Inspired by Marsden

There are many things that I love about Marsden, the moors and reservoirs that surround us, the lovely village with its river and canal, all of the entertainment here and my lovely friends but one of my favourite things is the random sheep we have wandering around the village.

I love the way they just meander across the roads, they have a particular favourite grazing spot on the mini roundabout at the bottom of the road and they stop the traffic regularly as they cross from there. They do think they own the place so I was pleased to make some more of my lovely inspired by Marsden sheep bags for Yarndale.

Yarndale 2019 8

I love stitching these, they take quite a long time to do but look cute. I only had time to make three this year but hopefully people will like the colours that I have chosen.

Yarndale 2019 7

Yarndale 2019 6

Yarndale 2019 5

I also made two pouches with felt flowers on, these are very quick to do and I can see more of these being made as gifts.

Yarndale 2019 4

Yarndale 2019 1

Yarndale 2019 3

Yarndale 2019 2

I have been having a very productive time making Christmas gifts including some haute couture for Barbie so when those are finally finished I will be able to post about them. I have bought an actual pattern and am hoping that by practising on Barbie size I might improve my own dressmaking skills. I am having fun anyway!

I hope that you have had a nice weekend, it has been lovely today and I have just been for a walk to the reservoir in the wonderful autumn sunshine. I have made a slow cooker stew for tea and a delicious sticky toffee banana cake so all is right with my little world 🙂

Take care and thanks for visiting.

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Happy World Embroidery Day!

To be honest I didn’t know it was World Embroidery Day today until one of the textile companies I subscribe to e-mailed me about it but it is, so many happy stitching returns to you all.

I was just about to start some new embroidery this evening so that is fortuitous. I have a new project that I will share with you in a bit. If you want to know more about World Embroidery Day you can find out more here. I particularly like the part of this description that says…

‘To embroider is a peaceful occupation. It can be traditional made from a common
remembrance, drawn designs, from a pattern, or from your own imagination. You embroider for joy, beauty, decoration and for the creation of identity.’ 

I am sure that all of us who embroider share those sentiments. The lovely Karen from ‘Did You Make That’ has recently taken up embroidery and talks about the different emotions different crafts give us in this post here. I love all of my crafts for different reasons, some can bring frustration as well as joy (the black velvet jacket that never was) but mostly they bring me peace and sanity in a frantic world.

I have been doing a little bit of crafting over the last few days, mainly as respite care from the increasingly frantic work on the doctorate which is due in exactly 2 months from today!

We have had some more people leave work under our latest voluntary redundancy scheme including my very best friend.We have worked together for 15 years and shared wonderful times together. I am very, very happy for them all as they  are off to enjoy retirement or adventures travelling the world but I am very sad to see them go so I made a couple of pouches as gifts for special friends.

Liberty star bag 1

Liberty star bag 2

Liberty star bag 3

These are from some of the blocks I made last year which have been waiting to be turned into something special and details of how to make the bags can be found in this tutorial here. The beautiful lace zips come from Buddly Crafts and I shall be ordering a little restock very soon.

Liberty block bag 1

Liberty block bag 2

The embroidery is part of a new hat for the Steampunk Asylum event in Lincoln over August Bank Holiday. I had contemplated making a new jacket but with the focus needed on the doctorate and a few minor household issues (one involving an expensive boiler repair!) decided that I needed something that would not add any stress.

So I am wearing the tablecloth jacket again but I am making a tea party hat to go with it. I had done some planning for this a while ago for another hat that I have not yet created but am well on the way with it.I loved wearing it last year with the sewing themed hat and it deserves more outings.

Steampunk event Alison 5

I will devote a whole post to the creation of the hat when it is completed but meanwhile here is a sneak preview of a very cute felt cupcake that will be part of the tea party. I have really enjoyed making these, as with the felt flowers it is a joy to work with all the lovely colours of felt and add little beads and embellishments. I used this tutorial to help me and found lots of different ideas and videos for all types of felt food.

Felt cake 1

Felt cake 2

In other exciting news with the help of my wonderful children we repainted the kitchen at the weekend and my daughter very enthusiastically Marie Kondoed the contents meaning I have far less clutter. I was very good and let lots of things go.

We also had a surprise visit from a herd of cows in the back lane. They were being escorted from a farm up the road when they made an unexpected right turn. This picture was taken as they were being escorted off the premises which is why is is a bit blurry. This is why I love living in Marsden, there is never a dull moment 🙂

Cows 1

Well I will love you and leave you and get on with some more of the hat, the embroidery is for a little sign that will say ‘everything stops for tea’ for the front. Take care, thanks for visiting and have a happy week whether you are embroidering or not.

 

Favourite colours

Although I love purple I am also really fond of turquoise and pink, my craft room is in these colours and I love how they look together.I realised when I was sorting out photos for this post that both my recent makes are in the same colours.

I have been very productive on the doctorate front with about 10,000 words written this week and I am aiming for a few more before I leave for Poland on Monday. I will then have three weeks not thinking about it at all which will be brilliant. Much as I am enjoying doing it I am spending a lot of time staring at the screen and am really looking forward to reading books and going for walks when in Spain, and of course seeing Krakow which looks stunning!

