Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

I am a very lucky bunny!  My sister made me this gorgeous quilted cushion and hand embellished throw for Christmas.  She has used my favourite colour and her free motion machine quilting is far, far better than mine.  She has even given me some leftover hearts so I can start a little project of my own.   Thank you sis, it's a beautiful gift. x

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Friday, 23 December 2011

 I sometimes wonder if crafting is as universally popular as it is in my head!  A hobby can sometimes be all encompassing and it's sometimes a shock to the system that everybody doesn't feel the same way as you do!

This is why I like to see evidence that some other people do think like me!  I found this hand crocheted dishcloth in the shape of a cracker in my local charity shop and just had to buy it.  I love the fact that someone has put work into something so beautifully presented purely for the love of the craft and the love of the charity. If I could thank that person I would. 

Seems that Christmas is getting me a little sentimental! 

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Here is the world's shortest scarf!  It was a kit from a magazine and the amount of yarn that was provided was enough to make a scarf this long.  Just about ok with a brooch to fasten it I hope.

It was lovely to knit though.  A fairly straightforward pattern with a nice yarn over twist that gives all the detail needed with such a chunky yarn.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas for me seems to be a time of making lots of little things.  These are the last of my makes for the school Christmas Fayre.  It was fun rummaging around for ribbons to make their punky spikes.  They don't have much of a use these hedgehogs but I hope they look cute!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I've become slightly obsessed with a can of edible silver spray I found in the supermarket the other day.  Virtually, if I'm going to eat something, it becomes silver first!

The spray gives butter icing a lovely pearlescent quality.  I'm afraid the picture was taken under my cooker light as it was very miserable outside but I'm hoping it gives some idea to the sparkle the magic spray creates!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Well the school Christmas Fayre was big success - hectic - but a big success.  I made a few more things to sell on a little craft stall, including these birds I found instructions for in a magazine.

The quilt I made was embarrassingly won by my daughter!  It is now back at home and on her bed.  Life is full of surprises.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

This is the finished quilt that I blogged about yesterday.  It is very simply machine quilted as I was rather pushed for time and, with a deadline looming, I also tried to put the binding on by machine.  Some fortuitous surfing advised me that it was easier to use a wider 'fancy' stitch to catch the top and bottom binding layers rather than a straight stitch which could easily go off piste and not catch all the layers.

It's a lovely soft quilt as all the fabric in it has been laundered many times.  I did think about enhancing the antique feel this creates and giving it a sepia tone by dying it in tea.  Still more surfing, however, pointed out that this could lead to a rather patchy effect on larger projects so I think I will save that experimentation for another day!

Monday, 5 December 2011

What do you do when a friend says that they are going to throw a pile of old shirts away in the recycling?  Why, you grab them off her and make a quilt!

I've been working on this for a couple of weeks and it has been quilted since this photo was taken.  Hopefully I will be able to take a better photo tomorrow once it has had its final wash.  It is destined to become a raffle prize at the school's Christmas Fayre on Friday - and it only cost me the price of the wadding to make it! 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

I've recently purchased 'The Liberty Book of Home Sewing'.  I mainly bought it because I knew there would be a lot of 'eye candy' gorgeous fabrics in there but there are also some nice projects as well.

I fancied having a go at a rose corsage using their simple method of fusing two cotton fabrics together and pressing the petals round a knitting needle to get that lovely soft curl.  The only confusion I had was I thought I had photocopied it smaller than suggested but the resulting flower was massive!  I did put a pin in the back but really wasn't sure when I would have occasion to wear such a humongous rose.  My daughter came home from school and asked if I had any plans for it and, whilst I was hesitating, promptly put it on her hair band and is now the proud owner of the biggest hair accessory in the world!

Still, at least she will wear it!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Continuing with my apparent cushion obsession, here is my latest make which is a present for my daughter's friend.

The applique designs are taken from '100 Applique Motifs' by Deborah 'Ismoyo' Green.  I drew them freehand instead of scanning the originals to resize them but they are a fairly accurate copy of what was in the book.

