New sources of inspiration … as if I need any new projects :-)

I am on leave at the moment which is wonderful. I am also self-isolating since we have had a couple of positive cases at work. That is not quite so wonderful but does mean I have an excuse not to go out at the moment. The weather has been variable anyway so I am very content to stay in and knit and sew. Fingers crossed I will be released back into the wild later this week and hopefully will be taking a little trip away with my sister.

The self – isolation, of not just myself but colleagues does mean that more of our teaching is moving online from next week. We have tried really hard to keep things going on campus but sadly it has got to the stage that this is not possible for some of the classes. On the bright side that means less travelling to work, which saves time and money so I have decided to use that to invest in some more small businesses that I have found via Instagram.

These were suggested to me and as you will see, they could not be more perfect for me. I have made many similar projects over the years, mainly for sale at Yarndale and love working with these shapes and fabrics.

I am not sure when I will start these projects, they may have to be retirement projects as I am still in the middle of all of the knitted animals. However they will not go off and I will be really looking forward to doing them.

They are both creators that use English Paper Piecing, I love working with hexagons, as you know if you have been reading this blog for a while, but look at all of this gorgeousness from Elise and Emilie. The pictures are all from their Pinterest page here.

They have various different versions of EPP flowers, the Starflower which is the top picture, Mayflower in the middle and Dillyflower which is the third one. Don’t you just love that bottom picture with all the colour and joy ūüôā Just the thing to brighten a wet Autumn day.

They are all utterly gorgeous and would make fabulous little gifts when used on needlecases or pincushions. I think the Dillyflowers would make an amazing quilt. The company are based in the USA but supply digital downloads through their Etsy site.

The other one is called Vintage Sewing Box and it was this gorgeous Hexagon Sewing Box that I fell in love with, again available as a digital download from her shop. Pictures from her website.

I really love this Hexagon Sewing Case as well and that is going to be my next purchase.

She has so many wonderful creations on her blog which I am going to spend lots more time reading, and lots of free tutorials here, including these gorgeous little needlecases. She also has a Youtube channel with lots of very helpful tutorials.

They are all definitely people who are my kindred spirits, look at all that gorgeous Liberty fabric! Absolute heaven and I am very happy to be able to support some more small businesses.

I hope that you are having a good week, I had forgotten just how tiring the start of term is, so it is amazing to have a bit of a relax and still be in my pjs at 11am in the morning. I hope that you have a good time ahead, with lots of relaxation planned as well.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

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.

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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!

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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!

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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 ūüôā

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 ‚Äėpies‚Äô are Dresden blocks with fruit motifs in the centre. These pictures are from her blog.

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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 ‚Äď love the idea of combining the Dresden with some embroidery. I think these would look great with some of Jenny‚Äôs beautiful ¬†stitched designs.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

 

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!

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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.

Pussycat,pussycat I love you …

You may remember a few months back when I started making house pincushions Jake suggested they would look good with a cat in the window and I was wondering how to do that when a comment from VirtuoSewAdventures suggested embroidery.

I have done a bit of embroidery but not much freehand so was very pleased with the way my cat turned out, I just drew the outline and filled it in with long and short stitch.Also got to use up a  piece of vintage trim for the roses round the door.

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I finished it just in time to give it to Ellie for Christmas. I do love making these little houses and plan to make many more, have so many ideas for fabric combinations.

What are you working on at the moment?Leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks for visiting and have a good week ahead.

A tale of two villages

Hello again

I am amusing myself after a very snowy day again earlier this week and torrential rain and flooding today thinking of happy sunny times in Spain so thought that I would add the rest of my photos from Tabarca.

At the other end of this little island from the wild rocky cost is a little village, just 4 streets at the side of the church, with some really pretty little houses, I took lots of pictures of the windows and doors.

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This was a house that has been turned into an art gallery, lots of inspiration for arty shots.

And there was some lovely crochet in the window of this door.A beautiful place and one I would love to go back to. They do have hostels and rental properties so would love to do that one day as a mini holiday within a holiday.

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The other little village is my growing collection of house pin cushions, have not made any for a while but have quite a few now. Not certain yet where they are ending up but for now they are just populating the craft room.

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Have really enjoyed choosing different fabric and buttons and flowers for these from my stash. Added the cute button headed pins to some as well.Apologies for shadows in the photos, the light was not good this weekend.

