Happy reading, happy making!

Books make me so happy, I love reading and I am always buying more of them. Mostly from charity shops and often find real bargains, especially in the lovely National Trust second hand books shops.

I also love buying craft books that are either published by bloggers or promoted by them as then you know that you are getting something really well worth it and that you are helping someone who is really dedicated to what they do.

My birthday present book was one that was recommended by Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane  a while ago and I added it straight away to my wish list.

It is called Happy Flower Quilts by Atsuko Matsuyama  and it is very much a ‘me’ sort of book. So much cuteness and use of little flowery prints!

Happy Flower Quilts 1

I would have bought the book just on the strength of the Dresden pincushion pattern as I have still not got over how cute they are but there are so many other lovely ideas in here, especially for a person with lots of small female relatives! I love the sewing case with its spool patchwork designs.

I really like the 3D flower applique on this little purse and the Honey Bee block would be lovely as a bag design as well. The book comes with full size templates for everything and I can’t wait to have time to play with some of these designs.

I have finished all of my steampunk outfit and am off to Tewkesbury Medieval Festival this coming weekend where as well as enjoying dressing up I will be doing lots of research for my doctorate as it is the biggest event in Europe so I am planning to do lots of videoing of the wonderful things that people are doing.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

A bunch of flowers

I have had a very lovely weekend, full of crafting and good company so I am feeling very happy. You would have been able to see some photos of all the beautiful flowers in bloom here at the moment, the rhododendrons and clematis are all out and I was planning to take some photos on the way to my Simply Solids workshop yesterday for you but it started raining heavily so I just ran for the bus instead. Never mind I do have some floral treats for you in a bit.

First the workshop and the new shop. It opened in September but due to working lots of weekends this was my first visit. It is huge compared to the old one with a separate workshop area and so much fabric, and zips and lovely, lovely things.

Simply Solids new shop 2

Also my lovely friend Helen has started working there part-time so I was able to have a catch up with her as well. Here she on the left is with Lisa, one of the shop’s owners.

Simply Solids new shop 1

Do go and visit if you are in the area, it is is Slaithwaite, another pretty little village about 4 miles from Huddersfield. They also have online shopping.

The workshop was great, I made a block in rainbow fabric, the block was a lot simpler than I thought it would be, using the sewing strips together into a tube then cutting strips apart technique, so would definitely make this one again.

Scrappy Trip Along block 1

I will use this block for a kid’s bag, at least they won’t notice the less than perfect matching of the squares 😉  solids are so unforgiving but I love the colours.

Scrappy Trip Along block 2

I have been working on the lovely vintage embroidery log cabin blocks that I showed you last time,I ended up making five and am turning them into a bag for me.

Vintage log cabin block 11

This is the completed quilt that Hen House made from hers and I think more of these would make a very lovely quilt indeed. Not sure I have enough Liberty to do that as only have scraps so that may have to wait.

Hen House vintage embroidey quilt

Here are the blocks in detail, I have tried to use Liberty that co-ordinates with the central embroidery and love the scrappy nature of these. Not my usual style of have everything matching but I love them. These four will go to make the front of the bag with some denim from a recycled shirt.

This one was a bit bigger than the others so is going to be a pocket on the back for things like sunglasses as this bag is coming to Spain with me in August.

Vintage log cabin block 1

Vintage log cabin block 2

I am working at home a lot this week marking so am hoping for a little late afternoon crafting each day if all goes well. Hope that you have a nice week ahead. Thanks for visiting.

Delightful Dresdens

Hello and hope you are having a nice weekend, the sun is shining here, I have finished off a huge pile of marking in the last three weeks so I have the whole weekend to craft. Life is very good 🙂

I have decided that I would like to make a Dresden plate block. I have been admiring these for years and have finally been inspired by Lori Holt whose latest Block Quilt is called Sweetie Pie where all the ‘pies’ are Dresden blocks with fruit motifs in the centre. These pictures are from her blog.

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This looks so cute and while I will not make the middle parts love the look of the blocks and the way she gets two pies for the price of one as she cuts out the centre – love the idea of combining the Dresden with some embroidery. I think these would look great with some of Jenny’s beautiful  stitched designs.

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I also really love the idea of combining my vintage crochet with a Dresden as in this idea.

dresden-with-doily-centre

And look at this one with Suffolk Puffs as well from Podunk Pretties -so cute!

dresden-with-suffolk-puffs

For more inspiration there is of course a Pinterest page with Dresdens, lots and lots of lovely Dresdens! Even a Dresden pincushion from Red Brolly.

dresden-pincushion

There is a tutorial on Lori’s site and I also found a great one here from V and Co with advice on fussy cutting for impact.

And I found this site with lots of patterns on it for different types of Dresdens. Luckily I already have a Dresden ruler that I got free from one of my quilting mags, the only thing I have to do now is choose the fabric!

Happy crafting everyone and see you all soon. Thanks for visiting and have a lovely weekend.

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.

Here’s one I made earlier

Hello everyone

Hope that you have all had a nice week. I am settling in to the new role at work and am enjoying all of the new modules I am teaching. As I mentioned previously I have been doing some travelling for work and while in Liverpool recently went to the cathedral to see the Elizabeth Hoare Gallery.

