Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Almost there!

 Every year I like to make a few fabric decorations to give away.

Not many this year - and a very simple pattern that's all over Pinterest made them a straightforward proposition.  It doesn't really explain why it's taken me a fortnight to get them from the initial cutting out to the final stitches!

Never mind, now that they are complete I can add them to the appropriate parcels ready for mailing out!

 I finished the parliament of owls too - they all have their brooch backs on now, and, as you can see, some of them have their wings stitched into different arrangements.

I'm pleased that they each seem to have their own character!
 Now it's time to find the energy for some proper patchwork and quilting!

These scraps need to make their way out of their temporary home in the box that I use to store Christmas cards when they arrive!
I think that I'll probably put all these 3" squares into 16 patch blocks and then sash them.

Just the sort of mindless occupation that I need at the moment - sometimes you just need uncomplicated sewing projects, don't you?  This year I seem to have done nothing but them (although that's better than nothing, I suppose!).  I do get frustrated sometimes by not being in the best of health.  I'd love to do even more with my daughters and husband, and I'd love to sew more too.  Oh well!  I shall carry on being grateful for the time and energy that I do have and make the most of it by filling it with as much fun as possible!

Happy sewing, everyone!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

My Own Parliament!

 I added these....
 ....to these.....
 ....and got these.

With the addition of buttons and stitches.....
.....I got these.

Some of the wings will get caught with a stitch or two to show more of the back fabric when I add the brooch backs.

A total of twelve unique owls make up this parliament.  They won't be with me for long - destined as presents for the teachers and teaching assistants who do such fabulous work with my DD1.

Fun to make and each of them unique.  I did wonder about making them in Christmas fabric, but decided that they were more fun like this.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


 This one seemed to take forever!  I've been a slow hand stitcher for the last couple of weeks, so the binding on this has had a long elapse time from start to finish.  Of course, if finishes come slowly it makes them all the more sweet!

Approximately 43" x 60" - just about my favourite size to work on!

 I followed Avril's advice and quilted wavey lines and swirls in my best attempt at steam rising from a cup of coffee.  I found out how difficult it was to keep a linear pattern looking good whilst using a hopping foot - I needed to shift my hand position several times on each line which didn't always go well!  Still, a few minor bumps on a line will just give more character to it!
 A cheerful 'Provencal' print for the back and a brown with gold dot lines for the binding finish the quilt off.
More hand stitching!

This owl was made at my quilt group meeting.  If I was to make another one I think that I'd leave off the scarve and add some tummy detail..... but I think that the scarf is to tie him to conventional Christmas colours.

Always fun to stitch and chat to others!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

And now for something completely different.....and something not!

 Last week I tried my hand at something COMPLETELY different to anything that I've ever tried before - making glass beads using a very hot flame and glass rods.

It was very exciting!

In a three hour workshop session with Kim of BethyBooBeads my sister and I each managed to make 6 beads, as well as having a demonstration of 'how to' and time to make jewellery at the end whilst our beads finished cooling.  A great morning!

 I'm extremely proud of what I made.  I realise that to more accomplished bead makers they might not be impressive, but for me they are sufficiently round, sufficiently decorated and sufficiently close to what I'd hoped to achieve!

Fancy learning a new crafting skill?  If you are in the UK then 'craftcourses.com' is great for showing what might be near you - or for giving you ideas of other crafts that you might want to investigate - knife making? black smithing? flower crocheting?  Something for everyone, I'm sure!
 Although I started off making a key ring with half my beads, I've decided that I'd prefer to have them displayed on the wall above my work table, so I've rehung them near my rulers!  This has two advantages: I can see them every day and they don't run the risk of being caught on something in my bag and being damaged or lost.
 Back in the more familiar world of sewing, I'm proud to say that my DDs have each made three blocks for the 70,273 project.

These were sewn by machine by my DD1.

I love the way that she extended the machine lines right to the edge of the blocks when her ribbon or felt strips weren't as long as she wanted.
 These were handsewn by DD2.  I particularly like the beaded one in the middle.

I'm so proud of both my girls for embracing this project.
 DD1 shown here, busily sewing whilst still in her pyjamas!  Clearly the business of making blocks took precedence over getting dressed!
Including Benta's blocks, the girls have been able to take a total of 20 blocks in to school.  It's been a great project to be part of, and I hope to see some of the completed wall hangings or quilts in Westminster Abbey next year.  Lots of time for reflection over the course of this block making.

Have you come across Sarah Corbett and her 'Craftivism' movement?  Worth investigating if you want to develop the gentle art of protest or encourage others to think about things a little more.

As I'm writing this blog I'm listening to Woman's Hour on Radio 4 - today a celebration of craft, discussing how important craft skills are and showcasing the finalists in the Craft Prize.  Crafter's unite!  I'm passionate about sharing my skills (such as they are) whenever possible, as I believe that a crafting person will always be happier than they otherwise might be.  Hope that you are enjoying some crafting time this week!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

More and More

 More work on my scrap quilt - in fact, I'd already got to this stage of sashing the 'coins' with this coffee coloured print before Avril suggested quilting to represent the steam rising from a hot coffee...... she must have known!  You can see how well this size of quilt fits on my living room floor for basting!

I'm now part way through the quilting - using Avril's idea but my (slightly wonky!) take on it.

Quilting photos next week!
 More XX blocks for the 70,273 project too!

These delights are from Benta - can you see the detail on them?  Three in dark red, three in bright red, and with different fill patterns used.

Thanks, Benta!
These will join the blocks that I and the girls have made and be sent into school later this week.

Small steps, as befits a week when I've been away on an exciting holiday.  More of that when I've sorted out some of the images, as I have a feeling that they might be informing some design ideas soon!