The fabric flowers come from some braid that I have cut into individual flowers. So cute! Have just had an order of very lovely flower buttons for the next lot of houses but those will have to wait until the ornaments have been done.

I have made the cathedral window ornament and several folded ones so will show you that next post. Ellie and I are of to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show this weekend so looking forward to that and will try to be good and not buy fabric!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Happiness is scrappiness!

Hope that you all had a lovely weekend, I really enjoyed myself being creative. Much as I love re-enactment I am glad in some ways that the season is over and I have lots more time at home in my lovely craft room ūüôā

I was just playing with my scrap drawer most of the time, I have been very inspired by all the lovely things on my Pinterest board and have lots of left over linen from all my years of making kit for the boys so made a couple of pincushions from linen and some of the left over charm packs. Very pleased that everything here came from my stash, mind you I do have quite a large stash!

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This one is also a scissor holder, again inspiration from Pinterest.

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This one was scraps from the various craft room accessory projects that I have made over the years like the sewing machine cover, needlebook and pincushion. Am quite tempted to keep this as it goes so well with the craft room though am supposed to be making these as gifts.

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I used some of my vintage linen for this one, the motifs come from a lace collar that a friend gave me and the button was also from the collar.

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I have wanted to make a little house pincushion for ages and found a great tutorial here at Retro Mama’s site ¬†that explains how to make them. There are also some beautiful colour combinations here at Craft and Creativity’s website ¬†to inspire you. Look at this loveliness in Tilda fabric and with some cute birds – picture from¬†Helena’s site.

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I have made two so far , using an offcut from the red charm pack square in the previous pincushion for a little window box. The pink and aqua one is definitely staying with me in my craft room !

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I think these are just the cutest things ever and will be making a few more. Jake suggested putting a cat in the window and if I can work out how to cut a cat that small I will.

So many more lovely ideas on my board still left to do, must make a start on the Christmas ornaments soon though, it is nearly October and only have one made so far which is not like me!

Yarndale went very well, Sarah sold lots of books and I sold nearly all the baskets and some of the pincushions. She will be doing another book and stall next year and wants more things from me, especially needlebooks so that gives me plenty of opportunity to get making.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Pinspiration and perspiration

Hello, hope you are all looking forward to a nice weekend whatever you are doing. I am planning to make some pincushions, have got so many lovely ones saved on my Pinterest board that it is time for some doing rather than just looking.

I have got my friend Sharon’s dog Ted staying with me for the weekend while she and Sarah are at Yarndale ¬†so Jake and I will be taking him for walks later on.

Jake is home with me for a few months until he hopefully goes to Japan next year. He is starting a Japanese course the week after next and in the meantime is working part-time doing bar work and dog walking so he is getting very good at canine control!

Have been working hard over the last couple of weeks getting the last of the baskets finished for Sarah to take to Yarndale so just thought I would show you the last few.

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I got this fab vintage sheep motif from Ebay, sadly only had the two, really love the pattern on the sheep.

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I also made another mini basket to put the needlebook and pincushion I made last year in, I also made a pink one of these a while ago.

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Along with the other baskets I made earlier and the Liberty and linen pincushions I had quite a lot of things for the stall so am very pleased.

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I do love the combination of Liberty fabric and linen and so will definitely make more things using that combination. These are the ones from last year that I made for Yarndale.

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I also still have lots of lovely themed stitching and vintage print material to make more as gifts for crafting friends. I also definitely need a couple more for me for craft room storage, you can never have too many cute fabric baskets ūüėČ and there is a gap on my shelf now these have gone to Yarndale.

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Sarah is selling copies of her latest pattern book at Yarndale, not only does it feature some gorgeous patterns again, this time inspired by the Beaubaton Castle from Harry Potter but also Ellie modelled again for Sarah and her picture is on the front cover!

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This would make a fab Christmas present for a knitting friend so do go and get some from her website here. It is great value and there are some beautiful designs as usual, the woman is a knitting genius.

I love the promo picture for Yarndale this year, look at the cuteness of this sheep!

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I now have an I Pad, courtesy of work which has the Pinterest app on it and I am loving the fact that I can add things from the suggestions really easily. I came across this wonderful site the other day, Gentlework.

Christine makes the most amazing things from vintage textiles and I have been so inspired by the beautiful things on her site. Do go and have a look at them, they are really delicate and inspired by nature and just lovely.

Right off to make pincushions – see you later and thanks as always for visiting.