Archive for category Arts and Crafts

Scraphappy Day October

We have had the plasterers in for the ceilings in two of our bedrooms which we are now painting and the carpet fitter arrives this afternoon.  Some of the furniture and all of the ‘stuff’ possible has been crammed into the third bedroom aka my workroom.

Which is why I haven’t got a Scraphappy post this month.

Spot the mattress but not a sewing machine in sight although it is there somewhere.

However, the following people might well do so have a browse through some of their blogs and maybe I’ll have something to show next time.

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

 

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

 

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Knit Two

Back at the beginning of May this year I told you I was having a knitfest and, in a reckless show of enthusiasm, showed you lots of things that were on my needles or just about to be.

There was the fisherman’s rib (😱) jumper which I finished under duress and showed you in a previous post, a blanket with squares knitted using various methods such as mosaic and cable which is still ‘on the go’, a jumper with a star in relief on the front which is knitted but not yet sewn up and  a boxy, oversized cardigan which – tadah – I finished the other day.

As promised by the pattern, worn here by its beautiful, delicate looking, teensy tiny designer, (Stephanie Jessica Lau), the Midtown Cardigan is indeed, oversized, relaxed and slouchy………

……..and worn here by me.

Being garter stitch it was perfect T.V./Netflix/Craft group knitting but every glitch in the stitches shows up in a rather unforgiving fashion

You can tell from the side and back views just how generously proportioned it is.

Dwindling from incredibly broad shoulders into teeny ankles – a feat achieved by a 5’3″ woman being photographed by a 6’4″ husband who forget to crouch down a bit.

Do you like our Japanese anemones by the way?

To ‘make it mine’ I made a couple of Dorset Buttons with the same yarn (King Cole’s Luxury Merino DK) and attached them to the pockets.

All in all, it came out as I expected and it is very warm and cosy and will come in very handy with the cooler days inevitably on their way.

I imagine it will be the star jumper I’ll be showing you next even though I keep putting off sewing up the seams – which is odd for somebody who does more sewing than knitting.

The blanket is still some way off.

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Scraphappy Day September 2021

I have somewhat reluctantly agreed to participate in a craft fair and will probably write more about how that came about in another post.

For now though, it is the day of the month where we try to do ‘stuff’ with scraps and, once again, I hand over to Mr. Tialys to step forward as I’ve been too busy getting more stock together so that I don’t show up with a practically empty table and have to pretend I’ve already sold loads of things even though it’s only ten minutes past the start time .

I have made more of my conical peg bags and also some reversible Japanese knot bags, both of which look better hanging than slumped on a table looking distinctly unimpressive and requiring an explanation of what they actually are.

So, a thick tree branch salvaged from the garden was sanded down and adorned with pieces of driftwood collected on our visits to the local beaches.  The branch is held steady in our functional rather than decorative Christmas tree holder which  I’ve wrapped in a hemp cloth and there you have it, ‘A Holder For Things That Look Better Hanging’.

It also serves to make more room for the other items I have on the table which, in this photo, is actually our dining table but as it’s the same size as the ones in the village hall I thought I’d drag it out into the garden and do a practise run so I’ll know what to put where on the day without faff.

The empty wooden frame will have cards with all the prices on when I eventually get round to it – I have until Saturday.

Not to be completely outdone I did make myself this brooch to wear at the craft fair which I feel identifies me as a ‘stallholder’ rather than a punter although, depending on your point of view, perhaps it identifies me as a person with questionable taste in accessories.  This was a whole tape measure but, having had half its length cut off, is now scrap but that doesn’t really count does it.  I’ll have to do something with the other half and post about it in a future scrappy post.

Anyway, as I’ve seen some of the amazing items other people will be selling at the fair there’s no way I won’t also be a punter and will almost certainly spend much more money than I make,

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate  Gun, EvaSue, Lynn  (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

 

 

 

 

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Must Love Dogs

A few posts ago I showed you a quilt I was working on for the Linus Project UK  and now it’s finished.

The only fabric I needed to buy was the backing as I had how I wanted the back to look like in my mind but didn’t have any fabric remotely resembling it.  All the other fabric, including the binding and the stitch and flip dog’s face, were in my stash.

I machine quilted it very simply with horizontal lines 2 inches apart.

It measures 36 x 42 inches which is the size requested for a child’s quilt and perfect for me to manage on my home sewing machine.

I hope there’s a small dog lover out there who’ll find some comfort from this little quilt.

Next one will be another baby sized one (36 inch square)  and I think I have some Peter Rabbit fabric in my stash somewhere so that will be a nice one to work on.

