A special patchwork

I wanted to post up some pics of one of my most treasured baby gifts.

A few weeks before my baby boy was born, my friends arranged a surprise baby shower for me.

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Having run craft workshops for hen dos and baby showers for the past couple of years with my friend and business partner Sam with our business Love Me Sew, it is only right that I should have one myself right? So I don’t know why it took me so by surprise…so much so I thought it was going to induce labour!

Sam sneakily fooled me into thinking I was helping her set up for a workshop only to arrive (wearing very unflattering maternity leggings and my dog walking boots!) a room full of my lovely friends and family, some who had travelled from far and wide just for the day: London, Newcastle, Coventry! I was overwhelmed, I had not a clue that this little celebration for me and baby had been planned.

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After a few tears, lots of hellos and hugs, the crafting commenced! Sam had designed a patch for each letter of the alphabet that the girls, most of whom had never sewn before, then spent the afternoon sewing – either by hand or machine and using a range of fabrics, felts and buttons, with the help of Sam and Lauren, her assistant for the day, or myself (even though I was technically off duty I just can’t help myself!).

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After a few hours of sewing, eating cake and, mostly, chatting, the patches were well on their way to being finished and looking fab! Sam took them all away, finished off the extra letters, and put them all together.

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Jesse was born just a couple of weeks later so Sam also stitched on his name and date of birth.

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I had an amazing day, it was such a special surprise and I was truly humbled that so many people came for us, and now we have this gorgeous blanket that was created with so much effort, it will be loved forever. Thank you girls (Jesse’s pretty excited about it too…).

Since having my baby I have decided not to continue with Love Me Sew so I can spend all my spare time, once I’ve return to work in January, with Jesse. I’m sad to say goodbye but it’s the right decision for me. Sam is continuing to run the workshops, including baby showers and, of course, I would thoroughly recommend; they are a day to remember, well planned and organised, and of course you get an amazing gift at the end! For more information, pop on over to the Love Me Sew website and get in touch with Sam, who will go to any lengths to ensure you get the best experience.

 

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The weekly Made Up

Week commencing: Monday 20th May
A little later than it should have been, here’s last week’s Made Up…

Retro pinny – an example for promo’ing my up and coming Love Me Sew crafty workshops.
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Tote bags – another example for more Love Me Sew workshops.
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Seven baby bibs.
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A doll…the trial run before making [probably many] changes so they’re good enough for pressies!
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From one DIY bride to another…

That was me, a DIY bride, almost two years ago now (woweee how time flies!) and that’s how all of this craftiness got started…

As a crafty bride I made lots (!!) of things to decorate our wedding day in all kinds of hand-made loveliness. Since then, I’ve gone on to make lots more wedding crafts for other people, and also lots of non-wedding related crafty items (as shown on this blog!).

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I’ve also reduced my hours as my normal day job to pursue a craft-related business with my friend and business partner, Sam Lowe. Together we make up Love Me Sew, creating Craft Packs to sell as well as fabric and running craft workshops.

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DIY Wedding Workshops!
With our workshop experience as Love Me Sew, and with my experience of making many a wedding crafts, it was only natural that we combine the two to bring you DIY wedding workshops! (Of course, so obvious, I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner!)

Wedding Event with A Difference, 14th April
The first of these I’m pleased to tell you will be at the very lovely ‘Wedding Event with a Difference‘ hosted by Save the Date on Sunday 14th April; a wedding fair I actually exhibited at in 2011 (you can read my little write up here!). This time, however, Sam and I will be running craft workshops for other DIY brides! We will be showing them how to make lovely fabric flowers…which can be used for table decorations, bridal bouquets or button holes.
Even if you are not a crafty bride, I would still really recommend this fair – it’s so different from another other wedding fair that I remember going to as a bride-to-be and features a fashion show as well as some brilliant and unique exhibitors. You can find out more about the fair and buy tickets (including our craft workshop) at the Save the Date website.

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The Flax and Twine, York, May and June.
Throughout May and June, Love Me Sew (aka Sam and Me!) are also running a series of three workshops in the luuuurrvly Flax and Twine in York. The dates and crafts are: ‘Mr and Mrs’ bunting on 18th May, ‘Wedding Decorations – Garlands and Pom Poms’ on 25th May, and , ‘Brides and Bridesmaid purses’ on 1st June.
To book onto these workshops, please visit The Flax and Twine’s website.

