Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas wrapping

Xmas Wrapping

So this year's theme was red. It wasn't quite so labour intensive as previous years as I bought the labels instead of making them and it was pretty simple overall.

Xmas Wrapping

I did make name labels for some of them though.

Xmas Wrapping

I was going to freehand machine sew everyone's names onto Kunan Felt and cut them into circles but it took me so long to get one right that I knew I would run out of both felt and time.

Xmas Wrapping

I think the birds were the best bit, plus the felt string which I didn't have very much of.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Shell Pattern


A while a go I saw this great cowl pattern on Persia Lou's blog made using shell stitch. There seem, to be a few variations so I thought I would try my hand at a few. Here is another one. I decided to use the Bessie May ball of wool I was given from the crochet course. Sam gave it to me as she thought it was hard to crochet with as the wool splits. This is true, the wool does unwind a bit, but it's lovely and soft and as long as you aren't doing it really tight like you often do when you are learning, it works a treat. My problem now is that I only have one ball! Time to buy some more on Etsy


The pattern is much easier than it looks. It is a basically just trebles and singles. The treble is just stretched. I thought it would take ages to get the hang of and I would just be making a practice square, but actually it just seems to be working.


And it's quick. That's just two short evenings work. I tried to order some of the same wool today so we'll see what happens. Then I am going to try and make some self-cover material buttons for it.

It's the wedding this weekend so it looks like I will have to say goodbye to the blue crochet hook. It's from the set I made. Sigh. I reckon I'll wrap it all up and if there is no chance to give it to her on the day then I just get to keep it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crochet Cowl


So I finished off my sample from the crochet course. It's a great pattern.


I think my chunky wool makes it look a bit of a mess so I might try again with some new wool. I am quite happy with mt first effort. I am giving it away as a christmas present because I am SO nice.


I reaaally want to keep it.

Crochet roll


This weekend I made another pencil roll, but this time instead of knitting needles, I made one for crochet hooks. I had bought some cheap linen from IKEA and some cheap florescent fabric from Berwick street.


I'd forgotten how enjoyable the pattern is. It's from Pink Chalk and it's really easy. I made mine a little shorter so the hooks fit nicely and I sewed my pocket in the wrong way so you can't see my nice fabric, but hey ho.


I tried to use some of the walking feet attachments but I kept moving them by accident. I don't think I am using them right.


It's suposed to be a wedding present but I reeeeallly want to keep it. It's not much of a joint present so it's probably best I keep it.

Pin Cushion

I saw this pincusion organiser on Noodlehead. The PDF instructions by Oh, Fransson were brilliant.

I made it on a sleepy Saturday for Rachel for Christmas using the flowery material we had each bought a piece of at Chilford and promised to turn into a Christmas gift for each other.


I really enjoyed making it. It was quite a long process and it used up quite a lot of material in the process but the finished result is very professional.


I made my top into stripes like Noddlehead. I really enjoyed trying to pick out delicate colours and matching solids. I've never really had any neutral solids before so I bought a few fat quarters from Strawberry Fayre and laid them out together.

The flannel in the middle is a brushed cotton cream pillow case from tescos which was £2! I'm just getting in to cream. I realise I don't have any cream material at all!

I really want to keep it!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crochet Injection


This Sunday I did a Make do and mend crochet course, the same people I learnt with. After learning the basic stitches in one class, and granny squares in another, I was having problems reading patterns so I did the general afternoon course in Limehouse. It was great to get reinspired and the venue was amazing.


We all sat round the table and chose a project we felt we needed guidance on. Some people were beginners doing Granny Squares whilst some people came with specific goals in mind.


Sam practiced doing a ripple cushion cover, whilst I tried to learn the art of reading patterns with this delicate edging. I wanted them to look like this


And there was homemade cake inbetween!


I learnt some great new stitches. I just need to try and remember them now! After my poor attempt at a delicate trim, I moved onto big wool.


But check out what was going on next door to me!


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Chilford Quilt Show


So Chilford was great, very Christmassy with the lights. The giant scone was great. The team was incomplete as Claire was absent, but we all know the Spring show is better anyway!


For once I didn't buy a huge amount but that's probably because I went to Birmingham and Ally Pally this year already. I have a backlog of projects and all I need for them so there were a few impulse buys but not a lot else. I did get some wadding though which is always handy.


I did get this great tape for joining wadding together. I usually zigzag stitch it but it's a bit of a pain and this stuff just irons on so I thought I would give it a go.


It was a great opportunity for mum to get me my Christmas present and seeing as I am having a Liberty fabric phase, I got her to buy me this pattern. It's very exciting. Now I just have to get everything else done before Christmas!


As for the quilt exhibition, they had a great project where people made the same blocks but joined them together differently to make completely different quilt.


I am really into little squares at the moment. I am already thinking about a triple irish chain project... so many things to do.

There was a great felt stall there. The felt book had loads of intricate stitch samples in it. It was amazing.


Here are a few other nice details from the exhibition.




I love this quilt. It's a bit blurry because I wasn't allowed to photograph it but I don't get it; why not? It's a pattern in the magazine! I guess there must be people who just work patterns out from seeing them, but to my mind, if you can just buy them and cut out all the maths, then why wouldn't you? The thing I love about patterns is that they are so cheap! I don't know, I'm a real kit person, I see something I like and I just want the whole thing all ready for me. When I bought my Petra Prins quilt kit, the lady said "why don't you just photograph it and work it out yourself?" I loved her honesty and willingness to help. I ended up buying the kit of course. Anyway rant over. The quilt is in Fabrications issue 72 I think? I need to double check. Yet another project sigh...

