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.

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.

tabarca-village-1

tabarca-village-2

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.

tabarca-village-8

tabarca-village-9

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.

house-pincushions-all

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.

Quilting a rainbow

One of the things I love about seeing other people’s quilts is their use of colour. Sometimes putting together fabrics that you never thought would go, other times the use of a rainbow of colour that really stands out. Often it is the contrast between the fabric and the background and sometimes it is the quilting that helps the colour really pop.

This quilt entitled, ‘Bubbles of Joy’, by Anne Lilleholm Jorgenson is one such quilt, the fabric is gorgeous and what makes it really lovely is the contrast of the fabric bubbles and the quilting on the white background.

Another similar quilt used colour in the quilting really effectively, both sides, grey and black, were displayed and the contrast between the little pops of colour fabric and the quilting was really effective. This reminded me of the Spirograph toy we had as a child.

This one is called, ‘Atom’, and was made by Brenda Sanders.

In my craft room I have a stash of rainbow fabrics just waiting for the right project, they look so pretty on the shelf I really don’t want to cut into them! Maybe I could make something like this lovely hexagon quilt, sadly forgot to take a picture of the maker’s name.

There were also some gorgeous colourful  flower quilts like this one from Sheena Stubbs, ‘A Country Garden’.

Quilt Festival Flower 1

One of our other huge favourites was part of the Korean and Japanese quilters’ exhibition and was a pair of quilts which not only used colour really well but also wonderful Kantha stitching.

These are, ‘Lotus Pond 2 – Midsummer Day’, by SangSook Kim. We felt that not only were these quilts stunning but they felt like the sort of thing that we could actually make as the hand quilting used for the Kantha stitching is a lot less scary than the machine stitching in the other quilts.

The background is made up of wonky log cabins and that in itself is beautiful but the Kantha stitching and flowers really makes them into works of art.

Lots of inspiration again and has added so much to my future projects thoughts. At the moment I am working on two sets of things, a new set of Christmas ornaments using paper piecing and some more of Jenny’s lovely stitching, this time from her Primitive inspired designs from last month’s Stitchery Club. Looking forward to another delivery from her later this week.

Will show you more of that in a later post as well as some of my recent makes and fabric finds!

Thanks very much, as always for visiting, and have a great week ahead, the sun is shining in Yorkshire for the second day running which is brilliant!

 

 

Quilt magic

Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and happy. Just back from a very hot Spain to lovely damp Yorkshire so what is a girl to do but take a trip to look at beautiful quilts? It was the brilliant Festival of Quilts trip again yesterday, just myself and Sharon this time.

We were very good, just a few purchases, no fabric for Sharon as she seems to think that she should use some of the stuff she has got before buying more but I got a little more insulation for the craft room 🙂

We both bought books, they had a special offer on the Sarah Fielke Little Quilts book  and as we so enjoyed meeting her recently we felt that we just had to!

Sarah Fielke Little Things book

The main reason for going was of course all that magic that people can perform with bits of fabric and thread and there was again some absolutely amazing and inspirational work.

We loved the two quilts by Claudia Pfeil ,whose work we first saw last year. The colours are amazing and the level of detail and embellishment just make them sparkle so much. There is more of her amazing work on this Pinterest board here.

There were some wonderful art quilts and pictorial quilts. I loved all the floral ones in very different styles such as these by Hilary Gooding, the more modern one which had a Judge’s Choice award, and Dorothy Clee  who had interpreted a walled garden. I love the stitching detail on both these very beautiful quilts.

One of my favourites combined quilting with my love of history in costume in a beautifully executed and very interesting idea based on Tudor dress showing the structural as well as the decorative elements of the fashion. This is by Joanna O’Neil  and has some gorgeous machine embroidery making the lace on the costume.

There was another set of historically based quilts of a similar theme based on effigies which were also beautifully stitched. These were made by Canadian quilter Dorothy Howard.

Quilt Festival - Dorothy Howard 1

Quilt Festival - Dorothy Howard 2

I have lots more to show you in a later post but for now will go and get some stitching done. Am going to be finishing the ring pillow today so time to choose a new project to start, am toying with either one of Jenny of Elefantz’s lovely designs or starting some of my Christmas ornaments.

Take care and enjoy what every you are doing this weekend, thanks for visiting.

The hottest day of the year ….

