About Me

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I am a lifelong fabric artist who loves bringing a home to life with quirky, unique and sumptuous pieces of textile art. I learnt my craft from sharing many a happy hour sewing with my talented mother. I particularly like collage, free-machining, needle-felting and creating home furnishings using a combination of machine and hand sewing. I love incorporating vintage and reclaimed fabrics, buttons, beads, jewellery and other items in my work to give them a second chance at being beautiful.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

WOYWW - busy busy busy

It's been a busy few weeks at Tilly Tea Dance Towers. Now my little man is nine months old I have been planning lots of sewing projects that will help to keep him occupied.

In September we've got our annual holiday and Ben's first trip on an aeroplane.  So I'm busy making a busy book to keep him... well... busy!

Among Ben's favourite toys are a set of jungle animals at his Nanny Twiglet's house. This gave me my inspiration for a busy book (sometimes called 'quiet' books, but I'd rather think of my boy being busy rather than being quiet).

I swiped a lovely piece of jungle fabric from my mum for the bag I'll make to contain the busy book. This gave me lots of ideas for colour scheme and creatures...

So I thought up lots of ways to use fabric animals to keep Ben busy including textures to stroke, buttons and beads, ribbons to pull, zipped pockets to open and puzzles using velcro.

These parrots have velcro bottoms to stick them to their nests!
These ribbon snakes can be pulled through the button holes... 

Here is my zebra finger puppet in the making...

While playing with another busy book made by Nanny Twiglet, we discovered Ben loves looking under flaps. I've incorporated this idea in the book and each page has a little creature hiding under a flap.
Behind Elephant's ear hides a little bird...
Behind the bushes on Froggy's page hide some of his little friends...
Up in the tree high above the parrots' nests is a hungry caterpillar...
Lots of happy faces to play with in the busy book...

Ben has been very good sitting in his high chair and watching me sew. It looks like Lion and Zebra are already a hit with my No. 1 customer! (and those of you keen-eyed followers of Nanny Twiglet's blog will see that Ben is playing with the completed Hungry Caterpillar high chair tray cover that appeared on Twiglet's WOYWW post back in June)

It's quite an ambitious project which has grown in complexity as I've been working on it. I've been juggling the job with other demands...baby yoga, baby singing classes, play dates, ironing (urgh) so I'm anticipating this is a long haul project but I'll hope to have completed it by our holiday!

Hope you've enjoyed my preview of the busy book! Come back soon to see the finished one.

I'll try and visit a few desks this week on WOYWW :-)

Happy crafting x x x



  1. What an amazing idea. I've never seen anything like this before. Such invention. What a dear little boy he is. Barb#16 xx

  2. Ben is sooo cute! And these are just the best toys--I am just ooohing and ahhhing. What a wonderful family. Have a good week and thanks for visiting! Sandy Leigh #37

  3. I have the advantage of having seen the pages in real life and have to say they are even better than in the pics....and any little one would just love them.
    Annie x

  4. Cor Blimey! What a surprise to have you visit me, although your mum did mention that she was trying to persuade you to blog on WOYWW. Hope you will enjoy it. That is of course, if you can fit it in with this mammoth project. I am impressed!!! That book is going to be fantastic - well, to be honest it is already fantastic. You have obviously inherited your mum (and aunty's) skill with fabrics.
    Thanks for the journey through your blog post today - most enjoyable and I read every word and devoured every picture.
    Hugs, Neet 18 xx

  5. He is such a lucky little boy to have such a fab mum - you really are doing a great job! His book will be amazing and I know he will love it and it will keep him busy checking out all the hidden fun on every page. x x x

  6. How Adorable! So inventive. I do agree... babies should be busy, not quiet. Nothing is more precious than to hear a baby laugh. Creative Blessings! ~Kelly #41

  7. Hi Tilly, what a fabulous project for your son! Love it. And how nice that you are encouraging him to explore things- no child should just be given stuff to keep them quiet. An inquisitive nature should be encouraged. What an ace Mum he has. Have a great week, Hugs, Shaz #10 xxx

  8. It was really lovely to meet you too and that gorgeous boy of yours...he's such a cutie!! I was completely bowled over by your busy book..the details are fantastic. My favs were the lion's mane and the buttonhole snakes. Genius!! Please show it when it's finished.
    It was so lovely to meet your mum too, she's fab :-)
    Hugs, LLJ 9 xxxx

  9. I love the jungle fabric - and your ideas for the book are amazing - I think my favourite has to be the parrots with the velcro bottoms, but they are all gorgeous and clever! Thanks so much for stopping by my desk earlier, hope you have a great week,
    Diana #29

  10. I'm a new follower, and know I'm going to love your blog.I used to be a Junior Primary teachers, so I love sewing that's child related.Your froggy sewing, and all those little things that are attached by Velcro! Lucky children to have you as a mum!Now I'm off to play with cloth dolls! hehe.
    Judy xx

  11. What a cool project. I want to make one of those for my Grandchild. :-)
    April #50

  12. Oh, this is just charming and delightful! What a simply gorgeous project. I think my favourite are the little ribbon snakes! So many different activities to do! Gorgeous.

    Happy belated WOYWW,
    Shoshi #42

  13. What a wonderful collection of animal activity for your little one.
    sandra de @32

  14. what a cute project. should keep him very busy and stimulated to look and learn.
    glad i found your blog
    caroline & ayla xx

  15. Wow what talent, love all the little animals.

    Hugs Diane

  16. Wow what talent, love all the little animals.

    Hugs Diane

  17. Thank you all for your lovely comments. It's all very encouraging!x