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.

Change of plans

Hello everyone, hope you are all ok. I am here and not in Worcester visiting my sister and we did not go to Budapest either as sadly my Uncle John died the week before last so I have been to Spain instead to be with the family for his funeral.

It was all very last minute and slightly chaotic but I made the right decision to change my plans. We knew on the Weds night that Mum was not going to be able to come here to go to Budapest as he has been very ill for some time and she could not leave her sister Maureen so I was all ready to fly out on my own on the Sunday as she still wanted me to go and enjoy the holiday.

He died on Friday morning and I made the decision Friday night to cancel the holiday and booked a flight to Spain for the next day and arrived Saturday night.All the family came from England so though it was a very sad time we were all together which is the most important thing to be able support each other and my Aunt Maureen who has been so wonderful and brave during his long illness. Thank God for the internet so we could all get flights with little time to plan.

The reason I was going to see my sister in Worcester with Mum was that we have just welcomed a new member to the family, my nephew Sam and his partner Paige have had a beautiful baby girl called Ava Grace and we were going to meet her. We will postpone that until later on in the Summer when Mum comes over next.

So it has been a very emotional few weeks, very happy and very sad and just brought home to all of us the value of family and the love and support that they give us at the start and the end of life.

I have made Ava Grace a mouse as a gift, you may remember I was knitting various mouse parts some time ago and here she is, designed by the lovely Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits once again.You can buy the pattern for this and all the other animals here.

ava-mouse-1

This is my first mouse and I am very pleased with her, I am calling her Ava after her recipient and although I had some trouble with the nose the rest of the knit was fine and I am very pleased with the lacy dress and the very cute little tail!

ava-mouse-2

ava-mouse-3

ava-mouse-4

I also made some pincushions a while ago to add to my ever growing pile, these may go to Yarndale to be sold or they may be given as gifts but I love making them, so quick and easy.Patterns for the strippy one is here and the other came as inspiration from my Pinterest board here. There were no instructions for this one so just made it up as I went along!

linen-pincushions-1

Am not going to be very productive over the next few weeks as I have a huge amount of marking to do which may take up weekends as well and some other sewing that needs to be completed but will keep revisiting my Pinterest pages to remind me of all the pretty things that I really want to be doing.

Take care and keep happy and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Delightful Dresdens

Hello and hope you are having a nice weekend, the sun is shining here, I have finished off a huge pile of marking in the last three weeks so I have the whole weekend to craft. Life is very good 🙂

I have decided that I would like to make a Dresden plate block. I have been admiring these for years and have finally been inspired by Lori Holt whose latest Block Quilt is called Sweetie Pie where all the ‘pies’ are Dresden blocks with fruit motifs in the centre. These pictures are from her blog.

lori-holt-sweetie-pie-quilt-1

lori-holt-sweetie-pie-quilt-2

This looks so cute and while I will not make the middle parts love the look of the blocks and the way she gets two pies for the price of one as she cuts out the centre – love the idea of combining the Dresden with some embroidery. I think these would look great with some of Jenny’s beautiful  stitched designs.

lori-holt-sweetie-pie-quilt-3

I also really love the idea of combining my vintage crochet with a Dresden as in this idea.

dresden-with-doily-centre

And look at this one with Suffolk Puffs as well from Podunk Pretties -so cute!

dresden-with-suffolk-puffs

For more inspiration there is of course a Pinterest page with Dresdens, lots and lots of lovely Dresdens! Even a Dresden pincushion from Red Brolly.

dresden-pincushion

There is a tutorial on Lori’s site and I also found a great one here from V and Co with advice on fussy cutting for impact.

And I found this site with lots of patterns on it for different types of Dresdens. Luckily I already have a Dresden ruler that I got free from one of my quilting mags, the only thing I have to do now is choose the fabric!

Happy crafting everyone and see you all soon. Thanks for visiting and have a lovely weekend.

A little crafting

Hello from a very cold Yorkshire, I am currently sat watching the tiniest snowflakes in the world drift down and hoping it is not going to get any worse as we are off to see my brother and sister-in- law this afternoon.

I have had a lovely if very busy week back at work, new groups to teach and lots of preparation and marking to do so including teaching all day Saturday so nothing of note has been done this week. I did have a lovely time in my craft room last weekend though, trying out a new pouch tutorial.

