Archive for category Miscellaneous Crafts

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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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 May 2021

It’s time to make things with scraps again and, this time, I’ve gone back to fabric scraps and it’s a ridiculously simple project so apologies in advance but scraps are scraps.

After moving house, I’ve never really got around to totally reorganising my sewing/craft supplies but, as you can see above, I’m trying.

I noticed a tutorial for make up remover pads (find it here) and I thought immediately of Scraphappy day and the fact that the pads call for 4.5 inch squares which I actually had pre-cut in my Parts Department box.

See!

Nobody is more surprised than me when I occasionally show signs of being organised.

The tutorial suggests using a bamboo velour for the actual cleansing pad part – probably because the shop sells it which is fair enough but I remembered an old cotton flanelette sheet I used for auditioning quilt blocks on and thought that would make a good substitute.

So, 4.5 inch squares of scrap cotton fabric sewn to 4.5 inch squares of soft flanelette right sides together, turned right side out and top stitched.

I told you it was ridiculously simple.

I have tested them out and I prefer them to the little crochet rounds I made before for the same purpose because these have more surface area and are more absorbent.  The flanelette seems to work really well but you could also use some old soft towelling.

Having made these I thought I’d follow the rest of the tutorial which has a zippered pouch with waterproof lining to put the used pads in and a side pocket to separate the clean ones.

I gave away the bulk of my scrap stash before leaving France but, luckily, a few scraps survived the move and I have started a new scrap collection already.

So, it was easy to find enough bits to make the pouch and, long ago, a friend had given me a length of waterproof fabric (PUL??) that I unearthed to use for the inside.

So some scraps used and lots of cotton pads unused which can only be a good thing.

Everything can go in the washing machine ready to re-use next time I get round to bothering to wear any make-up other than mascara which, once masks are no longer needed (fingers crossed) I might actually do.

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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Scraphappy Day April

Making things from scraps again this month and, although Mr. Tialys features again – 🙄 – I’m determined not to let him hog the whole post this time and, anyway, I think his contribution has been entered in a previous Scraphappy by somebody else.

Anyway, without further ado, plant pots were some of the many things we left behind in France which may or may not eventually arrive here but probably not.  Mr. T. ordered in some fibre pots which will eventually break down and, although he did give in and buy a pack of plastic ones the other day, the seeds needed small homes.  We’ve saved up the cardboard inner tubes from the loo rolls and Mr. T. manipulates each one into two small seed pots.  At first he was snipping around the diameter of the bottom of each half and folding them in to make a base but found this made quite a shallow pot so now he leaves the bases open and puts them in a tray with a layer of compost in it so that the roots grow into that which then makes it easier to pick the whole plant up and transplant it.  Apparently.

Here are the nasturtiums in their little loo roll homes.

So, enough of Mr. T.’s projects, I also have a contribution this month.  If you remember, I made a wigwam shaped peg bag a little while back and thought I’d make another.

‘But that doesn’t look like much like a scrap project’ I hear you say and you would be right.

I did, however, have scrap left from making the peg bag and this is what I made with it.

Which, I believe, is an excellent excuse for couple of doggie photos.

Kerpow bandana modelled by Stan.

Going grey now – he’ll be 11 in June – but still my handsome boy.

LAST MINUTE EDIT:

Just before ‘going to  press’ Mr Tialys had to have the last word 🙄

Remember all that wood and other old toot that he got off of the bank in the garden?

He just turned it into this

The roof protection is made from a bit of old butyl pond liner also found on the bank.

Then he climbed up the willow tree to position it.

Ready for the blue tits to find if they haven’t found accommodation already.

So, he trumped me again.

Show-off.

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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A Saturday Evening Treat And A Project Fail

Yesterday evening there was a beautiful rainbow forming a perfect arch over our garage and the end of the garden. Sometimes they don’t last long so I took a photo on my phone rather than go and search for the ‘proper’ camera.  I couldn’t fit the whole arch in so this is just the first half.

It cheered me up – I was a bit fed up as my recent jelly roll rug project didn’t go to plan.

It was all going so well……

…..and then it all started to go horribly wrong.

