More of the same but different

I am having a very good Bank Holiday weekend, it is a bit like the very best version of a Groundhog Day. The weather has been so beautiful here, glorious sunshine three days in a row in Yorkshire! This is a minor miracle so people have been going a bit giddy and there are folk out in summer clothes and a fair few cases of sunburn.

We have had two BBQs already, we are making the most of it as we didn’t manage to have even one at home last year. In fact our old BBQ had rusted so badly it was no longer safe to cook on so we have not replaced it and are using one of our little portable camping ones instead which cooks really well.The chairs are showing signs of wear as well so if we do get a decent summer it may be time for new ones 🙂

May BBQ1

Jake and I spent a few hours getting rid of all the dead plants in our pots that have not survived the five months of snow and I bought a few replacements locally but need many more. It was so beautiful outside with the hills looking beautiful in the evening sun. It makes such a difference to have good weather.

May BBQ2

I have been busy in the craft room as well, making more pouches with the Liberty. I have made another Churn Dash block and used the new Liberty hexagon print as well. I make sure that every bag or pouch is different in some way so that they are all truly unique and love playing around with different fabrics.The larger pouch has an ordinary zip and is made with this tutorial from Jedi Craft Girl  and the lace zip one is from a tutorial at Emkie Designs.

May pouches 1

These are made using recyled denim for the main body as well as I like to reuse where I can. That offsets the fact that I may just have bought a little more Liberty this week. Well it is so pretty I just couldn’t resist.

cat-sewing

I really like the way that the hexagon print works in this bag and am very glad I bought it, I first saw it last year so have been really restrained only getting it now 🙂

As well as being unique my creations are sometimes imperfect, I didn’t notice until I had completed the block that there was a bit of a mismatch on one of the corners of the block but by that stage it would have been really difficult to alter it. Hopefully the pretty fabric will distract the recipient of this gift  from noticing.

Someone once told me that Islamic carpet makers always weave an imperfection into their work as only God is perfect. I don’t know if this is true but I think it is a nice way to think about those little imperfections that are part of hand made things.

I am looking forward to the rest of my last day of the three with more of the same crafting, may make another Churn Dash block this afternoon or may experiment with something else. I am also going to have more washing drying outside, my 5th load this weekend! That may not sound exciting to some people but it is a bit of a miracle here.

Then we will round it off with more BBQing. We have to make the most of it as the forecast is rain and low temperatures for the end of the week but Jake has set us a target of having 20 at home BBQs this summer. We shall see how plan works out!

I hope you are having a lovely weekend as well and have a great week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

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A significant amount of crafting

After the comparative wilderness of the last few months where it seemed that all I posted about was how little I had done I seem to have completed a huge amount in the last two weeks.

I have shared the scrappy churn dash blocks with you briefly in a previous post but wanted to share all of the photos here and give you the link to the tutorial on Crazy Mom’s blog.

This is the first one I made which I turned into a bag.

Churn dash bag 1

I have not had much success with many of the bigger quilt blocks I have done as often the points don’t match but am doing ok on these with  few minor errors. Really love the colours and how quick and easy they are to do given their tiny size and complexity.

Scrappy churn dash 1

I am adding the hexagons to the middle of the blocks as they seemed a bit bare without them.

I have just had a delivery of some new Liberty from Billow Fabrics as I was short of longer pieces and found this beautiful print of hexagons.

Liberty hexagon fabric 1

I am planning to make some bags with a hexagon flower on linen and this on the bottom. Sarah has had her stall confirmed for Yarndale so I will be making things for that again.

Liberty hexagon fabric 2

I have also got this lovely bundle of fabric.

I have just finished a pouch made from some stitching I did in Spain, those long coach journeys came in handy for completing this beautiful design from Jenny of Elefantz. This is from her November 2017 Stitchery Club and I have used Cottage Garden Variegated threads. This one is for me to store all my chargers in when I go away.

Bird and hexagon pouch 1

The Cottage Garden threads are difficult to get in the UK and I am running out so I have bought some Caron Waterlillies from Sew and Sew to stitch this design again. It is so pretty and the thread colours are beautiful.

Caron Waterlilies 1

Caron Waterlilies 2

I am going to be spending a very happy day tomorrow working on all of these projects with some watching of the brilliant , ‘Under the Dome’, based on a Stephen King novel, a very exciting series on my Amazon Prime. The best sort of weekends!

Hope that you are having fun as well, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Gorgeous and so tiny!

