Saturday, 24 August 2013

secret garden is starting to ship!

We're back from the Festival of Quilts, and it was a whirlwind! So many people, so many wonderful customers. More (much more) on that in a later post but for now, here's a picture (sorry - it's a terrible phone pic) of the 2 quilts made from Secret Garden that were hanging in the Coats stand.

There will be patterns for both of these shortly. You can now buy Secret Garden from Hawthorne Threads (In the US) and shortly it'll be in stock at the eclectic maker (in the UK). We'll keep you posted on more stockists as we find them!

If you are a shop or know of a shop that is stocking Secret Garden, please leave a comment and I can add you to the list of stockists.

Festival of quilts 2013

Friday, 26 July 2013

10 minute make - pin cushion tutorial

The summer holidays are upon us and the children need organising and entertaining.
This simple pin cushion tutorial only takes 10 minutes and is a great way to encourage children into trying sewing, or you could make one for yourself to give you a breather when the summer break gets a little too much!

Pin cushion tute

1. Trace 2 circles from fabric (I used a large mug to trace my circles). Cut them out at least 1/4" larger all the way round. use pinking shears if you have them.

Pin cushion tute

2. Sew the 2 circles right sides together on the marked line, backstitching at the start and end of the stitching and leave a 1.5" or so gap for turning and stuffing.

Pin cushion tute

3. Turn right way out and stuff really firmly with wadding scraps or polyfill/toy stuffing

Pin cushion tute

4. Slip stitch the opening closed

Pin cushion tute

5. Take a very long length (about the same length of your full arm or so) of embroidery thread and make a good knot at the bottom.

Pin cushion tute

6. Push the needle through at the centre of one side, to the other side and working in a figure 8 wrap the thread over, pull tight, push the needle through, and then across the opposite side, pull tight again. Repeat this so you have the thread wrapped around in 8 places. Pull tight each time. Secure with a button and knot.

Pin cushion tute

Pin cushion tute

Pin cushion tute

7. And there you have it - one simple pin cushion!

I used 2 prints from eden to make this version. You can buy eden from The Cotton Patch.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

a bag from Eden

Hi, it's Katy from Monkey Do blogging for Nel again, with another project I've made using Nel's fabrics.

This time I made a reversible bag in Eden fabrics using the lickety split pattern by Made by Rae.

I have to admit, Eden isn't the sort of colours I'm normally drawn to, they're more muted than my usual palette, but I just love how they work together and now I've made this bag I'm actually loving the more muted colours!

Lickety split bag

The bag is perfectly sized for folding up and popping into your handbag for a trip to the grocers, or market. It's so useful. The pattern was fast and simple, and does include pockets (but I left them off).

Being reversible, you get 2 bags for the price of one! Even better!

Lickety split bag

I've just finished the quilt that will be hanging in Nel's section of the coat's and crafts booth at festival of quilts next month using the new line, Secret Garden (out later this year - I think around September time if all goes to plan with the fabrics arriving in the UK). Secret garden is completely my palette - it's bright, and full of purples, pinks and bold colours. Making the quilt has been an absolute pleasure, and I loved working with the new fabrics. I'll be back with another blog post soon to show you!

Monday, 17 June 2013

butterflies in the garden

Hi, I'm Katy and I blog over at I'm A GingerMonkey. I've been helping Nel with her preparations for the festival of quilts in August and playing around with some of the next fabric release, Secret Garden.

One of the finished projects is this butterfly cushion, with 3D butterflies appliqued onto it.

Butterfly pillow

It was a really simple project to make, and I talk a little bit about how I made it on the Sizzix blog should you want to make one yourself (you can find the direct link if you click here).

Butterfly applique

I'm also working on a quilt and some more cushions for Nel so I'll show you more of those as I get them finished.

I hope you like what we're doing with the new fabrics - I think this is my favourite of Nel's collections so far, the colours are beautiful and the designs work so nicely together. There's a fantastic mix of scale with both larger and smaller prints, which is important to me as a quilter.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

stitching up a storm

Preparation for this year's Festival of Quilts in Birmingham is well underway with some of the advance yardage of my next line for Free Spirit, Secret Garden.

We'll have a garden theme, as it seems fitting for the florals and the name of the collection.

The quilt that will hang in the booth has been started with some ideas for cushions to match...

And some of the leftovers from the quilt fabrics have been cut into butterflies (some of these butterflies may well be used on cushions).

I can't wait to be able to show you more as the projects are completed!

Friday, 31 May 2013

secret garden

My next collection of fabrics for Free Spirit was debuted at Quilt Market, in Portland Oregon earlier this month and I'm excited to now share them with you too!

We're busy with preparation for my quilts and cushions to display at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August (more on that soon), but for now here are some pictures of the collection and the inspiration behind the designs.

Secret Garden was inspired by the children's book of the same name that I loved as a child. It also has it's roots in a series of paintings I did many years ago that featured pansies.
There is something very upbeat about pansies, they always raise a smile and come in such a fantastic range of colours.

In the secret garden there was a fantastic walled garden, that is why the patterns try to convey the different elements inside the walled garden from a bevy of flowers to a trellis for them to climb up.

I hope this new collection makes you smile as much as it does me.

