Saturday, 30 January 2010


I love browsing Flickr and am constantly adding to my list of favourite photos or coming across something that makes me want to get crafty! This Flickr group in particular has really inspired me!

So I made yo-yos, these are so much fun to make and can use up all those little bits of fabric you've been keeping. They don't take long to make and are so pretty.

I made six of them in various sizes, using some of those pieces of fabric you just don't want to chuck away, and made two little ones using this gorgeous pinky fabric I received from Sal the other day.
I pulled out a old plain black tshirt and my button tin, and started to arrange them along one side of the t-shirt following the neckline.
Lots of little stitches later, and this is how it looked:

I think I like it...I definitely enjoyed making it...

Any feedback? What do you guys think? I think it might need them to be closer together, and maybe smaller....hmmmmm X

Friday, 29 January 2010

Thank You Lesley!

Another thank you post today and this is to say a big thank you to the lovely Lesley for giving in to my cheeky request!! This little parcel arrived on Wednesday....

Wrapped up beautifully too...

And inside....a lovely red brooch handmade by Lesley herself :)

I have popped it on here for now until the cardigan I want to put it on comes out of the wash.

Thank You Lesley xxx
I am officially a brooch-a-holic :) X

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Thank You Sal (again!)

Since I began blogging I have been really lucky to win quite a few lovely giveaways, and now I am lucky enough to have won my second giveaway from Sal at Sal's Snippets!

The first one I won was almost exactly a year ago in January and you can read about my lovely prize here. I also had another lovely parcel from Sal in the shape of some rosali patchwork pieces you can see here. So would you like to see what I have won this time??
Its good...
Its really good!

A bundle of Sal's very special vintage fabrics....

Wrapped up so neatly with some tiny tiny red ric-rac, I am definitely saving this!!

OooooOOOOhhhh isn't it lovley....I do love working with little bits of fabric, I find it more enjoyable thank cutting into a big piece - now thats pretty scary!

There are some lovely lovely pieces, but I think this one is my favourite. I can't wait to use it....

Any ideas on what pretties I can make with this little bundle? X

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Quilt Number Two

If you read this post of mine, then you will know that I have been wanting to make another quilt as part of my crafty aims. I loved making my first one, and you can read more about it here if you'd like.

For my second quilt I knew I wanted to use these fabrics by Tanya Whelan, as I had been saving them for something special. I had a few "issues" with my rotary cutter to start with, in that it didn't want to cut cleanly through the fabric, so after a second trip to John Lewis and a replacement cutter I started cutting out my sqaures. I chose to use 8 inch squares as I wanted to show off more of the fabric, and also, less cutting and sewing for me!!

So I have 7 columns by 5 rows which makes 35 squares to cut and sew and place and label...
Unlike the last quilt I also wanted this one to have a proper layout and pattern to it, because certain patches in the first quilt annoyed me as they were too close to other similar ones.

I had a whole meter of the blue rosie dot and cut the whole lot up to make the basic pattern. I also used some pink rosie dot, pink rose print and white rosali print fabric too. I think all of the fabrics co-ordinate well with each other as they all have similar colours and hopefully its not OTT!

Above are my piles of squares labeled in the order they need to be sewn in. Below is the quilt top once it had all been sewn together, getting an iron!

Some close ups so you can see what fabrics I was talking about. The blue rosie dot is my favourite, but the pink comes a close second. I have 18 squares of blue, 8 squares of white rosali, 6 squares of pink rose print, and 3 squares of pink dot.

I am so happy with how its looking. I hated seeing the fabrics sitting in the cupboard waiting to be used, I just needed the perfect project to use them on. As I only have a single bed this will be big enough to be used as a decorative cover for the end. Its bigger than the first one, and I am not going to be using the bias binding method this time, as I am just rubbish at using binding and I don't want to mess it up!

Rather pleasingly most of the squares have lined up nicely, although there are a few ones a little bit off...
I think I will be hand quilting this time instead of machining, as it will give me more control and hopefully a neater finish! I shall let you know how I get on!

The back is going to be white rosali, and I am thinking of using that to bind it, using the techniques in the Quilting In No Time book where you make the backing fabric larger than the front and fold over the edge and bind by hand. Hopefully this will be easier. Just need to buy some wadding now!

Ooh I have just realised I've posted for seven days in a row...hope I can continue like this!

Happy Crafting! X

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Something Useful

More Union Jacks from me today - you'd never have guessed would you??!
On Saturday I made something, not just something pretty, not something 'just to make' but something that actually has a purpose and a function...

Can you guess what it is??