I finished this little basket as a birthday present for a friend’s not so little girl last weekend, she is 11 this year and I was really pleased to be able to get some matching nail polish and toe separators as I know that she loves painting her nails.This is the smallest version of the Friends of the One Hour basket pattern and is available via a link from this blog for just £4. I have made this pattern so many times now it is so versatile and I love it.

I have also finished another outfit for Barbie, well nearly, the dress is still pinned together and needs the Velcro adding but that will be done before I take it to Spain as a gift for one of my cousin’s daughters.

Barbie coat and dress 4

I used the leftover shirt fabric as before with some other scraps and the coat pattern comes from my old pattern book that I mentioned in my original Barbie clothes post.

Barbie coat and dress 1

Barbie coat and dress 2

The coat is a little big but I think it looks very snug and the yarn is lovely and soft. I have a turquoise shrug to go with the outfit as well and another few dresses in progress to go with a pink version of the coat as well.

Barbie coat and dress 3

Although I haven’t started on the WW2 make do and mend outfit I have had a charity shop bargain haul and came home with a jacket, two shirts, some trousers and a hat all for £5 which I was very pleased with. I also bought a bag and a pair of sandals for Spain for £1 each. This is an RSPCA clearance shop where everything is £1 but I don’t often go there as it is out of town but was in the area and was really pleased to get all of that.

I will take some before pictures of the items and then I need to get cracking on that when I return, I am fast running out of days to do everything so if anyone finds a knitting pattern for an extra day a week please send me a link 🙂

I am off to Sarah’s now as she is having a wool de-stash, I am going to be good and not try and buy anything but am just going for a bit of a catch up, there may be wine involved!

I will be back in three weeks, take care, have fun and thanks for visiting.

Finally, a Bee in my Bonnet Block!

I was visiting Lori’s gorgeous Bee in my Bonnet blog last week for my usual update on her lovely designs when I spotted a block in her sidebar from her Bloom quilt which she designed a few years ago. Lori very kindly keeps all of the tutorials on her blog so you can go back to them at any time.This is a beautiful quilt and one of my favourites of her designs.Picture from Lori’s blog.

Bloom quilt

I have not made any of her quilt blocks yet, partly as I don’t have the templates but then realised that I did have the shapes in my freebie set to make this block, and probably others.Picture is from Lori’s blog.

Bloom Block fifteen

Bloom block 1

I decided to make two flowers from Liberty as I thought the petals would look good in different fabrics and rather than make blocks to applique them straight onto the background fabric.

Bloom block 2

Lori uses a really good technique which is very clearly explained in all of her tutorials where you cut interfacing and the shape, sew them together and then turn inside out. You then glue them down onto the backing fabric and hand stitch. This gives a really nice raised look to the applique and is a lot better for getting neat shapes.

Bloom block 3

When I was machine stitching I used my clear foot which makes it a lot easier to see your lines of stitching.

Bloom block 4

The background fabric is linen from an old curtain that I must have had for at least 20 years, I only have a little bit left as I have used it for lots of pouches and baskets. I love using up old bits of fabric, makes me feel very thrifty!

Bloom block 5

Bloom block 6

I have made the stem a little smaller so that it can all fit on and my middle circle is smaller as well to show more of the Liberty. I am really pleased with how they have turned out and the hand stitching has been very nice and relaxing in the evenings.

I do like this time of year when I can light the candles, watch Netflix and stay in cosy in my house, as I was stitching these the rain was lashing down outside but I was nice and warm. I had new windows and doors fitted in my little house this summer so it is a lot warmer now, which will be very useful if we have another winter like last year!

I am halfway through making these into pouches for my Christmas present stock. I have at least another 4 pouches and a basket to make up as well so that will be my machine stitching for the next week and the Jenny stockings my hand stitching.

I have some time off next week 🙂 so will be pattern fitting and cutting out the black velvet for my next Steampunk jacket, wish me luck! I don’t really enjoy sewing with velvet, it is so slippery but I was gifted a large amount of the material so I am being thrifty and using that rather than but new.

I will post progress photos later next week, Have a good week whatever you are doing, take care and thanks for visiting.

Another freebie to play with

I was actually looking at sewing magazines when I found my latest free gift, I am interested in getting more sewing patterns and know that the ones that come with magazines are often very nice. I have signed up for a trial of one so that arrives next month.

Applique shapes freebie 10

However I spotted the latest edition of Today’s Quilter with a really lovely set of applique shapes as the free gift and couldn’t resist.

Applique shapes freebie 11

I would love to build up my stock of shapes. Lori Holt  from Bee in my Bonnet has some fab sets but they are not easily available in the UK and the shipping from the US makes them very expensive so I have not bought any yet.

Applique shapes freebie 1

The magazine also has a pattern for a cute cushion but I was not sure who I could give that to but thought a little pouch would be more useful.

Applique shapes freebie 12

The shapes are lovely and there are lots of ways to combine them as well as using them singly.

