Friday, 30 November 2012

List, What list?

Well the list is kind of being done, slowly, it always seems to be harder going when I have things I have to get done!  I did however have a complete day off from things on the list, and just did what I wanted to do little diversion at crochet class this week when I started (and finished) on Wednesday, a new black cowl for me, and I can report it is lovely and warm, fits perfectly.  : )

I also managed to finish my final Advent Calendar yesterday, just one day before it absolutely had to get done, and have hand delivered it to it's recipient this afternoon, i think it was the best one so far.

There has also been some tutorial writing going on, and a big make, but more about that later as it's my secret squirrel project, and should be ready to go live in the next couple of days, watch this space.....  I have to say, tutorial writing is bloody hard, and it does make you appreciate some of the amazing hard work people put into making them usable and clear, hopefully mine will be ok, we'll see.

Did I mention, I've also started another little secret squirrel project too, wow, there really is an excess of secret squirrels round here at the moment, might even be called an  infestation, and I'm only making 1 actual hand made Christmas present this year for a 3 year old who doesn't read, so that isn't secret squirrel.

I'll be back tomorrow with a Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day round up of November, and I think for December I'm going to slim down my must do project list and wing it a bit, so i can go with the flow and make nice things when "the mood" takes me.

Ange x

Sunday, 25 November 2012


At the bottom of the garden, hiding in the leaves I spotted a rather rare Camohog! Originally designed to be a common or garden Hedgehog, when I started him at crochet class last week I only had this multi coloured yarn, so I thought why not, and I've ended up with this cute little guy.  He's a finger puppet too, and putting a smile on my face, when I'm feeling really rather grumpy!  

Mr Camohog, snuffling around
I haven't been able to find him for the last week as he has been hiding and I couldn't spot him (on an alien base station of all places!).

Ange x

Pattern from Crocheted Finger Puppets.

Friday, 23 November 2012

101 Ways To Stitch, Craft, Create- Quick and Easy Projects.......

101 Ways To Stitch, Craft, Create- 
Quick and Easy Projects to Stitch, Sew, Knit, Bead and Fold.  
A Book Review
Here comes a book review, and it's another good one! I LOVE craft books, they're a terrific source of inspiration, and this one is no different in that respect.  It's not a one author wonder, more a compilation book of many crafting minds, including the terrific Tacha Bruecher (of Fat Quarterly fame, and author of Hexa go-go), and Linda Clements (The Quilters Bible) amongst a host of other crafters.  I haven't actually counted the projects, so I can't tell if there actually are 101, but the rest of the title is pretty accurate in that it has chapters divided by crafting method, including Quilting, Crochet, Cross Stitch and Cake Decorating.  

As such it does assume some basic knowledge of those crafts, so, for example, even though there are some basic crochet instructions in the back, I wouldn't attempt the projects without some competence in this area, but as the projects are indeed quick and easy, it's a good source of inspiration for presents if you're in a bit of a hurry.  

I will indeed use this book when I need a quick making fix, or I'm lacking ideas and inspiration, and I can definitely see me making Tacha Bruechers fantastic Flickering Star Pillow or using the design in another project, a quilt, a mug rug or maybe a set of table mats, it's my favourite project in the book.  

Or I could be tempted with one of Linda Clements beautiful Hand Stitched Coasters or a Patchwork Table Mat, also beautifully hand stitched, they would make fabulous gifts.

I also think some of the designs could be used in different projects, so the camera knitting pattern would be fun as a quilting or cross stitch pattern, or some of the applique patterns could be used in different quilts or on cushions instead of MP3 cases, for example.

I even think there are some good little projects, perfect for younger people. I can see little ones enjoying making their own cross stitch cupcake card, a beaded bracelet, or maybe one of the felt embroidered hearts for a hair clip.

 So, all in all, this book does what it says on the cover, the projects are quick and easy (with a few specific supplies), and cover quite a few different crafts. I think this would make a good gift for a crafty friend who likes to dabble in different areas, or if you had a young daughter (they're very girly projects) who was inclined towards the crafty, there are some fun projects they would enjoy.  Alternatively, for someone who enjoys big craft projects, quilts etc, (like me) it's a nice change of pace, for those days when you want to start and finish a project within the same day/afternoon.

I will be making something from this shortly, I just need to wade my way through some of my current projects, and that last Advent Calendar wont wait, the end of the month is fast approaching!

This book is available from RUCraft, for £10.66, and just for your information, I am not paid for this review. : )

Ange : ) 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Squishy Mail

Stroke, stroke!
Who doesn't love Squishy mail when they sew?? And as I am on my fabric buying ban, of course this is a rare occurrence (I threw that in for my lovely man, I know he reads the blog, bless him, very supportive as he finds sewing as tedious as I find cars, gadgets and the like!), so that voucher from the Village Haberdashery was a great chance to get something new.  I decided that there was a great way to maximise the win, as Laura at Needles, Pins and Baking Tins is running a Low Volume Swap, so actually that's a double win, because then i get loads of beautiful fabrics for my voucher.