Its not a toilet roll holder....its a carrier bag holder to use at the BFs instead of wasting a whole cupboard on carrier bags, he can use this :)

It looks a little bit deflated above, but here it is stuffed with bags below. It looks a bit like a bolster pillow, and I guess it could be used as one if it had the right shaped cushion.
The lovely Union Jack fabric was a gift from the lovely Claire who sent it in my stashy swap, and I used some big blue gingham from my stash, along with some white ribbon as I didn't have any elastic to use, and well the ribbons do the same job don't they.

Ta Da!

See....crafty and practical! X

Monday, 25 January 2010

Crochet Thank Yous

This post is just to say a big thank you to everyone who commented on my crochet post and emailed me with tips, links and book names. I have made a little list and will be checking them all out soon!

Extra special thanks go to the lovely Claire at Dollydollop and Sophie at Chez Sophie, who both sent me something in the post to help! Claire sent me a Learn to Crochet book and Sophie was kind enough to send me the first issue of The Art of Crochet which comes with two balls of yarn and a DVD too :)

The kindness of bloggers never ceases to amaze me.
I will master it, I will, I will! X

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Lesson Two

On Thursday I had my second crafting session, and after the success of the last one I felt that it would be a good idea for them to use their machines and attempt something a little bit fiddly. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who came up with some brilliant suggestions for things to make with them. As it was to be the first time on the sewing machines for many of them I came up with the idea of a mini sewing kit for them each to have at home and use when they come to lessons.

On Thursday we attempted a simple fabric needlecase with felt pages. I actually rather like getting organised for the lessons, cutting out everything they'll need, making templates, and stacking them up in nice little piles.

Here you can see my needlecase template and one for a pin cushion, made using the high quality method of cutting up old cereal boxes! I have to label all my templates as I get so confused. I have about 10 different heart shaped templates for different things and keep them all nice and neat in a plastic folder. Rather unusual for me to be so organised, but I am like it!

The large pieces are for the needlecases, and the smaller ones for pin cushions, which we didn't actually get around to doing, so those are for next week! I must say thanks again to anyone who sent me fabric - I couldn't have done it without you!

Little piles of felt and fabric make me happy :) and I am happy that almost everyone made a little needlecase - if a little wonky, but entirely handmade with love and care! X

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Retro Britannia

Hello all :)
I thought today I'd share some bits and bobs at the BFs flat. If you've been reading my blog since the start you will know that I have just the tiniest say in the kitchen at his flat...and that I am quite prone to buying things to go in there. Terrible isn't it? I can't resist a retro looking tin sign, especially one as cute as this:

Homemade cakes from BHS, which is doing some fab vintage/retro goodies at the moment. I especially liked their Strawberry Union Jack Wall Plaque but it was too big for the space sadly. Ooh just noticed its on sale too....

Sorry about this next photo, the kitchen only has a small window and the sunlight comes in at an odd angle! These are my favourite shelves in the kitchen, just small white wooden ones handmade from scratch by the BF himself. Good eh?

The tin bus was an M&S biscuit tin which now houses the tea bags!
The oxo tin was a RAK from a lovely lady on SCC and you'll never guess whats in there! 

Now the BF doesn't like flowery, but he does like a bit of Union Jack here and there, and we found this fabric doorstop in TKMaxx a while back for a fiver. It is the same make as the cushion on my bed.

And the newest Union Jack addition is this Keep Calm poster which he got for Christmas, not from me I might add, although I love it! Its A2 size and we searched IKEA and all sorts of framing shops for a perfect sized frame and ended up buying one off ebay. Its on the wall in the lounge and looks really striking.

Have a lovely weekend all X

Friday, 22 January 2010

Flowers and Polka Dots

Hello to my lovely blog readers, hope you are all happy and well :)
I must quickly just say a big thank you to all my readers, commenters and followers, especially some of my new followers who have been so lovely and also incredibly helpful with my crochet problems!

I thought I'd show you a couple of new goodies I got last weekend from Primark - now I don't know about you but I think Primark has seriously upped its game since it first arrived in the UK. It is selling some absolutely gorgeous things at brilliant prices. Like for example my new rosy weekend bag. I spotted someone carrying this around the shop and was on a mission to find it. Its perfect for bringing my weekend essentials to the BFs and is so pretty too.
Its pretty big too and was £6. I am definitely a 'bag girl' rather than a 'shoe girl' I must say, I do like shoes, but never wear heels unless its for a special occasion, so tend not to buy many shoes. I do like a nice bag though, especially a floral one. It just adds something pretty to what is usually, during the winter season, a pretty boring outfit of jumpers and layers!

The other thing I bought, or should I say things, were these pink and blue polka dotted mugs for only £2!! Yes thats 50p a mug and they are oh so Miss Cath Kidston, yet her identical versions are £7 each!!!!

