Thursday, 30 July 2009

Peg Bag Tutorial - My version.

I have seen various tutorials for making a peg bag and I have looked at them and then made my own to fit the coat hanger that I had. So I used a wooden coat hanger that we have had for what seems like forever and cupcake tea towel that I bought from Matalan when I took part in the Cupcake swap last year.

I am going to fold the tea towel so that the cakes will still appear the right way up (hopefully!)

I folded up the bottom of the tea towel until it was about 11 cm down from the top edge and then folded down the top to look at the proportions and size of the peg bag. You will need to play around with this as some tea towels can be different sizes too.

I then placed my wooden coat hanger on the top fold to check for size and position.

I then marked the top centre on the fold where the hanger hook will need to go through the fabric. Here I put a button hole to add strength to that area once the pegs were added.

I stitched the button hole before constructing the peg bag.

Using a water soluble pen I marked a curve to sew along to add shape for the coat hanger to sit in when in use. This should stop the bag from moving around and falling off the hanger.

I then flapped the top section down, the bottom section up then pinned all the way round, including along the marked line.

Then using straight stitch sew along the side seams and across the top being sure to follow the marked curve line.

Front view: The top section should slightly overlap the bottom section. That is just my preference, it is up to you.

Back view: Lovely cupcakes.

Two days later!! I was able to use it for the first time....

The curve at the top worked well and I know just need to remember to bring the peg bag indoors if it rains!!

Let me know if you have another peg bag idea that I could try. I have another quilt block for you tomorrow.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Pin Wheel - Block 8

Now, I very nearly got myself into a bit of a pickle with this one and it was all because of three bits of paper. Last year or more I took part in a block along with Sew Mama Sew and made up some of their blocks they posted every day for a week/month, I forget which. At the time I made patterns and stitched up the blocks, wrote the names on the paper patterns and put them into my pattern storage. Well, I had more than one piece of paper with Pin Wheel written on it, different shapes and a blank memory. However after much head scratching of course the fabric sample had vanished, and going back through my own blog archive it was sorted out!! Phew!

A close up of the fabric, one of my favourites.

The original block was quite bright and fun with characters on it. I have a cute one with kittens on but the black background meant that it was not really suitable for this quilt.
I confirmed my block layout and measurements by finding this site which you may wish to visit to get some further ideas. I found it very useful and found some other block ideas that I might try out.
My next block is upstairs and will be posted this week.
Thank you for all the comments about my efforts with the crochet scarf, I am tickled pink!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Etsy Up-date..

Listed today, been thinking long and hard about this item but as long as it goes to a good home......


Crochet Flower 'Garden'.....

Regular readers will know that I like to use flowers in my work. I like the shapes and the colour combinations. So it seemed natural to move onto crochet flowers, although to be truthful this is not a recent development. A couple of years ago whilst visiting my Mum my attempt to learn how to crochet started. So I a made a few crochet flowers with whatever wool was about so some of them were a bit of a mix and match affair. I also tried using a french knitter, fleece, felt, flower loom etc.

I then started to add beads, buttons, leaves etc. As usual my ideas came before I had thought about what to do with them so this seemed a good temporary solution.....

I pinned them all onto my knitting bag!! There a couple there that I have made this week, in between making quilt blocks. I like to have more than one thing on the go. I have also made flowers out of fiddly fabric such as organza, a fabric which can certainly not be rushed with....

This one is one my chenille knitted blue bag which has just expired on Folksy so I am thinking of moving it to Artfire or Etsy.

So, when I visit my sister-in-law and portable projects will be needed I shall be taking crochet and flower work with me. My few items in my friends Tea shop seem to be selling slowly but still selling so these might be a good addition for Christmas (sorry, must stop using that word in July!) I have also been busy with a new felt design which I did start to think about last Summer but then shelved due to concentrating on my own bag designs. Some of which are still at the toile stage, I was up until gone midnight working on it tut tut!

Must dash Sophie and I are having are hair trimmed this morning. Thanks again for the new visitors, there are some new blogs that I shall be adding to my list, and of course my trusty faithful following I do really appreciate it!

:-) xx

Friday, 24 July 2009

Crochet Scarf of many colours....

Several posts back I blogged about using up a child's crochet kit and making 18 squares but then did not know what to do with them! I was given several really good ideas and I even blogged about it here where I am an invited author.
The idea that really inspired me was from Inkberryblue who suggested a scarf with a picot edging. I could do with a scarf that looks a little different but what really interested me was the picot edging bit. My first thought was 'what is it and how do I crochet it?' My only crochet book showed me what it looked like but not to actually do it. So I googled the stitch name and found a video tutorial on how to create picot stitch.

I think you can just see it in the picture above. I decided to use black to show up the colours, a bit like stained glass window lead holding all of the coloured glass together.

