Christmas Creativity

Well that was a lovely weekend, my last one of sitting making ornaments for a while, not that the fact that it is nearly Christmas will stop me as I often make them into January ready for next year.

It is hard to stop when I am on a roll and I love just sitting in the craft room surrounded by all of my boxes of fabric, ribbons and beads deciding what would look good together.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 3

These very cute bells are some I ordered from an Ebay seller, Rinoohead, earlier in the year and look very nice pinned onto baubles.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 4

Next weekend we have family here celebrating Christmas a bit early then we are off to Oslo and when we come back from there I am off to Spain for New Year.

I am really looking forward to three weeks holiday and lots time with my lovely family šŸ™‚

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the collection of quilted baubles that I have made for my friends, I will be giving these away this week when we have our pre-Christmas catch-up.

Tutorial for these is here if you fancy any last minute festive makes, they are quick to do and very relaxing.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 2

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for all your kind comments and likes. Best wishes for the festive season and I will see you all in 2016!

Just a little something to brighten my day :-)

Hello everyone

As I told you in the last post I was very good, (well for me!), at Harrogate and only bought a little bit of the gorgeousness that was available.

As always I love seeing the fabric and this year particularly the thread stalls, the colours of the displays are so lovely, little rainbows of stitchy delight.

I had hard time choosing what to buy, I wanted some more threads as I am enjoying my rediscovery of embroidery, thanks to the wonderful designs from Jenny.

I managed to find some more of the Cath Kidston style fabric, not in blue but in a coordinating pink and bought someĀ  Perle threads to go with it.

Harrogate K and S 2015 24

I bought some more embroidery thread from the bargain bin at Stef Francis, all this for Ā£4.

Harrogate K and S 2015 23

And look at this beautiful fabric from Higgs and Higgs, bet you can’t guess what I might make with this.

Harrogate K and S 2015 25

And I was really pleased to find a stall with 5 fat quarters of one of my favourite Christmas fabrics ever so I bought all of it and a lovely gold print. I still have a couple of the quilted balls to make so this will be very useful.

Harrogate K and S 2015 26

I also stocked up on more red and green silk thread, all of the thread came from West End Embroidery, a company I have not seen before and they had a brilliant selection of speciality threads so I have added them to my favourites.

I also bought some more Christmas ribbons from my favourite supplier, The Ribbon Box. Several of these are new designs and all so pretty!

Harrogate K and S 2015 27

And I bought charms, I can’t resist charms and though I was really looking for more keys for my Steampunk outfit came away with these lovely embellishments and some more little charms for stitching gifts.

These were all from a Dutch company called Creatotaal who had an excellent selection.

Harrogate K and S 2015 purchases

Harrogate K and S 2015 22

Although I have enjoyed my year of quilting I have a bit of sciatica and that limits the amount of machine stitching I can do but not the hand embroidery, I have spent lots of enjoyable afternoons sat on sofa stitching and watching TV.

I really value this time on my own, many of the blogs I read are written by women with young children who are combining their craft with family life and I remember those days very well.

One of my favourite New Year holidays was when my children were staying with their grandparents and it snowed very heavily, forcing all plans to be cancelled for going out and I sat and stitched and watched films for two whole days.

It was bliss, much as I love my children that amount of, ‘me’, time was so rare then and I can now do that every weekend soĀ I am very lucky šŸ™‚

I think 2016 will be my year of embroidery, I would like to also explore more crewelwork and goldwork as there are some patterns that I have been wanting to work on for a while.

It is also easier on my hands as I am still having some problems with tendonitis and arthritis which limits my knitting, I am falling apart at the moment šŸ˜‰

I have been particularly interested in the work of two designers, one of whom was exhibiting at Harrogate.

Nicola JarvisĀ does the most exquisite crewel work designs, someĀ inspired by William and May Morris, many of birds, combining different types ofĀ stitching to produce gorgeous and very unusual work such as this blackbird from her website.

Nicola Jarvis - Blackbird

I bought a tea towel featuring some of her designs, am planning to hang it in the craft room as it is far too pretty to wipe things with and would love to work on some of her things next year.

