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Am having a lovely weekend sewing, Jake has gone back to Uni so it is very quiet here now.

I am just finishing off the last few bits for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale next week but have popped in to share with you the very exciting news that her book of designs is being published and is available for pre-order.

Sarah's book Front-Cover

Not only does it have some stunning designs in it, Sarah is hugely talented and very creative and there are some beautiful things, it also features my lovely daughter Ellie with elf ears!

She was very, very excited to be asked to model for this, (unaccustomed as she is to having her photo taken of course), and had a brilliant day with the other two models, my friends Suzi and Helen from knitting group, in a local park which has a lot of dells filled with ferns and made a brilliant setting for the designs.

There is a little video showing the location and an outtake from the shoot here – the girls challenging their inner Charlie’s Angels!

Unfortunately the elf ears had to be added post -production as the make – up artist was not available that day but she looks fab in them.

I think this is my favourite picture of Ellie.

Ellie as an elf

Though this one is very lovely too – she is actually wearing one of my flower head dresses in this picture ;-)

Ellie as an elf

So go and take a look at all the wonderful designs in the full book – it is available on Ravelry and on Sarah’s Alder Sign website, it would make a lovely Christmas present for a knitty friend.

I can’t wait until my wrist is better and I can start knitting again. I think I am going to make a shawl like this beautiful one modelled by Suzi, or maybe a jumper for Ellie as she did request one of the ones she had modelled.

Suzi as an elf

Copyright for all pictures belongs to Sarah.

I am going to be having a lovely day again today, more sewing in front of the TV and it is Channel 5’s, ‘End of the World Weekend’, with lots of disaster movies. I do love a good disaster movie :-)

As long it is not really the end of the world as that would be sad, given the amount of work that Sarah has put into her book ;-) and the fact that Ellie and her best friend from Uni are going to Spain tomorrow for a very hard-earned week of R and R in the sun.

Hopefully we still all be here next week, I have a busy week ahead as the trainees are in all week so little crafting time but lots of fun planned around that.

Have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.

You may know how much I like pincushions, I love making them, (here is a link to a post with some that I have made), I love using them and love looking for inspiration for them on Pinterest.

Well one of my favourite bloggers – Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts  has just released her first line of fabric called Good Neighbours and to celebrate she is having a pincushion party!

What a brilliant idea – I have been visiting the first few on the party circuit and they are all very lovely.

Here is the list  from Amanda’s blog if you would like to go and have a look, lots of lovely ideas and they make fab Christmas presents for stitching and knitting friends.

Date Blogger Name Blog URL
9/1/2015 Amanda Jean
9/2/2015 Anna
9/3/2015 Mary
9/4/2015 Svetlana
9/5/2015 Debbie
9/6/2015 Holly
9/7/2015 Carla
9/8/2015 Faith
9/9/2015 Vanessa
9/10/2015 Anna
9/11/2015 Krista
9/12/2015 Erin
9/13/2015 Lee
9/14/2015 Alex
9/15/2015 Cheryl
9/16/2015 Penny
9/17/2015 Amy
9/18/2015 Debbie
9/19/2015 Anne
9/20/2015 Melissa Corry
9/21/2015 Amber
9/22/2015 Nettie
9/23/2015 Adrianne
9/24/2015 Cindy
9/25/2015 Amy
9/26/2015 Chase
9/27/2015 Rene
9/28/2015 Erin
9/29/2015 Nicole
9/30/2015 Teri

Here are a couple on my wish list to make – look at this pretty daisy one with a tutorial here – this is a Russian site but the pictures explain it well.

Daisy pincushion

This one just has to be one of the cutest ones on the planet! The tutorial is here.


Have just finished one of the knitting needle cases for Sarah’s stall, pleased with the design and with the cute stitching I have used from my lovely new machine! Updates of all of that later, I have so much lovely stuff to blog about, been a very good week!

At least I will have lots to share with you when term starts in a couple of weeks and things get very hectic and no crafting gets done :-(

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello again, hope you are all well and happy. The sun is shining here after a hot day and an impressive thunderstorm last night so all in good is this little corner of the world.

