Author Archives: pennydog

Quilt maker! My blog is at

Byeee old blog

Right I’m moving over to the new blog right now and setting up the auto redirection- bye bye old blog!

If you’ve not updated your bookmarks there will be no more reminders, see you over the other side!

A tour of my sewing room

I don’t like to call it a studio, I feel it’s a bit of a pretentious word for what it really is, however please join me over on my new blog to have a look around!

This is the last post over on this blog as I have moved over to the new one! Please update your bookmarks to . A redirection will be set up on the weekend, however this will not update your feeds if you subscribe to read it which is why I need you to follow the new link please. I will see you soon!


My curtain is nearly finished!

I grew a pair and got on with it- come over to my new blog to read.

I’m moving! Please move with me!

I’ve had this blog for 4 years now and whilst I love updating it, I’m finding WordPress is restricting my growth a bit and so I’ve decided to go independent. My blog content is all moving over too, just all future posts will be at my new address and not this one.

So what I’m saying is, please subscribe to !

Please update your blog readers, e-mail subscriptions and bookmarks…. there will be a redirection in place very soon (about a week) but I don’t think this will update your RSS feeds and whatnot, so if you still want to read my blog, you know what to do. The design of the site will be changing a bit over the coming weeks too so I can now have it exactly as I want without any rules- very exciting (for me anyway).

On Sunday I’m going to go out and buy a nice fabricy giveaway prize and you will only be able to enter at my new location- just to give you a heads up!

This counts as a Blogtoberfest post, right?

Not a lot to report

I’ve been away over the weekend so no sewing except a little bit of handsewing in the car. I took OH and his friend to see Tenacious D for his birthday present and did the driving. Even though I went to the cinema, I still had two hours to kill in the car but the light wasn’t great for my eyes and this is why I haven’t got it to show you today.

So to keep up with Blogtoberfest, here’s a picture of the signature block for my Around the Block and Across the Pond Free Two Bee round robin. I sewed together randomy selected strips from ym scrap drawer and then trimmed it after piecing for a scrappy, wonky look. I’m hoping the other ladies will write in the white spaces and I’ll piece this into the back when the top is back with me in a few months’ time.

Have you met Zara?

So as promised, I’m talking about Zara today after talking about Laura yesterday. Zara works as a textile printing instructor at Loughborough University- she has a real life proper crafty job which is something I envy her for! Naturally, her area of interest is screenprinting, and Zara Emily creates some beautiful designs for babies but I know for a fact she will make grown up t-shirts too 😉 I bought an amazing tote bag from her at a fair once so she doesn’t mind custom orders- just putting it out there…

Here’s some fab stuff selected for you, dear reader…

Zara Emily products can be found on Folksy.

And Facebook.

Have you met Laura?

Over a year ago now, Laura decided to arrange a meet up for Folksy sellers in the local area and invited me along as we’d been to fairs and stuff together even though I wasn’t active over there any more. What actually happened is Laura, Zara and I (who had met before at various craft fairs) ended up meeting up regularly, first for dinner and now it’s turned into a Bingo ritual.

Months ago now we were talking about my blog and I said to Laura that I would write a post about her and only now am I getting round to that, sorry Laura! So this is my first of a two part installment about my friends online who became offline friends and who make lovely things. Come back tomorrow to look at Zara’s lovely wares!

Laura makes jewellery under the name Laura’s Jewellery and has done for at least four years now, possibly longer I haven’t asked, but I know she was opposite me at my very first craft fair (blogged about in 2008!). It was a rubbish fair, we shall say no more and just show some pretty things. Honestly I’ve no idea how she does these but aren’t they great?

She has some fab butterflies in this style too, however my dislike of insects with wings (phobia?) dictates them inappropriate for showing here…

And this is my personal favourite item in the whole shop…

She is an active member of the Craft Britannia team on Etsy. her Etsy shop is HERE so make sure you go bookmark it.

She’s also on Twitter.

And Pinterest.

Oh and Facebook– go there too!

And her dog Ellie is from the same place we got Penny, so obviously being a dog lover I had to include a picture of her sweet Alsatian/Husky face! Look at those huge ears!

