From the studio { August }

October 6, 2015

studio view august

Unsurprisingly there was just one sewing day at the studio in August. Cornwall trips and school holidays will do that for you. I did get one lovely day there and it was so nice to dust off my sewing machine and get making.

august makes

Bee Block for Justine. I really enjoyed making this one, but did manage to sew my first attempt together wrong so this was block 2. I love the colours, it will be a brilliant quilt.

Shh, I know this post is a month late but I couldn’t leave it out!


Brilliant Home Bakes – Flapjack

October 3, 2015

I love to cook. Mostly because I love to eat. I used to make loads of cakes and treats when it was just me and Mr C but over the past few years I’ve stopped. Which is a shame because home baked cake is much better than shop cake. I know that it was time, and the fact that if I bake something the kids want to do it too, which just ends up with 12 cakey buns in a tin, and me craving something more sophisticated.

But the kids are at school all day long now and so I have decided to start baking more. In the past 2 weeks I have made a lemon drizzle cake, some blackerry and apple crumble slices and some flapjack.

The flapjack is why I am writing this. I slightly overcooked it and it is really rather chewy. After spending a fortune on a root canal last week I am meant to watch what I am eating so it doesn’t destroy the dentist’s hard work so this is less than ideal. It is the recipe I think, and the fact I left it in the oven too long. And perhaps my tin was a little large.


My Flapjack

Anyway. I am betting that there are loads of people out there who have nailed the flapjack. Am I right? I bet some of you are sitting there thinking oh, flapjack is easy and mine is THE BEST.

So, with your help (and permission) I am hoping to refine certain recipes that I love to bake. My idea is that you provide me with your recipe and each month I pick one a week and try it out. In the interest of fairness I will not only eat these items myself but also feed them to my family and friends and at the end of each month I will reveal which one we loved the most and publish the findings and best recipe here on my blog.Brilliant Home Bakes Flapjack 1

I really hope you want to play along. If you want to join in and make your own that would be amazing, just share your results with the #brillianthomebakes hashtag. So I need your recipes – email me, tweet using the bird below or leave me a comment. Bring on the baking!

Tweet: Oh yes @Kellyfairy my flapjack recipe is the best...


My DIY Block Design: Challenge and Blog Hop

October 1, 2015

DIY Block Design ebook

Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts has written an ebook to help you design and make your own quilts. I am very excited to be included in her blog hop as a ‘beginner designer’.

Below is Alyce’s introduction to the challenge and blog hop. You can see Alyce’s blog post for more information and see everyone else that is taking part.

My DIY Block Design is a month-long challenge, designed to get you designing*! All throughout October, I will be working with you to get you designing and making your very own quilt block designs – from inspiration through to making. I’ve rounded up a range of bloggers who will either be learning along with you, or sharing their designing wisdom and tips each week, not to mention weekly Instagram challenges complete with prizes.

*pun totally intended

Quilt designing is not actually that scary. Especially when all the construction methods and quilt maths have already been done for you in my ebook – DIY Block Design! Let me just make it clear: buying the book is not at all required to join in! But it will most definitely help you with every step of the way.

There are 4 weeks to the challenge – each with a theme – inspiration, sketches, making, and finishes. That’s because each week, there’s going to be some fun happening on Instagram, so be sure to follow @blossomheartquilts to not miss out on it all! Also make sure you are following me @Kellyfairy to see my progress. My blog post is due in the final week – Finishes – so I had better get sewing before then. I have sketched out a design and after an interesting Touchdraw class at retreat last weekend I have even drawn up a plan. Next step for me is to decide on fabrics.

DIY Block Design is on sale for just AU$14.99 (reg. AU$19.99) until Wednesday, October 7th to celebrate this challenge. If you have ever wondered how to design your own quilts this is a great tool and if Quilt Maths makes you want to cry then this can help! With charts to help create flying geese, half square triangles and quarter square triangles you can be putting your own blocks together in no time. I found it really interesting and inspiring and there are activities throughout the book to help you check your understanding and think about what you could make.


Yours Truly

Self doubt

September 30, 2015
Spring Hexie Quilt

My Spring Hexie Quilt. I finally finished sewing the hexagons together last week and added the large borders this weekend.

