Sunday, 7 March 2010

A rather productive weekend

Well, I may have skipped a week yet again, but I’ve made up for it with my industriousness today! Firstly, the black bag with flowers is finished (do you like it, Yvonne?)

Apologies for the poor quality of the photographs: unfortunately I've had to use the camera on my phone as the good camera is having a funny five minutes, You can't see the ribbon with wooden beads to draw it closed.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk; although I had lots in my head, there was a definite lack of motivation. But the sun came out today, and I was allowed to do what I pleased; so I did!

Yesterday this gardening apron was done for a friend's birthday. I've made a few of these now. There's a little button hole at the top of one of the pockets to feed string out of.
Now, you might notice a pattern of fabrics here! A handbag (my own pattern) baby blue cord for the base, adjustable strap, internal slip pockets and a clip for your keys. This one is destined for the shop.
Now, this one has been hanging around my workspace for weeks. A nice-looking bag and a straightforward pattern, but don't ask me to make another one! I had difficulty lining up the handle openings and it's not quite right.
Looks cute and I'm sure someone will take it off my hands (cue daughter...!)

Had a go at mitred corners and they didn't turn out so bad! That's something I will be repeating :-)

A rather nice cushion. Sadly, the photo doesn't show the centre of the flower very well; it's a yo-yo with 2 stacked buttons.

I hope that whatever you have planned for this week, it's something you want to do.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Well, it's nearly finished.

Sorry about the skipped week; not sure how the last two weeks have got away from me (apart from the worky thing; always a pain!)

So, very little accomplished in the crafty domain, so decided to knuckle down and have a play!

Some weeks ago, I visited Reading and found Fabric Land. Naturally, I purchased a little (!) fabric, amongst which was some black 'coating' fabric. It has the feel of felt and behaves as felt does, not fraying when cut, and the label indicated some wool content.

Yesterday, my Aunt asked for a new bag. After her description, brain went into design mode and the following is the result. Now, Aunt, this is probably not what you had in mind, it's just what came into mine. This is not necessarily yours - unless you want it to be!
So, cut out two pieces like this, plus a bottom.
Flowers sewn on with freee motion machine stitch; pearly beads added to the centre
Pieces of fabric added to the triangular flaps (left one before embellisher, right one after)
And the almost complete bag

Almost completed because - and this will beggar belief for those who know me! - I don't have any black-based fabric for lining in my stash. None. Zip. Zilch.
Plan is that this will be a drawstring bag like DD made for her textiles exam, with the triangles gathering. Hmm, not sure how this will work in practice.
If Aunt doesn't want it, it will be in my shop as soon as it's done!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The start of February

Well hello! Another mad week at work; you do not know how much I'm looking forward to half term (even if I only have a couple of days off)!

Helped a friend with her GCSE textiles today. She'd done a bag - very nicely too - but it wasn't enough to satisfy the Geography teacher. Yes, that's right folks; her textile's teacher's main subject is Geography and this is a sideline. S she decided to create a flex frame purse

I'm sorely tempted at this point to have a little rant about teachers and their subjects. Hey, I teach ICT and could probably do a reasonable job teaching textiles, so I'm not suggesting people can't diversify. But having been through this with my daughter and now her friend (who's slightly younger), I get tad frustrated seeing young people having the stuffing and enthusiasm knocked out of them.

OK, rant over!

Said daughter came to me yesterday. 'Mum, I'd like a new bag. All the ones in the shops are a bit big; I'd like a saddle bag style, just big enough for my purse, phone and a bottle of water. Oh, and my passport, because I could use it when I go to Berlin. Oh, and a cover for my passport would be cool'.

Berlin is her History trip. She leaves Tuesday. Hmmm. So here is the Berlin bag:

There's a slip pocket at the front to put the passport. Sadly, said passport is currently naked, as my sewing machine thought it would be a good idea to stop working just before the bag was complete. I'm so lucky to have a reserve machine; when I bought my singing and dancing machine, I kept the old one for the daughter to use.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

There goes January!

