Saturday, 22 August 2015

New paper beads for the new season

New beads for the new season: Halloween, Christmas and some pretty patterned ones with an autumn theme. As always, they are now on Etsy.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

English paper piecing

Yup, another new craft to try. I've always wanted to try patchwork - and I did back in my teens. But it didn't go well. The 'square' fabric shapes did not stay square when I'd stitched them up and instead of a square piece I ended up with a rectangular shaped piece (made a nice pillow case though).

However, I discovered English paper piecing recently and by chance realised that I could cut out paper pieces using my Sihouette machine. Yay!

Within a few minutes I had some hexagons (and other shapes - I just couldn't stop myself) and attacked my fabric stash. (Remember all that fabric I bought at the start of the year?) As it was my first shot at it I didn't want to use 'the good stuff' so I picked some random paisley fabrics and set to work. Soooooooo easy and quick. Providing all your paper shapes are the same size they will fit together - and thanks to the Silhouette mine were. Usually there is something that goes wrong with these projects but it all went quite smoothly - except for stabbing myself in the fingers multiple times. That's what I get for not wearing my glasses when I sew. Below is my first piece that I made into a pin cushion.

Then came other shapes - diamonds, jewels and hexies followed by a random little patch that I came across online (the picture is on Pinterest but I could not find the original document). It caused a few problems for me because I couldn't remember how to fit it together again. But once I figured it out my little fabric patch really appealed to me.

I have already picked up a few helpful tips though. I was whip stitching the sections together but ladder stitching them is actually a lot neater (see the photos below - the purple is the whip stitched piece, the orange/yellow is the ladder stitched piece). And instead of basting or tacking the fabric to the paper shapes I have started using a Sewline fabric glue pen which makes things much quicker.

 This little beauty arrived the other morning so I'm hoping to pick up a bit more information when I read it.

If you want to try it for yourself there is a plethora of 'how to' articles online. However, Messy Jesse Crafts has a really nice set of instructions on her blog. You can find the last of the instructions here but if you scroll to the bottom of the article there is an index of all the lessons. It's definitely worth a go.

Saturday, 8 August 2015


It's been ages since I did any jewellery making. Just as I don't have a thing for handbags, I don't have a thing for jewellery either. So I don't wear it very much. However, I do love beads and I recently came across beads and charms from Mykonos. I love them! As a student of ancient history I love all things Greek and these beads remind me of ancient Greek statues that have been covered in a patina of the ages. My first make using them was a tiny, delicate pair of silver earrings followed by a bag charm (apologies for the slightly out of focus photo).

Of course, I fell in love with the little Mykonos whale and he's been made into a necklace using silk cord. In the photo are a few more of my jewellery making attempts with recent bead purchases.