Saturday, 31 January 2009

Recycled Scarf Bag 2

I have plugged my laptop into an old monitor so that I can post.
For now another recycled scarf bag to show you.
This time a pale blue one that I also found at a charity shop for about £2.00. This was not quite the right size so I measured it and cut off a strip. Then just like the last scarf I folded it into 3. I have stitched the two seams needed and got it to the next stage...

This time I decided to add another technique so that if this idea was used for a project more skills could be added so I settled for applique.

Using a flower template that I already had I cut out some flower shapes using blue and white cotton fabric and some centres using a dark blue fabric.

I stuck the centres to the flowers using bondaweb. The bondaweb will not work on the blue scarf because there is a slight pile to it, it feels a bit like fake suede therefore preventing it from sticking properly.I then set my sewing machine to satin stitch. I always do a little sample to test the size of the stitch first. I used a pale blue thread that I already had in my stash.

I decided to put the flowers on just one section of the bag and I used stitch and tear on the back to keep the stitch tension even and then tore it away once I had finished.

Then the two handles were tied together in the middle and hey presto. It is amazing how different this looks to the last bag! I was lucky in finding this scarf too, bit I think that cutting an old pillow case in the right way would give you the right amount of fabric or even any rectangular piece would do. I am very pleased with how this turned out and I will be keeping my eyes open for more scarves as I am definitely using this idea in the Autumn term.

Hopefully normal blogging will resume this coming week. Just battling with Technology at the moment!

XX

Friday, 30 January 2009

My lovely little Laptop...

Posting over the next few days may be difficult as dumbo here picked her little laptop up wrong and promptly broke the screen!!

Going to PC World after work to see if anything can be done and our house insurance too. Can use my husbands computer so any Esty or Folksy purchases can still be processed. Not a good evening last night as you can imagine!! All of my new pictures are on it!!
Back asap.
xx

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Forest Quilties Hang ups

I have been planning and working out how I could present and make the best of the quilities sent to me plus the extra one of my own that I made. I have had these lying around for years instead of months with the 'they will be useful one day' That day had arrived yesterday!

They are not very long, I think they came with a miniature cross stitch kit from the front of a magazine.
It did get me thinking about using them to hang the Forest Quilties. Now, the quilties do have writing on the back and I do not want to add or interfere with the appearance of the quilties designed. I then found some long lengths of green bias binding and then an idea began to form..

Using green thread I stitched down both sides to hold down the edges and to prevent the binding from stretching. I then stitched loops to go over the top hanging rod.

The ends of the hangers come off which makes this easy, to add a ribbon I just clamped the ribbon on the end and then put the end stopper on again. (Hope that makes sense!)

I decided that the easiest way would be to hang up the lengths of binding and gradually add the squares. So at the moment it is all back to front and I am carefully pinning the squares to the binding. Keeping a gap between each one. I intend to just put a few stitches top and bottom to hold them in place.

The idea being that any writing/inscriptions on the back can still be read. The binding is to simply support the Quilties, nothing else.

Back view.

Just to finish it off I put the other hanger on the bottom. If needed something could a added to this to act s a weight to help keep it straight.

Here is the final arrangement: Starting at the top:

Sharon Walworth

Fiona

Mine

Cheri Hins

Beverley Teichrob

Below are some close ups pictures of the final layout. I am pleased with the outcome and I hope that it has been sympathetic to the theme of the original swap.

It is was going to go on the spiral stairs up to the attic but my hubby likes it so much that it is in the living room!

Another 'to do' item done.

What do you think?


Monday, 26 January 2009

Cath Kidston Pincushion Kits

Remember this?

Over Christmas I was looking at my pincushions and taking into account the response that I have had about them that I thought that I would trial some kit versions.

The includes all of the fabric, buttons, trim, colour instructions, templates for alternative sizes. Stuffing is separate so as to keep cost down but can be obtained if needed. These are being added gradually to Etsy but my commission is taking my time at the moment. The fabric in the kit is shown in the smaller pictures on Etsy but can be viewed bigger if clicked upon. I am also going to try out other fabric combinations too. My resolution was to try new things and it is nearly the end of January and I have kept to this one so far.

