Saturday, 27 December 2014

The first Garden Quilt Block

I did get the embroidery finished on the first block and patch worked it.
I will cut the same fabric for the craft club to use with there blocks, I have enough of it, it came from the bales of fabric when we shut the shop, I will use the same fabric for all the blocks.
I have now started stitching out the next block
I am hoping to have the first three blocks completed to show them when the craft club starts up again in January.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Stitching For Summer

I started on a summer stitching project yesterday
It will become a quilted wall hanging, there are nine blocks in total, each one has an embroidered design in the middle, this is a project I am putting together for the ladies at the craft club, each block will introduce them to a new stitch or technique, this block is using a basic back stitch and colonial knots.
Once the stitching is completed it will be turned into a patchwork block. 
It is not my design but one I have adapted from Red Brolly, I will provide the ladies with the materials they need to complete each block and will be on hand to help them with instructions, I will post when i have finished the block hopefully it will be done later today.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Frosty The Snowman

Mister Frosty
He was made last year a very quick and easy decoration, he was made from a pillow case, in fact you can get two from a pillowcase.
Cut up the middle lengthwise, sew up the new cut sides, you now have two long tube shapes, 
fill with stuffing of your choice, I used polystyrene beads, you want it stuffed so it is fairly firm and will stand up. Sew up the bottom then you need to create some shape, divide it roughly into thirds and tie with string, your snowman body has now three sections, decorate one at the end with a face, sew on some buttons, I made a scarf and hat from some bits of an old fleece blanket and decorated with foam snowflakes. 
My snowman's face was embroidered on but you can easily do it with felt of fabric shapes and glue them on, or use safety eyes.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Christmas Star

I have my sewing machine back from being serviced, it had a good clean and few springs and thread cutter replaced in total it cost me £54.90 I am more than happy with that.
I have been busy getting the cabin organised now I have some units that I am re-using from the shop, I can set my machine up to work and leave it to work while I unpack boxes.
I came across a design for a lovely embroidered Christmas Star table centre, I dug out some gold coloured fabric that came from my sister and set do doing the star.
each segment of the star is made individually, I needed eight segments, 
they then get joined together in a star shape
This is the completed star, after making it I realised I could make it bigger by adding an outer section, it would mean making another 16 sections and joining them in.
The segments are easy to join up, you just but them together and do a zig zag stitch along the join.
The star is a nice size its 16 inches across. It could be recreated with out the embroidery on any sewing machine, it is only diamond shapes that are backed with felt joined together, I might have a go at doing a patchwork one, time permitting.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Working On UFO's

While going through boxes and unpacking craft stuff in the cabin, I have several unfinished projects a couple are big projects and I really want to get them finished.
Remember this part work 
 I collected every issue, it finished start of this year, each copy came with the fabric to do a patchwork block you then make it all up like the quilt on the front cover, with moving packing and such like I fell behind doing the blocks, it was all packed in a box together, I want to crack on and get the blocks finished now

These are the blocks I have done so far
 and another four done that I got completed today.
I think there is 70 blocks in total I have completed 22 so a fair way to go yet.
It makes up a complete double bed sized quilt, I do like part works, I know they seem expensive but having it all organised and sorted for you is great, if I had to choose all the fabrics and work out the designs and layouts for each block I wouldn't have got past 4 blocks I don't think.
A bonus is the extra projects you get with each copy too and there is some lovely projects.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Fabric Christmas Trees

I picked up a copy of Homemaker magazine yesterday while out shopping
It came with a little kit to make the fabric trees on the front cover, I made mine up slightly different
I stitched mine on the top and cut round them with pinking shears, I added to hot fix gems and some organza bows on the tree top, I decorated the spools with tartan ribbon.
Word of warning, the spools on the front cover are not the ones you get with the kit you get those tiny ones that are on mine and you don't get enough stuffing for the trees, just as well I had plenty. 
I think they would be very easy to do from felt and very effective, you only need to stitch two triangles together leave an opening to stuff.
I also picked up a copy of Sew Home and Style
You get a kit to make this Santa
I haven't made it yet, again I think it needs jazzing up,
These little cuties caught my eye
Little felt coat tree decorations
I fancy making up some of these.don't know if it will be in time for this year :-)

Monday, 24 November 2014

Christmas Stockings

I made the sample up today ready for tomorrows class
I am doing decorated Christmas stockings with the young mums.
The stockings are plain and we are going to decorate them with stamped designs using verscraft ink that is permanent on fabric when fixed with an iron, they also can used a 3d paint liner for decorating there designs it remains raised when dry.
You can see who is getting this stocking :-) 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christmas Baubles

