Sunday 25 January 2015

Now Making Inroads

I feel like I am making inroads on the patchwork blocks
Got another 5 done today, hopefully I can keep it up and the quilt will soon be finished.
My setting on point is improving and now when I look at my earlier blocks I am thinking should I re-do them or leave with little mistakes to show how improvements have been made as I go along.

Saturday 24 January 2015

ANother 2 Bite The Dust

This afternoon I managed to get another 2 blocks done for that quilt

so now makes 29 completed blocks.

Friday 23 January 2015

Another 5 Blocks

This afternoon I got stuck into doing another 5 blocks from the Art Of Quilting partwork I collected

It seems to be taking forever to do but that's my doing, I didn't keep up with getting the blocks done as they were sent out 

I now have 27 blocks done in total
I think there is another 47 to go I will get there just need to keep plodding on with it. 

Thursday 15 January 2015

Ripple Cushion Ticked Off

With everyone getting there ripple blankets finished I was inspired to get my ripple bolster cushion finished.
It was being crochet in cotton and was taking an age to do, today I got it out
and worked out I only needed to do another 10 rows for it to fit the bolster innard I bought ages ago
I added a big button to each end the green matched the green cotton yarn perfect.
I do have enough of all the yarns left over to make another cushion, I would like to do a crochet pinwheel cushion with a big button in the middle, I am going to good and not start it yet until I get a few more WIP's finished, I am pleased that I have got this one finished its a great feeling to get a WIP finished.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Card Making and ATC's

These are a couple of cards I made today it is just a simple plain stamped image the only colour added was to her lips and the feather in her hat.
The images were stamped onto tonal card matted and layered onto black card and mounted onto slim lime red cards and three little red gems added.
The stamp was a free on that came on Craft Stamper magazine I think it was last year some time.
the first image I stamped out I used on an ATC I added a real feather to this one.
an ATC is an artist trading card they are made to the specific size of a standard playing card
The artists details are added to the reverse and the cards are swapped, they are a great way of trying out different mediums and techniques
Here is a bit of history about ATC's
Collectable trading cards have been around for over 120 years, being first produced in the 1880s by tobacco manufacturers, and later by confectionery and gum makers. Many early cards featured sports stars, but since then all manner of subjects have been covered. Collecting and trading these cards is a hobby which has been enjoyed by millions of people throughout the world.
In 1990, after admiring a collection of hockey trading cards, Swiss artist Vanci Stirnemann was inspired to produce a catalogue of his work in this format, but found that the printing costs were prohibitive. He shelved the idea, and it was not until 1996 that he decided to make the cards by hand. Thus the first artist trading cards were created.
The first exhibition of 1,200 handmade cards took place in April 1997 at a bookstore and gallery in Zurich, Switzerland. Visitors were encouraged to make their own cards to trade with Stirnemann and others at the close of the exhibition. Regular trading sessions have been taking place there ever since.
Canadian artist Don Mabie (aka Chuck Stake), of Calgary, Alberta, is credited with introducing ATCs to North America after attending one of the first trading sessions in Zurich. From there the idea has spread all around the world through the medium of the internet.
Unlike other trading cards, ATCs are never bought or sold, but with their rise in popularity there has been a growing interest in similar cards made for sale. These are usually known as artist cards editions and originals, or ACEOs.

I have a good collection of ATC's that I have swapped with others over the years, its been some time since I did any or joined any swaps, I might just get going with them again.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Bags Hats and Socks

Today has been a day of crafting, 
In the book a year of crafting that I showed yesterday, I was taken with the first project in the book
A bag for carrying logs, I didn't want it for logs I wanted a heavy duty bag for kindling and paper
The bag in the book was made from a recycled hessian coffee bags, I had some heavy duty upholstery hessian so used that, when it came to the handles they used upholstery webbing, again I dint have any but I had an idea
I had a stack of leather off cuts, I found some bits suitable to make handles
I did some stitching down the edges in a gold thread 
I stitched the handles on and did some reinforced stitching 
I now have a good heavy duty bag for the kindling and papers for the log burner
I have also been having a play with Loom Knitting using this book
I did a hat last night using some chunky wool
very quick and easy to do
I am now doing some ribbed socks 
I am doing these in Aran and want them long enough to wear with my wellies, the socks done on the loom will have a proper turned heel, there is some great projects in the book.
Using the loom is a great and I would recommend loom knitting to anyone who struggles knitting with needles.

Monday 12 January 2015

A Few New Books

First Up A Year In Crafts by Clare Youngs
This book gives a new modern twist on craft, with 52 projects one for each week of the year, a great way of using some of your stash, with lots of innovative ideas.
All the templates are included in the back of the book 
Its spiral bound so will stay open and each season has a pocket at the front for you to keep any notes or templates.
The other books that arrived today 
Three different books on landscape quilting
they all cover doing landscape picture quilts with different methods,
I have always fancied doing a landscape picture quilt and have collected a few books on it over the years, I did one small wall hanging one a few years ago.
I came across a kit I bought a couple of years ago to do a collage fabric picture
 I plan to get get it done this week.

