Vintage Embroidery

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and if you have children in the UK, a great half-term holiday.  I have some bits to share with you about that later in the week but for now I just have a few photos to share of some embroidery that my Grandma did.

IMG_1348008

I love this tablecloth and I can picture it now on a little tea table in her lounge.

When I asked Mum if I could borrow the tablecloth she also sent round the cloth I had embroidered for Mum and Dad’s 25th wedding anniversary so I thought I would share a couple of pics of that too.

IMG_1353013

Do you have anything special that was made years ago?

I hope you all have a lovely and I hope to be back soon with a general newsy post.

Happy Crafting

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

 

Advertisements

A Few Gifts…

Christmas seems ages ago now and yet January seems to have flown by, the sun is shining and it feels like spring out there!  Secretly I’m hoping for a bit of snow before the winter is over,  enough for the kids to enjoy for a couple of days!

I still have a couple of things I made as Christmas gifts that I haven’t got around to showing you so I thought I would get a quick post in this morning.

I did a couple of stitched bible verses for two ladies at our chapel that had both lost their Husbands this past year.

 

For my Mother-in-law I made some simple Christmas quilted place mats to match the bunting I made for her last year

IMG_1124006

and for a little extra for my niece I made this simple sock doll with a little sleeping bag to keep her in.

I’ve got rather a social week booked including a crafty day with a friend and a refugee blanket making event to prepare for on Saturday but I shall try and pop by with another post later in the week.

I hope you all have a lovely and creative week.

Sharon xx

A PJ Case Ta-dah at Last!!

Well, you have seen these PJ cases at various stages and had sneak peeks throughout the past months and finally they are all finished.  The original idea for these came from a similar bunny PJ case I had as a child.

IMG_917017

I am really pleased with how they worked out, the mice in the darker calico being my favourite.

The mice and rabbits head patterns were taken from the Tilda, Sew Sunny Homestyle book. I enlarged them and used just the top 3″ or so of the body to create the neck, shoulders and chest. All of the fabric was upcycled sheets and duvet except for the calico used for the heads.

SAM_045117

I then made up a dress pattern with a pinafore bodice and a long gathered skirt with a pillow case style opening to make the PJ case.

The apron is a simple rectangle gathered onto a waistband, the tucks already being part of the duvet.

I added a row of fancy stitching using Abi’s sewing machine that we gave her for her 18th. (I think I have probably used the machine more than her!!)

I spent some time on the aprons with each little girl’s initial embroidered, adapting a design I was given years ago from an old magazine and I originally used to make a pram cover for Abi when we were expecting her.

Lastly I embroidered the faces and added blusher to their cheeks

and here they are all ready to be loved.

IMG_916916

I really like this idea and I am now wondering how I could do something similar for the younger boys next year!

I am gradually getting through my Christmas gift list with shawl number three just finished blocking today, we even had some sunshine to photograph it!  I shall show you soon all being well.

Oh, I have just remembered that I promised to put up the Gateau recipe, I’ll try to do that later.

IMG_987207

How is your gift list coming on?  Enjoy the rest of your week and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

‘To be More Creative’

There are so many gorgeous patterns out there, places like Pinterest and your blogs offer so many fantastic creative ideas, I have two large A4 ring binders stuffed with patterns I would like to make someday and a ridiculous amount of Pinterest boards with at least five dedicated solely to crochet!

So as you can see I have no shortage of things to make but then I read a couple of posts over recent weeks by the lovely Bekki of Creativity Cauldron.

In the first post that got me thinking Bekki looked back over her first six months of Blogging and what she had learnt.  Now I instantly pricked my ears up at this as I too had just reached 6 months of blogging. There were two of Bekki’s ten points that particularly resonated with me the first was…

I don’t spend enough time ‘playing’ with my creativity.

and the second …

To take a more experimental approach to my work.

I was being so inspired by everyone ‘around’ me in this online creative community that I was forgetting to be creative myself so then and there I resolved to be more creative.  Not a lot happened on this front over the hols other than a little stitchery but then this post by Bekki about experimenting and these points in particular really got me thinking about it again. (If you have a minute I would really recommend going over and reading these posts).

  • I don’t spend enough time ‘playing’ with my creativity.
  • I can take things far too seriously.
  • I need to take a more experimental approach.

I am loving this creative process so much, I am still getting so much inspiration from your blogs and patterns but I am trying to take these in my own direction and add my own individual touch to them. I do find it takes a bit lot longer as I am having to do all the hard background work myself but there is such a sense of achievement at the end. So here are my first two ‘experiments’.