Applique shapes freebie 2

 

 

Being a bit of a numpty and not looking at the instructions in the magazine I went ahead and cut the shapes straight out from the fabric forgetting that it would have been easier to apply the fusible web then draw round the shapes on that then cut out! I will remember for next time.

Applique shapes freebie 7

I just need to zig zag the outlines before attaching the bird’s wing and get some more of the Liberty fabric I have used for the bird for the base of the bag. The denim is from my stock of jeans for recycling as usual.

Applique shapes freebie 8

 

Applique shapes freebie 9

I have had another busy weekend as at the moment I am teaching Saturdays but that will finish in a month so I can really crack on with the gifts. I am eagerly awaiting the 17th Oct when Jenny’s next Stitchery Club is ready as she has the cutest design for Christmas stitching which I am planning to make lots of!

Hope that you have a good week ahead, mine is a bit quieter and then we have the Jazz Festival at the weekend, here’s hoping for good weather for that. Take care and thanks for visiting.

Sorting out the stock

We had a lovely last event at Caldicot Castle, the weather was mostly very good which always helps and it was great to see everyone one last time before the end of the season. As always I am sad in one way but with the colder weather on its way am looking forward to cosy nights in with the candles lit and lots of stitching!

We visited Gloucester Cathedral on the way home so have a lot of beautiful pictures from there to sort for you, lots more inspiration for embroidery designs.

Glos cathedral 1

I have spent part of the morning labeling all of the stock for Yarndale, I finished the last two pouches this week. As last year I have used a lot of Liberty but tried to do something different this year in case I have customers coming back who have bought in previous years.

Yarndale Stock 3

Yarndale Stock 2

This year’s new stock has been quilting themed with pouches and baskets with blocks and hexagons on.

Yarndale Stock 5

Yarndale Stock 4

I still have some things left from last year like these sheep themed knitting pouches as well so have a nice bag of goodies on its way to Sarah.

yarndale-sheep-bags-1

These pouches below all use recycled denim from old jeans and the lovely Liberty hexagon fabric for the bases.

Yarndale Stock 6

Yarndale Stock 7

The pretty flower zips are from Buddly Crafts and I need to order more stock as have now run out of coloured ones.

I have finished the large stitches sampler from Jenny of Elefantz that I was working on and have just started two smaller circle monogram designs of hers from last month’s Stitchery Club. You can buy just this design from her Craftsy page here and I am going to the finished stitching into pouches for Christmas presents. Picture from Jenny’s Craftsy page.

ELEFANTZ+monogram+circlet+cover.jpg

She has so many beautiful designs and I have just had a sneak peak at the Christmas stuff she is doing for next month. It is gorgeous and I am really looking forward to stitching them.

Term has started and I have had a very busy and very nice week getting to know all of the new first year students. It is so exciting for them and I really love this time of year, despite the very wet and windy weather, the trees look gorgeous and I have lots of nice things to look forward to in the next few months. Oh and I have just booked my flights for Spain for New Year so I am very pleased about that.

I am planning lots of stitching on the sofa this weekend while watching Netflix. I am currently enjoying watching Star Trek Voyager again, our outfits for Steampunks in Space in November are going to be based on the uniforms from this series so we have been busy collecting things for those.

Hope that you have a lovely weekend, take care and thanks for visiting.

Christmas gift stitching

I am working on a couple of Christmas presents at the moment, both using Jenny of Elefantz stitching designs.

The first one is a design from the Stitchery Club Nov 2016, this is another version of the one I stitched a few weeks ago while in Spain which I made into a pouch for me and I loved it so much I wanted to stitch it again.

Elefantanz flower circle 1

I have adapted the design to be a full circle of flowers by copying a couple of motifs from other parts of the circle.I can’t find the design for sale at present on Jenny’s site.

I used a Liberty fabric for the hexagon and my favourite Silk Mill threads for the stitching along with some of my new Caron Waterlilies variegated thread from Sew and Sew.

The other thing I am going to buy if I ever win the Lottery is the entire 700 thread set that is available from the Silk Mill, can you imagine having all of the colours!

This will be a pouch with some contrast Liberty at the bottom and denim for the back similar to the previous one below.

Bird and hexagon pouch 1

The other Jenny design is from the May 2018 Stitchery Club and as soon as I saw this design I knew I would stitch it straight away. It is so unusual and I am looking forward to practising some new stitches while doing it.

ELEFANTZ+stitch+sampler+cover

Picture above from Jenny’s Craftsy page where you can buy this design. This will become a project wallet to store embroidery.

At Jenny’s suggestion I trace my embroidery onto the fabric using a brown Zig Millennium pen. I bought three a few years ago from an online art supplier and they are still going strong.I am using a cotton fabric with a white on white background as I tend to do for most of my embroidery.

Elefantz embroidery sampler 3

The stitching covers up all trace of the pen as it is permanent.

Elefantz embroidery sampler 1

What about you, have you started your Christmas crafting yet? I already have 3 ornaments completed with one nearly finished and another 5 of the same design to make.

I hope that you have a lovely weekend ahead, Ellie is coming for a short visit until Saturday lunchtime and I am planning to spend most the rest of it in the craft room, my last weekend here for a while so I will make the most of it. Take care and thanks for visiting.