Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas wishes

Hello there

I have neglected my blog lately as I've just been too busy making and doing what we all do at Christmas; work and party hard :-) I haven't partied hard but I have been out for a few Christmas do's which were fun.

The main aim of this post is just to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Christmas is great but it can be very difficult on families who can't afford all the trimmings or have time to make things. Also families who have illness or have lost a dear person to them. This time of year doesn't get rid of all those many issues but thankfully this year, everything is fine ( I pray that doesn't tempt fate) with us here, so I really am grateful for that. I even won the lottery this morning; £25 doesn't change my world but hey, a win is a win :-)

I've made loads of things including Christmas fabric gift bags and embroidered table cloths, glasses cases and Christmas tree decorations. Some I can't show as they were orders for Christmas presents or are presents. I'm in the middle of two cushion covers as well but there's not much chance of me finishing them before the big day.

The place-mat set in the fancy Google 'awesome' photo (it's magic the way it just does that; it seems to know what special effect to put on) was for an order I did. The images were printed onto special printable cotton from a Snowman and Snowdog cdrom. I first of all tried to use transfer paper but I didn't like the effect on that; it seemed to have a coating over it which I found unpleasant. Wendy Deverill (my patchwork class teacher) showed us a quilt she made for her daughter for her wedding and she had used it for several things, including a laptop! Her son-in-law works for Google and that photo was so apt for their 'story' together so far.
I thought these images were really fun for the person who wanted them, as she loves dogs and unusual items. I can guarantee that nobody else has place-mats like these, as the cdrom is brand new this year; infact I must remember to post photos of them onto the Crafter's Companion Facebook page as they are the company who created the cdroms.

I was so chuffed to find that background fabric and think of the idea of blanket stitching the images onto it. It then followed on that I blanket stitch around the edge of the place-mats too, instead of binding as I normally do. 

I used dark blue on the backing as some of the images are night ones and it's maybe just a practical point for place-mats and possibly young children! :-)

The coasters use the same fabric but most are undecorated other than two of them, where I decided to put monograms of the clients' names - I love it and the client seemed to as well, so job's a good 'un :-)

If I get a chance over the Christmas period, I might try to do a montage type doozy wotsit but don't hold your breath.

Take care out there and just do what you can - don't take on too much pressure of this time of year; just enjoy the people around you xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Christmas decoration

Hello there

As promised, here's a quick little post of a Christmas decoration I started making in my patchwork class last week. 

You start off by cutting 11 triangles (from a template which was provided) in one fabric and then 11 more out of a contrasting one.

Sew those pieces right sides together,
turn right sides out and sew up the gap.

Bring each point into the centre and sew down.

Without cutting the thread, turn over and sew the flat
edges into the centre.

Once you've done all 11, start sewing them
together at the points
Then it'll start coming to shape very quickly,
as you only need a few little stitches to hold
each piece together
The 'bucket' one has been sewn the other
way round to all the rest. I've sewn it upside
down to the way it should be but
I really can't be doing with unpicking it and it
looks fine.

You think that looks nice?! Me too until I added some twinkly goldy bits and some red ribbon to hang it by.

Yes, I enjoyed that. No idea where I'm going to put it, so it may well end up staying in my room, so I can enjoy it. 

Or it may get given to my mum if I don't get a move on and make what I'm meant to be doing for her present. I'm really not feeling the love of Christmas. I rarely do as I hate the weather at this time of year and the financial pressure it puts on people, reminds me too much of my days as a single mum.

Take care out there and please don't spend over your means - it's just not worth it, just enjoy the simple pleasures in life, such as a giggle with your friends/family  xx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Christmas table decorations

Hello there

If you read my post on November 28th you'll remember (of course you do!) that I promised a photo of two Christmas themed placemat and coaster sets I've made. So here they are:

On Etsy this set is called 'gold and deep red Christmas set' surprisingly enough.

These have Christmas themed items quilted into them; stockings, trees and stars. They are reversible which is always so handy with placemats.

This set is on Etsy and just called the Red Christmas set

The thing I really like about this is the red polka dot fabric on one side. The binding on this is handmade out of that fabric too. The quilting is just straight lines but that's what works best with the patterned fabric. 

I had also made a Bon appetit set, which has now sold. It's not a Christmas theme. I made a set like this with red as the theme earlier on in the year.

