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Archive | Summertime

5 of the best easily portable, sun lounger-friendly crafts!

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Okay, okay, okay, so it's not the best idea to pack chunky yarn on your summer holidays to finish off the wool blanket that you started 6 months previously, when it was freezing cold and you benefited from your project's thermal properties! And a sewing machine might be frowned upon at check-in. So what does constitute a holiday-friendly craft, and what sort of projects lend themselves to laying by the poolside?

1. Embroidery - A classic.  Embroidery has come a long way since your granny's day and yet there is still something really kitsch about it that we can't get enough of. When done well, embroidery tells a story of old skills meeting modern day themes and is a great way to feature elements from your holiday complete with date, as a reminder of your trip. Endless opportunities and easily transportable, the humble embroidery hoop gets our vote. Find ours here.

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2. Brooch Making - If you're missing home, this little kit gives you the opportunity to hand make with love, something for two friends or relatives, with one left over for you. The kit is small enough to keep you on the right side of your in-flight arm rest, and sufficiently fuss-free that you won't get in a tangle with your knickerbocker glory. If you're already a Tilda fan then this needs no introduction. It's all there for you, packaged up in a gorgeous gift bag. Go on, treat yourself, you're on holiday! Tilda Country Escape Brooches kit.

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3. Felt - Small enough to not compete with your baggage allowance and charmingly simple and relaxing to handle. We love to hand sew felt because it's effortless and methodical and feeds the soul! Here are some heart magnets to add to your to-do list. Felt is available in 3 different sizes, 16 inch squares, half metre and full metre. (Image credit.)

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4. Crochet - So satisfying to watch those loops transform into something mysterious and inexplicable! One of our favourite holiday pastimes are crochet bears for a very worthy charity called 'Teddies for Tragedies' who send the bears to children in crisis. They are currently experiencing distribution issues, however the charity that provides the crochet pattern has advocated using this to create bear donations for your local children's ward. The Toronto branch has provided a crochet pattern online. The bears are small enough to be easy to handle and you'll feel good about making someone else feel good! For our stunning selection of crochet hooks whatever you're making, look no further.

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5. English Paper Piecing - This is a really holiday-worthy art because it allows the time to spread out your pieces and think about placement. Pack your desired paper pieces and your fat quarters and get lost in the art of cutting and placing. Our broad selection of paper pieces.

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All that's left is to wish you a very bon vacance! One where you truly enjoy yourself, relax and fend off project homesickness.

Yours, wearing in my espadrilles x

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Understated, Beautiful and Pure - Celebrating Crisp, Clean Classics

flowers jar - blogJust as Oscar Wilde said "the truth is rarely pure and never simple" the same could be said of something understated, that is, classic and never plain.

Sometimes when you take all the noise away, you're left with something so beautiful that you wonder why you couldn't see it in the first place.

Really fine crafting details require an unfussy backdrop to let fine skills speak for themselves. This lets each individual sewing detail sing out in it's own right and with our selection of beautifully understated and pure white backdrop fabrics that embrace everything we love about the spirit of a summer's evening, you'll be well on your way.

The first fabric in our collection is the minimal Bella Schooner Tipu, a lovely, light and playful repeat that has a Scandinavian charm to its simplicity with it's crown adorned bird and gorgeous rich aqua tones.

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Country Girls by Tasha Noel is undeniably charming. It depicts such delicate observations as feeding the ducks with a sprinkling of blueberries and wild flowers among silver birches. It is quintessentially innocent and country loving.

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Sommer Sundborn, Blossom by Sarah Jane is a beautifully illustration which needs no other colours. Available in peach and china blue, we love the brush strokes that are visible in these hopping illustrations as well as the blooms and overall symmetrical pattern that occurs, cocooning each picture.

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Enchant Floral White from Riley Blake is muted coloured posies somersaulting hastily and is a breathe of fresh air.

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Wonderland in Labyrinth Gold by Melissa Mortenson is a stunning geometric ode to grown up design of the highest order. We would love to hear what you make of it.

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And so there you have it. Everything that you could possibly need for your sewing machine skills to do the talking in a manner that says you take sewing in your stride!

Yours with a scented candle, bowl of cherries and blouse darts to sew... x

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The beauty of life is in each precious moment! Stop and smell the roses.

