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Linen and Lace – a new beginning for me….


I saw a post on Facebook calling for members for a new design team.  The post said they were looking for people who quilted and sewed and generally had a love of all things crafty.  I responded to the post saying that I just loved the sound of this but was not at all hopeful because I had no idea what a blog was, didn’t have a blog, didn’t know how to start one, but I did have my Pinterest and Facebook pages.

A lovely lady called Diane Peternel, from Tattered Lace contacted me and after some Facebook chat, sent me some  application forms which I duly completed and returned but I was still hugely skeptical but pleased that I had even managed to complete the forms!

To my amazement and delight I got a phone call a few days later and after completing the ‘technicalities’, I received a package with 4 sets of shiny new dies, my only brief was to ‘prepare one sample using each set of dies and return the finished samples by….’

If the samples were to the liking of the Boss; they could be used for the launch show of the new ‘Crossover’ diecutting machine and the new range of Linen and Lace dies, a hybrid type of die, deep dish to cut zillions of layers of all different types of things! and perhaps a place on the design team.

A very anxious crafty pixy went of to her craft room and started cutting loads of paper diamond shapes and playing with them.  Now, us crafters know that times stops when we enter a craft room, because clocks don’t work where there is creativity!  As I had no design brief other than to ‘make an item from each die set and send it to Tatty Lace Towers for X date’.  This allowed my imagination run riot so I had to be very firm with myself, curb my crafty vibes and get down to work otherwise I would never make the delivery date.  What could I make, what might work, a bag? No.  I know, a quilt, so all my patterns and magazines came tumbling out, No that was just not working, I know, a set of table mats? Nooo.  So instead I went back to the desk and I looked at the shapes and how they fitted together, and what shapes that came from this.  Ahh, the penny dropped, a table runner, designs that I had on my desk looked about right, OK.

Having retired from work about 4 years ago, I had forgotten the skills of working to time tables and schedules so this was a shock to my now undisciplined crafty lifestyle.

I love crafting, all types of crafting and spend hours (days) in my craft room which overlooks the little town of Comber in County Down in Northern Ireland.  I have the most magnificent views of the countryside, of sunrises and sunsets, the famous Mountains of Mourne and the Black Mountain rising behind Belfast (perhaps I can share some of these views with you sometime).  I listen to music and dream and craft and dream and play and dream some more so you can imagine I have a perfectly idyllic time but it wasn’t getting my samples made. Right, better work ethic required!

So, back to my original thought, Diamond Shaped Dies.  This is what I (finally) made and it’s my first offering for Linen and Lace.

I had decided on a table runner, not quite a quilt but bigger than a bag, shapes were planned, sizes calculated, yardage calculated; threads sorted what a checklist!.

I didn’t go shopping for fabric, that would be a whole other adventure so I decided that I would cut from my stash.  Now if you know us crafters, we all have a little bit of fabric and paper, well, not a little bit, but you know what I mean, so I did have choices! I found a nice creamy background with an overall pattern of greens and blues and greys that would suit nicely the main background fabric,  some matching blue sateen, solid green and a dark grey and blue pattern.        Decision made.

As I intending to use appliqué, I ironed Bondaweb onto the dark blue/grey cotton and put all the shapes through my Cut N Boss.  With a little help from YouTube, I found that using a metal shim was the magic trick and the dies cut perfectly.  I was, to be honest, a bit skeptical starting out, (previously I had only really had success with fabric using Sizzix quilting dies) to have them come through so cleanly was a treat.

All the diamonds were ironed into place according to my plan and then zigzagged with a small stitch, not quite satin stitch but close enough, I had to use stitch n tear to keep the fabric flat and it added a firmer finish to the runner top, I left some stitch n  tear in place in the points of the diamonds for a crisp finish and then used a medium weight insulated wadding (for hot items) and a matching cotton backing to finish.  The runner sandwich was then echo quilted to emphasise the overall shapes and to give some dimension.  It was finally bound in the blue cotton sateen and that was the first piece under my belt. Finished!

Only another 3 sets of dies to go and 3 items, at least, to make

Ps this story had a happy ending, I was invited onto the Linen and Lace design team.

Result….One happy Crafty Pixy

Now I’m am away to research blogging; now that I’ve started better find out what to do next …..


I have loved making 'things' as long as I can remember. I love quilting, patchwork, fabric and multimedia crafting. TheCraftyPixy as a name started as a bit of fun but I love 'playing' so much, it has stuck! Family and friends ask 'where is she, is she playing?' meaning am I upstairs in my craft room working or playing.... I make samples of quilted and fabric items for television, magazines, social media and for demonstrations. I sell handmade items and take orders or special commissions. I have committed to two craft fairs this year at the North Down Museum in Bangor. As well as this I'm also working with a friend printing personalised items to order; clothing, caps, stationery and craft, there is a large selection of designs already available (and this is growing daily...). From here ..... the world is my oyster or my lobster- depending on who you listen to.

One thought on “Linen and Lace – a new beginning for me….

  1. LOVED this post. I was with you on your journey right from the start. Aww I was so thrilled for you. Are you still ‘with them’? … or have you moved on to new pastures now?

    Fabulous blog by the way.


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