Little Traveller Blog Hop

I was delighted to be asked to be a part of Simone Gooding's blog hop tour to celebrate the release of her new book Little Traveller, published by Tuva Publishing. A collection of small felt intrepid explorers and 30 tiny travel accessories to sew.

It's a delightful book and, if like me, you enjoying adding details and using a variety of different techniques - knitting, sewing, embroidery and quilting, then you are going to find it irresistible.

Here's my make - Twig the Squirrel.

It was difficult to narrow it down to just one project to share with you so I know I'm going to make more in the future. I've chosen to make Twig the Squirrel and her lovely stepping stone mini quilt. Any excuse to squeeze in some Liberty prints.

Simone's patterns all use wool felt but I hadn't got any in a suitable squirrel colour. I used my wool coating fabric that I would normally use for making rabbits and it worked fine, even with the 3mm seam allowance. I used linen for the ears and felt as suggested for her pretty cape.

Simone's book contains lots of lovely accessories and details. I've been brushing up my knitting skills for making acorns in a basket. Her instructions are straightforward and easy to follow. I love the way you can mix the accessories between the patterns.

My mum has the most beautiful mossy wall, perfect for photo shoots. I really enjoyed making Twig the Squirrel with her little Liberty-lined cape with embroidered collar. A nice sized project which was surprisingly speedy to construct.

I'm looking forward to making more projects from Simone's lovely book. And I'm really hoping that they will be fun for me to make with the children. Little Traveller is available now from Amazon. Check out the other talented makers who have taken part via Simone's Instagram page. Thank-you Simone for letting me be a part of this blog tour.

I'm looking forward to making Mr Oak, the fox and Thistle, the Rabbit next. Check out everybody else's projects here:

15th March - Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
16th March - Winterwood (@winterwoodcraft
17th March - Kerri Horsley (@sewdeerlyloved)
18th March - Shelly Down (@gingermelongirl)
19th March - Mimi Kirchner (@mimikirchner
20th March - Lauren Wright (@mollyandmama
21st March - Anne Sutton (@bunnyhilldesigns
22nd March - Jennifer Goldsmith (@frazzydazzles
23rd March - Manuela Trani (@nuvolinahandmade)
24th March - Jess Cunningham (@pastyourporchlight)
25th March - Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
26th March - Jo Molony (@deerdarlingdolls)
27th March - Minki Kim (@zeriano)
28th March - Jooles Hill (@sewsweetviolet)
29th March - Sedef Imer (@downgrapevinelane)
30th March - Ayda Algin (@cafenohut)
31st March - Katy Livings (@katylivings)
1st April - Jodie Carlton (@jodiericrac)
2nd April - Melinda Hume (@mooseandbird)
3rd April - Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)

June's Cottage Maker's Tour - Day 5

Briar Hill Designs debut fabric collection - June's Cottage for RJR Fabrics.

I was delighted to be invited to take part in the June's Cottage Maker's Blog Tour, using the new fabric collection by Briar Hill Designs.

June's Cottage showcases their delicate floral watercolour designs which have been translated perfectly on to fabric. Together Caverly and Julia have designed a beautiful collection of pretty prints which are perfect for spring, a welcome ray of sunshine for these chilly days! I've loved using them to create outfits for my bunnies and dolls.

Delicate blues and yellows lend themselves perfectly to this spring bunny wardrobe. I've used the following prints from Briar Hill's collection: Forget-me-not, Rosebud, Sprout and Blossoms and Berries.

The combination of colours and scale of print made it a very versatile collection to work with, perfect for traditional dresses with Peter Pan collars.

Make sure you check out all the other fabulous makers from this week's blog tour to see what lovely products they have made using the new collection.

February 5th
Alyce Blyth @blossomheartquilts

February 6th
Cassie @lilyshinecreates

February 7th
Fiona @tangledblossoms

February 8th
Aggie @aggieandfrancois

February 9th
Katy @katylivings

February 10th
Julia @briarhilldesigns

Briar Hill Designs are hosting an exciting giveaway to coincide with their fabric blog tour. The giveaway will run on Instagram starting tomorrow Saturday February 10th. One lucky winner will receive a fat quarter bundle of the June's Cottage fabric, six Briar Hill Designs quilt patterns and an original piece of watercolour art.

