Friday 29 May 2015

What Do You See?

Hello my lovelies!

Friday already?
I am always amazed at how quick time flies!
Aren't you?

I used to hear adults say that as a youngster and think what on earth were they talking about...
At the grand ol age of ..... you know what, I now know!

Life seems so busy and stressful to so many in such a variety of ways.
The toils of every day living is often seen as a struggle to just get through each day and the thought of being creative in any way seems a distant dream

I'm a firm believer in finding the simple things in life to keep us grounded and in touch with what really matters...

Social media is now a huge part of our lives that we can either enjoy or really detest.
For some it rules their lives.
It can take up SO much of our valuable down time if we let it and yet can be so inspiring
if you know where to look.

Be selective in exactly where you actually look and spend your valuable time....

As crafters we all need inspiration and often use social media as our first point of call.
We beg, steal and borrow as they say but mainly borrow ideas from others
to help us create our own projects.

As a textile designer, celebrity crafter, TV me what you will,
I am no different!

I LOVE nothing more than seeking out new ideas provided to us by Mother Nature to play with...

I know I maybe push the boundaries a little more daringly than some with my projects and ideas but in doing so....
it makes my heart happy, my eyes sparkle, my lips smile and my soul sing.

I try to fill my days with happy smiles when I can 
and tap into some positivity when the time arises, borrow some me time and be creative in amongst the busy world we call our everyday lives.

With the weekend approaching why not take five mins out for yourself
and do the same?

Grab a quiet cuppa and sit amongst the billowing blooms in your garden

Watch the clouds create designs in the sky

trace the outline of a piece of bark with your finger and feel the textures

watch children play

discover new shapes on the beach

They all sound very simple when you write them down in a list like that don't they?

But those simple things in life help us to be in the moment and seek inspiration to be creative...

I know that if you spend a few precious moments indulging you will be inspired to be creative to.

Be kind to yourselves this weekend folks....

be creative in a small way...

Toodle ooh for now!


Sunday 17 May 2015

My Little Vintage Workshop...

Hello my lovelies!

As many of you  know, as well as appearing on Create & Craft TV as a guest presenter 
I run Tilly's Vintage Workshop and teach a variety of craft workshops. craft events and 1:1 tuition...
So, as a Monday morning treat i thought I would welcome you to my humble abode...

I have been at Hill Farm for nearly five years and have loved every minute of it.
As I trundle up the hill on my way to the barn I feel I always feel I am leaving the city life behind me and entering into the dream of living in the countryside.

This is the view from my barn window as I work...

I love to watch the seasons come and go and the changing colours
they bring...

My workshop is my home for many hours while I sew, embroider, crochet, embellish and create.

When you arrive you are immediately taken back in time to a bygone era of simpler times and the wonderful ethos of 'Make Do & Mend'...

I have tried really hard to make it a home from home environment to help people relax when they visit instead of a sterile classroom often associated with workshops.

I want my customers to kick off their shoes, grab a cuppa and spend a few hours putting the world to right while enjoying some much treasured creative time...
I'm a firm believer that everyone should do something creative every day to help soothe our souls in our fast society of modern day living.

Creativity is SO much more than just getting a project done from beginning to end in a set amount of time using a set amount of resources.

It is about exploring...
It is about developing a style that reflects your passions...
but most of all it is about learning a little more about yourself.

I am lucky that I can change the setting around to suit each session making events something different each time...
Over time I have catered for a wide range of fun events other than just sewing.


Afternoon Teas...

Charity Craft Workshops...

Children's Craft Sessions...

Family Personalised Workshops

As you all know I am a lover of all things vintage & handmade and my little workshop is filled to the rafters with snippets from that golden age of vintage...

Anytime you fancy popping by do come and say hello...
At the moment due to family commitments I am only open on Fridays 10.30-3pm

I'm hoping to run some more workshops as soon as time allows...
In the meantime I will be on Create & Craft TV soon, writing on my blog, offering tutorials and loads of inspiration as well as sewing my little heart out to keeping me busy.

You can also find out more details on my website here

In the meantime toodle-ooh for now...

Will be back soon

x x x

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Cherry Blossom - Free Motion Embroidery Tutorial...

Hello lovelies!

Don't you just love this time of year?
Springtime  is always a welcome visitor for  me bringing loads of beautiful colours after the grey dreary days of winter...

I took some photos of some pink cherry blossom trees recently in readiness for when 
I had five mins to myself to dabble with some Free Motion Embroidery.
Free Motion embroidery is also known as Free Machine Embroidery and allows you much more flexibility to draw with threads, colours, patterns and textures.