I have not had chance to get here to post pictures of the Victoria costumes at Harewood until now. Work has been pretty busy and I taught last Saturday and then we had Jazz festival. Really enjoyed that as always though due to work only volunteered Sat night and Sunday.

The costumes that we saw were beautifully made and we marveled at the size of them. Jenna Coleman must be so minute to fit into these outfits, even with the benefit of a corset!

There were two rooms with costumes in, the first showed some of the gowns belonging to her ladies in waiting.

Then the gorgeous ballroom had four of Victoria’s gowns in.

Harewood costume 5

Beautiful work and it was great to be able to see them very close up.

Harewood costume 6

This muslin and lace one was my favourite, given that I love old lace so much. It was beautiful!

Harewood costume 7

Harewood costume 8

Harewood costume 9

They also had the coronation gown which was embroidered with motifs representing all of the four emblems of the UK.

Harewood costume 10

Harewood costume 11

Harewood costume 12

Here is a picture of it from the series.

Victoria coronation pic

The last gowns were a layered dress of voile and gold silk and a simple but very pretty day dress.

I would have loved to see the wedding dress as well, so pretty!

Victoria wedding pic

 

I have yet to start watching Season 2 but am looking forward to more gorgeousness when I do.

I am enjoying the luxury of a whole weekend at home and have no real plans other than stitching some Christmas ornaments and lots and lots of relaxing watching TV, or rather watching programmes.

I have recently got rid of all TV services so am now just using my laptop and Netflix and Amazon Prime and have not missed the old TV services at all.I was not watching enough programmes when they were aired to warrant the cost so have upgraded to super fast broadband and all digital content, very 21st century!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

The last of the flock… for now!

I have just finished the very final pouch for Yarndale and so will be packing everything up this week for Sarah to take with her. It isn’t until the 23rd of Sept but it is nice to be ready well in advance and I am hoping to go if I have time.

Yarndale sheep bags 1

 

The sheep bags have had good reactions from my friends at knitting so I think that I will be making some more of them.I think they are very cute and am hoping they will be popular.

I have really enjoyed doing them and the sewing themed ones so will carry on making them in between other things. Got to make a start on the Xmas ornaments for this year soon 😉

I have also made a few more of the bags, these are from the fabric I had last year.

Yarndake bags Sept 1

Yarndake bags Sept 2

Yarndake bags Sept 3

I have made pincushions for most of the bags and tried to make them all individual in design and thought that this one would look pretty with lace attaching it.

Yarndake bags Sept 5

I love the sewing motifs and was really pleased to get some more in a similar design at the Steampunk market at Lincoln.

Yarndale new fabric 1

Yarndale new fabric 2

Yarndale new fabric 3

I shall be away next weekend at our last event at Caldicot Castle in South Wales. Really looking forward to seeing everyone before the season ends. Term starts next week so it will be back to long days and snuggling under the fleece with candles lit in the evenings 🙂

I have not made any more progress on the jacket yet but had some really nice comments on it from the Seamstress Squadron page and some very helpful tips and pictures from people who have already made the pattern. I will be concentrating on that in a couple of weeks once I have a free weekend.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Like mother, like daughter

I taught Ellie to sew when she was about 7, it took her about 6 months to finish her first piece, a cross stitch, and she then went on to make all sorts of things. She is very talented and I was so impressed with her outfit for this weekend.

Steampunk Ellie 2

She had taken inspiration from Belle from Beauty and the Beast and turned one of Kerry’s old medieval dresses into this fantastic costume. She removed the sleeves and neck trim and altered the lacing on the back.

Steampunk Ellie original dress

Steampunk Ellie original dress 2

She added all the little charms to it on the shoulder and the broach parts to the skirt to make it Steampunk and with the addition of a bought belt and cape has got herself an amazing outfit for very little money.

Steampunk Ellie 1

There are tea cup charms here and roses and clocks on the belt and she has a little purse with a rose petal in.

Steampunk Ellie 3

Steampunk Ellie 4

She also made the necklace, using bits of old jewelry and charms. The back features a train made from a sari she picked up at one of the medieval markets.

Steampunk Ellie 5

She even found a beast to dance with!

Steampunk Ellie 6

I am so glad that she enjoys being creative, she has already started work on not one but two outfits for next year!

I had added lace to my velvet jacket and boots, the jacket was a charity find and the boots I have had for about 10 years.