Well I'm hooked (sorry, no pun intended!).

It is has not turned out too badly and in the process of making this I have learnt two new stitches along the way. A work colleague has just had a baby boy and I am thinking of making a crochet pram blanket for the Autumn/Winter in blues. What do you think?
I have really enjoyed making this and I will certainly be making some more use of crochet. Another bag I think with similar colours to the scarf maybe.

I went into school today with Sophie and did some more tidying etc and due to building work I have had to take some home but I will not be allowed in school itself, so my break has officially begun today! So much more of the above over the next few weeks so do keep coming back as I hope to post regularly with finished items. If you are new to this blog do not be shy and say hello in the comment section, you do not have to have a blog to do this, simply click on anonymous to leave a message.

Take care for now


Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Mini Beasts- The sequel.....

I spent a lesson yesterday and one today with my second primary mini beast group and I think they turned out very well. We tried some caterpillars this time too just to see how they turned out. What do you think?.....
I love felt anyway, but it is a really good medium for youngsters for making things such as these bugs. They really enjoyed making them and were so keen to take them home. Perfect!!

There were six in the group and we also asked them to have a go at drawing either the bug they made or one from their imagination. These are so cute.....

Only small children can draw like this, it can not be truly copied by an adult. It has been a lot of fun the past couple of weeks and I shall be going back with a different year group next term. I am waiting for a project list from the school so I can link textiles ideas with the work that the youngsters will be doing, but if not then something Christmasy will be in order.

Who else was woken up at 4.30am by the blasted rain this morning? Just me? Gave up at 5.30am and made a cup of tea then just snoozed until 6.15am. So a little bleary eyed, but school breaks up tomorrow and I have to say that I am on my knees and it can not come soon enough. The fact that I am going into school on Thursday and Friday to sort out a work space, displays etc is neither here nor there is it? But I have been promised egg and chips Thursday night cooked for me by my in-laws as a reward so it could just be worth it!!

Must dash and get some beauty sleep.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Around the World Quilting bee - Block 7

I will confess that this next stage of the quilting challenge had me tearing my hair out!! I did not seem to have anything in my stash that seemed to go with the starter block and I was aware of how many times I had made the log cabin. I really wanted to try something else.
So I went into the workroom (titchy tiny workroom) and began putting bits of fabric along side each other. Then, before I knew it I was pinning and cutting a little bit here and there and then laying it all out. So in the end nearly an hour later I had made some decisions. The sewing machine was already set up ,so I started to look at constructing it and to stop a long story I had the whole block made which meant a later night to bed than intended. But I do not care!!! It worked ( I think) and the yellow has a circle pattern on it which the pictures does not show up as much as it could. I am certainly learning a lot from this challenge and I am looking forward to the next block arriving. I am working on some block ideas already.
Hope you all had a good weekend.xx

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Ratatouille.....idiot proof!.....

......and it needs to be for me to make......I am a baker and jam maker mainly, and I like to cook from scratch (job/time permitting) but it needs to make sense and come out right. This recipe does just that and Sophie loves it and asks for it to be made, who says you can't get veg down kids?
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 small aubergine
1 green pepper
1 courgette
2 tins/800g of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp oil
1 handful fresh basil ( I have used dried but I would like to try and grow some)

1. Peel and chop the onion, dice the aubergine,de-seed the pepper and chop it, slice the courgette. I found you need to keep the veg fairly chunky or it will simmer to mush).
2. Fry the onion and garlic in oil for 5 mins.
3. Add the aubergine and fry for a further 5 mins.
4. Add the pepper, courgette and tomatoes.
5. Stir in the basil.
Bring to the boil and then simmer gently, with the lid on the saucepan, for 20-30 mins.

Give it a go, let me know how you get on with it. By the way, I make it in batches and freeze some of it. It also goes well with pasta and it takes hardly any time to do. There are other ways to make this but I have found this to be very quick and reliable, you can also swap the veg around to vary the outcome.


Friday, 17 July 2009

Quilt Around the World Block 6....

I was visiting one of the first blogs I found over two years ago, Mollychicken, and she was experimenting with uneven log cabin strips. By having strips with different widths means that stash busting can be even more extensive.

So the above block is made up of different widths following the colour scheme started and I think it has turned out quite well. I am pleased with the colour combination.

I have posted this block off today and I already have the next one lined up. Completely different colour scheme, I may need dark glasses! I really want to try out another block style for the next one but at the same time TIME is an issue as I am still trying to catch up little from having been in France with the school. I shall have a think tonight. I may need to put a quilt block book on my birthday/Christmas list.

The rain has stopped at long last and we are actually sitting on the decking that hubby made last week during the rain. I shall try to get pictures of it this weekend.

