Cutting Edge Sew and Show!

Well – hello again. Another month passes by and another spectacular show and tell!

Thanks to Mary who emailed last month after she received the news update …..
Have had a peep at your email—so much good stuff—that I have had to close it down and save it as a treat! Thank you for sending such fab stuff. Craft is a huge community and defies lockdown – it certainly does!

First off, apologies we should have posted last month that the Beads of Courage bags that many of you have made have been delivered to the Children’s ward at UHW by Keris’ daughter in law.

Keris posted last month to say “What a great selection of craft items. Well done everyone. Lots of talented people in our group. I would like to say thank you to all those who made bead bags for the Children’s Ward in the UHW. I have received 102 beautifully made bags which the children are going to love looking at and choosing a special one for themselves. My daughter-in-law, a doctor at the hospital, and the staff in the ward send a big ‘Thank You!’xx

Keris has been busy sewing. She made this cushion with appliqued Japanese blocks as an anniversary present for her son and duaghter in law.

And she has made these lovely toy sacks for the grandchildren. Keris used the bead bag pattern 22″ x 25″ Disney princesses for the girls and Hungry Caterpillar for the boys – fab!

Liz is looking forward to the arrival of her first grandchild later this year so she is busy making some goodies ready for the occasion. This is the first and there will be more….

Chris sent one of her fabric postcards to her grandchildren and grand daughter Pippi was inspired to send one back . This arrived in the post covered in sellotape! what a lovley keepsake.

Chris has been on a bit of a mission this month – more cheery fabric postcards….

….and this collection of doll’s clothes has a lovely story behind it. About 38 years ago Chris made her daughter Hannah a Cloth Kits doll but only made one of the dresses to go with it., Hanhah recently sent mum a link that said that Cloth Kits have re-launched the doll which is called Cloth Kitty. Hannah still has hers, so Chris dug out the remaining pattern pieces and finished them. She had only lost two pieces in all that time which she managed to print using freezer paper and printer. Chris now knows why she only made one dress as they took three days to complete!!

Chris is also definitely in the pink this month with these beautifully re-upholstered soft furnishings

This chair is particularly beautiful

Dianne has been prolific this month making cards, masks, practising her machine embroidery and watercolour painting.

Jan, who sent us the link to the heroic heart tote bag, has made two – this one is lovely cheery colours. Here is the link if you fancy making one

This second Heroic Heart bag was made for Jan’s friend whose husband was taken into a home just on the lockdown as his dementia had escalated. She has not seen him since and she is now on her own in the Clee Hills looking after her mum who is in her 90’s and a 10 acre small holding. Jan feels, that in her mind she is a hero for just hanging on in there and she had the virus too. Her friend loves loves earth colours hence the choice of colours for this 2nd bag.

And, next to the lovely bag is a hat that Jan has made out of an old pair of jeans – the embroidery was already on the fabric so Jan made the most of using it. A great item to be shown at out Make Do & Mend Exhibition!

Jan has also been busy making masks. The animal fabric ones are for her daughter in law who is a vet.

And she made this flag for her grandsons playhouse. The dragon has been cut out on Jan’s new Cricut machine

Sally has made a peekaboo quilt for her eight month old grand nephew. It has hardly dented her stash of fabric and certainly kept her occupied!

Monica has renovated the little sewing box that Janet donated to the group for the Make Do & Mend exhibition. Many thanks to Gill Harris from Sorrento Furnishers, Cowbridge – Monica used fabric samples that she gave to us to cover the top of the box

She has also finished two Luna Lupin UFOs – which has hardly made a dent in the unfinished business in her sewing room!

Created a macrame plant holder….

and another child’s size Japanese folded apron. This time it has been lined with batik fabric. The blue outer fabric is the remains of the denim dyed calico she used for her own apron.

The focus of the month however, has been on making a fabric scroll that records Monica’s activity during lockdown – which includes walking, foraging, baking, gardening and sewing.

Sue has finished her bunting ready for next Christmas and it is looking great!

Janet has been doing a little machine embroidery with inktense crayon colouring to make birthday cards

And making aprons for Christmas presents – this is one of three that she has made

Isobelle has been exprimenting with cyanotype – the bright sunshine we have been enjoying is perfect for trying out this technique.

