Slow stitching Sunday

I have been making very slow progress this week, for a number of reasons, but I did really enjoy spending all of yesterday sitting and stitching. There is an actual thing called Slow Stitching Sunday, hosted by Kathy’s Quilts  which is actually aimed at hand stitching for quilters and they have a link party every Sunday. There is some beautiful work at this link from yesterday.

The main reason I was being so slow is because I am really suffering with arthritis in my hands at the moment. Too much typing from marking and the doctorate has meant that they are very sore. Still it was very lovely to be able to sit and watch lots of movies on Netflix and just relax.

I finished the other embroidery circle last week as well, it now has its little hexagon added and has been added to the pile of finishes to be made into bags. I am now making fairly good progress on my first design from the Vintage Stitching book that I posted about previously. I am making this little hoop embroidery as a birthday present for one of the younger relatives, hopefully she will think it is as cute as I do.

 

Vintage dog stitching

Another bit of vintage embroidery from Ebay arrived for the stash this week as well. This tea cosy has designs on both sides so I have eight motifs in total.

Vintage embroidered tea cosy 1

I am planning to make some more Liberty log cabin blocks with these. I have a growing stash of them, some that I have used for things like baskets and needle books and a handbag for me. I will also someday hopefully have enough of these for a quilt as well.

vintage-log-cabin-block-11

giveaway-liberty-needlebook-1

july-bags-and-pouches-12

vintage-log-cabin-bag-1

We are having a Wool and Wine live tomorrow, hopefully the weather will be fine for our garden meet up at one of my friend’s houses. It will be brilliant to see everyone (well 6 of us!) again, we were planning one last week but poor weather meant that it was Zoom only again.

Ellen is planning to come up again this Saturday and fingers crossed we may get out first BBQ of the year, I have probably completely jinxed that by writing it here but hopefully she will bring nice Midlands weather with her.

I hope that you all have a good week ahead and have the chance to do some nice normal things. There will be some big changes in the next few weeks, not for me really as I am not planning to go anywhere except the village for the foreseeable future. Hopefully we are headed in the right direction and we can all carry on enjoying the company of friends and family.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Some more little treats

I have been continuing to support small businesses with some purchases and was very touched when my recent order from Duck Egg Threads came with this very sweet note in the packaging.

Duck eggs Liberty 1

The fabric is so lovely, how could I resist ordering more so will definitely get some again next month. I have been putting my travel to work budget to good use for this purpose and there is so much I would like to get from them. They are the lovely site that I mentioned a while ago with very clear displays of all of the colours they stock.

Duck eggs Liberty 2

I ordered 8 fat 16ths as that gives me a lot of longer strips for when I do more quilt blocks that need these longer lengths. Most of these designs I have already had but am now down to little scraps of. That is the lovely thing about quilting though, there is always something to use up the tiny bits for.

Duck eggs Liberty 3

I have been sorting out some papers to use for the Liberty hexagon quilt and have found these that I have already made so think that I will use the half inch hexagons for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden designs.

Liberty half inch hexis

That does mean that for a bed sized quilt I would need a grand total of 18,720 hexagons according to the calculations on this blog here. That is a major project so I may just make something smaller for the moment, like a cushion for the future camper van!

I have also treated myself to a new stitching book. I love buying vintage linens and have another one on the way from Ebay and this book, Vintage Stitching Treasury has been on my wish list for a while.

Vintage Stitching 1

There are so many cute versions of the Crinoline Lady patterns in here.

Vintage Stitching 6

Vintage Stitching 5

There are also some very familiar flowers that are very similar  to the jacket I made from tablecloths a couple of years ago.

Vintage Stitching 2

Steampunk linen jacket finished 2

Vintage Stitching 4

I love the cute animals as well. There are 400 patterns in here so it is very good value.

Vintage Stitching 3

I think some of these would look fabulous on cushions as well as making into embroidered hoop pictures. My new supply of hoops arrived as well so I can put together another camper van picture.

Last but not least I was also tempted by some more camper van fabric, and gave in!