Sadly one of my (yes the pink ones are mine, blue for the BF) was chipped so I guess I shall have to go back and get more! Considering the rate at which I smash mugs I should probably buy about 10 packs. Last week two of my mugs smashed in as many days :( including my favourite thrifted Cadburys one :(

Hmmmm Time for Tea? X

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Red String Cushion

Inspired by these three ladies who are all playing with String Quilts using the tutorial found at the fab Loft Creations blog, I decided to give the string blocks a go. I didn't want to sign up as I don't think I would like to make a full sized quilt like this - too much cutting! Plus I missed the deadline, but I gave it a go and am pretty happy with my attempts:

I chose to use mostly red and white fabrics because I wanted to make a cushion cover for the lounge and the lounge has a lot of reds! I have to say my squares ended up pretty wonky and I had to cut off quite a lot to get them all the same size!
Even though the tutorial is really clear I still managed to do it wrong a few times. I love the overall effect, I just hated cutting all the strips. It does annoy me slightly that I didn't plan the layout properly to get my fabrics matching up at the joins. The back of the cushion is a plain cream fabric and I added a strip of co-ordinating East of India ribbon along one side.

(front and back)

And here it is on the sofa...

Hmm I can see a whole range of these in different colours for different people. If you are new to patchworking I'd recommend trying the tutorial and giving it a go as the results - I think - look really impressive and you can use the blocks to make anything you want

This is the back with the East of India ribbon and some pretty textured red buttons my mum got me for Christmas.

I'm glad I made this as it means I can at least partially tick something off my list of Crafty Aims for 2010 : making a patchwork cushion for my mum. I think I'll do a couple more, maybe in different styles of patchwork too.

Happy Crafting! X

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Sunshine Award

I have been lucky enough to have been awarded the same award by two lovely ladies:

Thank you to Bluebell and Rosie and Jim Jam Sandwich for my Sunshine award! :)

The conditions when accepting this award are as follows -

* Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
* Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
* Link the nominees within your post.
* Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I am sure lots of you have already had this award so I will be passing this award on to these 8


Saturday, 16 January 2010

Aims for 2010

Before I start my list I must point out that this is only a crafty/organisational list!
I have really enjoyed reading peoples aims and inspirations for the new year. I myself am a huge fan of those lists and any kind of list infact, and although I do hate to do a blog post without new photos I thought I'd do my very own crafty aims for 2010 list in the hope that some of them might actually come to fruition!

Crafty Aims For 2010

1. Purchase a rotary cutter and cutting mat so I can be as FAB as this lady.
2. Make a large squared quilt for my room using all my favourite fabrics :)
(like last years one below but bigger and better!)

3. Make red patchwork cushions for my mum - possibly for birthday?
4. Make a Union Jack cushion for the BFs flat.
5. Experiment with different things that are in my new craft books.

6. Customise more of my clothes/accessories with handmade things
(like my gorgeous brooch from Lesley).

7. Take part in more swaps - I haven't joined in lately and am missing it.
8. Do another bloggy giveaway (hopefully soon!)
9. Keep going with 'Roses and Gingham' - "This time next year Rodney..."

10. Hand make more gifts and presents :)
11. Try hexagon patch working and start small!
12. Make do and mend

13. Craft more and be more experimental.
14. See what else handmade the BF will let me smuggle into his flat :)
15. Keep blogging!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Those Who Try...Teach!

The other day when I was mentioning the lovely purple fabric sent to me for a special purpose that I used for the cushion instead - well the actual reason I had the fabric, and why so many lovely bloggers and shabby chic-ers have sent me fabric is because I have been asked to run a craft session for girls aged 10-11 for an hour each week at Emporium. I need to provide all the materials myself, and sent out a plea for help on SCC before Christmas and help came :)

Anyway I thought I'd start of small and simple so I cut out a load of pinking sheared edged circles from fabric and felt in different sizes...

Gathered together some buttons in different colours and sizes for them to use...

Ending up with this bundle:

With the aim to make one of these each in the space of an hour. Now I wasn't too sure how fast or experienced they would be so I thought hand sewing something small would be a good place to start to get an idea of their abilities. I am pleased to say that yesterday after school my 7 pupils each completed one of these brooches and I really really enjoyed teaching them.

This is the one I made for myself, its quite simple, but rather pretty and  goes nicely with my outfit that I wore to the class. I have decided that I actually love the broidery anglaise on the cardigan and that I am in fact a genius!! Must add more broidery anglaise to things, it just makes it look so pretty!

Next Thursday is my second class and I am trying to think of something they could make using the sewing machine that could be made over two sessions - one hour each. Any suggestions welcomed :)

Before I go I just wanted to say to anyone who HATES having to upload their blog photos back to front and drag them up and down to place them as they want to switch to the UPDATED EDITOR on blogger if you haven't already done so. You can find it in Settings > Basic > Select Post Editor. No more dragging or uploading back to front! X