Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A new bag....

When my sister came to stay with me recently, she asked me if I would make her a new bag for the pager (bleep) that she carries with her at work. It has become a bit of a tradition for me to make the bag that she uses ever since, some number of years ago, I gave her a handmade bag and, she found it was just the perfect size to carry with her for her pager.



The original bag was made following a pattern from the book 'Handmade Embroidered Bags' by Jenny Rolfe. It wore out quite some time ago and, I have since made another (using a very simple design of my own) but, I don't have a photograph of that one!  Now the second one has worn out and a new one is needed.  It needs to be reasonably small with a long strap that she can put across her torso, leaving both hands free for her to work.



As most of the bag patterns I have are for much larger bags, I decided to have a look on the internet for tutorials and I found a very nice one (via Pinterest) on the blog Susie's Country Garden.  The tutorial was originally for a bag designed for travel documents but, I think it is going to make the perfect pager bag!!



It has a pocket on the front which I decorated with a little piece of appliqued sheep design ribbon.



It has a flap which you can close using the button and loop and it has a nice long strap. 



It also has a pocket inside (I apologise for this photo but it is difficult to photograph the inside of a bag very well!)




All in all, I think it will be perfect and, I won't have very long to wait to find out if I am right as, the bag is already in the post to my sister and I am sure she will let me know!!  I used some of my favourite Tilda fabrics to make it, so I hope she likes it!!

Monday, 24 November 2014

As pretty as a picture!

After much thought (thank you for your suggestions) and, inspired by a quilt block that I had seen on the Facebook page of Leanne's House... I decided to make the little stitchery that I had finished in my last post, into the central square of a similar patchwork block.



Once the block was pieced, I was very pleased with how it was all looking but, I needed to decide what to do with it next!!



In the end, I decided that I would make it into a picture that I could hang and enjoy somewhere in the house. Instead of framing the block as I have done in the past, I decided I was going to stretch it over a square canvas to make the picture.



I added a two inch blue border to the central block and then carefully stretched the fabric to the back of the canvas.



I pinned it in place to make sure that it was centrally positioned then, once I was happy, I turned in the raw edge of the blue fabric, making a hem and stapled it to the back of the canvas frame. 



It was a bit fiddly getting the corners to look neat but, I think I just about managed it!!



I was delighted with the finished result and the picture is now happily hanging on my sewing room wall with several other pieces of embroidered artwork.



Friday, 21 November 2014

Stitchery complete... but what should I use it for?

Hello! I am just popping in today to show you my progress on the little stitchery that I started recently.  I have finished all the stitching and I am now wondering what I should use it to make.


In the recent post where I showed it, all I had embroidered was a circle of flowers and leaves.


I used lazy daisy stitch to make the petals of the flowers with a colonial knot in the centre of each.  The stems were a simple running stitch and the leaves were also lazy daisy stitches.


Now, I have added a little appliqued butterfly to the centre which I finished with a tiny buttonhole stitch.  I added the antennae using back stitch with a colonial knot at each of the ends. When I had finished that stage, I wasn't sure that the stitchery looked quite finished, so I added in another circle of leaves and buds.


These were stitched using fern stitch and colonial knots.  At the bottom of this inner circle I added a little row of flowers which I created using detached fern stitches, colonial knots and a few lazy daisy leaves. 


Then to balance the look of these flowers in the circle of stitching I added three little cross stitches at the top.


I am quite happy with all the embroidery but, I am not sure what to use it for.... should I use it to decorate the front of a drawstring bag? Or a needle book? Or use it in the centre of a block and frame it? Lots of possibilities.  I think I may have to look through some of my many books to find inspiration. That's a nice prospect for the weekend!! 


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A slow start....

After a veritable flurry of stitching activity in September and October, I have to confess that November has had a very slow start!! This week, however, I have had a little more time in my sewing room and I am pleased to be able to show you some results.


Yay! I have finished the baby quilt I have been making for my friend's first grandchild.  I hope baby, mother and grandmother will like it.  


I used the pattern 'Road Trip Quilt' designed by Allison Harris of Cluck, Cluck, Sew.  I also used some of her latest fabric collection 'Oh Clementine' combined with fabrics that I have had for some little while.  I wanted the quilt to have a soft colour combination suitable for a baby but without too much pink or blue. It has turned out exactly as I had hoped, so I am very pleased.


I quilted it using a combination of straight and 'squiggly' lines approximately 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) apart.  Although it is very time-consuming, I love the texture that this quite dense quilting gives, it adds another dimension to the quilt.


All in all, although there has been a slow start to stitching projects in November, I am very pleased with this first finish of the month!!



Friday, 14 November 2014

A busy week!

It has been a busy week here this week.... I  don't really know exactly what I have been doing but just that the time has passed very quickly and, there doesn't seem to have been much time for creative projects!!


I did buy the latest issue of 'Love Patchwork and Quilting' when I was out and about the other day.  It has some lovely festive patterns inside and a very cute free gift of some Christmas tags to make.


Other than that, I don't  have much to show you...


My embroidery remains at the same stage although, I do have some ideas now what I am going to do with it next and I am hoping to get some more work done on it this weekend.


I have also started work on a baby quilt.  I don't know whether the baby is a boy or a girl, so I needed to choose colours that would work for either.  I am using some of the fabrics I recently bought from the 'Oh Clementine' collection by Allison Harris of Cluck, Cluck, Sew but, I have also mixed in some older fabrics that I already had too. I am also using one of Allison's quilt patterns called 'The Road Trip Quilt'.  It is coming together quite nicely so far.


Maybe I'll get some more of that done this weekend too (it would be nice to get it finished before the baby is born!!)

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 7 November 2014

A fun trip!

At the moment my sister is staying with me and yesterday we had a exciting trip to see the Hobbycraft Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. My eldest daughter also came with us and we had a great day out.



There was plenty for us to see... so many wonderful displays of all sorts of products... ribbons, buttons and fabrics for me to look at and card stock and stamps for my sister (who makes handmade cards) as well as lots of general craft items and Christmas stalls that we were all interested in looking at.


Of course, a day at a show like this wouldn't be complete without a few purchases along the way and, I was absolutely delighted to find some new Gail Pan patterns at one of the exhibits as well as some of her wonderful new fabrics 'Baskets in Bloom' which are distributed by Red Rooster Fabrics.



It was my favourite 'buy' of the day!! See the whole fabric range here.


I just couldn't resist the beautiful ribbons pictured at start of this post or the cute packets of buttons.  I can't wait to use them all in a project or two!!



Looking forward to another fun-filled day today! Have a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Starting a new project....

There is nothing I like better than starting a new project and, that is what I am hoping to do over the next few days.


Browsing through books, choosing fabrics and deciding on the pattern for a beautiful new quilt.


Making notes and sketching a new embroidery idea.


Embroidering the sketch and deciding what to do with it next.


Making notes and working on several projects at once with lots of ideas swirling round... so much fun!


Now I just have to find the time to fit in some more stitching!!

Until then....