About Me

My photo
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, 22 February 2017

Felted seascape & other new designs & WOYWW

Hello folks, welcome to my arty little blog. Today I'm going to share a few of the best bits from my workdesk this week. It's What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday so once you've read my blog, check out more WOYWWers sharing their work today at Julia's Stamping Ground.

I've been working on lots of new designs and ideas to develop my work over the past few weeks. Here's my work desk today.

Keen-eyed WOYWW  readers might spot that this is actually Twiglet's (my mum's) workdesk - I've poached the desk while Benjamin has a nanny day. Im having a 'finishing off bits' kinda day today. By popular demand I've got chains to match my sheep pendants so I'll be spending the day stringing up a few ready to sell.

So back to those new designs and ideas...
These violets are the outcome of my desire to use up each and every scrap of felt. Making sheep brooches and pendants results in lots of little trimmings, which I've saved. I dug out the purple and green shades to make this.

Next up is a little beach scene...

I actually make this a few months ago after a trip to the North Wales coast but it's sat in a drawer as I thought a coastal scene wasn't very 'Shropshire-ish' for my local stockists (Shropshire being a large landlocked county!). Anyway, I put it on Instagram and Twitter and people loved it so I'm now working on new designs to add to the seaside range.

Finally I had some waste strips of wet felted and free motion embroidered landscape pieces which didn't make the cut in my sheep production process. I decided to use them as backgrounds for miniature flower/hedgerow scenes. Here they are, along with my latest sheepy landscapes. I don't know whether you can tell from my work, but I'm feeling Spring is on the way!

Thanks for stopping by my work desk. See you again soon I hope :-)

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Free machine Embroidery & WOYWW

Hello, dear reader and welcome to my blog!

After a bit of a hiatus in my blog writing I'm back. I can't promise I'll manage my previous weekly form but hopefully you'll be hearing my textile art musings more regularly at least.

Today is What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday so here's a shot of my workdesk.

You can see I've got my Pfaff sewing machine out. It's a pretty old model these days. I learnt how to sew with it when I was a girl and acquired from my mum when she moved on to a new machine (or perhaps I borrowed it indefinitely and she ended up buying a new one...!)

I've been free-machine embroidering poppies, bluebells and foxgloves. I've been busy over winter building up my stockist network so I'm now busy making sure I've plenty of work to keep them well stocked!

There's been a bit of batch production on the go. Or should I say flock control...

Ive also been busy with a few workshops too...

But, of course, we've still found time for some winter fun in muddy puddles...

Ben loves his little bobble hat, courtesy of the lovely Roz at Bobble & Squeak.

Well that's all for today, thanks for stopping by.

Happy crafting

Max x

P.S pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to catch up with more makers like me sharing their news from around the globe!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Needle felted brooches & WOYWW

Hello dear reader, thanks for dropping by to read my regular update on my textile art work. I'm linking up with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday today - click here to meet more creative folk like me who join in weekly.

So, I've no desk to show you this morning, it's just my lap as I'm stitching 'on the go' today.

These are a collection of brooches based on a special order I made for a customer earlier this month to match her wedding outfit. Here's what they'll look like when they're finished.

So regular readers will note I've been a little tardy with my 'regular' updates. I've been busy with lots of demo days, working with new stockists and galleries, not to mention squeezing in a holiday and my little boy's 2nd birthday festivities!

Here's a bit of a catch up from the last few weeks to bring you up to date with my activities...

I ran four demo days at Acton Scott Working Farm in South Shropshire. I had a fabulous room and met lots of lovely people, including some very creative six year olds keen to try their hand at felting some sheep pictures...
I've been busy developing a range of sheepy pendants to match my brooch and picture collection...

I've had a few commissions to complete. A little picture for a new baby called Alfie and a set of three sheep-inspired pictures...

My little boy and his bestie, Isabelle, turned two this week so I made them both special cards...
Finally, we have just returned from a fabulous holiday in Parga, Greece. Here's a glimpse of the fun we had...

That's all for this week folks, thanks for stopping by!

Happy crafting,

Max x

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Needle felting inspiration from the seaside & WOYWW

Hello folks! Welcome to my regular blog about my textile art, linking up with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday, a weekly artists' showcase.

I didn't post last week as we'd just got back from a mini break in Aberystwyth. More about that later.

Here's my work desk this morning...

More needle felted and embroidered sheep brooches on the go this week. They've been popular online and I have been asked you stock a few shops so I'm increasing the size of my flock!