Two C Words

They would be chocolate…

and Christmas (sorry I KNOW it’s still October!)

You know I make chocolates and sell them online as well as sew don’t you? Well I’ve opened the trufflepiglet Christmas order book this week because last year was horrendous and whilst I got everything done for the orders I had, the Christmas gift baskets and the fair I did in December, it was a nightmare. The chocolates needed to go out as late as possible for freshness and I didn’t want to make too much of certain flavours as they would just end up in the bin, but the orders kept coming in (a great problem to have don’t get me wrong!) but I was down to the last collection and packaging up stuff in my lunch break at work just to get it all done. And this year I have wedding favours to be collected on Christmas Eve too to top it off.

So this year I am limiting my orders to 50 (of any size) for Christmas delivery on a first come first served basis. If you want trufflepiglet chocolates for Christmas, please don’t leave it late. And don’t forget to put in the order comments that it is for Christmas or you will end up getting them a lot earlier than planned!

Within the next fortnight the Amaretto and Christmas pudding chocolates and a bigger box will be out too!


I was going to do a quick post today to prove I’ve done a bit more on the curtain, however Fletcher had other ideas…

And he does this kind of thing quite regularly, he likes to get involved when he’s not welcome…

And a lovely soft wadding pillow for his old man head… I was actually quite annoyed by this – dog hairs!!!- but at least he wasn’t getting in the way/crying/photobombing/getting his nose too close to the iron or sewing machine at the time, he was just quietly minding his own business whilst not being able to be apart from me for an hour or so…

So I’ve changed my banner a little up top 🙂 There will be more changes afoot on this blog over the next few weeks, but hopefully this won’t disrupt anything.

Book Review: Material World by Perri Lewis

First off, sorry for the bad photos, it’s that time of year again Britain is only light during work hours and it will only get worse!

If you don’t already follow Perri’s blog you should. She puts snippets of latest craft news and trends and events up several times a week, here’s the link. I’ve been following her since I read her column in Making magazine- she used to have the inside back cover and it was nice to read about craft in context rather than specific items made or for sale or specific artists necessarily.

So, onto her book, which doesn’t come out until 1st November (check me out with my advance copy from Ebury Publishing!). The contents cover embroidery, decoupage, printing, encrusting(!), cross stitch, quilling, patchwork, paper cutting…. lots and lots of different stuff. I daresay areas that are easy to access- there’s no knitting for example which can take perseverance to pick up, or reams of embroidery stitches. There’s not even any need for half square triangles or seam matching in the patchwork section, it is very very beginner friendly stuff. It is refreshing to see overlooked crafts like quilling, millinery, macrame and leatherwork getting a bit of exposure though.

It’s quite a minimalist book, it’s more about the words and content than the beautiful pictures, whilst still being a substantial 220+ pages.. Each chapter has technique information, a project, interview-based tips from professional craftspeople within that skillset and finishing up with ways of furthering your newfound skill. The Insider tips to be found with the craftspeople technique interviews are frankly awesome, I mean I never thought of using sandpaper to stop fabric moving when drawing markers for applique!

This is one of my favourite projects, I’ve wanted to try upholstery for a while and of course patchwork in any form will always appeal to me!

All the projects are actually useful things that you would want to make. Unique modern design furniture, making a t-shirt into a dress, a chain based necklace or decoupaged shoes, which is nice and refreshing. Interspersed with these chapters are articles on which Perri has given thoughts on before, whether on her blog or for The Guardian, such as the art vs craft debate, X rated craft, and a small piece on craft business that also says it’s OK to make a crafts business on a different angle to owning an Etsy shop, you can even make money from blogging about craft (ha!), these sorts of features make it an interesting read as well as a general crafts reference book. It would make a good gift for a crafts curious aunt or a sister who likes to make a bit of everything, or a friend who loves customisation especially, with an eye for alternative fashion.

I’ve also noticed that Lily’s Quilts received a copy of this book and blogged about it just under a week ago, click here to see what Lynne says about it.

Material World has an RRP of £18.99 but is currently on Amazon here for £11.69 as a pre-order. Released 1st November 2012- in time for Christmas!