Mollie Makes Wedding…Crafty Give-Away!

I’ve been a big fan of Mollie Makes, having a subscription to the monthly magazine since it was first published. From crafty projects (all kinds not just sewing!), interviews with creative people, book and product reviews, to info on events, shops and workshops, this magazine is full of inspirational content, all packaged up on beautifully designed and textured pages full of colour and gorgeous imagery.

So you can only imagine how excited (and honoured!) I was when about a year ago an email arrived in my inbox inviting me to submit a DIY project for the Mollie Makes new book ‘Wedding’, due to be published in February 2014.

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After seeing my post featuring Annabelle’s quilt, I was asked to submit ideas based on this design, with my suggestions of colours and fabric choices, to the team to review and decide if they wanted my project to be part of the book.

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Long story short…they liked my ideas (yeahy!) and after sending over copy and images for the tutorial, a year later – taaa daaa, the book is now available to buy in shops and online, and my Machine Appliqué Photo Album Cover tutorial, complete with mug shot and biog, is in actual print!

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And, even better…I have been given an additional copy to give away! If you are a crafty bride-to-be, know someone is, or are helping someone else create their wedding, this book is a must!

If you’d like this copy, please email me at hello@emilycarlill.com by Monday 31st March with a brief explanation of why you need this book in your life.

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A randomly selected lucky person will then receive the book and one of my ‘Mr and Mrs’ bunting banner which I’m throwing in for good measure! Good luck x

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Annabelle’s Quilt.

Remember my post in January about learning new skills? Well, here is the first skill (i.e. free hand machine embroidery) in action for real (as opposed to the cute, but quite simple, little cards!)

This is a quilt I made for my friend Jane who had her baby Annabelle in December.

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I wanted to incorporate something that was personal to Jane and her husband Marcus which is where the birds come in. Jane and Marcus were married in September 2011 and they had a bird and heart theme to their wedding day (complete with heart and bird shaped cookies as favours that Jane – also a crafty one – made herself!). It’s the birds I am most pleased with on this quilt…

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I think it’s pretty safe to say that there is not an ounce on masculinity in this quilt! Jane is a  pretty girly person so I used subtle pastel pink and green floral and spotty fabrics for the colours, and edged the whole thing in super pretty lace binding (which is a very exciting new discovery for me!).

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However, knowing he is an enthusiast, just for Marcus I added the little scooter (sorry it wasn’t bright red Marcus like your actual scooter, but that wouldn’t have matched my colour scheme!)

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The layout of the patchwork is very similar to Ava’s quilt that I made around the same time as this, but with more subtle and fewer colours, and the centre panel is different, being personalised to the new mum and dad and their baby.

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I also, as I mentioned, wanted to try out my skills in free hand machine embroidery! It was a bit risky and, at first, I thought it was looking a bit messy but now I’m so pleased I did, as I think (if I say so myself!) it looks fab! I’m sure I will be featuring free hand a lot more in my work (hopefully seeing some improvements)…it is, after all, the ‘crack cocaine of the sewing world‘ according to Kirstie Allsopp!

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Nothing better than ‘making your own’…right?

You may or may not know that I run another crafty business which, instead of making things for people, I like to think I’m helping people to get into the fab world of sewing and making things for themselves!

Well, a pretty new and exciting part of my business, Love Me Sew, is the launch of ‘Make Your Own’ craft packs…lovely boxes which contain everything you need to make up a complete item; including fabric, thread and other relevant haberdashery items, and a template and instructions designed and written (as well as packaged up!) by yours truly (with the help of my glamorous assistant’s Mr C and Winnie dog).

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photo (58)The packs were officially launched in October 2012 with Love Me Sew being invited to pitch the packs to a panel of John Lewis buyers as part of a Start Up business scheme, where we were selected to be one of 11 finalists from over 400 applicants! (Woweee I did say!)

SONY DSCCurrently, Love Me Sew ‘Make your own’ bunting and ‘Make your own’ phone case are stocked in six lovely retail outlets in Yorkshire and the North East, and are hoping to increase this number over the coming months.

