Thursday, 25 May 2017

Budgies, toucans and the wonderful sound of bird chatter

If you follow my Instagram feed you'll know I bought budgies. I flew to the UK with only my youngest daughter and the day I left I bought two budgies as I thought they would be a distraction for my other two while I was away. . . my husband thought it was a dumb idea!

. . . it wasn't a dumb idea and now our house is full of their friendly chatter. OK, so sometimes we have to put them outside as they are louder then the TV and the dog still thinks we are going to give him one every time we go near the cage but they're very very pretty and it makes me happy to hear them sing.

Anyway, they inspired me to get creative . . . .

The girls called out budgies Nibs and Slightly - apparently they are names of the lost boys from Peter Pan. Slightly is small and blue and male, Nibs is big, fat and female . . . so maybe one day we might get baby budgies!!!

. . . but every good budgie needs a friend and I always think a pair of cushions look much better on a bed or sofa
 . . . this is Tootles!

If you would like to make these for yourself the pattern is called "Tweets' and is now up in my Etsy store. It is available for wholesale through Creative Abundance who ship to every corner of the world but it is also available from Checker in the US

All the fabric for these cushions came from my Cotton and Steel collection.

Happy stitching!
x x Claire

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Pondlife fabric . . . the seed of an idea!

Pondlife has actually come to life and its a weird and wonderful thing. The journey of this fabric range started way way back in September 2016 when I bravely placed my design proposals in the hands of a fabric company. Thankfully they liked what they saw and gave me the green light to proceed.

It was quite the learning journey . . . although I have a design background, have qualifications in graphic and spatial design & I know my way around Adobe Illustrator, there was still a mountain I didn't know!

I didn't know how to successfully create seamless patterns, I didn't know that I needed to specify Pantone TCX colours (oh my word . . . trying to pic colours from a colour swatch about 1cm square!!!) and I didn't know that I could actually learn on my feet and that people could be so amazingly generous sharing their knowledge.

It took four hard weeks designing, tweaking, redesigning and doubting to finally get there. It was a challenge that let me drown in a creative wonderland and I loved it.

If I'm honest most of my design ideas start with a single moment. Last year when I was throwing concepts around in my head I already had an idea based on a painting that I absolutely adore by Becky Blair. I went to an exhibition when she was in Perth and she had done a gorgeous series of paintings of fish and ponds. Needless to say, I couldn't afford any of the paintings but they are what planted the seed of an idea.

. . . then when I was in Salt Lake city last year I came across goldfish snacks . . . hadn't seen them before but they made me giggle and the idea grew . . . 

. . . and when I was designing the fabric I kinda designed it especially for a redo of a quilt called Frogface. (my daughters nickname is froggy so this is for her!)

. . . but then there have been moments when actually I have wondered if I have just been eating too much chocolate!!

There's lots more to share in the coming days so keep an eye out and if you are at Quilt Market pop on over to the Ella blue stand, it will all be there along with all my new quilt and cushion patterns.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone will make.

Happy stitching

x Claire

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Bedtime Stories

Designing and making a new quilt is an fun journey. An idea sparks and then if the planets are aligned, the house is tidy, everyone in the family is in a good mood then it all just flows . . . this is one of those designs. 

I did a Goldilocks quilt for Homespun magazine last year and had always intended to expand on it. When my youngest daughter Heidi was a baby I had also made a Red Riding hood quilt to hang on her wall so she was always going to join the much larger scale quilt. 

Heidis quilt - no stereotypical girlies in our family . . . Red is definitely in charge of this big bad wolf!

Anyway, in discussion with my three girls we decided which of our favourite stories would make the design, I chose a colour scheme based around a beautiful floral print with lemons and lilacs & . . . ta-dah! . . . its a fairytale feast x x 

(terrible photo I know,  but it had to meet a shipment to America for Spring Market so you'll have to forgive me!)

Red Riding Hood makes her appearance . . .

. . . on her way to Grandmas!

Goldilocks and her chums are also back . . . 

. . . Heidi used to be a big Repunzel fan . . . not so much now though!

. . . and the Princess and the Pea is my favourite. Thumbelina and the Little Mermaid also feature in the design.

Hope you love it as much as we do - in fact my 14 year old has already put her name on this one!

Happy stitching!

x Claire

The pattern will be released at the up-coming International Quilt Market in St Louis and distributed through my global distributors Creative Abundance and Checker US. A PDF version for instant download from my Easy store will be available from June 1st 2017

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Pondlife Fabric

This years International Spring Market will see the release of my first fabric collection for Ella Blue Fabric. Its a collection close to my heart but also has a light side that makes me giggle . . . I will post more photos and projects I have made using it in the coming week.

Hope you love it!