Harrogate K and S 2015 Nicola Jarvis

Harrogate K and S 2015 19

Harrogate K and S 2015 20

Another crewel work designer I love is someone I found through a link from a blog,(miracles of the internet!)Ā an Australian calledĀ Anna Scott who does really bright and beautiful interpretations of traditional crewel work flowers.

I am planning to buy one of her designs from herĀ Etsy shop Ā after Christmas once I have finished the ornament stitching, she does PDF downloads which is very helpful. The only thing is I can’t decide between all the loveliness that is there.

Am very tempted by this one…

Anna Scott Crewel Work 2

Or this one ….

Anna Scott Crewel Work

So many brilliant stitching opportunities, we are so lucky to have all these lovely designers out there and the miracles of the internet to be able to look at their work and buy it!

I am working on the last few of my Jenny of Elefantz Christmas ornaments at the moment and have also been stitching one of her beautiful birds in some of my new thread.

I am combining the thicker Perle thread for the outline with single and double strands of silk for the running stitch and lazy daisies.

This is such peaceful stitching and so fast to complete. I always seem to take ages to do things but her designs are very easy to do and look so pretty.

Jenny Purple bird 1

All good and I am now feeling very happy that my colourful Friday purchases have gone to small businesses and designers and for things that makes people happy more than once, me when I buy it, me when I use it and the recipients of the gifts I make.

Hope that you have a very nice and colourful week ahead whatever you are doing, thanks for visiting and see you soon.

It’s not more fabric it’s an investment in my retirement fund

Hello there, hope that you are all well and happy and are doing something nice.

I am looking forward to a wonderful weekend of sewing, IĀ have just finished up two more Christmas ornaments and have a present to finish later and then just may have a play with the latest addition to my retirement fund.

I saw three ladies at the Birmingham Festival of Quilts who had brilliant t-shirts on with the logo, ‘I have a retirement plan, I plan to quilt’. I always tell the kids that one of the reasons I buy fabric now is so that I will have enough when I am living on my pension, well it won’t go off will it?

I would not have bought this were it not for my friend Debbie who came to knitting with this lovely and incredibly cheap fabric from our local haberdashers, only Ā£2.20 a metre, you just have to buy some at that price!

Xmas fabric oct 15

Xmas fabric oct 15 3

Xmas fabric oct 15 4

Xmas fabric oct 15 5

Then there was this that was a little bit more expensive, (so I only bought 1/4 metre lengths of this), the latest Makower print.

Xmas fabric oct 15 1

It is going to be the best sort of weekend as it is followed by half term, (yippee šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ !) I am not off anywhere as I saw all the family last weekend but am working from home for most of it that so that means late starts and early finishes and lots of time for niceĀ cooking and crafting.

I am very much in soup mode at the moment as I have had a horrible cough and cold and not felt like eating much else so have purchased the pumpkin for the annual soup!

Sadly it is raining which means that I won’t be going out, but more excuse to stay on the sofa, under the fleece and sew – what a lovely life.

Here are the Christmas ornaments that I finished yesterday, another one of Jenny of Elefantz’s wonderful designs, this is an adaptation of one of the designs in the Nov Stitchery Club set.

Elefantz Christmas Hearts stitchery

I altered the little flag to say Merry Christmas and am very pleased how neat the little letters have come out, Jenny’s designs are great for practising neat stitches. Just ignore those bits that aren’t so neat at the bottom of the bird šŸ˜‰

Xmas bird ornie 1

Xmas bird ornie 2

Xmas bird ornie 3

The little brass charm is from Stitch Direct.

I think these would look great in redwork stitching with that Makower snowflake fabric above so that might have to be my next set.

I have also treated myself to this book, it has been on my Amazon wishlist for a long time and once I have finished all the outstanding block of the month challenges, which I am hoping to do this week, I will be making a couple of runners for my house.

Xmas blocks book

Xmas blocks book 2

I have taken the decision not to do any craft fairs this year, what with making stuff for Sarah’s Yarndale stall and the wedding outfit and the possible trip to China with work that sadly did not happen, I felt that I would be too rushed so all my Christmas crafting this year will be for me!

