Archive for category Miscellaneous Crafts

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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42 Comments

Mélange

Pretentious? Moi? Get me with that title – can’t quite shake off the last 16 years of Frenchification.  I still sometimes say ‘Bonjour’ or ‘Merci’ to people out of habit which comes over as a bit odd as not many people would mistake my accent for a real French person especially the real French person who lives just down the road I haven’t yet met and can’t quite believe exists considering we are in the middle of nowhere.

Anyway, I’ve recently written a couple of posts about our new garden and, as Mr. Tialys is starting to get into gear with it at weekends, thought I’d start taking a few before and after photos although the ‘after’ ones might be a long time coming as he’s working during the week.

You may remember that the previous occupant was a bit eccentric, shall we say, in her gardening methods and design and this birds’ eye view (or out of my sewing room window’s view) of the extreme right hand side of the front garden is a prime example.

Obviously Mr. T. had concerns about losing the wheelbarrow in the garden as he seems to have bought the most garish colour available 🙄

In her defence, Mr. Tialys has spotted lots of evidence – backed up by neighbour testimony – of a ground elder invasion.  However, he has decided to do away with a lot of the gravel, black plastic mulch and slate little by little and resort to a regular good digging over and perhaps some root barriers.  This small section is where he’ll start and the straight box hedge with no apparent purpose apart from to make it look as if it marks the end of our garden – which it doesn’t – will be dug up and planted alongside the path that runs along the front of the house instead.

I took this view of our lovely old oak tree because on a sunny(ish) day it started to rain but, on closer inspection, it was only raining from the tree.  It seems that any leftover frost from previous days had begun to melt in the admittedly weak heat from the sun and it rained down for a good twenty minutes or so.  I took a  photo from the front door porch but the raindrops haven’t shown up so you’ll just have to believe me.

It does, however, show the section on the other side of the little, irrelevant box hedge.  At the moment it is also covered in gravel and will probably become incorporated with the first section I showed you once the hedge is put to better use.

My sewing room is still a mess.  I’ve managed to get all the boxes unpacked – well, nearly – but now I can’t find anything.  Mr. T. said to push a couple of projects through and I’d start to find stuff out of necessity . I’m not  very motivated at the moment as, like most of us,  I don’t go anywhere to wear anything other than jeans and comfy tops and I have enough quilts and crocheted blankets to fill a much bigger house than we now have.

However!! In the last minute madness that accompanied our packing when leaving France for England, I made some strange choices as to what to leave behind and what to bring over.  As we haven’t sold the French house yet we were fortunate to be able  to leave quite a bit of stuff there to either be retrieved at some time in the future, sell it, give it away  or call in the house clearance company – it will probably be a combination of all those things.

Why did I pack a ‘posh’ dinner service we have had for 30 years and never use and eight – yes, eight – antique mannequins and then, on only the second day I could possibly have hung washing up to dry outside (well, it is winter and it is England) I realised I hadn’t packed the peg bag?

In a nod to the cows that were grazing in the field behind I found some fabric in deep stash (though what I’d originally intended it for I can’t imagine) and a pattern for a slightly different style than I’ve had before. This ‘wigwam’ style means I can use a trigger hook at the top to attach it to the washing line and it won’t blow off in the wind as the more common clothes hanger style tends to do and it was very slightly more challenging to make which forced me to employ some methods I haven’t used for too long now such as pattern cutting, making and attaching bias binding and some simple quilting.

In the process I finally set up both my sewing machine and overlocker, unearthed my rotary cutter and unpicker (hooray!) and used some fabric stash.  Plus, I think these would make good rat/hamster/insert other small pet/ beds which might be a fun item to put in my Etsy shop should I ever get round to stocking it again.

Since learning to crochet I’ve severely neglected my knitting and some yarn that escaped my pre-move cull was eighteen 400g balls of aran (medium worsted) weight yarn. I had six balls of three different colours because I used to make big chunky blankets with this wool which were made knitting six strands at a time on huge circular needles. You might remember if you’re a long term follower.

Everyone I know and love – and even one or two that I don’t – now has one of these blankets so I searched for a pattern I could use to make a comfy jumper for my daughter’s birthday next month and found this one.  Perfect lockdown wear.