I went away this weekend to Simply Solids’ sewing retreat in Yorkshire. It was quite frankly brilliant. I hardly took or posted any photos which goes some way to explain how good a time I was having!

In the run up I was so consumed with Kate starting school and getting everything organised so that I could have a weekend away that I didn’t think about what it would actually be like when I got there. Then the night before I left I had a real wobble. I knew that there were people going that I knew. I had even met some of them before. But somewhere in my mind there is a little voice that says what if they don’t like you? What if they don’t remember you? What if the last time they met you they were just being polite and then promptly forgot all about insignificant little you? What if no one wants to talk to me?

Oh those voices. Why do we let them have their say?

I think it was worse than normal because I have not been myself over the past couple of months and with anxiety comes insecurity. Also, when I feel the way I have been feeling I tend to withdraw from everyone – I don’t tweet my friends, I don’t reply to emails. I go inside myself. I don’t make plans with friends. I turn down invitations. I am pretty sure that if this weekend had not already been bought and paid for I might have found a way to get out of it.

And so, feeling all over the place off I went. And wouldn’t you know it, it was completely fine. Better than fine. I spent the weekend surrounded by wonderful, talented, kind, interesting people. Those that knew me, that followed me on Instagram, were thrilled to meet me. Those that I had met before gave me hugs and were genuinely pleased to see me. They aren’t magical people that are better than me, cooler than me, have their shit together more than me. They were all lovely. Those I didn’t know were happy and friendly and I met some wonderful new friends.

I am reluctant to name them as I am bound to forget someone! But still, thank you to Katy and Mandy – we spent a lot of time chatting and these girls understand and make a lot of sense. Seeing Lynne again was lovely. Big thanks to Justine and Lisa for being brilliant company and organising such a brilliant weekend.

Over the weekend we all moved around a bit, doing drop in classes and sewing like mad things but I shared tables with LizShevyAmandaPippa and Maria and they were all so much fun. It was particularly lovely to meet Liz for the first time after we have done so much sewing for each other, Maria who is a member of my Bee Hive Quilts Bee Swarm and talk to Shevy who is always there for me on Instagram with words of kindness and wisdom.

Over the weekend I met and chatted to so many people. It is so easy when you all know that you have a love of sewing in common. Sorry if I haven’t mentioned you, but this post will take me too long to write if I mention everyone! Be assured that it was wonderful to spend a weekend with you all.

This lack of confidence in social situations and the anxiety that comes with it has been on my mind a lot since I got home. Kat said a lovely thing to me on the phone this week when we were chatting about it. That it is the fact that I feel this way that makes me a lovely person. I guess the flip side of feeling like this is that there is absolutely no ego or arrogance here.

Back to reality now! Lots to do and plenty of blog posts that I want to write. I am hoping that the blogger’s block has passed and that I can once again fill my virtual pages.

I love your comments and read and respond to every one. However, I also loved all the tweets and conversations I had after my twitter button on my last post. So for a while at least I am going to pop one on each post giving you an easy way to say hi and comment if you would like to. Just click on the bird to tweet. Either way is good for me x

Tweet: {Self doubt by @Kellyfairy}


Here and Now

September 19, 2015


here and now big

Can you see the little bunny ears?

Well it seems that I have quite the case of bloggers block. I don’t know what it is, how I have been feeling, the break over the summer, or just this all consuming feeling that I just don’t know why I do it anymore. I think the thing is that I read so many interesting blogs and follow so many interesting and cool people and when I stand there next to them I don’t feel like I should be there. I don’t like this feeling, I have never had it before and I just don’t know what to do with it. I tell myself that blogging is harder these days, that commenting is almost dead but then I see other blogs that have loads of comments and I think, oh, maybe it is just me. How do I know if anyone is actually reading? How do I know that anyone cares if there is a new post here or not. I know people engage on social media more these days but I am bit rubbish about sharing posts on Twitter and Instagram. Perhaps I should work on that. One of my favourite blogs Rusty Rambles has switched off comments all together. It is something I have been thinking about for sure. I do know that I have been blogging 10 years and I got so many more comments when I started than I do now.

I guess it mostly comes back to why I blog. Am I blogging for me or for other people? I say it is a record of our life but will I ever get round to going back and reading it? Perhaps I should pay attention to my own tagline – Blog like no one is reading. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want people to read it always meant that I wanted to write whatever I was feeling at the time without worrying about what anyone coming across these words would think. It  meant being open and honest so that others that might find parenting hard, or experience depression as I do might feel less alone.