Pat has been continuing with her Sashiko work and has incorporated it into a bag and espadrilles

And some of our Cardiff members have been making scrubs

Our newest recruit to the group Pam, who we very look forward to meeting soon, has created these lovely trees.

She has been working her way through Katie Essam’s Book on Applique and free machine embroidery. ‘Trees’ is her latest project using most of Katie’s techniques on her own design. Many of the appliqued fabric are from Pam’s own Procion dyed stash. All the green fabrics were too bright, so she over-painted them with brown.

And finally, a neighbour recently showed Monica some beautiful vintage cloths made by her mother and great aunt – who made lace for Buckingham Palace.

Once again, a fabulous record of members achievements in the funny old world in which we find ourselves. Keep the photos coming for next months installment.

May Show & Tell

It’s May and we are still not free to raom which is difficult but hasn’t deterred many of you from keeping busy. So…. here is our May Show & tell to brighten your day!

First off Monica has finally started to tackle the UFO’s and has finished a quilt for grandson Digby – it was only started a year ago and he needs to have it soon otherwse he will have outgrown the Hungry Caterpillar

But, as keeping focused isn’t one of Monica’s greatest traits she has been distracted away from the UFOs to new makes. This little bag is made from a scrap of fabric and the remnants of a vintage linen that was dyed denim blue

And, in an effort to use up a child size Japanese folded apron was created and has gone to a good home.

The above was obviously a prototype for something bigger. Thanks to Jan Webster who posted the pattern Monica has made a Japanese apron for herself from the Janet Clare pattern. Swallows have been stencilled on the back with markel sticks and various embellishments added to the pockets

Making driftwood boats in the Barry Island beach huts won’t be taking place in May because of lockdown so Monica has made a fabric postcard of a driftwood boat to send a cheery note to a lovely sewing friend.

And,on a hot and sunny day in May Monica decided to dye some fabric……

Amanda has also been busy making aprons too .She says that she is still perfecting them so she is trying out more patterns and sizes.

She has also made pyjamas for a birthday present for her niece “She is living in the ones I made her for Christmas so asked if she could have another pair for her birthday- a great way of reducing my stash! Missing the group so much and looking forward to seeing you everyone as soon as possible

Jan has a new toy – a My Cricut machine. It is a cutting machine that came out years ago. It cuts with a rotarty blade and the fabric doesn’t need to be backed to cut it. It certainly looks like a fun machine to play with. This wonderful piece of work will be a gift for her grandson

She has also finally quilted a friendship quilt. The backing is made from a cotton sheet that has been dyed in a couple of dylon baths . All Jan has to do now is bind it.

And these masks have been made for the local shop – and some are going to be posted to their relatives abroad

Truda has finished a nautical quilt

And made these fab little mice – love the one in the tutu!

Pat has been busy making bags – but you can only make so many – so has been looking for other sewing projects to keep her occupied.

This little bag is made from leather scraps and is used on a daily basis to carry Pat’s phone when she is walking.

And, she has taught herself how to make her own pattern to create this lovely dress – for a special occasion in the not too distant future!

Chris has been entertaining herself by making her legendry postcards – which look fabulous.

Rosie has been very busy though getting a bit bored now and like many of us missing the grandchildren. She has sent photos of two cards that were made for family and a friend…

and a card that she made for her grandson’s birthday

She has also made this beautiful cushion to remind her husband of his treasured fishing trips to Scotland, which are currently curtailed

and this cute little bag is lovely

Rosie has also made lots of bags and headbands for Velindre Hospital and she is meant to be making scrubs soon.

Jaci kindly took some screen shots of the May Morris talk that she recently tuned into and enjoyed. “May was a remarkable character & extremely talented embroiderer as many will know and the talk was great. I’m looking forward to visiting Kelmscott Manor when this is over. Her book ‘Decorative Needlework’ is still available to buy or it’s available to view online for free at“.