I had some of the yarn in red fleck, black fleck and cream so chose the cream and this is as far as I’ve got.

I’d forgotten how long knitting takes compared to crochet.

A 400g ball of wool won’t fit in my usual yarn bowl so I put my huge Mason Cash mixing bowl into service – in case you were wondering.

Not to be outdone in the creative stakes Mr. Tialys made some rather nice shortbread which is one of the good things about having him working from home rather than in another country entirely and, although it’s taking some getting used to it definitely has more benefits than disadvantages.

 

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Scraphappy and a Half July

It’s the 15th of the month again and time to talk about using scraps instead of throwing them away or storing them in forgotten corners.

I read on Facebook that a woman locally to me here in France is sending off parcels to Samos in Greece containing things for newborns.  She asked if any knitters (or crocheters) could make small blankets.

I immediately thought of the leftover yarn I used for my large Attic24 Hydrangea Blanket – in the background above – which would be perfect for a miniature version.

Big enough to wrap a newborn in.

So that was my whole scrappy project this month but I thought I’d include a half size one too.  Half size because it was really spare, long standing stash stuff rather than scraps I used.  Although, the project could be made using scraps if you had some fairly big ones.

My lovely bath/shower cap had gone mouldy so on a trip to the beautiful city of Carcassonne the other day with a friend, I searched everywhere for a new one.  Not a one could I find, not even a boring plain, thin plastic one.  So, undeterred, I came home and made my own.

I used one of my large wire hoops (bought to house crochet mandalas or similar) to draw a circle on a layer of fabric and a layer of some water resistant fabric given to me years ago for lining wash bags or similar.

I unearthed the end of a roll of ready made binding and sewed it on around the circle.

Then used another odd piece to make a casing for the elastic.

I sewed the casing on two inches inside the diameter in order to achieve a bit of frou frou.

Et voila.

It has yet to be tested under the shower for water resistance but I’m quite pleased with it. (Sorry it was only half scrappy).

 

(p.s. I’ve not been overly visible on my own blog recently owing to upheavals in daily life – nothing bad unless you count probably moving from my beautiful big house in the foothills of the French Pyrenées with 2.5 acres, back to the U.K. where we’ll be lucky to get something with a garden big enough to swing one of our cats 🙀.  Anyway, I have been reading everybody’s blogs even though I might have only had time to press ‘like’ now and then  – just saying.)

 

 

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.

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny and Kjerstin

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41 Comments

ScrapHappy May

Scraphappy Day has come around very fast this month.  I’m amazed how the time has flown considering the restrictions on our movements which I thought would make it drag.

As a result, I was a little unprepared so I’m showing a new version of a project I’ve made several times before, some of which I showed on a previous Scraphappy day.  Sorry about that but the timing was good for me as my youngest daughter has expressed an interest in sewing and, although I’m not holding out much hope, I want to encourage it as it’s more useful than some of her other interests.

So, I made her one of my needle books.

I had some of this fabric left from a project I can’t remember making but there were large pieces cut out of it so I know it exists somewhere.  The fabric is significant as one of my daughter’s nicknames is ‘Bea’ and the logo for my handmade shop on Etsy is a dragonfly.

The inside lining and pocket are made from a bit of patchwork I had left over from a quilt I made for a baby .

I used some scrap felt for the ‘book’ and thought I’d include these cat themed scissors and heart pin in the package.

Together with a selection of odd buttons, it might give her a bit of a kick start to a sewing future and, if not, well she can pass it all on to her sister who does sew.

While I was in the needle book groove I made another one which isn’t from scrap but I’ve been dying to use this fun Japanese linen blend fabric for ages.

To be honest, this fabric would also be fairly relevant to Mlle Tialys the Younger – but don’t tell her I said so.

 

EDIT: just showed the second needle case to Mr. T. and he pointed out that’s not how sloths hang 🙃 .  Doh!  This will have to be a spare needle case for me now. 🙄

 

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.

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny and Kjerstin

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42 Comments

Getting Cross With Cross Stitch

My ‘real life’ sewing friend and I are always searching for new projects to do on our (pre-lockdown) regular Wednesday afternoon three hour sessions which are interrupted only by two tea breaks and a cake.

Anyway, undeterred by previous rubbish patterns in magazines, we were seduced by this little cartonnage house made with card and fabric and – shock, horror – cross stitch.