I'm also working on some more background pieces to use in a series of needle felting demonstrations I'll be doing at Acton Scott Working Farm in the next few weeks. You might remember the farm from a BBC series 'Victorian Farm' a few years ago. More about that another week.

So, to our mini break in Aberystwyth. We had a lovely little family break and I managed to find some inspiration while walking along the coastline.

Look at the colours in these pebbles...

Here's are some wild flowers I found...

Here's how I turned my wild flower findings into a needle felted and embroidered brooch...

Finally, here are a few shots of my happy little man on his hols...

That's all for today folks, thanks for stopping by.

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Petunia the Sheep - Needle felted brooches & WOYWW

Good morning dear reader! Thanks for stopping by my work desk to see what I'm up to today.

Here's my work desk this morning...

Tools at the ready for work in progress, lots of finished pieces of work to pack away and a delivery of gorgeous hand-dyed wool felt.

Keen-eyed regulars will notice I've been absent from the regular 'What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday' circuit for the last fortnight. I've no excuse other than being snowed under with making and events. Poor excuse huh?!

Well I'm hoping that my little wooly friends here will secure your forgiveness for my tardy blogging! I've been working on new design ideas and these are some of them...

They're all individually named (well who wouldn't name their sheep brooches?)

Here's Petunia...

Here's Matilda...

The rest of the flock can be seen here.

I've also mounted some abstract flowers in needle felting and hand embroidery which I made several weeks ago. 

I've got my hands on these perfect frames but, alas, the well known Swedish furniture retailer has decided to discontinue these frames in the UK so I'm now on the hunt for an alternative for future creations. 

Finally, we've had lots of fun in the sun here at Tilly Tea Dance towers...

Thats all for this week folks! Thanks for stopping by, pop back again won't you?

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Needle felting inspiration from the countryside & WOYWW

Morning troops! Welcome to my weekly blog about my journey as a textile artist.

Let's begin by showing you my work desk...

This time last week I was rushing off to get cracking with some wet felted background pieces. Once these had dried I needle felted strands of wool, silk and chiffon using my embellishing machine to create the background greenery for my pictures.

As you can see, I've started to needle felt some flowers and today's job is to free-machine embroider on top and finish with beading and hand embroidery.

Ive also been out and about the Shire this week, peddling my wares and getting inspiration from the wonderful landscape. This time of year the Shropshire countryside is incredibly diverse - from the lush greens I use in my needle-felted sheepy landscapes to softer shades of heather and corn yellow. On my way up to drop more pictures at The Bog Visitor Centre the other day I noticed these lovely soft hay meadow shades and thought I'd have a dabble at incorporating them into my work...

Here's the result...

In amongst all my needle felting I've still made time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life - such as seeing my little man don his swimsuit and frolic about in Shrewsbury's brand new splash park!

Well I've got another busy Wednesday ahead of me today finishing off pieces to sell at Quatt Open Village on Saturday. Thanks for stopping by my blog and do pop across to check out other WOYWWers sharing their desks on What's on your Workdesk Wednesday.

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Workshop fun & WOYWW

Morning all! Thanks for dropping by to catch up on this week's activities from my work desk.

So here's the work desk this morning...

The 'works in progress' from last week are closer to completion. My stockists are asking for more pictures and I have a craft fair a week this Saturday so there'll be a flurry of felting for the rest of the week!

I'm working on a development of my sheep felties using brightly dyed pre-felt.
If I ever get chance to work more on these sheepy ideas I'll share them on the blog!

On Saturday I ran a workshop - Magical Gardens in Needle Felting & Embroidery - so spent the back end of last week preparing for that. The workshop went really well - another great bunch of participants who produced some really lovely pieces of work. Here's a snapshot of some of their masterpieces...

One of the participants, Stephanie, wrote a really lovely review of my workshop. Whilst the best proof of a successful workshop is always the work produced by the end, it's great to get positive feedback and I'm touched that someone took the time to write such a detailed review!

On Sunday Ben had his friend's birthday party - the first in a series of 2nd birthday parties which will occupy every other weekend between now and the end of September! We went to a local farm for a picnic and a visit to the animals. Much fun was had feeding piglets, calves, sheep and even a peacock!

Right, I've got to dash as I need to do some wet felted backgrounds to work on this week. Thanks for stopping by. If you're new to my blog and you'd like to meet other craft bloggers like me, What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) is the perfect place.

Happy crafting,

Max x