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I’m sure these won’t be the last of the wedding workshops this summer so please keep your eyes peeled and check out our Love Me Sew website for a list of events, or follow us on Facebook and keep up to date with everything we are doing.

For me, I’m just happy to show others the little tricks of the crafting trade to make their very own DIY wedding, and love it as much as I loved mine!

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!).

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(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!)

I’ve launched another crafty business…hoorahh!

As if all my crafting is not keeping me busy enough, I’ve only gone and started another craft business…

Myself, and friend (and now business partner) Sam have been in the planning stages for what feels like ages in order to start our business Love Me Sew – which has now officially begun!

Love Me Sew is an online fabric shop selling lots of lovely fabrics chosen by us (they are pretty cute…and it’s taking all my efforts not to create them into something for myself since they are all stored in my sewing room at home!)…please visit our website and have a browse (or, even better, buy!).

It’s been a long time in the making, but we are pretty chuffed with the website. As regular fabric buyers, we know how difficult it is to get that perfect fabric online when you can only see in on-screen instead for real and not having the ability to see the exact colour or feel the quality.


To help make the online shopping experience better for other fellow crafters, like ourselves, we though about what things we could provide to improve this – we came up with the ability to create mood boards – to see what different fabrics would look like together, with the additional advantage of seeing what they make look like as bunting or as a patchwork quilt…

To help people see the exact size of the print and also give others ideas of what to make, we included a ‘Your Creations‘ section – where we are asking people to send us a picture of things they make using our fabric and we will add it to the website, giving a free bundle to the ones we think deserve a ‘star creation’.

 

As well as the fabric, we are also running workshops, or Crafternoons as we like to call them, for hen dos (one for all you lovely brides who like to look at my blog for wedding inspiration!), baby showers, workplace events, or any other social activity for people who like to craft.

Check out the baby showers…these are our favourites!

So this is just the beginning! We have loads of other things we are working on to develop our business (as well as getting lots more lovely fabric for the website) so I guess it’s just a case of please take a look at the website and follow our blog to keep up with all the bits and bobs we’re doing…exciting times!

 

Ethan’s Quilt

Bunting is pretty and all but when you have to do such large amounts like 45m, 48m and even 75m, it starts to get a little same-ey.

Which is why, when I get asked to make a one off, something a little bit different, I really enjoy it, especially when I get to be a little creative – within limits of the brief of course!

Remember Emily’s quilt? Well, little Emily’s mum asked if I would make another baby quilt for her friend who had a little boy a couple of weeks ago. Since Emily’s quilt turned out a bit on the large size, we thought smaller – more cot-sized – would be better and the colour scheme was orange, red, yellow and greens to fit with a range the new parents had decorated their nursery in.

I based the size and layout of the quilt on a cute pattern in Cath Kidson’s Sew book – this was to make sure the size of the finished quilt was just right.

On each of the large square patches, I sewed a mixture of pictures including animals, a kite, and a hot air balloon – I drew this out first so I knew where to position them in a way I thought they would tie in together.

I sewed the shapes on using a range of hand sewing, machine zig zag and straight stitch applique, and running stitch by hand using embroidery thread.

In the alternate diamond shapes I used a mixture of lovely boyish printed fabrics, in the same colour pallet, including a yellow train fabric from Riley Blake‘s Scoot range and also ‘Making paper hats’ and ‘On the Go’ designed by Sarah Jane.

All of the fabrics I used on this quilt I will be selling via my partnership business, on my online shop, Love Me Sew, which is due to go live in the next week or two (exciting!) – there are some super gorgeous fabrics…currently stocked up in my sewing room…it is almost the same as holding a plate of chocolate brownies infront of me and saying I can’t eat them!

Anywho, the finishing touch was obviously little baby’s name: Ethan, date of birth and weight.

Like I said I really enjoyed making this quilt as, other than the colour pallet, I was left to just get on and make it how I wanted…which is always nice.

And here is little Ethan…obviously loving his quilt!