Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Handmade Fair @ Hampton Court

Wow, what an amazing event! This was my first ever time exhibiting my work, kits and promoting my Crafternoon events.  Months of planning, making, writing and thinking were all put into the event and I was over the moon with how it went.

The Make & Take was the Travel Sewing kit or Brooch and we had lots of people joining us to take the weight off their feet, sew and natter at my 1950's table and chairs.It was great to show my kits to the world and was really pleased with the comments and indeed sales that resulted.  The Kantha, Sashiko & Boro style captured imaginations and hopefully we will see more customer completed projects soon.

The chair- what can I say? This was a last minute plan that really took off. I bought the chair to complete the look of a vintage kitchen come living room to give a great feel to the stand.  I was going to cover the chair in patches myself, but I thought that it would be great to encourage the passing public to help me.  Then it dawned on me that I could use the chair and its growing patches to raise money.... so it had to be for Ovarian Cancer Research!

I was overwhelmed by the number of people that stopped and took time out of their day to sew a patch on and make a donation.  Several came back later on or the next day just to see how the patches were growing. Women, children and even men joined the cause and we had to move the chair out into the middle of the stand so that several people could sew at the same time.

Thank you everyone who contributed and we managed to raise £107.50 for Ovarian Cancer Research.

I've got so many people to thank for helping me to get to the show :-

Chris Sweeney, my brother for designing the gorgeous vinyl back drop
Lesley & Angela for helping me on the stand.
Claire for not only helping me on the stand, but driving the furniture back and forth and setting up.
Zani for designing my business card and gorgeous thread cards.
Kate Molloy for desiging my amazing logo
Zani, Claire & Ruth for testing my designs
Heidi Smith for helping with my Crafternoon Tea invitation design
Glenn and the kids for keeping me sane and letting me try out my wild idea.

Thank you and here's to more events!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

First Crafternoon Tea

The first Bobbin Wren Crafternoon Tea was a wonderful success.  Vinteas was the perfect backdrop for the event, serving a range of teas in bone china and delicious jam and cream scones.  They even had gluten free ones!

I spent the afternoon in wonderful company showing the group how to make a brooch from vintage fabrics.  The cake-stand had a collection of fabrics, embroideries and lace that had been salvaged from vintage table cloths, shirts and bedlinens giving the group huge scope to create their unique brooch. 

I was overwhelmed by the results.  Each person created a stunning brooch that they were proud of and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.

The brooch is available as a kit, which can be purchased from my Etsy Store

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Thread Cards

I am using my Thread Cards for the first time with a project and I love them. I've been obsessed with how to present the threads in my kits and tried various hand drawn designs, but kept coming back to the card with holes in.

After help from Zanidesigns I have the perfect card with all my branding on too and some of my work on the back!  These will be given out at The Handmade Fair in September 15-17th @ Hampton Court and will be filled with threads in my kits.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Quilt from scratch workshop

In conjunction with The Quilter's Den on Smith Street in Warwick, Bobbin Wren is proud to announce our first Quilting Workshops.

You will create a quilt from start to finish. If you have ever fancied making a quilt, but never known where to start, this is the workshop for you.

Held over 2 days (Saturday 2nd September and Saturday 23rd September), Kellie will take you through each stage from choosing your fabrics, preparing them, cutting, piecing, quilting and binding.  Don’t worry if you don’t understand the jargon or how to use the tools and equipment as Kellie will take it slow and make sure that you understand each step.

By the end of the 2 days you will have a beautiful quilt and feel confident to make another one yourself.

The workshop will be delivered in The Quilters Den on Smith Street, Warwick.  There is a car park round the back that is easy to walk to. We will be using the studio in the back room that has workstations, power, irons and all the rest of the equipment that we will need.
Just bring your sewing machine, fabric and sewing kit if you have it.

Book by contacting Anita @ The Quilters Den – 01926 408247 and you can join the events on Facebook.

Price - £35 for each workshop

The Bobbin Wren Etsy Store is now open

Wow its been such a productive day and now I can announce that the Etsy store is officially open for business.