 

Project Linus UK is a volunteer organisation. We aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted blankets, and give volunteers across the UK the opportunity to contribute to their local community.

from Project Linus UK website:

 

 

 

 

 

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Scraphappy August 2021

The 15th of the month has whizzed round once again and, unlike last month, I was determined not to let it take me by surprise so had a rummage through my scraps to make something for Scraphappy Day.

Miss Tialys the Younger was visiting again so, continuing her sewing studies, I decided it was time for her to insert a zip.  Mean of me I know but if you’re going to sew the time will come when you will need to put a zip in, like it or not.

The project I chose uses scraps of fabric 8 inches x 6 inches and any length of zip which is good as I have a large zip stash bought as ‘mixed lots’ which means I have lengths I will never need and colours I would never want.

I had a small piece of this vintage style Scottie dog design from which I managed to cut two rectangles of the right size.

My ‘student’ chose a piece of cheaters patchwork fabric left over from a quilt I made a few years ago for my god-daughter’s new baby.

This must be the easiest way to insert a zip.  If you use one longer than you need it’s easy to keep the pull out of the way until it’s all sewn in.

Then sew the bottoms together and then, NOT FORGETTING TO OPEN THE ZIP HALFWAY (ask me how I know why you should do this!), sew up the sides running the stitches over both ends of the zip a couple of times to secure it.  Trim off most of the excess length from each end of the zip.

Turn inside out – through the half open zip! – and fold the corners to achieve the boxy shape you want.  I drew a line one inch up from each point and stitched across, then trimmed off a quarter of an inch from the stitch line.

Turn right side out and you have a cute little box pouch to keep little bits and pieces in.

We didn’t line these but you could do without too much difficulty and it would make it more sturdy and more able to stand up alone.  Full disclosure, I’ve cheated a bit for the photos and stuffed them full of paper.

My ‘student’ did well too.  What next for her?  She’s still scared of the rotary cutter so I think we’ll have to do some work with that as I rarely use scissors to cut anything out.  I’ll keep the Band Aids ready.

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate , Gun, EvaSue, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

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36 Comments

Oh My Buttons!

My new craft group sometimes runs workshops, usually taught by one of the members, and I immediately signed up to make my own knickers because why wouldn’t you?  That class is planned for October and, as I’ve tried before and failed, I’ll be interested to see if I can make a decent pair of apple catchers under instruction.

As we now live in Dorset and are lucky to have an expert in smocking and Dorset Button making it seemed a no-brainer to sign up for Rosalind’s class for beginners.  (Ros made the buttons for the most recent Poldark series so she knows what she’s about although, sadly, she didn’t get to personally attach them to Aiden Turner).

This was the tempting display of some of the different buttons that can be made employing this heritage craft.

The choice of colours was a dilemma for me but, as usual, I was drawn towards the blues.

First you do ‘the casting’ which means wrapping the ring (brass in this case) with the thread using a blanket stitch.

We made a Cartwheel Button so ‘the laying’ involves making the spokes and ‘the rounding’ involves weaving round those spokes until you’ve filled the gaps.

I found the hardest bit was ensuring you got the ‘hub’ of the wheel in the centre as you can tell in the photo below.  The pink one was my second practice piece and was even more off centre than the first one.  Still, if I knew what I was doing I wouldn’t have needed to do a workshop would I?

There were six of us in the class and we all managed a couple of buttons which wasn’t bad in the couple of hours we had.

While we were working and weaving, Ros told us about the history of the Dorset Button and, if you want to know more, you can read about it on her website here.  I was interested to hear that – reputedly – King Charles I went to the chopping block wearing jackets adorned with these buttons.  He wore the jackets to stop him shivering in the cold in case onlookers thought he was quaking with fear – as I most certainly would have been.

Anyway, Ros sells the supplies to make more buttons and, although I don’t really need another craft in my life, this one needs very little in the way of equipment and it isn’t expensive and it is also very portable andthere were kits! 

So, of course, I had to buy one.

Luckily, I have a drawer full of different colours of cotton perle thread – I don’t remember why – so, the next day, I made another button to fix the method in my mind and, this time, I got the centre almost right.  Maybe it’s because I remembered to put my glasses on which, for some reason, I hadn’t done at the workshop.

😎

Today it is gloriously sunny and beautiful so I am going to sit in the garden with a book and, just maybe, a brass ring or two and some needle and thread.

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

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The Dog Days of Summer

Apparently, in the northern hemisphere, the days between the 3rd of July and 11th of August are known as the dog days which are considered to be the hottest days of summer..  In my lovely corner of England, nobody appears to have told the sun. I don’t mind because, in the end,  I didn’t like it in Southern France when it got too hot to go out in comfortably.   I have discovered that the temperate climate of England suits me and, when we get good weather, it’s such a treat that everybody makes the most of it and never takes it for granted.

