Thursday, 17 April 2014

Playing Hookey

I've been playing away.

These days it seems I have more and more obligatory sewing that must be done. And don't get me wrong, I still am madly truly deeply in love with sewing, but when it becomes work, work can sometimes be a chore and its nice to have a break from that.

So I taught myself to crochet. Again.

I had learnt to crochet right back in the days when Mollie Makes first came on the scene. I didn't however really get the hang of it and after making an apple cosy promptly forgot the bare grasp I had on the skill.

Then inspired on instagram by the likes of Bonnie from Pink Stitches I decided it was high time I picked up my hook again!

I started with a blanket, made from old balls of wool I had from before either of my children were born! It is a squircle granny square with a large spike stitch border (I used a tutorial for the border but I can't remember where from, sorry!)

Looking forward to the great British sewing bee tonight and working on the border to finish my crochet blanket!

Just realised I never shared a photo of my finished squircle blanket. Really proud of this one.

I had hoped to make it bigger, but ran out of the white yarn. And in all honesty for a first blanket it was a good size to attempt, any larger and I would have lost interest. Crochet takes way longer than quilting, fact. The kids certainly love it and its always in use. 

Then I decided time for something for me

Late night #nordicshawl finish! Just in time for the chilly weekend :-)

A lovely big squishy crochet shawl, using the Nordic Shawl pattern from My Rose Valley. I  love the simple style and the most fun was playing around with which colours to use.

Next, my local yarn shop, Social Fabric, asked if I would help them get a kit together for a granny square blanket. They gave me a lovely bundle of soft DK yarn and I set to work turning it into piles of granny squares for a shop sample.


Just been delivered a lovely big pile of yarn to crochet a shop sample with :-)

Making good progress with this, halfway there now!

Then, back to something for the children. I saw this amazing doll on Instagram and just had to track down where it came from and make one.

Hoping to give this sweet girl hair and a dress today. First crochet doll, an easter gift for my girls.

You can find the instructions for this doll over at Annaboos house in the cal. I adapted the pattern to have a slightly longer body and stripey tights. I am pleased to say coconut (as my children affectionately called her during her bald pre-hair period) is all finished. 

Finally made a dress for the poor naked girl. Now she is finished ready for Easter. Pattern from the cal by @annaboos_house

A second doll had been promised to my older daughter, but in the meantime I can be found making a batch of animal ear headbands, I've been asked for purple hippo ears and brown bears too!

Made some cute little crochet kitty ears as a thank you for our tattooist today :-) pattern from @annaboos_house

Friday, 11 April 2014

Aneela Anthology Spiderwebs - A Finish

I started this quilt last year, well actually thanks to the accountability of instgram I know that I made just two blocks back in January 2013. I can't really say why I stopped at two, I was all excited, rushing out to buy a whole load of white solid yardage to make up the quilt. But then they sat on my wall, taunting me all year. They are pretty time consuming with all those little strips, and if I am honest I think I was finding it hard to cut up the last of my scraps!

Until I went on retreat in March with the best sewing friends a girl could ask for, Jo did a pretty good job at blogging about it (I was too exhausted from all the stitching when I came back!). I packed up all my precut and premarked white squares and a shoe box full of Aneela scraps along with my sewing machine and several bags of snacks and treats! We didn't leave the cottage for the whole weekend and stitched until our eyes were sore!

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In the space of two days I managed to make enough blocks to get a fair sized quilt and put the top together too. All that remained when I got home was to quilt it, in a simple loopy fmq, and bind it. It is much smaller than I would usually make, but I had started to run out of scraps and it is still big enough to go across the bottom of a single bed nicely.

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I really have loved every single line that Aneela has done so it is wonderful to have them all together in this quilt. It is backed with a vintage pink floral sheet that used to belong to my Nan, which makes it extra special. I started the quilt so long ago that Hello Petal has since been released so that's not included in the quilt. I guess I will have to make another one then!

