Sunday, 23 April 2017

Mellerstain Parrots #8

Another 3 weeks, a very busy 3 weeks, another paltry progress on my SAL project!

Here's where I was:

Ready for a game of spot the difference?

How about a close up?

I finished the fourth and final tail feather and started on the wing...  hmmm. not great progess there Wendy!

I'm stitching along as part of a SAL where we all work on our WIPs, you can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:
AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary, Margaret Timothy

If you'd like to join in, please contact Avis

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Candle jars

Ooops!  It seems I completely forgot to blog!  I have been really busy recently, a day embroidery class, 3 days at the Bag Retreat with Mrs H, then a week in Devon with my family saying goodbye to mum.  It hasn't left much time for making, blogging or reading blogs.  I'm behind by 10 days on my reader and I have scores of unanswered emails in my inbox... I hope you'll all let me off this time!

I've mentioned before that a friend of mine has started a Christmas Craft Club, well we had another meeting earlier in the month and made candle jars.

We used sticky-backed plastic to mask of the areas we wanted to keep clear and then painted the jars.  I decorated the top of this one with some jingle bells on wire, and a bit of lace that I threaded ribbon through.

I love the colour of this one, it just has a simple ribbon topper.  They are for using with little tea lights, no idea if the ribbon is dangerous!

It was really hard to get the paint on evenly - we used acrylic paint which probably isn't the best kind of paint for the job, some of it is scratched off already!  I tried a two-tone effect on the blue one - probably not that successfully!  

I'll be back on Sunday with a SAL update - if I get a chance to stitch!!

Monday, 10 April 2017

improptu felting

I felt a little down one night, so I went to see my friend after work.  She soon sorted me out - she got out the felt and got me working my arm muscles!

She had bought me a notebook so I can do some journalling and had intended to make me a cover, but decided I could do it myself.  The above arrangement is the wool and tops laid out in my chosen "design".  I went for really bright colours because I love them!

Then there was rubbing with hot water and soap, more rubbing, turning, rubbing, turning rubbing, then rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling....  When I got home I soaked it in a little vinegar to get rid of the soap and laid it out to dry.  

It is still laying out to dry.  It IS dry, it's been dry for ages... I just haven't had the time to make it into a book cover yet!

Felting is so good for stress release, and I'm sure it must count as exercise?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Shopping tote in 30 minutes

A month or so ago I was contacted by Becki at Interior Goods Direct who asked me if I'd like to sew some items using some fabric that they would send me.  Of course, the answer was yes!

This lovely bundle was what she sent me. 

They're all long quarter or half yard cuts and they are in a range of substrates.  I've got cotton, canvas, linen, velvet, satin and a few others I can't really identify!  I plan to bring you a series of posts about what I make with some of these fabrics.

I love those clocks on the left and the two fabrics top and bottom right.  There are also some great basic patterns in there in fabrics that will challenge my sewing skills!  That London themed canvas shouted "shopping bag!" at me, so a shopping bag it was!

I was left with just a small remnant, though I did use a striped ticking fabric from the bundle on the handles.  I had to piece them whatever I did due to the cut of the fabric, so I thought I'd throw in something different.  

This is the most basic of basic tote bags, made without a pattern, and making up the measurements as I went along.  It's 15" x 14" with a 4" gusset, gussets are a must for a shopping bag.  I made that by simply boxing the corners.  The handles are really long as I like to be able to put shopping bags over my shoulder as I have tiny hands!

Spot the deliberate mistake?  Yep, should have cut in half and sewn a bottom seam rather than using one long panel of fabric as the main piece!  Yes, it saved time but the whole thing took about 30 minutes so I didn't really need to save the time!

Perhaps not my neatest sewing ever!  Sewing on handles neatly is soooo hard.  I decided not to line it, instead I zigzaged all my seams in the seam allowance to give it a bit more strength.  

If you want to see what else Interior Goods Direct have to offer, and I know some of you make cloths and home furnishings, you can find them in the following places:

Face book:
Instagram: @InteriorGoodsDirect

Clearly this is a sponsored post as I was provided the fabrics free of charge, however all opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Mellerstain Parrots #7

Good morning!  I'm scheduling this post as me and my trusty bottle of Ruski Standard are heading out on Saturday night and so I suspect Sunday morning will come very late for me!  Before we get down to the stitching, I bought this:

BEST THING EVER!  I just asked it what time it is, and she told me.  For those not in the know (which is usually me, very unlike me buying the latest gadgets!), it's a speaker which connects to my phone via the magic of wifi or blutooth and plays my music, responding to voice commands! She also looks up stuff on the internet for me... seriously, amazing.

Anyway, away from modern technology and back to the wonders of 17th century embroidery techniques - crewel work.  As part of the three-weekly SAL, this was where I was last time:

I did a bit of stitching on it:

I finished off the head and started working on the tail.  The head was long and short shading, the tail is satin stitch.  I didn't get that much done again this time.  Next time, my goal is to complete this whole parrot.  I know, ambitious, but you've got to be in it to win it!

Here's where I am overall:

I'm stitching along as part of a SAL where we all work on our WIPs, you can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:
AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary, Margaret Timothy

If you'd like to join in, please contact Avis

Friday, 31 March 2017

17 in '17 update

I haven't been very good at linking up my finishes for the 17 in '17 challenge hosted by Anne and Meredithe, and this month will be no different!  Except, I have made some progress on one of my kits!


I decided to do 17 WIPs and 17 kits in '17 (and it's not going so well so far!).  You can see my 17 kits in '17 at that link.  This is 4. Pincushion, Christmas present from my parents.

I've made a reasonable amount of progress as I've only stitched on this for about 3 evenings.  Since I became single, I have developed a rocking social life and I'm not in to stitch very much any more!

I stitched the border round from the bottom to the top left, then round from the bottom to the meet that point.  Oooops.

That was NOT a good plan!  I've fudged it, but it may well come out.  I found the mistake, it's near the bottom!!

Meridithe and Anne, I hope you don't mind me joining in with this?  I will have a WIP update on Sunday as it's time for the SAL check in and the piece I'm working on is one of my 17 WIPs.

You can see my 17 WIPs in '17 here, yes, I know I've only completed one of them in 3 months!!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Button heart

The second session of the Christmas met at the beginning of March.  The idea was to make button pictures as seen on Pinterest.  The original ideas found were Christmas trees and starts, but I went in a different direction.

I bought the chunky frame for a few quid from Asda.  It looks like a box frame as the frame sticks out quite far, but the glass sits right on the picture so I had to discard it.  I used some painted wooden buttons I had in red and blue and made a heart.  I opted not to fill it in.  It took me all of about 10 minutes!

I did have an accident with the glue.  I had a plastic bottle of PVA glue which used to be kept on the windowsill in my craft room.   Apparently not a good idea.  I picked the bottle up, squeezed and it broke in half, spewing glue everywhere!  

The next session is tonight, we're doing something with jam jars...