Still, last weekend my very good friend Sarah, drove the three hours from London to see me in our new house.  She arrived Thursday afternoon and we did a tour of the immediate surroundings so she could see the resting race horses, the rams and the Ladies in Waiting – the cows who are in the field opposite full-time at the moment waiting to calve.  I was especially  hoping for good weather on Friday so we could get out and about a little further afield.  Luckily, Friday was a lovely day so we went to another beach  just to ‘mill about’ and then we walked into the local market town of Bridport. 17,000 steps if you’re at all interested.  She, being a triathlete, has a Fitbit thingy on her wrist so I know it to be true.

The beach we visited is West Bay – more stunning cliffs along the Jurassic Coast.  This was the setting for ‘Broadchurch’ and also the place where Gabriel Oak’s errant sheepdog drove his entire flock of sheep to their deaths in the 2015 film version of ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ (very good by the way but no substitute for the book).

There are always some brave souls ready to make the most of the sunshine.

Close up, the texture and colour of the cliff face looks as if somebody has built a giant sandcastle.

Anyway, back to dogs – sort of.  Do you remember this stitch and flip dog’s face I made yonks ago which, like the paper pieced gnome I showed you recently, I didn’t quite know what to do with afterwards?  Well, I thought I’d use it as the central motif for another quilt for Project Linus UK but, this time, a slightly larger version measuring 36×42 inches which is the size requested for young children.

The block is rectangular – but in the wrong way for a quilt – so I searched my stash and made up the measurements as I went along, in order to utilise the fabric I had and get it to the right size.

I put a large spotted border around the outside and then remembered a dog print fabric I’d bought ages ago for face masks (Miss T. the Elder has one)  so started to make a further border with that using a greater width top and bottom in order to get the rectangular shape going.

One of the lessons I learnt early on in patchwork was to measure through the middle of the piece and cut your border to that size rather than to the size of the sides.  I forgot and ended up with a very wavy quilt top which became apparent when I put the first of the batik borders on.  OOPS!.  So, I had to take all the borders back off (apart from the spotted one) and was amazed at how much shorter I’d cut the doggy print fabric – what was I thinking?  I got creative and made up the shortfall by inserting a small piece of batik on each side.  I think it looks intentional 😉

Anyway, it turned out alright in the end.  The red batik is actually all the same shade but the light wasn’t good in my workroom for the photo so it looks as if it’s lighter at the bottom but it’s not.

Just need to sandwich it together with the wadding and backing, then bind it and quilt it as simply as possible.   I didn’t have enough of any suitable backing fabric in my stash and I had in mind some  dog paw print fabric so I broke my ‘no more fabric until I’m 110‘ rule and ordered a bargain piece online.

I’ll show you it when it’s finished.

I just hope there’s a small child in need of a quilt out there who also loves dogs!!

 

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A New Home For A Gnome

Around 18 months ago I showed you this gnome that I had made using the foundation paper piecing method……just because.

It’s a twelve inch finished block that ended up in my Parts Department as I didn’t really know what to do with it after I made it.  Ever get that feeling?

Anyway, the crafting group I joined a few weeks ago is committed to supporting Project Linus UK** and, although I can’t face piecing and quilting anything large at the moment, a small baby quilt measuring around 30 x 30 inches is eminently doable and will fit nicely under my machine for some rudimentary quilting (which is the only quilting I do).

So, the first step was to cut off those little black beads I’d used for his eyes, promptly lose them down the cracks in my floorboards,  and replace them with my even more rudimentary embroidery.

Then, using my stash and scraps, I did a spotted border to reflect those spots on his top and red cornerstones to pick up the hat.

Also in my Parts Department, I had the remains of a batik charm pack and then cut the cornerstones from fabric left over from a quilt I made for my niece’s baby a couple of years ago.

I used a cream fabric with a slightly embossed design for the border and the same fabric I used for the cornerstones as a backing.

Then I marked the quilt top with a simple, diagonal cross hatch design ready for machine quilting.

I had a fat quarter of Provencal fabric in my stash which, with a few joins and a bit of luck, was just enough to make the binding.

To give credit where credit’s due, Miss Tialys the Younger joined a lot of the ¼ inch seams for me while I did the measuring and cutting and, because she’s learning, she probably took much more care than I do.

I hope the baby and his/her parents like this little quilt and it brightens up their days which might have had a traumatic start of one sort or another.

Next, I have a paper pieced dog’s face in the Parts Department which I might treat in a similar way to this but make it rectangular for a bassinet.

