Header pic

Header pic

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Well, that lacking Mojo last week hasn't stopped me being productive thankfully.  The work flooded in last week because it was the last week of the school term here and a lot of folk had left things to the last minute so it was Annie to the rescue most of the week. 

But even that didn't stop me finishing my three eye spy quilts....

The exciting thing is that I have now sold two of my quilts and have had really lovely feedback about them including this photo of a little Grandson enjoying his quilt...

How special is that?

These are the three School memory bears I made last week to give as leaving gifts to three teachers....and apparently they really loved them.
I love my job.

And here's my desk for this week....I'm in the middle of making three memory cushions from three jumpers.  They were favourite jumpers worn by a much loved Dad / Grandad and are to hold special memories for three family members.

I always keep my tissues to hand when discussing the needs for special items like these and my motto is that 'my hugs come free' as a bit of comforting is usually required when remembering these much loved people.....my nursing training is never wasted is it?

That's it for me today.  As you can see I will be head down busy sewing all day today....I had a day of fun yesterday with little Theo so that his mummy could go into school and prepare her classroom ready to start back teaching after the summer holidays.
Annie x

Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday's smiles....week 230

Before I start to tell you about my week I want to say a big thank you to all who joined in the fun last week by sharing their smiles.  I really do love to see what's making you all happy so thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to link up.

So onto what's been making me smile this week? 

What a week it's been here for me....it started off with my Mojo going on holiday and I really was struggling to get creative.  I mentioned this on my Wednesday post and the comments that came back really made me smile.  What a truly wonderful lot of friends I've got.....many I've never met [hopefully I will meet many more at the crop at Llandudno in September though] but even from a distance you were able to really make my day. You lifted my creative spirits my friends so thank you soooooo much.

From having a couple of quieter weeks this week turned manic.  Everyone had left much wanted sewing to the last minute so I've been chasing my tail all week to not disappoint anyone. 
  • Shortened two dresses for my daughter, taken one of them in on the side seams and lifted it on the shoulders ready for her holidays
  • Shortened two hems on an evening dress ready for a posh event
  • Shortened the sleeves on a young man's jacket ready for his school prom
  • Made 3 school memory bears to give as end of year gifts
  • Altered a Kindle cover/stand for one of my customers to take away with him on his holidays
.....and yes it all makes me smile because I love my job and work best when under pressure. I was rewarded for my efforts by selling another of my eye spy quilts yesterday too so that really made me smile.

My photos for this week are of my orchids because they are really stunning at the mo and two of my plants that flowered last year have thrown out new flower shoots and yesterday when I snapped the pics the first of these new flower shoots had a bloom opening.  

I hope these have made you smile today.  You should be able to click on the pics to enlarge them if you want a closer look.  Please leave me a little comment to let me know you've called in and then link up to your own smiles below.  I will be along as soon as I can to check them out.
Annie x

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Here we are at another weekly catch up with all those exposed desks.  Mine seems to be much of the same each week at the mo.  I am getting a steady flow of sewing jobs for my customers but when it comes to my creative time in between I'm struggling.....Mr Mojo has gone on holiday and I really can't wait for him to come back.  I've really tried to make a start on a new project but it just won't come so I fall back onto some fairly mindless creating to fill my spare time....I can't sit idle.  My moto for life is to make every day count so even if they don't sell I will donate them to make money for charity.

So this is my desk for today...

It's three more eye spy quilts in the making.  I just need to cut wadding and backings now for them so I can get them quilted and finished.  I've sold one so far and if you zoom in you will see there is the two completed ones folded on the top of the boxes behind by my blind hemmer and overlocker. My creativity will go as far as choosing fabrics and spacing the squares evenly over the quilt but that's about it.  I plan to get these finished then pull out fabrics, threads and maybe even wool rovings to see if I can summon up some enthusiasm to make something.

