Monday, 24 October 2011

Getting projects finished - eventually!

I've been a bit of a stranger to my blog recently and have been finding it hard to get time to keep things up to date. Having said that I have been busy, as always stitching, sewing, knitting and the like. I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London a few weekends ago for the first time. I had a great time and even managed to get someone to teach me how to crochet!

On the business side of things (please see this post for summary) I went to a free workshop run by the Business Link people last week about finding and keeping customers. I wasn't sure about it before hand but actually ended up having a really good time and got a chance to talk a lot about my new business and how to give my customers a 5 star experience! All very please keep an eye on how I'm getting on so you can be involved once I'm up and running (fingers crossed opening spring 2012!).

I've written a few posts recently about trying to complete all the various craft type projects I have on the go around the house. And continuing on my mission I've managed to get a few more things finished off over the last few weeks.

This is an Amy Butler  design for an afghan bolster cushion cover that I adapted a bit and decided to do a stripy design for the back. When we had the heat wave at the beginning of the month I had a lovely relaxing time sitting out in the sun finishing it off. 

 This is a Cath Kidson design from her new "Sew" book that my friend Amy gave for my birthday. It turned out really well, and I love that it is lined as well, makes it feel much more sturdy. Using it a a knitting bag at the moment but its solid enough to carry heavy things too so very versatile!

 A while back now I posted about the screen printed roman blind that I got finished and hung up in my studio/spare room. I had quite a few scraps and practice prints left over and it seemed a shame not to do anything with them so I made some cushions to match. I just appliqu├ęd them onto a neutral background colour and made an envelope type fastening on the back and secured with self cover buttons. I also made a few of the practice prints into tote bags as well (not that I actually needed any more of them!)

 Some of you may recognise the design below from the Cross Stitcher July issue. I spotted it in Mollie Makes Magazine and thought they looked lovely. Its taken a while but managed to get to finished over the weekend. I used Japanese fabric that I bought from The Eternal Maker at the Knitting and Stitching Show to make the back and sides of the cushion. Its got parrots and peacocks on it - still loving' all the bird related stuff that out there at the moment!

I also eventually finished the dining chair that I've been hammering away at for what seams like ages! I'm really pleased with how it has turned out, even if I don't really have anywhere to put it at the moment. My little house is just about bursting at the seams with various bits of furniture that I've re-vamped or given a make over too. I've also seem to have made up so many different cushion covers over the last few months theres hardly any room for me left on the sofa!

So whats next?!?!? I've started making up the vintage knitting pattern that I found in the deepest darkest depths of my mum and dads garage......
Its meant to be made up in 3ply (which I've discovered doesn't really exist anymore unfortunately) so I'm using 4 ply instead and altered the needle size. I did a tension square to check so just going for it and I'll see what happens. If it ends up not fitting I'll use it as part of a display in my new shop! Just got the back panel rib done so far so watch this space for how I get on with it!

Monday, 17 October 2011

New business venture - The Next Stitch is changing

Since starting this blog back in April when I decided to spend more time being creative I've stitched and knitted and purled and hooked, along with various other things to create lots of handmade things for myself, my little house and friends and family.

In fact, I've had such a fantastic time that I've decided to leave my day job to open my own creative business!!!

This mock tudor building (in the heart of Moseley Village, Birmingham) is soon to be home of 'The Next Stitch.' A beautiful fabric and haberdashery shop with an exciting programme of workshops and short courses that will teach you all the creative skills you need to make lovely personalised handmade things. Whether your a complete beginner or have dabbled or just want to try something new...there will be something for anyone who loves to be creative!

Okay so the building needs a bit of work...but I'm soooo excited about starting this venture, along with my hubby, and can't wait to get started transforming the building into an inspirational treasure trove of handmade goodyness.

My hubby has owned the building since 2006 and those of you who know Moseley will know that the former boys club has been in a bit of a sorry state for the last few years. Its been a long time coming but we've decided that reviving the building and its original features and using it as a location for this type of creative business is the best use for it and will allow the community to get use from the building once again.

The planning application is now with Birmingham City Council and we hope to get a positive response by the end of November. In the mean time we are busy networking with local organisations and planning what our future potential customers would most like from our business. All plans going well we hope to be up and running in Spring 2012!

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