We got all the planting done and then they were very well watered in by the storm :-)

I have just dropped in to share with you an initiative by another one of my, ‘imaginary friends’, as my children called them, the lovely Karen of , ‘Did You Make That?’.

I really value blogs as a source of knowledge and ideas and reading them makes me happy as well. Karen has decided to use her very popular blog for a good cause, she is an editor and is raising money for the National Literacy Trust through her Made Up Initiative


As an adult education tutor for 10 years and now as a teacher trainer for 14 years working with trainees who are in the same field I have seen first hand the effects that poor literacy has.

It is not just about reading for pleasure, it is about not understanding rights and responsibilities, not being able to get a good, stable job, the risk of being exploited by employers, landlords , financial institutions etc because you haven’t got the skills to understand information.

Karen is asking people to pledge through her Just Giving Page  and to comment saying what they will make by Sept 10th. Everyone who does fulfil that pledge will be entered in a prize draw to win £300 of stitching loveliness – full details on the blog post above.

There is also a Facebook page  for updates on the campaign.

I have pledged to finish a Christmas ornament by the 10th Sept, just a small thing but this will be done alongside the making of the jacket. Karen has been so helpful to me with her advice that I was very happy to support the initiative.

I love the fact that blogs and social media can be used in such positive ways, every little helps and as Mother Teresa says ….

Mother-Teresa quote

I have been working on the wedding jacket, cutting out the toile from an old sheet

Karen is working on a toile for her Made Up pledge as well and suggested that you could mark the toile to make it easier to sew together so I have done that with my new fabric marking Zig Millenium pen, (bought on the advice of Jenny of Elefantz).

Just a sneak peek of the work so far, today’s job is to sew the toile together for the first fitting.

jacket cutting

jacket cutting 2

jacket cutting 3

It is all very exciting, I haven’t made anything from a proper pattern for a few years!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone – welcome to another damp weekend in Yorkshire ;-)

This weekend I do have some outdoor activities planned, a little planting of the new things I bought while out with Sharon garden centre visiting yesterday and a walk with Ted, so am hoping for some bright spells to do those.

I wanted to share with you the first of my lovely Jenny of Elefantz stitchery patterns. I have just had my first monthly Stitchery Club PDF e-mailed to me and there are some gorgeous Christmas designs which I have started on as ornaments for family.

This earlier design is one of my absolute favourites and will be stitching it again in different colours to frame for my craft room as the sentiment is so good as well as the design being very pretty.

 Jenny of Elefantz stitches booklet

new sewing room - stitches booklet 2

new sewing room - stitches booklet 3

I am not sure where I got the tape measure charm from but the cute clock one is part of a set that Kerry gave me for my birthday.

The fabric came from the Barrington Patchwork shop that we found as part of our National Trust visiting holiday in early June, I knew it would come in handy for stitching related gifts!

new sewing room - stitches booklet 4

new sewing room - stitches booklet 5

new sewing room - stitches booklet 6

new sewing room - stitches booklet 7

I am intending it to be for carrying English Paper Piecing templates and this is going to be added to my Christmas gift pile.

new sewing room - stitches booklet 8

new sewing room - stitches booklet 9

It is a really easy and pleasurable design to stitch and am very pleased with my end result. The binding could be neater and I have attached it to the two sides differently but it is all about learning from experience!

I am also counting this as Project Number 1 on the Sewing Bucket List – a project for your sewing space, ok it’s not for me but I think it still counts!

I am very behind with projects due to the still poorly wrist, it is officially tendonitis and I have to rest as much as possible so will be extending the list into 2016.

This weekend’s crafting activities are to cut out and sew up the ,’toile’ for Amanda’s wedding jacket. On the advice of Karen from, ‘Did You Make That?‘, I am making a mock-up of the jacket from an old sheet to get the sizing right before cutting into the £30 a metre silk brocade!

Will give me a chance to play with my new machine which makes me very happy!

