Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Festive Flair

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Its been a very busy couple of weeks here at needlesandhooks.  I’ve been working at the Clothes Show with Clothkits doing knitting workshops.  The workshops were great fun, I taught people to knit, make pom poms and lots of them made beautiful items to take away.

I’ve also been back at Birmingham Royal Ballet dressing for their new production of Cinderella. I really wish I had a chance to see the production but I’ll have to settle for seeing the costumes on the rails, lacing up bodices and doing up hook and eyes.

Well the working fun doesn’t stop quite yet for me.  I’ll be at my last Christmas fair selling my wares at Festive Flair, LIght House, Wolverhampton on Saturday 11 December, 11-4pm.

For more information here’s the flyer

off to market

Friday, September 24th, 2010

This weekend I’ll be selling my wares at Handmade Birmingham.

You should really come by and say hello

cigar boxes

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I’ve recently been having a spring clean in the studio - a bit late I know, but better late than never.  So I’ve built myself some shelves in the alcoves.  I’m really proud of them.  I did it all on my own, with some moral support from Dorian and Matt (thank you).

I know have my files, baskets of notions and record player all housed on purpose built shelves.  The shelves are even level.

In the midst of my tidying up I finally got around to unpacking 2 cigar boxes and a tin I’d been given.  They’ve been sitting on my desk since the start of the year, when I’d had a cursory glance inside.  Oh my my, what treats they did hold.

The larger box (at the back) had obviously been used as a sewing box and was full of needles, scraps of newspaper, old pins and a few reels of cotton.

One of the gems in the larger box was something called the Zigzagger.

Its an attachment for your straight stitch sewing machine to allow it to do zigzag stitch.  Most machines before the 60’s only did straight stitch.  This is what the attachment actually looks like.

The Zigzagger comes with a set of typed instructions which tell you that ‘the attachment is useful, effective and will fit any standard domestic type of sewing machine of the flat bed type’.  However, looking at the almost pristine state of the box I’m not sure how useful or effective it is.

I’d love to have a play with the Zigzagger to see if I can get it to work but I don’t own a vintage sewing machine that the Zigzagger will fit.

Talking of vintage sewing machines, folded up in the smaller cigar box was this.

An instruction chart and manual for a Vickers sewing machine.  The machine looks like its from the 30’s or 40’s but the printing on the poster looks so modern.  I love the way the red cotton is used to highlight the image and also tell you how to thread the machine.

Also folded in the smaller cigar box was this advert.

I love the fact that there was/is a Metrication Board to deal with all things metric and to smooth the transition from imperial measurements.

Last of the treats were all these reels of cottons

inside this rather lovely tin

The cottons will get used in my work as they’re Sylko thread which is my 2nd choice thread (after Guterman).  The cigar boxes will be great to display cards and brooches in at fairs or markets.  The tin will make a great edition to my ever growing storage needs.

CiB shop

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

I’ve been a bit lazy about telling you what I’ve been up to lately.  So over the next few days there will be a wave of posts.

First (and I think quite importantly) Created in Birmingham have a shop - in the Bullring - not in a dusty corner but opposite the Apple shop

(Photo courtesy of Katie Graczyk)

There are some needlesandhooks goodies on sale.  Embroidered and appliqued purses and new stitched pictures (photos to come in another post) as well as lots of other things all made here in Birmingham.

I popped into the shop on Thursday evening to do a bit of birthday shopping and bumped into Ben Waddington installing his jewellery.  Jewellery isn’t something that I normally associate with Ben so I was intrigued when he asked me to take a look

The rings (size R) are made from £1 coins with the centre ground out.  It’s done by a clever computerised process and leaves just the very edge of the coin as a ring.

I then asked if it was illegal to do this to a coin of the realm but Ben assured me that it wasn’t.  Another thing it made me realise was that I have no idea what my ring size is.  Will need to find out before Matt can buy me a yellow diamond ring

commission no 2

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Well its about time that I gave you an update on what I’ve been doing.  I’ve been busy working on none related sewing stuff including the rather marvellous Supersonic Festival and a project in Coventry with Triangle Theatre.

But your not interested in that really.  I have been doing some work on the wall commission.  I went shopping while in Paris for fabric.  There is a whole section of the city (just round the corner from the Sacre Coeur in Montmatre) dedicated to discount fabric shops.  My idea of heaven.  Thanks very much to Fuzzy Galore for the shopping tips

I managed to acquire (using my rudimentary French, the international language of hand signs and a guide book) some quite fabulous fabric for the main part of the piece.  I bought some really lovely linen, some upholstery weight loose weave cotton and a woven patterned velour.

I’m going to create a patchwork background and then applique and embroider the design on top.  So I’ve created a sample block to show to clients.

I’d better get back to my studio and get making more blocks