Monday, 17 February 2014

Cushions and Quilts

The windy, rainy, cold, weather has kept me in and as a result I have been really productive.
I made this wacky cushion from fabric scraps for my grandee's 4th birthday next weekend. It started off in a small way and was just going to be a small item to act as a birthday greeting, but I went on and on until I decided it could be a cushion for on her bed at story time. 
Her name is embroidered under the centre piece of card. There are foxes on there, cup cakes, liquorice allsorts and lots of different spots and stripes. Most importantly of all, there is a purple patch as, like me, she adores purple.
I backed it with lime green fleece, which I quilted, so it has a nice warm, cosy, side. 
A friend gave me a couple of boxes of unwanted fabric and amongst it I found a couple of the blocks below and some precut squares. It's not a colour palette I would choose, but as for the Autumn toned scarf in my previous post, I hate to waste anything, so yesterday I sewed it all together and managed to get a 5 foot square quilt top from it. It still needs backing and binding etc., but it has made quite a decent item and all for nothing!
A special friend, of one of my DDs, will be 50 next week so I made her a padded heart in lieu of a birthday card. It was made from left over small log cabin squares and I love the way it has turned out. I'm thrilled to say that she too loved it.
It is decorated with tiny buttons and lace,
and I especially love these tiny little spotty ones....
lots of dangly ribbons and charms too.
Finally, I made a Katie Morag top for a fancy dress outfit for my other Brighton grandee. It should be a knitted jumper and the one I sent to my 4 year old grandee in Germany was made from a £2 charity shop cashmere jumper, cut up and remodelled. This one I stitched up from a bargain remnant of lightweight cream fleece fabric and I saved time by machining the embroidery around the neck. It perfectly serves the purpose for fancy dress.
My DH said that she will probably end up going to school in it....... I told him that she certainly will when she dresses up as Katie Morag for World Book Day next month!!! 
I'm heading off down South for Brighton on Wednesday for a few days, as DD1 needs a bit of help whilst the Brighton Belles are on half term holiday. I'll be leaving DH to his own resources and it will be a long journey by coach (longer but cheaper by far than train) but I'll be doing some crafting, reading a magazine or two and relaxing before I get to have fun time with the Curly Girlies down there and I get to share the 4 year old's birthday party too. Woo hoo!! Cakes!
Keeping my fingers crossed for reasonable weather!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Shawlettes and Scarves

Here's the shawlette I made from all the left over ends of all the many other ones I have made over the last couple of years. The Noro yarn is quite expensive so, as I showed in last Wednesday's post, I had saved a bag full of tiny balls. There were dozens of ends to weave in securely but it was all worthwhile as I ended up with this wearable result below......
I have also finished this one, from a different pattern, and they now have the addition of tassels and beads. This one is going to be sent to my lovely friend Dolores in Slovenia. She already knows as I gave her the choice of colour.
Here's the one showed the other day that I made for DD2

Finally this is a really long one I made a while ago. 
I'm a reasonably competent knitter, but I always take, what I call,"mindless" knitting with me on my travels as if I keep to garter stitch I can still admire the view! 
By using a quality textured yarn, and there are so many wondrous ones to be had, it doesn't matter that I just use garter stitch and I can even knit without looking when I don't have enough light.  I have often slipped a stitch whilst knitting in the car at night and it is easy to stitch up the dropped stitch invisibly if the yarn is textured.
Useful desirable items made in time that would otherwise be wasted.
There were quite a few mistakes made in this one below!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Friday Smile & Big Bow Headbands

When my family visited recently from Germany I made our little fraulein some headbands from my scraps of Liberty Tana Lawn Fabric. In fact, I made 5! 
Last year I made a big red satin bow head band to wear with her Snow White Dressing up outfit which she loves so much that she wears it, day to day, with her ordinary clothes.  

Despite the bow being so big they look so cute on her and this pic gives me a Friday smile.

I'm smiling to to see this pic below, after a crafting session making masks, I love the purple lipstick!
and here's her Trunkie all packed ready for her return journey with her best Toy Friends waiting for the off. There's the famous Baxter Bear (middle) that we appealed for a couple of years ago, and Twiglet helped us to find.... another big smile.
As it's Valentines Day here are couple more smiles

 All this post is dedicated to Annie's Friday Smile and you'll find even more over at her blog HERE. 
You can join in with your own smile or just have a laugh on us!

