Monday, 3 March 2014

Learn to Sew a Tailored Lampshade with the Patchwork Dog

I'm lucky to  be working again with the wonderful folk at the Patchwork Dog and Basket in the Needlemakers, Lewes. 

Now you can write what I know about quilting on the back of a very small envelope but I'm quickly learning that there is far more too it than sewing a straight quarter inch seam. And it seems I'm not alone. The April  edition of Elle Decoration proclaims "everyone's talking about Quilting" and from  April 1 the best selling author Tracy Chevalier is guest curator  to a quilt exhibition Things We Do in Bed.  In Chevalier's  most recent book, The Last Runaway, her heroine is a quilter. 

Liberty Lifestyle Kit from PatchworkDog &Basket
I'm  hopeful maybe one day I will have a patchwork quilt to share with you - for now I'm just happy to have stumbled upon quilting cottons as a fab resource for lampshade making. The patchwork dog pictured is made up from the Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury collection. There's a fab mix all inspired by the the beautiful interiors of Charleston, the farmouse home near Lewes  of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell and meeting place of the artists and writers of the Bloomsbury Group. 

Its a great weight of cotton and super smooth - perfect for crafting. And because its so popular with quilters you'll find it for sale in fat quarters, and even smaller pieces. You can econmically mix and match a great collection of designs with very little wasteage. I couldn't resist using the collection for a little 8" scallop bell lampshade as an example shade for the forthcoming workshop I'm leading.

The real delight for me with this project was the choice of beautiful bias bindings in a range of widths that Jill and Josie from the Patchwork Dog and Basket make and wind onto large wooden spools in the shop. Combined with some mini pom pom trim it makes a perfect inexpensive trim for finishing a tailored lampshade.

The Patchwork Dog also have a great range of cotton tapes in a fab range of colours. I chose a bright cerise to bind my lampshade frame. Its a great option for a smart finish inside without the need for a lining and I hope a time saving alternative to lining for first time shade makers joining me on the workshop.

On the day we'll have a great selection of the Liberty Bloomsbury fabrics and bias trims for participants to purchase. The hard bit will be choosing which combination to go for. I love this much so when I didn't have the real fabrics in front of me I played around with images in Photoshop. Here were my top 3 combinations:

Photoshop conveniently makes it easy to try out different cotton binding colours too.
I'll be playing with these again.

There are a limited number of places available on the Traditional Lampshade workshop on 19th March. We'll be working at a beautiful riverside home in Lewes and enjoying a homecooked lunch. The price is just £60 which includes your frame and all equipment. Bring along 1/2 metre of your own fabric or purchase a Liberty Lifestyle cotton,  one of my vintage barkcloths, and your choice of trim on the day. Just call Josie at the Patchwork Dog and Basket on 01273 483886 or email

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bargains galore in my end of season SALE

Just in time for you to lighten up those dark evenings. Lots of bargains - many half price.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Lampshade Repair, Recovery and Re-purposing!

Tired of gazing at a tired and torn lampshade? Are your existing frames too big/small for your room or do you fancy a more contemporary shape? Got a lamp base that deserves to be brought back to life? Found an amazing 'object' you'd love to re-purpose into a light?

I've had so much fun of late re-storing and reviving both lampshades and lights that I've decided to have a bit of an open drop-in 'surgery'.
 My good friends at the fabulous PatchworkDogandBasket have generously offered  the fabulous courtyard of the historic Needlemakers in Lewes to act as 'waiting room' this Saturday 28th September 10am - 4pm.

Ceramic Bulbholder and red/white flex from FollyandGlee
I'll have lots of different wire frames in all manner of sizes and shapes so bring your lamp along to try them on. Too heavy or awkward to carry - then just take a photo and I'll take a look. Obviously it won't be possible to do repairs etc while you wait but I'll give you options  and a full prescription with costs.

Typically the jobs I can help you with are:
  • re-covering your existing lampshade frame in your own fabric.
  • select the most effective frame style and shape for your lampbase or space.
  • re-store, re-wire and PAT test your table, floor or ceiling lamp with a fabulous selection of coloured fabric flex.
  • paint or decoupage your lampstand.
  • re-purpose any item  from a kitchen colander to a crystal decanter into a stunning lamp.
    antique bronze bulb holder from FollyandGlee
Look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

 Local but not around - email me for an appointment at the FollyandGlee studio at UpperLodge near Lewes. Live far away but got a lampshade dilemma? - email me your pics and the patients symptoms and I'll do my best.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Breakout the Barkcloth Bunting

So I had my eighth of eight cycles of chemotherapy last Thursday. Man was that hard work. 
Anyway folk have been asking what would I like to do to celebrate this particular milestone on the "journey". A glass of wine? A new head scarf? A holiday in Bora-Bora? 

