More light entertainment

I have been doing lots of lovely hand stitching over the last few weeks accompanied by some very interesting TV series that I thought I would share with you in case you. Both have been on UK channels recently but I have watched them on Netflix and DVD.

The first is inspired by a book I read some time ago called Jambusters by Julie Summers  which is about the work of the Women’s Institute. It was about the contribution made by women to the war effort though their preserving and other activities, particularly in rural areas.

The TV series is called Home Fires and was an excellent piece of drama with a great cast.Sadly the series was cancelled after two seasons but you can get it on Netflix and there are to be a series of books continuing the story which I shall definitely read.

Being interested in all things historical I loved looking at the 40s fashions, there were some great Fair Isle jumpers and beautiful tailored clothes as well as some fab floral pinnies!

HOME_FIRES_Fashions

Julie Summers has written a blog post about the fashions and also a book, Fashion on a Ration linked to an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

This vintage clothing blog has also got some more great pictures of the cast in costume. I also found a lovely Vintage Pattern blog that has links to free patterns for jumpers like these gorgeous ones below.

HomeFires Patterns

The other TV series was one my lovely daughter mentioned to me and then very kindly bought for me, I loved it and watched the whole thing in a day and a half. It is called Brief Encounters and is the story of women who work for Ann Summers selling, ‘exotic lingerie,’ and ,’marital aids’, in Sheffield in the early 1980s. Again a fabulous cast and the soundtrack was brilliant, a real blast from the past as 1982 was the year I left home and started college so I danced to all of those tunes many times!

Not quite such fabulous fashions in the 1980s, there was some very big hair in the series and a few really loud outfits but a great comedy with some very important storylines about love and family.

A CPL production for ITV.

Pictured: 

This image is the copyright of ITV and must only be used in relation to Brief Encounters.

What I loved about both series are the storylines of women fighting to overcome their barriers, many things that we take for granted now, to be able to go out to work, earn their own money, contribute to the family and generally have a say in how their lives were led. Even though 40 years separate the two series some of the things that happen in the later one are sadly no different.

I have also been reading an excellent series of books. I was told about them by a friend many years ago who knew I liked history and recommended them. The series is called the Moorland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.

They trace the story of one family from the 1400s to the present day. I bought the first 3 books some years ago and rediscovered them in my bookcase and got hooked, only to find that there are now 36 in the series! I am currently enjoying book 16 which is set in the Regency in the 1800s.

They are again full of descriptions of the fashions as well as filling in all my history knowledge gaps. I am loving the details of ladies fashions such as this one below.

Regency Fashion

The family have a lot of strong female characters, most of which who defy convention by doing such scandalous things as running away to sea, nursing soldiers after the battle of Waterloo and refusing to marry the, ‘right man’.

I do love a good book and a great TV series. There is nothing nicer than spending the evening with a bit of stitching and some great stuff to watch, it makes me very happy. What have you been watching or reading lately, anything good?

I am off to the lovely Simply Solids this weekend for a class,my first visit to their new shop so I am very excited! I am going to be making some Scrappy Trip Along blocks for a quilt like this one.

Scrappy Trip Along quilt

We then have a Wool and Wine craft evening at a friend’s house so that will be a lovely day. Hope you have a good weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow brights

One of the good side effects of rain and sun together is of course when we get rainbows. Though this weekend had a mix of weather I didn’t see any rainbows but had one in the craft room anyway.

Inspired by the rainbow Dresdens on my Pinterest such as this one below I decided to make a rainbow Dresden one a few weeks ago and finished it into a pouch today.

Rainbow Dresden

I have not got much yellow or red fabric so struggled a bit with anything patterned.I have photographed this next to a gorgeous stack of rainbow solids that I have had for a couple of years and not cut into yet. They just look too pretty all tied up!

Rainbow pouch 1

The lovely yellow with red flowers is a a magazine freebie from a while ago and I really like pop of colour among the plain fabrics.

The middle looks far more wonky here than it does in real life. I appliqued the Dresden onto the blue fabric for the pouch then added the middle bit with applique as well. At least you can’t see any of the stitches!

This is a pencil pouch which is a present for a friend’s little girl so I have put some things in it for her, the lining is a plain red from my stash. Pouch tutorial from Jedi Craft Girl as before.

Rainbow pouch 6

I also made a lovely bright mini Dresden before I went to Spain which is destined for the top of a pin cushion, this is the smallest one I have made so far at 3 inches across.

Mini bright Dresden 1

The fabric is from a mini charm pack from a while ago and I have used one of the lovely lacy circles gifted from a friend that I have put on other pincushions and bags.Just perfect for a little contrast.