 This photo is rubbish; I've no idea why they look so creased because they weren't, as can be seen below.
These are reversible too

Machine embroidery this time and no quilting

Anyway that's all for now folks. My next post will be all about a Christmas decoration I made in my patchwork class this week, which has now sadly finished for this year. I've loved going on an alternate Wednesday to do patchwork and just get lost in there and forget about the world. I'm currently having a dilemma about whether or not to do the City & Guild's patchwork and quilting course, which Wendy is starting next September. I don't think it's going to be possible with the way my family unit works but I have other ideas up my sleeves, so all is not lost.

Take care out there and deal with Christmas as best you can.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Mad panic

Hello there

.....Oops! Only just realised that I never published this, so you're getting this post today instead of the one I promised you yesterday. If you didn't read yesterday's, then you're not disappointed :-)


Last weekend I was given a short sharp awakening; I was told that it was my step-dad's birthday on November 17th. I know this of course but I had forgotten and therefore hadn't made a card at all. Having two days in which to think of a design and actually make a card, isn't normally enough time for me, what with the rest of life still going on as busy as ever. But was I beaten?! Oh no, not this little madam!

He loves all sorts of sports and car racing is one of them. With that knowledge, years ago, I bought a decoupage set of black and white images of male related stuff. This set has proved valuable many times and although I don't particularly like it, it certainly does the job for male cards, who, let's face it, really aren't that bothered by them. After saying that, they would get upset if they didn't get one. 

George appreciated the design but I think he preferred the duck meal which Chris made for him on Sunday. Truth be told, I rather liked the meal more too :-)

I went to town decorating the envelope too

There were two more cars on the same sheet, so I decided to go for it and make them into cards too. My dad's birthday is on December 4th and he loves cars too.

I got the chequered flags and background from some images online, as my computer was dead for most of the weekend (grrrrr, don't remind me!) I had to use my daughter's; much to her disgust.

Take care out there

Thursday, 28 November 2013

I am still around

Hello there

No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth; although you may not notice as I do seem to spend one heck of alot of time in my room at the moment. I've been busy sewing like a mad thing for the orders I have for 'A Place to Set' and for the Christmas fair I'm doing this Saturday. I may even manage to not mutter on for ages in this post but don't hold your breath.

That's one of the sets of portable coasters I've made for the fair. I love the effect the metallic thread has on them; I think it makes them look quite professional. They'll be great for a New Year's eve party.

Here's another set I've made for an order.

I'm so happy with the buttons I found
to use on this set

I'm in the middle of sewing up four other Christmas sets but you've seen them before.

I've also completed two Christmas themed placemat and coaster sets but I'll not spoil you today and I'll post about them tomorrow.

Me? Cruel? Surely not!?

Take care out there

p.s. See! Totally mutter free zone; I can do it! :-)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A squircle

Hello there

Yesterday, despite being shattered as I normally am on a Tuesday, after the early starts of work, I completed another block using a log cabin technique. 

First of all is the worst bit which is the cutting of 56 strips of fabric; the widest of which is 1.5inches. My eyes were going skew wiff with the lines on the mat making it hard to see where the edge of the fabric was, with those zig-zag lines on the fabric too.

You make up a block of 6 x 6in, like this.

Then make three more.

The way I chose to put the blocks together creates a kind of circle made out of squares, which my daughter immediately called a squircle, which I think is genius! 

Then to match that fun (although I was exhausted when I finished at 10.30), today at class I made a part-sewn seams block, which was really enjoyable. I'm finding my short time there every fortnight is complete therapy for me; just me and sewing with other ladies who want to be doing that too. Bliss.

Wendy showed us yet another great quilt of hers using this technique and it had flying geese blocks around the edge, so I think I might do that around the edge of this and then decide what to make it into after that. It might make another cushion cover in this craft/spare room as my other one has the light blues and batik fabrics in it. We'll see.

Take care out there

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Computers are a pain

Hello there

'Headquarters this I'm saying the words into the iPad and it's typing for me'! I should probably explain that that sentence was typed by the iPad. Not bad going really, being as what I really said into the microphone button on the keyboard was "how cool is this? I'm saying the words into the iPad and it's typing for me". It did the post title for me too! I remember seeing about computers of the future on 'Tomorrow's World' over 30 years ago but never thought you'd be able to do that on a portable device for goodness sake! But I'm having to use the iPad as my computer is in trouble again, so  not everything is good about technology. So I'm using The Blogger app which I never find to be half as easy to use as the computer version.

