Wednesday, 10 February 2016

WIP Wednesday

The RWB blanket is tantalisingly close to completion!

Since taking the picture there are only 2 squares left to fill in. Then it's a case of edging (or not, haven't decided yet) and darning in ends. So close!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

February Sewing Challenge - Turn UFOs into PFOs

I'm not a great finisher.  My house is littered with half-finished projects.  I tend to jump into a new project with gusto, but then it all just kind of fizzles out.  So my challenge for February is to turn some UFOs (unfinished objects) into PFOs (proudly finished objects)!

The main item on my list is a play tent that I started for my boys about a year to 18 months ago.  They're always trying to build dens so I thought that it would be great to make them a tee-pee style play tent; something a little like this:

Image source
It's not far off, but I didn't use a pattern and I had to patch together some of the fabric to make it fit, so I'm not sure how well it's all going to fit together! Fingers crossed for a good result.

Another item that's been hidden away for about three years now (!) is a sleeve that I started making for my tablet.  It was my first foray into quilting and I started it in a sewing class, but then I stopped going and the binding had me a bit confused so it slowly made its way to the bottom of my scrap bag.  I still don't have anything to carry my tablet in so it would be great to finish it, plus I really love the fabric.

I think I'll leave it there.  No point in trying to do too much.  Hopefully I'll be back at the start of next month with some beautiful photos of my PFOs.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

January Sewing Challenge - The Finished Cushion

Yay, I did it!  I made a cushion before the end of the month and here it is:

The design is inspired by a motif I saw in a colouring book.  I chose the fabrics based on colours I tried both on paper and on the laptop.

I'm not sure that I like it that much.  It's OK but the idea seemed better than the outcome.  I would have liked to make a slightly different version of this design, but that would have entailed some precision cutting and a lot more sewing. Maybe something I'll revisit.  The important thing is that I made something and dusted off those cobwebs. It would probably have helped if I hadn't left it until almost the last minute!  On to the next challenge!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

January Sewing Challenge - Cushion

So here's the thing: I've become addicted to accumulating the stuff involved in crafting (the materials: paper, fabric, yarn etc., and the tools) rather than the crafting itself! As a result, when I find that I have a little time to engage in some lovely crafty activity, I get overwhelmed by the sheer choice that faces me and end up suffering from creative constipation.  Sorry to be a bit crude, but you know that feeling when you really want to create something, but you're so surrounded by options that you just don't know where to start and you end up doing nothing?  Well, that's been me for the past couple of years.

I've developed a real interest in papercrafting, but I still love to crochet and I'd love to get back into embroidery and sewing.  One thing that I find helps me to get past the mental block is to join in with blog challenges.  I don't always keep up, but it's a great way to get past the uncertainty of "What should I make?" So with that in mind I've decided to set myself a monthly sewing challenge with a different cue word each month.

The word for January is "cushion".  This seems very apt for me as I have about 7 cushion pads hanging around the house just waiting to be encased in fabric loveliness. In true style I'm well behind schedule, but there are 4 and a bit days left in January and I'm nothing if not optimistic!  I had grand visions of patchwork perfection, but perhaps that will have to wait for another time.  I just hope that the sheer volume of fabric that I have to choose from doesn't leave me bunged up (creatively speaking of course!).

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

TAST 7 & 8 - Chain Stitch and Detached Chain Stitch

We usually put our Christmas decorations up on 1st December, which is today! Last year I wasn't satisfied with the decorations. The living room looked great but the rest of the house was a bit sorry. So I have been trying to make a load of decorations to spread festive cheer throughout the house.

I found some felt circles that I had cut and forgotten about and decided to make some felt baubles. And what better way to decorate them than with TAST stitches.  So bauble no. 1 is sporting detached chain and chain stitch, along with feather stitch and running stitch.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Finished Friday - Petals to Picot Mandala

Way back in July I posted about starting a mandala to take part in the #MandalasforMarinke project being organised by Kathryn of the blog Crochet Concupiscence.  Well I finished it, and even managed to send it to her before the deadline, but I just realised that I haven't shown the finished piece.  So here it is:

It' so pretty!  I said that I would make another but I haven't gotten around to it.  With Christmas just around the corner though, I'm thinking that it would make a lovely gift.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Christmas Pudding Brooch

Last year my friend asked me to make her a Christmas brooch for an event that she was going to.  I made her a Christmas tree, which was cut from green felt with sequins sewn onto the entire front surface, and was finished off with small gems for baubles and metallic yarn for tinsel.  I did take a photo of it, but my skills were not enough to really capture the brooch and the whole thing looked flat, whereas in reality it was so dynamic with all the reflections from the sequins and gems.  Anyway, I also made a Christmas pudding brooch as a back-up, which photographed a little better.

