Maxi Designs ~ Handmade

Maxi Designs ~ Handmade

I have a passion not only for writing, but for designing and creating items by hand. I'm professional trained as an Interior designer FdA with Distinction. My other strengths are in the needle work area, which I'm fine tuning with a seamstress course at present. But I also like working with beads, Jewellery making, drawing, and in I love particularly making my own gifts.

Anyone who knows me personally, will know that I've always got a design project of some sort in the making!

And for the first time, I'm going to share some of these projects with you..... it's very nerve raking, because it's quite a personal thing, an item you've made by your own hand. But I hope you enjoy seeing them, half as much as, I've enjoyed making them!

I thought also, I would do some design mood boards too. Of styles, designs or even unusual designs or items, which have inspired me. And maybe they will inspire you along the way too...

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Handmade Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cover, in Cath Kidson Fabric!

Handmade Quilted
Hot Water Bottle Cover
Cath Kidson Material! 

Last saturdays little sewing project...

England is still in the middle of a heat wave, and I appear to have made another thing, which is unusable in this heat... maybe I'm secretly wishing the colder wear back! lol 
This is a handmade hot water bottle cover, using Cath Kidston spotted duck cotton fabric. 
It's really just a very simple design, and I think maybe all my family members maybe receive one of these for christmas! lol 
Just in case you are wondering what duck cotton is, 
Cotton duck (from Dutch: doek, "linen canvas"), also simply duck, sometimes duck cloth or duck canvas, commonly called "canvas" outside the textile industry, is a heavy, plain woven cotton fabric. There is also linen duck, which is less often used.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tabby Cat

Tabby Cat

I was rummaging around in my old needlework box, when I found some old projects.  Which I'd made many years back.  And I thought, I'd share some of them with you...

This cross stitch Tabby Cat, I made when I was about 16 or 17 years of age... I was born in '79... I'll let you work out my age yourself! lol

It's sad really that this sweet cat, had been sitting in a box!

(I've tried to zoom in, so you can see the detail better!)

I will post some of the others soon! I can't post them all at once now can I? lol

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Patchwork Quilt

My First Patchwork Quilt.

Hello, I hope you have had a good week?  

Here in England, we've been experiencing a bit of a heat wave.  Which I have to admit, I've quite enjoyed, that is, so long as I'm not stuck outside in the heat.  

Now I've been making, and designing things, for most of my life, but some projects I've never tried before... for instance, making a patchwork quilt!  

During this Handmade blog journey, I'm going to be trying out new projects, and designs, just for fun!

I saw these fabulous squares, about christmas time, last year, then sewed them together..... then they just sat there, in my draw!  And you know how it is, life gets in the way, and they soon got forgotten.  

I honestly don't know why, but on thursday last week, I felt inspired to finish the job.......  I mention this, because, it was one of the hottest days of the year, and I'm making a blanket, with said blanket over me, most of the day, as I'm sewing it all together.  Honestly! Maybe that wasn't the wisest of moves I could have made, I was melting under that thing!  But I had great fun making it, and can't wait to start the next one.   

Lucky I already had red fabric for the edging, and trim, and also some wadding, but as you can see, I've only got a half size sewing machine.  Normally I would do everything by hand, and to be honest, this was my largest in size project to day.  But I managed very well.  Which goes to show, you don't need the high tech stuff, to complete the job! 

Here you can see the different layers, the front all sewn together, then the wadding, and then the backing.  I just used a simple white, I thought it contrasted the best.  I used safety pins to hold it all together, dress making pins, I felt wouldn't hold it securely enough in place for me.

I kept the quilting sewing design simple, by just sewing along the lines already on the quilt.  Joining all three materials together, forming the quilt. 

So once that was all done, next I needed to trim off any extra backing, or wadding.  It's always best to measure over with these, just in case. 

Heres the nearly completed front and back of my quilt, just the trim to add now...

You can really see the sewing lines now.

Then for the finished trim, I used the red fabric again...  And Wallah.....  My first completed patchwork quilt.  I'm very pleased with it. 

