Joining in again

Hello again, more things that you might want to consider joining for your crafty entertainment this year.

The first is from the lovely Jenny of Elefantz and is her new free Block of the Month embroidery. As you know I am already a member of Jenny’s Stitch Club so I get loveliness every month but this is for everyone. Photo from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ gentle domesticity button

The theme this year is Gentle Domesticity and there is a free block published on the 5th of each month, that stays free for the rest of that month before being sold in her Craftsy shop, where she has loads of other gorgeous designs as well.

The great thing about Jenny’s designs is that can all be personalised and made into gifts so that you can use them for all sorts of things which is why I love them so much. I love adding names or my own messages to her work.

This is the January block, I love the house and heart together and this would make a lovely housewarming gift for someone. Photo from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ gentle domesticity BOM block 1 jan 2015

The next one I want to share with you I originally found about from Jenny’s page and this looks amazing.

It is called The Splendid Sampler and is no less than 100 blocks by 83 designers which are all free in a mystery block of the month.

The-Splendid-Sampler-Sew-Along-big-button

The designers include so many brilliant people, including Jenny and lots of other people whose blogs I follow so this looks like an excellent project. I love the fact that the some of the blocks will be embroidery and English Paper Piecing as well.

Of course I will be saving the block information rather than trying to make two blocks a week but there should be some lovely stuff here :-)

All this excitement starts on the 14th Feb with two 6 inch block designs released each week.

They have already released a design for a block case which you can find on the Splendid Sampler website here. Photo from the web site.

Splendid sampler block case

This very useful case not only keeps a ruler safe but also lets you audition fabrics on the inside section and keep fabric and completed blocks safe. Photo from the web site as before.

Splendid sampler block case - interior

There is also a Facebook group and so far 7740 people have joined that, there are some lovely fabric pictures of peoples choices to drool over at the moment.

According to the poll there are 8 of us from Yorkshire doing it, not thought about any fabric yet as I will probably do blocks in different choices depending on design and purpose.

Isn’t it lovely that social media lets us do all these exciting things. And to think I once said to a friend when he explained what the internet was back in about 1994, ‘no I don’t think I’ll be using that…can’t really see the point’. Ha ha, how wrong I was!

Well I will leave you and get back to some actual crafting, Ellie and Kerry are due later for a visit and we have a Fire Festival in the village tonight as well.Thanks very much for visiting and see you all soon.

A very long term project

Hello everyone

Like a lot of people I have been thinking about projects for this year, and more specifically my WIPs.

I don’t have many thankfully and most are things that I have done that need an end purpose like some of my experiments with different techniques.

A while ago I discovered the joys of English Paper Piecing and the delights of the mini charm pack. I have thoroughly enjoyed making lots and lots of hexagons, some with an idea in mind of an end product others to be filed for further inspiration.

One of my recent rediscoveries going through the WIPS box, I only have the one and it is quite small honest, was these lovely hexagons pieced from a mini charm pack of Moda Printemps that I bought from Simply Solids.

Printemps fabric 3

I had also acquired some further fat quarters from the Quilt Show in August and my Quilt Cabin workshop in the summer so have quite a bit of this gorgeous fabric but what to make with it?

Printemps fabric 5

Printemps fabric 2

Musing on this a couple of weeks ago I came across a charm pack on Ebay at a very bargain price so added that to the stash – yes I know I should not have been looking for more fabric, just for patterns but you know how it goes.

Printemps fabric 1

I have also just found some more of the fabric on Ebay at a great price so ordered 3 fat quarters early on Saturday evening from Simply All Sorts.

I was absolutely delighted when they messaged me on Sunday and told me that as they had reduced the price of those fabrics at 10pm that evening, after I had ordered, they were going to refund me the difference! What brilliant customer service and to say thank you I ordered another fat quarter which ended up only costing me £1.

I have now decided on a quilt but this is going to be mainly handpieced, which is why it is going to be a very long term project.

I would love to own just one large quilt for me and am in awe of the people who make them in a week but I am thinking a couple of years for this one.

I was browsing for inspiration again yesterday and came across these three lovely designs using the fabric. This one comes from Susie’s Pinwheel Cottage blog and I love the design she has created. Isn’t this so pretty!

Printemps Quilt - Pinwheel Cottage

This one is from Shannon’s blog and uses a pattern called Picket Fence. She is such a prolific quilter and makes the most gorgeous things, go take a look.

Picket Fence Primtemps Quilt

I really like the idea of using the charm pack as it is for some of the blocks as in this design above as it is such beautiful fabric and doing all pieced blocks would not let the design shine through. The Moda picture below shows all the colours and designs in the range.

Moda Printemps colours

As I already have five hexagons and love making them and they are so portable to take away with me I think that most of the other blocks would be hexagons, not sure yet if I will applique them on to a background of try and piece round them to make blocks.

I also love the idea of Dresden blocks, have never made one but they look feasible but am not certain how they would blend with hexagons.

