Tagged: craft

St Distaff day blues


I thought I would share with you my latest little creation which was originally going to be called the Putting on the Itsy Bits Ritz quilt due to the combination of Moda and Makower fabrics used, but will, from now on be known as the Little Boy Blue quilt.

It is made from about 2/3rds of a Moda Putting on the Ritz jelly roll and about 1 1/2 yards of Makower Itsy Bits yardage.  This is not because I am the devil may care, throw caution to the wind, kind of woman, it’s because the lady in the nice fabric shop had matching fabric but couldn’t sell me any due to her block of the month club.  Frankly it would have been better to tell me she hadn’t got the matching yardage.  Anyway the Makower is a very near match and is for the back only, which will be stippled, so is not really a problem.

Being on a budget, I am always looking for ways to make my fabric purchase better value for money and have been busy looking at prices of the different precuts.  In the UK layer cakes and jelly rolls seem to be between £25 and £30 ($39-$46) and charm packs £8.50 – £11.00 ($13-$17), in fact it seems to me that the retailers sometimes just swap the dollar sign for a pound sign.  Imagine my delight to have found a secret (well I suppose not if I’m sharing it with you) stash of delightful charm packs.

At this point a drum roll feature would be excellent WordPress, let me introduce, Melody from Fort Worth, Texas and her Etsy shop Melody of the Heart.  I currently have, winging their way to me, 9 charm packs in three designs for a total of £62 ($93) including shipping – which works out at just less then £7 a pack – I haven’t found better value anywhere else at the moment but if you can do better …. Please pay her a visit; amazing value and a lovely friendly service too.

In other news, I am just waiting now for some batting so that I can complete Ruby and her friend.  I am currently hand quilting Little Boy Blue (see below) but am waiting for a free motion quilting foot and my try machine quilting Ruby to see which I prefer.

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Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby


 

 

The light is still not quite right to photograph this to reflect the lovely colours but I will include the swatch in a moment.  I have used a single charm pack from Moda designed by Bonnie and Camille called Ruby.  This was my first attempt at cutting into the patches (four patch blocks).  I have pieced them randomly without much attention to the overall design and I like it.  Next time though, I will be planning more carefully and piecing with purpose!! All over pinwheels would be particularly suitable for a boy I think.  The panel here looks quite Cath Kidston in colour whereas the palette is actually fresher and more modern looking, see swatch below right.

Anyway, the panel is approximately 26.5 x 26.5 inches.  I’m trying to work out how I got there but next time I’ll write it down as I go.  The charm pack yielded 10 4 patch blockswhich were cut on the diagonal to give 40 triangles which were sewn back together to give 10 squares – I used 9 blocks to create a square quilt top.

I’m waiting for my backing and binding fabric to arrive but I will be using the one pictured to the left (the aqua coloured with apples/cherries) to create a deep 8 1/2 inch border,  it will also be used as the backing fabric.  The quilt will be bound in the same aqua colour but a solid version.

I will be using Warm and Natural cotton batting again (if it ain’t broke …) as I have been pleased by the finish of Hannah’s quilt and it was quite easy to hand quilt.

I will be hand quilting this one too – the middle panel will have a stipple pattern like the one to the right 

and the border will be echo quilted on either side of the border fabric and then have the lovely ducks (left) to further decorate it.  It will be approximately 35.5 inches square when completed and will be for sale in my etsy shop.

Hannah’s quilt


I have been quiet for a little while because I have been busy finishing things, cleaning things, cooking things and eating things not necessarily in that order.

At the end of November I had the brain wave to make something I hadn’t attempted before for the main Christmas present for my daughter Hannah.  She has wanted a traditional quilt for a long time and I was actually looking to buy her a handmade one but the ones I liked were out of my price bracket. So I decided to make one.  I took some advice from Ros as to whether it was feasible to complete by Christmas and then set about looking for fabric.

I started with ebay – my starting place for most things in life if I’m honest – and was suddenly immersed in a world of baffling new terminology: fat quarters and fat eighths, jelly rolls and charm packs, layer cakes and honey buns.  There are more but it’s all just a bit baffling still.  Definitions can be found here, at the Moda Bake Shop.

The idea of precut fabric really appealed and anyone who has witnessed me wielding a pair of scissors will understand why.  That line, the one you’re supposed to stick to, is there apparently only to serve as a punctuation to my wiggly cutting.  The idea of precut anything is very appealing.

I chose to make a single bed size and worked out that I could make one with a jelly roll (4o 2 1/2 inch strips, 45″ wide) and two layer cakes (packs of 42 10″x10″ squares).  I found some I liked on ebay from a seller in Redruth which meant I wouldn’t have to wait for it to ship from America.  I chose a pattern called Full Circle shown below:

Once the bundles arrived and I could see what I was dealing with, I worked out a design, in Excel naturally:

The finished quilt is actually a little different, the dividing grid is all butterscotch, with black squares at the intersections and the outside border is red.  I have a few pieces of fabric left over but not much.

I decided to make the whole thing in cotton so the batting (or wadding), the backing fabric and the thread are all cotton.  This means that it should all shrink at the same rate (it will shrink a bit Hannah).  I ordered Warm and Natural batting from Amazon: for their biggest size it was about £20 which compared very well to all the quilting sites.

Actually starting to sew it was quite scary; I suppose I was scared of making a mess but there is nothing like a looming deadline to focus the mind.

It was edged in black cotton bias binding and all hand quilted with echo quilting and heart designs.