Camper van fabric May

These are such gorgeous colours and I have half a metre of it so am going to put it away for a bit until I decide what to do with it. Possibly cushion covers with some applique van fronts.This was also from Amazon, from a company called Discover Fabrics

I have had a brilliant weekend.Kerry came up on Saturday and we went for a very long and hot walk to the same reservoir we went to last week, this time we did have a little paddle in the stream though. It was wonderful to be able to talk to her in person and we will have another meet up very soon.

Sunday was a nice quiet day of sewing. It has been so lovely this week to see real live people as we have been able to meet up with friends for exercise now so I have seen lots of people from Wool and Wine. From next week we will be able to meet in small groups outside so that will be exciting. I am so looking forward to getting some kind of normality into my life again and having things to look forward to.

I hope that you have all had a good weekend and have a good week ahead. I shall be mainly working on the doctorate but hopefully this gorgeous weather will continue and I can have some lovely evening walks as well.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Sunday stitching

I had a busy day last Sunday but did not manage to get the Bearpaw block made. I did get as far as sorting out the fabrics for it though but it will be a while in the making.

Meanwhile, I will show you the troublesome blocks from the previous weekend. I am very pleased with how they turned out but still slightly baffled why I have so many difficulties with the points. There is such a variety in whether they meet, overlap or are too far apart.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 3

Campervan Sawtooth Star 4

Anyway I shall hopefully enjoy using them at some point in the future in my camper van. I am very pleased with the fact that I managed to get matching fabric from my stash for the triangle parts of the design. I decided pink would be better for the other colour as white was too harsh with the cream background of the camper van print.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 1

Campervan Sawtooth Star 2

The spotty fabric is from the scrap bin when Simply Solids was open and the turquoise is some of the wonderful ombre collection by V and Co. I love this fabric and have nearly run out so may have to treat myself to more.

I have started some new Jenny of Elefantz stitching for viewing crafting. This is one of her many circular designs from her previous monthly design club and I am planning to put a cute Liberty hexagon in the middle as I have done with other designs.

May embroidery circle WIP

I am using the variegated Mill House Designs thread that I bought a couple of weeks ago. I love using variegated thread and it works really well for these designs as I only need one strand.

May embroidery circle WIP 3

May embroidery circle WIP 2

I am currently really enjoying the latest series of Outlander and a new series called Sweet Magnolias so had a lovely time watching those while I finished this design. This week marked the last week of marking, yippee 🙂 139 pieces of work done and dusted so that makes me very happy.

There are then a couple of weeks work on finishing the doctorate and then I can take some leave. Aside from some DIY, both here and at Ellen’s if I can, I need to think about some scheduling of projects.

It seems very strange not to be making things for events or for Yarndale this summer but I would rather wait to make the Steampunk things until a little nearer the time of the actual events and we don’t really know when that will be.

I will probably devote a lot more time to quilt blocks and maybe start a new Liberty project as I have lots of scraps so I am thinking about a hexagon quilt that I can hand piece. I love the Grandmother’s Garden pattern and have seen some wonderful examples of those.

Look at this gorgeous one used as a tablecloth from Home is Where the Boat is, picture from the blog. I love the quilt and the setting is wonderful with the water in the background. Such beautiful flowers as well.

Granny Flowers tablecloth

This layout is from Alice Caroline’s web site, another one of my favourite Liberty suppliers and she actually sells pre-cut hexagon kits if you want to save time.I love that purple print in the lower right hand side, I have the green and pink versions of this one.

Granny-Flowers-hexagons

Anyway it will be fun scheduling things. I am glad to have been working during the past few months as it has made the time go very quickly but it will be lovely to have some very lazy days in the craft room.

I hope you all have a good weekend ahead. I am very much looking forward to seeing my wonderful friend Kerry tomorrow, she will be visiting me for a nice long walk up to the reservoirs. It has been beautiful weather this week while I have been inside working so hopefully it will continue this weekend as well

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

Flower fairies, flying geese and a bit of faith

As promised in a previous post I have some of my daughter’s wonderful creativity to share with you today. She bought a wedding dress from a charity shop a while ago, meaning to turn it into a flower fairy outfit. As she has had a little more time on her hands at the moment due to being on furlough she has created this amazing piece of gorgeousness.