IMG_0672I’ve just finished writing the patterns and instructions for another three packs – two general, one special edition – to be launched in time for Easter, which will also be available to buy from the Love Me Sew online shop (which currently sells lovely fabric if you fancy having a browse!). Here is a sneak preview (even the Love Me Sew blog and Facebook followers have not seen this!).

SONY DSCIf you like sewing and crafts yourself, and fancy keeping up with everything Love Me Sew, please follow the blog (I often post tutorials on here too!) and Facebook as I’ll be posting updates on how the packs are doing, and maybe encourage you to try one too…
(P.S If you do, I’d love to hear some feedback to make sure I’m getting them right for fellow crafters, and suggestions on future packs is always welcome!)

A Summer of Weddings – Part 2

As the dark nights loom with the approaching autumn, now is a perfect time to put an end to my summer of weddings (in decoration terms that is!) .

So following a very busy summer for me, here is the sequel to the, obvious-but-appropriately-named, my ‘A Summer of Weddings – Part 1‘…

More pretty bunting (obv!)

Love these prints – it’s so vintage looking and colourful (love a bit o’ colour)

The brief for the next 40m set of bunting was ‘just like your wedding’ – which was a lovely compliment really as I thought ours was a pretty mixed bag of colours and pattern but clearly [in my eyes] the most beautiful…

Here is some personalised ‘Mr and Mrs’ bunting in action at this super gorgeous wedding of the beautiful couple Anne and Andrew (the purple bridesmaid bags below were also for the equally gorgeous bridesmaids).

Cute little hessian and lace cake topper – for the lovely Lisa…of the other half of Matt Brown Photography fame.

And loads of bridesmaid pressies…(including the old favourite lace purse)

A Summer of Weddings – Part 1

As summer continues (if you can call it that), in true British spirit we never get disheartened by the dull sky and drizzle, instead we endeavour to make our lives and important events as beautiful as ever – with weddings leading the way!

A year on since the beginning of my little venture of helping to make other weddings as lovely as I thought mine was, I’ve been bombarded with email requests for bunting, table runners, cake bunting, napkins, bridesmaid bags, banners, ties and more – it seems hand-made and personalised weddings are [and rightly so!] as popular as ever.

Whilst I have already posted about some (and have some more on the way), I thought I would include a collection of items that perhaps don’t need their own feature but I feel still deserved some air time.

More meters and meters of bunting….

Why have hessian runners when you can have mats…with lace! I think these turned out really beautiful…amazing what a difference a little bit of lace can add – rustic yet so pretty.

More mini-cake bunting…always cute!

The following runners and napkins I made for the lovely Charlotte of Rock My Wedding fame who used them in her styling of the wedding shoot: ‘The RMW Stepford Wives – Alex, Celine and Some Rough Luxe’.

It’s all about the name.

I’ve made plenty of personalised things before, and they are still proving popular – I guess if you are having something made from scratch, to your preferred spec, then why not?

Lately I’ve made more bunting but this time it’s all been about the names…

Hannah’s bunting was made to match her freshly painted bedroom and her favourite colour.

This next set of bunting I was asked to make as I new baby present – complete little lady’s name, Lucia, and embroider her date and time of birth, and weight. Although this is a gift for a little baby, I was asked to keep the colours and prints not too baby-ish, so it can be kept and used as she grows up…

Wedding season has arrived…

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been pretty busy with orders for weddings and one of the first was just delivered to the bride…

A whopping 75 meters of bunting and 42 meters of table runners!

Lisa, the lovely bride-to-be, contacted me at the end of last year after visiting my little blog site, to enquire about table runners and bunting for her wedding in April 2012, with which she was planning on aiming to create a similar vibe to our own rustic, marquee-style wedding.

With a colour scheme brief of sage green, pale country rose pink and ivory, I set to work on sourcing some fabrics, making sure Lisa was happy with my choice before cutting into it. With Lisa’s good choice of colours, it wasn’t too difficult to find some florals and spots which looked lovely together.

Once the bunting fabric was decided and the hessian for the runners ordered, the snipping, ironing and sewing got underway.

I worked on this project over a number of weeks (not constantly! Inbetween other, smaller orders, as well as working my normal job) and, while it was a large order and took a lot of time, I did it in small chunks and it was great to see it coming together at the end (even if I did have a slight panic when I ran out of green stripe and couldn’t find anywhere that sold it!).