Enjoy the evening!


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Mini Beasts.....

Twice this week I have been into one of the local primary schools (Sophie's!) to try out a little workshop. Now I wanted it to link to a topic that they are already doing and Sophie happened to mention that they were doing mini beasts this half-term. It has not been easy to organise with everything that has been going on in both schools which included an Ofsted for one and a review for the other, plus illness etc, however this week we managed it.

I had a group of 10, 6 year olds and a TA. The bug bodies were pre-cut but the rest was gradually put together by the youngsters.

Using big needles is often a necessity at this age but can also be awkward if trying to go through several layers, but there were no complaints at all. In fact at the end of the first sessions we had a range of half made bugs and I was called 'lovely' by one of the girls!

The googly eyes set it all off and I managed to get some google eyes with eyelashes so we could make boy and girl bugs if they wanted to, which went down really well! I used a glue gun to attach them. We used some funky coloured extra hairy pipe cleaners and plenty of stuffing.

Now, there were 10 little children who really only knew me as 'Sophie's Mum' yet they were friendly, funny, asked lots of SENSIBLE questions, keen, did not want it to end and said thank you and good bye!!! Do I feel that I am working in the wrong school/age group? You betcha!

Went back again this morning to finish them off and they came in with beaming smiles saying hello, saw one earlier in reception and she waved and said hello. We ended up with the colourful group of bugs that you can see above. As we were walking out of the classroom to take them back to the group they were keen to find out if I would ever come back. I found out later that they all did a show and tell after break on their bugs and two of them raved about the whole thing to their friends ( info via Sophie). My TA and I going back to work with another small group early next week and she can not wait to come with me. It is certainly an experience that I and the primary head want to develop. On the whole it brightened up what has been a very dull, bleak and soggy week.


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Crochet Along with Me....

Over the past week to try and counter balance what has been going on at work, in the evening I have tried to Crochet a square or two just before I go to bed.

It is surprising how quickly they mount up in numbers and over a period of time I have ended up with 18!! Regular readers will know that I would really like to be able to crochet better and follow patterns. So the only thing I* could think of was to buy a child's kit and stat from there. now I have always been able to do Granny Squares but I was very rusty been years since I had sat down and made any.

Sorry, blogger keeps being silly with this picture. The main plan was to use up all of the wool!! So gradually I did just that and ended up with 18 squares.

I really like the colours and I had fun working out which ones to put with which so as to keep them colours spread out evenly. I have some wool left over for sewing together but into what??

If anyone has any ideas as to what I could do with them, then please comment as I did not really think that far ahead (tut tut). I have some other wool of a similar colour which I could make up into more squares. I would need to buy some gorgeous lime/Teletubbie green thought to with it as I have become quite attached to that colour.

I have found doing crochet very portable too and I have decided to move onto the next bit in the little booklet and try crocheting in lines/rows which is where I get really unstuck. I did make some flowers last summer which I made into corsages ( I think I sent one to SummerSadie with one of her pincushions) and I would like to make some more of those.

I went into Sophie's primary class today and did a little felt project with 10 students. I am going back again Thursday morning to finish them so hopefully lots of pics that night of all their felt bugs!

Have an enjoyable evening and get your thinking caps on- 18 squares!!



Listed on Etsy..

Monday, 13 July 2009

AWQB- Drunkards Path - Block 5

When Aimee's quilt arrived I decided that I really needed to have a go at these curves. Never tried this type of block before but I will certainly add it to my list in the future.
I have two more packages here to concentrate on and the for the next one I have already selected and ironed the fabric. Guess what I am doing tomorrow night, yes block 6.
Have you had a look at Sophies felt bag? Take a look at the last post.
Take care

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Sewing Open Day...

The day started off with rain, wind and me over sleeping!! Sophie was dressed in a flash and I was not far behind her then it was off to the Embroiderers Guild open day. I did not go last year for some reason but took a friend of mine the year before. We were asked to take two items to display so Sophie took her felt picture as one of my two, along with my felt picture.

To keep the theme going we decided to take some needle felting with us. No machine required and it gave Sophie the chance to do something by herself. The compliments I got from branch members and total strangers about how wonderful my daughter is was fantastic and gave me one of those slushy mummy moments. We took our lunch with us which Sophie needed to start at about 11.30am and she loved the cake that was on offer, homemade too.
When we stocked up on felting bits a couple of weeks ago I bought this pre-made thick felted bag for Sophie to decorate. I have not got felt like that and knowing what my weeks were going to be like I decided that cheating was really my only option! She decorated it herself with only a little cutting help and guidance along the way. Some were worried about the needle, its safety etc, but then I can not understand parents who allow their little kids go out to 'play' out of their sight near roads, in woods etc, which I think (and has been proven) is much more risky.

