Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Card Fun

 I thought that it would be fun to layer up a small cross stitch piece with some papers to frame it, and secure them with a brad (like a paper fastener) or two.

This was my first one.  Fine, and just needs a greeting to be added at the bottom of the card to complete it, but not really exciting.
 Then I went for a slightly quirkier approach, and twisted the middle paper.  I like this effect!
Lastly I went 'total free style' and used a scatter of cross stitches for the stitching element.  As these corrugated cards were thicker, I didn't add a brad as I thought it would make the whole thing too bulky.

Fun stitching!  Thank you Pintrest for the penguin and hedgehog patterns.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Busy busy!

The recently made bunting got it's first run out, and Georgie's FabWraps (eco friendly, zero waste, 100% cotton gift wrapping) stall was set up and ready to go!

Really hard not to make it look cluttered, whilst still being able to display stock and show how it can be used.  I'm sure that Georgie will get slicker at the set up the more that she does 'live' selling like this.

I'm going to carry on working on my own fabric bags and wraps for the family to use at Christmas now, before getting back to quilting once I have more energy again.  It's been a tiring summer and autumn so far, even if fun!

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Another Small Project

 I wanted a hand sewing project recently, wanted to use this 'Creativity takes courage' quote by Henri Matisse (and shared with my by my lovely cousin, when I was telling him how hard I found it to cut into the story book that I'd been embellishing), and wanted to make something for Benta.
It all came together in this simple pouch which is large enough to take A4 sheets. 

I wasn't sure about the Riley Blake zig zag for the inside and lining (its bold!), but I really struggled to find something that would even half-way go with the batik on the outside.

Hope that you like it, Benta!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

More Bunting

 I'm sure that only a few weeks ago I declared that I'd never make any more bunting!

Hard to believe that I'm already making it again!
 My daughter has set up a business to sell reusable fabric gift bags and gift wraps - based on the Japanese idea of furoshiki.  She has her own web site FabWraps.co.uk but on Sunday 29th September will have her first real life stall at a Pamper Evening in Twickenham.  If you live locally (and are 18+ and female) please do come along - it's free to come in and should be fun.
She wanted to have bunting for her stall, so asked for my help in making it.  The fabrics are all from her business stash - beautiful, aren't they?

I'm sure to come back to tell you more about this, as I'm so proud of the ideas behind her business and how she's getting on with it.  In the meantime I hope that she has a lot of fun running the stall on the 29th!

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Back to School Project

 A couple of fast projects this week.  With my DD's going back to school / off to college, packed lunches once more became part of our regular routine.

It was time for me to step up and reduce our single use plastic by making re-usable sandwich wrappers.
 I used a square of fabric 12" square, and lined it with an 11.5" square of iron on vinyl. 

Then I turned the hemmed the edge.  On one wrap I turned it over twice, but the corners were very bulky.  One the second one I used a pinking cutter along the edges and then just turned it over once.  Time will tell which is the most robust!

Then I added velcro - the soft strip across the outside fabric, and the hook strip down the inside of the opposite corner.
The result is a sandwich wrapper with enough variation allowed to accept a close wrap on lots of different bread sizes.

We've used them twice now and the girls seem happy with them.

Next we need to decide how to tackle wrapping a couple of biscuits or a peice of cake, which are also a frequent part of their lunches....!

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Final story book embellishment

 I went back to this page - knowing that it needed something else - and added the stitched rainbow shape.  Such a simple thing, but I really feel that the page is improved by it.
 This page has metallic finish card with buttonhole stitch (double on the final cloud) secured with beads.

Then I added a line of chain stitch in the squishy mud....
The final page!
A paper circle with sunrays of stitching both on the circle and outside it.

At the bottom of the page beaded lines showing the puddles getting smaller and smaller.

I didn't extend the story.  I didn't change the story.  I did have to find my courage in order to cut and stitch into a perfectly reasonable book.

It was an adventure.  I'm 'sorry not sorry' that it's finished!

On to other projects now!

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Tangled tape or Bundles of Bunting?

 I've been doing a lot of non-quilting sewing recently, it seems.

This array of green fabrics is a tangle of mini bunting.

This string was based on a 6" x 4" rectangle cut to an  isosceles triangle shape.
 This is the same string once it had all been folded together.  Much neater!
Then there were another two strings of bunting based on a 9" x 6" rectangle.  Still smaller than my usual size, which is typically based on a sheet of A4, so roughly 12" x 8".

This is destined to be used at a charity stall.  If you are in the Kingston upon Thames area why not go along to their carnival, this Saturday, 1st September?  It sounds like fun!

Look for the Dose of Nature  stall and you might even spot some of this bunting!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Something a little different 2.

 Making puddles with cut outs here - as well as a stitched rain drop higher up the page.

Mix of running stitch, straight stitch, chain stitch and button hole stitch.
 Hopping here, with each punched circle raised from the page with a bead, as well as having a bead on top.  I love the dimension that this style gives.

More card embellishments with cross stitches both for embellishment and for holding the shapes to the page.
 A sideways shot so that you can see the bead - card - bead layering.
 A simple page this one.  A string of beads showing the rain trickling, a raindrop shape (same shape and place as the previous two pages) and a little stitching highlight for the worm tunnel.
Finally (for the moment!  The rest are still only ideas in my head!) a page that uses the cut outs from earlier pages in the book.

I'm not sure that I'm happy with this page, and I have a feeling that it may need something extra to lift it.  I just need to let it drift around my head until I have a lightbulb moment!

I still have several video lessons from my Karen Ruane course to watch so perhaps the right answer or an idea that will help me will be found in them!