Jaci has also discovered that Frances Pickering, who doesn’t normally venture into social media, is working through her second ‘Isolation Diary – it’s Jaci’s daily treat, She’s on Instagram

As well as doing a bit of sewing and renovating (still in progress) Monica has written a blog about a recent trip to London – that might be of interest to some. It covers the V&A Kimono exhibition, National Theatre Costume exhibition and more. Click this link to read the blog

That’s about it for now folks.

Keep safe and well and keep in touch – do let us know what you are up to sewing wise and send some photos if you have recently finished something

April Show and Tell

Hi Folks

We hope that you had a lovely Easter – though I am sure that for many of you it was not the way you would normally have chosen to spend it. At least the sun shone and we had some warm balmy days to remember.

Rosie sent a cute card that she had made to wish you all a Happy Easter.

And Truda sent a photo of the Luna Lupin rabbit that she had finished making – looking very seasonal with knitted eggs around it. And thank you so much to everyone who got in touch to share their Easter wishes with Liz and myself. It was very kind and thoughtful of you.

Keris’ daughter in law Zoe sent a lovely message on Facebook thanking everyone who made the Beads of Courage bags. Some of you were certainly on a mission and it was much appreciated. Zoe also reported back that the headbands that were donated were a hit and she could have done with more as so many staff were asking for them. We are sure that there will be no shortage as many people around the patch are making them. Rosie sent a photo of ones that she and Janet have been creating.

Although we haven’t kept a count we think that the group will have made in the region of 80-90 bags for the Beads of Courage Charity and it has been acknowledged with a certificate of thanks

And a number of other members have been making scrubs….

Elaine has finished two quilts 11 beautiful bead bags. But Elaine has found a new hobby that she is totally addicted to …. Diamond Art Painting – another hobby to add to the list!

Elaine’s quilts

Elaine’s Diamond Art Painting

Jan has made masks for her daughter in law who is a vet

And Liz has made a mask for herself

Lesley Anne sent a photo of a card that she has made for her neighbout, who is a nurse and who, unfortuantely has contracted coronavirus. She and her family are now self isolating.

She also sent other photos of work that she has been doing….

a wall hanging for a friend who is moving house and beads of courage bags

a needle case that she has made in crazy patchwork design and a hand quilted square that she uses to cover her sewing machine

As expected Jeannie has been busy quilting! These two quilts have been made for young adults leaving the foster care system and Jeannie has made them extra cosy by backing them with Minke

Kerry has been prolofic and has sent photos of quilts that she has made, place mats and a table runner and no less that 37 beautiful beads of courage bags!

Keris has finished a cushon for her grand daughter but, like many others is not sure when she will be able to give it to her

Pat has got competition in the bag making department as Marie has been in touch to share these pictures of two beautiful bags that she has made

Sally has been busy in a number of ways. She has been putting together kits for the neighbour’s daughters who had a sewing machine for Christmas. She has managed about seven projects so far but finds it tricky to write instructions that they will understand. Liaising through WhatsApp video for tricky bits helps and Sally is finding that she is also able to diminish her stash of fabric

Sally sent four photos to share with the group. One is of a pin cushion that she showed the neighbour’s how to make. She sent a sent a sequence of pictures to them on how to assemble it

….a hearing aid tidy – to avoid it going missing!

The picture of the quilt that Sally sent is sort of a kit bought from Gilly Middleburgh’s stash. But, Sally had to buy more fabric for the binding

And, she has a rag doll awaiting attention!
Looking at making some scrubs. I think there will be a tsunami of headbands!

Dawn emailed to say that she is making beach themed cards – which could become a 2020 nostalgia theme.

She is also seriously growing salad and vegeteblaes in the garden for the first time Her husband has built a ‘green wall’ for their sheltered sitting area at the bottom of the garden and they have already harvested their first half a dozen rocket leaves.

Dianne has been keeping herself occupied. She has finished her free machine embroidery project on silk and thoroughly enjoyed learning as she went along. She is now planning on printing onto fabric some of the work she did at Dyeing to Paint.

