Puffins & friends now on the Farne Islands


The Puffins are back on the Farne Islands 37,000 pairs of breeding puffin, figures from National Trust site

They are iconic birds with their black back and white fronts, amazingly marked heads and bills. To quote from the  RSPB “Its comical appearance is heightened by its red and black eye-markings and bright orange legs. Used as a symbol for books and other items, this clown among seabirds is one of the world’s favourite birds.”

We too have been ‘clowning around’ creating our prototype of this amazing visitor, pictured above on the rocks with authentic bird poo! We have fallen in love with the puffin and decided to make a pattern which is available as a sewing kit for all you puffin enthusiasts (advanced knowledge of sewing required).

Please contact us to talk ‘birds’. Price for a kit: £16 (incl p&p)




For the love of textiles & blogophobia


Time to confront my blogophobia. Here goes….

I’d like to tell you about my primary school teacher. I can’t remember her name but she was without a doubt my first inspiration in textiles. Not surprising really. It was Ilford 1971, she wore long flowing dresses, no shoes, and false eyelashes which she painted up on to her eyebrows, finishing off each one with a tiny eye (don’t ask me what time she got up in the morning).

That year all my memories of school were of tie dying fabric with mind blowing results, sewing cushions and hot water bottles, making collages and being overwhelmingly happy.

So, not a lot has changed really, although the journey back to the start has been equally as colourful.

My Mum, who like so many other Mums at the time, bought shed loads of the same fabric and laboured into the night making garments to dress her, then three, daughters identically for the next however long until the roll finally made its last spotty dress.

3 sisters, 2 in spotted dresses, I'm the one who wore both the dresses for years after they were handed down.

3 sisters, 2 in spotted dresses, I’m the one who wore both the dresses for years after they were handed down.

Many of you may not know what I’m talking about but by now it was 1972ish my little sister was on the way and my evenings were spent “helping” Mum make endless romper suits out of an enormous roll of pink jersey whilst listening to (was it The Scaffold?) repeat “One pound is a hundred new pennies” on the radio. [‪@DaveGorman@b3ta_links “as I remember The Scaffold did a whole series of songs about it. For your sanity do NOT seek em out…”]

The arrival of my sister was heralded by the demise of the old currency and the birth of decimalisation. Yes I still measure my fabric in inches and am extremely confused as to why in the UK fabric width is often measured in inches and its length in centimetres. Change is slow! Desperately repeating The Scaffolds song offers no comfort in this dimension.

Tell me if I am wrong but did I hear that the Messenger mission to Mercury recently ran out of fuel due to confusion between metric and imperial measurements? It would appear that I am not alone.


Upholstery – antique chair

The 100% wool gimp (the trim) has now been fixed to the seat, it was chosen so as not to detract from the cover which was hand embroidered over 100 years ago! If you would like to see the chair in it’s various stages of being upholstered, have a look at the previous blog. The antique chair has been reunited with it’s owner, we are hoping to upholster a Chaise Longue next – can’t wait.


Upholstery in Northumberland

Spring sprang  IMG_0230 and ran away again!IMG_0232

On the upside, the upholstery wing of the business is taking off (excuse all the puns!); window seats, antique chairs and even a vintage Humber Snipe military car.


Dizzy Day – Victorian Crazy Patchwork

February 2015, Elsdon Village Hall
The sun streamed through the windows, the hall filled with people who spent 4 hours exploring the mounds of fabric to create their own crazy patchwork piece to take home. The buzz of chatter and background of colour made the day very memorable!
Here are some examples of the day’s creations:
2015-02-19 12.28.56
Finished crazy Victorian cushion cover
Dizzy Days invite people and groups to celebrate past, present & future traditions in fabric, at low cost, to be accessible to all.