Today I was working with the young mums at the family centre,
 I got them making little characters for acrylic baubles, this was my sample one
on the other side they could put a photo
me and my big sister many moons ago
Here is some of the baubles they made today

there was another two sets but I didn't get a photo of them before they left, the mums had three acylic baubles to decorate, considering we had 14 toddlers there all making a noise the mums did really well.
The characters are all made from silk clay and we used foam clay for the snow effect with glittered foam for the backdrops.
Next week we are doing decorated Christmas stockings.
I have been asked if I could put together a program of craft events for the spring, but i have to give it some serious thought. Its not easy teaching craft with so many little ones about, it also makes it restrictive in what we can do, also I don't know if I want to give over the time for it.It not the attending the centre its the time researching the projects and making samples.
If I do I might just put together 4 sessions again for them and spread them out one a month we will see, I only have 2 more Christmas crafting sessions to go with them.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Two Needle Sock and More

I have been crafting this week,
 I have been making Christmas gifts for friends and as some follow my blogs I cant show you the gifts.
I can show you the first sock finished 

The seam runs up the side 
it will be on the inside side you knit right and left socks, this one is a right sock.
On another crafting note I picked up a copy of Craft Stamper today when I was in town
I used to buy this every month without fail, with packing and moving its been a good 6 months since I bought a copy, I think I will have to set up a subscription as getting to town isn't as easy as it used to be.
There is a choice of subscription gifts
There is a Mixed Media DVD or a book Lasting Impressions, the other bonus with subscribing I would save £25 on the cover price. 
I do enjoying stamping and now have a few ideas for Christmas cards, I shall in a few weeks have more time for doing crafts.
Saturday 22nd of November is the day my craft shop closes in Milton Keynes it has been running for just over 5 years,
 I actually moved into these premises 21st of November 2009, this shop was my third premises.
 It has been a difficult decision to make, but I am looking forward to the closure now, time for a new chapter.
This week I have been phoning our many suppliers and closing accounts, that was sad these companies have supported me well with my shop through the recession the reps have become friends  some-one to have a cuppa, I knew many of them before the shop when I worked on the trade side of crafting and worked the show circuit, I am keeping on a few of the suppliers as I have ideas and plans for next year.
Until then I will carry on crafting as always.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Turning The Heel

Well knitting socks on the straight is really easy compared to knitting on the round, its a lot easy to keep your place and of course you don't have so many needles to play with.
The heel has now been turned on my first sock, I couldn't understand how it was going to be done on just two needles, but it worked great, I am now on the home straight with knitting the foot, then it will be toe shaping. 
then sock number two.
Many years ago when knitting socks on the round I came across a method for knitting both socks at once on the same set of needles, you knit one sock inside the other, the same method can be used for knitting sleeves.
Here is a link to the original site I found it 
Have a go it is fun and very intriguing to other knitters when they see what your doing.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Socks Socks and More Socks

Yes its all about socks, I love hand knitted socks, they are warm and cosy, hard wearing and fun.
I have always knitted socks on the round using double ended needles, when I was visiting a friend the other month she showed me some socks she had just finished and they were knitted on the straight, intrigued I ordered the book she had knitted them from and got started with a pair last night 
I am knitting them in King Cole Riot, its some yarn I had left over from another project. 
While browsing on Amazon for the book I came across another 3 sock books that I just had to have 
I will have to give crochet socks a go there is some really interesting designs in these books.
Back to knitting socks on the straight, the instructions are very clear and easy to follow, and the book is spiral bound great for staying open were you want it, there is some lovely designs in the book and some great tips on joining seams. 
Right must get back to finishing my socks.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

New Hat

While having a lazy day in front of the fire, I dug out some chunky yarn to crochet a hat, some-one in blog land was showing a hat they had crocheted, a Cloche Style hat and it took my fancy, (sorry cant remember who it was) I searched the web some time ago for a pattern and came across this one Cloche Hat I decided to do mine in multi colours to finish up oddments of yarn.
It didn't take long to do and is a good fit.

 Kara isn't the best of models but you get the idea.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Fingerless Gloves Pt 2

I thought I posted this the other evening but it seems I didn't, I finished my mitts in Aran they are lovely and chunky, ideal for me to wear out and about in the garden and dealing with the livestock.
The pattern I posted a link to has a few errors, there are too many knit rows and it should all be in stocking stitch apart from the rib at the start and finish.
I am going to knit some more in double knit  and make the finger covering longer, this pair I have stitch together between the fingers to stop them riding down my hands. 
They are lovely and warm. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fingerless Gloves.

I am in the process of knitting myself some fingerless gloves to give my stiff joints a bit of warmth through the winter.
The pattern says knit in 2 hours, with stiff painful fingers I don't think so.
Its a nice easy pattern on two needles I am doing these in some Aran wool I had left over, so they will be nice and chunky.
Here is a link to the pattern Fingerless gloves 
I need to get some more socks knitted up as well, I am happy to knit on 4 needles and have a very good pattern I use time and again for 4ply socks and a different pattern for chunky socks, when I was visiting a friend the other week she had been knitting socks on two needles they were really lovely the book she was knitting them from was called Knit Your Socks On The Straight by Alice Curtis, I have ordered the book and waiting for it to come should be here tomorrow. 
Back to my mitts hopefully have them finished for tomorrow.

