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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Kanzashi flowers part 2

Just a couple of pictures today. A few more kanzashi flower samples that I made for Gina-B Silkworks:

A - Handbag charm
B - Phone charm
C - Bookmark

D - Photo frame
E - Decorated pillow box

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Vintage notebook

I had this week off from work - a rarity for me. Apart from doing some of an Italian course that I signed up for I have done very little - and it has rained all week. So there has been a lot of internet surfing, particularly on Pinterest. There I came across Christine Plummer's vintage books. I have seen these little books before and it was one of those 'I must try that' things that got pushed further down my 'to do' list. This week I gave it a shot - with the help of some YouTube videos and some bookbinding books.

The cover is made from brown paper packaging from an Amazon order that I scrunched up and then ironed. It was reinforced with medium weight iron on fabric interfacing that had been in lying unused in my sewing drawer for two years. The rest of the decoration is ordinary coloured paper from scraps in my scrap horde, some lace ribbon, vintage buttons and some waxed linen cord with seed bead dangles.

The signatures were stitched using waxed linen thread a chain stitch.

The inside pages were made using a variety of papers, from more of that Amazon packaging to ordinary white copy paper. I am not sure what I will do with it yet but I am sure I can find a use for it. Perhaps I could use it as a vocabulary book for some Italian?

Saturday, 11 June 2016


Everything is so lush and green here at the moment. Flowers are everywhere and the smells are divine. It has been a dull, grey, wet spring (and autumn and winter) but the plants seem to like it.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Tote that bag

This week my Mum asked me to make a shopping bag for a relative. So, I hit Google and came up with this little tutorial on Make It, Love It. It's true. I do love it. It's great! Simple to follow with lovely clear photos and instruction. In four hours I stitched up this little number in greens and blues (with a kind of off-white background).

The main fabric is one of my favourite fabrics EVER - I Love Puppies Grey Argyle by Henry Glass. The green is Kona Lime. I don't buy much fabric in one metre lengths but I have both of these and have just reordered another metre of each. I hope my relative will like the bag.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Mr Thunderstomp

Meet Mr Thunderstomp. I bought the book Edward's Menagerie recently because I saw a giant version of the rhino pattern and fell in love with it. I have been crocheting for a few years now but have never felt like trying amigurumi before. But the rhino stole my heart as soon as I saw him.

I had some problems figuring out the pattern but thanks to a search online I found that it used a shorthand version of crochet instructions. Once I figured that out the crochet made up really quickly. Each leg took about 40 minutes to crochet. I used Cygnet Seriously Chunky yarn and it was lovely to use. It's acrylic but much cheaper than the yarn recommended in the book - and for such a large animal it would have cost a small fortune to make him in anything other than acrylic.

He is almost 16 inches (40cm) high when seated. I used seven 100g balls for the body and part of a 100g ball for the horn. So it's quite a lot of yarn. But I do love him. I already have plans to crochet another animal - a rottweiler. Although the book does not have any dog patterns they can be easily adapted for anyone with a bit of crochet experience. No doubt I will post the finished article once I get round to making it.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

New beads for warmer days

Some new beads this week - with a sea theme. One set has sailing ships. The other has starfish. As always, they can be found in my Etsy shop.

And on that warm weather theme - the swallows arrived yesterday so summer must be on its way.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Kanzashi flowers

Gina_B Silkworks has some new products out this month. Kanzashi flowers are little flowers made from fabric that originated in Japan. You can find out a bit more about it here or Google to find some fabulous pictures. They are super easy to make with a few folds - rather like origami for fabric. My desk has been covered in flowers this week as I wait for them to dry. Very springlike. Needless to say I made a few samples using the new kits:

A little sewing kit/needle case made from a pair of old jeans and a little treasure chest...

 and some of you might remember this bag from a few posts back.

There was also a little pendant that I forgot to photograph. So in absence of that photo, these are samples for Gina's previous button show that I forgot to share too: a thread catcher for sewers, a bookmark, a little pod bag and a pin cushion.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Fabric and patchwork!

My new Janet Clare Wordsmith fabric arrived today. I love the fresh greens in her collections. Now to decide what to do with them.

Some might end up as part of the Splendid Sampler quilt I am making. This is my first attempt at a proper quilt. In fact it's my first proper attempt at proper patchwork. It is a steep learning curve but I am getting there. By the end of the year I should have a nice quilt to snuggle under too. The photo below is the blocks I have stitched so far.

This is one of this week's block. Designed by Janet Clare and made by me using Janet Clare fabrics by Moda.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Lady Mary of Downton

I forgot to post a photo of the Lady Mary doll I made using a pattern by Six Penny Memories. I was lucky enough to win the Emily Doll pattern on their Facebook page before Christmas and managed to get some time to stitch her up. I think she looks rather pretty in her Moda fabric dress (Joyeux Noel - Couronne) with her set of beads, hair decoration and handbag. I added a little bracelet and brooch myself. Well, she is aristocracy after all.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

The pods have got me!

I came across a cute little pattern for making Sweetpea Pods by Lazy Girl Designs (bought from Sew Thankful - who also supplied a speedy dispatch and quick delivery to the UK from the US - I'm not affiliated, just appreciative of good service). They are great. Really simple to make and quick, once you've made the first one. I even discovered that by not doing the final step of stitching the corners you can make a nice little flat purse (the lime green one at the back). I may have to make a few of these for gifts and fill them with something nice like chocolates or sewing goodies.

Another of Lazy Girl Designs patterns is the Becca Bag and just as easy, if not easier to make up.

Another lot of pods by a different designer are the Storage Pods by Beth Studley. I came across this pattern on Pinterest and thought it would be great for the hooks on the back of the craft room door. I paid for the downloadable pattern but you can order a paper pattern if you prefer - I just couldn't wait for one to be delivered. Another nice little gift idea and great as a quilting project for those who want to quilt but don't need multiple bed covers, table runners or cushions. This one holds my fabric scraps at the moment but I think I will need to make more for all those little bits and pieces I have lying around.