Preview of other combinations:




Making samples is a problem for some of the fabric as I only have enough for the kits, but hopefully it is clear what is what.

Many thanks for the lovely comments about my cardigan I intend giving it an outing this week at work. Year 10 have asked about knitting so I thought I might show them, as long as it does not put them off!!

Take care, bye for now.

xx

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Knitting Fanfare......

Those of you who have followed this blog for some time will know that I have wanted to improve my knitting and learn to crochet for some time.
You may remember this in a previous post...

It is quoted as suitable for beginners. I am not a complete beginner but this was going to be my first knitting project without my Mum nearby to sort out the mess I always seem to get myself into.

I eventually got the pattern sorted out with a little help from Iris and over the Christmas Holidays I got on with it quite well. I actually finished it a few weeks ago and then I needed to find a way of fastening it. The magazine suggested a ribbon tie and I have brown ribbon, but I did not really fancy that idea. So I went to a shop and had a good look at their buttons and found this...

I then crocheted a cord and stitched it onto the other side of the cardigan to fasten the front...


The sleeves are bit wide at the cuff even though I cast on the exact number of stitches. I have found that this stitch pattern moves and grows a little like the feather yarn scarves you can buy or make. Buy turning up the cuff a little it seems to help keep its shape a little better. i shall see how the fastening goes, if it does not work well then I shall go back to using the ribbon as the magazine suggests.
I chose brown as it will go with much of my wardrobe and is a fairly neutral colour. I have some wool left over and was not sure whether to crochet a few small flowers to have on the front or to leave it. I am quite pleased with it and I will wear it. I definitely like the pattern and feel a scarf or bag coming on!

Off to have another go at another recycled scarf into a bag session. year 10 were quite impressed with it and a couple said that they had some scarves that they might have a go at with this idea.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

xx

PS New items have been listed in Folksy Shop for UK buyers.


Saturday, 24 January 2009

Beautiful Buttons....

I have recently joined The Button Floozies and if you love, adore or covet buttons you might like to go and take a look.

I have been promoting the use of buttons with my students and I think that what puts them off using buttons is the fact that they have to be sewn on individually! I am gradually winning them around and even though they can see that buttons can be found on all sorts of items, such as accessories, clothes etc as a form of embellishment the 'ok I will give it a go' is not quite there. So I am going to try another tactic. I am going to make something else using buttons!

Button Company is an on-line shop that I first saw at creative stitches a few years ago and I have always loved their button necklaces. At the time I decided to buy this button bracelet kit which I have worn many times.
They are not cheap but I have not done or been anywhere since New Year and it will keep me busy making it so I have been a naughty girl and ordered this...
Picture of necklace @ Button Company.


The button Company also have a blog link which you might like to have a look at too. So my kit will probably get here about Wednesday or Thursday which will give me time to finish off a couple of other items.

January has been a surprisingly good month for 'firsts'. The chance to have one of my tutorials in a calender, changes to my Etsy shop, joining other groups such as Twitter. Then last weekend I received a commission enquiry via Etsy Convo and I have made a start on it tonight. I am really chuffed with this as it is for a lady in America, we have sent each other several emails and I love making for a specific need. Fantastic. I am saying no more until it is finished and hopefully I can blog about it once it has safely arrived in America. It is all very exciting!
Well better go Ballet lesson again tomorrow.
xx

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Spread the LOVE.....

Seeing as I have a bit of a Valentine theme to my posts at the moment I thought I would add an award that was very kindly given to me by Kitty the other day. I think it is one of the prettiest that I have seen.

The last award I gave to all my visitors but this time I would like to nominate some. Then please take it or not as you feel.

