Vintage and useful

One of the reasons that I collect vintage embroidery is that I can’t bear the thought of someone’s work not being appreciated. All those women who have sat over the centuries doing their, ‘work’, for it to languish unloved in the corner of a charity shop is so sad.So I have to rescue them.

Some of the things I have rescued have been turned into little ornaments and pincushions but this is the first time that I have made something large and very useful with them.

So here is the lovely vintage log cabin bag!

Vintage log cabin bag 1

As modelled by my lovely son Jake, four of the blocks were stitched together for the front. I decided against sashing, partly as I was short of fabric, the denim is from one of his old shirts so the bag is 50% recycled.

The bottom of the bag is boxed out using two inch cut outs, using the same technique that I have been using for the pouches. There are also long handles sewn to the top edge before the lining was stitched over them and a small closing flap with a magnetic clasp.

Vintage log cabin bag 5

I did but new fabric for the lining from Simply Solids as I needed half a metre and did not have that much in my stash, this is Dashwood fabric but am not sure of the name of it.

Vintage log cabin bag 3

I put in two pockets and even managed to work out how to trim them with some more of that lovely Liberty print that is in all of the blocks.There is a patch pocket at the back as well.

All my own design cobbled together from various bag ideas and some of the tote bags I already have in my craftroom. I love it and will be using it lots this summer 🙂

Vintage log cabin bag 2

I have just got some more Liberty from Alice Caroline as have decided to make more of these blocks, they are very soothing to do and so quick to put together that I shall do these when I have a spare half an hour here and there.

This is my favourite Liberty supplier, I love her website, look at that banner! I would love someone to buy me all these prints, what a rainbow of loveliness.

Alice Caroline Banner

I have got lots of other ideas for using my vintage stash on Pinterest, here are some of my favourites.

Vintage Crinoline Lady cushion

This lovely cushion features the crinoline lady, I have a few of those in my stash and is from Nostalgia at the Stone House blog. Nikki the owner of the blog makes beautiful dolls as well out of vintage fabrics and lace.

Vintage hexagons

And look at these gorgeous hexagons from Brodibidouillages  , I did make some like these a while ago as shown  below but had trouble with the edging so must dig them out and try again.

bee quilt progress

There are some beautiful things on this blog Isa Creative Musings as well, so much inspiration!

We are off to Ashby de la Zouche castle this weekend again for our annual show there, praying for fine weather. It has been so hot for the last two days here while I have been inside marking but the forecast is for rain Sunday and Monday. Typical Bank Holiday weather!

Hope you have a nice weekend planned whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

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A bunch of flowers

I have had a very lovely weekend, full of crafting and good company so I am feeling very happy. You would have been able to see some photos of all the beautiful flowers in bloom here at the moment, the rhododendrons and clematis are all out and I was planning to take some photos on the way to my Simply Solids workshop yesterday for you but it started raining heavily so I just ran for the bus instead. Never mind I do have some floral treats for you in a bit.

First the workshop and the new shop. It opened in September but due to working lots of weekends this was my first visit. It is huge compared to the old one with a separate workshop area and so much fabric, and zips and lovely, lovely things.

Simply Solids new shop 2

Also my lovely friend Helen has started working there part-time so I was able to have a catch up with her as well. Here she on the left is with Lisa, one of the shop’s owners.

Simply Solids new shop 1

Do go and visit if you are in the area, it is is Slaithwaite, another pretty little village about 4 miles from Huddersfield. They also have online shopping.

The workshop was great, I made a block in rainbow fabric, the block was a lot simpler than I thought it would be, using the sewing strips together into a tube then cutting strips apart technique, so would definitely make this one again.

Scrappy Trip Along block 1

I will use this block for a kid’s bag, at least they won’t notice the less than perfect matching of the squares 😉  solids are so unforgiving but I love the colours.

Scrappy Trip Along block 2

I have been working on the lovely vintage embroidery log cabin blocks that I showed you last time,I ended up making five and am turning them into a bag for me.