Dianne’s bag

Monica liked Lesley-Anne’s idea of using a vintage cloth on a bag… and as she has so many decided to have a go as well. The vintage lacy cloth was first dyed denim blue. An elephant design was then added before sewing it to the bag, which was made from a scrap of silk fabric

….she has also has put together a VE day wallhanging on a vintage tablecloth

and created a fabric postcard of a local landscape from a photograph that she took recently whilst out walking

Finally, Pat Badman has recently moved to the area and is keen to meet us and join us – but now has to wait until after the lockdown. So, whilst she is waiting we have included her in our email circulations and we are really pleased that she has sent us an email with some photos

“Thank you for including me in your circular e-mails. I feel as though I am a member of the CE even though I haven’t meet anyone yet. I thought you might be interested to know what I am doing at present. I have been practicing my free machine embroidery using Katie Essam’s book ‘Layered and Stitched Pictures’ as a guide. I am not good at FME, so this is good practice for me. I am booked on a two day workshop with Carol Bartlett for picture making in July, although it will probably be postponed. So I need the practice. I am attaching photos of two exercises I have done from the book. I will continue to work through the various stages and then I have two original ideas of my own for projects”

We look forward to seeing Pat at our next meeting – which we hope won’t be too far away!

Easter Show & Tell

Well – here we are again with another show and tell that features more of your works of art – what a creative bunch you are!

We haven’t seen much of Pat Hixon lately due to illhealth but we are really pleased that she keeps in touch and shares her work with us. Pat is an extremely talented quilter and below are two of her latest creations.

The first is called indigo spin. It is made from a 10″ pack of 40 lovely Japanese Shibori fabric

The second is a large hand quilted cot quilt. It is the first time that Pat has used a pre printed design on calico bought from Cotton Patch.

Pat commented that she had very much enjoyed viewing the March blog showing other members work and was very complimentary about the talented ladies in our group.

Truda is also busy making a quilt that is to be raffled at a later date for Newton church. Hopefully we will be able to see it completed in the not too distant future

And, Brenda sent in a photo of a quilt that she is making – a lovely design in vibrant shades of blue.

Our new member Dianne is quickly getting into the swing of things. She has made some lovely greeting cards and fabric postcards. She is now looking for a pattern for a big bag that will hold all her stuff and she’s got lots of material pieces that she could utilise. And, Jan has very kindly sent her some useful links to explore various bag patterns. Dianne also fancies having a go at a padded scissor holder so if anyone has a pattern please let us know. She’s been practising free motion embroidery and she has some silk and dyes that she is planning to use to make a picture from a photo . She is certainkly making the most of staying in!

For this piece Dianne dyed the fabric, stencilled the mandala onto the fabric and stitched into it

Amanda has made these two birthday calendars for her grandchildren. She was rather frustrated with the the pattern though. It was written as it came into the author’s mind and was wrong in a number of places. Not easy to understand but Amanda persevered and got there in the end. They were not the the colour of fabric or felts that Amanda would have chosen but it was all that she had to hand. They look fab and we are sure will be treasured by her grandchildren

Rosie sent in this photo of cute little seagulls that she made for her grandchildren

Jan sent photos of three pieces of work. A quilt top that she has just finished putting together – great colour combination – a cushion and some fabric storage bags which are very handy to have in the sewing room – it will come as no surprise that Jan’s sewing room is very orderly!!!

Jaci has been working through her UFOs and enjoying finishing sorting out her ‘new’ (was a bedroom) sewing room. She sent photos of three pieces of work that she has completed. A little reversible Japanese knot bag – lovely batik fabric, a crocheted necklace to go with her bangle and ‘specminder’ and a tiny earring ‘nest’ for her bedside table – crocheted from a scrap of ‘ladder yarn’.

Pat continues to make her bags. A bit of a lull in production as she had to wait for a delivery of Bosal!

She has also been busy making bead of courage bags and Keris now has labels for stitching onto the bags. Email if you would like labels for bags that you are making and we will pass your request onto Keris.

Liz and Dilys have also made some beads of courage bags

Liz’ bags

Dilys’ bags

Chris has made face masks for College Fields Nursing Home in Barry

And Monica and Caroline have made headbands for the Heath Hospital

Caroline’s headbands

Monica’s headbands

Well that’s all for now folks.

Keep safe, keep busy and keep sending in the photos for us to share

Monica & Liz

March Show & Tell

Well – here we are – our very first online Show & Tell!

