Tight Lipped Tuesday #10

Another post in my series where I don’t say much at all – or not as much as usual anyway.

I made a lovely Eastern Jewels blanket last year

and then gave it to my daughter.

I miss it.

I worked out if I bought just another 4 balls and substituted a couple of the colours with some from my stash I could make another one for me.

So, I’ve made a start

This is because the knitted cardigan I’m making is too complicated to do in front of the telly but there are only so many crochet dishcloths one person needs and the ‘devil makes work for idle hands’ or, in my version ‘idle hands make me fall asleep’.

See what I mean

I’m making slow progress but am hoping to speed up as I get used to the pattern.

Would it be cheating if I did the back in stocking stitch?  Please say ‘no’.

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Another ScrappyDoo Scraphappy Day for March

Using scraps to make something new was all about the dogs again this month.

Well, apart from these cotton dishcloths I have been making as a ‘must do something useful while I’m binge watching a Netflix box set’  in the evening (which is ‘Dirty John’ at the moment by the way).  Recognise the colours? It’s the leftover cotton yarn from the niece’s baby blanket.  I’m actually going to start a new Eastern Jewels blanket – and keep it myself this time – because I had almost enough yarn left over from the first one to make another.  I just needed another four 100g balls and am waiting for those to arrive.  The cable cardigan I’ve started is far too complex to do without staring at it fixedly so these fit the bill.

But, I digress – back to the dogs.

Remember those fabric samples for car seats I showed you before ?  I made a dog collar for Stan with some of it on Scraphappy day in January.

I decided to have another look at the samples for March’s Scraphappy day and, bearing in mind the state of Flo’s blanket which she regularly pulls out of her bed and then uses it to tempt Stan into a game of tug of war, I thought it might be time for something new.

I feel quite guilty about that blanket as somebody had put a lot of work into making it but, if I tell you I rescued it from a charity shop initially, then used it as a throw over the back of a chair before demoting it to dog bed status, I hope you’ll forgive me.  It has certainly had a life.

Anyway, with ScrapHappy day approaching,  I got a few of the samples out again and took them off their hanging cards.

I decided to use an orthopedic pillow for the insert as I bought it for when I had a neck ache and it made it worse.

I joined a couple of pieces together for both back and front and closed one end – a bit haphazardly – with a snap closure.  I might as well have sewed it right up I suppose as the fabric pieces claim not to be washable but we’ll see about that.

Here’s the side with the ‘depression’ in the middle in case Flo wants to avail herself of its orthopedic qualities

and here’s the other side which is smarter in my opinion so will be placed facing up in the bed.

Like so

At first Flo studiously ignored it.  I expect she was upset that her old blankie had gone and was busy thinking of ways to destroy the new one.

Then she came round to the idea.

I must say, this monthly ScrapHappy challenge is good for me because, in an effort to join in, I usually come up with something useful that I probably wouldn’t have  bothered with in the normal course of events. Plus, my scrap bin gets smaller.

Joining in again this month with Kate & Gun’s monthly Scraphappy Day where you too can use your scraps of fabric, yarn, paper, wood, anything to make something useful or lovely or both and show it off to the world.  You don’t have to join in every month, only when you have something to show.  Details and a list of other participants’ scrappy endeavours over on Kate’s blog.

 

 

 

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #9

In the mildest winter I think I’ve ever known since living in S.W. France, I decided to make a coat for the first time ever.  Typical.

It’s almost finished

The hem isn’t wonky it’s just pinned up for the moment waiting for me to attach the lining.

All overlocked/serged ready to be sewn together and inserted on my sewing afternoon with my friend tomorrow.

Is there a word for being scared of lining?

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Seeing Spots on Sunday – Or Maybe Triangles

Continuing on with my baby makes, the main part of the quilt top is finished.  It’s hanging on my flannelette sheet design wall and, as you can see, I decided to stick with the original pattern design for this baby quilt and cast to the wind my concerns about upside down and sideways foxes.  Any way up, this quilt will have some foxes standing on their feet and new mothers have more to worry about than making sure a quilt is always laid down in the right direction – laying the baby down in the right direction was enough to exercise my exhausted brain if I remember correctly.

I’ve tried to brighten up the photos a bit this time so hopefully you can now see those triangles are not grey but white with black dashes on.  Although grey continues to be ‘on trend’ so I suppose it wouldn’t matter if they were.

It will have a 4.5 inch border and I happened to come across these two cottons which are very good matches for the other colours.

Some confetti spots on a white background

and some bright little triangles.

I made a panel of left over strips of the foxy fabric range which I thought I’d put in the centre of whatever I use for the backing and I’ve been laying out the possible options on my bed.

At the moment I’m veering towards the small triangles for the front (right of  photo) and the spotted white to form a frame around the strippy panel on the back.

I’m just wondering whether to frame the quilt top with a narrower border of white confetti spots before adding the small triangles or letting them run riot right up against those wayward foxes as shown.

I’ll probably be doing this sometime today so I’ll show you what I decided next week.

Unless you have any thoughts of course.

