Wednesday, 16 April 2014

OPAM April - Cushion Sample

Just before the start of the Easter holidays I was given quite a few metres of good quality curtain fabric and I thought that this might be a good chance for my textiles club to have a go at making a cushion cover.  If they can bring in the cushion pad then they can make the cover to fit.
I have found with experience that it is better to have a sample to show what the material can look like.
So on Tuesday I quickly rustled up this cushion.
This picture gives you an idea of the fabric.
I used the existing cover to create the dimensions as I did use this cushion to display corsages and brooches at craft fairs.
I decided to create a simple pinwheel by using the front panel of the old cover and dividing it into 4 then adding a seam allowance all the way round which I then cut into a triangle and I measured it directly on to the fabric.  I added some cream cotton as a contrast.
I then used one of the built in stitches on my machine to add some detail and help to keep the seams flat.
 I felt that the centre of the cushion needed a little something and I do have one of these Yo Yo or Suffolk Puff makers.  I thought that some of the students could add these if they liked them.
I have made Yo Yo's without one of these for years but it does enable you to make them all the same size and it is a bit less fiddly.
Found an odd wooden button in my sewing box and stitched the whole lot in the centre of the front panel.  Hides any misalignment of the patchwork  ( which I am proud to say was not the case) and a focal point.
On the back it has a simple envelope opening and I hope that this gives the club members an idea, which they can then interpret in their own way  and at the same time can see what the material could be developed into.
Not bad for 1.5 hours of playing -  sorry I mean working!!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hillary's Blinds Competition Entries

If you would like to see the wonderful range of ideas that were made by other competition entries then do click HERE.
You can see the winner here plus some highly commended designs HERE.  I enjoyed this competition and I hope they do another in the near future.  The variety of ideas that everyone had was amazing!
Have a good week.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Le Challenge April - Bright Colours

When the current Le Challenge ,challenge was released I thought I have something I could do for that.  Which is the first time ever and had to go and find it.  Well two days later and a rather messed up sewing cupboard later I found it.  The above is a bag that I started a very long time ago after having made one for a present and like many crafters I got side tracked with other projects and family life but it was still there is at the back of my mind and was waiting to be re-found and finished off.  I do not usually make more than one of an item but on this occasion I really liked it and giving the first one away was hard!
It is made with knitting ribbon that has double knitting wool through it and then stitched together to form a large circle.
The back circle is made from a double sided circular fabric with free machine embroidery on it.
Hand made strap and twisted cord.
The front was then embellished with fine coloured cord and some beading.  The button is made of glass and I made some more twisted cord to create a fastening.  Unfortunately after taking this picture I dropped the bag on a hardwood floor and broke the centre glass bead so I am going to have to re-do that bit....never mind.
I am glad this challenge title came up as it got me to finally a project that has been in bits for ages and is perhaps much more colourful than my pictures show.  Hope I am still within the rules and i really look forward to seeing what the next challenge is. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Orla Kiely Organiser

A few weeks ago I saw via Philofaxy a Youtube video by Organised Like Jen and she was featuring a travel wash / vanity bag by Orla Kiely.  Jen uses her to transport her paperwork and filofax when she travels as part of her job.
It looked like it was going to be ideal for what I was looking for so after a little search on Ebay I located one in America.  The price was right and in as little as 5 days it turned up and I was very impressed.
The outer metal zip does not catch in any way and on opening the inside left hand side there is a thick mesh pocket with a full width zip. Opposite, a see through flip pocket with elasticated sections.

Plenty of room for pens and scissors etc.
I really did not think that my A5 work planner would actually fit in........but it did and with space to spare.  My planner is quit full but the zip was not struggling at all, in fact it was no where near the Malden at all.
I found this A6 post-it note pad in Paperchase which I use to add larger notes to my lesson planning pages and this.....
easily fits into the zip pocket which is on the other side of the elasticated pocket.
Here I have popped in some supplies in the mech pocket and pens and scissors in the flap pocket.
So, in here I have an A5 Malden, supplies, pens, scissors, post-it notes etc and it is still not full!  A very deceptively large bag.  Sold as a travel wash/vanity bag.  I do not have this much make up etc ever, let alone when travelling.  However the possibilites for carrying work, art or sewing supplies is endless.
I am going to now swap all of this for materials for my Art Textiles evening class for when I attend the practical exam at the end of the month.
Thank you Organised By Jen, a really useful and pretty item which I shall have in constant use from now on!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Mouse Cottage Crafts - Followers badge added

I have added a followers button to my daughters new blog if anyone would like to click on it.  I have had my blog since 2007 and it has gradually evolved over the past 6 or 7 years and I did not realise just how much I have on it.  So I am adding bits to her blog and we are creating a mouse so that she can have a profile image which goes with the blog name.  The diasy picture is just temporary as starting the blog on Monday was a little spur of the moment as the summer holidays was the original plan.  
Many thanks to those of you who popped over and said hello.  The smile on her face was tremendous!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

My daughter has started a blog.