Despite taking it over to the ironing board fairly regularly and making sure it was all laying flat, the dreaded waviness had taken over – I think caused by joining the last few rounds too tightly.

I undid the last couple of ‘go rounds’ twice, painstakingly unpicking all those zigzag stitches, and tried to re-do them but I still couldn’t get it to lay flat even after steaming the hell out of it and laying it under a weighted flat board.

So, I decided that life is too short and I could use a smaller rug anyway so I just undid the strips until I reached a point where the rug would lay flat, or flattish.

(Ooh! Bright! This is on my bathroom floor.)

It fits quite well under the little vintage dressing table in the, as yet undecorated, spare bedroom.  (She says to explain the marks on the wall but it is true – we haven’t done much of anything inside the house as yet.)

So all was not lost .

I do have two more jelly rolls in my stash but, although I enjoyed making this (until the last bit) and it’s a new and different project under my belt, I’m not sure I’ll be going there again and, anyway, I had a job even finding a place for this little rug so I don’t need any more.

Anyway, the rainbow was a treat – much deeper in colour than I could capture on my phone – and here’s the other side of it slicing through our old oak tree and dipping down into the field beyond

Have you compromised on a project just to get it done with or are you a determined perfectionist?

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On a Roll With The Jelly Roll

I know some of you like to see progress reports for projects and, although it’s something I don’t usually think to do, this jelly roll project is going so fast I thought I would.

I got off to a very rocky start.  I followed some advice on a YouTube video to made an oval shape for the centre in order  to help make getting round those first few curves a bit  easier.

As you can see, it didn’t work for me.

Then, disaster struck and my sewing machine decided it didn’t like doing the zigzag stitch as a zigzag stitch should be done,

I undid it all and started again.

I switched from a walking foot to an ordinary one and cleared the feed dogs of accumulated years  of lint and fluff.  I suspect it was the latter which proved more helpful but I haven’t bothered to put the walking foot back on anyway.

The ends were still curving up a little so every time the thread breaks (depressingly often) or I haven’t quite caught both sides in the zigzag I steam press the hell out of those curves.

Which seems to have helped.

You must only join the new ‘rope’ from the right hand side or you will end up with a rather large expanse of coiled fabric where there is no room for it.  Somebody else did this – and thought to tell us – so we now don’t have to make the same mistake and t will all grow out to the left and on to the raised flat surface you have provided for it.

I know it won’t be perfect in the end – the zigzag still plays up now and then and I managed to get an odd curve in the centre piece –   but I’m quite pleased with how it’s progressing.

The thread snapped (again) and, as I’d just started joining the colour change to red, I thought it would be a good time to give it another steaming and take a progress photo.

I think these would make very nice place mats if you didn’t want to  go the whole hog and made a rug.

Just as an aside, Dawn asked what Wonder Clips are.  I usually use them to hold on the binding of a quilt after it’s been machine stitched down on one side and waiting for me to hand stitch it down on the other.

Like so –

In the rug project I used them to hold the folded length of fabric and batting in place while I fed it into my sewing machine.

Hopefully, the next update will be a finished rug – I’m zipping along with it.  Then I can catch up with my knit-along project disturbed only by reaching for another piece of Easter Egg and Mr. Tialys telling me what he’s up to in the garden and what he’s done with the seven or eight bags of potting compost I  saw being unloaded from the boot of his car yesterday.

Have a good Easter break wherever you are. x

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Tight Lipped Tuesday Project Progress

Yesterday I asked you to guess what I was making with a jelly roll of fabric and some strips of batting/wadding.

For the uninitiated a jelly roll is approximately 42 x 2.5 inch strips of fabric, usually from a coordinated range, cut across the width of the fabric and rolled up into a pleasing shape like  this.

Now, three of these jelly rolls remain in my stash and, as I literally have no more room in our house for any more quilts (or crocheted/knitted blankets) and all the people I love enough to toil for hours over a new quilt already have one, when I saw a project that used a jelly roll and some batting (also in my stash), I knew it had to be done.

As two of you guessed and a couple more might have suspected the project is indeed a jelly roll rug and as I have not yet filled my house with rugs I thought I’d give it a go.