 

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The Last Makes of Winter

Well, I’ve been back from my visit to see Mlle. Tialys the Elder in the U.K. for a week now but, as usual with me, it takes a while to get back into what passes for any sort of routine in my life.

I was very lucky with the weather and I know this because people were in shorts, t-shirts and other summer clothing and frolicking on Bournemouth’s sandy beach while the ice cream vans were doing a great trade.  England in February is not how I remember it but, being made soft by the warmer climes in S.W. France, I still had my coat on and, at times, a scarf despite it being the hottest February day ever (allegedly).  When I got back to Toulouse last week the temperature was 25 degrees C and that’s not right either although it has dropped to ‘normal for the time of year’ here now and I believe the British tabloids are predicting an ‘icy blast’ for the U.K. which remains to be seen but I think they are even more obsessed than usual with the weather in a bid to write about anything other than Brexit.

I did the usual things – fish & chips, Dorset cream teas, curry, Sunday brunch,  bizarrely flavoured hot cross buns from M & S  and even popped into a Japanese restaurant for our last evening there which happened to be the birthday of Mlle. Tialys the Younger – lover of all things Japanese.  I descended on the ubiquitous charity shops and had a lovely smoked haddock dish in a quayside pub (the smoked haddock here is over-dyed to the brightest orange you’ve ever seen and very expensive).  I also had the best facial treatment I’ve ever had, using the voucher Mlle T. the Elder gave to me for Christmas, in the spa section of the original Lush shop in Poole.  I was so relaxed I didn’t even feel the urge to shoot the seagulls keeping me awake at night until two days later.

We went to the Oceanarium right on the beach in Bournemouth which was good – especially their lovely sea turtle. ( NOTE;  Re-reading this I realise it makes it sound like a restaurant 😱)  We were lectured on the terrible problems of plastics in the ocean and the top ten single use plastic items found in the sea.  As is usual with most such places now we were forced to walk through the gift shop before we could exit which was ironic considering it was filled with a lot of plastic goods, including balloons which were in their top ten villains chart.  I feel a letter coming on.

I wore a dress I’d made but not blogged about.  It’s another Lady Skater dress – one of my go to patterns.  This was actually made for Mlle T. the Younger but due to the fabric being a very stable cotton jersey without a lot of widthways stretch, it didn’t fit her and I had to keep it instead.  Shame. I did have enough fabric left to make her a t-shirt though which she will probably get much more wear out of.  I don’t have as many winter dresses as summer dresses so it will come in useful.

Now where did I put the iron – that hem needs a press.

The two person coat making workshop my friend Sandra and I are doing on Wednesday afternoons has been held up by her missing a couple of weeks due to illness and by me going off to England.  However, I haven’t forgotten it and have done a few bits alone otherwise it won’t be ready for next Winter, let alone this one.

The sleeves are quite ‘snug’ but I’m not going to undo the top seam because the stitches just sink into that fabric and are hard to find, plus the fraying is horrendous if you fiddle about too much with it so I’ll just have to remember I can’t wear a thick jumper underneath which I don’t normally do with a coat anyway.  I wouldn’t mind but my arms are anything but thick so I would recommend sewing that top arm seam at 1cm rather than 1.5cm if you’re using this pattern.

You can see the swing shape in this back view.

‘Just’ got the facings to go on those fronts and then the collar to do and the exterior is finished.  Then comes the lining, which I’m scared of as it’s slippy and has to fit nicely inside and I’ve never lined a anything other than a skirt and a dress before.  It’s starting to look like I actually might successfully make a coat!

So, I have been reading all of your blogs but that’s an update of some of my goings on – should be able to get back to normal now I’ve written a post.

 

 

 

 

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Sleepy Sunday

Just thought I’d share.

 

 

 

 

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #8

A parcel will be going off to Baby Benjamin tomorrow.

My concession to the current trend for grey in baby stuff.

 

Though I switched back to blue for the boots

 

One I made earlier

 

This is one my Mum made and left here one time – a poignant find

I found this forgotten little linen number just needing to be sewn up but it can wait for the next arrival in June.

All for a very rarely seen niece’s baby – I don’t know what I’d be like if I ever become a grandmother.  But what knitter/crocheter/sewing enthusiast  doesn’t love an excuse to make baby stuff?

 

 

 

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Scraphappy February – Rocket Science It’s Not

Well, it’s the 15th of the month again and time to show you something new made from scraps.

I rather shot myself in the foot this month because I made Wild Daffodil’s Pixie baby hat from leftover yarn but have already blogged about it as I had to send it off to my niece lest she thought I’d forgotten she’d actually given birth a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway, I was looking at my emails this morning and trying to resist a new range of fabrics being touted by a UK fabric shop I’m subscribed to when I noticed they had linked to a tutorial for non-plastic food covers.  I must confess that, having bought lots of beeswax and ruined an ironing board cover, I’m not that over the moon with beeswax wraps.  You can only rinse them out in lukewarm water, maybe with a bit of washing up liquid but mine at least have started to pong a bit.  I don’t use them for meat before you ask and, once rinsed and dried, I keep them in an airtight jar but, to be honest, I don’t like the look of them after a couple of uses and Mr. Tialys hates them and calls them ‘bits of old rag’.  I think I might be doing something wrong.    I will make some nice candles with the beeswax and use it to wax sewing thread so all is not lost.