Hope that you have nice things planned as well. Thanks for visiting.

Hello, hope that you are all having a nice week, I have been busy stitching away at my hexi pincushions and needlebooks, in between some sorting out of the craft room.

One of the many quilting blogs that I like reading is called,  ‘In Color Order’ , run by Jeni Baker who regularly contributes to quilt magazines that I read.

I have long admired those quilters who have their stash organised by colour as mine was piled in a few boxes which meant getting everything out if I wanted to find something for a specific project.

Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom even has her scraps sorted by colour – go and have a look at this storage bucket tutorial for details of how to make the cutest scrap buckets!

Not any more! My lovely friend Sharon has been doing a bit of sorting in her own craft room, when we went round a couple of months ago to help her with a stash sort I admired these drawers and said if she ever wanted to get rid of them I would buy them off her, (she had two sets so still has some herself).

new sewing room - coloured boxes

They arrived on Monday and then something else arrived yesterday – more on that later – so I had a good sort out in the craft room yesterday and I am very happy with the result :-)

I also got the chance to declutter this area, this old shelving unit is very rickety and was just getting used as a dumping ground so things have been made much neater by its removal and it will now have a new home in the shed.

new sewing room old shelving
I can see exactly what I have got in the pinks, blues, turquoises etc. I had great fun sorting and found fabric I didn’t remember having!

new sewing room - pink fabric

new sewing room

new sewing room - blue fabric

I also got chance to put up some new pictures and pin boards for my quilt blocks, thanks to our block of the month challenge I now have four of those – more to come as I am still behind, (given that it is the eighth month of the year ha ha),  so will take some pictures of those once I have finished a few more.

This very cute little embroidery was in one of our local charity shops so had to come home with me for the vintage embroidery wall.

It was only 75p and the amount of work in it is amazing, look at the detail of the little mother mouse tucking up the children and the picture on the wall.

new sewing room -mouse embroidery 1

new sewing room -mouse embroidery 2

new sewing room - mouse embroidery detail

The other arrival for the craft room was very exciting – took a bit of getting out of the box!

new sewing room - machine in box

I have a new sewing machine, a very sooper dooper, 80 stitches brand new quilting machine with an extra-large additional plate for doing machine quilting, lots and lots of feet for quilting and automatic needle threading :-)

new sewing room - machine in room

I was not really planning to buy myself a new machine at this point though was getting very frustrated with my 5-year-old Janome which just kept losing tension and jamming all the time.

Had put it to one side for a service and got out the older spare machine but when using it this week for a small piece of finishing realised that the reason that I had retired it was because of the faint burning smell when you use it!

Was just doing a little browsing of new machines as you do and came across this little lovely, reduced and with free quilting accessories so treated myself to a very early Christmas present.

Well I do have the special sewing to do and it would be nice to spend more time actually sewing than sorting out a machine!

Looking forward to spending more time this weekend practising with all those lovely embroidery stitches. Hope that you have lots of nice things planned and thanks for visiting.


‘Than buy a bit of fabric or two… ‘, apologies to the Grease songwriters for my shameless adaptation of their classic sung by Rizzo, (one of my favourite characters from a movie ever, I so wanted to be that cool!).

Anyway I did buy a little bit and some fantastic accessories for crafting and my spending this event really emphasised what I say to the children about supporting small businesses.

I know that they think that is an excuse but in truth a large amount of my crafting money each year goes to small businesses set up by women like me who are crafting and selling whatever they create or source so as far as I am concerned I am supporting the sisterhood!

The fact that I get lovely things in return is a bonus ;-)

One of my best purchases was this set of papers from the lovely Jesse of the Messy Jesse blog. I would not have found this stall but for my friend Helen who was very excited that she had found her.

Quilt Show papers

Helen reads her blog and had met her in person for the first time that day and introduced me to the joys of lots and lots of pre-cut papers for all sorts of English Paper Piecing.