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If you are interested in making your own spiderweb quilt, I used the great tutorial by Heather over at House of A La Mode

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I'll leave you with a thank you to my daughter who helped me take these photos (because I have a migraine AGAIN!) and a huge hug and a thank you to anyone who sent me any Aneela scraps all those moons ago to make my Aneela Sampler quilt, this quilt only exists because I couldn't bare to waste a single precious scrap of it! Thank you xxxxx

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A new tutorial - circular knitting needle case

I've teamed up with the wonderful Village Haberdashery again to bring you a new tutorial. This time I am showing you how to make a handy case for your circular knitting needles. Obviously not all of you knit, but these make amazing original gifts for knitters in your life too!



You can find the full tutorial over at the Daily Stitch Blog and of course all of the great fabrics I've used are available at The Village Haberdashery. Look out for a linked giveaway coming soon too!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Making a Mortmain

Early last year I had the opportunity to pattern test for the Gather Kit gals and got my mits on their first dress pattern, the Mortmain.

The Mortmain pattern has now gone live and is popping up in instagram feeds and blog posts all over the land so I though I would share my dress with you.

Mortmain Dress Pattern Test

Despite looking like a beautiful spring day these photos were actually taken on a bright but blisteringly cold February day! The bare trees are a dead giveaway.

Mortmain Dress Pattern Test

I really love the fit of this dress, so flattering but still very comfortable, a must for me!


Mortmain Dress Pattern Test

Because it was a pattern test you are never really sure whether you will have a wearable garment at the end, which is partially what influences my fabric choice. It is a vintage cotton sheet, but I did have a vision of a fun ice cream pastel coloured retro style dress and I was lucky that I got a wearable dress after the testing!

Mortmain Dress Pattern Test

Because I was testing I did not deviate from the specified pattern, the only tweek I made was to add in seam pockets, I can't stand a dress without pockets! Next time I will line the bodice rather than using facings, as I much prefer this finish and find it more comfortable.

Mortmain Dress Pattern Test


Mortmain Dress Pattern Test


I just love the exposed zip in this pattern, its so me! If you are looking for a good selection of coloured zips then Jaycotts is a good source.

Mortmain Dress Pattern Test


Mortmain Dress Pattern Test

Here is a glimpse of me and my mini assistant at the end of the shoot, rushing back indoors to warm up! I am looking forward to stitching up my next Mortmain, this time with a few alternations, a gathered skirt and long sleeves I think in a lovely chambray I have had stashed away. If you want to make a mortmain you can get the pattern here or from many online fabric stores too. And if you are local you can see my dress in person in Social Fabric in Totnes, Devon where it is on display in the window, along with a nice supply of the pattern itself for sale.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Going off grid

Ahem, as you may have already noticed I have been having an extended break from blogging. How refreshing its been too. I have missed you all but I have been filling my time with teaching, sewing, lots of knitting and lots of relaxing. Life has been busy and I have been making a conscious effort to rest. I have been feeling unwell for months now but with spring on the way and lots of duvet days, slow knitting and reading under my belt it feels good! I have still been sharing, as you doubt have read from other bloggers I am loving Instagram. I feel like I am leaving those of you who don't use it out of the loop but I love its instant, no nonsense way of connecting and sharing. I also find SO much inspiration on there!

I hope to pop in a little more regularly now that I am starting to get that spring back in my step! I thought I would start off with something completely new for me, a knitting tutorial!

Annie at the Village Haberdashery is so great, she sent me this amazing Manos Silk Blend yarn when I told her I had an idea for a cowl. A really simple cowl with a lovely leaf motif, the perfect introduction to lace knitting. And her photos as always are amazing!


It knits up really quickly, full instructions for the cowl are over on the Daily Stitch Blog and you can pick up some of the beautiful Manos Silk Blend from The Village Haberdashery here, you only need two hanks! If you are local you can pop into the shop and see my cowl for yourself, it really is so soft, perfect to wear next to your skin.

