Friday, 16 May 2014

From my sewing room

Hello there!
Today I want to share some recent sewing projects with you. First up is a little wallhanging I designed to hang in the kitchen. My aim is to have different seasonal wallhangings to display in the space above our table, last year I made a Halloween one...
& a Christmas one... 
...& I have been toying with the idea of a Spring one for some months now. I picked up some fabric printed with daffodils & narcissi in the January sales but spent a long time trying to decide exactly how to incorporate it into a design. In the end I cut out a lot of elements I had been considering & kept it fairly simple. I knew it HAD to have bunnies...
I added buttons & white pom poms for the bunnies tails & hand appliqued the word "Spring" across the top...
I'm rather happy with how it turned out, even if it is nearly summer time now! 
As some of you may know I have a bit of a "thing" for owls. This stretches back to my childhood & so now they are so trendy it makes me smile to see them everywhere. I have been wanting to make myself a fabric owl for quite a while but it was one of those things that kept getting bumped down the list. You know how that goes don't you? When we went to the Quilt Show in Edinburgh in February I saw some lovely fabric owls & I decided I really must make one soon - does May count as soon?! I had the basic pattern I wanted to use from a supplement with a Fon's & Porter's quilt magazine from last fall, but, as is my wont, I changed a few things... The pattern called for the whole owl to be made from felt, but I don't really like working with felt that much so I picked some pretty cotton for her body, wings, and inner eye circles. I loved how there was a useful pocket on the front but hubbie pointed out it wasn't the best shape for keeping scissors in and suggested making the wings into pockets as well. It took a bit of thinking (especially as the wings were already cut out!) but I love how they turned out! Would you like to meet her? Here she is next to the supplement containing the pattern...
I called her Owlivia...
...and here she is sitting on top of my sewing machine with my tape measure in her front pocket, seam ripper in one wing, & scissors in the other...
She is such a helpful sewing buddy I'm starting to wonder how I managed without her!
Just before I go here's a sneak peak at a new blanket I am working on for my grandson's birthday...
Yes, I have been taking advantage of pretty much any sunshine we get to go sit outside & hook up another round on this. Little ones' birthday is in just under two weeks time so I'd better get on with it! 
Thank you for visiting me here today, I hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you're up to!






Friday, 9 May 2014

Zero Calories Candy!

Hello there!
I hope you have all been enjoying some warmer, sunnier days now that we are into May? I can't quite believe we've started another month already, where is this year going to?? I'm actually pretty glad to be shot of April, I spent big chunks of it not feeling very well &, as a consequence, didn't achieve what I had hoped for in this month. I haven't picked up any cross stitch in two months now, the last stitching I did was this Christmas ornament which I finished back in March...


It is a free chart called First Snow which is available here. I chose to stitch it on 14 count blue aida which I had in my stash rather than the 36 count linen listed, the only subsequent change I made to the chart was to stitch the snowflakes as regular crosses rather than smyrna crosses (which would have been trickier on aida). I have had this design on my to stitch list for a couple of years now so was very glad to finally work it up!
So if I haven't been stitching then what have I been doing this month? Well... a lot more knitting and crochet than usual! I have been working on my basic sweater (almost finished now!) but I also started a new knitting project. One of the things that tempted me back into knitting last year was the possibility that one day I might be able to make some of the knitted teddies I fell in love with at Mary Jane's Tearoom. Last summer I was lucky enough to be gifted some of these oh-so-cute patterns & last month I finally decided I felt brave enough to give one a try. I learnt very quickly that making knitted toys like this is very different to crocheting amigurumis! For a start the pieces are all knitted flat on straight needles so the bits look very odd when you're used to working up rounded 3D ami parts, this also means there is a lot of seaming to do! I found this whole process a huge learning curve (dear pal Google to the rescue many times!) There are a lot of techniques involved which seasoned knitters probably don't give a second thought to but which I was unsure on (I am still firmly convinced crochet is much easier than knitting ;-)) Bit by bit I got there though, a face...
... a body...
.... a nearly naked bear!
Finally here she is - one fully clothed Candy Bear! (Yes, this is where the zero calories from the post title comes in ;-))...

I think it will be a little while before I attempt another MJT pattern, I need a lot more practice first!
In between times I have also been adding stripes to my mixed stitch stripey blanket...



I am enjoying this immensely :-) I have worked out a rough "pattern" amidst the randomness & reckon I am just under two thirds of the way along on it now. In case you're wondering about all those ends I have a cunning plan this time around to avoid sewing in a single one! I came across this clever idea on pinterest & funnily enough the link leads back to here - Jules' post about her mixed stitch stripey blanket! If you scroll down almost to the bottom of the post you will see she finished it off with a casing edge - brilliant huh?! I am looking forward to trying this out on my blanket...
Well although I didn't make anything towards my Christmas decorations goal last month, finish either of the two quilts that are still hanging around here, or make any progress on my stitching WIP's, I'm thankful for the yarny projects which I was able to work on. I'm hoping to be able to spend more time in my sewing room over the coming month as I am due to lose it at the end of May when my son returns from university for the summer. (Right now I'm wondering how on earth he will fit back in with all his belongings now I've spread fabric & yarn into every nook & cranny!) Thank you for visiting here today, I hope this weekend brings you the chance to work on something that makes you happy!