Friday, 15 December 2017

Swag of Bunting for my Fireplace

I've managed the next stage of making our house look a little festive before the South West contingent of my family comes to visit. No tree up yet but I have made this bunting swag for the fire place. I made three in total and gave one to a friend who was desperate to have one and the other, a much bigger one, is almost finished ready for my South West daughter to decide if warrants approval to hang over her large fireplace in her new Devon home.

Since posting I have had a request about a pattern to make the triangles for the bunting but I was unable to reply. The following might help......
The pennants are all of varying lengths between 20 and 25 cms and widths of approx 9 to 12 cms. This is just a guide and they can be quite easily be made longer or shorter to suit individual locations. 
They are very casually made just with a toning backing, fabrics stitched right sides face to face then turned inside out and pressed. I zig zagged across the tops before arranging and stitching them onto a ribbon or cord for hanging. 
As easy as can be! The balance of the colour scheme and the variable lengths makes the finished item a little bit different and unusual than the spaced out traditional bunting.
Here's the longer one for my daughter made in more "homespun fabrics". Hope she likes it!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Christmas Cut Outs

Christmas is creeping into our house. 
My back has been playing up, due to all the work clearing my late friend's house, so I've been sitting and cutting these paper house silhouettes to decorate our front window. Whilst I was on a short trip to my daughter in Germany last week, she asked me to make some for her and I loved them so much I decided to cut some for my own home. The designs are from the main buildings in her pretty little German town and the centre one is their Rathaus (town hall). Must cut out another reindeer for Santa!

From inside with fairy lights lit.

From outside

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Christmas Fair at St Mary's West Derby.

It was a good day at the Christmas Fair despite the bad weather, wind and rain all day people, (and even Father Christmas) paid us a visit. We took hardly any items back home with us and a fair bit of cash has gone between a charity, our group and some to the church funds. Thanks to everyone who supported and helped us.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

A Couple More Makes for the Christmas Fair

Couldn't sleep. Up at 5am. Drinking Cocoa. Decided to add a post.
After making these little houses into hangings of three units, I had a few over so, I've made them into single residences as smaller items for the Christmas Fair on Saturday. 

This little hanging is for my Sister in Law who spotted one similar at our Summer Fair.
Kathy in my group kindly lent me the pattern which is in a Nancy Halvorsen, Art to Heart book called Happy Holidays to You. 
It is straight but sorry that the pic looks wonky.
Going back to bed for another little snooze........ I hope zzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Christmas Fair Makes

Christmas Fair to be held in the Millennium Centre at St Mary's Church, West Derby Village, Liverpool 12, on Saturday 25th November. 
Our quilt group has been invited to participate so I have been busy making small items for our table. Here's a quick post showing some of my results.

I loved making several of these decorations, an idea I found on pinterest.
An easy peasy make to hang on a wall with simple padded fabric houses attached to twigs. 
A little home spun style embroidery enhances the windows and doors.
  Back to making the wreaths again that I have also made in past years. 
5" fabric squares, stitched in half, and padded before tying tightly on to a wire ring with rustic string or ribbon. 
Easy to make but about 40 squares are needed for each wreath. It's a good idea to get together with a few other people to swap squares to gain more varity.

   Santa appliqued onto a cushion is quick and easy to make. Must add a bit of felt holly to the hat on the right. Don't know how I missed that!
I found 4 left over seasonal squares which soon transformed into this cushion above.

Scrap strips soon made this stocking
Couldn't go without making my old standby quickie.... more snowmen chocolate wraps but added a few penguins gnomes and Santas to the collection. 
My grandchildren make a good job of making these too.
Perfect sized quality chocolate bars are in a pack from Aldi at a reasonable price
These little snowbabies are made from toddlers socks filled with rice and the instructions are easy to find both on pinterest and youtube.
Left over panels made into wall hangings or table centres

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Baubles by the Dozen

I don't like to mention it, but where has time gone! It is months since my last post, May in fact, but life threw a curve ball that I had to deal with. 
My friend died in June after a long painful period of time in hospital and nursing homes and as a result we have had to pick up the pieces and clear her home and remains of her life. Hard in many ways both physically and mentally. Life goes on and we are finally coming to grips with it all and at last I have managed a little burst of crafting.
Some few months ago before I was otherwise involved, I made a Christmas bauble at a Quilters Guild workshop, given by the talented quilter, Emma Galbraith, and I really enjoyed it even though to me it was totally the wrong time to be making Christmas items. As a result I started playing around with the original idea and I have made so many ready to give to friends and family. With no sewing, or even glue, involved they are so quick and easy to produce as the fabric only has to be pushed into the styrofoam balls. Cord, braid or ribbon hides any imperfections and defines the segments. It's a great way to use up small scraps of fabric too.
The 8cm balls are 2 for £1 in "The Works"book/craft shop but in bulk on the net they are available at only 30p each.
I tried using Liberty Tana Lawn fabric and I rather like them. I think they will be great to have a bowl full around the home all year, not just for Christmas.
The beading effect braid trim below is available by the metre in gold, silver, black and pearl
This is my original bauble made at the workshop.
My sister in law spotted a panel at the Quilt Exhibition of my group so I have had a go at making one for her. The Nativity characters/craft buttons were bought on line from HoardersHeaven. Jane there was so helpful and they have such an amazing variety available, at reasonable prices.
 Take a look here...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Liberty Collection - a Few Finishes and Quick Makes

No blogging for me for a while as, due to a friend's illness, I have been busy and occupied elsewhere for much of my time so I turned to small UFOs when ever I had a few spare minutes.
I made a doll quilt set from scraps of pastel Liberty Tana Lawn, my favourite fabric to stitch.
This little specimen is only 14ins x 16 ins approx) The squares are 2ins finished.