Flower fairy 1

The dress started life as something very similar to my friend’s dress that I added the lace to a while ago. She has added lots and lots of artificial flowers, lace applique and beading to transform it.She is so clever and so dedicated as it took forever to stitch.

I think it looks amazing and can’t wait to see it in real life. I think we need to do a photo shoot in the woods somewhere, she has discovered some very lovely ones near her house so that will be a project for the future.

The dress is to be worn with a flower crown and these gorgeous flower fairy shoes made from artificial leaves that her friend Charlotte has created for her.

Flower fairy 10

Flower fairy 11

Flower fairy 12

Flower fairy 13

I would have had some lovely Sawtooth Star blocks to share with you today but unfortunately they have proved very tricky, or rather the flying geese part has. I do remember having similar problems last time I tried this as well. I am persevering but so far have seam ripped the centre part of the block twice so am going to try again this afternoon.

As with everything you have to have a little faith, in yourself when tackling new things and generally, especially during difficult times.

Have faith pillow

I made this pillow for Ellen at Christmas to remind her to always have faith in herself and that any challenges can be overcome. I was going to post about it a while ago but lost the pictures so thanks to Ellen for this one. This is one of Jenny of Elfantz designs again.

I have also just finished the heart embroidery, again by Jenny. The picture below was the last work in progress shot.

Heart embroidery

I am pleased with this now as I think the flowers detract somewhat from the wobbly lines! I am not sure how I am going to use this, probably a pouch or a bag, I think it would look good with ric rac edging.

Heart embroidery 2

Heart embroidery 3

I need to order some more embroidery hoops before I can begin a new camper applique embroidery so I am going to do a smaller circle and hexagon with my new Millhouse threads while I wait for those to arrive.

Now it is back to trying to sort of those geese, wish me luck! Have a good week ahead, take care, keep safe and thanks for visiting.

A little adventure

It does not seem a week since the last post, luckily these weeks do seem to be going by quite fast, helped by the fact that I am so busy with work at the moment. I don’t think that things are going to change very much for us here in the UK, despite the long awaited announcement due this evening, certainly not for me as I expect to be working from home for a long time to come.

I did have great excitement this week though as after 7 weeks of not going into the village I took myself off for a little walk on the Bank Holiday Friday, which actually turned into a two and half hour walk as the weather was so good and I was so glad to be outside. I am spending too much of my life staring at a screen at the moment so am making a conscious effort to do lots of other things apart from be at a computer.

Marsden May walk 1

My route took me through the centre of the village which has the river running through it and out along the canal. This is where, in the summer, the pub next to the river has chairs outside and you can go down and paddle so hopefully, if some restrictions are lifted, we will be able to do that again.

Marsden May walk 2

There are some lovely old houses here, these two cottages are right in the centre of the village and I love the wisteria and the beautiful planting they have.

Marsden May walk 4

Marsden May walk 5

I love clematis, I had lots of it in my old garden and I have one in a pot now which always gets a couple of blooms on it. My neighbour across the road has some which is just blooming now and I was very happy to come across this one in a hedge. The views across the valley to the side where I live are also lovely.

Marsden May walk 6

Marsden May walk 7

Marsden May walk 8

I also went into one of the shops in the village, I have not been anywhere where there are other people (apart from dog walkers and runners up at the reservoir) so I was a bit confused about where to stand but it was good to have a bit of normality and see that life is still out there.

I also went to the local specialist bakers on Saturday to collect my own bread (last week my lovely friend Sharon got some for me). It has been such a treat to have fresh bread, I can eat small amounts of sourdough so am going to get some every week now that they have re-opened.