Jesse has just set up this side of the business, Sew and Quilt , and it was a real delight to talk to her, about how this was all part of the maths topic of tessellation and technically to do with the angles at a point, while patchworking we are all actually applying rules about the interior angles of regular polygons don’t you know! As well as some irregular ones like apple cores and clamshells, two patterns I have wanted to try for ages.

Having taught Maths for a long time I am always trying to find ways of getting people interested in it and have used quilts as examples before.

The back of her show leaflet was this really useful cutting guide which will go up on my craft room notice board. Another practical application of Maths.

Quilt Show purchases  - cutting guide 2

I also bought some more Liberty from Alice Caroline. Much as I am enjoying piecing the blocks for the Block of the Month Challenge my real passion is English Paper Piecing so with this lovely rainbow and the extra papers from Jesse I can patchwork to my heart’s content!

Quilt Show Liberty

She also had these cute handbag mirrors so I can see a few matching make up bags being made as presents. Isn’t this the prettiest business card ever?

I find it so relaxing sitting watching TV and piecing, whereas using my machine always gets frustrating when the points don’t match. Will persevere as love the end results but will mix and match techniques.

I love reading magazines for inspiration and have just changed my subscription as I like to vary them every couple of years. With the new Fabrications Quilting one I got this set of threads for free – how shiny! I had this magazine a few years ago and like the inclusion of embroidery projects as well.

Quilt Show purchases  - Fabrications

And another new one, Today’s Quilter  , was giving away this tote bag as well as first 3 issues for £3 , this sums up my idea of a perfect weekend and I am seriously considering stitching this saying and framing it.

Quilt Show purchases

I also picked up a copy of Australian Homespun, I like this magazine and was especially loving this quilt design on the front cover, what a great idea for using my vintage embroideries.

Quilt Show purchases  - Homespun 2

There was a little bit of Christmas fabric that snuck its way in as well from the lovely Sue at Springwood House Designs. She has a new design called Fun with Leaves, beautiful hand-made leaves which would look great in wreaths.

Quilt Show purchases - Xmas fabric

Am still working on the scissors stitching from Jenny of Elefantz  – have enjoyed it so much that I have subscribed to her Stitchery Club, it has been a long time since I have done any stitching and just love her work.

Would have had that completed but spent 4 hours on one quilt block over this weekend. I am so slow at this and am in awe of people who can piece a quilt in a weekend.

I got such a nice e-mail from her as well about my subscription and again am very pleased to be able to support a small business. I am eagerly waiting the 17th when I get my patterns, there is Christmas stitchery in this month’s set so I will be able to do a little bit of Christmas in August :-)

Right sadly the day job is calling so I had better go now. I love these summer mornings, I have been awake since 6.30 having a few cups of tea and bogging and it is so nice to have more time and feel like doing things, sunshine makes such a difference.

Thanks for visiting and have a nice week.

Hello everyone, hope that you have had a good week. As I mentioned in a recent post I am going to be doing some special garment making and thought I would share with you some of the very useful resources I have found recently for sewing clothes.

The internet if fab isn’t it, I really love the way that it supports face to face things as well and new businesses. One of my favourite blogs of recent months is Karen at Did You Make That ?

She has been so helpful to me in her discussion of all the things she makes and how she has learnt to alter patterns.

She mentioned Sew Over It a while ago in her blog and I went and had a look at their website and found some really helpful videos as well.

Lisa set up her business in Clapham teaching sewing and designing and selling patterns in 2011 and thanks to word of mouth and virtual contacts has been successful enough to open a second shop in Islington.

I wish that I lived nearer London as I would love to take a class. That is something to put into the diary for a little trip away some time. The Islington shop looks so inviting – isn’t it a beautiful colour and here is the lovely Lisa as well, (picture from Sew Over It website).

Sew Over It - shop

She designs some beautiful patterns – look at this gorgeous vintage tea dress, this would be perfect for my friends who do World War 2 re-enactment. You can buy the pattern from here.


I really love Lisa’s style of presenting, (much friendlier than my old sewing teacher!),  and think that visuals are so helpful for explaining techniques.

You can find the videos here as well.


