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.

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 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.

 

Fabric Serendipity

You know when you have some fabric that has been in your stash for ages, maybe 7 years say, and it is really beautiful and every so often you take it out, look at it in its perfect stack and then put it away as it is not quite right for the project you have in mind and you don’t want to waste it?

Tea cup theme fabric 7

And maybe it is just the wrong colour, or the print is too large or too small or the theme is just all wrong. But one day when you are looking for something completely different for a project and you come across this fabric and something just says to you, ‘I now know what to make with this beautiful stuff!’

Well that my friends is fabric serendipity, one of my favourite words which means happy accident, and it happened to me at the weekend. I was actually looking for some lining fabric for the spool design pouch at the end of this post that I had finished stitching when I came across this gorgeous tea themed motifs and tea cup fabric.

I remember ordering it from Simply Solids when they first set up as I loved it and bought both the graphics print in several colourways and the very lovely tea cup print on both blue and cream backgrounds.

It nearly got used last year when Ellie was considering a tea theme for her Steampunk outfit so I gave it to her, and she gave it back a few weeks later.

I have just completed a mug rug for my Mum which is below, inspired by the Sew Illustrated book again and have used their motif but added a fabric band in Flurry from my scrap stash and buttons. I was very pleased with this and as I was searching through the stash for a blue lining for the spool pouch suddenly thought, ‘tea themed mug rugs…….. what a good idea!’

So here it is, I am using the individual tea cup motifs appliqued on with zig zag machine stitch, they are also stuck on with Steam – a – Seam fusible double sided web for extra staying power.

Tea mug rug 1

The linen is some I have just ordered from this Ebay supplier Ainsbury  , it is a beautiful quality and excellent value at £7.99 a metre. It  was a bit too beige for the Dresdens I have made but knew it would come in handy!

Very happy, loving the co-ordination and the crochet lace and the little vintage buttons! Now got to get back to what I was doing and finish the other pouches that I have embroidered. Is it any wonder that I have so many WIPs?

I did finish the spool pouch though and this one is mine all mine, love it and am taking it to knitting group tonight to show off!

Sew Ilustrated spool pouch 5

How very apt is that stitchery! At least this week I have had lots of crafting time as I have been getting up very early to do my marking so I can finish early and have a couple of hours each afternoon in my lovely sunny craft room 🙂

I am leaving for Spain on Saturday for two whole weeks with my lovely Mum and aunt and will have lots of time for reading and crafting and just general relaxing. Even though I holiday a lot I still get very excited at the thought of being away so shall be , as we say in the UK,  a giddy kipper for the rest of the week!

Take care, see you when I get back and thanks for visiting.

Angle experiments

I have had a lovely time playing with Dresdens in my craft room over the last weekend. I have learnt a lot and made some pretty things.I am very much an experimenter when it comes to my crafting and am trying to expand my techniques. I never like to follow patterns or ideas directly and prefer using these as basis for a bit of creativity.

This is why I have ended up with such a variety of sizes, rather than actually following any instructions I just kept thinking, ‘what if I do this….?’

Which explains the giant Dresden, this measures 17 inches across and is a result of seeing what happens when you use the other end of the new Dresden ruler! I am not sure what this is going to be, was thinking bag but maybe a cushion cover with a large crochet piece in the centre from my stash and even a few Suffolk Puffs!

Large pink Dresden 1

This is the first one, the blades are 3 inches in length with the narrow end of my new ruler, worked out that you need 20 of these to complete the design so just kept adding fabric.

Medium Pink Dresden 1

Medium Pink Dresden 2

And this one is the, ‘what if I make it wider at the top’, experiment. done with a 2 length inch blade but wider at the top so only 12 were needed. I am not sure about the linen blades here, loved them but have now decided to applique this onto a linen pouch so may need to swap them out for a contrast fabric.

Doesn’t it look lovely with a bit of my vintage crochet in the centre?

Small Pink Dresden 1

One of the reasons I have been able to just play and add blades as needed is that I have been very naughty and bought new fabric, sush don’t tell the kids 😉

I bought two beautiful packs from a new supplier of ditsy florals that I found a while ago, Always Knitting and Sewing.

At the time I posted this wish list pic from the web site, and though I didn’t realise it when I ordered this it mostly what I bought.

bundle-10-fat-quarters-cream-floral-Always Knitting and Sewing

They came as two bundles, with ten 10 inch squares of beautiful quality fabric in each bundle,  very good value at £5.99 each. There is lots of choice of other colours as well. I ordered one cream and one pink bundle which has given me lots of beautiful things to play with. Aren’t they just absolutely gorgeous 🙂

This is one of my very favourite ones and as I need a new make up bag and have some more linen coming think I will save this for me!

Dresen Rose and Hubble fabrics 5

Most of their stock seems to be Rose and Hubble and Moda and I love all of it. I am very tempted by this beautiful colourway.

Red fabrics - wish list

I have also started another Sew Illustrated project, this one using one of the sewing motifs from the book and one of my favourite sayings, ‘Sew many projects, sew little time!’ This will be a pouch, again either for me to keep or a gift.

Sew Ilustrated spool pouch 1

Love using up my Liberty scraps on these and hope that they do look like spools.