I have been working on some of my WIPs and found these two that needed finishing in a drawer when sorting things. The circle embroidery is another one of Jenny of Elefantz designs and it just needed the adding of a hexagon. This will be another pouch like the one I finished a few weeks ago.She no longer has this design in her Etsy shop but does have other lovely circle ones.

Circle embroidery 1

Circle embroidery 2

Circle embroidery 3

I had abandoned this one, again by Jenny, some time ago as I was unhappy with the wobbly stitching but decided to finish it and let the wobbly bits be part of its handmade charm.

Heart embroidery

I have just had this delivery from Mill House Designs of gorgeous hand dyed thread as I am planning to do lots more embroidery over the summer.

Millhouse threads 1

Millhouse threads

I have 7 weeks of leave left to use up before September as I don’t think I will be able to travel anywhere so there is going to be a lot of time to sit and stitch. I met Steph, who owns the business, years ago at one of my knitting groups and she makes the most gorgeous hand dyed yarn, thread and beautiful buttons and earrings.

Another delivery brought me some more lovely Liberty for my blocks.

Liberty order May 2

This is from Billow Fabrics and is a collection called Spring Classics. I love the compliments slip with the attached square of Liberty as well. I have lots of smaller pieces now from all of the off cuts from blocks so am going to be making mini hexis with these at some point.

Liberty order May 1

I have started this week’s Riley Blake challenge blocks so will post about them next week, as I intend to finish them this afternoon. Unfortunately it is raining so my plans to take a walk up to the reservoirs to see the rhododendrons will be on hold. Luckily I have lots of You Tube videos of other people’s adventures to watch while I sew.

I hope that you and your family are all well, stay safe, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Keeping myself entertained

Good morning from a mainly sunny Yorkshire. It has been good weather the latter part of this week so I have had some nice walks, which has been a good antidote to hours in the Zoomisphere. I think I had 15 hours on Zoom this week so fresh air and a view of the hills is much appreciated.

Plus, I went past the houses of a couple of friends and was able to talk to three more human beings without a screen in the way 🙂  It really is a case of appreciating the little things and seeing other people is a big part of that, at least seeing them from the neck down rather than a screen full of just heads!

As well as some embroidery and block making I have been keeping myself entertained with jigsaws. I normally do them on holiday in Spain and buy those from the charity shop there so just before lockdown I got a couple from our local charity shop. I chose ones that I thought would be too difficult for children so have been working on this for the last 6 weeks.

Jigsaw Altar 2

As you can see it is very slow going, I placed 7 pieces last week as the colours are all the same now with little to distinguish the shapes. I will keep going but don’t expect to complete it any time soon.

Jigsaw Altar 1

I have also been looking on Ebay for other puzzles and discovered the joy of Gibsons’ puzzles. They have a lot of vintage art designs and I was lucky enough to get this one delivered on Friday.

Jigsaw Gibsons 2

I have chosen puzzles that are themed to things that I love doing so am really enjoying this haberdashers’ shop. I am longing to be able to go back to my real life haberdashers and hope that they will be able to survive this situation.

Jigsaw Gibsons 1

This is my progress since Friday so you can see how much easier it is compared to the other one. I have another expected this week and am planning to buy some more but will have to ration myself to just an hour a day or I will run out of puzzles!

I have completed another block for last week’s  Riley Blake Block Challenge as I thought a fussy cut Economy Block one would be nice. I have had this tea themed fabric in my stash for about 10 years and am going to make this into a mug rug with some hand quilting on it.

Economy Blocks 4

Economy Blocks 5

This week’s block is the Nine Patch and I used the tutorial from Diary of a Quilter. As I wanted to use different fabrics for each of the squares I opted for the cutting individual squares approach rather than strip piecing so was pleased at the matching of these seams.

Nine Patch Blocks 1

I am definitely finding it easier to piece during this challenge which is good. These blocks came together very quickly as well.There is always one block with less perfect matching but that won’t be so obvious from a distance 🙂

I have also finished the embroidery on the little camper applique. I just have the backing to sew now.

Camper Van applique 1

I have trimmed the edges of the fabric and just glued them into the hoop with fabric glue and have stuck some white felt on the back which I am whip stitching to the fabric.