Short and sweet for today.  I hope very soon I will have something a little more creative to share with you.  Thanks for calling in each week and leaving me such lovely comments [especially Sarah Brennan who I visit each week but am unable to leave comments....google+!!!].
Annie x

Friday, 14 July 2017

This week's smiles.....week 229

What a lovely week it's been.  Many thanks to all who joined in the fun last week.  It's so lovely to share all your happy moments captured in your photos.

It's been another week of smiles here for us mostly around our gorgeous grandchildren so here's a few pics I can share....

Little Theo just loves water and here he is having the time of his life at the local splash play park.

He popped to see me on Wednesday to show me how fast he can crawl now and what a clever boy he is pulling himself up on Nanny's table....they grow up just too quickly!

On Sunday Lexi had a day of competitions with the Gymnastics club she belongs to so we had Sam for the day.  This first thing he did was to climb into Milly's cage to tease his mummy that that was where we were going to put him for the day.

We actually had a few surprises planned for him.  We had booked tickets to go for a ride on the Welshpool to Llanfair steam train and his other surprise was that Amy, her hubby and their three had booked to come with us.  They all love spending time together and we all enjoyed the train ride and picnic lunch we had taken with us.

When we got back home neither of Sam's parents had got back so Grandad got down on the floor and enjoy special play time with Sam and the technic lego.....I'm not sure who enjoyed it most.

When Lexi returned with her mummy she very proudly showed us her medals....she had been awarded a 2nd in her tumble routine and 3rd in the group floor routine.....so proud of you Lexi.

The last pics I've got to show you today is this one of Milly.  As you can see we are watching the tennis on the telly but Milly is much more interested in her bird watching on the bird feeders just outside the window.  I'd like to think she just loved birds but I have a feeling her love is more of the 'catch them and eat them' variety.

Just look at my orchids on the windowsill too....they are just gorgeous and so far are really thriving for me.

There you go.  I've lots of smiles to share today as you can see.  We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family all living so close to us and really love sharing every stage in their lives and little Milly never fails to make us chuckle.  Hope you're smiling too now.
Please leave me a little message so I know you've called by and, if you can, then link up to your smiles below.
Annie x

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


Here we are again, catching up with our creative friends from all around the world.  I love my Wednesday catch ups. So? What have you all been up to this week?  If you want to join in the fun then pop over to Julia our head WOYWWer at The Stamping Ground. 

I showed you the eye spy quilt I'd made last week.  I loved making it and when I shared it in my Sewing by Annie Facebook page I had a lot of interest so this week this is what I've been up to...

I cut out another 112 4" [56 for each quilt] squares and sewed them together ready to make two more quilts.

Here they are finished.  They each have 7 x 8 squares in the middle to talk about / play eye spy with but each one is backed / edged differently......and one of my quilts has already sold. 


Whilst watching the tennis I've now cut out enough squares to make three more quilts....I'm on a roll as you can see.

Any that I don't sell will be used to make money for local charities and I'm really loving making them.

I think someone else is enjoying me making the quilts too cos every time I pull out a box of fabrics she climbs in.....I think she thinks this is her new bed.

That's my show and tell for this week.  Hope you have enjoyed seeing what I've been up to.  As you can see I'm happily quilt making at the mo but who knows what next week will bring for me.
Annie x

Friday, 7 July 2017

This week's smiles....week 228

Happy Friday to you all.  It's nearly the weekend so that's def something to smile about isn't it?  Many thanks to those who joined in the fun last week.  I do love seeing what makes you all smile so please keep up the good work folks.

My smiles this week focus on our younger family members mainly.....

Here's Phoebe, Lulu and Steve enjoying some fun in the sun in a swimming pool.  They can all swim now and really love playing together in the pool.

Lexi and Sam are posing proudly wearing the stickers they were given at their school sports day.  Sam had a first and a third in his races and Lexi had a special gold award for being a best friend and looking after one of her little friends who fell over in her race.