I like the ones I have done previously but the zips do get a bit squashed when you sew them together and Pinterest helpfully provided me with a few more ideas that use zipper tabs to get over that problem.

pouch-boxy-plain-zip-blue-flower-5

I also had some difficulty boxing the corners of pouches after they had been sewn together and this tutorial eliminates that by getting you to cut out the corners as you cut the bag and lining pieces. The tutorial can be found at Jedi Craft Girl’s blog here – isn’t that a great blog name?

I used plain zips this time, have just bought a huge bundle of mixed colours at a bargain price from this Ebay supplier Zipperstore. The fabric on the front is from some charm square packs I bought at Harrogate and it is lined with some white fabric with a rose print on. I may just keep this one for me as I like the fact that it stands up on its own, very useful for storage.

The other make was a couple of pin cushions, I have made lots recently  and will keep on doing so to use up scraps.

I made one version of this one last year for me based on a tutorial from Vanessa from V and Co here. She uses another piece of fabric as a foundation piece but I just sewed the strips together.

pink-and-multi-cushion-1

 

pink-and-multi-cushion-2

This is a great way of using up scraps and looks so cute!

pink-and-multi-cushion-3

Looking forward to next weekend when I have the whole weekend in the craft room again!

Take care, keep warm and thanks as always for visiting.

 

Sofa,snow,stitching blogs….perfect weekend ahead!

Good morning everyone, I got up at stupid o clock this morning, (for a weekend), as I had a bed delivered and was contemplating going back to bed but have decided to have an indulgent morning with lots of cups of tea and snuggling in my PJs and dressing gown on the sofa catching up with favourite blogs.

We have had snow again this week, not as much as was forecast but our little world is all white again, it looks so pretty on the hills. I am still feeling a bit rough with the end of the chest infection so will not be going out and playing in it but enjoy the views and the pictures people post. Thought that those of you who don’t get much snow would like this one taken by a local photographer yesterday.

marsden-snow-small

 

One of the best things about snow is that we often get beautiful blue skies and sun after it so it is all sparkly and lovely.This is one of the hills behind my house.

I am so lucky to live here, all of the seasons are so beautiful.This panorama picture was taken a few months ago, my house is just left of the middle on the second row of terraces that were built for the mill on the right. You can see just how close I am to the beautiful hills where I go walking and the reservoir on the far right.

marsden-panorama

I have made a few things this week, mainly experimenting again with zips. Turns out that I do have a zipper foot, the one that I found that I thought I would use just for now is a different type of zipper foot as I discovered when I went to order one. For anyone else who may be interested this is a narrow zipper foot which works perfectly well.

zipper-foot

I made this pouch using the same tutorial from Emkie Designs, the additional fabric is from one of my charm packs, am getting to the end of my linen leftovers from medieval clothes making so will have to order some more soon.

linen-and-lace-zip-pouch-1

linen-and-lace-zip-pouch-2

linen-and-lace-zip-pouch-3

I am getting much better at inserting zips now, am very pleased with how neatly this turned out.

This one is made from the Homemakery tutorial again, I used a longer zip this time at 30 cm and some of my lovely French vintage inspired haberdashery fabric.This will be for the stall at Yarndale again, the basket I made in this fabric sold last year so thought I would make a few more things with it.

french-vintage-zip-pouch-1

This little cutie I made just before we went away with some Liberty fabric.

liberty-cute-pouch-1

It was a bit difficult to square off the corners as it was so small so they are a bit wonky, which is good as it can stay with me rather than being for sale 🙂

liberty-cute-pouch-2

I am using it to store my spare rotary cutter blades.

liberty-cute-pouch-3

Apart from that the free time this week has been mainly spent on the sofa watching the excellent Blindspot TV series on catch up and making hexagons for my first ever bed sized quilt.

This is a very long term project that I blogged about last year but one that is great for travelling or when I have no hand sewing or embroidery to do. I now have quite a good stack of them, I estimate that I will need about 60 for the quilt and they will be sashed with plain fabric.I love the pretty Moda Printemps fabric.

Plans for the weekend are a couple more pouches, have found some other tutorials that I am going to try to eliminate the bunching of zips at each end and to try and get my corners straighter so will report back on success or otherwise later on.

Thanks for visiting, hope that you have a good week ahead, stay warm if you are snow bound!

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.