Mini bright Dresden 2

I have had a very perfect Sunday and finished it with a little bit of fabric playing. I know I said I wasn’t going to start anything new before finishing making up all the pouches and bags but I was just having a cup of tea and a Pinterest browse mid craft and came across this picture from Hen House. Hen’s is one of my very favourite blogs, I love all her vintage makes.

Vintage log cabin with Liberty

Well before you knew it the vintage cloth stash and the Liberty had come out and I was making log cabin blocks. Not enough has been completed to show you yet but I am very pleased with the results so far.

Hope that you have all had a good day as well and 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.

 

Another one just for me!

I am doing well at the moment, I have recently made a second pouch for myself! This is most unusual as I rarely keep things that I make.

However one of the recent purchases of fabric with flowers on was so pretty that I had to use it for a new make up bag .

Make up bag - linen and floral 1

I bought more of the lace back from Spain where it is available at bargain prices from the Chinese market shops so decided to have lace on both sides of the fabric strip.

The tutorial is from Jedi Craft Girl blog again and I am pleased with the zipper tabs this time, they have not got too squashed.

The zip is also put in evenly and the side seams nearly match!

The linen is part of my new supply from this Ebay supplier Craft Source and the flower fabric is from Always Knitting and Sewing.

Make up bag - linen and floral 6

I have used a dark pink paisley print from my stash for the lining so it won’t show dirt. I was debating whether or not to use this as I love it and only have a small amount left and then realised it has been in my stash for about 10 years! Do you even get like that, saving something so long for special projects that you never use it?

I have at least another two pouches waiting to be made up and a pincushion, I have been experimenting with Dresdens again so am aiming to get them made up this coming weekend. Am trying to be really good and finish projects before starting anything new 😉

Hope you have had a good week and have a nice relaxing weekend ahead, thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Knit one, purl one

Hello from damp and windy, (as usual), Yorkshire. I have had a busy time just lately with some very exciting things to do, namely helping Ellie move into the house she has just bought! I went down to Worksop last weekend and with Kerry and another friend James helped her move some of her things then the removal men came on Monday.

All very good, she is very pleased to have bought a lovely house in a little village not far from work and has been busy buying furniture and things for it this week. I am going down again next weekend to help her do some painting.

Meanwhile on the crafting front I have cast on some knitting. It has been about a year since I last did any, I put together the mouse for Ava which involved some finishing but have not knitted for a long time as I have had tendonitis in my left wrist which has been painful. I was inspired however by the fact that we have a new baby in the family so got some of my stash out and have cast on this cute cardigan from an old magazine so excuse the creases!

baby cardigan pic March 1

Am knitting the 6 month size so will have to finish it by August which should be fine, I have two weeks in Spain at Easter so will be sitting on the terrace in the sun with it.

baby cardigan knitting March 1

I have also made another little pouch, this one has some hair bobbles in and is for a friend’s daughter’s birthday. Same design and tutorial as before, Jedi Craft Girl

Blue linen pouch 1

The bow fabric is from the mini charm packs I bought at Quilt Festival last summer and it is lined with red linen which works well with the blue.

Blue linen pouch 2

The linen is all scrap from making kit for the boys.The deal is that I make things for them in return for a bottle of wine and the fabric left overs which seems like a very good deal to me 🙂

Blue linen pouch 3

I love the ric rac braid and thought that the motif on the charm squares was very appropriate for hair bobbles.

We are coming to the end of term now and teaching is slowing down and the evenings are getting brighter so I am feeling very springlike, apart from the rain the last few days, and am looking forward to the summer starting. Roll on warm days and camping!

Hope that you have a good week ahead, see you all in a couple of weeks for an update on a newly tried design, I made my first Dresden this afternoon and it went very well! Just needs the centre finishing and some backing and I can share it with you.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

The internet is reading my mind!

Well bits of the internet are anyway. As regular readers know I have been developing my skills with zippers in the last couple of months and have plans to make more of the lovely pouches that I have been making and maybe even experiment with some more designs.

So I was really pleased when I visited Amanda Jean’s Crazy Mom blog this evening to find that she had a link to a friend’s site,  A Little Crispy  – what a fab name for a blog – who is running a 52 Zippers Project, one for each week of the year! This is a screenshot of what she has made so far.

52-zipper-pouch-web-pic

How fantastic is that exactly 🙂 This is going to be a major source of inspiration for me this year as she has links to tutorials for each of the pouches for free and a basic pattern to print and there are some lovely ideas here.How kind people on the internet are!

I have not tried any curved pouches yet but these look lovely.Sadly I have other stuff to do this weekend and am busy for the next few weekends after that but the next free weekend I am going to lock myself in the craft room and go pouch mad, at last count I had about 50 zippers and I do have a little bit of fabric as well 😉

Hope that you have a great weekend ahead, I am hopefully going to be making a surcoat for St George this weekend for the show that the group has coming up at Easter.

Take care 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.

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.