Center City
So, look what I got, and yes, I was restrained, but a couple of extra fat quarters might have slipped in there, just 2, i think that was pretty restrained, it's tough this fabric ban, real tough when you're a hoarder and coveter of all things fabricy.
Center City-LA in Downtown, and Field Study- Sundials in Happy
I managed to get 2 spots on the swap, as I remembered I had another fabric that would be perfect for the swap, and I didn't have to buy it, as it was already wallowing around in my stash, feeling unloved, triple yay!

Benartex- Make Do and Mend
Ange x

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Walk in the Stripey Woods

All finished- hooray
 After several long months of procrastinating and diversion I have finally managed to finish my Octagon quilt, yay!  The unpicking didn't take half as long as I thought (about 5 or so rows as the back had a great big fold in it, and it really annoyed me). Then it was just a matter of getting it re-quilted and then bound, which quite frankly was terrific, as I really enjoy the hand sewing of the binding. It's such a great feeling finishing the binding by hand, and it means when I get a little more time, I can start a new quilty project- I know exactly which one, and it involves those Oakshotts!!

Just right for snuggling under
The photos are a bit rubbish, but then we don't have any good outdoor space at the moment- but fingers crossed we will do in the very near future!

Binding loveliness!
I've bound it with a stripe, as I always love seeing them on Red Pepper Quilts, Rita is a total legend, and although I couldn't find any Lecien Stripe, I managed to find a pretty good substitute (in my opinion), and I bought enough to bind several other quilts, or even a backing and some binding next time.

The actual design of the Octagon was inspired by the Craftsy block of the month I made a while back, I thought it would be great to show off the fussy cut blocks from the Walk In The Woods fabric line.

My Craftsy Block Inspiration

Quilted using a straigh(ish) line, random widths, which is actually much harder than you think, next time I will be using masking tape to mark the lines, but a great learning experience.
This is a cot sized quilt, or would be perfect for little ones for sitting on the sofa with and snuggling under on cold winter days!  If I can get some better pictures I'll pop it into my Etsy shop in the next few days.

Anyway, I'd better get back to some sewing, I have 2 Advent calendars to get finished, and I need to post one by Wednesday, so I'd best get cracking!!

Ange x

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Lucky, Ducky.

This is how i felt this week! Picture courtesy of this site
Despite a few challenges the last few days that have made me feel deflated and more than a bit frazzled, I have actually had a few good days with a couple of pieces of luck that I am really, doubly grateful for, considering I am on a fabric buying ban.  All self inflicted before my house gets swallowed up in stash!Is it wrong to want to move to find space for your stash?

For one, I won a competition over on the lovely Marys blog at Fairly Merry and my wonderful prize arrived at the weekend.  The great thing is, it was a fabric line I really wanted to try, but every time I got close I got a cost conscience and was a little concerned about spending the money.  So, when my fat eigth bundle of Oakshott Rubies arrived through my door I was absolutely delighted.  The colours are rich and deep, and I already have an idea I want to make with them.  They are absolutely beautiful, and I am looking forward to playing with them, but not until a few more things are off the big list for November!

Oooooh, mine all mine

I have obviously spent time stroking them, and they are soft and lovely, so I would like to say a big thank you to Mary, she has a fab blog, her current Granny Square quilt is terrific, and she always has lots going on- pop over and say hello, I'm sure she would love it.

And then yesterday, when it felt like it was going to be that kind of day when you should retreat to bed, I got a lovely email from Annie over at The Village Haberdashery, and I had won a £10 voucher for the shop, from the Summersville CAB survey I completed a few weeks back, yay!  

Customer Advisory Board Badge Large
The Village Haberdashery

It really was the major bright spot on an otherwise crappy day, thanks for making me smile Annie, and once again, go and have a look at what they have to offer, it's an exquisite shop, and I spent a bit of time looking last night at the Coming Soon section, it's looking amazing!

Ange x

Friday, 9 November 2012

Screen Printing with Sarah Waterhouse

Hand printed Cherry Red Suitcases fabric
One of Sarah's beautiful prints, available in her Etsy Shop.
Sarah Waterhouse, for those that don't know, is a genius screen printer based in sunny Sheffield.