Already as my fingers tap out a slightly forgotten but oh so familiar rhythm on the keyboard I am starting to feel it work its magic on me. Little realisations are coming to the fore as the words hit the page. Yes having readers is a lovely thing, but ultimately in the past I have always blogged just for me. I love to share what I am doing, and I really miss actually writing on here. There are some things that hold me back. Like the fact the my new blog template needs an image with every post or the home page looks weird. Such a little thing but sometimes these words don’t have an obvious image. Maybe I will switch that off for a bit or maybe I will create a holding image of some sort.

Yesterday when baking I had an idea for a new blog series, one that I would really like to try. But it will only work if other people will join in. Not just bloggers, anyone. I just have to tell myself that I can do it, and get bloody well on with it.

Today though I would really like to do a quick experiment. If you have read this post and you are on Twitter could you please click on the bird below and send the tweet that pops up. I promise that it would make my day.

Tweet: I came, I saw, I read @Kellyfairy's blog post.

And please, if you have any ideas or suggestions tweet me, IG me, or leave a good old fashioned comment.

Create, Live

Film – Weekday Mornings

September 14, 2015

I can’t write at the moment.

I don’t know what it is, I feel completely unable to get thoughts out of my head and onto this blog.

And so I am trying to get myself going again by starting to create all the films that I was planning on making, and never quite did.

This one is a follow up to my Weekday Mornings film from June last year. It was nice to record, I think the first one was better but I was really finding life difficult at that time so I wasn’t feeling as creative. I am glad I did it though, amazing how little things change over the course of a year. I am happy to have this to look back on, and hope I make another next year.

Weekday Mornings 2015 from Kelly-Marie Cheesley on Vimeo.


From the studio { July }

August 21, 2015

Studio view July

Four visits to the studio in July, not surprising with the end of term and school holidays! This month I also took a picture of me. I liked it so much it has become my profile picture. I was definitely not feeling my best but it is nice to see me smiling (and heavily filtered!).

July makesFrom the studio: (Top) Double wedding rings paper pieced together, the finished table runner, this was going to be a cushion but I think it wants to be a mini quilt.

(Bottom): June’s bee block before sewing, completed Mineral block, secret sewing for the #homesweethomeminiquiltswap.

Studio July 2015Before I went on holiday I spent some time having a bit of a tidy up of the studio and took some pictures of it. Look at my amazing mini quilts up on my design wall. I love both of these so much, I keep thinking I should put them up at home so I see them all the time but they are so inspiring to have at the studio. I just need to hang them all properly.


#1day12pics { August }

August 16, 2015

I was pleased that #1day12pics was on Piran’s birthday but it was a quiet day and I wasn’t feeling too inspired. I have found that I am taking less photos and feeling less inspired recently, a knock on from the anxiety and depression I am sure. I did take some pictures – it was #1day9pics in the end!

1day12pics Aug1

:: Piran is 6 :: Playing with birthday Lego :: Birthday snake tattoo :: New Chelsea strip (favourite present) :: Football cake (sense a theme?) :: My new birthday dress ::

1day12pics Aug2

:: Pre dinner walk at Gwithian :: My favourite :: Sunset Surf Cafe living up to it’s name ::




July 24, 2015

Picking and packing projects to take on holiday

I love sewing.

It has enriched my life is so many ways – not only through the act itself but the way it has opened me up to meet new people, it has totally awoken my creative side and has given me so much more than I could have ever imagined.

I have been thinking a lot about that lately, why I do it, what I get from it. As we head into the school holidays I know that sewing time will be much more limited, not much time will be spent at the studio over the next six weeks (none at all in the next three). That in itself poses a bit of a problem for me – I know that it is a vital part of my ‘looking after myself’ mentality. Just like being outdoors as much as I can, taking the time to sew and create is something that is really important to me.