By coincidence there was a lovely article on Lisa and her business in my Simply Sewing magazine  recently.

They have tutorials and templates available from their magazine site including a tutorial for this cute teapot pincushion. I might just have to make one of these.


I also found some really helpful stuff on the Simplicity patterns site. They have a classroom section and some great information about measuring to get a pattern to fit with helpful diagrams and record sheets – might help me with my sizing issues for women’s medieval kit!

Measurement diagram

Well I will finish now, time to get on with some non-sewing related stuff :-(. Take care, have a nice week and thanks for visiting.

Things have quietened down a lot at work  which means that I am home earlier, have more chance to work from home and thus more time for sewing which all makes me very happy :-)

We don’t get the same school holidays as school teachers do so I am still working all summer but at a nice relaxed pace with lots of weekends free now.

As I am still having a bit of pain in my wrist I am avoiding knitting and too much machine sewing so am embarking on a few embroidered pieces.

I recently found Jenny’s Elefantz blog and embroidery designs, cannot remember how but think it was a link from another blog and she designs the most wonderful things so I had to go and buy some patterns. Some of these will be stitched for me and some will be gifts.

Elefantz The Stitchin Machine stitchery

Elefantz Make Do Mend stitchery

This will be my first project which I am starting this afternoon and I have the perfect backing for it in my stash.

Elefantz A Stitch In Time stitchery

She is an amazingly talented and generous designer as she has loads of freebies on her site as well. She has done so many lovely free block of the month sets over the years and currently has a Vintage Kitchen series. Look at these beautiful designs.

Elefantz Stitchery

Elefantz Block4 The Vintage Kitchen

Not only are the designs really lovely but they use very simple stitches, most are backstitch or satin stitch but she makes the most gorgeous things with the embroidery. My embroidery skills are limited, I would love to learn more complex stitches but for now I don’t have to.

I love the fact that she combines stitching with applique and quilting and I was also very impressed with this design which combines my hexi love with beautiful roses.

Elefantz Ring o Rosey stitchery

She also posts pictures of what people make with her designs on her blog and that gives you loads of ideas for different colourways.Here is the link to her Craftsy store  if you are interested, they would make lovely Christmas presents for stitchers.

She also has a monthly Stitchery Club and I am seriously tempted to subscribe to that, even I don’t do all the designs now I could consider it part of my retirement fund!

Also it is nice to support fellow designers and craftspeople in their business endeavours, I love knowing the person behind the work, that is one of the lovely things about buying re-enactment goods it is very personal shopping.

I am also enjoying reading all about her life in Australia, I have decided to read all her posts from the start in 2009. I quite often do that with interesting blogs, to me it is like reading someone’s autobiography and I love seeing other places around the world.

I have been a long time follower of Katrina in New Zealand’s A Kiwi Stitching blog which is great for a mix of stitching ideas and photos of the beautiful places around her home and of Mary Kathryn’s,  Impie, Hattie and Bea blog and webshop, she lives in the Rocky Mountains and posts beautiful photos of her surroundings.

I have recently found another Colorado blog Tanya Quilts in Colorado  , she is a very creative and very prolific quilter who amazes me with her output.

Another new one for me is Anna Scott Embroidery, lots of beautiful goldwork here that she designs and sells patterns for and pictures of the Australian vineyard where she lives.

Here in the UK I love Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits  knitting designs and her garden and walk pictures, she is a really good photographer and of course the animals are amazingly cute.

I have the patterns for some of the latest to make when my hand is better, she now has mice and cats to knit as well as rabbits, elephants, foxes and monkeys!

I also really enjoy Helen from Hen House’s  vintage style quilts and collectibles and her trips out in the South of England, she loves the 1940s and often visits events and vintage fairs in costume which looks fantastic.

I really enjoy blogs that combine beautiful crafting with information about life in other places, a bit like having lots of pen pals around the world. Although I don’t comment on people’s posts very often I do love the sense of being in touch with fellow knitters, stitchers and quilters.

That is one of the best things about the internet, the sense of community that it gives.