Vintage log cabin block 11

This is the completed quilt that Hen House made from hers and I think more of these would make a very lovely quilt indeed. Not sure I have enough Liberty to do that as only have scraps so that may have to wait.

Hen House vintage embroidey quilt

Here are the blocks in detail, I have tried to use Liberty that co-ordinates with the central embroidery and love the scrappy nature of these. Not my usual style of have everything matching but I love them. These four will go to make the front of the bag with some denim from a recycled shirt.

This one was a bit bigger than the others so is going to be a pocket on the back for things like sunglasses as this bag is coming to Spain with me in August.

Vintage log cabin block 1

Vintage log cabin block 2

I am working at home a lot this week marking so am hoping for a little late afternoon crafting each day if all goes well. Hope that you have a nice week ahead. Thanks for visiting.

More light entertainment

I have been doing lots of lovely hand stitching over the last few weeks accompanied by some very interesting TV series that I thought I would share with you in case you. Both have been on UK channels recently but I have watched them on Netflix and DVD.

The first is inspired by a book I read some time ago called Jambusters by Julie Summers  which is about the work of the Women’s Institute. It was about the contribution made by women to the war effort though their preserving and other activities, particularly in rural areas.

The TV series is called Home Fires and was an excellent piece of drama with a great cast.Sadly the series was cancelled after two seasons but you can get it on Netflix and there are to be a series of books continuing the story which I shall definitely read.

Being interested in all things historical I loved looking at the 40s fashions, there were some great Fair Isle jumpers and beautiful tailored clothes as well as some fab floral pinnies!

HOME_FIRES_Fashions

Julie Summers has written a blog post about the fashions and also a book, Fashion on a Ration linked to an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

This vintage clothing blog has also got some more great pictures of the cast in costume. I also found a lovely Vintage Pattern blog that has links to free patterns for jumpers like these gorgeous ones below.

HomeFires Patterns

The other TV series was one my lovely daughter mentioned to me and then very kindly bought for me, I loved it and watched the whole thing in a day and a half. It is called Brief Encounters and is the story of women who work for Ann Summers selling, ‘exotic lingerie,’ and ,’marital aids’, in Sheffield in the early 1980s. Again a fabulous cast and the soundtrack was brilliant, a real blast from the past as 1982 was the year I left home and started college so I danced to all of those tunes many times!

Not quite such fabulous fashions in the 1980s, there was some very big hair in the series and a few really loud outfits but a great comedy with some very important storylines about love and family.

A CPL production for ITV.

Pictured: 

This image is the copyright of ITV and must only be used in relation to Brief Encounters.

What I loved about both series are the storylines of women fighting to overcome their barriers, many things that we take for granted now, to be able to go out to work, earn their own money, contribute to the family and generally have a say in how their lives were led. Even though 40 years separate the two series some of the things that happen in the later one are sadly no different.

I have also been reading an excellent series of books. I was told about them by a friend many years ago who knew I liked history and recommended them. The series is called the Moorland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.

They trace the story of one family from the 1400s to the present day. I bought the first 3 books some years ago and rediscovered them in my bookcase and got hooked, only to find that there are now 36 in the series! I am currently enjoying book 16 which is set in the Regency in the 1800s.

They are again full of descriptions of the fashions as well as filling in all my history knowledge gaps. I am loving the details of ladies fashions such as this one below.

Regency Fashion

The family have a lot of strong female characters, most of which who defy convention by doing such scandalous things as running away to sea, nursing soldiers after the battle of Waterloo and refusing to marry the, ‘right man’.

I do love a good book and a great TV series. There is nothing nicer than spending the evening with a bit of stitching and some great stuff to watch, it makes me very happy. What have you been watching or reading lately, anything good?

I am off to the lovely Simply Solids this weekend for a class,my first visit to their new shop so I am very excited! I am going to be making some Scrappy Trip Along blocks for a quilt like this one.