Recently I have come across a few posts that really resonated with me and I wanted to share them with you. The first was one called Building Momentum – written by Mary Huey – a guest post for ‘On the Windy Side’ as part of the Finish Along 2015 series. Some things I cannot do, like leaving my projects out so they are easy to pick up (although that is what the studio is perfect for) but I love the idea of just doing 15-20 minutes of something every day – progress can be made quite quickly when you just do a little each time. The post is really about getting the momentum to finish those works in progress but my favourite thing I took away from it was the idea of a sewing journal. And so I have started recording everything I do and everything I have been working on before I got to sleep each night. I just know I will love to look back at it in the future.

However, this idea of focusing on getting projects finished is something that actually I am coming round to the idea that perhaps it is necessaritly the most important thing. Yes it is nice to make something for someone and for them to like it, but at times it is the actual process that is the important part. I sew because I love it, I am good at it, but most of all when I am sewing the whole world falls away and I am focused and completely in control. In a life where I find that lacking most of the time you can see why this is so important to me. And as Mollie says in this post – Making is the point of Making – process not product.

In that post she references a post by Diane Gilleland: A Patchwork Map (side note: NEED her book, All Points Patchwork) which is the post that I loved the most. I urge you to read the whole post but in it she says:

I always have at least one project going that will take me months or years to finish — to me, projects like these are an important form of self-care. When life moves like a whirlwind, it becomes a real blessing to have this slow-moving creation-in-progress to return to at day’s end. Even if ten minutes is all I can spare, that ten minutes has a deeply calming effect.

I always have a ‘hand’ project on the go – at the moment it is my Spring Stitching Club quilt, and I have started crocheting flowers for Flowers for Memories at Yarndale this year. These are the projects that I pick up at the end of the day and spend a little time on while I watch TV, or take with me when I go to Brighton Sewing Bee, or round to friends. I no longer feel weird pulling a project out of my bag and making a little progress on it as I chat to friends or enjoy a cuppa in a cafe.

And so, over the summer when proper alone sewing time is rare I am going to spend my time on slow stitching. Embroidery, English Paper Piecing, Crochet. The things that keep my hands busy and my mind clear. And I am going to share my progress – maybe here, most likely on Instagram with my hashtag #slowstitchingsummer.


Here and Now

July 24, 2015

I was doing really well at blogging, and then the summer began and as usual everything just slides. I find it frustrating because I want to be present here, writing and recording everything that I am doing, everything that is happening. It helps me and I need it but if I cannot find the time it just becomes another thing that I feel disappointed about not managing.

Today is day 3 of 43 of the school holidays and I know from experience that I rarely get chance to blog in the break from school and routine. So I am hoping to write a couple of posts and then I will mostly be away for the next 40 days!


A week ago I had a very bad morning at the end of a very bad week and I completely lost it. I ranted and raved, screamed and shouted, threw things, cried and tried to run away. Some part of my brain steered me to the back garden not out the front door (I like to think that I would have stopped being the only adult here, but at that moment I cannot be sure). My heart was pounding, the adrenaline was racing through me and I just wanted to run and run and run. Instead I sat and cried and cried and then took the kids to school and myself to the doctor and have started taking antidepressants again. The sad truth is that I am really struggling to manage my temper when I am around other people and so I need a little help.

Depression takes many forms and usually for me it is feeling useless and inert. So this is very different this is a lot of pent up feelings and a temper that goes from 1-10 in seconds. I need to be calmer. I was worrying about the fact I seem to be unable to be a parent without medication on Instagram and some lovely people gave me a proper talking to and they are right – if I had anything else wrong with me I would take medication to make my life manageable. This is an illness, a chemical imbalance and that is all. It needs to be managed like everything else. And so right now I am just hanging on in there until the tablets start to have an effect. Thankfully today is Mr C’s last day of work for 2 weeks and that will help a lot.

There are things I can do that will help – walking, not taking on too much, not being afraid to rearrange plans if I am not feeling right, asking for help. Some are easier in the holidays than others. I will just do my best to look after myself and take one day at a time.

I feel that the first step to making it through this summer is to be completely honest about how I am feeling and what life is actually like. I don’t have time to blog, (or the ability when we are on holiday) but I couldn’t live without Instagram. I am so looking forward to recording our summer, but I want it to be a complete record, and so for the last two days I have been adding a ‘keeping it real’ section to my captions. My pictures have been happy kids playing in water and cuddling baby chicks but I want to remember the behind the scenes too. If you don’t follow me on Instagram I am Kellyfairy – I would love to see you over there.