Tuesday, 26 January 2016


I am one of those people who can't resist the things that other people pass over.  When my friend's cat had kittens I wanted the one nobody else liked, the straggly plants left on the shelf I'll take home and nurture - I'm just drawn to the unloved, the waifs and strays.  And so it is with fabric.  I just love scraps, odd shapes, tiny pieces!  The bits that were left, too small to be sold, the remnants, the bolt ends, charm packs - I love them all.

Last year I bought a lovely bag of Liberty scraps from Very Berry Fabrics.  The smallest pieces made some very pretty Liberty heart greeting cards.

Slightly larger ones were great for my umbrella design.

But there were still lots left over - here's a very small sample of these and other fabrics too :)

So I thought I'd see just what I could cut out to use as appliques for my GoodEnoughToFrame greeting cards.  This is the little rectangle from the picture above - one flower and two tulips.

I put the remainder in the 'scrap the scraps' box.  But then again - there was a piece left - too tiny for tulips but ...  maybe super tiny circles could be saved!

Flower centres maybe?

The next piece had been a square I'd used for a flower applique.

Amazingly what was left yielded no less than eight tulips.  This is what I made with three of them.

And so it goes on.  The only problem I've found is that the process starts all over again when you cut out the next items:

gingham cats ...

give way to gingham scraps ...

But planes ...
 fly to the stars!

What do you do with your scraps?

Until next time,

Lots of love

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Flower of the month - January

For 2016 I've decided to produce a new range of flower of the month greetings cards. Each card will be handmade with handstitched flowers presented on a fabric background. They will be available to buy in my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LavenderHeartUK.

January's flower is the carnation, cultivated for thousands of years and available now commercially in a huge variety of colours.

I love their petals with frilly edges!  This is my crochet version stitched onto a linen and cotton fabric and surrounded by a border of embroidery.  The little flowers in the corners represent the buds.


Over the years the different solid colours of carnation have come to have associated meanings, although (with one notable exception) these are generally positive and associated with love and beauty.  On her wedding day in 1952 my mum carried a large arrangement of red carnations, appropriate as a symbol of love and affection.

Pink carnations symbolise the love of a mother and have become the perfect floral gift for Mother's Day.

I am personally always drawn to the variegated or striped carnations (and yarn and thread!).  These can mean a refusal or 'I cannot be with you'.  It was the colour chosen by a friend of mine for her mum's January birthday card - most appropriately as she was going to be far away on the day.

For my home I also frequently choose lavender or purple coloured flowers.  In  carnation terms this means capriciousnes or impulsiveness (maybe less of the first and definitely quite a lot of the second in my case) but can be given by way of an apology or to patch up a friendship.

As with many flower varieties white symbolises innocence or pure love and can be given as a good luck offering.

Finally, one not often seen is green.  It seems that Oscar Wilde chose this as a buttonhole for the opening of his play Lady Windermere's Fan and asked that his guests wore the same.  There was no apparent meaning.  Maybe his choice should have been the purple for capriciousness! This is my interpretation.

Having looked at several websites it seems that yellow must be chosen rather carefully - sadly it is associated with rejection, disappointment and even disdain  I've decided that I will not be making carnations in that colour except in the variegated version.

If you would like a carnation card for a January birthday (or at any other time) just drop me an email at alison@lavender-heart.co.uk with a note of which colour you would like and I'll be happy to make it for you.

Next month: Violets and primroses

Lots of love
Alison x

Friday, 1 January 2016

Twenty Sixteen Goals

Here are my goals for 2016!

Thread my needle more often
Use Wisley Gardens as inspiration
GingiE 2016
New Venues
Work with BriTish Crafters
Knit with hand dYed yarn

Make more Scarves
Increase online sales
EXhibit again
BusT that stash
Do a websitE makeover
Love my Etsy shop
Celebrate on November 12th

 Happy New Year!