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New Year, New Ideas!

Mandy's Blog

New Year, New Ideas!

Alison Owens

 Above and below, just a very small sample of my curious collections!

Above and below, just a very small sample of my curious collections!

2017, surely not! I have been making things all my life and the results do have a tendency to accumulate. At this time of year, as I put all my Christmas decorations back in their rightful place, I start having a little tidy up and sort out. It should be of the household variety, but as I have been an avid collector of sewing paraphernalia –  just imagine my collections! –  instead I spend hours fiddling and sorting through my bits and pieces, creating more mess and no order.

These annual ‘fiddles’ often uncover inspiration and ideas and half finished projects that will be this year’s new designs. I’ve already got some gorgeous ideas for new kits and exciting new Block of the Months. All this opportunity for creativity sparks great joy – I know I am the luckiest girl to have a workshop to fill!

 Dandelion Designs HQ – at the bottom of my Garden!

Dandelion Designs HQ – at the bottom of my Garden!

My creative space, aka The End of the Garden
At the age of 21 my husband and I bought our current Edwardian town house and it’s been our life’s work.  My husband is a joiner, he’s very good with wood, and so our home is exactly how we dreamed it would be. We are unconventional and creative and most of the things in the house are hand made. Unusually our home came with a two-storey building at the end of the garden, which my husband originally used for his joinery workshop. But in recent years he moved to larger premises, and I have taken it over as Dandelion Designs has expanded. Within minutes of ‘moving in’ I filled this beautiful building plus a few other outbuildings with stock and samples of our kits and patterns. You see, I really am the queen of filling spaces with lovely stuff! I have two amazing helpers: Mel who makes up the kits and packs all your orders and Andee who deals with admin, block of the months etc. Both these darlings just love sewing so we can all pool our skills and have fun. I also have a small team of out-workers who help out when we get really busy with the TV shows. We love working together and take great pride in our designs and service.

 Working on new ideas...

Working on new ideas...

New Year, new offers
Each new year brings new challenges and adventures and this one seems to involve lots of travel. Hey! I’m not complaining! I have joined up with Stitchtopia who arrange sewing themed holidays and we are off to India, Italy and New England. I’m also gathering some brilliant kit ideas, blocks for new BOM quilts and have some secret plans that I know you’ll be excited about. (Shh! I’ll tell you as soon as I can – you’ll be the first to know!) Who could ever dream that a hobby could be turned into a small but flourishing creative business and that we would all have so much fun? If you still haven’t made a new year’s resolution, you can share the one I’ve always kept to, if you like: Dream big, work hard and say YES to everything!

Happy stitching