (GMT) on Monday 1st September, to be included in the draw, tell me the colour(s) you would like your owl to be, and I'll select a winner, the random number generator way on Tuesday.

PS, my contribution to the 'Softies for Mirabel' appeal is included in the current round of auctions, there are still a couple of days left to bid, please go and check the other items on offer, there are some lovely things.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pretty portrait...

I haven't made one of these for a good few years now, but as I was doing one for my one year old niece to match her older sisters, thought I may as well photograph it for a tutorial.  So, if you would like to have a go at a little 3D portrait, this is what you will need,

a 4" flexi hoop, I used mine as an embroidery hoop and also as a mount
a circle of patterned background fabric
2 circles of plain coloured fabric, one 0.5cm smaller than the other
a circle of flesh coloured fabric, 7cm across
flesh coloured embroidery thread
pink embroidery threads, a light pink and a dark pink
selection of other embroidery thread for decoration, hair and lettering
2 grey beads
polyfil for stuffing
a circle of pink felt, 9cm across
needle
scissors
pins

and of course, a willing subject for your portrait!

Begin, by placing the background fabric, centrally, in the flexi hoop.  Place the other 2 circles of plain fabric in the centre, one on top of the other, pin, and then sew using random straight stitches around the edge in some embroidery thread.  I used a multicoloured thread to add an extra dimension to the embroidery.

Next, take the circle of flesh coloured fabric and sew a running stitch all the way around, 0.5cm in from the edge using the flesh coloured thread.  Gently pull on the loose end to gather the circle, placing some polyfil inside before anchoring it shut with a few stitches.  Turn this head shape, raw end side down, and place centrally on your base design.  Sew it on with a few random stitches around the edge, you may find at this stage you can do a bit of 'sculpting' of the head shape with how you place your stitches.

Now, begin to add the hair.  Chose a thread colour that matches your subject as best you can, and gradually build up the hair strand by strand, this can take a little while to get right, but keep going!.

To add the facial features, using the pink embroidery thread add some shading on the cheeks, I just added some crosses, but you could add some tiny french knots for freckles.  Also add the grey beads for eyes, and a mouth in the darker pink.  We're not going for a 100% likeness here, it's just a bit of fun!.

In the space, underneath the portrait head, you can add a name in backstitch, and I've also sewn on some french knots for decoration.

To tidy up the back, and hide all the loose ends, turn your embroidery over, and sew a running stitch round the edge of the background fabric, gather, and then secure with a few stitches.

Place the pink felt circle, over the top, and sew on with random straight stitches around the edge.

And there you go, all done!  Happy stitching!

ps, I have just noticed this is my 99th post, oh my!  Maybe I could give away some of my ironing in my 100th post?, what do you think?!  

...or should it be something handmade?!

If you make something from one of my tutorials please do join the Flickr group, Lucykate Crafts... pattern pieces, to show off your creations.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time for...

some thank you's.  

Thank you for all the excellent suggestions for crafty boy items, some superb ideas came up.

Thank you to all those who have nominated me for bloggy awards recently, it is very sweet of you.  I've been such a bad, (but busy) blogger I haven't got round to this yet!

Thank you to Sarah of The Pesky Bombolino, for the ticket to the Amy Butler (who is strikingly tall!) talk today at the Festival of Quilts, it was fascinating.

Thank you to Manda, and Janet, for taking time out today to meet up.

and a big thank you to my husband, for being 'mum' for the day so I could go off on a jolly!

(I spotted this clock button on one of the stands today which has given me an idea for a future project, all I need now is some time to play around with it!)

After trying out virtually every sewing machine in the NEC today, I am shocked by what they can do nowadays, mind you, it has been twenty years since I was last in the market.  The shortlist is narrowed down to, either a Husqvarna Sapphire (I quite liked these because of the automatic sensor system on the foot, and they seemed quite user friendly) or a Bernina Activa (well, Bernina's kind of speak for themselves don't they?!) 

Help!, which would you choose? 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boys, and their toys...

Ideas of things to make for girls come to me very easily, things for boys however, is something I tend to get stumped on!.  I have this fabric with the cars and trucks on, some other fabrics which sit well alongside it, and also, the cute little transport buttons which are all ideal to make something for Luke with, but what?!

What should I make?, any ideas??, my mind has gone blank!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Songbird

Lots going on here, some things I can talk about, some I can't (yet!)  I took a little time out yesterday evening to make another bird, 'The Songbird'.  I really enjoy making these, and have plans for lots more following an Ebay purchase of a beautiful set of vintage postcards featuring illustrations of birds.

There are some new craft kits which I've designed for Anchor coming out soon, one of which is based on my mini owl pattern.  I've been making these owls for over a year, and given the pattern is going to be available as a kit, am going to retire the design from the Lucykate Crafts range.  There are 4 in my Etsy shop, which will be the last I make, so I guess that makes them 'limited edition'!

Thank you for all the encouraging comments about the magazine, roll on October when the first issue is launched!  Other news to look forward to is I'm off to the 'Festival of Quilts' next week, and will be meeting up with Janet, who has a stand there, and also Manda, I'm really looking forward to meeting them both in person.

My tantrum free summer came to an end rather abruptly on Monday, a visit to the museum in Leicester was somewhat marred by my angelic looking son behaving like a banshee!  My ears are still ringing.  The Wallace & Gromit exhibition was good though!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Listen, do you want to know a secret...?

Well, now I can tell!  Manda, from Tree Fall Design has made an announcement this morning about her involvement in a brand new sewing magazine, 'Sew Hip'.  It is all very exciting and I'm chuffed to say that she has asked me, along with some other very illustrious crafters, to be involved.  Pop over to the magazine site and you can find out more of what it's all about, and when the first issue will be available, which will be including a Lucykate Crafts... softie pattern!.