* Gina @ Fan my Flame for having the Wiggly Bag idea which my students liked making and I may have some further news on that in the next few days.
*Nan@ Nannybird for her unending patience when her swap from me did not turn up! Then her lovely post when it did.
*Julia @ Primrose Corner for her lovely swap and help with my odd questions.
*Lise @ The Chocolate Cat for her lovely posts but her kindness in sending me a Christmas parcel out of the blue partly as a thank you for organising a swap. Lovely.
*Joanna @ Summersadie for writing posts that are so close to what I think it is often spooky. Plus our joint love of Cath Kidston fabric.
*Wonder Woman (Sorry not sure of your name) for her lovely comments and I admire anyone who can knit or make anything from wool.
*Lesley @ Lesleys Creations who has always been very interested in my sketch books and whose work brings back memories of my own City and Guilds/degree work.
*Bliss Country Life as I feel she deserves it after all the Christmas sewing and creating that was achieved, quite unbelievable really!
*Julia@ Marmaladekiss whose swap parcel never arrived despite being promised it would! Yet was very sporting about it. (I am still having a bit of a hissy fit over it I am afraid.)

Links to all of the above are in the margin.


Of course there are many more blogs, website etc and I have added to my list and have yet more to add. Then there are visitors who come by and might not comment, so I do not know who you are, sob, sob, so if you would like this award for the Valentine season and you visit here then please do add it to your blog, a link to this blog would be nice but not compulsory.


I would like to also thank Kitty for an act of kindness which I have only ever found since starting my blog, it was this:

This cute handmade card thanking me for the contents of a giveaway I had that Kitty won. You are very welcome Kitty and I did finish my pillow case bag I just haven't blogged about it yet.

Thank you for the ideas for gaining more time, and not sleep has been thought of but I get away with the least I can as it is. So I will have to settle for as much time as I can to create things. I have finished by cardigan (fanfares and flags please) I just need to do the fastening bit then get my dear hubby to take decent photo of me wearing it. He needs to earn the brownie points because he has just broken my ceramic spoon rest that I had painted at ceramics class and it cost a small fortune! Anyway, enough of that I have something to type up for work then it is time for bed. Tomorrow I see Year 10 and hope to impress them with my scarf bag. Got another posher versions to show you over the weekend too.
Bye
xx
1

Valentine Wishes...

Even after being together 18 years (married for 10.5 years) I still like to send my hubby a card on Valentine's Day. He may even get a kiss if he is lucky!
These will be listed on Etsy and Folksy by Sunday. This is a sample selection. All blank inside of your own message to be added.
More exciting news and makes, need more time to photographs and posting. Need more time but not longer days! Any suggestions?
Take care all.
xx

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

New for 2009

I have had a lot of fun making these.

This is a tricky fabric to photograph so I am going to add another which is much closer. It is lovely fabric and I have only used it once before on a different style bag for a 40th birthday gift.

New for 2009. Been having fun over the past few weeks with my own pattern, a tape measure, pattern paper and lovely fabric. Easy to wear, plenty of room, folds easily to put in a suitcase. Making one for myself next!

Listed on Etsy.
January is definately Bag Month!
Take Care.
xx

Monday, 19 January 2009

Recycle a Scarf into a Bag 1

I posted a short while ago about taking part in Barbara's creative Bag challenge to recycle a scarf into a bag.
Well, the following day on my way home from work I decided to go to the Charity shop because I do not really wear scarves very much but thinking that this would be a good project for work I decided that £1.50 was worth it.

I have had this book for a couple of years...
and there are clear instructions on how to make a wide range of bags, one of which is out of a scarf...
What I also like about this book is the hand-drawn diagrams and illustrations.
The instructions asked for a scarf measuring 20cm x 60cm (a rectangle) I could only get a square!

So the first thing I did was to cut the scarf into three equal parts, therefore making three much smaller bags but I wanted to test out the idea and use what I had found. Three goes at making them.

With the longest edge nearest to you fold the fabric into three equal sections, mark the folds with pins and then open up. Using your left hand fold the first third in so that it covers and lays on the second third and the pin along the top edge as shown in the photo.

Stitch to the end of this third using straight stitch.

