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.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Autumn Has Arrived

Its a great feeling finishing a project, 
Yes its up on the wall, I wasn't looking forward to the joining together but bit the bullet and got it done this morning, it was really painless and went nice and smoothly.
Here is a few more autumn things I have now put out
Mr Pumpkin Man he is from an Alan Dart pattern and was knitted about 7 years ago.
Quilted Sunflowers, this was done about 3-4 years ago, you cant really see the bead detail on it, and the edging was blanket stitched with a variegated thread.
Knitted Mr Prickles another Alan Dart pattern,
 Mr Prickles is heading off to hibernation with his hot water bottle again he was knitted about 4 years ago.
The pumpkins I have shown before, there is a little crochet one, the denim one and the small fabric one I made the other week.

I fancy doing some cushion covers now and a table runner, I have purchased some embroidery designs and as the weather is predicted to be rotten over the next few days I might just get some done.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Autumn Sampler Completed

Almost complete to be honest, all the applique and embroidery work is done, I only have to join all the sections together to make a complete panel.
section 1
section 2
section 3
section 4
This is how it all sits together
I am pleased with how it has all come out, joining it together is done by doing zig zag to bind it.
it will be ready then to hang on the wall.
That is tomorrows task. 

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Ripple Crochet

Today was not the best day for working on the Autumn Panel, intermittent power failures due to the storm, this meant every time the power went off the sewing machine lost its place and every time I managed to get it back were it stopped the power went off again, I only managed to get one section completed
This was the section I got completed 
This is were it will be placed in relation to the others.
I wont get any more of it done now until the week end as I am away at the shop for a couple of a days.
Without power I went back indoors and sat in front of the fire doing some of the Ripple Crochet
I first saw the design on Attic 24, I started it when we were moving, It is being done in DMC cotton yarn, and its going to be a cover for a bolster cushion, I think its about half way there now.
That's about all the crafting I have got done today.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Mexican God's Eye (Ojo De Dios)

Ojo De Dios are a Mexican craft otherwise know as God's Eye they are suppose to ward off evil spirits,
I have for some time hankered after doing one of these, I just love the way they look.
I bought some sticks to have a go a long time back and today came across them while sorting out boxes of craft stuff, so armed with some variegated sock yarn this is what I did.
This is the first one I made
This was the second, they are the original 4 sided shape.
I had seem some images for 8 sided ones but no instructions to be found on the Internet, there is instructions there but you have to pay for them, as I was only playing about with them I was reluctant to pay out $8 so now knowing the basics I played with them and made up my own 8 sided design
My own 8 sided design. 
As well as playing around with these, I got two more sections done on my Autumn panel
section 5 
section 6 
This is how they all sit together so far
Half way there now, I am really enjoying doing this panel and looking forward to getting it all joined together and up on the wall.
Tomorrow I hope to get the next 3 sections done.

Monday 6 October 2014

More of the Autumn Panel

The other day I completed section 3 of the panel
The  one that went wrong
I was having a bad day, and didn't notice until I finished it I had put the background fabric on back to front,
so I had to re-do it 
Section 3 re-done
Having re-done I then decided I didn't like how section 2 had turned out so I made another section 2
Section 2 I didn't like
Section 2 re done
Today I got section 4 done
 Yes I am happy with this I love the material that's been used for the sky
And this is where it sits in relation to the other sections
Having to re-do 2 of the sections has put me back a bit I was hoping to have at least 2 of the panels completed, never mind there is bad weather coming so I can stay in the cabin and get it finished this week I hope, although I am heading off to Milton Keynes to spend a couple of days in the shop. 
This morning I went to craft club in Pendacar and spent the morning showing them how to make the little pumpkin ornaments
Last year I made the big one out an old pair of jeans and used real dried leaves to decorate, I also made the little crochet one last year, looking at it now it needs a leaf added to it. 
The week end I want to get my Autumn display out so I better get a move on and get it finished.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Autumn Folk Art Panel Pt1

After seeing some lovely autumn displays that fellow bloggers have been putting together in there homes, I thought I would do a seasonal display for the living room, I like the idea of having seasonal decorations that can be brought out and added to each year.
I found on line with one of the embroidery shops I use, a lovely Autumnal Folk Art Panel, its done in lots of sections that are then joined together. 
The panel is in 12 sections and include applique in the hoop and machine embroidery.
 The first part of the panel with its applique 
The embroidery going on 
section 1 completed 
embroidery being added to section 2
section 2 completed 
section 1 and 2 together not yet joined that will happen when all 12 sections are completed.
Its a great way of using up all the little scraps of fabric, I have a box that all little off cuts go into, its great fun choosing the bits of fabric for the applique and when the embroidery goes on it all comes to life.
I will work on the next sections over the next few days.
The web site I purchased the design from is