There are a total of 24 prints, broken into 3 colourways - pebble, denim and linen. They will be in stores in September and as soon as we know who will be stocking it we will share details.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My First 100 Likes on NelWhatmoreArt Winner and Chance to Chelsea Flower Show tickets!

I've just reached my first 100 likes on  my new facebook page for NelWhatmoreArt, so as promised the winner of the giveaway is

Kim Williams
Congratulations Kim please can you send me an email so that you can choose which 45 Collection limited edition you would like.

If you haven't already liked the page then here's the link NelWhatmoreArt
There will be lots more news as we approach the show and also other lovely things to win.

Next up I have two tickets for Tatton RHS show to giveaway for when I reach 200 'likes' so look forward to seeing who wins those.
Well it's not long until Chelsea Flower Show now although I keep telling people not to say that to me!
I can feel a rising panic, there is always so much to do, this year even more so as it is the 100th anniversary of the show, which means we have to be in period dress each day, I have chosen the 1950's.
I have just been ordering carpet, plinths, lights, paint and all sorts of things it's like being in the apprentice! Coupled with the fact that Polly has her AS levels and the entire contents of the lounge is in the hall and other rooms, as we are decorating the living room, all this is code word for bedlam. I keep having to go to other friends houses to find a bit of calm.

Very excitingly though on Saturday I went to Bella Figura in Matlock to try on 1950's dresses , as they're kindly going to make vintage dresses out of my eden fabric. About Bella Figura I have to say that the dresses look fantastic on, and with a full petticoat underneath , well you just feel so like a girlie. I LOVE IT!!
Here are Theresa and Suzie Whittaker from the shop and me. Thanks to Gilly for being such a good friend and coming with me we had such a laugh and managed a lovely lunch too so it was all good.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

You Can't Beat a Giant Pomegranate FREE Kitty and Cat Pattern too!

Right on this very cold snowy day lets have a bit of colour shall we.
 I have spent most of my day trying to combat drafts in our freezing hall! Don't you love DIY! Actually if I'm honest, I do, but crawling along by an open door drilling holes in the frame, for a bolt, wasn't perhaps on my top ten of things to do today. So rather late in the month is the March Cat Club giveaway (yeh!) I hear you cry.
I know I'm late again posting it but honestly if you'd had the month I'd had you would think I was actually doing quite well. To make up for it I've made it a good one and am going to give away a Sleeping Beauty Bag called Swag Bag ( not such a beautiful title actually). It's on the bag page at Nel Patterns, you can see the Eden version of the bag. It's lovely anyway and the top opens  in a starfish shape.

Have I mentioned I've just had a big roast dinner? Why is it about 15 mins after you've finished you feel as though you've eaten twice the amount. I feel as fat as this Pomegranate in Professor Plum and Miss Pomegranate a large pastel that will be on my originals site this week.

Fabricwise what's knew? Well, Secret Garden is being printed...VERY EXCITED. Memory Lane that comes after  Secret Garden has had a few teething problems, hence also being late with this pos,t but sometimes the best things come to those who wait, as my Grandma used to say, so now I am really pleased with it.
In the meantime I am painting  for  Chelsea Flower Showas it's just around the corner, so I've been painting in full flow. Here is one of one I am particularly pleased with, 'Cherish', an oil that just turned out exactly how I wanted it, which is a rare things.
Please could everyone keep their fingers crossed as I am off to Norfolk mid week to go on a painting course to learn the techniques of the old masters and I am hoping that I get there as I have been looking forward to it for months. My Mum in Wolverhampton has called to say they have two foot of snow...groan, sad face.So happy sewing and painting until next timexx

Ooops nearly forgot don't forget to get your FREE Kitty and Cat Cushion

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

'Eden' My NEW Fabric Collection from Freespirit

For those of you who are not aware if you join the The Cat Club with every fabric collection I design, there is a collectable Cat Pattern and the chance to win a monthly gorgeous giveaway. This month there is a fat qtr bundle of Eden and also the pattern of the NEW Eden Cats, 'Benny and Blossom' that will be available soon. There will also be a NEW FREE pattern to download called ' Kitty and Cat Cushion'. So there are lots of goodies all the time and lots of nice things to make.

Where does all the time go! That's what I like to know. It goes slowly when you're little and positively races as you get older. I am currently 'racing' to finish all the new patterns for Eden, my new fabric collection by the time we go to Stitches the trade show at the NEC next week.
We had the photo shoot when it was freezing in the snow!! Not that you can tell from the photos but here is a sneak peak of what it was really like.

I have just been selected for Chelsea Flower Show again which is great as it's their centenary year. Evidently we all have to get dressed up in vintage costumes. So we're going to make dresses out of Eden , I can't wait! Hard to think of summer right now though as it is sooooo cold in my studio where I paint in Leeds. I have to keep jumping around and playing very loud music, well that's my excuse anyway. I think this will have to be short but sweet as I know Polly my daughter will be calling to be picked up from school in about  10 minutes and I promised myself that I would update my blog before I went to fetch her. So hope to post again soon when there will be more news of how the show went and the very exciting Little Designer Guides, which are little project based books that again will come out with each collection the first one of which 'Eden' will be published soon. Hope you're all well and not too cold xx