Daydreaming in peach

I have started taking part in 'showcases' on Facebook recently. For those who aren't familiar with the market for hand-made items on Facebook, a showcase is where a group of craft businesses get together and create an album of products for sale, and offer it to their fans (on a first-come-first-served basis). Showcases usually have a theme, such as 'Black & White', 'Boys only', 'Pretty in Pink', 'Vintage Christmas' - you get the idea. It is a great mechanism for Facebook business pages to expand their fan and customer base, as well as selling products, and networking with other crafts people. But even more importantly, they are great FUN!

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Now that you all know how showcases work, I can tell you all about the one I am taking part in next week. It's called 'Daydreaming in Peach' and it's hosted by Peach & Aubrey - the theme is "a celebration of childhood dreams, pastel colour and all things lacey". This is my entry - a 'Peaches & Cream' set consisting of a patchwork cushion and padded bunting.

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The centre panel of the cushion is my own drawing - it's hand-embroidered, and the girl's dress and balloons are machine applique. I am going to share the pattern and my method for this little cutie in the next post. The fabrics are my own mix - mainly vintage Lecien and Fig Tree prints.

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The showcase is starting on 2nd August, so if you are interested in checking it out, you can get more details from my Facebook page. I will publish a link to the album there nearer the time.

Before I go, a few thoughts on blogging. You may have noticed that I don't blog as often as I used to, sometimes not even every week. The culprit is my Etsy shop which has turned into a bit of a monster. Originally it was meant for the few people asking me if I could make them 'one of those'. To my surprise, the demand for my items has snowballed, and whilst I am not complaining about the shop's success it also leaves me very little spare time for personal sewing projects and blogging about them. So here's my new resolution - not to pay much heed to the blogging-frequency-clock in my head, which starts to ring alarmingly when it has been 5 days since my last post. After all, as I read in this excellent article about sewing blogging the other day: "For a sewing blogger, not posting consistently or not posting for weeks is okay. A silence from the web usually means that you are in front your sewing machine, making your next masterpiece. And sometimes, the longer the silence, the better." I hope you agree!

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Things for boys - part 3

Today I want to share with you my final project in the 'Things for Boys' series (you can read parts 1 and 2 here and here). This time I made a padded bunting with a nautical theme for a friend's son, a little boy called Darcy.

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I made my first bunting when I was pregnant with Alice and had the nesting urge BIG TIME. I was such a rookie sewist then. Alice's bunting looks great but at the time I wished the flags were a bit more substantial in size and were a little less 'floppy'. So when I was making a quilted mat recently I thought it would be fantastic to apply the same principle to bunting - make it with wadding I mean. I don't know why more people don't do the flags this way, I think the end product looks ten times better and hangs much nicer too, just with the addition of a layer of thick wadding in the middle.

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It took me half a dozen tries to get the right level of 'puffiness' but I got there. Here are the flags all finished and ready for binding.

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I appliqued the letters with Heat n' Bond and then machine appliqued around each letter / shape. The applique was done last (ie after the flags were constructed) so the letters really 'puff' out. The name on its own seemed a bit lonely so I added a couple of bookend flags with a boat and a lighthouse to finish it off.

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I am so pleased with the end result, I will start taking custom orders in the shop soon. I also have several other boy sets planned, and of course, some gorgeous girl sets will be available as well. Hope you like them!

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An upcycled memory cushion

A friend came to me with a brilliant idea recently. She asked if I could make her a patchwork memory cushion, using her baby's old flannel wraps, and with her name and birth details hand embroidered in the centre. What a fantastic use for those cherished flannels with so many special memories!

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The sewing of the cushion should have been quite straightforward - a simple patchwork envelope cushion. No frills (literally), no bells and whistles. But I kept making silly mistakes (like sewing the cushion front the wrong way round or having the teddies upside down) so my seam ripper got quite a work out. And having never worked with flannel before, I found it a bit tricky to get perfectly butted patchwork seams, especially as the centre panel is cotton and stretches differently to flannel... So it took some trial and error but I am happy with the end result. Most importantly, my friend is delighted with it.

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The central panel is hand embroidered (using my usual tracing technique for which I have a tutorial here). With the amount of embroidery I do I should probably look into getting an embroidery machine, but I am one of those strange people who finds hand embroidery very satisfying. It also seems the end product is made more special by all the effort that goes into doing it by hand. I know, such a glutton for punishment. But worth it, especially for a cherished item as I am sure this one will be.

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