Saturday, 30 June 2012

Friends of Teddy Preview

The preview for the Friends of Teddy Online Show has begun.  The show will feature animal friends of teddy bears.

I have designed and created several new pieces especially for the show.  My preview piece is Jumbo.  He would make a lovely companion for a vintage-style teddy.  His trolley has also been hand-made and aged by myself.

You can vote for your favourites at

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Memories - Old Projects and New

We are having our roof replaced as I write this.  It will be great when the work is completed, as we should not need to worry about slates falling off in windy or snowy weather.  The old slate roof was 100 years old, so it has served us well.  It seemed like a good time to venture into the loft and see what could be disposed of.  Things that are unused seem to end up hidden away up there.  I was really happy to find some very old 'treasure' up there amongst the old junk.

I found my son's Christening outfit that I made back in 1978.  We had very little money at the time, so I made the dress, coat and bonnet from white cotton (plus lining material).  I extensively hand-embroidered the outfit using satin, chain stitch and french knots. The outfit was made with so much love, I get quite teary just thinking about it.   It was lovely to find it again and in perfect condition except that the ribbon on the bonnet has frayed.

I also found my first ever attempt at patchwork.  These bear paw squares were hand-pieced and never finished.  These were made in 1977.  I am amazed at how fine my hand-stitching was - I guess my eyesight was better in those days!  There seems to be an irony that 30 years later I would start making bears!
There is probably enough of the fabric to make another couple of squares.  I will have to think about what I should do with them now I have found them.

It is funny how we can connect old projects or possessions or music with times long gone - bittersweet, especially when I think how many years have passed!

So...35 years later, I have just finished piecing my first piece of machine patchwork.  I bought the fabrics last October.  This was great fun.  I went to the quilting shop and bought loads of quarter yard fabrics that I liked and made my first half-dozen squares, but then put the work away, due to other committments.  I wanted to make a quilt from autumnal colours.  I really was unsure that the colours and patterns were working together, but was happier when I saw the rows pieced together and the effect en-mass.  I have made every mistake in the book along the way.  Never have I done so much unpicking!   I must be mad to have decided on such a large project as a first effort!  I learned how to add mitred corners to my borders - thank goodness for You Tube.  I still need to add the batting and backing, do the quilting and the binding, so plenty of mistakes to make yet! 

I am now worried I may have caught the 'patchworking bug'!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Last Bear for Stratford Upon Avon

This is my last bear for Sunday's show.  I didn't think I would get him finished. I still need to make little tails for my cubs and to create their adoption papers.  Making the cubs involves a lot of different processes  and take a considerable amount of work, but I love them.  They are a joy as they all seem to take on their own personality!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Polar cub

This little cub will be available at the Stratford-Upon-Avon Teddy Bear Event this Sunday.  He is made from a beautiful, soft Schulte alpaca.  He has black leather pawpads, a locline spine, jointed arms and legs, wired arms, black English glass eyes with leather eyelids.  It is a wonderful show with a great atmosphere and I am really looking forward to being there.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

What a week!

These two little ones will be going to Stratford Upon Avon Teddy Bear Event with me next Sunday.

My son, James was married to Natalie Cooke on Saturday.  It was a wonderful day!