The free pattern that came with the fabric range has got large Dresden Plate blocks with hexagon centres but I am not sure I like that design.

However this version from Bella Rose Quilts looks amazing with the background quilting. A bit beyond my skills at the moment!

Bella Rose Printemps Dresden

What do you think? Anyone tried the two together?

Anyway I shall enjoy the process and the excuse to do more hand piecing, am getting better at machine work but hand stitching will always be my preference, especially on cold winter days when I can snuggle watching TV.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

A little update

As you can see I have decided to change the theme for the blog, have had the same one for about 8 years so thought that it was time for something new, and I get to have a different header picture each time! Hope that you like it and it is easy to use.

Thanks for visiting and following, just realised that I have got 129 followers now, thanks you all so much, I feel very loved ;-)

 

Lovely presents

Hello everyone

I have been waiting a while to get some good pictures of the great things I got for Christmas this year.We had a nice sunny day yesterday so I was able to get pictures of my new craft room treats.

You may remember me saying that I had bought a sewing machine themed cotton reel holder and had the matching hook set on my wish list, well guess what my lovely children bought me for Christmas!

Xmas presents 1

This was a total surprise and I was delighted, Ellie said she thought the link on my blog was a hint but it was just really for me to remember where it was from as it was quite expensive and I was going to save up for it. So thank you brilliant children :-)

I am using it at the moment to hang bags from and on it is another one of my gifts on it, this knitting bag on the left from my brother Ben and his (now wife!) Amanda.

Xmas presents 2

The girls at knitting all thought that we should get t-shirts with this on as it is so true! They got this from Not On The High Street.

Xmas presents 3

My lovely friend Kerry always gets my great gifts and this year she bought me this diary from my wish list. Look at all the quilty joy that is in here.

Xmas presents 4

This rainbow quilt is brilliant and I love the look of the rail fence cushions.

Xmas presents 5

Xmas presents 6

She also, ‘gifted’, me some fabric that she bought some years ago at Harrogate but has never used and I was very pleased.

I would be pleased with Christmas fabric anyway but there at the bottom is the red version of the gorgeous stuff I managed to get five fat quarters of last year at Harrogate.

Xmas presents 7

When I brought it home I was thinking how great it would be if I had some more of the red as well and now I have!

Not much crafting to share with you this week, mouse is still a WIP but I have recently finished another of Jenny of Elefantz’s designs, this one in the variegated thread again.

Elefantz heart stitching 1

I think the thickness of the thread looks really good with the flower design. The heart is cut from some batik.

Elefantz heart stitching 2

Am finishing off the mouse this weekend so will be knitting the cute ballet cardigan tomorrow then need to get some tulle for a tutu so that I can make it up next week.

Hope that you have a very enjoyable weekend, it has just started snowing here so I am staying snuggled under the fleece enjoying my hygge home!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Joining in

Hello everyone, hope that you have had a good week so far, I am so glad it is nearly Friday, that is excellent news :-) I have had a lovely week but weekends are always better!

Given that I didn’t actually finish the Block of the Month we started last year within the knitting group I am possibly a little optimistic posting about a couple of collaborative ventures I have discovered recently.

However I am working on the basis that I am doing it more for all of you who read my blog than for me and who knows I might win the lottery soon and need lots of things to fill my time with ;-)

Anyway being a new year there are lots of great things happening that you can join in with, I am going to share a couple with you now and I have more in my favourites for a later post.

The first one is a mystery knit along being organised by my very talented friend Sarah from knitting group and her equally talented friend Ann. I am definitely doing this one and it will help to have one of the designers on hand if needed!

The knit along is for a pair of fingerless mittens and it is called, ‘On the other hand’, as for each section you get two pattern options, one from Ann and one from Sarah.

MKAL_Ravelry_group_banner_1

The link above takes you to Ravelry where you can buy the pattern and join the group and the first part gets released on the 5th Feb.

There are also some lovely free block of the months to inspire me. I have never done any of Lori Holt’s designs but love the look of the Quilty Fun and Farm Girl Vintage and she has got a new design called Bloom.

Bloom Sew Along

Isn’t this quilt just so pretty! The pattern does use Lori’s Bloom templates but I think you could make the flowers without those as well as the instructions are very clear. Picture from Lori’s blog.

Bloom Quilt

The overall pattern is free from the Riley Blake site and Lori is giving step by step instructions on her Bee in my Bonnet blog

The fabric is her new Calico Days range and it really is, ‘bloomin gorgeous’, look at all this, pity I am trying to be good and not buy anything! Again picture from Lori’s blog.

Calico days fabric

I have a whole weekend of lovely crafting planned, how unusual ;-)

Will catch up again soon, meanwhile thanks very much for visiting.

 

 

 

What I did on my holidays … or what I did in 2015

Hello everyone, inspired by lots of other people doing review of activities posts I thought that I would take a look back at what I managed in 2015.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, (except for the perennial one of doing less housework and more fun things), but do like thinking about what the year might bring.