Last and not least this one is for Annie and her lovely Big Sis Twiglet who are such good friends and who make blogland and the world in general, a better place.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

WOYWW 245 & Shawlettes

I often wonder how many people visit the hundred plus desks of WOYWW each week to have a snoop and to see what we are all crafting. 
This week my desk is all about knitting, here in my living room but it does come with me on my travels too. 
I'm giving Julia the new title of "Knitmaster" as she has been pulling the wool over our eyes for ages, as we found out just this week that she isn't Mrs Dunnit at all. All can be explained.
She is, however, still our own dear "Julia" who instigates so much fun and friendship each week, so we'll let her off. 
Incognito? WOYWW? Crafting messes around the World? All will be revealed if you get over to her place PDQ. 
The STAMPING GROUND is the place to go.

 Here's my little coffee table festooned with left over balls of yarn. Not just any yarn but Noro (silk, mohair, lambs wool mix from Japan) which I love to knit, and recently I've been making  "shawlettes" (very wearable, warm, long triangular scarves). The Noro yarn is random dyed but sometimes there are colours in the balls that I don't really want to include so I wind it off until I arrive at a shade I do prefer. 
I am not a fan of yellow, orange, or brown, so I ended up with quite a stash of small balls in shades of these colours. I decided that someone might like a scarf in this colour palette so I am knitting them up to see how it goes. There will be so many ends to weave in but I think it will be well worth it as it is quite an expensive, quality, yarn. 
Easy to knit as they are all in garter stitch. 
 Here's one below that I made for DD2, in her favourite shades of blues and greens, with wooden beads on tassels at each of the corners. They help it to drape easily around the neck and look that little bit stylish and individual.
For this one I just started at the bottom front point and increased on every row at the second stitch, then at the next to last stitch. 
and one for me in my preferred colours.(I know... big spot on my chin!)
 I can personally recommend Noro yarn as I have used it for quite a few years and all the garments I've made have washed and worn really well. After a few washes the yarn really becomes extra soft so it it really cosy to wear.
This scarf increased in a different way in the middle of every row giving a lacy ladder down the front. I've got the pattern for this somewhere but I must admit that the other method of increasing is much simpler and far easier.
That's the status quo for today so be warned that I'll be off around the world, snooping to see as many of your desks as possible.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Crafts Show at Event City Manchester

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts
We had a super day out at the show in Manchester and, if you fancy a trip, it's still on until Saturday. 
There's a mixed bag of crafty treats to see and to buy, and I did quite a bit of both.
I really enjoyed the exhibition of creative work by the Quilters Guild
I'm entering this post into Annie's Friday smile as I really did have a great day, yesterday, and as I look at my bargain fat quarters and think of what I might make with them, I am still smiling. 
To top it all, my neighbour has just brought me a parcel, which is from super generous Jo Twiglet, which came in yesterday's post whilst we were out. It contains the Katie Morag doll (which you can see in Jo's last post) and fabric for a Katie Morag skirt for our little fraulein, who adores the books and will be thrilled. Now I'm beaming and a huge thanks to Jo. 
You can share more smiles over at Annie's blog here.

Displays of large quilts ....
and so many mini treasures of embroidered and quilted art exhibited by the Contemporary Quilt Group.

I met up with blogging buddies Chris (pearshapedcrafter) and Anne (Redanne) and we had fun showing all we had bought then we each rushed back to buy some of the things we'd missed that the others had bought! Couldn't find that cotton coated printable card, Anne, but I hope you tracked down the big butterfly beads!!!
Chris, Anne, Jo
Here's my gorgeous stash of fabrics (24 fat quarters!), lace, 12x12 storage boxes and those big butterfly beads. 
The 6 wood mounted stamps were a bargain and a gift for a special friend.
I'd love to have a try knitting with these big needles on Rachel John's inspiring creative stand.
I wondered who was in this comfy chair......
and as I ,moved to the front  I wondered again just who had knitted a whole mum and baby and book and mug and rug and tablecloth?

If you are wondering what to do with your knitted squares, here's a dragon of an idea....
It was lovely to catch up and have a chat to the lovely talented Tracey Spurgin, of Craftworx. I won a silver clay course with her a couple of years ago and she is fantastic. Check out her work and courses here I plan to take another as she 
comes now and again to a local venue.
The costume exhibition for this show was from Les Miserables.

There was an exhibition of period handbags and millinery, mostly originals but with some excellent reproductions
So much work went into them and many were completely hand made.
This 1920s cloche was my favourite hat...
and I love this quirky handbag
There were very few exhibits in the Madeira competition but I think this Highly Comended embroidery by Annette Beattie, of Wales, stole the show. Part of it was beautifully hand painted with stunningly detailed free machine embroidery.
Here's my last laugh!