Camper Van applique 2

I really love how this turned out and would like to make another one for my future camper van. Especially the little flags, they are so cute!

Camper Van applique 3

Camper Van applique 4

The design is free from Flamingo Toes here. I have also discovered that she has lots of other free hoop art designs and free quilt designs for blog followers at her page here.

So-good-to-be-Home-Embroidery-Hoop

This one above is particularly appropriate for this current situation, I am very, very grateful for a lovely home to be able to stay in, safe, secure and comfortable, which is surrounded by beautiful countryside and with very good friends to support me.Photo from Flamingo Toes website.

I am still enjoying my online courses as well, this week’s ones have been on the history of textile mills and the history of the book. One of my retirement ambitions is to do more creative writing, and one of the themes I want to write about is about the mills around here, so once the doctoral rewrites are finished in June I am going to spend some of my staycation doing research for that.

I hope that you are all ok, not only in physical health but in mental health as well, as this situation and being in lockdown continues it is more important than ever that we can all stay focused on positive things and I hope that you are all finding things to do that bring you pleasure as well as help you fill hours or give you respite from work.

The irony of being a teacher working from home is that people sometimes assume that we are doing nothing, when actually I have never been so busy with all the additional meetings and student support. It is good to find off screen things that bring a sense of normal and both rest my eyes and stretch out the rest of me.

Take care as always, stay safe, stay positive and thanks for visiting.

 

Armchair travel

Regular readers will know that my two biggest passions in life are crafting and travel. In a normal year I am lucky enough to have at least three holidays, mostly to Spain, but also to lovely places in the UK and lots of weekends away at re-enactment events, Steampunk and WW2 events and visiting places of interest that usually involve museums, historic houses and textiles in some form.

Obviously that is not possible at the moment and won’t be for the foreseeable future so I have been finding ways of satisfying my travel urges via the miracles of the internet. I have been watching many different ‘van life’ videos for a number of years now, partly as fact finding as I am hoping to learn to drive and buy my own little camper van in the future. However I just love watching the beautiful places that people travel to and have been watching some wonderful ones recently while sewing.

Tread the Globe are the couple who I have been following for a few years on You Tube and I am taking the opportunity to watch lots of videos that I have not seen before. They are currently in lockdown in Turkey as they arrived there just at the start of the pandemic but have been posting regularly and are coping well.They also have a very informative blog here which not only gives details of the trips but also of how much it costs them to travel which is very useful information.

Before that they had been visiting some beautiful places in France and Spain so I have been watching that to get some ideas for more places to go in future years. They recently visited Taragonna which has been on my wish list for a while as it looks so beautiful. Picture from Google.

Tarragona

I have been collecting ideas for camper van themed decor as well so that when I eventually do get my van I can decorate it. I have been very inspired by my sister who has just bought her fourth van. We went away last October in it and that really motivated me again as we had such a brilliant time. As I mentioned then I made her a VW camper van cushion some years ago and have been looking at other things to make for me as well.

I love this camper van quilt pattern by Amy Bradley designs, (picture from her site), especially the little people that the design comes with.

Camper Quilt Pattern 1

I think the camper vans are so cute and love the retro feel of this. We had many very happy holidays in larger static vans when we were children and I just love caravans of all shapes and sizes.

I found this one during one of my searches, this is a self drafted pattern using inspiration from the many different pictures of camper vans out there and I love the use of all kinds of different fabrics.

Caravan Quilt

This is from A Little Craft , (picture also from her site), and she makes all sorts of beautiful quilts in New Zealand. One day my sister and I are hoping to take a camper van tour of New Zealand when we are both retired, that would just be magical.

I have just found another version as well, this is much larger and has a tutorial with it as well and free templates for the caravan as well as a pattern you can buy for the quilt. It is by the Missouri Star Quilt Company and I have used their tutorials before.