Saturday 10 January 2015

At Last The Cabin Is Unpacked

It has taken me 4 months but at last my craft cabin is all ready to rock and roll.
I showed you the sewing end the other day this is the art paper craft end
I have reused my old work shop tables they are 8ft long 
This far corner were my big computer is I want to change, so its still got to be done, hubby is going to build in a corner unit for me that will house the computer and my three printers.
My bookcases have all been organised, the storage partition gives storage for the sewing end I am considering having a couple of units put on the reverse side to store the boxes in and art materials.
I have only put 4 chairs in for visitors to come and play, and added storage units in between, the table is were I will also play, I have re-used some of the units from the shop rather than buy in new ones. 
At the moment it is functional and my crafting stash is all unpacked. 
I have so many projects that I want to get stuck into. 
That's the tour of my craft room.

Friday 9 January 2015

Parrs Reel Ruler

I came across an advert for this the other day Parrs Reel Ruler, what a great invention for quilters.
This is ruler number 9, you need a starter kit that is £49.95 you get a non slip mat ruler number 1 which is a straight line and a special little foot for your sewing machine, the ruler is for free motion quilting, each ruler has a groove cut in it that guides the foot there is some great videos showing you how it works

here is a video of number 8 
I got a selection of different ones and they are brilliant very easy to use, after you have the starter kit its £12 for each additional ruler, I believe they have 12 different designs available and have some new ones coming out soon.
I will do some top stitching in the next few days to show you after I have had a bit more practise.

Thursday 8 January 2015

Back To Papercrafting

At last my cabin is sorted, I have moved units around several times now it feels right and comfortable to craft in, The sewing area was sorted weeks ago, with a division of storage to the larger end, will take some pics of the other end in a day or so, unpacking and sorting the boxes seemed to be taking an age, I have been very ruthless and thrown out lots of scrap.
This afternoon I sat down to do a bit of paper crafting, something I havent really done for some time.
card for my granddaughter
An easel card for my daughter
It was great to get stuck into some card making, these decoupage sheets came from Ribbon Box they were left over from a card making class I ran I bought them several years ago and came across them when sorting out, there are several folders of left over stuff from classes, I intend to get them all made up. 
I don't have packs embellishments I prefer to make my own up, that was one of the things I used to teach in the classes how to make up embellishments instead of buying ready made.
There is so much I want to do, now I have my craft area sorted I can get stuck in, I have got two big 8ft tables set up in the cabin, I am looking at perhaps running some small classes, but at the moment I am enjoying have the freedom of not teaching.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Spiral Socks

I cant remember who but some-one mentioned spiral socks, 
well I found a pattern on line for free from here Spiral Socks
I thought I should have a go at knitting them myself
I am doing them in a double knit yarn, Visions from Stylecraft, I have always liked this colour combination of yarn, the colours remind me of Neapolitan ice cream.
The socks are fairly easy to do, nothing complicated they just seem to be growing very slowly.
This year I am making a real effort to finish lots of those projects that have been hanging about, I wont be starting any new knitted projects until I have completed several that are sitting on pins these socks are included in that, I did start them a couple of months ago.
I have now added the pattern after a panic of following the link back to do the toes and finding the site was gone after a couple of hours searching managed to find it else were so have copied it here so I can find it again. 
The Pattern
Cast on 72 sts, divide them on 3 (or 4) needles, join and work in ribbing of k 2, p 2, for 4 inches.
SPIRAL PATTERN-- K 4, p 4, alternately, for 4 rounds. * At beginning of next round k 5 just once, then p 4, k 4, alternately, to end of round, ending with p 3; p 1 st from next needle, then k 4, p 4, alternately, for 3 more rounds. Repeat from *, thus moving the pattern 1 st to the left every 4 rounds, until the sock measures 22 inches. At this point try sock on foot, to determine the exact length required before toe; work more if a longer sock is required.
TOE-- K 1 round plain.
1st decreasing round: * k 6, k 2 tog, repeat from * to end of round (9 decreases). K 3 rounds even.
2nd decreasing round: * k 5, k 2 tog, repeat from * to end of round. K 3 rounds even.
3rd decreasing round: * k 4, k 2 tog, repeat from * to end of round. K 3 rounds even.
4th decreasing round: * k 3, k 2 tog, repeat from * to end of round. K 2 rounds even.
5th decreasing round: * k 2, k 2 tog, repeat from * to end of round. K 1 round even.
6th decreasing round: * k 1, k 2 tog, repeat from * to end of round. K 2 sts tog, continually, until 8 sts remain. Break off, leaving an end. Draw end through all 8 sts, twice, tighten and darn in end.

Sunday 4 January 2015

Second Garden Block Finished

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I have finished stitching the second block of the garden quilt
I am enjoying doing the embroidery for each block and looking forward to showing the ladies at the craft group, they will be doing a block a month so I need to be a good few blocks ahead of them.
 I did toy with the idea of changing the fabric order on the patchwork, in the end I decided to stick with the original lay out.
I have been busy organising my cabin and getting towards the end of the boxes, I have come across a lot of unfinished sewing and knitting projects and now have them in view and aim to big a big dent in them this year.
I have organised the sewing textile end of my cabin.
Its great having everything within reach
I have no plans to be buying any more fabric for a long long time
The same goes for yarn, a lot of these pigeon holes have unfinished projects in them, so no new ones started and no new craft stash until there is some empty holes there, having this unit has created a sewing area for me, or a clean crafting area, this is the smaller end of the cabin, the other end is still being organised but I am making progress.