Sophie knew exactly what colours she wanted and where to put everything. Everyone was very impressed. A member of the future perhaps?

I have had a little wooden frame upstairs for ages waiting for a little something to be put inside. The aperture only measures approx 7cm wide by 10cm high.

Felting seemed an god choice. it is not fully finished yet as I think that I would like to add some beads to this. I like the 3D look to it. I really think that I have found a new and portable craft.

Hhmmm. Not sure what has happened to this picture, the idea was to show you the chunky frame which I think shows off the flower well. I will show you the final outcome once I have worked on it a little more.

I have finally finished a purse last night too.....

I think that I will need to take another picture before I list this on Folksy, it seems to have come out a little dark. Then again, the weather has been pretty bad this past few days. I have found my pink gingham version to be very useful, so guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year!?

I hope you have all had a good weekend, mine has been much better than I thought it would be. Hubby is getting on with the new decking, in the rain too poor chap. I have also finished some granny squares and tomorrow I shall post them. I love the colours but I am not sure what to make them into. There are 16 of them so thinking caps on please ladies.

See you tomorrow xx

Friday, 10 July 2009

Thank goodness it is Friday....

Well, this week has been pretty pants really and I have averaged about 5 hours sleep a night all week. The work load needed to prove in an annual review that you can do a job which you have been told you are doing well for 14 years was just over whelming! The organisation, implementation and reasons for it were just c**p, and they were judging whether I was any good???
Then to top it all my friend has had a heart attack whilst on holiday in France!
So, a long lie in buried under the duvet would be ideal tomorrow....but no! Ages ago I agreed to help out with an Embroiderers' Guild Open Day. I am taking Sophie with me so hopefully it will improve what has been a pretty bad week.
On a happier note my roses have bloomed this year after a couple of bloomless years for some reason and I have a development on the calender submission I posted about back in January. For now I am of for an much needed early night.
Many thanks for those of you who have still popped by this week to visit. It was noticed and appreciated. i shall be back tomorrow and I promsie to be more cheeful.
Take care

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Snowed under...

Hi, I am still here but simply snowed under with work and an annual review. Nearly there, do not dispair! Must try and remember that myself.
Hope to be back Friday at the lastest!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Final felt Post....honest!

Since going to Paris with the school I have not really had a chance to do much. My latest quilt block is waiting to be stitched together and I have not been to my sewing group for a while. June and July are manic at work and just to add to the mix we are having a faculty review next week which is a bit like an internal school Ofsted! So this post will be short and then I must get back to finishing what I need to do for next week.

On friday we started preparation for the log cabin cushion which we will be making until the end of term and in-between we tried to finish the last of the felt keyrings. I went stash shopping yesterday and managed to find some fine needle felting needles, so I shall replace the two of mine that got broken on friday and keep the rest at work.We are nearly there but here are the latest ones and the girls are really pleased with them. There may be some fleting kits being asked for at Christmas this year, opps sorry I did say I would not type that word didn't I ?

Pretty purple...

Tulips and daisies...

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I shall be back tomorrow to let you know how we all got on at work.


Saturday, 4 July 2009

Fantastic Felt....

You may remember in my last post that I had brought home a half made felt sample to try and develop it further. Sophie had a little go before she ended up making her own felt picture.

Ages ago I had bought a felting book and read it many times, but as is sadly often the case, time to do anything never came about.....until now.

I bought the needle felting tool separately and to be honest I did not really like it. The felt wool tops shown in the picture are quite bright and this gave me an idea.

I carried on with it but I eventually started using the needles from Hobby craft without handle and I got on much better with it. I played around with a couple of ideas and ended up combining some.

I cut out some basic shapes from felt sheets and then needle felted on top of these. Leaves and flowers mainly. As you can see above.

The flowers are based on my felt book cover designs and I shall be making some more of these using needle felting for later in the year (I shall resist typing the word but it involves a decorated tree). I laid out the felted pieces on top of the backing to see where to put them, then I needle felted a few stems in.

Next I added the leaves and finally the flowers. I had great fun with this and once Sophie had gone to bed I carried on! The crazy background colours seemed to go quite well with the bright flowers and wool tops.

The backing helped to keep it all together and gave a good base to work on. Like Sophie I wanted to fully finish the picture so when we bought Sophie's frame I found one too.

A close up of the centre of the felt picture. I think a little something is needed in the bottom right hand corner to balance it all out a little better which is why I did not cut or try to get the piece to fit the frame until I was really sure. I removed the glass too otherwise all my hard work would have been squashed.

I really enjoyed making this and once I have added a little here and there it will go on display. I have a little wooden frame upstairs which needs a piece of work in it and I think some felting might be the answer. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.


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