Scrappy Trip Along quilt

We then have a Wool and Wine craft evening at a friend’s house so that will be a lovely day. Hope you have a good weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow brights

One of the good side effects of rain and sun together is of course when we get rainbows. Though this weekend had a mix of weather I didn’t see any rainbows but had one in the craft room anyway.

Inspired by the rainbow Dresdens on my Pinterest such as this one below I decided to make a rainbow Dresden one a few weeks ago and finished it into a pouch today.

Rainbow Dresden

I have not got much yellow or red fabric so struggled a bit with anything patterned.I have photographed this next to a gorgeous stack of rainbow solids that I have had for a couple of years and not cut into yet. They just look too pretty all tied up!

Rainbow pouch 1

The lovely yellow with red flowers is a a magazine freebie from a while ago and I really like pop of colour among the plain fabrics.

The middle looks far more wonky here than it does in real life. I appliqued the Dresden onto the blue fabric for the pouch then added the middle bit with applique as well. At least you can’t see any of the stitches!

This is a pencil pouch which is a present for a friend’s little girl so I have put some things in it for her, the lining is a plain red from my stash. Pouch tutorial from Jedi Craft Girl as before.

Rainbow pouch 6

I also made a lovely bright mini Dresden before I went to Spain which is destined for the top of a pin cushion, this is the smallest one I have made so far at 3 inches across.

Mini bright Dresden 1

The fabric is from a mini charm pack from a while ago and I have used one of the lovely lacy circles gifted from a friend that I have put on other pincushions and bags.Just perfect for a little contrast.

Mini bright Dresden 2

I have had a very perfect Sunday and finished it with a little bit of fabric playing. I know I said I wasn’t going to start anything new before finishing making up all the pouches and bags but I was just having a cup of tea and a Pinterest browse mid craft and came across this picture from Hen House. Hen’s is one of my very favourite blogs, I love all her vintage makes.

Vintage log cabin with Liberty

Well before you knew it the vintage cloth stash and the Liberty had come out and I was making log cabin blocks. Not enough has been completed to show you yet but I am very pleased with the results so far.

Hope that you have all had a good day as well and thanks for visiting.

More inspiration!

It is another wet and grey weekend here, I am secretly quite pleased as I had planned a sewing weekend so feel no guilt at not venturing out 🙂

Now that I have given Mum her birthday and Mother’s Day presents I can show you some of the latest lovely things I have been looking at. I am being very good and am finishing off things rather than starting new projects, apart from some hand stitching for evenings, but I have some new things on my wish list.

The first present was a new book, Quilt Petite, I think I found this as a recommendation on Amazon and then I went and looked at the blog of the author, her name is Sedef and the blog is called Down Grapevine Lane. She lives in Australia with two very cute kids and produces the most gorgeous things and is generous enough to have lots of tutorials on her site.

Quilt Petite Book 1

The book is just the sort that Mum loves, she does not read blogs and likes doing small projects so this is perfect for her. There are so many cute things like this Dresden pillow and hexagon doll quilt and the cutest thing of all is that pillow with the little girl’s feet and the rabbit!

She had a sew along for the book so you can see all of the lovely things that people made here. I am planning to make a Teddy Taggie Blanket for Ava from her tutorial, they look like really lovely quick makes.

The second book that I bought for Mum was All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland. She loves English Paper Piecing and this is a great book for extending skills.

All Points Patchwork Book 1

I love these pentagon flowers and the other ideas for combining shapes.

All Points Patchwork Book 2

All Points Patchwork Book 3

I am using the blog post that I wrote in Jan to remind me of all the things that I want to do and have just started another of The Splendid Sampler squares, this is the one by lovely Jenny of Elefantz and I am making it for my craft room.

31-splendid-sampler-jenny-reynolds-block-collagev2

She has just posted a gorgeous tutorial for using a vintage doily to make a needlebook, it is so lovely, you can find it here. Picture from Jenny’s web site.