This is the first knitting pattern I have written and I am so proud, especially as I only started knitting a year ago. I know I am hooked for life now!!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love

I am super excited to be part of Kerry's blog hop for her fantastic new book Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love


I knew as soon as Kerry asked me if I wanted to be part of the blog hop I was in! I just love a little fairy tale and have two girls who feel exactly the same!

Kerry is sweet and she rounded up the most amazing box of goodies from fantastic sponsers, they were so generous and they gave us some wonderful tools and notions to be able to make whatever we wanted from the book to showcase to you. Being a quilter this was brilliant for me as I didn't own any of these tools. But they are so cheap and simple and make the world of difference to ease of construction and your finished look.

Photo Courtesy of Kerry Goulder

So a huge thanks to the really generous sponsors!



What with the book being packed choc full of amazing projects and having all the tools I needed to make them, narrowing it down to one to show you was looking like a pretty hard task!

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But after looking though the book I just knew it had to be Drifter the Orca. Both my girls adore sealife, we are regular visitors to our local aquarium and one of their favorite bedtime stories is The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson. And my eldest daughter decided she wanted to help make him.

Despite the shaping on the whale he was incredibly easy to construct, Kerrys instructions are so clear and concise that my daughter was able to follow them herself, needing only a little help from me on the sewing machine. Aside from the hand stitching and a bit of help guiding it around the curves through the machine she made it all herself. She had a whale of a time (harharhahr!!)

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So here is Eloise's Orca, named Dipper. We can't wait to take him with us on our next trip to the aquarium and of course he will be a happy prop during bedtime stories!

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I on the other hand am scheming when I can set aside some free time to make up more projects from the book, they are too cute to resit!

Today is the last day of the blog hop, but head on over to Kerrys blog where she is giving away a copy of the book and one of the amazing goodie boxes from the sponsors! She also has some really cute extra projects not featured in the book for each day of the blog hop. I know I am most definitely going to be sewing up a little fur cape!

: : : : A huge thank you to Kerry and the Sponsors for giving me the chance to take part and for the             wonderful goodies, Elosie and I have had a magical time stitching up our own little sewing tale : : : :

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Birthday Pony for My Little Girl

My children can often be heard chanting the sterotypical 'Daddy, can I have a pony?'

They adore them, when we visited London earlier this year we treated the girls to a trip to Covent Garden Build a Bear store where my youngest chose a My Little Pony. That poor pony has been dragged hither and thither and is looking a little worse for wear! So I decided it was time to give her a break and make something new for my daughter to obsess over.

A couple of weeks ago I made a last minute birthday gift for a good friends lovely little boy

mater birthday bag present

Probably the most challenging paper pieced project I've done to date, actually if it hadn't of been a last minute rush I would have probably thought more about it and not even attempted it!

But I am glad I did because its really helped my confidence and I knew I wanted to do something similar for Juliettes birthday. You may remember I shared this little fabric pull with you a while ago

I have until Thursday to turn this into my daughters birthday present. Better get cracking!

Almost every pink solid from my stash and a little Tilda for the background, thank goodness for my Simply Solids So Solids Crew subscription!

Neigh.

And I turned them into this, using this fab free pattern from Liljabs. Originally sewn up on Liljabs as Rainbow Dash I decided to change mine to Pinkie Pie to tie in with my daughters Little Pony toy.

All that was left was to turn it into a cushion cover, cue sweet little pink scrappy patchwork with her favorite things, mermaids, owls, strawberries, and many more.

A Pony Cushion

Then add an invisible zip, new new favorite closure for cushions, and the perfect vintage sheet fq from my stash (originally from Mary, check out her shop for more amazing vintage fabrics!)

Vintage sheet backing


Pony Cushion and her muse ;-)

I think Balloon the Pony approves don't you? My daughter did too, the cushion has not left her side since her birthday, she even wanted to take it in the bath!

(note: Mater pattern is also available on the same Liljabs page as the My Little Pony)