This week I've also had to get used to varifocal glasses , Chris has been away for most of this week (as he was last week) and I'm feeling very behind with orders for 'A Place to Set' and the craft fair on November 30th AnD my mum reminded me yesterday, that it's my step dad's birthday tomorrow!!! I was in the middle of doing the card for that when I had a break in proceedings to wait for glue to dry, so thought i'd do a blog post as therapy.Basically I'm telling you that I'm a bit stressed at the minute but hey, it's the Season of stress = Christmas - bah humbug! 

Did any of you see the Children in Need show last night too? I did and realised why I normally don't watch it, although I do donate; it's just such an emotional thing to watch, especially when you're feeling 'off' anyway. Some families have a ton of very difficult things to cope with, so it does help put my own little concerns into perspective for me.

That photo is of some bunting I've  finished today, as the ribbon arrived. I do have to confess to loving that ribbon. It's grosgrain which is a weakness of mine; the colour is fab and the width is perfect and the design is exactly what I wanted. I trolled t'internet the other day for what felt like hours but was only about 1, sourcing a few things I need for current projects and this ribbon was about the only thing I found to suit. It's going to go around my craft fair stall and at the rate I'm going it'll have to go on sale too,  as I won't have much else! 

Me? Exaggerate? A stressy knickers? .....  Surely not?! 

Anyway, I'm off now to get this 'ere card done.

Take care out there and don't do as I do,do as I say and don't stress! 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Ay ay cap'n!

Hello there

Here's a quick little post that I'm scheduling for November, as I've just sent them off in the post (it's October 12th on me typing this) but the little boy who they're for, lives in New Zealand and he's not 3 until November 10th. I'm rarely early for these things and I know from past experience that if I don't send them now, I'll probably forget until the day before, which won't be any use at all!

This is the fun little 5"x5" card I made for him. He's fascinated with pirates right now, so he should love it. I loved the background I found for it on Craft Artist in the seaside kit. The font is from Craftartist too but I can't remember which kit I used. The die cuts were found on the Boys will be boys Cricut cartridge, which was a last minute ('oh no, looks like I'll have to buy a new cartridge', I said to myself) find, as the Cricut Craft room search hadn't bought up any items from the cartridges I own. Ha! You can't beat me that easily! Money saved too.

I also made him some bunting to hang in his room. I bought the fabric at The Grace and Favour shop up in Thornton Cleveleys, where I seem to have been alot this year, despite it being an hour's drive away.

I tried to cut the blue pirate fabric to show a different pirate item on each triangle.

On the back I appliqued Ollie's name on some plain blue fabric triangles, to make sure that the letters could be seen properly. I used the same fabrics to make the letters though. 

I'm sure Megan his mum will have it displayed by the time of this posting, as they're at least 9 hours ahead of us. If you're reading this Megan, I'd love to see some photos of it up in his room :-)

Take care out there

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Forever young

Hello there

I love the big floppy flowery hat on the envelope
Here's a card I made for a surprise 40th party for a friend who does a lot of work for our local community and is just a lovely lady. There was a 70's theme to the party, so a pair of flared stripey trousers was a must and some large flowers. The song 'forever young' came to my mind after seeing a card called 'Forever 40' when I was looking for inspiration. 

I've got the words of the song printed off and put inside the card.

I used the Forever young Cricut cartridge to get the woman's image from too and the flowers. The font for the words on the front of the card and the 'Happy Birthday' on the inside of the card, come from the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge. The paper was a lucky find in my stash from K&Co.

And before you ask, yes, that hat was worn at the party. It had to be done.

Take care out there - peace and love to you sisters!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Hello there

Today I've been able to make some fun choices. I went to my quilting class with Wendy Deverill. I missed the last class due to being on hols but today's really felt 'jointed', with the group gelling quite nicely. There's only two more left this year, so I'm sure we'll all be a settled group by then.

We were working on log cabin today, which I've done versions of before but this was much more structured than what I've done previously.

 After making this one 6in square block, I went on to make three more exactly the same. What? That doesn't sound so much fun, I imagine you saying but it's a good way to get your confidence and skill up, as you're repeating the same action. They're mostly 1.5in wide strips of various lengths (other than the 2.5in square centre piece), so not too bad for the cutting out either.

With the four blocks all sewn, you then have four choices as how to sew those blocks together to make a 12in block. Which do you prefer?




They've all got good things about them and any would have done the job but I decided upon :

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with all these blocks I'm making in the classes but it's still fun learning the correct techniques in the friendly, informative environment.

Take care out there
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