Little Theo is really enjoying his tea as you can see.....don't you just love it when they wear almost as much as they eat?  I have some fab photos of my three with blueberry pie, beetroot, chocolate etc all round their faces when they were little.  I love this age....they learn something new every day.

And the last pic I'm sharing today is this one.  It's of my hubby's can of shaving foam that came alive on it's shelf when we weren't looking this week.  I'm not sure what had happened.  It could have been the heat I suppose but the full can had completely emptied itself while our backs were turned.

There you go that's my smiles for this week.  Please leave me a little message and if you can then please link up to your own smiles for this week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 5 July 2017


Happy Wednesday everyone.  I decided after the last craft sale [having not sold a single item] to have a break from making items just to fill my really useful boxes as they are already full with items waiting for customers to buy and decided to make something to raise some money for a local charity so that's what I'm sharing with you today.....

You may remember the eye spy quilt I made last year for my 5 [now 6] grandchildren to play with when they come to Nanny Annie's.  They have really loved it and it has been well played with by all...the smallest are happy just to lie on it but there is so much that can be learnt when playing eye spy with it.....colours, numbers, shapes, etc etc so I decided to make another one.

Here are some of the 4" squares of fabric being cut out.  I decided that 7 x 8 would be a good size so 42 squares later.....

I mixed up the colours etc and stitched them into 7 rows of 8 squares then arranged them on my table so that no two adjoining squares matched and then stitched the rows together.

I then cut and attached a border around the sides and found wadding and backing to fit.  I used what was left in a spray can of temporary fabric adhesive to hold the layers together and pinned the layers well before quilting it all together. I used a stitch in the ditch method to quilt it so that each square stands out.

I like to make the backing fabric big enough so it can be turned over to make a binding all round the edges.  I've folded this over twice and pinned in place mitering the corners before stitching in place with a decorative stitch.

Ta da!  It's finished now so I've just got to find a charity to give it to.

I plan to take orders if anyone would like one making but thought I would make a 10 x 10 grid on a large sheet of paper for people to pay £1 per square and this one would then raise £100 for a worthy cause.

I've loved making this one so may make another as I'm not short of suitable fabric. 😁😁😁😁

Thanks for calling by today.  I will do my best to pay you a return visit....there were a few I didn't get to last week and I'm sorry for that but will try hard to visit as many as I can.
Annie x

Friday, 30 June 2017

This week's smiles....week 227

Well folks I hope you've all had a week filled with smiles like me.  Many thanks to all you wonderful people who join in each week by linking up their smiles and helping to make the world a happier place to be.  We don't get so many joining in these days but if we make just one person smile it's all been worth it.

Here's a few of my smiles for this week....
  • My orders for my Memory bears keep coming and each one makes me smile
  • Even though I sold nothing at the craft fayre last Friday I have already had two really lovely new customers call in who had picked up my fliers.  They came wanting a couple of sewing jobs and are handing out my fliers to all they know so the word is spreading.
  • The intense heat has cooled down here making working rather more comfortable and the garden has really benefited from several good showers of rain.
  • Little Milly had her first yearly check up at the vets and had her boosters and kennel cough spray up her nose....and this year she didn't sneeze it back all over me.  Plus the vet said she was a picture of health.
  • Wednesday night Hubby and I went to Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury to see Jasper Carrott's Stand up and Rock and as they say laughter is the best therapy....I've not laughed so much in a long time.  Hubby was treated to the tickets for his birthday....and thankfully he chose to take me with him hehehe.  Jasper Carrott gets even better with age and the music was brilliant.  He was joined on stage by Bev Bevan, Geoff Turton, Phil Tree, Tony Kelsey, Abby Brant and Suzi Woo.
  •  And finally for those that like to see my garden flowers....they keep making me smile.
 That's all from me for today.  Please leave me a little comment so I know you've called in and if you can please share your smiles by linking up below.  Thanks folks.
Annie x

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Where did the last week go to?  Time certainly flies when you're having fun doesn't it?  Firstly I must apologise to those who called in here last week that I didn't manage to leave comments on.  My days just disappeared and here we are back to Wednesday again!  I will aim to do better this week but I never know what work is coming through my door at any minute.  During last week I had orders for 7 of my Memory bears as you know and the orders are still flooding in so I thought I'd show you the last three I've made....