As you can see her work is absolutely beautiful, she is part of the great talent these shores have to offer, and on Saturday I was lucky enough to spend the day screen printing in her terrific studio, along with 4 other ladies. 
I can't remember when I heard about Sarah originally, probably through Etsy, but I do recall being bowled over by the cool British style of this lady. She has some really fresh prints including Bird Brolly, these fab Suitcases, and my personal favourite, traditional English Insults- which always make me chuckle. 
So when I heard a few months back she was offering a days screen printing through her Crowdfunder bid, I was keen to get involved.  Sarah reached her total, and now has her large printing table making it easier to do bigger print runs, and develop her flourishing business.   
My star print- looks rather festive, maybe a table runner? Photo by S Waterhouse
The actual day involved us cutting a freezer paper stencil (As many as we could make!), and then after a working lunch (no-one wanted to stop) we got to practice the actual printing process, followed by a final print to make a lampshade.  Now some of the ladies made fantastically detailed stencils, one lady in particular created the most amazing street stencil with buses, houses and cars, I massively admired her patience, and the result was great.  I decided to keep it more simple, mainly because I really wanted to try my hand at the printing, and practice the actual process a few times, but also because I'm impatient and a bit of a scaredy cat!
My Honeycomb and Triangle Print. Photo by S Waterhouse
 I ended the day with several fun prints to work with, and a lampshade, so a pretty good haul overall.   
Drying my Lampshade print.  Photo by S Waterhouse

And although I wished I had a slightly more complex pattern for the lampshade, I really enjoyed the process and would love to have another go at some point- well actually I DO have some freezer paper, and Sarah did suggest making up our own screens at home was reasonably straightforward, watch out kitchen table, here I come! ; )
New lampshade getting lots of use.
And for anyone who missed the links earlier, you can see Sarah's post about the day here, and tale a look at all of the other terrific prints the ladies completed, and the beautiful items in her Etsy shop can be seen here.

Ange : )


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Pink Princess and Samaritans Purse

After a busy weekend, and a little illness downtime I've bounced back with a few little finishes including my little ones new crown for her fancy dress party
One dressing up crown, all finished
She's going as a princess of course, despite my best efforts to steer her away from scary pink, and into an spider man outfit, all to no avail (just kidding, sort of!).

And then today I have handed over my finishes for Samaritans Purse, a Christian charity that gives out shoe boxes of presents to underprivileged children in the developing world. 
New bags and pencil cases
I decided it would be nice to try and make a few little things that were pretty, and hopefully add a little sunshine into their lives, so as well as the usual sweets, I included some bracelet making craft kits, crayons, pens, and colouring paper and made these little pencil cases, and some cute bags to carry them all in.  And as I had this extra bag already made up, I gave it to my friend to put into the box she was making up too.
 I will be back later in the week with an update on what I got up to at my screen printing class with the lovely Sarah Waterhouse, and it's about time for a book giveaway and review, yay!

Ange x 


Friday, 2 November 2012

New Month, New Challenges

Here I am again with my big, big list of projects for the coming month, and anyone who has been reading the blog will recognise a few that have were on here last month, and need to be done this month, before they turn into nasty UFOs and end up stored in a box!  The recurrent ones are in italics, so that gives me a reminder to give them a little bit of priority, and hopefully they wont be back on the December list.  

1. Hand stitch C's Hexy Quilt

2. Make remaining 3 coasters
3. Complete Octagon Quilt- involving some unpicking due to a massive crease in the backing, boo hoo!

4.Complete September Craftsy BOM's- Drunkards Path
5.Complete October Craftsy BOM's- Paper Piecing

6.Complete Craftsy BOM Quilt Top
7.Secret Squirrel Tutorial
8.Princess Crown- it's pink!

9.Make back for Chevron Quilt

A feature star block started, based on this pattern:

Just Judes block- my inspiration!
This block was made by the very talented Judith who blogs at Just Jude, she made it for the also brilliant Susan who blogs over at Canadian Abroad- which is where I saw the block originally.  Mine is totally different (it's blue), but it's a great pattern design, i can only hope to do it some justice.
 I'm undecided on the central block piece at the moment, i have some options, I think I'll wait until I've made all 4 pieces.

10. Bag for Daisy

Inspiration, this bag tutorial from Plum and June

Plum and June: Front Zip Pouches with Shoulder Straps

11. 2 Pencil cases for shoebox charity

Inspiration, this tutorial from Flossie Teacakes (Sarah at Duck Egg Threads tells me its a good tutorial)

12. Star Blocks for 3x6 Bee13. Sampler Block for 3x6 BeeThere are bound to be some others that join along the way, lets see where the month leads us.Ange x 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fresh Sewing- October Roundup

October seems to have been a month of lots of little finishes, that really made me feel like I had cleared some space in my head, phew, there was loads of stuff buzzing round in there for a while!  And here it is.....

with the links to the individual blog posts...
Scrappy Angel Pouch post

Not 1, not 2, but 3 new scarves.... 

My Poppy Treffry yarn bag, and book review.

2 Gingerbread Man cakes

Crochet Bell...

Some Craftsy blocks completed (ooops, July and August)

Stockings, Advent Bunting and Advent Calendar...

An Improv Crochet Roll....

Some little bags for Samaritans Purse for children in poverty, and 2 new Morsbags...

Another Advent Calendar...

2 funny looking Zombies

....and lets not forget Mr Robin, who still needs a purpose.

Phew, that was exhausting, I hope you enjoy reading about them.
I'll be back tomorrow with a new WIP list for November, and a Tilda book GIVEAWAY next week.
Ange x