Tag Archives: illustration

Some new drawings

I haven’t announced the winner of the book giveaway yet have I? Sorry I always do this, so without further ado…

The winner is comment #4 which was left by the lovely Snoodles! I will be dropping you an email shortly for your address (if you don’t beat me to it)!

I’ve not worked on an actual repeating pattern yet for these designs but I thought I’d prove I have got some more sketches done…

And I reckon once I’ve tidied up this quick sketch I could make a lovely repeat!


Lots of secret exciting things are happening!

I have lots of REALLY exciting things going on in my sewing life right now and I’m not allowed to tell you about any of them! Well OK I can’t tell you about:

1) A challenge block for a famous fabric designer in which I get some free FQs of beautiful and not-yet-released fabrics(!!!). All will be revealed next month.
2) A block design that has won me some sewing goodies in a lovely magazine- more on that again in August when I can release the pattern for it right here

BUT I can tell you that I have won a competition for the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters book that everyone is raving about and I have my idea down for the Brit Quilt mini swap and I have a fabric delivery coming from Pink Castle Fabrics soon.

…and I can tell you about this…

A Pfaff Expression 2. It’s beautiful and it arrives TOMORROW. I am so excited like a kid at Christmas. I might be too ill to go to work tomorrow. *cough cough* Really I shouldn’t have spent £700 on a sewing machine but it does everything I want and it felt like the right time. reason being- I am strugging to quilt with the tiny arm my current machine has and I keep breaking my machine in various ways due to the fact I need a more industrial, heavy duty machine. So once I get a new throat/needle plate (whatever you prefer to call it)- I will have a 2 month old AEG 680 for sale. (click here for some reviews!)

I’m not one of those lucky types that needs a spare machine, I’d rather have the cash towards paying back what I’ve spent on my new one. I’m thinking I want £150 for it, it was £220 new and is £240 online at the minute. Reason I blogged about this in October but the machine is only 2 months old? I managed to damage the first one in my car, so this is a shiny replacement one that I have knackered the needle plate on. It will be fine for less aggressive stitchers and anyone not trying to pound 6 layers of interfacing with a 110 needle 😉

So yey and squeee!

And I can now reveal the secret projects I was working on last week that were for Laney. She knows it was me now so it’s OK. If you read her blog you will have read about the story of Claude (her cat) and Dave (one of her hens), which is what prompted the drawing. The dragon embroidery is because there appears to be some kind of dragon fixation going on over on Craft Pimp with the glassy girls!

My design process- from sketch to print

Recently I have been fascinated by fabric design, and whilst mine aren’t the most fantastic designs you will ever see, I’m pretty pleased with them. I will continue honing my technique so I can create ditzy prints with various different features and images within the design, but for now I thought I’d share my design process. My library is here on Spoonflower if you want to see what I’ve been up to so far. My next step is to make some filler fabrics to use alongside the animal prints.

I start off with an animal in mind I want to draw, and set about looking for a photograph to use as reference. I then sketch out the main shapes and shadows- usually on scrap paper or in my diary with a ballpoint pen. The pictures above show how I start on the left and keep adjusting ’til I get the image on the right. This only took 3 scraps of paper but sometimes it takes more. Each time I traceover the shapes, taking note of the scribbled corrections I have made until I get a nice simple image.

Next, I scan it in! I scan as greyscale to get the detail, then I change the levels so it is pure black and white and rub out the blobby bits in Photoshop. Sometimes I draw over the lines again too, it can take me a while tweaking it til I’m happy.

I then convert to CMYK so I can add a bit of colour! I use the fill tool to add patterns too in parts. These are free patterns froom the Internet, but I hope to produce my own soon.

Then I choose the background colour!

Then I create a copy of my drawing, flip it and position it opposite like a mirror image and upload to Spoonflower, where I can tile the images as I wish!

And here something I made with my first fabric design last night 😀 (it was a practise sewing in zips too since I’ve not sewn in a zip for years).

Glue and Glitter collaboration!

It’s very rare for me to update twice in one day, but I had to share this. I made some cabs for Laura at Glue and Glitter in return for my logo for Rothley Craft Farm that she kindly made for me (more on this when I am in a position to share information), and I’ve seen that she’s started to add them to her Folksy shop and got excited 🙂

Laura is an illustrator, and I encapsulated some of her designs, which she is turning into rings and possibly pendants, etc soon too. I wasn’t sure about the solid blue as it was a new colour I was trying out but I think I’ve decided I like it now! Check out Glue and Glitter on Folksy: http://Glueandglitter.folksy.com

Interview with… Meridian Ariel


Apryl is a lovely lady with a taste for everything rustic and primitive Americana. She can lend herself to many different crafts, jewellery, illustration and embroidery, but these themes are prevalent throughout.


Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Apryl Lowe, an anthropology/Art student dropout from California turned illustrator, turned blogging crafter, and geek, with a few stops in between. I was born in New York State and grew up in Northern California. For the past decade I have lived in Derbyshire with my husband and our incredibly industrious and inventive five year old Jedi Knight in training, and two cats.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I love to cook and bake, experimenting with various recipe combinations. I have apparently developed a following for my brownies and cupcakes at my son’s school. Good to know that there is something to fall back on if this crafting lark doesn’t pan out. I’m also  movie and sci-fi/horror novel geek, and have the coke bottle glasses to prove it. And I drink copious amounts of coffee, my vice of choice next to dark chocolate.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I play about with  a lot of different craft mediums, semi-precious beaded jewellery, illustrations on vintage story book pages, I knit simple objects(patterns are beyond my meagre brain comprehension) , and this past few months I have been teaching myself embroidery and sewing.

What do you enjoy making most?
Right now I’m really enjoying playing about with fabrics and paper, and learning to sew simple objects.

What part do you dislike the most?
Can I say the self promotion aspect of crafting? I’m terrible at selling myself and my creations, I can only hope that they speak for themselves.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
I draw inspiration from everything around me, the books I read, the movies I watch, my dreams, and my daydreams when doing the housework, Domestic Goddess I am not. I find that I am inspired by my crafty friends and the work of fellow crafters in the blogging and crafting community, sometimes all it takes is to see someone use a colour or bead or piece of fabric and my thoughts spiral in new directions.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I try to plan out my crafts but when inspiration strikes sometimes you just need to go with the flow and make what feels right with what is inspiring. I always carry a notebook with me wherever I go, so that when inspiration strikes I can scribble down my thoughts and little doodles.

What are you currently making?
At the moment I have been playing with mixed media art, combining fabric and vintage book paper with ink, paint, and card. I have also found a passion in sewing small lavender and rice filled warm bags, and a slight obsession with owls. Hopefully some of these works with filter through to my etsy shop.

Where to buy…