To make it I cut a two rounds of brown felt about 2.5 inches in diameter, and then I cut a piece of white felt to mimic the frosting and sewed that to one of the brown circles.  Then I sewed the sequins onto the white felt, being sure to cover the whole area.  The sequins I used were very pale purple with what I think is called an Aurora Borealis (AB) finish, which gives a greenish hue to the reflected light and I used invisible thread.  A little bit of wadding was sandwiched between the front and back to give it some body, and the whole lat was simply sewn together with a whip stitch.  Two holly leaves cut from metallic card and flatback rhinestone berries finished the brooch off.

The sewing of the sequins took a while, but it was a labour of love.  If you didn't have the time or inclination then I suppose a clear-drying fabric glue would also work, but I love the meditative quality of hand-sewing.  I will be sporting my pudding brooch this year, and I might even make up a few more to hang around the house.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

WIP Wednesday

It was almost a year ago that I wrote a post for WIP Wednesday where I introduced my long-neglected red, white and blue blanket (RWBB). Well, I fell off that wagon in a pretty big way! But I'm pleased to say I've gotten back on and RWBB is back in progress.  I haven't got a picture, but I've made a bit of progress filling in the gaps.  I'm aiming for one section a day, but then I've said that before...

I've been slowly working on my Christmas crafts.  I found this cross stitch kit that's been buried since 2011 according to the date of the Cross Stitcher magazine!  I always forget just how much time it takes to do even a simple cross stitch motif, but the results are always pleasing.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

It's finished!

Well, first of all hello after an almost 3-month break ��. Many of my recent blog posts seem to start with an observation about how much time has passed since my last post, but it's true! The school holidays were always going to be slow from a crafting perspective - lots of time spent away from home camping, making day trips and visiting family.  It was pretty hectic.  It's been about 5 weeks since the kids started back at school and I'm only just feeling like things are settling down again.

But enough about all that. I have exciting news.  The baby blanket, the one I started back in February, is finished ��! That's right, finished.. done... completed. And even better, I was able to hand it over to the intended recipient on Saturday ��.

I can't tell you how pleased I am to be able to say that.  The whole finishing process seemed painfully slow and soooo boring at times, which is why I went long periods of time when I didn't even want to look at it, but I learned a valuable lesson about crochet blanket-making.  The lazy crafter in me declared that I would NEVER make another blanket with lots of colour changes ever again! But I think that if I had darned in the ends periodically, after every five squares or after every row for example, it would have resulted in a much more pleasurable process.

There's nothing quite like finishing a project is there?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

WIP Wednesday

Wow, it's been 2 months since my last post!  I can't believe it's been so long.  It seems like every time I sat down to write a post it was no longer Wednesday. Because it's been so long I'm a little bit embarrassed about how little progress I've made on the baby blanket (yes, it's still a WIP) but here goes.

I've edged the blanket with a single row of treble crochet in sandstone followed by a single row each of yellow, terracotta and turquoise in double crochet.  I decided to keep it simple.  Then I began the arduous task of weaving in all the ends and that's where the whole thing has come to a halt.  If you look closely at the picture you can see that there are some 'clean' squares but there are still a lot of ends to weave in.  I haven't been giving it much of my attention because I find it so dull, but now that I've outed myself maybe it will give me renewed impetus.

The other thing I've just started is a mandala for the #MandalasforMarinke project.  For those of you who don't know, Marinke, a.k.a. Wink, was a crochet blogger (from A Creative Being) who died at the end of June.  She had been living with depression and sadly took her life. I was really affected the day I heard as were hundreds of others.  Kathryn, of the blog Crochet Concupiscence decided to set up #MandalasForMarinke, where she has invited crocheters across the globe to crochet one of Wink's mandalas (or any item that they like) and send them to her for a collaborative art project, partly as a way to honour Wink's memory and partly to help raise awareness about depression.    I have chosen the mandala from Issue 7 of Simply Crochet Magazine.  If you'd like to know more, please visit her blog.