The Mouse Cottage Crafts is my daughters new blog.  We have been discussing this for some time and today seeing as it is the Easter Holidays I thought that perhaps we would in fact have the time to do it properly and educate her in the safe and correct use of a blog and Internet.
She (Mousey) has several post lined up and seeing as she starts secondary school in September and ipads will be in use I have decided that now might be a good time to put some computer understanding into motion.  I have set up some controls and I have access to her blog so we shall see how it goes.
Please do visit and give her a boost especially if you are a regular reader here as it was looking at my blog that triggered this interest.
Many thanks and take care.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mothers Days - I have been spoilt!

I can not believe that it has been a week since I was last here!  Where has the time gone.  Anyway, this morning I was woken up to these from Sophie................
A lovely bouquet of flowers with gorgeous colours.
Sophie then made this cooked breakfast for us all under the watchful eye of Dad.  We have a little heart shaped frying pan which only gets used a couple of times a year and has nearly been thrown out on many occasions.
A Mummy snow globe.....a new one on me that.  Did not know they even exisited.
I can not remember the last time I was given a balloon, might have been my 40th but no one here is sure, very colourful though.  I have put it in the front room window.
A handmade card and some chocolates which Sophie and I will open later.  Hubby had to drive to Sussex after breakfast but we shall keep a few for him.  He is away all week so this may be a hard idea to follow through but we shall try.
Then my favourite thing, hand made gifts and Sophie made these at Guides on Tuesday.  A Suffolk puff and button brooch and a wool and pipe cleaner flower.  She also made some blue and green earrings at her Guide activity day last weekend but I was wearing them and forgot to include them in the picture.
I have been thoroughly spoilt and at the moment I am writing this and about to do some work on my A level sketchbook and Sophie has her T-shirt quilt spread out on the living room floor pinning on the wadding.  

We are then going over to my in-laws for dinner..........all in all a good day.
Happy Mothers Day to all those Mums out there .

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cut, Stitch and Blog - Bag

A couple of weeks ago I saw over at Ali Bee Creations that Hillarys the soft furnishing company who make curtains and blinds were running a competition called Hillarys Blinds Country Crafts Competition for bloggers to request up to two types of fabric and make something creative out of it.  Blog about it with links.
Due to my hand I was not sure so left it then a few days later I thought well why not give it a go, I am having to try and use a machine at work so I applied for two different fabrics but perhaps I did not click save right as I ended up with two batches of the same fabric.  Above is the fabric Wild Poppies and the piece is 100cm x 100cm which is pretty large really!

It was a stroke of luck as it arrived the day Oftsed had finished so it seemed an good omen to start something new.  I spent time thinking then I decided to make a bag as I have not made one for ages.  I finally settled on a bag which I made my own pattern for three years ago.
Friday evening was spent pinning and cutting.  The fabric is really nice to cut and took to the interfacing well.
One addition I added was an internal divider with two pockets so that items could be separated out a bit.  Big enough to get a small sketchbook in and paintbox. The divider goes the whole width of the bag.  I also cut out a very long strap and two pieces to go through two metal rings plus a double sided flap.  There is still a bit left over!  The only other fabric I used was some cream cotton for the lining.
 I had a set of magnetic fasteners for the flap.
These are really easy to apply, you just need to plan ahead if it needs to go through the lining before you stitch in that lining.
Fastening attached to the bag and flap.
Metal rings and fabric to start off the strap section.  These are added before the lining and main strap are attached.
The main strap itself is attached to one of the rings at one end but is left open at the other so that a large knot is added.  This is so that the knot can be undone and the strap extended or reduced by moving the knot.  The knot is never in the way and adds a nice practical feature without the need for the slide adjusters which can mark fabric and discolour.  This is my own little touch which I have been adding to my own bags for years and I like it a lot and works well for me.
Here is the final bag and I am pleased with how it has turned out as this is the most patterned fabric that I have ever used with my pattern.
Sophie wondered if it needed a flower or something on the flap as I had done this with a previous bag
that I had made.  It is just clipped on for easy removal.

 Here is the knot feature which is quite difficult to picture so I hope you can see how it works.
I also added a box bottom base to it as well to give a bit of width.
A glimpse of the inside dividers.
The final bag being won.
I know need to think of something else to make with the second batch of Wild Poppies fabric.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Le Challenge March - Order

After I posted last night I realised that it is the deadline this weekend for the March entry of Le Challenge.  Now, due to other things I have not entered anything for this in ages but last weekend I did start to sort out my entry and with one thing and another (see last post) I forgot.  So I quickly got it it all together and stitched on the backing so hopefully it is not too late. 
This month the theme is ORDER and I decided to use the above stitching which is on a linen and my idea of order was thinking back to the ordered flower beds and gardens of many stately homes in the UK many of which are now owned by the National Trust.  So think Topiary trees, the renowned garden designer Capability Brown and little box hedges.  This was a kit that I bought from a National Trust shop years ago  but has been sitting around ever since but I felt it fitted the bill.

I stitched  some lovely blue fabric on the back, stuffed it and it is now an over sized pincushion.
I need some new pincushions as my others have worn out and they gradually flatten with the constant pushing in of pins over time.
I even picked out my blue and white pins for the occasion!
Best go and upload it to the Le Challenge blog.
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