I have already made most of the gift ornaments, that’s what you get for starting in July lol.

Have a very lovely weekend, thanks for visiting and see you all soon.

Just Charming!

Hello everyone, hope that you had a nice weekend, mine was very productive, a lovely and not too damp walk with Ted where I picked lots of blackberries for crumbles and lots of sewing on the wedding jacket.

It is very beautiful material to work with, silk brocade, a change from my usual linen.

As regular readers will know I love adding charms to my stitched pieces so I thought that I would show you some of the some of the charms I have bought recently andĀ finishes for Sarah’s stall.

I sent some pictures of my finished, ‘A Stitch in Time’, paper piecing case to Jenny of ElefantzĀ and she really liked theĀ clock charm, there were lots of these at the recent Steampunk event and I bought some more from the market there as well as some dragonflies to add to some of the flower designs she does.

charms - owl and clocks

Also got these beautiful keys, when we go and visit National Trust houses they often have displays of keys and these are so lovely.

charms

I have bought lots of little charms to go on stitched gifts, I now have ones that say, ‘I love …..’, for knitting sewing and quilting.

I got most of the sewing and snowflake ones from this Etsy seller, Bohemian Findings, she has one of the best selections I have seen.

Another supplier I have used is DIY ClubĀ – also on Etsy.

charms - scissors

These ones below are for use on the Christmas ornaments, I have two sets so that I can use pairs on the baubles I make.

charms- snowflakes

These are the needle/pin books I have made to match the pincushions for Sarah’s Yarndale stall.

Liberty needlebooks 1

needlebook close up

I found some very cute button headed pins to add to my stock of novelty pins so have added a few and a charm. I got these from Glitz and Pieces on Amazon.

I am never sponsored by any of the suppliers I link to, I just do it because I know I like to know where people get things from, I have seen some very cute bird headed pins on a blog recently and need to find them next!

Liberty needlebooks 7

needlebook charm

The new term starts tomorrow with a new group of teacher trainees, I do like autumn, even though there is a sense of things finishing for me it is all about new possibilities.

Plus the planning of trips and activities for the off-season, I have lots and lots of crafting related stuff planned for this coming year which will be lovely šŸ™‚

Take care and have a nice rest of the week, see you all again soon and thanks for visiting.

Alternative Dressing Up

Hello again

What we didn’t realise when we got to Lincoln for our event was that the city was also hosting Europe’s biggest Steampunk Festival so we had great funĀ looking atĀ all the wonderful costumes.

We had planned to visit Lincoln Castle anyway before setting up our event and it was full of people in costume, events such as a fashion show and a market.

There were some fantastic costumes and weapons, managed to get a few pictures on Saturday before we got into kit.

Could only get a back shot of this Cleopatra inspired one – what a gorgeous costume.

Steampunk Festival

Steampunk 2

I loved this lady’s wings.

Steampunk 3

Some explorers and butterfly collectors.

Steampunk 4

Over the weekend we also went out in kit to help promote our event and we had lots of people stopping to take pictures of us.

Had to explain to them that we hadn’t got the time period wrong and I wasn’t supposed to be a Steampunk nun!

Really enjoyed it and as Ellie has always wanted to do Steampunk we girls have decided that we will go to event next year dressed up, just for the Friday and Saturday and then do a quick change into medieval mode for our event on the Sunday and the Monday.

Sounds like a great plan, I do love dressing up and am looking forward to making a costume.

Luckily my lovely son Jake has a top hat he doesn’t use any more ,bought for his prom, and the pattern I am using for the wedding jacket is a Steampunk one anyway so I am half way there!

Have a look at this Steampunk Pinterest page for inspiration. It means that I can also indulge myself in some more charms like these gorgeous keys and clocks. I have these beauties on my Etsy wish list at the moment.

key charms from Etsy

key charms 2

Right back to the day job then, see you all later and thanks for visiting.

The first of many

Hello everyone – welcome to another damp weekend in Yorkshire šŸ˜‰

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 fabricĀ came from the Barrington Patchwork shop that weĀ 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 thisĀ 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 Ā£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.

Pretty little things

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 šŸ˜‰

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 tutorialĀ 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.