All boxed and ready to got (hessian runners complete with little ‘Emily Carlill’ lables telling Lisa how long each of the runners were) to say thanks, I added in a couple of little heart decorations with some of the left over bunting fabric and embroidered some words, which I thought Lisa and her h2b might want to use also at their wedding.

I hope they have a great day and look forward to some photos.

Baby Gifts

Over the past couple of months I’ve made lots of little gifts for new babies so I thought I would share a few.

Baby name bunting (with bunting bag).
This bunting was made for a little lady called Mia. As her name is quite short, I added a few extra flags on each end with an applique flower.

Baby Pinafore.
I was asked to use fabric with owls for this little dress. I found this totally gorgeous fabric on Ebay, it’s actually designed for an American company Joann, www.joann.com. This is one of the loveliest fabrics I have ever worked with; it’s a pink/lavender coloured flannel (so lovely and soft for the little baby) with a small owl, bird and bird house print.

Cot Tidy
I guess this is more of a pressy for the new mum, but it is still pretty cute…and very practical!
My customer, Nat, asked me to make her boyfriend’s sister a new baby pressy, so I suggested this – a cot tidy that hangs on the cot and can be used to store essential items like nappies, cream, wipes, toys etc…everything to keep baby happy.
Nat didn’t want it to be too girly but still cute enough for a baby. In the end we went for an aqua blue cotton/linen blend fabric for the body of the tidy – a heavier weight and harder wearing to support those nappies and bits and bobs, and we choose Riley Blake’s Alphabet Soup, lined with the aqua stronger fabric, for the pockets which I decorated with ric rac and lovely wooden buttons. And, of course the little baby’s name!

Aprons
And, of course, the ever popular aprons…
These, my bibs, and pandas are the most popular items so far.

More wedding crafts! Featured on Wedding in a Teacup.

So this week, some of my crafty items went on sale on a brand new wedding website!

Wedding in a Teacup is a really beautiful website selling favours, decor and stationery; not even are these items gorgeous, they are either recycled or recyclable, fair trade or hand made in the UK.

A couple of months ago, after blogging about some lavender bags that I made for a wedding event, I was contacted by Hester (off of Wedding in a Teacup), interested in selling them on her soon-to-be-launching new website. Not only did Wedding in a Teacup sound pretty cute as it was, but after finding out a little more about the items that Hester was planning on selling on there, it sounded fab – just bit disappointed it wasn’t around when I was planning our wedding!

The website launched earlier this week and I think it is probably one of the nicest wedding-related (also very good I’m thinking for gifts!) websites I’ve seen. The design is lovely, instantly giving a feel of the style of items featured.  As for the items, Hester clearly has style and taste in those she has chosen. ‘Of course you’re going to say that!‘, I hear you cry…especially as not just my lavender bags, but bunting and banners also make an appearance, well, I urge you to just see for yourself…www.weddinginateacup.co.uk

Even our spare wedding napkins gets a little feature, helping to display some very cool pin badges…

Stocking Fillers

My graphic designer pals would cringe at this Photoshop attempt!

Six weeks to go and it’s full steam ahead in the attic-turned-Santa’s workshop. Donning my red suit and jingly shoes (aka red hoody and fluffy slippers), I’ve been non stop working on orders for Chrimbo.

This means, however, I’m going to have to add a few blog fillers as I can’t actually show you anything as it’s all top secret in case crafty gift receivers (read this how you will, a-la Eat Shoots and Leaves, it could potentially fit either way!) happen to stumble across this post. So instead, while I am still making the odd non-Christmas pressy thought I would post these and a few extra random bits!

I’ve just finished this little banner I’ve made as Christening gift for my client, complete with scraps bag (i.e left over fabric…remember scraps are not scraps in my book!).

I’m creating quite a little collection now of banners and bunting that I have recently made; some as gifts, some for my wedding fairs, and some for the soon-to-launch online wedding boutique: Wedding in a Teacup, that will be selling my items. The latter being a new little exciting project for me but I will tell more when it’s live!