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.

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.

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.

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.

cat-house-pincushion

 

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 little more making and a fab(ric) find!

Hello again. Inbetween sorting out a Steampunk outfit and re-enacting I have been able to make a few things. Firstly a ring pillow for Ellie’s best friend Becky from University who got married this week.

The theme was linen and lace with dark blue so I used some of my vintage crochet stash and Jenny of Elefantz’s monogram patterns  as well as some flowers from an old pair of sandals that had worn out to fit in with the something old something new, something borrowed and something blue.

I am very pleased with how it turned out, I love the combination of linen and crochet and lace and have been saving lots of other inspiration pictures to my Pinterest boards.

I have also been saving all my tiny Liberty scraps from making hexagons and inspired by Pinterest and Crazy Mom’s month of pincushions  made these for Sarah’s Yarndale stall.

Was very pleased as well to find a fabric stall at the Steampunk market selling another version of one of my favourite haberdashery fabrics. The lady was called Jill from English Rose and she was very lovely. You can find her Etsy store  here.

Steam Punk fabri purchases

I have got this print in grey and black and cream and black and have used it for the cute baskets  and now have a whole metre in blue and cream as it was such a bargain 🙂 I also bought another print that I had seen on Ebay from the stall, love that sewing machine.

Steam Punk fabri purchases 2

I am aiming to make a few more fabric baskets  this weekend as Yarndale is only a few weeks away so better get crafting! Have a lovely weekend 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!