Wednesday, 26 February 2014

My favourite project of 2013

Okay, so the title's a bit of a fib. I actually had at least 2 favourite projects of 2013 - though one is currently lost in the mail and I am hoping against hope it will turn up, so I don't want to spoil the surprise - hopefully I will be able to post about that later.  This one was by far the biggest though - it took weeks to complete, but I was delighted with the end result. 

Favourite childhood teddy
I have two very dear friends who are sisters, and the older of them (though she's still younger than me by a little) had a milestone birthday recently.  I wanted to do something really special to celebrate, and she had specifically asked for a homemade gift.  An idea grew in my mind, based on all the memories we shared, and her love of bright colour, cartoons and all things nerdy.

I ended up using 2 double flat sheets, one very lightweight summer duvet, about 3 packs of Giotto fabric pens and a few weeks of my life!

First, I pinned up the sheet on the wall with masking tape and drew out a few images in pencil to give me an idea where to place things.  

I marked off the edge of the double sheet at the width of a kingsize duvet cover so I knew where to stop drawing.  

I quickly realised that the pens would run through onto the wall, so I then took the sheet down and used a book wrapped in a sheet of plastic to draw on.  

Favourite chocolates
I then learned that you have to stop occasionally and wipe the plastic down to stop the colour pooling and transferring back onto the fabric! However, if you do get the wrong colour on, it's easily fixed if the ink is still wet - with about 10 minutes scrubbing (I used wet wipes) and a little sotto voce swearing as required.

I had a lot of help from her wonderful sister (whose present I am already plotting about) who snuck photographs of teddies, gave me new ideas about pictures I could include, like one of a dolphin, and was so supportive and encouraging as she always is - so welcome, as she is an amazing crafter with a great eye for colour and design.

Finally, I finished drawing, and hung the sheet up. But it was missing a little something.  I decided to use her love of astronomy as inspiration, and filled all the white space with little coloured stars.  I ironed it all over to fix the colour, then washed it to get out any pencil marks, and ironed again.

I then pinned the edges together around the lightweight duvet, got out my long suffering Singer and sewed it together.  I overstitched around a few of the items to make them stand out, sewing in the ends by hand.

Finally, I handed it over.  Here it is on the bed (lightness is due to flash, the colours stayed fairly bright), and I have to say, I was pretty delighted with the finished look - and thankfully so was my friend!

Hope you enjoyed - and if you are crafting today, hope you have fun



  1. Wow, this is awesome! You're a very talented artist. It's so much fun to look at and try to recognize all the different references.

  2. Thanks so much - your kind words mean a lot :) I'm really glad you had fun looking at it! Some of the stuff was a real joy to work on, I just love working with bright colours & trying new techniques xx

  3. Brilliant idea beautifully executed - and how wonderful of you to spend so much time and thought working out this plan and then obviously working so much love into the project. I can imagine your friend must have been thrilled to bits with it! You are indeed very talented - an astounding project, well done! Joy x

    1. Absolutely - I love getting home made gifts myself and though I definitely had those moments of 'what am i doing?!' and 'will she like it?' it went quite smoothly. It was definitely a labour of love - but if I'm honest I enjoyed it more than I expected! I don't often give myself time to just draw or paint, and it was really fun to let myself get so absorbed. Thanks for reading xx

    2. And thanks for being so kind about my drawing too! I still have so much to learn - but your encouragement means a lot :) xxx

  4. Off course, a present made by yourself is much more appreciated by your dear friend as it is specialy mafe just for her. :)

  5. I was really pleased by how excited she was and we had fun looking at all the references and reliving moments. I also liked that I got to know stories about her I had never heard before :) so it ended up meaning a lot to me too :) xx