Hope that you are enjoying some stitching time too!

Monday, 12 August 2019

Something a little different 1.

 Over the last couple of weeks when we've been enjoying our holidays I've been trying something a little different - hand stitching into a paper story book.

I've been following an 8 week online course with Karen Ruane called 'Stitching Stories', and whilst my work is very different, as you'd expect, it's been seeded and drawn along by her suggestions and what she has been doing in two books.

This first page shows two cut outs with blanket stitch and running stitch around them, and three stitch emellished additions.
 The second page has another cut out, this time filled with my take on 'wispy mist', the ladder (from the motion drawing of the propeller) and five shiny beads for the water drops - the text and illustration clearly informing my choices.

If I had my time (and a pristine book!) again I'd put the stitch orientation of those holding the beads vertical instead of horizontal.
 Here is a button stitch emellished 'heavy' drop, with the remains of it (blue and pink mirror card circles) tumbling down.

A few more embellished shapes on the left.  One of the best things that I learned was to think about how to attach items to the page so they were neat and relevent from the front, but workman like without being messy from the back.
 This was a fun page to work on, as it had 'hide' in the text, so I created some hidding spots.

Punched holes in the covering, with button hole stitch around them again, and beads over one of the background holes.
You have to gently move them forward to reveal the text, which is just glimpsed though one of the holes when the screening pieces are in repose.

It isn't fast work - much slower than stitching through fabric - but it's a really enjoyable thing to do as a change.

More pages to be shown next week, I hope!

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Hidden Wells Start

 I've been seeing 'Hidden Wells' quilt blocks everywhere recently.

I decided to join in and cut some strips - a mix of grey and aqua prints.
 Sewed them into strip sets.  Joined one more time after this shot.
 Then sliced into squares

Then two squares facing each other at ninety degrees to each other.

Then sewn around on all four sides.
 Then the fun bit of cutting them on the diagonals, so that you can open them out to see what you have.
 Opened out my blocks looked like this.
 A little re-arrangement and this was the layout that I chose.
Repeat until the blocks are all made, and I've ended up with this.

From six 2.5" wof strips of four colours, I've ended up with a flimsy that is 50" x 30".

I need to decide whether to keep the top this size, add borders to it, or make more blocks.

Thought required!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Tidy Shelves, Tidy Mind?

 The shelves in my sewing room where getting overwhelmed.  I forgot to take a 'before' photo, but the lower shelf had books so tight that I couldn't remove them, and stacked across the top of the ones that were standing up too.
 My DH helped to move them to a table so I could start sorting them out.
 Which also made me get to work on the top shelf too, especially after I'd caused a minor paper avalanche getting a couple of items out!
These are the books that didn't make the cut.  It's going to be a few heavy armfuls for my DH to take to the charity shop for me, and always hard to 'release' books,  but it feels good to be able to access everything else more easily!

Aah!  That looks better!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Happiness in Small Things

 I felt the need to make something just for me!

This fitted the bill.  Finishing at 6 1/2" square, it really is a small size to give big happiness.  The bird house blocks (or perhaps kennels, as they look as though they are on grass rather than a branch due to my lack of thought!) are just 1 1/2" square, and didn't really make a dent in my 'miniature prints' mini stash!

Natural calico seemed a good fit for the sashing and border.
My hand sewing project over the last couple of weeks has been this fun guy.  It's a pattern by Jodie at Vintage RicRac.   He's designed to be a sewing caddy - this side of the blanket is a needle book, the other side has a scissors holder.  There were pins designed too, which I didn't make.

Another fun pattern, but not quite fast enough for me to suggest to my gal pals for a single evening of crafting activity!


Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Domestic Sewing

 First there was the prom - and sewing the skirt to suit the requirements of DD1.

I'm pleased that 1) she loved it and 2) I shall not have to sew slippery satin fabric again in the near future!
 Then it was down to the business of sorting out the uniform items that will never be worn again.

Most items passed on to DD2 or back into the school system, but the t-shirts which have seen sterling service for a number of years had another destiny.
 The main parts of the front and back were cut away.

The buttons were removed and put into the button tin.
The three raw edges were hemmed.

A clutch of dusters / cloths to keep us clean have emerged!

Lovely and soft, and perfect for their new job!

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Handling Quilt Round Up

 You remember that I'd had a lovely look at the Acton Top, prior to its planned outing in a textile related museum season at Gunnersbury Park Museum?

I thought that it would be fun to round up three photos from the original cover, and then show my versions of the same part, made into handling samples.

This is the flower and pot (well, almost - I think that mine was actually based on one from another spot on the quilt!) that was on the original.
 This is my version, complete with chain stitch details.  I gave it a base of triangles as otherwise it seemed to be floating away in the middle of nowhere in the size of handling sample that we'd been asked to make.
 Here are the clamshells with their triangle border.

They are a flatter version of the shape that I used.
 You can see my sample here.  The width is the same, but the shape quite different. 

I've used a random medly of fabrics just like the original did, in order to keep it interesting.
 Finally one of the lovely paper pieced 'ball' motifs.  I'm not sure whether the 'odd' patch was original or was a later repair for a damaged patch.

It was fun to make the fairly simple pattern for the paper piecing.
My version.  I could do with more delicate flowers to applique in the central circle.

The odd plant stems coming from the corners were really tricky to applique with the needleturn technique - those inner returns were awkward, and I think are likely to be the parts that will suffer most in the handling rough and tumble.

I added my initials to the pink circles, though, just like it looks as though the maker(s?) might have done on the original.

So, there you have it.  My handling samples complete and ready for action!