First off the mark to send a photo of a completed project was Corinne. This cute little dog was made from a kit that Corinne bought at Malvern Quilt show last Autumn. Her intention was to use him as a pin cushion but she can’t bear the thought of sticking pins into him! He’s been waiting to have his coat finished for 3 months and how smart he looks now.

Rosie has been busy on her sewing machine. Having finished a Project Linus quilt she moved on to making a large seat plus back for her swing chair. She was quoted £120 for the foam. So, to make do, she used an old table cloth, old wadding and her parents old curtain. All Quilted together and she has a very successful seat for nothing!

Pat has been making sashiko bags Here is one that she has finished. She is trying to work more slowly otherwise she is worried that she will run out of things to make. Oh NO!!!

Janet has been busy making the most of the weather to get on with gardening but she has made a couple of fabric jingly balls for her grandchildren

Lesley Anne took up the challenge that Monica had set her, which was to make something with a little vintage cloth as part of our Make Do & Mend project. Lesley was originally going to use boutis to embellish the vintage linen, but she didn’t think that would work so she used it as an overlay on a pouch instead. The lola pouch pattern is from Sotak handmade and it was really easy to use. Beautifully creative – well done Lesley Anne.

Before lockdown Gill Harris from Sorrento Furnishers Cowbridge gave Liz a nursery fabric sample book which she has been inspired to use, though she would like to hand some on to members of the gorup when we are eventually free to roam!

This is a little shoulder bag and sunglasses case that Liz has made = getting ready for her next holiday!

Monica has made an Alice in Wonderland themed collage from vintage fabrics. Some of the images have been created by using soluble fabric – a great way to practice free machine embroidery.

And, this is an Alice fabric art piece that she made in 2014. A first attempt at free machone embroidery!

There all sorts of great ideas on the internet at the moment for people to keep busy and be creative. Monica has recently come across a company in Aberystwyth that has made available free downloadable activity sheets. She has used one of the designs to create a nautical stitched postcard

The beads of courage bag challenge is going well. Truda has made nine lovely colourful ones. She is not sure when she will be able to post them but promised to get them posted as soon as she can

Monica has started to make some as well – still mmore to come!

And we are sure that there wil be more as people have been asking where to send them. Keris contact detials have been emailed around along with the pattern to make the bead bags

Keep busy and keep safe

Monica & Liz


“So pleased to receive all your posts, as one of many on my own at home. Keeps us in touch”. Truda Theodore x

Never a Dull Moment at DtP

It might be a damp, dull and drizzly day but you could never say that DtP was in any way similar. There is always lots of chatter to start the day and plenty of laughter and enjoyment once everyone has focused on their latest idea

Chris was no exception – she was busy on a sea theme for 2020 – drawing and colouring an octopus which was looking fabulous by the end of the day

Janet was busy block printing a calico bag for her sister who has just started keeping bees! And waht a perfectly clear image has been achieved

Dawn was busy painting backgrounds and showed her ice dyeing from last time – which was a great success

She had also made some lovely cards using some of her painted paper from last month – with the addition of fabric scraps and free machine embroidery

Monica tried out Mary’s new Indian wood block – such a fabulous design and destined to cecome a book cover once embroidered. Could be featured in the Make Do & Mend exhibition as the fabric was taken from an old duvet!

Jan was busy painting fabric for a later quilting project

Dianne was experimenting with stencils on a piece of ice dyed fabric she created last month – and plans to do a bit of free machine embroidery on the mandelas

Alison and Steph decided to have a go with the new lino cutting kit and produced some lovely images. Alion was planning to make some cards which is a great idea

Steph also had a go with a stamp that she found in the resource box and embellished the image with pencil colours – which gave it a great lift!

Meanwhile Corinne and Keris were quietly beavering away in the corner watercolour painting on fabric – can’t wait to see the finished pieces of work.

Another great month where the creative juices flow and we can enjoy some lovely pieces of work – well done everyone!

Making for Pleasure

February Cutting Edge was busy as usual with plenty of projects on the go and some beautiful completed work. And a welcome addition this month was the chance to do a bit of willow weaving courtesy of Dawn who showed how to make a small tree – a little early for Christmas – but great potential!