It's been hard to choose my favourite design as I love them all!  But just coming first for me is the fat penguin.

Who wouldn't love a fat penguin!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

I have managed to finish a scarf which has seemed to take ages to knit.  It's made using a very easy lace stitch.  I have blended several yarns together including oddments of sock yarn together with a very fine yarn I managed to get at a local charity shop - so whilst it didn't cost much to make, if I was calculating an hourly rate to knit it I don't think I could afford it!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Honey Bees Blouse

I've finally managed to finish something!  This is a blouse for my daughter from BurdaStyle.  It literally took me two weeks to figure out how to make the front yoke.  I had two identical pieces for the front yoke and I thought one was the lining.  Turns out you folded both of them in half so each piece became half of the front yoke including the lining.  I'm guessing the fact that I'm not describing this very well explains how tricky it was deciphering the instructions in the first place.  I don't envy people trying to write sewing patterns!

I'm really pleased with the way it has turned out and, once I had figured out how to make the panels, it was surprisingly easy to sew.  I love the effect of the gathered frill sleeve.  In fact, if I find I have another metre of fabric to spare I'd be tempted to sew up another one!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

You know the kids are having a good half term when you've got a craft table that looks this messy!  I'm sure whoever invented glitter had a personal vendetta against vacuum cleaners and dark upholstery!

With all this 'make and do' going on it does mean that my own projects are taking a bit of a backseat this week.  Mind you, I'm currently stuck on a blouse pattern and I'm also knitting a scarf which I'm sure is getting shorter every row instead of longer!

Monday, 17 October 2011

It's about this time of year when many crafters are thinking about Christmas and what they can make for the big day.  I have started present making with this cushion made from the offcuts of my metre challenge fabric (blogged about here).  Thank you Liz for the heart button - see I'm already putting them to use. :)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Butterfly Cushion

I'm not usually one to cut up undamaged clothes.  If they are still useful in their original form my general feeling is that they should still be used for that purpose - but sometimes I have to make an exception.

My daughter saw this adult skirt in a charity shop and absolutely fell in love with the material.  She really wanted me to make it into a cushion and I could see the potential with its lovely large butterfly design so I broke my usual rule, bought it and cut it up.

 The excess fabric won't go to waste though.  I've already salvaged the invisible zip and the offcuts are put to one side to make a few hairbands and maybe a make up bag.  The skirt had a tie waist with shells on the end and I'm struggling to think of a use for them - but I'm sure I'll come up with something!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Lip Balms

Well, due to a combination of a broken computer and busy days I've had a bit of an enforced break from blogging.  I have still been flying the flag for crafting mind you with a bit of knitting in public, hopefully pictures of what I am currently working on will follow soon.

Had a little HoffiCoffi home from school today so had a bit of mother and daughter time making lip balms.  Luckily there was enough left over for me to use!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Lisa's Card

After a lovely weekend away with the girls I just wanted to say thank you to our hostess with the mostest so I had a card printed with photos I'd taken on the weekend.  I thought it would be a nice reminder of a great time. Here's to many more!!! x

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Chair Reupholster

 I spent this morning helping a friend reupholster her dining room chairs.  Well, I say 'help' - there were two very competent handy women there... and me!

The hardest part was unscrewing the chair seats from the base.  I believe that thing at the bottom right of the picture below is called a tool box!

 Here are the ladies hard at work - you see I would have helped more but somebody had to hold the camera!

I did help really - and we were all so pleased with the results...

Isn't my friend's wallpaper fab!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Knitted Hand Towel

 I have been making full use of my local library again.  This time it's a book called Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne.  I was drawn to this knitted hand towel by the description - it is said to be 'an excellent lady gift' and who wouldn't want one of those!

Nice and easy to knit, with the added advantage of a built in hanging loop, I did exactly as the book suggested and presented it to a friend, together with a dish cloth and a bottle of aromatherapy washing liquid.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Nine Patch Quilt

 Happiness is finishing machine quilting!

Here is the completed quilt.  Unfortunately I couldn't get a very good shot of it in its entirety.  This shot had me precariously balancing on the edge of the sofa!