It is, I hope the first of many as I’m more than slightly obsessed now, in fact I have two quilt tops waiting for edging fabric and batting.  There will be more pictures if the light ever gets any better.  Patience is a virtue 🙂

Handmade Monday


My photo doesn’t really do it justice because this little picture and the others like it are, to me, little miracles.

I went to meet a new friend on Saturday; a lady I’d never met before and only briefly spoken to on the phone.  Somehow we had found each other – we are broadly the same age, broadly similar levels of education but the thing that binds us is both our husbands have had strokes and those “brainquakes” have devastated our lives; we both have small children.

I won’t begin to bore you with the minutiae but if you would like to see how strokes affect younger people and their lives have a look at the Different Strokes website: www.differentstrokes.co.uk.

John has now had four major strokes and there doesn’t really seem to be an end in sight, so it’s a bit like living with a time bomb.

The little miracles are currently being painted by him for my craft stalls – the miracle is that there is enough of him left to achieve this.  These can be found (along with equally bad photos) in my etsy shop over here, and examples of his work especially before his strokes can be found over at www.artbyjohnmorris.co.uk.

I’m hoping that Wendy over at Handmade Monday won’t mind me including these.  Go and check her things out and all over the other lovely Handmade Monday club items

Paws for thought … handmade Monday


Not really sure why I missed last week, a quick glance at the bottom of the post will show that I have actually been busy crafting.  Some things, are a bit secretive so I will write and leave draft until the big day to prevent letting cats out of bags.  If the one to the left was bigger I’ve no doubt you could put one (a cat) in there  – if you were very brave … or very stupid.

This is my latest creation.  In cotton newspaper and lined with white polar fleece.  The black cord is enclosed in some red satin binding and it closes with a spring toggle.It is 18cm x 10cm and will fit most makes of phone and evenglasses and sunglasses.  The drawstring will hold the contents snug and the polar fleece will protect from knocks and bumps. You can buy it here.

This as well as my other items are available in my etsy shop, which has some cards which may appeal to those of you who love needle crafts, like me. There will, by the end of the day be some silky ones too!

My thanks to Wendy whose Handmade Monday concept keeps me producing on a regular basis – go and check it out over here

Handmade Monday 40


A bit of a go slow today with my frequent bout of sinusitis taking me by the bootstraps and giving me a bit of a drubbing; haven’t got all I planned to do done but at least I vacuumed the stairs and the faux shagpile has now gone.

I have revisited some stamping, having seen something about stamping on Create and Craft the other day about the correct way to cut out my rubber stamps.  The two designs pictured here are House Mouse designs available over on the Joanna Sheen website (although I’m not sure if these designs are currently in stock).  Anyway, the stamping this time has been a lot more successful.

They are stamped onto white card blanks in pigment ink and then have a layer of clear embossing powder applied.  This gives a (very) slightly raised surface to the black ink and provides a nice resist to my somewhat cack-handed colouring.  BTW did anyone else call the little white gaps in “colouring in” holidays?  No?  Just me that’s loopy then – glad that phrase wasn’t broadcast on national television then!  The designs are then handcoloured with a combination of letraset Flexmarkers and Promarkers.  Who knew I would ever love felt tips?

I was supposed to be posting my little blue tam o’shanter for Handmade Monday 40 – almost worth having a baby for.  But due to having come back from holiday/not being able to find a single thing in the entire world and my phone charger being the thing saught in that entirety – I cannot take any more photos until I locate it.  The cards are therefore scanned.  The one above is called “Run, run …” and the one below I have called “Rudolph”.

Like my other cards, these will be available for sale in my etsy shop or if you are around in Plymouth on Friday, at the Uni Craft Fair.

 

Mellow


I started this post way back at the end of August but about half way through discussing how Autumnal it felt for the end of August, WordPress ate my words and refused to spit them back out.  It has taken me nearly a month to come back and finish what I started.

In news, I have been having a sort of artisan birth – I would say rebirth but my craft efforts up to now have been more cack-handed than hand crafted; perhaps all this time on my hands has done me some good.  I thought about using my creative side to make food for a living but a certain number of errant cats, dog and poorly husband mean it is not a practical solution unless I have separate premises which will never happen; crafting things uses almost the same (metaphorical) muscles but is not health inspected (as far as I’m aware!!)

So that is what I’m doing, along with the Phoenix stuff.  I received a lovely commission for a special set of notelets and I hope the lady will be delighted, they are not quite finished but I already am delighted – just waiting for the box to arrive but the label is done and dusted (ever so slightly with gold embossing powder – it sounds gopping but really isn’t).  Pics will follow.  She has also kindly asked to buy one of these, below:

Infact she almost bit my hand off.  I do hope she is pleased.  My craftiness has seen me teach myself to crochet, largely inspired by the fantastic work of Lucy over at Attic 24.  My efforts are not quite to her standard yet but perhaps one day, I will make something other than a bile yellow face cloth – yay me.  Pictures may follow but only once I have got beyond the dishcloth stage.

Knitting and sewing continue as usual although I have actually finished more things than usual which is a good thing.

In other news Arty Daughter has made the trek to Bath to take up her place on the Fine Art degree and Surrealo son has been appearing in the vicinity of Nick Clegg’s left elbow (there must be some freudian meaning there).

In really other news I have started tweeting, not very well, and have made some twitter friends with blogs.  Hello to Weekly Bakeoff and Holly.  I really do bake; the evidence is somewhere down below.  The German Apple Cake I will try to find a recipe for and post here.

Cards and gifts can be found here and here; trying to work out which is easier to use.