Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Why Not Try a Little Drawing with your Sewing Machine?

Over the last few months I decided that I wanted to rekindle my love for freehand machine embroidery.  I had dabbled with it years ago while at uni and loved every minute of it.  So many times I have tried to have another go at it but my ‘not so trusty’ 25 year old sewing machine was having none of it!

Last year I was very lucky to be able to purchase a brand new ‘all singing, all dancing’ machine.  I was a little daunted at first but after many an hour playing my confidence has started to grow.
My New Sewing Machine

It didn’t take long before I was dropping the feed dogs and swapping the normal sewing foot for a darning foot!

Darning Foot

I was ready to start drawing once again with my sewing machine!
But where to start?..... I needed a bit of help and inspiration!
After a bit of ‘Googling’ and research I came across Poppy Treffry’s book, Freehand Machine Embroidery.

I simply just NEEDED it!

I was so excited, a few days later, when the postman knocked on the door with my special delivery.....

My New Book
I couldn’t wait to get reading!

Poppy’s book definitely didn’t disappointEverything about the book is amazing.  The quality..... the photography..... and most of all Poppy’s writing style.

Each page is set out so that it’s easy to understand whether you are reading it page by page or just flicking through.

The book is split into three main sections:

1. Starting Out
An introduction into the basic equipment, fabrics that you will need and getting to grips with using your machine for freehand machine embroidery.

Starting Out
This section is brilliant for those that are just starting out.  As well as it being very informative, the images are so inspiring.  Poppy even covers how to maintain your sewing machine!

2. Techniques
This guides you through outlining, shading and appliqué.  It covers finishing and edging.  

There is also a brilliant (much needed in my case) trouble shooting table.
I love this part of the book! Poppy encourages you to just have a go, have fun and not to worry if it’s not perfect or if your needle snaps.  In her words it’s,
 "all part of the learning curve"

This put my mind at rest as I did have one or two needle mishaps along the way!

The exciting part!  Lots of lovely projects for you to try out, sixteen in allEvery single project has easy to follow instructions with a combination of beautifully hand-drawn images and photographs.  The step by step guides are simple yet detailed enough to make the learning process easier.  

I love that Poppy includes little ‘tips’ that, believe me, do come in really useful!
Templates for all of the projects are included too.

At the back of the book there is a suppliers and a sources of inspiration section.

This was my first attempt at a little machine embroidery, not perfect, I know, but with more practice I'm hoping to improve my skills.  In the meantime I'm enjoying every minute of practicing!

My First Attempt
You can follow my progress by 'liking' the Pink Sweetheart Facebook page here.  I'll also be sharing a few pictures over the next few weeks on Twitter, @PinkSweetheart

Overall I would highly recommend Poppy Treffry'sFreehand Machine Embroidery book.  The book has taught me so many new things that I would have never thought of on my own.  I have shown it to quite a few of my crafty/artistic friends and every single one was impressed by the high standard and quality of this brilliant book.

I can't wait to get my next Poppy Treffry book and maybe do another little review to share here on my blog.

Thank you Poppy!


For more information about Poppy Treffry take a look at her website,  http://www.poppytreffry.co.uk

You can also follow her if your are a twitter user,

And also on Facebook,

Book Details 

Freehand Machine Embroidery
Learning to draw with your sewing machine.
By Poppy Treffry
Published by David and Charles
ISBN-13: 978-1-4463-0186-9 paperback
ISBN-10: 1-4463-0186-9 paperback 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

My First Nomination... The Liebster Award!

It was such a lovely surprise this week to be nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Jade at the @UniqueMummyBlog

Jade's blog is wonderful. She shares what goes on in her life as a young mummy. She became a mum just before her 16th birthday but was determined to stay in education and remained living with her parents.  A good move as far as I can see.  Her blog is a brilliant inspiration to all of the other young Mums out there!
From what I have read about Jade on her blog she has done everything in her power to do the right thing for herself and her son, Spud.  I really respect that.

In Jade's words,
"I will try everything once, twice if I like it"

Visit Jade's blog

So what is the Liebster Blog Award?

It's an award given to bloggers that have less than 200 followers.  There are no judges, no prizes or votes given.  You are nominated by a fellow blogger who has enjoyed reading your blog and wants to encourage you to continue blogging. So basically if you are nominated for one you are a winner!

There are a few rules to follow if you wish to accept the award:

List 11 facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions given to you.
Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Choose 5 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.

11 Facts About Me

1.  I once came first in a national newspaper colouring competition. I won one of these! #Atari

2. I have taught hundreds of people to drive and I'm very proud of that!
 3. I once met Charlton Heston
 4. I have moved house over 15 times
 5. I once designed a 12ft banner that was displayed in York Minster
 6. I have spoken to Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley from Buzzcocks on the telephone
 7. I can touch my nose with my tongue
 8. I have an eight year old goldfish named Alan
 9. I get nervous every single time I go to publish a blog post
 10. I hate seafood
11. I once got attacked by someone's pet crow

 11 Questions given to me

1. Why did you start blogging? 
I was encouraged to start a blog by my lovely friend @mammalewis I wanted to share my designs and creations with like-minded people and blogging seemed the perfect way. 
2. What’s your favourite fizzy drink?
Lemonade from Aldi, best lemonade ever and it's only 40p! 
3. Favourite holiday destination?
It's got to be Africa. The safari was amazing.
 4. What’s your favourite chocolate bar?
You can't get it anymore but when you could it was an Ovaltine chocolate bar. 
5. What’s your favourite Disney movie?
The original 1976 Freaky Friday
6. What’s the best thing you can cook?
A good old fashioned Shepherd's Pie  
7. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Guy Martin, Kenny Rogers, Aiden Moffet, Matt Johnson and Andrew Weatherall can DJ 
8. What’s your bad habits?
9. Favourite word?
10. If you had to dress up as a Disney Character who would you be and why?
 Mickey Mouse, I like wearing red and black. 
11. What’s your biggest fear?

My Questions for my nominees?

1. What and/or who inspired you to start your blog?

2. Which of your blog posts is your favourite to date and why? (Give us a link too!)

3. What do enjoy the most about reading blog posts?

4. If you had to write a blog post talking about your favourite place, where would the post be about? (Write it soon and share it!)

5. Who, past or present, do you wish had written a blog so that you could read a little more about them?

6. If you could go back to a very special day in your life, which day would it be and why?

7. What do you wish that you could do but can’t? (Set yourself a goal to do it this year!)

8. Music, what would you listen to right now if you could?

9. What's your favourite possession?

10. Favourite radio station?

11. Have you planned your next blog post? (If not, do it, I love reading your posts!

    My Nominations 

    Fin, Son of @blamehound
    Fin is a 9yr old reluctant writer but has found a love in sharing his favourite things through blogging!

    I love Petra’s blog! She takes amazing pictures. I especially love her photos of my local area.

    I’ve followed Tracey on Twitter for a long time now and always look forward to her new blog posts to see what she has been crocheting this week. I don’t know how on earth she gets the time while looking after her 5 lovely children!

    Charlie is my closest long distance friend.  She doesn’t blog very often but when she does you can always tell it’s from the heart. I just love her style of writing so much. Blog more Charlie!

    Gemma creates the most beautiful things in her little shop in Rotherham
    She did a brilliant interview on Radio Sheffield yesterday promoting the giving of handmade things.

    Thank you to all the above for sharing your blogs.