So, first step is to join the strips of fabric.  I did this with a diagonal seam as I think it is more discreet than a straight join.  Then I lay the batting strips on the fabric strips, folded the long edges into the  middle and then fold again.  I held my somewhat bulky strips with wonder clips as I fed them into my machine which I had furnished with a walking foot and a denim needle.  Then I sewed up the long, long, long (did I say it was long) edge with a narrow seam.  Some people sew up the centre of the strip but I don’t want more  thread than necessary showing on the finished rug.

I let the emerging long fabric snake fall into coils into a wire basket behind my machine like so –

– in the probably vain hope that it will be easier to feed back into the machine when the  time comes to join them all together in a big, squidgy oval shape.

I’m not actually using a pattern but have watched numerous YouTube videos on how to put one of these together so I’m hoping I’ll be fine.

One tip I learnt was to use an extension table on your sewing machine so that, as the rug grows, it will lay flat because not laying flat appears to be one of the pitfalls of these rugs.  I haven’t got an extension table so I built up the level around my machine with  a variety of filing boxes and files.

So, many fabric strips later, I have a nice curled snake in the basket.

Ready for the next stage which I will attempt tomorrow (or maybe Friday)

I’m afraid the KAL (knit along) blanket I’m supposed to be doing has met with some delay 🙄

Still, like I said, I don’t need another blanket.

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #30

Sometimes, even though I have more than enough going on already, I get seduced by a project I see online.

Especially if I already have all the ‘ingredients’.

Can you guess what I’m hoping to make?

This is as far as I’ve got.

I might be some time.

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Playing About

Sort of hard to tell from this first photo due to scale but – never fear – this is not the sort of thing I wear about the house during lockdown (or any time) to entertain Mr. Tialys and the various deliverers of parcels to my door.

Although, if that’s your thing, I won’t judge you.

Another sewing lesson took place where Miss Tialys the Younger pretends she wants to learn to sew but, in reality, she just wants clothes for her ‘niche’ doll collection and so she sits and watches me do it all or, at least pretends to.  In our last session she actually fell asleep.

I, on the other hand, was bravely struggling with teeny pattern pieces and fairly minimal instructions (no drawings, only writing 😲) but actually quite enjoying myself.

Everyone’s a critic, apparently, and she felt qualified to tell me that I’d put the ears on too close together

Although I was actually quite chuffed with it.

WARNING: Disturbing image coming up.

(He’s naked underneath and anatomically correct 😮)

In fact, I started to quite get into the whole playing with dolls thing by the end of it and my model obliged with a couple of poses.

As I’ve said before – I’m a teddy bear person myself (if anything) and have quite a collection of artist bears (from years ago) which has taken over the smallest of the small bedrooms much to Mr. T’s annoyance as he actually put the shelf up in there for books.

I cheered him up with this one though. An antique French bear too big to fit on the shelf but who consented to wearing the leather plague mask made by Mr. T. before such things were no longer a joke. 😷

Time to put the toys away now and do something more useful.

The things we get up to in lockdown!

 

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ScrapHappy January 2021

I was determined to join in with Scraphappy this month, having missed some due to the move.

Even though we’ve downsized massively and I affectionately refer to our new home as ‘the dolls’ house’ I’ve always found dolls creepy – I’m more of a teddy bear girl myself.  However, a request for dolls’ clothes was made and scraps were dug out.

A scrappy bit of fleecy stuff found lurking amongst Mr. Tialys’s rolls of leather got turned into mini Ugg style boots.

Some thin, stretchy fabric left over from a dress and a bit of French terry from who knows where got made into a t-shirt and trousers.  This fiddliness prompted a successful search for my rotary cutter and unpicker in the depths of my still disorganised sewing room so that was good at least.

*shudder*

Be grateful I forgot to take a photo of the heart patterned boxer shorts.

With that I shall remark only on how I marvel at people who can make detailed teeny, tiny things for all sorts of dollies and softies without harbouring any wish to join them.  If I’m going to make a pair of jeans with a fly front, belt loops, contrast top stitching and decorated back pockets I want to be able to wear them myself.

oOo

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 (first name on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaire,
JeanJon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette and Ann

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