Sunday, 28 February 2016

Patchwork Sewing Machine Wall Hanging plus Star Wars & Super Heroes Bags

I've been indulging myself this week making this little (approx 20 x 20 inches) wall hanging. It was really enjoyable to make and it used up a few bits of my collection of fabrics with sewing notions on them. 
It evolved gradually as I decided, stage by stage, how I would make each part and I used gold thread to machine embroider across the machine to look similar to the images on vintage machines. I left the little piece of Liberty fabric loose as work in progress and I found a piece of black and gold filigree patterned fabric to appliqué as the stitch control.
It was a happy play and I'm pleased at how it turned out.

It has been production line time here this week with no time wasted. 
I made 20 little boxes to hold the brooches made by the ladies in our group for our forthcoming event and I also finished off several little vintage style notebooks.
I found some Star Wars Fabric in Bob's Craft & Quilt shop in Marshside, Southport and I also bought some Super Heroes to please the little girls. 
Craft & Quilt does mail order if anyone is interested.
I ended up making 14 shoe bags as I just had to make one of each character's picture.
A satisfying result for the week especially as I also managed to make good headway with my French Braid Quilt and had a couple of days out too.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Bags, Bibs and Pin Cushions and Pots.

Several more quick items which I made towards our forthcoming quilt club event.
Lots of bits and bobs, made from bits and bobs of fabric which will fill out the sales table and go towards tombola prizes.
It's a good exercise rummaging through my stash and deciding what could be made from each unwanted leftover.

This little handy pot was made from a 10 inch square of left over patchwork. I usually make triangular pots this way but thought I'd try this out with a square.

I wanted to try out this applique cat design so I used my sample piece as a pocket for this bag. I enjoyed making the cat and think I might do a small quilt with several of them.

Pincushions look complicated but they were quickly sewn by machine.
Straightforward shopping bags are so useful now that stores do not dole out plastic bags for free. A good way of using up remnants.

Baby's bibs, all made of cotton except for the satin bias around the necks.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Quick Makes & Stitch & Craft Show Visit

My week....
I've sewn all my strips together for the panels of my French Braid/ Jelly Roll quilt. Now for a "stitch in the ditch" fest!
I made a few quick items towards the goodies for my quilt club's May event.
Shopping bags......
Children's bags and aprons....
Handy pouches with clear zip pockets. 
Credit and thanks for this idea goes to my blogging buddy 
Event City Trip
Yesterday we took advantage of my 2 free tickets and ventured over to Manchester to visit the Stitch & Craft Show at Event City. I had arranged to go with a friend but her health intervened so I am adding the following pics as a taste for her of a little of what she missed. (Get well soon too!)  It was a good show with so much to see, exhibitions, trade stands and make and takes. The catering facilities were increased and, very wisely, there were groups of 3 or 4 seats suitably placed all around the halls as rest areas.
It was well worth visiting and a step up to last year as we found so much to interest us other than the trade stands. 
Check it out if you fancy a visit as I think it is still on tomorrow.

First a few of my favourite pieces .....

Close up of the detail of fabulous machining skills.

This little panel was beautifully hand embroidered and quite a jewel amongst all the machine stitching.

The following pieces were entries in a competition with "Glimpses of Scotland" as the subject.

This delicate panel was stitched on a piece of an old pianola roll

The detail of this collage of stitched postcards was amazing and it was wonderful to see how this lady, from Denmark, really captured the essence of her holidays in Scotland.

Pauline Walsh produced a really imaginative piece inspired by the distorted image through a glass of whisky.
This pheasant was beautifully stitched and the tiny heather flowers were exquisite.

Here is the winning entry....very imaginative, good fun and well executed but not one I would have chosen or would have on my wall.
I enjoyed seeing the costumes from "Far from the Madding Crowd" but I couldn't believe how tiny the waists were. It's hard to judge from the photos but they must have only been 20 inch at the most.

Over all a good show and my only complaint..... 
I scoured all the trade stands looking for 100% cotton quilting thread and there was only one stand selling any thread at all and that was bog basic cheapo polyester. 
All that fabric to sew and not a reel of thread worthy of using to sew it.

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Cross in my Pocket & Instructions

A couple of years ago I made these little pocket crosses for some special friends and I was pleased that they all loved and treasured them. 
Since then, I was really amazed how that single post has generated so much interest from people all over the world who wanted to make them.
Recently, I made a few more and once again the demand spread amongst friends.
 I decided to update my template, as I had amended various details whilst working on these latest examples, so the new instructions follow.

Make them with love, as I did, and give thanks for all the good things you have.
Now that I am sewing a lot I used some pretty remnants from my fabric stash to make the little pouches, instead of the card wallets I used to make.
Make sure the ribbon is only 3mm wide
You can see in the next photo that the bottom two examples look far neater than the top two.
I have also added one extra square above the cross bar, now making 4 (instead of the 3 in the previous template) which I think gives better balance. 
You can see below.....
It is a bid fiddly to cut them out and the little bits of plastic canvas shoot everywhere but think of it as an act of love! It is a pleasure to see them take form as the ribbon is threaded into the squares and once you've made one or two it really becomes an easy task.

The plastic canvas comes in squares of various sizes but works out very cheaply per cross, for example Abakhan stores, at present, sell a piece 12 inches x 18 inches for £2.60 so that would make approximately a couple of dozen, which would be about 10p each and ribbon would add around another 50p.

If, like me, you manage to count incorrectly and snip the wrong square then the plastic can be patched together (as long as the patch is behind the ribbon areas) by stitching or carefully gluing with Superglue to save wastage. 
Below is my new template sketch...

Here's the special little poem which accompanies the crosses.

Here's a shortened version that can be used;

Here's a little cross
To hold each time you pray
Keep it safely in it's pocket
And close to you all day.
A token of our friendship
And of God's love for you
A reminder He is always there
Your whole life through.