While Miss T. the Younger was in the swing of things we made some tote bags together so now she has her own hand made ‘bags for life’ to go shopping with and I have another two to add to my collection,  We made them with box corners rather than the more simple shape as I find them much more useful for grocery shopping,

Again, I did all the measuring and cutting out but, hopefully, she’ll show an interest in doing that too eventually 🙄  Still, even if she doesn’t, it’s nice to spend time together doing something creative when she visits.  Plus, yet more stash fabric gets used up in a useful way.  Those first two fabrics are from Ikea I don’t know how many moons ago.

 

** from the Project Linus website:

“Project Linus UK is a volunteer organisation. We aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted blankets, and give volunteers across the UK the opportunity to contribute to their local community.”

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Scraphappy Day June 2021

Nothing better to do on my birthday so I’ve made my daughter some hair scrunchies from scraps – she actually helped make them as part of her pledge to get more confident on the sewing machine.

So many scraps and bits and pieces of elastic left over from masks – the compulsory use of which has now been extended for at least another four weeks in England, due to fears about another variant, despite the vast majority of the more vulnerable being double vaccinated.  I don’t like the sound of that ‘at least’.  Oh well.

Only joking about nothing better to do for my birthday – we made them yesterday and Mr, Tialys and I are going out for a slap up meal tonight with favourite sister-in-law and her other half.  A great excuse to wear a ‘frock’.

Talking of Mr. T., he has made a rustic divider/wind break structure for one of the flower beds using yet more pieces of wood found scattered around the garden.

It’s rather stylish so I suppose I’d better include it too otherwise he’ll be a bit miffed.

Plus, let’s be honest, it’s much more impressive than a few hair scrunchies.

 

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

 

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41 Comments

Yesterday Was A Good Day

I found a crafting group!

As most of you know, we moved back to England from France in November and, after quarantining for two weeks there was a brief period of relative freedom before going into quite hard lockdown again.  I saw a few of my new neighbours whilst out dog walking but haven’t been out and about apart from ‘necessary’ shopping.

We have an artisan centre in the next village which has now opened again and, in one corner of the Makers’ Gallery they have a pop-up display from a local artist which is changed every two weeks.  I saw some beautiful knitted pieces and very large crocheted mandala in copper hoops there and, by chance, I found the artist on Facebook and noticed she runs a crafting group that meets every Thursday and it is up and running again.  Be still my heart.

It’s a half hour’s drive away through winding country lanes but where there’s a will there’s a way and there was definitely a will.

The group meets in a village hall and as the sun was finally shining, and the view was lovely (see above), we sat outside next to the little river and I started to get to know some of the people.

There are knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners, needlepointers (?), quilters, dressmakers and all kinds of everything.  One of the members raises funds for the Linus Trust and they are making quilts for premature babies, full term ones, children and teens.  As I like nothing more than an excuse to make small quilts, I’ll be rooting through my fabric stash and making two or three of those. I took some simple knitting to do but it wasn’t simple enough apparently as, when I got home, I realised I’d made a few mistakes because I’d been enthusiastically chatting – so had to undo what I’d done, which luckily wasn’t much.

The club organises workshops and I do love a good workshop.  On offer yesterday to sign up for were:

Beginner’s Embroidery  – (need but don’t want)

Spinning and Weaving –  (don’t need but might secretly want)

Knicker Making – (yes! Signed up)

Dorset Buttons – (signed up,wondered why, was thinking of crossing out my name,  then was told the lady who teaches it is the Dorset Button lady and so, added to the fact that I now live in Dorset, why wouldn’t I give it a try?

Watch this space for knickers and fancy buttons.

The lady next to me yesterday was weaving a Jacob fleece into a rug – I can’t wait to see it but, being a newbie, I didn’t feel I could take photos of the goings on quite yet so, until I have ingratiated myself into the group a bit more, here are some pics from my dog walk  instead because I took them and therefore must inflict them on you.   The theme is white and wild, apart from the little viola.

Hawthorn

Ramsons – Wild Garlic

Queen Anne’s Lace plus Stan (who peed on it afterwards)

Haven’t a Scooby

Again, some sort of white wildflower – the head gardener isn’t here today to advise.

Edit: Stitchwort, thank you Wild Daffodil & now returned Head Gardener.

Just to make the day perfect, an independent boutique has opened up in the next village and it has lovely, unusual(ish) clothes at decent prices.  I felt as if I had to show my support. I was gratified to see that they wrapped my purchases in tissue and put them in a brown paper carrier bag.  I know plastic bags are awful but there’s nothing that takes the joy out of buying clothes (or underwear as has happened to me) when they are just rolled up and handed to you to stuff in your handbag.

Then I booked a table for four for my birthday dinner in a couple of weeks’ time for me, Mr. T., my favourite sister-in-law and her OH in a lovely country pub.

What will today bring?

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