The two stripey bears are made out of special baby clothes and I have to say they are some of my favourites.....don't you just love the little sailor collar on the top one?

The black fronted bear is for someone just leaving secondary school ....I'm not over keen on the all black front but what the customer wants the customer gets and I'm sure it will hold special memories for the young lady it's going to.

Here's the little black bear sitting on top of a pile of sewing I've been doing this week....2 zipped cushion covers made and 3 huge chair backs hemmed all round.

Plus many other sewing jobs are hanging on my rail....it's been a really busy week.
And for those that left me lovely comments last week about the craft fair I was doing on Friday....here's my table full of goodies.

I'm sorry to say I sold nothing!  It was advertised as a craft fair but was really a school fun day so the children spent their money on sweets, drinks and games.  I handed out many fliers so hopefully I may gain a few more customers but it was a lesson learnt as they say....it cost me £10 for the table, £10 for a raffle prize and we bought raffle tickets on top of that plus I lost half a days work [and had customers wanting to come too!!].  All in all it proved to be an expensive afternoon but you have to try it to know and I came away still smiling because I had had a lovely afternoon with my hubby and met some lovely people while there.

So that's all from me for today.  The sewing is still flooding in through my door so I will pop over to yours to say hello in snatched breaks during my day.  Hope you're all having a fab week.
Annie x

Friday, 23 June 2017

This week's smiles....week 226

Wow. What a week it's been here for me.  Before I get started I will thank all my wonderful friends who join in each week to help make the world around us a happier place to be.  Smiling really is contagious so lets keep spreading them.

It's been a really busy week with sewing for me and today I will be at a craft fair at Belvidere Primary school between 3 - 6 so I've not only been busy with customers but I've been making a few last minute bits to take with me and getting everything ready to take.

So what's been making me smile?  It's taken nearly three years of living at our new home....
  • the first year of course was making plans and getting planning permission to alter our new home
  • the second year was spent with building work to structurally change the bungalow to make it ours
  • the third year has been spent painting, tiling, fitting carpets / flooring etc and we are just finishing the last room being the utility....it's not easy to get it all done when you both work full time and we have been determined to take our time and to enjoy life too.
I have worked hard during this time to keep my sewing business going but I can now see growth in my customer numbers and each one of them is happy to spread the word so I'm buzzing.  This week I have had orders for 6.....yes 6!! Memory bears with the promise of more to come and I really love everything about making them [UPDATE.....I had another order last night so that makes 7 bears ordered in just 4 days and 5 of them already made  :-) :-) :-) ].  I've met some really lovely people and have really enjoyed making very special memories for each and every one. 

I have recently worked hard [with the help of my wonderful family] to test all the baby toys etc that I make so I can put a CE logo of safety on them.  To do this I also had to contact my fabric suppliers to ask them for safety certificates for the materials I use.  One particular supplier has been really helpful in doing this and I feel I must give Denise at Cabin Crafts recognition for doing this for me.  As a thank you for her help I felt it was right to give her my business and put an order in for some more of her 100% cotton fabrics......You would wouldn't you?  Buying fabric from Denise is really easy and the fabrics are of such lovely quality at good prices so I feel well able to recommend her to any of you fabric crafters out there.

These are the 10 pieces of children's print fabrics I bought from her....aren't they gorgeous [I haven't taken my scissors to any of them as yet but I will because I can rely on being able to buy more when I need it].  Of course my fabric just might not be enough to make you all smile but I'm also sharing a few funnies I found on Pinterest with you and for those of you that know me well I'm sure you will understand why I'm sat here chuckling now just reading them.

