Thursday, 27 August 2009

Flower Flip Flap Bag...Folksy

I finished this at my sewing club last night along with a couple of other items. Everything went well first time, no unpicking needed so I made good use of the time. I love these Mother of Pearl buttons on items.

A fresh cotton fabric with roses on and a crisp white lining.

They are surprisingly spacious inside and I can get a lot of bits and pieces in the one is use.

I really like this rose fabric and at the time it was the closest that I got to Cath Kidston fabric!!

I will need to photograph my other makes because my camera battery gave up at the crucial moment so I shall post those tomorrow.

GCSE Results Day: Best of luck to everyone involved, I am going to pop into school a little later and see how everyone did.

Take care all.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Scrappy Christmas Block Swap

I signed up for this swap which is being organised by Modernjax and I had a second envelope arrive today with two more blocks in it. That makes 4 blocks and two more in the post somewhere. I have now made mine and popped them in the post on Saturday.

These are 6 out of the 7 that I made. the 7th one is for a charity quilt that is going to be put together. I was able to use up stash and only got one lighter fat quarter to enable me to split up the darker colours a little bit.

The centre of this square shows a piece of fabric that I have had for years. Seems odd to think that it is now on its way to the US.

I was sent three little centre squares from one of my swap group and I enjoyed doing these blocks so much that I am going to complete these three little squares wait for the others and then decide what I am going to make them all into. The blocks were made to a certain formula so that they all ended up the same size.

The tutorial used can be found HERE.

Basically the centre is 3.5" square. You then cut strips 1.5" and strips of 1.75". Start off by sewing a row using the 1.5" strips, then the second row is made using the 1.75" strips and so on. Alternating between the two sizes of strips each time you do a new row. You end up doing four rows to get a 12.5" x 12.5" block. It works too!!

I am going to do a photographic version of this when I make my next three blocks but until then give it a go.

We had a lovely day at The House of Marbles on Bovey Tracy. Blue skies, sun. I even needed sun lotion on! I have just found out that there is a quilting shop there called Serendipity. I did not know/forgot about this shop (Oh wail of despair!!) Next time, next time! On the way back we stopped in at Trago because it is about the only place where I have been able to find pickling onions. I did not make any last year and we really missed them at Christmas. So guess what part of my day tomorrow is going to be all about.

Take care all xx

Monday, 24 August 2009

Crochet Post Shock!!

I am in total shock!!! Why? Well, I have had over 349 unique hits for my Crochet baby blanket post!
Many thanks to everyone who visited, I wish I knew who some of you were. 349 comments would have put my blog into meltdown but I do like to try and discover new blogs. Found quite a few this Summer holiday and become a follower to many. I will try and add some more to the side bar. Modernjax is a recent find and is organising the Scrappy Christmas Quilt Swap. Pictures tomorrow, an early night is needed because Hubby has a boat survey to do early in Plymouth and we are going with him so that afterwards we can go to The Marble Factory in Bovey Tracy, Devon. Yep, I am determined to go, even if it is blooming well raining, poor Sophie is starting to show signs of cabin fever. Every time the poor girl goes to the back door it starts raining again! Today was the best day we have had in days and days!
Best Wishes all.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Crochet Dishcloths and Daisies......

Whilst on holiday the crochet baby blanket was progressing well I found some 100% craft cotton in Lewes and an idea was born.
I have been trying to build up my crochet stitches (very slowly), but whilst learning I like to actually make something so that it is not a waste. Assuming it works of course! So I bought I ball of cream craft cotton and made this....

I used size 6 hook and based the measurements on an existing shop bought dish cloth. The yarn was lovely and soft to use and I found it much easier to use than fluffy wool! I used a triple crochet stitch and the first row was the trickiest then it was quite easy after that. Once finished it was so soft to touch, I gave it to my sister-in-law and she just liked to hold it but we did at least get it wet in the end before I left!! I then decided to try my purple 5.5 hook and made another from the same ball of yarn...

You can not tell so much in the picture but it was much firmer. Not sure which I liked more really. Got home and completed the baby blanket then when looking for something else I FOUND some white craft cotton! Now I think it was left over from my City and Guild's course when I needed to dye some of my own thicker threads. It did mean that I could crochet another dishcloth without having to spend any more. Stash busting!!!

So I tried the trusty Granny Square this time...

Now, got as far as making one and a half cloths then ran out! Drat! So I thought about making another skirt then, guess what? Found another half ball of white cotton yarn! Would you believe it? So I finished the second cloth and had enough to do an edging on both which did finish it off nicely. the edging was simply a single crochet and I picked up the stitches around the edge. Ironically I had some left over. So because I liked the feel and the way the stitches kept their shape I sat and made some of these...

It is a flower pattern from the Kids Kit I had and I just varied the number of chains. They keep their shape so much better than with wool.