Sew Ilustrated spool pouch 4

I do really love this time of year! I am able to go to work and come home in the light, the rhododendrons are just about to bloom and it is nearly time to go to Spain again 🙂

Also with my new role most of my teaching finishes next week, that means lots of marking for the next couple of months but that can mostly be done from the comfort of my sofa.

Then I have to do some serious work on my doctorate over the summer, but that still leaves plenty of time for crafting in the late afternoons, so along with the plan for my doctorate I have written a crafting plan for the summer.

So I am a very happy bunny. Hope that you are all having a nice Spring (or Autumn), take care and thanks for visiting.

Quilty maths and a sheep in progress

Hello and hope that you are all having a very lovely weekend, after the busyness of the previous three I am having a very lovely time in my craft room. Last weekend I was helping Ellie paint her new house which went very well and this weekend I have a whole weekend devoted to sewing 🙂

She has a very lovely bathroom, very much a spa style gorgeous pamper place in grey so I made her this little pouch as a house warming gift.

Grey linen pouch 1

The grey linen, lining fabric and crochet lace are all from my stash and the little squares are from the Moda mini charm packs that I bought at the Quilt Festival in the summer.

I have been hard at work on Dresedens applying my maths knowledge to working out sizes and angles. It has been very much trial and error as I have not looked at any patterns just done some cutting and gone for it.

I have taught maths for most of the last 29 years and trained lots of maths teachers over the last 15 years and have always told them about the maths in crafting such as quilts so have been putting it into good practice.

Last week I made this lovely piece, was surprised how easily it went together and turned it into a mug rug for my craft room with the addition of one of my vintage crochet motifs.

I have just purchased a book that has been on my radar for a while, Sew Illustrated,  by Minki Kim and Kristin Esser and was inspired by all the lovely things in it to do something similar today.

Just look at all this cuteness, particularly liking the baskets and the little house bags, after making so many house pincushions can see this as a way of using up more ideas for fabric combinations in a more practical way. Need to find something cute for fussy cutting the door!

Sew Illustrated book 4

Sew Illustrated book 6

This is my work in progress sheep knitting notions bag, probably for Sarah’s Yarndale stall if I don’t decide it is too lovely and has to stay with me 🙂 I have been hand embroidering the sheep’s legs and head tonight while watching the third series of the excellent Grace and Frankie on Netflix.

Sheep knitting acessories bag 1

Sheep knitting acessories bag 2

Sheep knitting acessories bag 3

Have also made a couple of other Dresdens, one a little bigger than the above and an experiment with the other end of my new Dresden ruler that has ended up being rather on the large side 🙂

More on that in a future post, meanwhile happy crafting, thanks for visiting and see you soon.

January thoughts

Hello and hope you are all having a good start to your crafting year. I have been thinking a lot about goals for this year, not resolutions but things that I want to get done and so thought that putting together a list on the blog would give me a point of reference.

I like the idea of looking back at what you have done and looking forward to the future, January being named after the Roman god, Janus, the god of doors because this month is the door to the year. The Roman god Janus represents all beginnings and possesses the ability to see all things past and future which I think is a lovely idea and why he is represented with two faces.

So what did I achieve in 2016? This was very much a year of new things for me, coming really from a couple of courses that I went on at Simply Solids where I learnt to make baskets and had my first experience with zips with my pouch. I also used some of my ideas from Pinterest for pincushions and the little houses and made a sewing machine cover.

Looking at my photos for last year it doesn’t seem as if I did a lot but there also extra things that I did like the gold braid on Ellen’s dress, finishing the tabard for Jamie, a ring pillow and the Christmas ornaments that were also completed. The fact that I changed job roles in the summer has also meant a lot less time for crafting since June though hopefully that has calmed down now.

So plans for 2017. First of all to tackle some of the pesky WIPs. Like most people I am a bit of a flibbertigibbet when it comes to crafting, I see a new thing that I want to do and then go off and do it and don’t finish other things.I have also been guilty of abandoning difficult things which is not good practice!

These all need finishing.The first one needs a frame but is done otherwise, the quilt block is part of the challenge that Helen, Sharon and I did the year before last. I have 6 blocks but need a few more. The cute car hexagons were supposed to be a present for a baby who is now two! The vintage crochet hexis are going to be a bee quilt cushion and the last set of hexis are a long term project which is good for travelling, I have made some more of these in Spain.

Then the new stuff. I would like to go back and make some more of the Splendid Sampler blocks, particularly these stitched ones.

I would also like to make some of the items that I have saved pictures of on the blog.They range from things from books such as the circular tile quilt and the triple hexagon tea mug  to more pincushions, pouches, baskets, mug rugs and bags from blogs, some of Lori Holt Bloom Sew Along and a Dresden block using vintage linen from a magazine.

I would like to do more of Jenny of Elefantz’s lovely embroidery, the hexagon and roses one above is one I have been meaning to do for the craft room but think it would make a great zip pouch as well.

I also need to find a use for these gifted hexagons from my friend Helen, zippered pouches maybe? Probably more likely than a whole quilt given my productivity!

gift hexis 1

Finally there is more cross stitch, something I haven’t done for a long time but am feeling the urge for in preparation for next year’s Christmas ornaments.

Well that lot should keep me going for a while, meantime there is some crochet and lace zips calling me upstairs so I had better go and see what they want!

Take care and thanks for visiting.