You can purchase the Brooch Kit from the store and there will be other kits going in there as they get completed.

Discount on entry tickets for The Handmade Fair

If you quote BOBBINWREN when you book your tickets you will save £5 on Full Experience tickets*.

Just quote this code when booking tickets from

With a Full Experience ticket, you get to choose 3 sessions (1 x Super Theatre – hearing from famous faces like Annie Sloan and Keith Brymer Jones in live demos and Q&As, 1 X Skills Workshop – you can try your hand at calligraphy, wirework and more, and 1 x Grand Make – chance to learn a new skill in a light creative session).

Plus, you can come and visit the Bobbin Wren Stand E123 to see our kits and sit for a while to make a brooch.

*Saving applies to full price adult tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Offer ends 23.59 on 13th September 2017. Booking fees apply.

Exhibiting at The Handmade Fair - Hampton Court 15th-17th September

Bobbin Wren is excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at the Handmade Fair 15th – 17th September at Hampton Court. We will be selling our kits, offering a ‘Make & Take’ and promoting our Crafternoon Tea events.

To celebrate we are offering you a chance to win 2 pairs of free Entry Tickets to the show.

To be in the draw simply like and share this post (see link below) and we will pick the winners on the 6th of August.

To be in with another chance to win – book onto our Crafternoon Tea event which will be on the 5th August @Vinteas in Leamington Spa - Enjoy a cream tea while making a brooch from vintage fabrics, lace, ribbons and buttons in a beautiful vintage tea shop.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Happy Birthday Bunting

I thought that I would start this blog page off with the Happy Birthday Bunting I made last year. I needed a final project for the City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Design and Craft – Patchwork and Quilting qualification that focused on applique and I needed a cool birthday present for Glenn.  This was the perfect answer.

The client was my partner Glenn, who is 45. He is a bearded personal trainer who likes sci-fi and fantasy movie genres, coffee shops, recycling and camping. He likes to be well dressed, but does not follow fashion labels. 

Before being a Personal Trainer, Glenn worked in an office and had to wear formal office attire daily. He was quite happy to leave that life behind and so has several shirts that he no longer uses that are made of high quality fabric with different patterns.

Happy Birthday Bunting was made for my partner’s 45th Birthday. The Bunting needed to fit in the family kitchen on pre-existing tacks that are in the wall specifically for our Christmas Bunting. This bunting would then form the backdrop of the Family’s birthdays – each time it is someone’s birthday the Happy Birthday Bunting comes out and be put up on the tacks. 

Although the bunting was designed for Glenn’s birthday it needed to be quite generic. The whole family values recycling or up cycling, so I used reclaimed fabrics from shirts, some of which will be Glenn’s old shirts, others from donated shirts. 

The striped fabrics were particularly chosen as they could be used with the stripes running vertical or horizontal and would give a different effect. 

Glenn particularly liked the checked pieces and they complemented the striped pieces. 

When laid out together the fabrics all worked with the red applique fabric and still maintained individuality. 

The plan for the applique pieces is to machine applique in a blanket stitch using the same thread for all the pieces.  White is a natural choice as it stood out on the red and showed the stitching especially from a distance.  I then chose the red and white gingham fabric as the binding so that it would follow the colours used on the letters and would naturally work with all of the fabrics chosen for the flags. 

I wanted the machine blanket stitch to be really neat a crisp, so I used iron-on stabiliser (interfacing) to give the shirt fabric more stability. 

I avoided cutting the shirt fabrics on the bias as they were subtly different fabrics and I was not sure how they were going to stretch.   

I liked the different shapes of the flags and the fabrics that I used as it did give a rustic and recycled feel to the product, but still a well-made and crisp finish.  If I made this again though, I might just use one of the flag shapes as it did create some issue with making sure that the letters lined up neatly with the letter on the neighbouring flag. 

I overcame my fear of machine appliqué.  I have normally gravitated to hand appliqué, but for this project hand turning all of those letters would have added a significant amount of time.

Since then I have made a set for my Brothers family and included Bunting for each member of the family.

Testing this new blog