You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘blogs’ tag.
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 ….
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.
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, 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.
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).
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.
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.
The other arrival for the craft room was very exciting – took a bit of getting out of the 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 :-)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
This will be my first project which I am starting this afternoon and I have the perfect backing for it in my stash.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello everyone, I hope that you did have a very nice weekend, mine was productive and I am posting today to share with you my latest creations.
I have told you before about my love of pincushions, like most crafters I have several and love making them but these are my very first knitted ones :-)
I took inspiration from all the lovely things on a pincushion Pinterest board here and another Pinterest search for knitted pincushions, (there are some seriously cute crochet ones out there, must learn to crochet next, my life will not be complete until I can make a granny square pin cushion!).
I didn’t follow a pattern, just made it up as I went along so I have put a tutorial here for you in case you want to make some yourself.
1. Using 2.5mm double pointed needles and 4 ply yarn cast on 45 stitches. Thicker yarn and/or larger needles will give a larger pincushion – these measure approx. 8cm inches in diameter.
2. Distribute the stitches evenly between the 3 needles.
3. For the purple pincushion knit in stocking stitch (all knit rows) until work measures 9cm in length.
4. Leave stitches on needles and using long tail of thread and large eyed needle gather all stitches, pull tight and fasten securely
5. For pink pincushion knit in stocking stitch, (all rows knit), until work measures 4 cm in length then knit in moss stitch, (knit 1, purl 1) ,for 6 rows. Then knit in stocking stitch for a further 3.5 cm in length.
6. Finish as for purple pincushion in step 4.
7. Stuff firmly with polyester toy stuffing and then using length of yarn and large eyed needle pick up stitches from cast on edge to gather. Pull tight and fasten securely.
8. For purple pincushion – use a length of embroidery thread , (all 6 strands), or similar threaded onto a sharp needle. Stitch to attach thread to gathered up centre.
9. Securely wrap thread around the body of the pincushion to form eight segments. Pull tightly as you do this and secure each time you take thread back to centre with a stitch.
10. For both pincushions stitch buttons at centre of pincushion (top and bottom) to cover gathered join. Pull tightly when stitching to flatten pincushion. I did both buttons simultaneously then left thread tail inside of body.
11. Add co-ordinating pins!
One of my favourite bloggers, Mary Kathryn, has just made some gorgeous embroidered linen pincushions, go and have a look at her post about them, if she shipped to the UK I would have bought one as they are just beautiful.
I have just ordered some more buttons and charms from Etsy as well to decorate the next few batches of accessories , I really love these little decorated buttons that I first saw at Yarndale last year.
I am going to test out one with a lace pattern border this week to improve my skills at lace knitting in the round!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
I blame Amazon, all you are doing is checking if they have a book and putting it on your wishlist for future reference, a sewing book recommended by one of my new favourite blogs, Did You Make That?
Then when you are updating your wishlist there is a little message that says, ‘get yourself a little something’ , and you think, ‘no Amazon I am being good’, as I have 27 books in the, ‘to be read pile’ , already.
But then you see that something you have had on your wishlist for ages has gone down to a ridiculously low price AND it is being sold by one of the charity book sellers and it is Easter and you don’t really like chocolate so no-one has bought you any so it is really an Easter present to yourself :-)
Anyway it is done and it is on its way and I could have worse vices than a small book addiction I suppose.
I have bought Flower Power Patchwork which was reviewed in one of my quilt mags a while ago, looks like it will be really good for using some of my beautiful Liberty fabric.
It is a gorgeous weekend here and I am very much enjoying the sunshine, I replanted my hanging baskets yesterday and they are looking very pretty.
I have also made very good progress with the re-knitting of the cuff for the #knit for winter mittens that I first blogged about a couple of days ago.
It worked much better with the Debbie Bliss yarn and I have now picked up all of the stitches and am ready for the knitting in the round stuff.
It doesn’t seem to fit very well on the circular needles, seems to be a bit too small for me to actually knit with – maybe I am doing something wrong but think I need to use the DPNs instead, shall wait until knitting group on Tuesday for more advice.
Well must go now as the bin men have just been which means I can put the washing out for the first time this year – very exciting, my life is so rock and roll ;-)
Thanks for visiting and enjoy your sunshine if you are lucky enough to have some.