The reason why I wanted to visit was that many years ago, about 10 I think but it could be longer, I did a piece of goldwork from a magazine which was taken from this collection. I was very pleased with this Tudor Rose design, my first major piece of goldwork and it sits on my mantelpiece. It took about 50 hours to stitch.

I promised myself then that I would visit the collection, well it has taken a while but is so worth it. The collection was started to preserve Victorian and Edwardian ecclesiastical goldwork and has always been housed at the cathedral.

What makes it very special is that when the cathedral was being built a group was formed to make all the things for the cathedral and those are also displayed there. So unlike other places where you don’t know who made the items it has all been documented.

There are also some lovely samples showing how the items were made and this silks case, complete with stitched colour names on each of the pockets.

The piece I made was taken from this beautiful altar frontal which you can see in its full size at the back of the case in the second photo.I think it looks absolutely stunning in the green velvet.I am very pleased with my version as well.

liverpool-10

liverpool-11

There were so many other wonderful pieces, altar frontals, copes, chalice covers, you name it all of the glory that is church stitching was there. An absolutely wonderful collection.I am very pleased that made it there at last and plan to take Ellie there one day.

I have not been doing anything much for the last few weeks but plan to get cracking this weekend on the ornaments, am thinking of doing cathedral window ones.

I have found a couple of tutorials like this one here  and this one and some fab inspiration from Pinterest such as this one using vintage linen from Jo at MyBearPaw.

cathedral-window-vintage-fabric

Look at this gorgeous idea as well. Hope I can make something as lovely as this from Quilt Maven.

cathedral-window-bright

Will report back on progress! Hope that you all have a lovely weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

Happiness is scrappiness!

Hope that you all had a lovely weekend, I really enjoyed myself being creative. Much as I love re-enactment I am glad in some ways that the season is over and I have lots more time at home in my lovely craft room 🙂

I was just playing with my scrap drawer most of the time, I have been very inspired by all the lovely things on my Pinterest board and have lots of left over linen from all my years of making kit for the boys so made a couple of pincushions from linen and some of the left over charm packs. Very pleased that everything here came from my stash, mind you I do have quite a large stash!

pincushions-sept-2016-blue-and-linen-1

This one is also a scissor holder, again inspiration from Pinterest.

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This one was scraps from the various craft room accessory projects that I have made over the years like the sewing machine cover, needlebook and pincushion. Am quite tempted to keep this as it goes so well with the craft room though am supposed to be making these as gifts.

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I used some of my vintage linen for this one, the motifs come from a lace collar that a friend gave me and the button was also from the collar.

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I have wanted to make a little house pincushion for ages and found a great tutorial here at Retro Mama’s site  that explains how to make them. There are also some beautiful colour combinations here at Craft and Creativity’s website  to inspire you. Look at this loveliness in Tilda fabric and with some cute birds – picture from Helena’s site.

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I have made two so far , using an offcut from the red charm pack square in the previous pincushion for a little window box. The pink and aqua one is definitely staying with me in my craft room !

pincushions-sept-2016-houses-1

I think these are just the cutest things ever and will be making a few more. Jake suggested putting a cat in the window and if I can work out how to cut a cat that small I will.

So many more lovely ideas on my board still left to do, must make a start on the Christmas ornaments soon though, it is nearly October and only have one made so far which is not like me!

Yarndale went very well, Sarah sold lots of books and I sold nearly all the baskets and some of the pincushions. She will be doing another book and stall next year and wants more things from me, especially needlebooks so that gives me plenty of opportunity to get making.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

A little buying and a little making….

Hello everyone, hope that you are all having a good weekend. It is raining again in lovely Marsden but as my sister and her cute dog are here for the weekend we have been out in it enjoying the beautiful countryside. The moors are amazing at the moment, all purple and it is great to be able to walk that far again after the mobility problems earlier in the year.

Not much has been going on craft wise, I have some progress on the Christmas ornaments and embroidery but nothing to show yet. However I can show you another cute little basket, this one made as a present for my cousin’s daughter. I made the smallest size of the Friends of the One Hour basket and filled it full of hair clips and she really loved it.

Anna-Mae's basket 1

As I mentioned in my previous posts I was very good at the Quilt Festival and only bought a little bit more stash 🙂 Firstly these gorgeous little mini charm packs, I am going to be going on some more bag making courses in the autumn so thought they would be great for that.

Quilt Festival mini charm packs

Charise has also got a great zipper pouch tutorial  on her blog which make use of these so might try that, look how cute the finished result is.

Charise zipper pouch -small

I also had to have some more Liberty from Alice Caroline’s fab scrap bin. Thought they would look lovely with scrap linen and have recently come across this lovely hexi idea from Pinterest from Lola Rose Patchwork.

Quilt Festival Liberty fabric

Liberty hexagons

I have also been acquiring more cute vintage text and sewing related prints from Simply Solids over the last couple of visits. Apologies but I have no idea of the fabric names or details of the ranges, these are earmarked for baskets or sewing related gifts. I particularly love the one with all the quilt block patterns on.

Well off to make brunch now before we go for another walk, my very energetic sister has just been for a 5K run but we will be doing something a little less strenuous as my knees can’t cope with fast speed!

Have a nice rest of the weekend and week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.