As well as the opportunity to buy cute things of course ;-) , I may just have indulged a little bit in some charm buying recently, will let you see what I have been acquiring soon.

Right there appears to be sun in Yorkshire, (a minor miracle), and the washing machine has just finished so I will make the most of it and see if I can get some stuff outside. Not to tempt fate but it may be 20 degrees and dry today which is great for August round here!

Thanks as always for visiting and I hope that you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy visiting all the others.

Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and enjoying the prospect of your weekend.I have had a pretty productive few days even with still being on light duties.

Have cut back on my planned sewing and knitting for the time being to give my wrist a rest and have been enjoying the delights of the Liberty stash packs that Kerry and Ellie bought me for Christmas from Very Berry fabrics.

I have nearly run out of some of the prints so will be looking to restock when we go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham next week. We have a girly trip planned with some of the knitting group, I have give them strict instructions to them to restrain my fabric buying though ;-)

I was very late to the love of Liberty party, it was only really when I went to the brooch making workshop last year that I realised how useful the little prints could be and since then have been inspired by blogs like Nana Company.

So here is the fruit of my labours, have still to put together the needlebooks as I am busy making more pretty hexagons for these which it is a little bit addictive.

That and a boxed set on Sky and I am very happily entertained! Am currently avidly watching Falling Skies, a series set after an alien invasion which is very edge of your seat stuff.

Liberty pincushions 1

Liberty Pincushions 2

Liberty Pincushions 3

Liberty Pincushions 4

I have given each pincushion some little coordinated pins, these were recently obtained from EBay, don’t know which I like best, flowers, hearts, drops or leaves as they are all so pretty.

Liberty Pincushions 5

I have also been finishing off the little knitted pincushions, have added charms and altered the one I made earlier using ribbons to do the divisions rather than thread which I think makes it look very cute.

Knitted Pincushions July

Knitted Pincushions July 2

Well I shall love you and leave you now and get back to the hard slog of television and stitching!
Thanks, as always, for visiting.

I am working on a number of little projects in order to have things to sell at craft stalls later in the year, it is never too early to start making Christmas ornaments here at Stitches of Time ;-)

I am also going to be having some ‘crafternoon’ sessions with my friends from knitting group as I did last year so we can all get an early start on our ornaments.

First one is in a couple of weeks and will be accompanied by crafternoon tea which will be an excuse to get the cake stand out!

As well as the knitted pincushions I am going to make lots of pincushions using Liberty fabrics and linen as due to making kit for the boys I have ended up with lots of large scraps ideal for this purpose.

liberty and linen

I have been inspired by creations like those by Amy from Nana Company – this book, Sweetly Stitched Handmades by her is on my Amazon wish list and think that the combination of Liberty and linen is a real winner.

Nana Company Book

Another thing I thought that would sell well is little jars of buttons, Ellie has bought me some for the last two Mother’s Days and they are such cute gifts.

mothers day gifts buttons

I have ordered a large stock of pretty little buttons to make up jars with fabric covered lids. Most of these came from an Ebay shop called Bead Bonkers UK.

Buttons June

Buttons June 2

Buttons June 3

Buttons June 4

I am keeping these ones just for me though, aren’t they gorgeous!

Buttons June 5 for me

These charms are to put on the knitted pincushions and knitting accessories – most of these came from an Etsy shop called DIY Club which has some beautiful charms and ships very speedily from China.

Another one that I have used from Etsy is Beading Shaz who has wonderful charms like cupcakes and cute dogs!

Buttons June 6 knitting charms

This beautiful stack of Kona Solids has just come into my life as well, a subscription gift from a quilt magazine, would love to make a rainbow quilt or a Sudoko quilt as in this You Tube tutorial with it but since my list of WIPs for quilting is very long at the moment I will just keep it as an ornament for now!

Kona solids

It is so lovely to have more time to craft, now that teaching is over things have quietened down a lot at work so am looking forward to a lovely summer of making in between the marking!

Hope that you have all got lots to look forward to as well. Take care and thanks for visiting.

October 2015
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