Cute Camper quilt

I have also had this cute stitched version on to do list for a very long as well, it comes from the Flamingo Toes blog and has a detailed tutorial and a free pattern.It is machine embroidered which I am not very confident about doing but it may be a good chance to improve those skills like I have done my quilting ones.

Retro-Camper-Embroidery-Hoop-Art

There is also this very lovely camper van pot holder which is a free pattern from the Sewing for Free site here. Not only cute but a very useful make.

happy-camper-pot-holders

So I shall be keeping myself entertained with virtual travel for the moment, there are so many great tours of museums and exhibitions available at the moment as well which is interesting and can give me lots of ideas for places to go when I am retired. If all goes well I will be starting that process a year from now which is very exciting 🙂 and keeps me inspired.

I hope that you have had a good weekend, some of it has been a bit dull, wet and cold here, so I have been snuggling up in the fleecy blanket making the most of a quiet weekend and watching The White Queen on Amazon. I hope everything is ok with you and your families, stay safe, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Be careful what you wish for …..

I mentioned to a colleague recently that a few weeks ago, before all of ‘this’ I came home late one night, cold and wet after waiting a long time for a bus that never arrived, tired and aching. I remember thinking at the time ‘I wish I could just stay here, not have to go out to work, just stay here and enjoy myself at home.’

So…. not that I think I caused this pandemic whole lock down thing but I did get my wish didn’t I? I have only left the house a few times since then for short walks and although it would be nice to be able to go somewhere I am enjoying the novelty of being in my house on leave.

I am usually away when I have leave so I have not spent this long in the house ever but am making the most of the enforced staycation. As I mentioned in the previous posts I am trying to get a good mix of sewing, reading, study on my online course and practical tasks done while I have the time.

My house has never been so clean and the garden has been done, I am just waiting for delivery of some bedding plants for my baskets, and today I painted the shed. I also got the garden table out in honour of what looks like a wonderful Bank Holiday ahead. Of course if we had been going to do a re-enactment event it would have been howling gales and packing up wet tents so we will all enjoy the fact that we are not doing that!

This week has been all about the Riley Blake block challenge for my sewing room time with a record five blocks completed up until today! You can see lots of lovely blocks over on their Instagram as we are now on Week 2. I have been using the Liberty stash as I want to add to my existing blocks, am going to eventually make these into a bed quilt.

The churn dash ones I was confident with and I am happy how they have turned out. I am using the same white on white print for most of these blocks, until it runs out, as I love the contrast between that and the Liberty.

Liberty churn dash block 3

This second block is the log cabin, a block I have never done before. Partly as I am not good at straight seams but I am pretty happy with the way that these have turned out. I used a tutorial from Citrus and Mint with very helpful diagrams.

Liberty log cabin blocks 1

I found it easier to cut 1.25″ wide strips from my length of fabric then cut them to size as I needed them as when doing the first block found that some of the pre-cut sizes that I had done were a little small.

The first two I used the white on white as a contrast row and then I did a more traditional layout with just three fabrics.The seams are not too wonky which is good!

Liberty log cabin blocks 7

Liberty log cabin blocks 8

Liberty log cabin blocks 9

I will make one more of these tomorrow, I am a little restricted for this type of block from Liberty as most of my stash is 5″ squares and the outer strips are around 6″ but do have a couple of pieces of longer fabric.My pin board for completed blocks is now looking very lovely 🙂

Board with Liberty blocks

I am looking forward to next week’s block and to moving on to the next week of the fashion course. We have been looking at the Georgians this week, the embroidery on the men’s coats is amazing and I have been lucky enough to see lots of examples of these in museums, we saw some gorgeous examples on our recent trip to Liverpool. That was the weekend of the dreadful Storm Ciara, we really are having a challenging 2020 aren’t we?

I have recently discovered another historical costumer through You Tube and she does the most amazing Georgian garments. Go and have a look at the wonderful things on Sewstine’s blog, she writes really detailed step by step posts about her constructions and makes the most wonderful things. This is a reconstruction of a 1780s gown and she digitised all of the embroidery herself, made the gown and had a baby in the middle of all of this process, what a superwoman! Picture from her blog.