First off Dawn showed a few she had made earlier and then gave a short demonstration of how to get started …..and it wasn’t long before there were some fab willow trees to admire!

Many thanks to Dawn for her sharing her knowledge and skill – a very enjoyable exercise and one that some might decide to take further in the future!

Whilst the weavers were busy at wortk other were getting on with various projects

Sallys quilt that has been in the making for at least 30 years!

Elaine’s sashiko

or having a chat…

Work was also underway on projects that will are destined for the forthcoming Make Do & Mend exhibition. Keris was busy embroidering the shawls on the tablecloth – so beautifully done that they look like woollen ones! Monica and Caroline (L) were busy selelcting plate designs that wil be printed on fabric and appliqued onto the tablecloth. Recipes are going to be incorporated onto the plate.

Chris was exploring how to renovate the hood on the dolls pram and Liz has taken the pram home to look at making a cover.

And Amanda brought in her finished pieces for the Make Do & Mend exhibition

As usual there was some beautifuk work shared at Show and Tell.

Truda is well on the way to completing a lap quilt made from vintage fabrics – which will be hung at the exhibition

And she showed a quilt that she has recently completed

Marie had also completed a bed size quilt

and Keris had completed a quilt for her new grandson

Monica showed driftwood boats that she had made for a beach hut event on Barry Island in May and she also showed a book cover that she had made using a felted sweater

Finally Pat showed a jacket that she had recently made using Oakshott fabrics

Our Cutting Edge sessions never fail to deliver with so many lovely things to admire and skils to learn whilst enjoying each others company. Bliss!

Ice Dyeing And All That Jazz!

Today’s Dyeing to Paint was a bit full on with a ice dyeing and experimenting with the new Koh – i – Noor paints to create vibrant backgrounds which will hopefully will be turned into lovely pieces of work in the not too distant future

It could be argued that it wasn’t the right sort of the day to ice day – or – as it was a frosty morning outside maybe it was. Either way the ice making machine came out, the fabric was soaked in soda ash and everyone was eager to get going with the procion dyes.

And, after that flurry of an introduction I am afraid that you are going to have to wait to see the results – as the ice takes it’s time to dissolve taking with it the dyes into the fabric. Meantime – here is a photo of the merry band of ice dyers at work!

This was followed by yet another activitiy – to texture paper with tissue to create a background ready for painting. And not just any old painting – the fun part was using a straw to move it around the textures created with the tissue. A great exercise which allowed for some time out for a coffee and a chat whilst the paper dried…..

Or…. using the hairdryer to quicken the process!

And here are some of the lovely images that were created

Next month the plan is to stencil over the background ready for stitching – great fun!

Finally Monica was trying out a lino cut that she had made of an INdian stencil design – destined as a design for a book cover in the future

Another wonderful creative day with lovely takented people – what more could we want? And- we were thrilled to welcome and enjoy the company of Dianne and Clare today. We look forward to seeing them again soon!

Fashion in the Frame

Yesterday Jaci Mc Quillan went to the costume learners show in the National Museum Cardiff and below is her report.

The commentary, by Prof Lloyd Llewelly-Jones of Cardiff University, was fascinating – there is a lot more to the clothes people were painted in than meets the eye.

There was no information beforehand regarding which paintings would be used for the costume reproductions. While we were waiting for the ‘fashion show’ and judging a friend and I were admiring Augustus John’s work and discussing his painting ‘Dorelia McNeil in a Feathered Hat’ when along came a model dressed as Dorelia – a lovely surprise!

There was a very limited amount of her clothing visible in the painting as it is a ‘head and shoulders’ but the maker had researched the person and the likely bohemian clothing worn and had even included green and purple because of Dorelia’s support of the suffragettes.

The event was packed and, once we sat down, it was difficult to take good photos so I’ve taken the one of the winner – ‘Fair Rosamund’ – and a little video of some of the costumes from the college’s website

Apparently all the costumes can be seen in June at the end of year show. I’m going to keep an eye out for the date.

Many thanks to Jaci for taking the time to send a write up and photos – much appreciated! We will keep an eye out for the June date and share the date when we have it as we are sure that there will be members who would like to go along