Or even the century. You may be aware that we had a mini heatwave this week, it reached about 33 degrees, even in Yorkshire and in typical British style we were all saying how it was too hot and we needed it to cool down – we are never happy with the weather   😉

Anyway it was a lovely day made even more special as my very lovely son Jake graduated from University with a 2:1 in Multimedia Journalism, which makes me a very proud Mum 🙂

Poor boy was roasting in his black gown but we managed to get some nice photos before he had to disrobe.

Here he is with a cute bear who was posing for photos with the graduates, he must have been really hot! Also his lovely sister Ellie and his best friend from University, Charlie , who he met at sixth form and they have studied together for the last 6 years.

We had a great time in Middlesbrough including a trip to the Bowes Museum, somewhere I have always wanted to visit, and a curry at a place with naan breads as that were at least two feet in length.

The day also ended very well as I had a visit booked to Simply Solids  to hear Sarah Fielke give a trunk show talk. I had not really come across her work before but loved it, she bases a lot of her designs on antique quilts and uses a lot of applique and hand quilting all which very much appeals to me.

I have just treated myself to a copy of her latest book of designs based on antique quilts so that will be arriving next week, more ideas for the retirement crafting!

Sarah Fielke 3 - book

She was really lovely, especially so in the extreme heat, poor women had packed for her European tour a few weeks previously and had not packed for our heatwave so she did a wonderful job, we were hot enough just sitting there listening.

Sarah Fielke 1

I not only loved the quilts but found her very inspirational, she had a serious car accident when she was just starting her quilting career and her children were very young and still managed to continue with things, even after four months in hospital and time after that using a wheelchair.

Sarah Fielke 2

I hope that the quilting helped her recover as it does for so many people, I am a great believer in the power of crafting to help heal, I know it helps me when I am in pain and think it is a really good way of relieving stress as well.

Below is one of my favourite designs by her from her Quilting with Little Things book, love the little appliqued leaves.

Sarah Fielke Quilting-From-Little-Things

Well it still sunny here but not so hot so will be watching the weather carefully while I craft as have lots of washing on the line! Hope that you have a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

A Colourful Friday

Hello everyone, hope that you are all ok and enjoying the weekend.

As I don’t enjoy shopping anyway nothing would have induced me to go and join the supposed throngs in Black Friday retail endeavours and I had a far more exciting and colourful trip planned to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.

Part of the reason for going was to buy things, (of course!), but I was very restrained and stuck to my budget. Will show you my purchases in a later post as I want to share with you the lovely displays in the exhibition sections.

There were the winning quilts from the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, though I had seen some of these before we didn’t know whose were the winning ones at the time as that was not announced until later so here are some of the beautiful ones that won prizes in various categories.

There was a great mix of traditional and art quilts on display.

I love the use of newsprint fabric and flowers on this one, winner of the Contemporary Quilt category by Lesley Brankin.
Harrogate K and S 2015 7

This was one of the most photographed in the exhibition, so sparkly and gorgeous, it was the winner of the Pictorial Quilts category and is by Claudia Pfeil. She has some other amazing pictorial quilts on her website.

Harrogate K and S 2015 5

Harrogate K and S 2015 6

This beautiful applique quilt won the Two Person Quilt Category and was made by Alison Wells and Mandy Parks.

Harrogate K and S 2015 4

This was the Traditional Quilts winner by Janette Chilver. The quilting is just amazing.

Harrogate K and S 2015 2

Harrogate K and S Winning Quilts

There was also the SAQA Quilts Food for Thought exhibition with some more amazing examples of machine quilting.

This was one of my favourite fruits when I was in China, love the blacks beads she has used for seeds. This one is by Helena Scheffer.

Harrogate K and S 2015 SAQA Quilts

Harrogate K and S 2015 9

And the level of detail is brilliant on these Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Diane Powers-Harris and the Tomato quilt by Sarah-Anne Smith.

Harrogate K and S 2015 10

Harrogate K and S 2015 11

Harrogate K and S 2015 12

Harrogate K and S 2015 13

My friends from the Knitting and Crochet Guild were there as it is based in Huddersfield and they had a beautiful display of vintage accessories and crochet. It gave me some great ideas for bunting!

Harrogate K and S 2015 Guild

Harrogate K and S 2015 15

Harrogate K and S 2015 16

Harrogate K and S 2015 17

It is another wet and windy day here so an afternoon of stitching on the sofa watching TV seems in order, oh dear what a pity 😉

Have fun, thanks for visiting and see you all soon.