If you read my blog regularly you will know that cross stitch is one of my ‘never say never and I mean it’ things, like sea cruises and anchovies, but I thought, nothing ventured nothing gained and she can teach me.  Plus, how cute is that little house with roses round the door and windows.

I should have known better.

For starters, not only was it a French magazine but it was a French magazine translated from the Italian.

For followers, (is that even a phrase?) the pattern was absolutely terrible and the only way we managed to work it out was because we had both previously done quite a bit of cartonnage work.

There were no helpful pictures of the actual construction or the inside to help – only diagrams which didn’t make any sense and photographs of the finished piece.

To top it all, they had you glue each end of the apex of the roof onto the slender tops of the front and rear facade which we decided was ridiculous because if you had anything of any weight inside it would make carrying it around a bit risky in case of droppage followed by spillage and also, it’s quite deep so would be fiddly to reach for things at the bottom.

So, we decided to leave the roof unstuck and, if we’d made that decision earlier, might not have bothered with the handle.

All this faffing around took us several weekly sessions and many cups of tea and pieces of cake to come up with the house shaped box.

And then…….

Came the cross stitch.

I cannot lie.  I very rarely give up on something but, after two sessions of managing a couple of crosses – and even they were wrong – I threw my toys out of the pram, swore fluently in both French and English and refused to continue.  I said I would figure out a way of making those windows and that door out of something other than fiddly strands of thread that you have to separate into thinner fiddly strands and then watch it run out just as you are mid-way through a stitch.  A way where I wouldn’t have to use a magnifying glass to see where to place the stitch and then, when I actually managed to do one didn’t look like a cross anyway because it was so tiny or, more likely, because I’d done it wrong.  Something that wouldn’t send me home feeling I’d wasted a couple of hours and needing to take a painkiller for a headache.

I thought about little felt windows and doors.

Even though I had subjected her to a mini tantrum and ranted about how awful counted cross stitch is and why does anybody ever do it, my friend forgave me and, better still, when I went back the next week, she’d done it for me.

I’m a bit ashamed of myself but I think I did a good job on the yoyos.

At least I now know that counted cross stitch will stay on my ‘never say never and I mean it’ list for ever and ever.

Do you have a ‘never say never and I mean it’ list?

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39 Comments

Scraphappy April

It’s the 15th of the month and time for another scrappy post where we show what we’ve made with scraps of  – well, anything really – although my scraps are usually fabric or wool.

I think it was Anne over on her blog who introduced me to Ann Wood Handmade‘s lovely website .  I nipped over there the other day after Anne once again mentioned her in a post and, as Scraphappy day was on the horizon and I managed to miss the last one, I thought I’d take up her offer of a free pattern to make a little pincushion.

As every sewing person knows, you can’t possibly have too many pincushions although, if I’m honest, I might have.

So I printed out the pattern and made little cardboard templates in case I want to make another of these little ladies (or pears – see further down) in future.

I used scraps from a quilt I’d made in the past which was a braided design and so these scraps were in the shape of a short rhomboid so have been hanging around in my scrap bin for a while now but proved to be the perfect size for this project.

Remember I mentioned pears earlier on?  Well, I know this is a little doll but I think, in an appropriate colour and with some felt leaves on top, this pattern would make an excellent pear too.

A bit lumpy – it’s filled with lentils and some wool.  The lentils might have been an error of judgement but I didn’t want to waste precious rice in this time of difficult shopping and lentils do unpleasant things to my digestive tract so this is one way to get rid of them rather than eat them.

I upended the whole thing to attach some of this mini pompom trim I’ve had hanging around for a while and never found a use for.

Just before Christmas, my friend gave me some wooden beads for use as heads on little gnomes she was making.  I didn’t make the gnomes and can’t remember for the life of me where I put those beads.  I probably spent more time looking for them than making this project.  However, I am now a needle felting person and have the tools of the trade and, unlike several years ago when I first tried needle felting, I appear to have mastered the art of making a felt bead.

So, I did, and harpooned it on a stick.

She just needed a little scarf around her scrawny neck and a flower in her hair and she was ready to hold my heart pin.

 

 

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  Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,(me) Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, PaulineSue L
and Sunny

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37 Comments