Now that it is finished I do love this quilt.  The wadding used is a cotton polyester mix which has a shrinkage factor of about 5 percent.  I haven't dared wash it though!  I tried a new binding technique by folding the backing fabric over the front and sewing through the resulting fold.  It was a bit fiddly but was certainly quicker than handsewing stand-alone binding to the back of the quilt.

I will definitely use the same quilting technique on my next quilt as I hope I have learnt a lot from doing this one.  I just can't resist the final vintage style look.

Friday, 16 September 2011


It's not often that you are asked to blog about your buttons but as Emma Lamb has set down the gauntlet I am happy to pick it up and embellish it!

I'm a bit of a haberdashery hoarder and the picture above is (sadly, or not sadly, depending on your point of view!) not all of my button stash, just my latest acquisition.

This tin of buttons was displayed in the window of a local charity shop, causing me to do a comedy double-take as I wandered past. How I wanted that tin. It was quite an outlay mind you so I pondered it for a while (all right, as soon as I got home I told Mr HoffiCoffi all about it) and he very, very kindly, and not unromantically cycled all the way back into town to buy them for me.

It's obviously intriguing thinking about who must have spent a lifetime putting these buttons together in a tin. Some have obviously been snipped off clothes as there is still some fabric attached to them, there is a British Rail uniform button in there, tiny aqua shell buttons, wooden toggles and at least one marble! I am very humbled to own such a beautiful collection and it inspires me to get better at my crafts so that I can do full justice to any that I use.

Anyway, getting far too serious. Next.... zips!!!!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Free motion machine quilting is difficult.

A few years ago I was admiring a very old quilt in a museum when I overheard two ladies beside me talking, 'You know, people who make quilts do it all by machine these days' said the one lady, which led the other to retort 'Well, they shouldn't!'.

The thing is, I wanted to say to them, have you tried machine quilting? I like to think of myself as a fairly competent hand quilter. Granted, I'm no Sandi Lush (my heroine) but I can make fairly small, fairly even stitches by hand that always come through to the back of the fabric. Machine quilting? Well, machine quilting is difficult.

As a novice machine quilter I only have three pieces of advice for another beginner. Firstly, check the back of your work, secondly, check the back of your work and thirdly, ummm... check the back!

Doh! The back scrunched up and I ended up sewing a fold! This wasn't the worse time it happened. The worst time was when there was a big old crease at the back right in the middle of the quilt but I was far too angry to photograph that one!

Still, when the quilting goes alright it's one of the best feelings in the world.

Only another 200 odd blocks to go!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I have spent the morning wrestling. No, I haven't taken up a new hobby - I've been wrestling with a quilt top trying to feed it through my sewing machine. I have been known, whilst making bunting, to throw the metre or so of binding over my shoulder as I sew but I can't do this with a quilt unless I fancy sewing under a tent!

I'm pleased with the final result...

Although why is there always one block which is brighter than the others!

Right, off to practice my half nelson as I need to machine quilt it next!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I treated myself to a new gadget on holiday. This lovely little flower cutter for my cupcakes. I think that every cupcake I make will have one of these flowers on. Until I get another must have gadget that is!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

I like to set myself little challenges. A few posts ago I photographed two cushions that I made out of one metre of Ikea cheap and cheerful fabric. Afterwards I looked at the fabric pieces leftover on my sewing table and thought, well I may as well keep going....

Let's see how many items I can make out of one metre of fabric.

There is this little make up bag. The zip was kindly given to me (this is how I justify my huge stash of fabrics and notions - you never know when something will be perfect for a project!). The lining is from a ripped pair of pyjama trousers which I used for years and was very sad when they finally gave up the ghost.

I then had a crack at a shopping bag. They are introducing a plastic bag tax here in Wales next month so there is all the more reason to make as many shopping bags as possible - one scrunched up into every handbag I own should do it!

I went right up to the wire with this one. Look, the selvage is on show! Very devil may care for me! Talk about living in the fast lane!

The thing is, there is still a tiny bit of fabric left...