So, I made what looks like a shower cap instead.

 

I picked out a fabric  from my scrap bin which, because I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered to change the thread on my overlocker, is the same sort of colour as the current thread, and dug out a length of some sort of waterproof fabric a friend gave me about ten years ago – probably for lining washbags but the reason is lost in the mists of time.

I laid the two fabrics together and cut out a circle. I told you it wasn’t rocket science.

Then – unlike the tutorial which has you zigzag around the edge of the circles to join them together, then attach elastic around the edge on your sewing machine – I  did it with my overlocker using clear elastic through the little slot in the foot I discovered recently which enables you to attach the elastic at the same time as serging the edges.  Very useful for stabilising seams when making clothing.

I think the tutorial uses PUL which I know is a sort of plastic but at least it’s not single use so better than cling film.  I have absolutely no idea what is in the waterproof type fabric I had in my stash but I daresay it’s nothing good.  Still, at least it has now come in useful.  I have so many old tupperware type containers and, like a sock and its matching pair, they somehow become separated from their lids never to be seen again.

I took out the leftover chicken leg that was in here as it wasn’t very photogenic.

We’ll see how many times this can go through the wash before Mr. T. declares it ‘an old rag’.

So, nothing exciting today – after all, it’s really just like a big jam pot cover – but I like to keep Scraphappy and next month I have something much more interesting to show you.  Well, I probably won’t have actually started on it by then but I’ll show you the plan.

Here’s the tutorial I mentioned in case you want to whip up a shower cap for your bowls and make your fridge look pretty.

 

Joining in again this month with Kate & Gun’s monthly Scraphappy Day where you too can use your scraps of fabric, yarn, paper, wood, anything to make something useful or lovely or both and show it off to the world.  You don’t have to join in every month, only when you have something to show.  Details and a list of other participants’ scrappy endeavours over on Kate’s blog.

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #7

 

Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been given a glimpse into your future?

 

 

 

 

* photo taken from a story in La Stampa – an Italian newspaper – concerning a decision by city officials in Rome to clamp down on the unregulated feeding of the city’s 200,000 stray cats by the gattara, mostly elderly women, who lovingly feed and tend to them.  It looks to be an unpopular decision.

 

 

 

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Foxing It Up

An intermediate ’emergency’ post this week, bringing my total to three by the time my scheduled post is published tomorrow and it will only be Tuesday.  Tialys overload! Sorry about that but it probably won’t ever happen again.

I wanted your valued opinions on a baby quilt I’m making.  The recipient will be my (other) niece who is due to have a girl baby in June.  I had some entirely different fabric in mind when I went to root through my stash but then I came across this little lot.

I like the pale green and I thought the orange foxes and small black details would give it a lovely, modern feel.

I chose this pattern from Craft Buds which uses HSTs (half square triangles)  and also has a modern look to it so I thought it would be a perfect marriage of pattern and fabrics.

Click on photo to go to Craft Buds free pattern.

The triangles are made using a method which gives you four HSTs at once.  You separate your fat quarters into three pairs, then place two 18inch squares of one pair right sides together and draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  Marking a quarter of an inch from each centre diagonal, you then sew down those four lines.  Cut through the centre both horizontally and vertically and then cut each resulting square on the original diagonal mark.  Confused?  Just click on the above photo to see a much more comprehensive explanation.

This is what my fabrics looked like laid out flat.

I expect, unlike me at that stage, you can already see my problem.  Those smaller foxes are directional and, because of the cutting method used by this pattern they were all over the place which, because the blocks are large at 8 inches square and the design of the quilt is geometric,  just didn’t really look right.

Craft Buds had the same ‘problem’ – see her layout below – but her fabrics don’t have any ‘characters’ on them and it really doesn’t matter which way up a pair of scissors goes does it?

So, despite what I said to Cathy on her blog the other day about direction not really mattering as a quilt is viewed from all angles, in this case, I don’t think I’d be happy with the layout as originally planned.

See what I mean? Click on the photo for a closer look.

So, I then had to play with all the blocks to see if I could make a half decent design whilst getting all the small foxes to stand on their feet.  Here they are, precariously clinging to a flannelette sheet on my makeshift design wall…….

……… and a distance shot so you can see the overall effect.

It will have a border around it – probably some tiny black flowers on a white background I have – but this is it at the moment.

HELP!!  What do you think? Can you see any glaring anomalies in the new layout?  Can you think of any other way I could do it?  Or do you think I should stick with the topsy turvy foxes?

Also, what do you think of the colour scheme? Do you think it is ‘girly’ enough?  I do have some soft, pastelly, birds, rabbits and flowers fat quarters which I’ve long had in mind for the next baby in the family but, if I used this pattern, I would have had the same problem with direction – although the prints in that range are much smaller so I could probably get away with it.

All opinions, advice and admonishments happily received.

p.s. Another title I possibly have to apologise for but I just can’t help myself.

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