Using Soluble Laundry Bags

I came across a comment on these as I was looking for advice on metallic thread, I had never come across them before, a quick look on Amazon and there is loads there they are used in hospitals and care homes mainly for putting in soiled laundry so it doesn't have to be handled, what a great idea. 
My thoughts were are they the same as the soluble stabiliser I use with the sewing machine 
I ordered a pack of 25 bags. £13.30 with free delivery
  • Fully Water Soluble Laundry Sacks
  • Designed to completely dissolve in a wash at 60°c +
  • Size approx 457mm (18") x 660mm(26") x 840mm (33")
They arrived in a couple of days and yesterday I tried them out, they are similar in thickness to the Solvy Stabiliser which I buy 12 inch by 9yd for £15.90 the RRP is £25 so a considerable saving using the laundry bags, almost 3 times the amount for less money.
 I hooped up a double layer and picked out a freestanding lace design, and set the machine to work, I didn't expect it hold with FSL as the Solvy doesn't either, part way through the design the stabiliser started to give way as expected.
nothing unexpected there, to do FSL I usually use the woven soluble which at £72 a 25mt roll is expensive, or if it is a small design I use the heavy Solvy which is £32 for a 9mt roll so its expensive stuff 
here is the same design using the heavy solvy 
As you can see it still tears a little. 
So back to the laundry bags, they still have a great use, when you need to use a soluble stabiliser with fine fabrics or for doing monogramming on towels of fabric with a pile, it will work great 
Here I am using it with organza for lace snowflakes 
I had no problem with it all with such a sheer fabric
after they were stitched 
The excess laundry bag from the hoop tears off easily, I trimmed up the organza 
Soaked them in a bowl of warm water, the soluble plastic melted away no problem
Here they are drying off, perfect.
So to summarise, the laundry bags are cheaper and I can use them instead of my expensive stabiliser for items that need no visible stabiliser. defiantly worth having and keeping in stock.
Another tip, all the off cuts of soluble stabiliser I pop into a bag regardless of which one they are, the scraps can then be dissolved in water and used as fabric stiffener, it can be painted on or sprayed on.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Falling Leaves

I started this project on Sunday afternoon, I am still in an Autumnal mood as you can tell.
This is work in progress, an Autumnal table runner, this project served several purposes as well as the finished item it will become.
I needed to practise my placement of designs and I wanted to work with metallic threads.
you can see the squares I have marked out on the fabric
working on this gave me the opportunity to flip images and rotate as well as making sure my placement was within the lines I had marked out.
The metallic thread was a different subject sorry you cant see in the photos the beauty of metallic threads.
I changed my needle to a metallic thread needle, wound the bobbin in matching thread, slowed the machine down to the slowest embroidery setting and set to with the stitching on a practise piece withing moments the thread broke, I re threaded and again it broke and again, I was using a good quality thread so I was stumped at what to do next, over a cup of tea I browsed the web for a solution, I was doing everything suggested then I came across a tip, spray the reel of thread with a silicon spray, it seems that room temperature and humidity can affect the performance of the thread, I had a can of spray that is used to stop the needle gumming up when using fusible adhesives, so I popped the reel and bobbin into a little bag a sprayed it, re-threaded the machine and it worked like a dream. The only time the thread broke was as I got onto the third leaf of that colour so it was as I worked my way through the reel. 
I now have the threads all individually stored with there matching bobbins in self seal bags.
While browsing I picked up another tip that I will try out later this week and report bag if it works or not.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Quilted Whole Cloth Cushion Cover

I have always admired quilted whole cloth embroidery and fancied a go at doing a cushion cover, I had purchased a design from
I couldn't find in town the fabric I wanted, I was after a ivory silk, as this was going to be a practise piece I settled on a cotton silk flat sheet, it was ivory the colour I wanted and had a lovely silky feel to it.
There was a lot of layers to hoop up together, voile for the embroidery backing, then wadding, then interfacing, the the silk top, I decided to do colour on colour, 
 After struggling to hoop up yet again I decided to change tactics and hooped up some filmoplast, its a stabiliser that is sticky so I can place my fabric sandwich on top and it will be held in place without hooping.
I got the centre of the design done although my placement was not perfect
It didn't take too long to do as I was only working in one colour, I added some hot fix gems to give it a bit of bling, then it had to be turned into a cushion cover.
A simple envelope opening and one cushion cover done, my placement certainly needs some practise as some of the blocks are off, but for a practise piece I am happy. It is something I want to do more of.