Thank-you Caverly, Julia and Rachael for your lovely fabrics, they were a pleasure to work with.


Meet the Maker - Interview with Folksy

I'm delighted to have been featured on the Folksy Meet the Maker blog, an opportunity to reflect on my design career before having children and how that has influenced the work I am now doing creating heirloom dolls.

You can find the full interview with Camilla on the Folksy blog by clicking here.

You can watch the doll-making film created by Camilla here. (music by Podington Bear)

Make It Sewcial Meet Up

Two weeks ago today my heart was full of joy and gratitude, thanks to one special lady and her family. I spent the most amazing day in Birmingham with Allison Sadler for the Make It Sewcial meet up. A whole day of happiness, laughter, cake, flowers, business advice and the chance to meet creative friends in person. 

Birmingham holds special memories for me as it's the place I grew up and started my creative journey. Returning home for the first time in 4 years, to meet Allison and her husband Mr C was a really significant milestone for me. I met Allison via Instagram in September last year and she has encouraged and inspired me from that moment onwards. Without her I do not think it would have been possible for me to be making again.

12 years ago I developed arthritis and had to give up my life as a Textile Designer. The stress of having hands that could no longer sew or hold a pen was too much for me to cope with and I gave up any hope of ever being able to make again. Not long after Lucy was born 4 years ago I became much worse and was unable to dress myself or get out of bed without help. There were days when I could't undo the poppers on her babygro or climb the stairs and if I went out I couldn't turn the key to lock the front door. My parents very kindly gave up their life in Birmingham after more than 60 years and moved to live a couple of minutes walk away, just so that we had someone on hand to help. After various drugs I was advised that my only hope of getting better was to start a new form of biological treatment called Rituximab.

It worked! and I am VERY thankful and in 2 weeks time I return to hospital for another session, hoping it will be my last. One of my nurses suggested I take up crochet to help my recovery and gradually I was able to start making again. At this point I became obsessed with yarn! After years of not being able to make anything I became a frantic maker, waking each morning and wiggling my fingers to see if they still worked or if my time was up. 

Allison's encouragement and support through her makeitsewcial Monday night topics and being a part of the community she has created has restored my confidence. It was a pleasure to meet so many people on the 16th of May who have been inspired by her and I am delighted that this week she has been nominated for a Mollie Makes Award! 

We spent a day in crafty heaven with flower styling sessions from pollenfloraljoy, great business advice from byebyebirdie and an abundance of sewing and crafty projects to indulge in whilst we ate delicious cakes made by their very talented daughter. Watch the gorgeous film by thatkat - I'm the one in the pink cardi giving Allison a very enthusiastic hug! I couldn't make the PhotoWalk but check out Allison and Kat's great images.

The venue, Impact Hub Birmingham, was perfect and we couldn't have been happier anywhere else.

Shaheen Kasmani and Katy Acquaye-Tonge and their beautiful flowers.

Violet Doughnuts

The May Day bank holiday began with great enthusiasm and the intention of weeding the front garden. A sea of violets had taken over the driveway to compete with the dandelion lawn (not a pretty colour palette!) Ten minutes later I was back in the kitchen with a basket full of violets, busy whipping egg whites. Who knew that weeding would lead to an afternoon of baking?

We were delighted when the lovely people at The White Company chose the violet doughnuts as the winning photograph in their Great British Bank Holiday competition.

A quick guide

Whip egg whites to a soft foam and gently paint on to each petal using a small paint brush before sprinkling carefully with fine sugar. Once coated the violets were left to dry for 24 hours. A bit of rocket and a few pansies also got the sugar treatment.

We used William's new Wilton doughnut pan and followed their recipe for baked doughnuts. We made a simple glaze from icing sugar and coloured it with the smallest amount of red and blue food colouring to create a lilac colour. Fresh doughnuts sprinkled with crystallised violets for a bank-holiday treat!