I used to dance a lot. From age two and a half until I was about 18. Ballet, tap, modern – I loved it all. My dance teacher – Miss Linda Williams – was a huge and formative part of my childhood. Not only is she a fantastic dancer, she is also a wonderful teacher and warm-hearted woman. Every time I move somewhere new, try a new dance class and feel the rush of exhilaration that (for me) only comes with dancing, I am thankful for the lifelong skills she gave me.
Naturally therefore, when Miss Linda’s daughter Sarah contacted me about a surprise birthday party they were holding for her, I immediately said yes. What a great chance to see some old faces and say thank you for everything. I looked around the shops for a card or a present that could convey what I wanted to say but nothing seemed right so I decided to make something of my own.
Materials-wise I grabbed felt in two shades of pink, some pink ribbon and a pretty blue cushion cover I spotted on sale. I cut the cushion cover in half to form my background. I then found a template of ballet shoes online and tweaked it slightly before cutting out my shoe shapes in the felt.
I used sellotape to hold the pieces in place whilst I freemotion stitched them on and added a little detail. My thinking with the sellotape was to avoid pinholes, which it did. But on the flipside I had to be reeeally careful when peeling off the tape as it stuck to the felt fluff. I probably wouldn’t use this method again if working with felt.
Next I added the ribbon, folding it in to a shape I was happy with and adding a few hand stitches to hold it in place. Finally, I cleaned up an old frame and popped my balletshoe picture in. I wrote a long note to Miss Linda on some pretty paper, taped it on the back of the frame and wrapped the picture up.
I love how it turned out. The look on Miss Linda’s face was priceless. And I was so glad to be there to say such a special thank you.