I love it!
It gives the freedom to create designs in an organic way.
You can choose how small or large you want your stitches and in what direction
you want them to lay.

I thought it would make a nice tutorial for those of you wanting to have a go...

Free Motion Embroidery Tutorial

Firstly you need to decide on a design to work out your basic shapes...
If possible take loads of photos to help decide the angle you want to concentrate your design on.

Originally I was going to try and recreate the whole cherry tree but then decided to scale down the design for some more detail.
I wanted it to be a medley of fluffy marshmallows!

The next thing is to use your photos to help draw some simple shapes...

* To get your machine ready you will need to thread it up for straight stitching.
You can have the top thread the same colour as the bobbin thread or experiment with a mixture of the two to create various blending options.

* Change your machine all purpose foot to a Free Motion foot. This allows you freedom to move your fabric around freely.

* You will need to lower your feed dogs (the gripper teeth below the presser foot). Check your instruction manual if you are unsure how you need to do this. 
You can add a darning plate if your machine is unable to drop the feed dogs.

* Set your stitch length to a medium length

* Place your fabric inside a wooden embroidery hoop to prevent puckering. 
You can cover your hoop with a cotton fabric to create an even tighter fit if you wish.

Next comes the exciting part....

Playing with threads!
You can use ordinary cotton or polyester sewing threads or treat yourself to some machine embroidery threads that add a special silky finish to your designs.

You can either work directly onto your fabric or add extra fabric shapes to add additional colour to your designs...

As you press your machine pedal down move your hoop around slowly to get used to the needle moving up and down. It is a different way of sewing and it will take a while to feel confident with moving your hoop.

Build your design slowly...

Experiment with different colours to form the various elements of your picture.

When you feel more confident why not have a go at writing with your sewing machine?

The possibilities are endless...

I do hope you enjoy experimenting...
I know you'll be hooked when you do eventually work out what style you enjoy.

As an extra try changing fabrics, threads, colours and designs...

Don't forget you can embellish your projects on top of your embroidery with beads, sequins, buttons, lace etc
Have fun being creative my lovelies!

x x x

Sunday 10 May 2015

The life of a TV star....

Hello lovelies!

Happy Sunday wishes...

I am lucky to have a couple of days off from my 'sewing world of vintage loveliness' which I am SO looking forward to....


Well, I can slouch around in my joggers (yes TV stars do still wear joggers!)
I don't have to worry about wearing any make up
I can allow my wild hair to tumble exactly where it wants to 
and more importantly become completely lazy for a few days!

It sounds very glam doesn't it....I'm a TV star???
In reality it is SO very different!!!

So what do I have planned on my lazy days?
Lots of relaxing in between all of the list below.

...a little gardening

....a little experimenting with textures

...a little strolling through the bluebells and wild garlic

oh I nearly forgot.... a little sewing.

Well you didn't think I would completely forget my love do you!
My little cabin aka Bertha awaits our get together....
the kettle is on ready, the armchairs are all plumped ready for some serious relaxing with my craft books and the radio is quietly playing in the background.

The most exciting thing for me is something really silly you might say...

I'm a Fen girl who has Mother Earth deep in my soul.
I get itchy fingers if I don't get to do a little weeding, potting or re-arranging of flowers.
My garden is a palette of colours, textures and creative designing all 
in a natural way.
Weeds are always welcome until I decide they need to move on.
Some get to stay, some get moved around the garden, and some simply choose for me!

The joy of not being on the TV for a few days is that I don't have to worry about getting earthy fingers and gritty nails!
I can get muddy amongst the dandelions and not even have to blink!
I can sit and watch the worms wriggle, the frogs hopping and the ants building their empires.
The little things in life....

You've probably worked out by now that I'm not much of a typical TV star.
I'm not the average glam rock chic as they say....

I don't do nail polish
I don't do manicured nails
I don't do loud Barbie doll make-up

I just do simple me!
Not to everyone's taste I know.
The only thing I do do is...wild untamed curly hair which drives me up the pole each and every single day but I've learned to live with!

Sorry I digress (as usual!)
So...back to my plans...
I am wanting to get my garden ready for summer living.

My cushions and covers all need a refreshing wash, sun umbrellas need putting up,
chairs need a re-paint or wash and the bunting needs sorting in readiness for summer parties.

So I'm off to have a relax folks...
Enjoy your week also  my lovelies...

Toodle-ooh for now!

x x x