Needless to say another idea has popped in my head. I think that the skirt will have to wait. My sister-in-law is going to buy some more yarn for more cloths. One a day we are thinking of. They can be washed and re-used over and over again. These will be added to my Folksy stock once I have made them, got the yarn already and guess what everyone is getting as part of their stocking this year? They are fun to make and even better to use!

Still raining here so we are going to start pulling the kitchen apart for our re-fit. What fun eh?


Friday, 21 August 2009

Buy it Now... well...hopefully..

I did try this just under a year ago and gave up because I could not get the layout and button to work properly. Every now and then I thought might feature an item here before I list it in any of my shops with the option to buy it if 'signing up' to a shop site like Etsy is not your thing. I could not make it work despite lovely help for another Andrea in Devon. So I left it.

Soft pink canvas, pink zipper, 19.5cm x 12.5cm (7 3/4" x 5") Lined with Gingham. Embellishments all hand stitched. Free gift wrap. Only one of these. UK viwers only at the momnt until any problems have been ironed out. Sorry.


If this has posted then it means that it has worked and yet another computer gremlin of mine has been put to rest. Yippee!! I have several more gremlins to solve but I shall leave those for another day. Any problems please let me know by simply leaving a comment below. No, you will not accidently buy anything by leaving a comment!

P.S I am still figuring out how I am going to get rid of the gap between item and button. I suggestions? I shall sleep on it.

Take care xx

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Crochet crazy!!

When I was packing to go on our little holiday I wanted to take something portable to do. After the success of my jewel crochet scarf I decided to have a go at something else. A colleague at work became a Dad just before term ended so I thought a blanket that could be taken anywhere might be an idea.
My Mum knitted a lovely little white blanket when Sophie was born and we used it a lot. So a small blanket it would be.

I bought some lovely soft pale blue baby wool and decided to use my favourite purple crochet hook which is size 5.5. I spent a little while researching other tutorials to try and get an idea as to how big I should make it. They varied immensely so in the end I decided to:

Use granny squares and make them 5x5 inches, (12.5cm x 12.5cm)

Four balls of wool 50g double knit wool and just keep going until it was either the right size or I ran out. I really do need to not have left overs in the house, I am trying to de stash not add to it!

The wool was lovely to work with and I eventually had 30 squares, it is surprising how quickly they increased.

I then over stitched them together and it came out to a good size for a pram, little cover up for a nap, putting on the floor etc.
Now, the next bit I am secretly quite chuffed with, as you all know I am trying to teach myself to crochet and the border on my scarf was ok but I wanted to try something else a little simpler. So using white wool I picked up the stitches on the edge and used single crochet to go round the edging.

To try and keep the corners flat I put an extra chain in between the single crochet which did make it fan out a bit, lay flat and I ended up with a nice curve. Not sure if that is the correct way of doing it but it looks nice and it came out the same on all four corners! I crocheted 6 rows around the edge.

After I had finished it I noticed a nice diamond effect from having made the blanket with smaller Granny Squares rather than making one great big square. Happy accident, that was not deliberate.

This picture gives a much better idea of the colour. I really enjoyed making this. Do you think that I should wash it before I give to the parents? I did not fully finish this whilst on holiday but I did make good progress, the stitching together and white border went on this week at home. However I did make other crochet items which I am now a little hooked on for my kitchen, more on that tomorrow.

Take care


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

House Quilt Block 11...

When I got back from my holiday the next quilt for the Around the World Quilting Bee was waiting for me. My heart sank when I saw that it was a set of different houses. How on earth was I going to do this??
Once I had read the enclosed letter it came about that the owner of the quilt had created a tutorial for making the house block and that if we all wanted to have a go at it that it was there for our use.

The tutorial for this block can be found at SewManyQuilts blog. There is a clear diagram and measurements, plus a layout. I may have written it down wrong but double check how many you need to cut of each section I think one section asks for two pieces to be cut when you in fact need four pieces.

After all the pieces were cut out (this did take me a while but then I did have Sophie with me at my sewing group and she wanted help with what she was doing) it stitched together really easily and it was fun to see it taking shape.

The curtain feature is my own idea which I added to the pattern.

Before I stitched on the grass I machine embroidered some flower stems using green thread.

I then had some shop bought embroidered flowers that you can buy by the metre. So I snipped them apart and added them to the stems with hand stitching.

It was all them sealed into the seam when the grass was added.

There is a lot of scope for this block and I have many ideas whizzing round my head and I have sketched a few done. They will have to stay as sketches for a while as I must get the Christmas blocks done and finish off a gift for a friends baby.

Pop over the SewManyQuilts and take a look.

Thank you so much for the many comments on the London and Calender posts. I had some many hits for the calender post I wonder if it may have anything to do with the title that I gave it?

Bye for now have a great day, my friend and her daughter will be arriving in a minute.


Monday, 17 August 2009

I am a calender Girl!!!......

Not that kind of Calendar, tut,tut!
You may remember waaaayyyy back in January I had an email from an editor in America enquiring about using one of my tutorials in a sewing calender. I emailed her back, took some new pictures etc and then forgot about it.