I did set myself a number of goals for that year, 12 quilt blocks with our Block of the Month organised by Helen from knitting group, 26 books to be read and 17 sewing projects from the Sewing Bucket List.

I didn’t get any of them completed fully but on the positive side this means I still have things to work on for this year :-)

I finished 5 of the quilt blocks and have another one cut out but have been having a few issues with my new machine :-( so need to spend some time sorting that out before any serious quilt making happens.

I have enjoyed the challenge and it has made me a lot more accurate and confident about piecing and if I hadn’t been doing so much other sewing would have managed all of these.

I have read lots and lots of books this year but got diverted from the list so ended up only completing 11 out of the 26.

My current favourite diversion is my discovery of Debbie Macomber, I really enjoyed watching the adaptation of her Cedar Cove series on Netflix in the summer and as usual picked up a couple of her Blossom Street series in a charity shop in Spain recently and am now hooked! Appropriate for a series that starts with the story of a yarn shop.

Blossom street novel

Have ordered four more of these to take to Spain for my next holiday, yes Alison what happened to not buying any more books until all the ones you had were read?

As for the sewing list 7 out of 17 and again lots of other diversions off to stitch Jenny’s beautiful designs and to make lots of medieval kit and a couple of extra things for the sewing room.

Other things I accomplished not on the list, lots and lots of hexagon piecing, my favourites being the pincushions and needlecases with Liberty fabric.

And learning to knit in the round, the wristwarmers and the little knitted pincushions were my first success with this.

The discovery of Jenny’s embroidery which gave me lots of beautiful things to stitch, my favourite so far are her birds, this one is now in my craft room.

So challenges for 2016 then. Well to finish all these lists, to improve my skills at making quilt blocks.

I still have lots of lovely things I want to make for the craft room and think that single blocks to use as mini quilts is probably a better option than trying to make anything bigger.

2016 will definitely be a year of more embroidery and challenging myself to use different stitches.

As for knitting goals definitely lost more of Julie’s little animals, the mouse is coming along very well and love the speed at which I can complete them.

What about you, any challenges that you want to tackle in 2016?

Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Tiny Norwegian Houses

Hello everyone, hope you are all well and planning a lovely weekend. The sun is shining here in Yorkshire and we have blue skies which is a bit of a miracle for January so a walk might be in the plans for later on.

I have always been fascinated by tiny places to live, I have plans to buy a caravan when I retire and some of my happiest homes have been small, bedsits and little flats.

I am currently loving the tiny house movement and all the gorgeous things that pop up on my Facebook feed.

Look at this one for sheer inventiveness, it looks like something out of a fairy tale. This comes from a company called Spa Hungary.

Tiny house resized

I have found lots of lovely pictures on this Tiny House blog as well, love the look of this cabin from the Isle of Wight.

small-beach-house-exterior resized

small-beach-house- exterior resized

When we were in Oslo my favourite houses at the Folk Museum were two tiny wooden houses from the early 1900s, built side by side.

The amazing thing about these was although they were probably only not much bigger in terms of floor area as modern tiny houses 9 people lived in one and 8 in the other.

As always it was the little touches that made it home that were so amazing, these houses had been moved to the museum so they were not the original belongings of the inhabitants but still so beautiful.

Three of the family slept in this tiny loft bedroom accessed by a ladder. The ‘bathroom’ was a small bowl and mirror tucked behind a curtain at the bottom of the stairs, and the toilet was out in the yard.

Norway Folk Museum small house 2

There were lots of space saving ides like these hangings for trays.

Norway Folk Museum small house 1

Norway Folk Museum small house 3

And evidence of beautiful embroidery to make the place feel like home.

Norway Folk Museum small house 4

Norway Folk Museum small house 5

Norway Folk Museum small house 6

Both of the houses had little sewing areas with vintage sewing machines. I have one just like this which has its own table to stow it in. Sadly it does not work anymore but is a very lovely heirloom.

Norway Folk Museum small house 7

Some of the family would sleep on the sofas in the lounge.

Norway Folk Museum small house 9

There were photos of some of the families that lived there, all in their Sunday best!

Norway Folk Museum small house 8

Norway Folk Museum small house 10

It may seem strange that people now willingly choose to live in tiny houses but I can see why this is such a good idea and most of the people doing it are choosing mortgage free lifestyles either as their first homes or as retirees.

I do love my own house but sometimes I think it seems very big for just me and is very full of ‘stuff’. Why do I need 10 wineglasses when at the most there are only ever 3 people in my house drinking wine at the same time?

Of course the contents of the craft room are exempt as that is not stuff, that is the retirement fund!

Have had a lovely week at work and also managed to get quite a bit of knitting done, all body parts for one rabbit completed and am now onto the mouse which is exciting as I have not made one of those before.

Hope that you have a lovely weekend and week ahead, will be back with some pictures of the lovely presents I had for Christmas, craft related of course ;-)

Take care and thanks for visiting.