Georgian dress

So over the weekend I have plans for some more Liberty blocks, more Barbie dresses, another coat of paint on the shed and probably a walk. I am back at work on Tuesday so am going to really enjoy this extended time in the house. We are probably going to be on lock down for another four weeks or so and that gives me plenty of time for sewing.

I hope all is good with you and your families, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

That was the week that was…featuring many gorgeous pouches

Well what a very ‘interesting’ week, somewhat confusing, and like most people in the world at the moment, with some points of stress. We are finding new ways of working remotely, I have spent a lot of time this week in virtual meetings with my lovely colleagues and students which has been really good. I am very used to working from home anyway as I do all my marking and doctoral work from the comfort of my sofa so I am thankfully used to organising my day and getting things done, and not being distracted by Netflix!

I am so grateful that I have had my sewing room to escape to and have made a point of finishing my working from home at a reasonable hour and spending two hours an evening in my sewing room. It is wonderful the peace and tranquility that I get watching my favourite You Tube costumers and stitching, it makes me forgot all of the outside world and I appreciate that now more than I ever did.

I have decided that as well as the Barbie dresses that I will be attempting to finish some of my pile of WIPs so completed one of those this week. This piece of embroidery was done some time ago and is one of Jenny of Elefantz’s designs from her previous monthly stitching club. The intention always was to use it for a small pouch and it had been laying in my WIPs for about 6 months.

Embroidered pouch March 3

I thought it might be useful to put a little more detail of the process for making up the pouch and other types of pouches here in case you are inspired, as they make great Christmas presents. Yes I know it is only March but if I am going to be in the house from now until September everyone is getting one of these for Christmas!

The first step is to cut your fabric and iron on some interfacing. I am still using up lots of recycled denim and an old navy linen curtain and in this case black interfacing, as I have some from the failed black velvet Steampunk jacket.

Embroidered pouch March 2

Embroidered pouch March 1

The size of the bag is somewhat dictated by the size of your zip so mine are usually 8 inches wide but can be as deep as you want. I have made some nice ones previously by adding a contrast fabric to the bottom of the bag as well.

bird-and-hexagon-pouch-1

I centered my embroidery using my quilting ruler, trimmed it to 1 inch from the edge of the stitching, used double sided fusible applique paper to attach it securely to the bag and then pinned the ric rac around the edges. This was hand sewn as I did not trust myself to sew a straight line while trying to keep the ric rac covering the raw edges.

Embroidered pouch March 4

Embroidered pouch March 6

Embroidered pouch March 8

The lining is a dark blue fabric from stash, I usually try and make the lining match either the zip or the outer fabric to avoid having to use too many thread colours. The zip was sewn on with lime thread in the top and navy in the bobbin. My zip insertion is never that neat so it helps if you can’t see too much of the stitching 🙂 Zips are from Buddly Crafts, they come in 2 lengths (20 and 30 cm) and a wide variety of colours.

Embroidered pouch March 9

Embroidered pouch March 7

I used the bag tutorial from Emkie Designs as previously but there seem to be some issues with pictures on that at the moment so here is a link to Patchwork Posse for a similar tutorial. As you may know I love making pouches and am very tempted by all the different designs so will experiment with a few new ones over the coming months. This site, Sew Delicious, has got links for 20 different ones and I really love the patchwork versions like this one from one of my other favourite sites Charise Creates. 

Charise Creates 12-patch-pouch

I have just come across this one from Molly and Mama as well, you may know that I love Liberty with a passion and hexagons but had not thought of doing one with the zip across the front so I will add that to my list.Picture from their web site.

Hexagon-Lace-Zipper-Pouch

I am really looking forward to a live stream this evening from another historical costuming blog that I recently discovered, the lovely Marika from Enchanted Rose costumes is going to be making a dress so I am going to join in with as much as I can. Thankfully the internet means we can still interact with fellow seamstresses and I am hugely grateful for the online community as well.