There you go....it's been a bit of a long post today but I hope you will understand why I'm buzzing and wanted to share it with you all.  Please leave me a little message and if at all possible then link to your own smiles below.  Have a great week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Hello all and happy Wednesday to you all.  I'm having a really busy week with sewing this week.  Lots of orders for Memory Bears came flooding in on Monday [ 5 in total!!!] so I worked all day yesterday [usually my day off ].  I have lots of other sewing too and have a table at Belvidere School fair in Shrewsbury on Friday afternoon [It's between 3-5 if anyone feels like popping in to say hello] so wont be here to get any of it done plus am catching up with a friend this morning for a quick coffee [so  more talking and less sewing will be done then too!!].....it's just one of those weeks.....and I'm loving the buzz.

So here's a few snaps to show you my desk this week.....

My desk in full bear making mode.

4 of the 5 Memory bears that I've managed to get finished so far.  They are all for the same customer....2 in memory of her Mum and the other 2 in memory of her Dad.  I do love working with clothes that hold special memories and making treasured bears for my customers.

You might have noticed this little quilted fabric box on the first photo....it's what I do when I'm waiting for customers to come....I'm never idle and thought I might manage a few to take with me on Friday.....just hope they sell.

There you go.  It's rather short and sweet but that's how the boss likes it.  I will do my best to pop to as many desks as I can but I'm sure you will guess I will be rather busy this week so if I miss you out please forgive me.
Annie x

Friday, 16 June 2017

This week's smiles....week 225

Hello all.  Here we are at the end of another week of sad tragedies on the news.  My heart goes out to all affected with the fire in the tower block in London....it's my worse nightmare.  So much thanks must go to all who went above and beyond to save lives and help those who have now been left with nothing.

I am determined, with the help of others, to focus on a few smiles and would like to thank all that link up each week to help to make the world a happier place to live.....so here goes.

I have many smiles I can share with you so hope you find something here to make you smile....

Milly is sitting on the table between our linked chairs as if she owns it.....what a beautiful little dog she is now.  She's such a character and never fails to make me smile.........

This is her 'little brown dog' toy.  As you know it's her favourite.  It has more repairs than parts now but I just can't throw it out cos she carries it everywhere with her. It has only one eye, no ears, no tail and seems to morph every time it gets repaired.
Having spent the weekend pulling, dropping, bashing and burning the toys I make to safety test them it made us chuckle to be presented with this.....It was as if she was saying...
"Ive tested mine mum but it failed!"

Here's the first picking of our strawberries.....they smelt wonderful and tasted even better.
We have picked lots more and still have more ripening.

Amy and Dave took their three to the Welsh coast at the weekend and sent us this pic.  I just love it.  It's what children should be doing....don't you agree?


The twins have been practising for the egg and spoon races at school....don't you just love them?

They sent me a video but our Internet is so poor here it wont let me share it with you sorry.

And finally for those that like to see my flowers....here's a few of the latest plants to bloom and make me smile.  Our garden is full of natures treasures and I just love watching all the changing colours.

Thank you for calling in.  Please leave me a little message before you leave and if you can then link to your own smiles below.  I love seeing what make you all smile each week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


What a week it's been here at Sewing by Annie's.  It was brought to my attention that to sell toys they have to be safety tested and must all carry a CE safety logo etc.  As you can imagine this threw me into a panic even though, as you can imagine, I am always vigilant when making toys with having 6 little grandchildren of my own. 

We did an on line search for information and paid £30 to download a conformity pack.  We ploughed through all the information and apparently you should even do safety tests if you knit toys and dolls to sell for charity.  It all seemed a little daunting at first but with the help and support of my wonderful family and my amazing assistant [hubby] we gathered all the necessary equipment together and pulled, dropped, bashed and burnt the materials and toys to within an inch of their lives and I can proudly say each and every one passed all the required tests.  We have had to keep photographs to prove it's all been done and keep records for each model of toy I make so today I'm sharing a little of what's been going on here....