Steampunk Alison 1

Steampunk Alison 4

Steampunk Alison 3

With the addition of some more keys on my hat and another charity shop bargain bag I had an outfit for Saturday and wore an adaptation of this for Sunday with one my new hats from the festival and another lace chocker.

Alison Steampunk Lincoln 1

Steampunk Alison 2

Steampunk Alison 5

Steampunk Alison red hat

I also bought some fab new/old boots. the ones I wore on Saturday while gorgeous were not comfy so Sunday I started off in a pair of lacy flats until we passed an antique shop on the way in and I saw these beautiful shoes at a bargain price.

Steampunk Alison new boots 1

They are flamenco shoes so very appropriate for the amount of time I spend in Spain.Think they might need a little lace as well though!

Steampunk Alison new boots 2

I have been thinking a lot about my next make and have come up with a plan which I shall tell you all about in the next post. This was partly inspired by a conversation with this lovely lady.

Steampunk sewing fabric dress 1

You may recognise the fabric that she used for her jacket. I bought some of this at the Steampunk market here last year as I already had it in the grey and black colourway.

I have used mine for a bag for Yarndale and have bought some more fabric from the same range from this year’s market which I will show you later.

Steampunk sewing fabric dress 2

I love this outfit, she looks so fabulous! Thanks Allison for letting me take pictures of you and share them here.

Steampunk sewing fabric dress 3

As well as outfits people create and adapt some wonderful vehicles, this was an amazing VW camper, absolutely incredible the amount of detail that has gone into this by the creators, The Bucyrus Brothers.

Have been steadily working away at bags and pouches in between marking, enjoying the lull before the storm as term starts in a few weeks and I am teaching most Saturdays until mid November.

Will see you again in a few days when I shall share my musings with you.

Thanks for visiting and have a fun week.

Little Pretties

I am very much looking forward to the weekend ahead, I have some time off in lieu of all the marking that I have been doing the last few weeks so have a four day weekend to look forward to 🙂

There will of course be much crafting and hopefully a couple of walks with Jake and Ted the dog. Hoping for some blue skies as we have had a dreadful week here, gales and cold wet weather, not at all summery.

However there has been distraction in the form of very pretty fabric being delivered. I was in need of more Liberty to widen my choice of patterns for the vintage log cabins so was very pleased to find some new suppliers of Liberty who offered different selections.

Liberty squares 1

This first set came from Zuzucrafts on Ebay who have lots of choice of colourways in their packs, this is a 5″ by 5″ scrap pack. Lots of gorgeous little prints!

Liberty squares 2

Then I found a mini charm pack of Liberty from Vickbmouth at Ebay. There are 50 squares in this pack and they are perfect for making the sorts of needle books and pincushions that I have done for Sarah for Yarndale.

Liberty charm pack 1

Liberty charm pack 2

Liberty charm pack 3

My final purchase for this week, though I really must stop buying fabric now 😉 ,was a scrap pack of Lecien fabrics, which I have taken a selection from for the picture below.

Lecien fabrics 1

I have wanted some of these ever since seeing them on Jenny of Elefantz’s blog. I am also planning to use these with some of the vintage embroidery for log cabins and they came from Pretty Fabrics and Trims.

They sent me a lovely personalised e-mail to confirm my order and then this little tag on the order, what great customer service. They asked me to share what I make with the scraps which I will do.

Lecien fabrics 3

I really love all of the small flower prints and may turn some of these into little house pincushions like the one in the first photo again as I gave away all the last ones to the girls at our recent craft evening.

Lecien fabrics 2

I have finished the Splendid Sampler block which I was embroidering, this was on my to do list for this year and I love the way that it has turned out.Excuse the photo quality, no light here this morning!

Elefantz Splendid Sampler completed 1

I altered the design slightly from the original which I posted about earlier and used variegated Cottage Garden hand dyed thread that I got from Quilted Hearts. This is being made into a hanging for my craft room.

I am currently stitching another one of Jenny’s designs in variegated thread as well, a gorgeous bird design which is one of her free designs from here. I will probably finish that over the weekend as her designs are so quick to do and so beautiful.I am hooked on Orange is the New Black on Netflix again, am half way through Season 4 in preparation for the new season which is released today.

So I do hope you all have plans for a lovely weekend as well, I am feeling very happy and relaxed at the moment, it has been a great year in my new role and I am looking forward to a summer full of fun stuff and lots of opportunity to use my new fabric!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

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.