ELEFANTZ doily needlebook main pic

So I hope you have all got a lovely weekend planned. Enjoy yourselves, whatever the weather and thanks for visiting.

 

Another one just for me!

I am doing well at the moment, I have recently made a second pouch for myself! This is most unusual as I rarely keep things that I make.

However one of the recent purchases of fabric with flowers on was so pretty that I had to use it for a new make up bag .

Make up bag - linen and floral 1

I bought more of the lace back from Spain where it is available at bargain prices from the Chinese market shops so decided to have lace on both sides of the fabric strip.

The tutorial is from Jedi Craft Girl blog again and I am pleased with the zipper tabs this time, they have not got too squashed.

The zip is also put in evenly and the side seams nearly match!

The linen is part of my new supply from this Ebay supplier Craft Source and the flower fabric is from Always Knitting and Sewing.

Make up bag - linen and floral 6

I have used a dark pink paisley print from my stash for the lining so it won’t show dirt. I was debating whether or not to use this as I love it and only have a small amount left and then realised it has been in my stash for about 10 years! Do you even get like that, saving something so long for special projects that you never use it?

I have at least another two pouches waiting to be made up and a pincushion, I have been experimenting with Dresdens again so am aiming to get them made up this coming weekend. Am trying to be really good and finish projects before starting anything new 😉

Hope you have had a good week and have a nice relaxing weekend ahead, thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Fiesta Days

One of the things that I absolutely love about Spain is the number of fiestas they have. This is a nation that knows how to relax and have a good time! From the religious celebrations at Christmas and Easter through to all the little carnivals and local fiestas it seems that there is always something going on. Even little La Marina where Mum lives has a 3 day festival in August with live bands which is great.

I was lucky enough to visit two on my recent trip, the first the Easter Parade of icons in the tiny town of San Fulgencio, near La Marina and then the largest and most spectacular Moors and Christians celebration in Alcoy, a mountain town about an hour away, near to Barcelona.

I have been to both before but was very happy to return, particularly to the Moors and Christians one as I last went about 10 years ago, it falls on St George’s Day so I can only go in years when Easter is very late.

There is the usual lovely goldwork to look at on the icons and banners.

Aside from the two icons of Jesus and the Virgin Mary that get paraded from the church round the town, accompanied by a band and the usual gowned and tall hatted celebrants the main draw for me is seeing the beautiful Spanish women in their suits and lace mantillas. They look so stunning and I managed to get a couple of close up shots as well.

Spain Easter Fiesta 6

 

Spain Easter Fiesta 7

We went on a coach trip to Alcoy arriving just near to the end of the Christians parade so there were lots of people relaxing and refreshing themselves in the bar after their part of the parade.

The costumes are brilliant, such detail with everyone from each group dressed in the same outfit, even down to shoes and bags. there are mini versions for all the children as well, even the babies were dressed up.

We saw these lovely princesses in the parade and managed to get some close up shots as well, love that fabric!

Spain Alcoy 5 - princesses on float

Spain Alcoy 6 - princesses 2

Spain Alcoy 6 - princesses 3

We then had a couple of hours to wander, take photos of the gorgeous Art Deco buildings and then got a great spot to watch the second half of the parade when the Moors arrived.

They are a lot more flamboyant with sultans, dancing girls, camels and lots of riders on horseback showing off their skills.

There was just time for a few more pictures of the architecture on the way back to the coach.

Spain Alcoy 17 buildings

Spain Alcoy 18 buildings

I hope that you have all had a good week. Mine has been mainly full of marking and meetings as most of the teaching is over now. Saw Ellie briefly as she stayed overnight on her way to Spain, she is there now for a little break in between her busy Easter schedule and the start of her summer activities.

I have more marking and meetings ahead this week and weekend so I think it will just be a case of making a few more hexagons when I can, I am up to 47 now though so only 13 to go then I can start the process of removing all the papers and deciding on the layout.

Take care, have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.