Well, nothing to show for this week, folks. It's been a ridiculous start to the year for me in my 'real' job, which hasn't allowed for much creatve time or energy.

I have a lovely Moda Birdie jelly roll, bought from Pauline's Patchwork at the Autumn Quilt Show in Malvern, that I've taken apart and looked at, stroked and generally dribbled on. I spent nearly the entire day looking at my books and the Moda Bake Shop to try & decide what to do with these lovely fabrics.

I still didn't come to a conclusion, so I'm thinking that perhaps I should design my own???

I did help Mum with her pumpkin stems. Not sure whether it's very early or very late!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

January Blues!

Well, so much for a post a week! I was so out of sorts last weekend, I couldn't settle to anything, so nothing much got done. But I've made up for it since.....

When I went to the Autumn Quilt Show at Malvern, I bought some flannels in squares and 2 1/2" strips. Lovely soft pastels and no small children to make it for! So it's for me, a complete self indulgence!

I've just quilted inside the squares. Unfortunately I don't have anything suitable to bind it with at the moment, so it'll have to stay as a UFO. A colleague at work gave me a card she had purchased in Paperchase as I waxed lyrical about the design possibilities (so much so, I think she felt obliged to let me have one!). This is my first attempt at taking the design and putting it into a different medium. What do you think?
I think the tree needs to be a stronger green. The outer fabric and the back is a sort of suede-style and a bit of a so-in-so to sew. It looked naked, so I added the flowers:
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I decided to make a cushion for the shop. It's Kaffe Fassett fabric around the edge, with Michael Miller fabric for the heart, all purchased from Lexi Loves in Cirencester
I recently bought myself a copy of the book, and I tried the bowl pattern (just in front the book) Spurred on from this, I crocheted the flower with a 7mm hook and wool meant for felting. It started off about 4" square: and turned into a 3" square flower.

It's still rather larger than I had anticipated but at least now I know it will shrink approximately 25%!

Not bad for a grumpy week!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The disadvantage of a male brain.... that you don't read instructions.

It has often been said that there is more than a little maleness in the way I think. I cannot deny that this is the case. Even less so now I have made this quilt.

Fortunately I am consistent in my errors. The diamond shapes should have formed a very pretty star radiating from the centres; instead I have an on-point square and a windmill-like formation. Fortunately an attractive windmill formation!
I know, had I not told you all, you would not have noticed the error, and the quilt is OK. Not what was expected but hey-ho! For those of you who like to know these kind of things, it was made using a Moda jelly roll called Northern Solitude and there is still lots left, including quite a few whole strips. I've decided that I'd like a thin sash to frame the blocks before the border goes on and (despite having several boxes of fabric) I don't have the right one in sufficient quantities to do this. So this on is on hold.

I enjoyed a couple of snow days this week, hence the completion of a whole quilt top. (I'd like a few more, although I'm aware that this may not be universally popular).

Cassie dog loves the snow and can even make her own snowballs. She had to be left in the kitchen to defrost when we came home

Next quilt started...but I can't post a picture as my laptop is refusing to play. Ho hum!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Well, hello again!

Well, hello!

A rather long absence, but a new year would be a good time for a new start, I thought. So here I am, back again! I hesitate to tag it with a New Years Resolution, as that seems to be a kiss of death, so I'll just say I'm trying to get my groove back!

Hard to explain the absence; I don't have a note from my mum or anything. Not even a really good excuse if I'm honest. I have been doing odds and ends - even managed to sell a few things, too. Probably more odds Maybe I'll add them to Flickr when I get the photos off the external hard drive that decided to fail just before Christmas. Or not.

Played with tin cans and felt today and this is what I came up with:

Flowers cut from felt and a Foster's can. Made quite a few and thought I should do something with them, so I tried a necklace

Changed the colour scheme to purple and cut a larger flower.

but it just wasn't big enough for a brooch on it's own; it definately needed bigging up

So here it is! It felt really good to be making things for the fun of it, with no deadline and the chance to play. Such a shame the time will disappear into my day job.
Here's hoping for a snow day or three!