I have had to type up method of production sheets for each toy I make and tick all the pages [there's lots!!] of tests performed and results for each toy too to keep as record.....but now it's done and I'm so chuffed.

If anyone else makes and sells toys then it's well worth checking out what has to be done to cover your backs........ although it's taken time it was nowhere near as daunting as it first appeared.  

Hope you've all had a great week.
Annie x

Friday, 9 June 2017

This week's smiles....week 224

Another week has passed and I'm back to share some of my smiles with you.  Each week there are a loyal group who join in by sharing some of their smiles and I would like to thank you again for joining in.....it would be so lovely if we could get a few more joining in the fun because there is so much in this world not to smile about.  I'm certain smiles are contagious so lets hope they spread.

I have had lots to make me smile this week so here's a few snaps I can share.....

Little Stephen has lost his first tooth and as you can see he is very proud to show me a photo.....these little ones seem to be growing up so quickly.

His biggest sister, Phoebe had to do a study of Ancient Greece during her half term holidays so she decided to write an A-Z of all she found.  She typed it up on her laptop and as her mummy and daddy run a banner printing business she asked her daddy to print it out as a banner.  She was so proud of the finished results and her teacher really loved what she had done.

Little Theo is on holiday in France at the mo and here he is going for his first bike ride on the back of his mummy's bike.  He really loved it but........

......as you can see here he found the scenery just too boring.  :-) :-) :-)

He seems to be changing on a daily basis now and growing up so quickly but never fails to make me smile.

I hope you have enjoyed sharing my smiles and will leave me a little hello comment before linking to your own smiles below.
Annie x

Wednesday, 7 June 2017


What a lovely week it's been with wonderful little treasures popping through my letter box each morning so I'm starting off with a lovely display of the ATCs I've had so far...

From left to right...
Top row with extra lovely cards...
  • Lisa 
  • Angela
  • Jan
  • Margaret
  • Neet
  • Anne
Bottom row...
  • Jo
  • Julia
  • Shaz
  • Lynne 

  •  Ann
  • Sandra de
  • Elizabeth 

We had surprised Margaret by sending her a couple of our ATCs and as she only had one ATC spare she sent that to us with a wonderful parcel of goodies for Jo and I to share.........then made another ATC for us and sent that too. She said she didn't want us falling out [as if we ever fall out hehehe]   :-) 

So girls I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.  I really appreciate the love and friendships we share even though many of you I've never met in real life....but hopefully that will change in September as I have put my name down to go to the crop in Llandudno.....I think Llandudno doesn't know what it's in for.  :-) :-)

The other pics of my desk are of a few of the things I've been up to this week....

At the back you can see my pile of pocket monsters has grown and at the front you can see 4 hand puppets I've designed and made this week.

And last but by no means least is my latest little school Memory bear I've made this week.  This one is very special to me because it's for the school our family have all gone to....in fact for over 150 years we had a member of our family in unbroken attendance.  My Grandma and all her siblings went there and when she left she became a pupil teacher there.  All her 7 children attended the school [including her youngest being our Dad] and one of those also became a pupil teacher there and many of the next two generations went there too.  When our son left [he's now 29] he was the last in the unbroken line [and I refused to have another just to keep the attendance going!!] so I wanted to leave a legacy behind for the school. I helped to make the contents for 24 story sacks each with the book characters to go in them [this included puppets, soft toys etc for each sack....and I think they are still being used today.  :-)

I hope you have enjoyed your visit today [and I've not bored you with my nostalgia].  If you can please pop over to Jo's blog today and leave her a get well soon hug as she has had an op this week and is hopefully getting lots of R and R to make a good recovery....I popped to see her yesterday with a few flowers and we decided she just might be able to audition for The Phantom of the Opera.....only joking sis you know I love you to bits xxxx