Once that top third edge has been stitched remove from the sewing machine. Using your left hand again take the bottom right hand corner and bring it up to the edge that you have just stitched. (see above).
Fold the last third back over the section that you have just folded so that it is sandwiched underneath. This pin along the edge nearest to you as shown in the photo. With this seam I would make sure that you use a reverse stitch either end to strengthen the seam. Once I had done this I looked at it and thought "this looks nothing like a bag", but wait! I turned it inside out and laid it out on the table so that it looks like this...

Now I was feeling a lot more hopeful here. Take the two points and bring them together and tie into a secure knot.

Hopefully it will look like this. Due to not having the right sized scarf in the first place my handle does not look very big but I think this gives a good idea of how it should look. I made up two and the third one I am going to show my Year 10 group on Friday as we have just started a bag project and hopefully impress them.... well I can only hope.

In this picture I have put a few small items in to just show you it working. What I really like about this idea I that you can un-do the knot, fold it up and put it in your car, handbag or as the bag suggests in your top pocket for decoration. So a bright jazzy scarf would be a good idea for this bag..

This is a really fun and nifty way to recycle a scarf and having the correct size would make a good sized bag. I am definitely going to make another and pursue this idea further. Hope this makes sense, even if you do not have a scarf to use just try a length of fabric, as long as it is three times as long as it is wide and have a go.

I am off to tell Barbara!

PS I had loads more hits/visits to Indigo Blue yesterday and I would like to say hello if you are a new visitor and perhaps you would like to comment on this tutorial. The book is worth buying too. Lovely to look and lots of ideas.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

I got an email the other day and.........

In a previous post I was a little naughty by saying that I had had some exciting news and wanted to wait until I knew more. Well I have made a decision concerning the email so I will let you know what I know so far. On 6th January I had an email from a lady I do not know and after the virus incident that knackered my last laptop I was a bit reluctant to click on it. It did get through my updated antivirus software so I decided to open it. It was from an American free-lance editor who had seen the tutorials on my blog and wanted to use the Juggle Bag one for 2010 calender. I thought it was a bit odd, even I would not be particularly interested in a calender with those on it but each to their own. I emailed back and asked what I hope were sensible questions an the up shot is that it is a bonafide request and she even sent me some attachments with product examples, where they can be bought and because it is mainly circulated in the USA is why I had not heard of it before.

As part of my involvement I will get a complimentary calender, I can have my Etsy Shop link and my name on it (I gave her my blog address as well) and even though I am not getting paid for it I am getting some free publicity.

I have tried to copy and paste pictures of an example of the final product but it will not let me so I will try and add some links for you to see. Some of you may be familiar with the item. View it HERE.

It should be HERE on Amazon, unless it has been unlisted. This is the knitting version.
Nothing may come of this , but it was nice to be asked and you never know what may happen.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Mug Swap


I have signed up for Jennyflower's mug swap and I have just received my partner's blog address to visit so that I can learn a little more about them. I have spent quite a while looking at their blog and noting a few things down as I will forget and now I am going to have a think. It is all secret so no name is being given here. I thought well some nice person is going to visit here so I hope that they can gauge me from what they see. Gosh that is a bit worrying really isn't it. Hmm... hope it is good. Anyway, thought I would group a few things as a year and a half of blog is a lot. The side bar gives some ideas, but I like most things really, you take the time on these swaps them I think that is great and I like the surprise in it but anything with bold flowers you can not go wrong! My flickr link might help In the style of Amy Butler or Cath kidston and I found some lovely fabric that is similar to that of Cath Kidston in a shop last Saturday but that is for another post as I am rambling now.

Anyway, this should be good fun and by filling the mug with things, one being handmade is a challenge in itself. We fill plastic pint glasses at Sophie's school at Christmas to help raise funds and I always do that as I like finding things to fit and try and make it fun to look at. Do pop over to Jennyflowerblue and find out a bit more.
I have not posted Friday's post yet as it is still under construction so do go back one to read that as there was a bit of a muck up with MY entry for the Christmas Decoration Swap.... how embarrassing is that!!!



Gorgeous Ikea fabric, yum yum.

Take care and don't forget to look further down. In a bit as I have not finished it yet.

XX

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