I found this quilt top and finished it successfully with cross hatch machine quilting. 
It measures approx 50ins x72ins

I hand stitched the hexagons for this little lap quilt over a couple of years during my travels. 

A few small quickly made items for my quilt group's forthcoming show.
Bright pot holders from scraps.
Round pochette style key holders.
and a few more cushions for the tombola.
Small makes when I need a bit of sewing relaxation therapy. It does it for me.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Easy Peasy Patchwork Bag and a Scrap Quilt

Almost three years ago, my DD2 treated me to some fabulous Kaffe Fassett fabric to make a quilt just for myself. It is always hard to cut into any special gorgeous treasured fabric and I stroked it and drooled over it from time to time but recently I decided to go for it. 
First I made a big Stash & Slash quilt top which is now ready for sandwiching and finishing but there were enough scraps left over plus one spare Stash & Slash Block. I used the block as the central feature and added, joined and bodged together lots of the small pieces to make this extra 1.5 yard square gem. I am so pleased to see it finished and looking like this instead of just a bundle of scraps in a basket.
It was manageable enough to machine quilt it myself and I stitched in the ditch over the main body with random waves around the border. 
Even the binding is made from scraps joined together 

My Easy Peasy Bags
I have made several of these easy peasy bags for friends and they proved very popular, so I thought I would make some towards the sales table at our July exhibition.
My first attempts were made using strips of batik but any choice of patchwork or quilting is suitable, just make a panel to size first.
I have been asked for pattern and instructions so often so I'm posting photos of the stages to make them here.
I bought a metre of this ready, 2 sided, padded and quilted fabric at one of the big shows for only £5 and it has made 4 bags and a little zipper bag too. 
It also save me time! Should have bought more!
The bags can be adjusted up or down in size but here I show panels for one medium (10.5 x 30.5 inches) and one larger bag (13 x 38 inches). They are bound with 2.5 wide fabric, pressed in half along the length, sewn around the edge of the panel then turned to the other side and stitched by hand or machine to bind the edges. Alternatively, bias binding can be used.

To construct the bag turn in the corners, as below. 
(It helps to pin, or clamp together, the two triangular areas before the next fold)
Next, if you envisage the central square area and fold the panel diagonally from top left corner to bottom right as indicated.......
The two points will be at the top.
The bag will take shape, as below, and will be complete as soon as you stitch together (on both sides), where the two edges, meet from A to B.
As this fabric is double sided I machined a zig zag stitch, using invisible thread. It can then be used successfully on either side as a reversible bag.

To finish;

To fasten, add a large button on either side and use an elastic pony tail ring as the loop to fasten over the buttons. 
Handles can be made from the matching fabric to the desired length or from webbing as I did on my first batik bag. 
There are many options to personalise the bag such as an inside pocket, a loop for keys etc.
The leftovers made a neat little make up bag.
Shout out if you need any more information and, whilst at first it can seem complex, it soon comes into shape.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Spring is Sprung

It's time for a smile and after popping in on Annie's Friday Smile over at astitchintime I realised that I needed one to cheer myself so I ventured out before my breakfast to wander around our garden on this sunny morning. 
It has been a bit pressured lately with a friend and a family member in hospitals at opposite sides of the city but seeing Annie's post made me think and realise that it shouldn't stop me smiling.
The magnolia above is magnificent. It NEVER ever flowered for 7 years after planting so I gave it a good talking to. A firm ultimatum that it was a waste of space and would be dug out if it didn't flower the next year. Wow! it has amazed me for over 30 years since my threat......
There are two pink camellias heaving with blossom at either side of the garden.
The squirrels are visiting frequently and they seems to be attracted to the centres of the flowers so I think there must be a tasty kernel to be nibbled.
I cannot bare to clear up these wonderful pink treasures and, at the moment, I have no time so that's my excuse!
I bought this amaryllis bulb for a £ in M&S sales and planted it 4th January.
 It was so slow until 2 weeks ago when it blessed us with two heads of flowers. 
Fabulous value for £1.
I had to cut off the first head and put on in a glass of water as it was top heavy
Here's the gift that keeps on giving!!
Thanks again to my DD2 for this beauty which was bought when she was a student over 20 years ago for £1.99 in Woolworth's as a Mother's Day gift. 
To cheer you if you need more smiles pop over to Annie's Blog... it's free and it's always happy.
I'll take these pics in to show my friend in the care home and hope it works Annie's Magic on her too.
So sorry that I haven't called in for a while but, Annie, you have worked your magic for me today!
My friend moved to respite care yesterday so I am off now to see if she is settling in and will pop in to all the other Friday Smiles later.