Mini-barkcloth bunting garland
 Well they would be lovely thank you. What I've actually done of course might seem a little mundane in comparison but I have enjoyed it enormously.....yep I cut into the barkcloth called Darcey.
 Now Darcey is a magnificent fabric - unused and consequently super crisp and bright with eeeenormous ruby red and soft pink rose blooms - and well worth saving up for such an occasion. There is enough for just 4 lampshades including an x-large shade for a standard/floor lamp and a tapered ceiling pendant.

But then there was the scraps dilemma - too good to throw away. So I treated myself to the time to fiddle with fiddly bits and eek out some extra Darcey buttons....
card of 3 large Darcey buttons two sizes.
carded set of 6 Darcey buttons
 And largely because of  my desire to wave off those pesky toxins FollyandGlee is now being stocked with celebratory mini-bunting flag garlands perfect for happier events!

Mini barkcloth bunting garland
 They are double sided so you can ring the changes and hang them to be seen from all  angles. 
Mini barkcloth bunting garland
But maybe the best bit.....they come with their own little spool of barkcloth fabric tape. This means you can hang them from their cherry twine ends with ease AND you'll have plenty left to use at whim.
Barkcloth fabric tape
I have really enjoyed good reports back from customers who bought barkcloth tape spools from me at the Selvedge Winter Fair and look forward to making more in the coming weeks.
Darcey Barkcloth Fabric Scrap Bag
 Last but not least there was just enough left for two more barkcloth scrap bags with Darcey as the focul print.

Darcey x-large retro drum lampshade
There is one more handsewn shade and stitched brooches awaiting the return of some feeling in my fingers but overall I'm elated at having had some studio time and barkcloth healing. 
Anyone else save up a favourite crafty pursuit for a special bit of me time? I'd love to hear. Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend.

Monday, 22 April 2013

TedandAgnes and some Barkcloth Squares

I was cheered beyond cheeriness to see what my GrannyChic friend Rachelle of TedandAgnes has been up to. My that gal is a whirlwind of activity. For some of us hosting a photo shoot for Country Living, not to mention recovering from a wet school holiday, would have been more than enough. But lucky for little Violet her mum added this gorgeous throw to her already gorgeous room. Check the castors on that bed - love em.
Especially exciting for me is that said throw is made up of some of my Vintage Barkcloth Fabric Scrap Bags - x3 @ 30cm squares of barkcloth loveliness ready for you to do with as you will.

Rachelle has kindly given some guidance on how she put Violet's throw together on her blog. I'm sure you won't need any tempting while you are there to hop over to the TedandAgnes shop. I for one am forever checking the latest stock of skirts and Rachelle's running workshops too from her beautiful Stitchery.

Baccara Barkcloth Scrap Bag
 Inspired? Well you can't beat Barkcloth for than authentic grannychic style. I've popped a few scrap bags in the shop this morning. All are original vintage cotton barkcloths from the 1930s - 1970s collected by me over many years. 
Polly Barkcloth Scrap Bag
 Barkcloth has a wonderful distinctive double open weave and nubby texture. Hardwearing but super soft and the depth of colour is unbeatable.
Aasta Barkcloth Scrap Bag
You will receive the 3 fabrics photographed with each bag given the name of one of the fabrics inside.  I'm sorry but there is a very limited quantity of each ie just one or two bags of each and once they are gone they are gone.  
Sailing Boat Barkcloth fabric Scrap Bag
If you need more do get in touch at  I'll update the FollyandGlee Facebook Album of available barkcloths over the next couple of days and will be happy to help if I can put a particular selection together for you - depending on availability of enough scrap fabric of course.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

DearEmma's Distractions

This afternoon I have an important meeting with my oncologist and am terrified. A quiet morning staring out of the window patiently waiting for sounds of movement from the teen's rooms is too quiet - I need distraction.
DearEmmas Designs
I am reliably informed via Twitter that the herald of spring - a cuckoo - was heard this morning in Lewes despite the fact snow is settling on the Downs. In our own garden the bird life is noticeable by its absence - I did catch a glimpse of a couple of blue-tits but they were looking just that - blue with cold- and rather downcast.

DearEmma Designs
 Lucky for me that I have a lovely big box of fabulous applique panels from Cathy my clever friend at DearEmmaDesigns to work up into lampshades. Wrens and Blue-Tits galore all at their cheepy chirpy best. 

DearEmma Designs
 As ever they are a limited edition so hop over to the DearEmma website or facebook page to be the first to know when they are available or to ask about pre-ordering.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


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