Sunday, October 16, 2011



I have finished the grey hexagons at one end. Just got the other end to do now. I'm not sure how much I like it. I didn't make the blend between the purple, red and yellow subtle enough and so you can sort of see a line where the colours change. I also think I should have looked at the original picture more as the colour is in the centre and the grey all around, but you live and learn. I just want to finish it now so I can move onto the next project!


You can see the different suit material and tweeds. Then I'll be able to think about how I am going to hand quilt it.

Postage Stamp Progress

Postage Stamp

Well it's slow going. I have started to think I might make this quilt much, much, smaller as it will take me forever otherwise. I have managed to sew my first block together though and I am very pleased. I think I am going to spend the rest of the day making blocks up. They seems to be coming out 1/4 bigger. Hmmm... shows how good my maths is. Anyway back to it...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt


For a while now I have been amassing the odd bit of Liberty's fabric. It's slowly grown on me. I didn't quite know what to do with it until I saw this postage stamp quilt.

Heirloom Postage Stamp quilt


So I have embarked on one. I thought it would make a nice change from the giant hexagon quilt. I used up all my spray starch trying to firm up the delicate fabric and went through my stash and scrap bag. It was The Knit & Stitch show this weekend so I bought a pack of Liberty fabric from Sunflower Fabrics which is just perfect.


There's no real colour scheme as I wanted it to be quite varied. I have tried to keep to the greens, pinks and purple in the fabric at the start though so it's all in that vein. I have tried to use small prints as the squares are only 3/4". I couldn't decide between 1/2" and 1" squares so I settled on the inbetween amount. I am a bit worried they will look gross together but by laying the strips together I am beginning to get an idea of how it might look and I think I will like it.


In an effort to be accurate, I have been sewing strips together then trimming the fabric after it is sewn if that makes sense. I am trying to be as perfect as possible. I find that ironing them flat has a tendency to warp and bend the line of the sewing so I am having to be very gentle and just press the fabric so no moving the iron and applying lots of pressure. I am not sure how successful I am being.

I'm not quite sure how big I will make it. I might let the fabric decide as I only have 16ths of the Liberty fabric. I just know that I have plenty more to make...

I drew up a pattern to see how many blocks i would need for a single bed size quilt.


Each block is 4 1/2" fnished. I'd need 83 to do this size quilt which roughly means about 7 sets of 6 strips. I am not sure I will still have enough enthusiasm or material to get that far, but we'll see...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Worn and Washed

Mum me and Angela went on a roadtrip to Kim's Washed and Worn course at the weekend. It was great. A lovely sunny, autumn day in Olney; a very pretty place with a very pretty village hall with plenty of room to spread out in and plenty of material to choose from.

Basically you choose a roll of fabric. Above you can see mine and mum's in the background. She wanted to do flowers. I wanted to do greens. You simply unroll it, pick up two pieces and sew them together, then pick up two more and repeat. So no taxing learning curve, anyone can do it.

You end up with long strips which you move around and cut with scissors and resew until you are happy with how it all fits. It just a nice thing to do and it was nice having lots of space to spread it all out. A lovely excuse to spend the day making something you can finish in a day.

Here is my end result. I was too busy to take many photos. Too busy to even really examine the end result. I had to dash back to London leaving it behind with mum so more photos when I get back to it. It just needs quilting now.

See more photos here

The Hexagon Quilt


Progress is slow, but this is what has been keeping me quiet. I am going to do something very sombre after this as it's doing my head in a bit. I might have to put it away for a while when I've finished the top.

Sunday, September 04, 2011



So what's up this weekend? Not a lot really. I decided to embark on learning how to do these hexagons. I have been quite good really. The materials are all plains which means they are a lot cheaper than some of those nice patterned materials; a good thing when you are testing out a method. I decided to make my squares pretty big for this first attempt, plus it also means I don't have to make as many.


After reading up about it on the web I decided to follow the instructions from the card templates I bought from Birmingham. I bought HEX275 2-3/4" Hexagons from Paper Pieces. Apparently they measure one edge to create their sizes. In total my hexagons are 5 1/2" wide which is pretty big. So I set about cutting 6 1/8" squares, which they recommend over cutting hexagons (that perspex hexagon guide was a waste of money then). I have no idea if this is a good measurement, I just knew that I wanted a 1/2" overlap as 1/4" is harder to iron flat.


After I had started cutting, it occurred to me that I should be working out how many squares I need to cut, but I am terrible at maths. I made this picture to try and help me but I think the end result is a bit enormous so I might just make half of it. The white outlines are just to help me see where the flowers are so I know how many to make. This is what I plan to do first. So with this plan in mind I settled on cutting 6 blocks of each colour. I have split the colours into three bands: purples, oranges and yellows and tried to collect 6-7 colours in each band.

I'm not really sure if I like it. It's hardly subtle, but hey ho, this seems to just be how I roll. All that tasteful William Morris was bound to have a backlash. I have been informed that it has the potential to look 'hideous', but I must soldier on, even if it is just so I can learn the technique. I have a bag of treasured flowery scraps just waiting to be made into a smaller, more perfect version of whatever this turns out to be.


As for my technique. I decided to just iron the corners over onto the paper templates. I was a bit worried as the heat of the iron warps the card so I paused and started making one flower to see if it affected the outcome. It didn't seem to make any difference.


I made my first flower whilst watching the X factor and it doesn't look too bad. There are a few mismatched lengths, but I faithfully followed the card so I am unsure why they vary. Maybe they are small enough not to matter, I guess i'll see if that becomes a problem later on.


I used the basic whip stitch technique which some people say is not the best as you can see the stitches but I think I will reserve judgement. It looks okay to me and it does show that it's handmade.

Anyway I have run out of card templates now so I will have to start making my own. What a pain...