Whilst changing our calendar from July to August I remembered the email and enquired if my tutorial had in fact been used. It has!!!!!

I have been sent a complimentary copy which arrived here on Saturday morning, a little bashed about but never mind.

The lid is held down with covered magnets built into the box edges. When you open it there are explanation pages and a contents section. There are over a 100 projects to choose from.

The editor saw my juggle bag tutorial on my blog and asked if it could be used. It appears in October 11th/12th/13th days. They used the newer pictures that I took which do look much better, lighter as I took these ones outside.

The lid folds round so that the box can sit up.

Each project has a sheet of instructions which opens up to 8.5" x 11" which I think is about A5. This certainly a calendar worth keeping during the year but also once the year has ended.

This is available on Amazon and I think at a reduced price at the moment. I do not get any finical gain from this project. There are several other bloggers whose work features too such as Amy @ Lucykatecrafts and Rachel @ rachelrabbit. There are other bloggers whose projects I recognise from surfing the Internet. An original idea and I have seen other calendars too, there is one for Knitting and Crochet too. Only my hubby knew about this being in the pipeline in case nothing came of it and I have been busting to tell!

WIP: I am cutting up loads of strips for the Christmas Swap Quilt Block that I have signed up for. A package arrived from one of my swap group members this morning so I had better get a move on. Hopefully I will have something to show you on this tomorrow as it is linked with a particular tutorial that you may like to try. I will include the link as well.

I will then move onto launching my Christmas Swap for this year, a different theme this time. Having problems with the swap button again but I will get there.

I have a friend calling in for lunch tomorrow so a bit of housework is called for....but maybe I could get that fabric cut up first....yes?

Bye xx

Sunday, 16 August 2009


My crafting has taken a new direction over the past couple of years so I have decided to have a bit of a de-stash during the rest of August. It will be added slowly to Folksy as my computer does not like the listing process and has a habit of dis-connecting itself halfway through!

Take a look over the next few weeks.
Other hobbies will include:
Cross Stitch
Card making
Must dash, I have been asked to draw in chalk on the patio!
Added on 18th August
I have been adding card making items to Folksy (de-stashing) this week and going into next.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

London Holiday Pics ...A selection..

Meet Dave! Dave is about a year old and is a cat with a lot of character!! He is the only cat I have ever met who likes to sleep flat on her back. The other cat Ray is rather camera shy! Very entertaining cats and Sophie had lots of fun playing with them. They have more life than our poor old Tiger!

My sister-in-law and her partner have a very successful allotment plot and when Sophie went along to help collect some veg for dinner she found this very bendy courgette! it tasted very nice too.

Smile!! You are on camera.

Plenty of dough and bread making which ended up being these lovely bread sticks to have with dip.

We were also treated to completely homemade pizza... it was gorgeous!

ingredients are collected together. Sorry but we ate it before I got my camera switched on.

One afternoon we took a fishing rod to the beach and again hubby managed to catch some mackerel which we took back home and smoked them for dinner. (Honestly, we seem to have done nothing but eat and sleep all week!)

On Sunday we went on the train to London and got in a taxi and drove past Buckingham Place.

...and Westminster Abby...

Also Big Ben, hubby is really pleased with his photo here, could not have gotten any more in it, on our way to...

The London Eye. I am really pleased with this picture, thank goodness for decent camera lenses.I hope I have not bored you yet but if you have not been on the London Eye I thought that you might to get an idea of what you would see. It is worth visiting and you can book and pay for your tickets online.

Going up!

Right at the very top of the Eye!

After the London Eye we wandered along the South Bank and came upon this Art Installation called Polka Dots on the Trees (I think?) Fabric had been wrapped around all of the trees. Sophie loved it.

After lunch it was off to The Natural History Museum on a very crowded, hot and noisy underground. It got so crowded trying to get out via the escalators and Sophie being quite small is was a little worried so the three of us crowded round her to keep people back a bit. The Museum was ever so hot and we could only stand being in there long enough to see the Dinosaurs as Sophie has been studying them at school this year.

She was not at all scared of them but was surprised at just how big they were! Some were actual remains and some were marked as being models due to not enough bits having been found. There were signs helping you to pronounce the names and Sophie did very well with this!

I was impressed on how many of them Sophie recognised and told us bits about them. Must have been taught well at school and she clearly has an interest in this topic. I did as well and I remember very clearly coming on a school trip to The Natural Museum when I went to primary school in Kent years and years ago!

We then went to see the fish and some of the largest mammals on the planet and Sophie could not believe the size of the Big Blue Whale! Then we decided it was time to go home as Sophie was visibly tired and it was now quite hot so on the way back to the train station we did go past an ice cream van and went to see Peter Pan's Statue in Hyde Park. I have not seen this either, it was very busy too...

Then it was back to Victoria Station and home. Phew!

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