2395dfb3082eec57030e463b11a4f8acSometimes life gets in the way of, well, enjoying life ironically, and as our good friend Ferris Bueller noted, "life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it". Sometimes we literally don't stop often enough to just smell the roses. This week sees the start of Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and what better reminder to stop and enjoy the beauty in nature and appreciate the every day things that make this life a joy!

We have noticed that people that love to craft often love to bake. And people that love to bake, love to garden. And people that love to garden value the fine fragrance and formations of all things floral, whether manicured or wild. With this in mind, we've pulled together some of our free spirited floral themed fabrics, which are so good you can almost smell them.

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From left to right: The beautiful Sommer, Tulip Tangled by Sarah Jane - because colourful tulips might just be the happiest flower in existence. And the only thing happier than a jug of tulips is a field of vignette tulips with cheeky rabbits peeking up over the blooms!

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One of our favourites for it's pureness and simplicity, an absolute classic: Park Life, Flower field Coral by Cloud 9 in organic cotton.

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Brand new and reminiscent of something vintage, this burst of sunshine happiness has a generous scattering of coral, aqua and lilac blooms that we have fallen head over heals for: Granny's Garden by Sevenberry.

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Cottage chic at it's finest: Retro Flower, Gold by Sevenberry.

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Sprigs and blooms aplenty in this fresh and bold repeat: Vintage Market by Tasha Noel.

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Satisfying in it's geometric floral repetition: Slipper Roses, Rosebud Trellis by Tanya Whelan.

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Another reliable key piece: Cottage chic in blue: Cottage Flower by Sevenberry, blue.

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And in pink for anyone that can't make up their mind: Cottage Flower by Sevenberry, pink.

Sevenberry - Cottage Flower - PinkHappiness personified: Autumn Tree, Celia Slate Blue by Tilda.

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And for anyone attending the actual Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, we've got just what you need for the free-flying butterfly dome! Butterflies in white by Summer Loft.ring-a-roses-647101-372

Send us your stories whether flower, baking or gardening related, we love to hear from you: hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

Yours, appreciatively soaking up the small things in life x

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One new 'Poppy Field' & Summer Top 10 Hits

f3fd32a7f38b4849c707d1a11d29044cWe've moved!

We've been inundated with new deliveries here at Poppies & Polka Dots HQ as well as settling in to our new light and airy premises. As part of the unpacking process, we stumbled over a few classics that deserve a shout out as well as our new releases, and so we've compiled a list of our top 10 summer hits! Inspiration is a plenty, the sweet peas are gaining height and even the need for the seam ripper isn't taking that smile off our faces.

In at number 10.... Strawberries by Sevenberry. This fabric has got Wendy house curtains written all over it!

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9) Nature Trail - Flowers & Bees by Dashwood Studio. We think this would make the most beautiful lampshade covering ever. If we could wallpaper Poppies & Polka Dots HQ in this, we just might.

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8) Chloe by Tanya Whelan. I don't know about you but I'm making a peter pan collar blouse with mine!

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7) Picnic by Melody Miller This is the perfect summer tote excuse - permission granted!

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6) Zephyr by Rashida Coleman-Hale. We adore the carefree illustrations of this print with metallic detailing in a choice of two beautifully retro reminiscent tones. Children's attire anyone?

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5) Cuckoo's calling by Dashwood Studio. Playsuit please!

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4) Tulip Tangled by Sarah Jane. An absolute must have for any purpose, just don't miss out or you'll never forgive yourself (it's one of those).

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3) Blueberries by Tasha Noel. Because no one should be without blueberry culottes in their life.

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2) Park Life by cloud 9. Camper van curtains, basket lining, table runner, dolls house furnishings, the list is endless for this cheeky wayward snails fabric.

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Which means the number 1 spot goes to...  Flower Sugar by Lecien. Patchwork quilt or vintage reproduction dress, the options are endless for this sugary sweet collection with a huge choice of complimentary tones and prints.

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Speaking of new spaces, we've been organising the way we do things at HQ and would love to hear from you if you have any sewing storage solutions or top tips that we can share. Please send us a picture to hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

Until the next time, blossomy billowy blessings x

Photo credit - We've moved stationary