I ‘may’ just have bought a bit more Liberty fabric and some lace, which will be delivered later in the week. Very naughty I know but it does make me happy and hopefully will help the small businesses a little bit, that is my excuse anyway 😉

Today’s project is finishing off one Barbie dress and starting another, I am using up lots of fabric from stash including this gorgeous silk with a hexagon design left over from my sister in law Amanda’s wedding coat some years ago.

Barbie - hexagon dress 1

I mentioned that I have been inspired by this design using the same fabric from one of the doll couture blogs I posted about here.

Gene Marshall doll 2

 

I am doing the whole dress in the same fabric and will be using the pattern for the green evening gown in the top left of the pattern below. I am hoping that it will look very elegant.

Barbie Patterns 1

I am really enjoying working with the impossibly tiny pieces of this pattern, it is a lot easier than the blouse one and has gone together quite well. This pattern piece pictured above is about 2 and a half inches wide, a little different from making the celebration dress.

I have some leave next week, I decided to keep one week even though I am not going anywhere but my beautiful village as it always feel like a holiday to be here anyway, especially when the sun is shining as it is today. I will be enjoying the sanctuary of my craft room with a few short social distanced walks, easy when you mostly just see sheep 🙂 I have so much leave this year as time in lieu from teaching Saturdays that I might as well use it up now as who knows when things will return to some kind of normal.

Meanwhile we will focus on all the positives, one of the nice things is that I will be able to blog more often which I really enjoy, and I hope you do too. Stay safe everyone, take care  and thanks for visiting.

 

So many wonderful things to make!

I am making fairly good progress with my latest Barbie outfit but have had to ditch a little blouse today, note to self, thick satin does not work well on a miniature scale. I just could not get the seams neat enough as they were too bulky so will remake it with thinner fabric. I have managed to make a very cute little silk jacket though.

I have so many lovely things on the wish list, some of these will stay there for a very long time whereas others will probably find their way onto the ‘do now’ list soon.As you know I love all the work that Jenny of Elefantz creates and she has a new monthly series of stitcheries that I have recently subscribed to.

They are called Faith in Hand and are beautiful designs all featuring quotes from the bible. As well as the subscription she also sells them individually from her Etsy shop the following month.  This is one of my favourite so I think this will be the first to be made for me (picture from Jenny’s Etsy store).

Elefantz Faith in Hand

She also has a free block of the month with the 23rd Psalm again with gorgeous designs. She is so generous, there are always so many free stitcheries on her blog and I love visiting just to get updates on her life.

One of my other favorite places to go for inspiration is Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet. She has just finished a Vintage Block Along with some beautiful designs that she gives all of the very detailed introductions for accompanied by photos.

Lori Holt Vintage Block Along 1

The links for all of these blocks are at the bottom of the above link and I would love to make a quilt like this one day.I love that multicoloured star block in the top right of this second picture. (All pictures from Lori’s blog.)

Lori Holt Vintage Block Along 2

Her latest make is this gorgeous Vintage Housewife Sew Along . 

VintageHousewife-SewAlong_1

I really love the dress on the washing line as well as the cleaning stuff block.She has got some fab free clip art of the design in the guide as well as the overall plan on her first post in the sew along.

Vintage Housewife Quilt 1

Vintage Housewife Quilt 3

She has just made the first block which is this very cute oven.

Vintage Housewife Quilt 4

I would love to use some of these designs on their own as things like recipe book covers and think that this one below would make a wonderful sewing machine cover.I love the little quilt hanging over the edge of the machine.

Vintage Housewife Quilt 2

Ellen and I have a very exciting trip coming up next weekend as we are going to Liverpool to see this exhibition, An English Lady’s Wardrobe, at The Walker Art Gallery. Not that we need any more inspiration for beautiful costume but it looks fascinating. There is also an 18th century costume collection there as well! Exciting stuff.

I hope that you have a lovely weekend and week ahead. I am teaching tomorrow so will have to wait until Sunday to get back to the Barbie blouse. Take care and thanks for visiting and hopefully I will have lots of lovely pictures for you in the next post.