I've used my sons quest bed as a model, so you can see the actual size.  I think a lovely size for snuggling up in when reading, or watching t.v on those cold nights...... which of course are not happening in a heat wave! lol But soon I'm sure! lol 

Thank you for joining me, and maybe I've inspired you to have a go yourself?  If so, good luck. xxx 


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sweetie Bouquet

Sweetie Bouquet

Making sweetie bouquets and hampers, is by far one of my favourite gifts to make, and to present to someone.  I just love the way their faces light up, seeing the display of chocolates, and other goodies, and knowing they are all for them, with the added bonus of a pretty vase, basket, or pot, once all the chocolate delights, in this case, had been eaten.  They also become more of a personally designed gift, then any old thing, you can pick up at the shops!

This Lindor Sweetie Bouquet, was actually made as part of a christmas gift for my mother-in-law last year.  I do adore the way this displayed, array of chocolates, then becomes a show piece for all to see.  It's one of the few gifts, besides actually flowers, which can be displayed and enjoyed by the whole family and friends, even if it is for a short period of time.    

And yet they are the simplest of things to make...

You will need...

A collection of chocolates of your chose - I picked Lindor, because it's mums favourite! 

A pretty vase or pot.

Cellophane wrap - these are quite inexpensive to buy, and come in a wide array of colours and patterns.  

Bamboo Skewers


And foam padding for inside the vase, so you can poke the skewers into.

And that's it, it's as simple as that...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Cute Teddy Bear, Hand Stitched.

Handmade Stitched 

Cute Teddy Bear Cross Stitch Picture

Hello again, and thank you for joining me.

For my second Maxi Designs, Handmade blog, I thought I'd share with you a project, I've only just finished.  Now this is actually a Christmas gift, to my will be at the time, 2 year old niece.  Hence why it's a cute Teddy Bear picture.  I'm just hoping todays young children/ babies have little, to no interest in blogs! lol 

I know, I said that scary word Christmas!  But if you are going to make, design, or create, your own gifts.  You do need to think about these things, almost as soon as the last decorations are put away from the year before.  I drive my husband insane, by always being on the look out, collecting and/ or making Christmas gifts.  Poor guy, I think Christmas is a word he hears all year round!! 

This cute Teddy Bear has been hand stitched, in the cross stitch method. My favoured method! And also designed and created by myself too.  It's not from a kit or pack, so a completely unique gift to my niece to keep. 

I have used this teddy design once before, as a birth sampler gift.  But he's so cute, I just had to find an excuse to use him again... and I finally found one!

Here are a few photo's of the teddy in the making...

As you can see from this photo, I've just about finished the base colour for the teddies body, there is only the section where my needle sits to fill in now.  After this stage, is the shading, to add depth, and really bring the teddy to life on the canvas.  You can already see a hint of this around his nose.  

And here is the completed teddy.  You can now see the different colour shading, which bring him to life.  Now he need some grass to sit on, so the darker shading on his legs looks more in contrast. 

My completed cute teddy bear, with black outline around the flowers and insects, but a must dark brown around the teddy himself.  I feel this add depth and interest, along with making him look softer and cuddlier around the edges!

I wonder can you see all the insects...? There is 1 Ant, 2 Ladybirds, 3 Butterflies, 5 Flies, and 3 Bee's! 

I've then framed him in a simple white box frame. 

I think personally he's totally adorable, and want to keep himself.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Handmade Wedding Hair Accessories


Wedding Hair Accessories 

I found myself at a loss, for which Handmade project I should share with you first.  On one hand, I wanted to just post them all, then on the other, I find myself wanting to hide away from away.  It really does make me feel nervous sharing these handmade items with you.  Normally only a select few ever get to see anything I've made, either because it's a gift to that person, or I've happen to leave it out on my work table, and someones happened to come across it!  

*Deep breath, I can do this...*   

So I though maybe for my first Maxi Designs blog, I should start with a pretty sparkly bang...  Handmade Wedding Hair Accessories

These aren't the accessories I worn on my wedding day, these are just something I made only recently.  Typical old me, I just fancied having a go at making one... and this was the result of my first try.  

I'm really quite pleased myself. 

The glare from its sparkly-ness, makes it hard to see the details, so I'm going to post this photo too, on just a plain background. 

Now of course, I have no idea what to do with these wedding hair accessories, since I'm already married myself, and it's possibly over the top to wear these myself to someone else's wedding...! lol.  Oh well back into my box they go!