The first was a stitchery inspired by the work of Jenny over at Elephanz.  I fell in love with her stitcheries some time ago and when I realised that my eldest niece was about to turn 21 I wanted to embroider her a verse from the Bible as a special extra gift and hopefully start a little tradition among my nieces and nephews (that will keep me busy over the coming years – my sister has 9 and my brother has just had number five, six weeks early while on holiday in Wales in their holiday cottage, they had to spend an extra two weeks down there as baby was in special care but home now and mother and baby doing well 🙂 ). Anyway, back to where I was about to embroider a verse for niece!   I looked at Jenny’s lovely patterns, she has some lovely free stitcheries with bible verses on but I felt I would like to use a verse that I felt I was to do just for her and I also remembered my resolution to be more creative and designed my own.

The verse I chose was ‘I will trust and not be afraid’.  The writing was the easy part as I taught myself calligraphy as a teen and love doing any fancy writing.  Then there was the inspiration for the border.  This came from a box Hubby got out when having a rummage our loft (that is about all you can do in our loft, with four of us in little two bedroom and me being a bit of a hoarder our loft is jam packed full)!!  It was a box with all those ‘sentimental’ bits from childhood in and among was this design I did when I was about 13.

IMG_644421

I took inspiration from this design and interpreted it in a style similar to Jenny’s and the result was this.

IMG_643816

It is worked mostly in back stitch with the occasional french knot.

IMG_643917

IMG_644018

I spent a lot of time working on it while we were on our ‘holiday at home’!

IMG_644119

She was thrilled with it and I was so glad I had taken the time to make something special for her, she is such a dear kind and thoughtful girl.

My second creative attempt was for one of my cousins’ children, her youngest (well over 40 of them in all and counting, most of them local so we see a lot of them!). I digress again, sorry!!! Anyway, this little treasure has just gone into her own bedroom and it is all pretty and pink so I decided to crochet her some butterfly bunting.  I did my usual peruse of Pinterest but nothing really grabbed my attention, then remembering again my creativity endeavour (not sure where on earth all the big words are coming from today, not the usual me ;-)), I decided that I ought to just make up my own pattern and this is the result!

IMG_665501

and close up.

IMG_666304

IMG_666203

IMG_666102

I love it, I spent a lot of time going over the pattern and reworking it so they are all very slightly different but eventually I was satisfied and I was really pleased with the result.  I backed them onto felt to stiffen them, added some brads I had by to add a bit of interest and used doubled up yarn to join them together, what do you think?

I hope I haven’t bored you too much with all my waffling on!  What inspires you?  Do you like to design your own or use a pattern?

I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the sunshine if you have it in your little part of the world  at the moment 🙂

Happy Crafting!!
Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

Problems, Lists and Knitting Again!

Firstly it’s my own fault, the problems that is. When I set up my site at the beginning of the year I started following the quick tutorial, uploaded photos and posted my first post and thought I didn’t need to learn any more… how wrong I was!!  I was doing exactly what Hubby does (and most men that I know do) and tried to do it first without reading all the instructions!  You know the feeling, oh yeah, I can do this, it’s easy 🙂

All went fine until a couple of weeks ago when I realised that I had used nearly all of my media storage space and they said I could upgrade my site  for £89 per year – no thanks!!  So it was off to ask google! I soon realised where I had gone wrong. I had just uploaded the pics straight from the camera without compressing them first.  As a result I have spent rather a lot of precious crafting time compressing photos (four times before they all compressed as I didn’t realise I needed to do the portrait images separate from the landscape images) and replacing and deleting the original pictures!

compress

Thankfully we do have Adobe Photoshop so I was able to compress multiple files at once .  Anyhow, all done now and lesson learnt – read all instructions first – (until next time) and I now have plenty of storage space for more posts 🙂

I am trying out knitting again as after my budgie attempts I thought I really ought to try and do a bit occasionally and maybe, just maybe, one day I will be good enough to knit a pair of socks.  I looked on Ravelry for easy patterns and came up with this pattern for simple garter stitch slippers, brilliant. I need some new ones for the summer as I am still using my slipper boots from the winter, although Josh kindly told me yesterday as he watched me knit that it will probably be winter again before I finish them!!

 (Image courtesy of google)

The pattern said Needles: 3.5mm circular or two straight needles.  I thought ‘Great, now I can do a bit of practise with a circular needle on something easy’  but as I read on it said ‘if your’e feeling adventurous you can use a seamless CO technique’  I do not feel adventurous where knitting is concerned and I wanted the seam anyway as I think it enhances the slipper so I wouldn’t need the circular needle…but I used the circular needle anyway as practice.  What a pain that is, the thing has a life of it’s it own and twists and curls as though it’s alive, maybe the feeling is mutual and it doesn’t like me either!

IMG_391201

As far as the pattern goes I am getting on fine this time but only because all I have had to do is cast on 40 stitches and keep knitting!  I did manage to gain a stitch, I guess that’s better than losing one.  I really didn’t want to undo any of my hard work – I find knitting so hard to pick all the stitches back up, unlike crochet where you have only one loop to find again – so I just knit two together!   The only other slightly annoying thing is working with two strands together but mostly it has been fine.

I am using the women’s institute soft and cuddly 4 ply yarn from Hobbycraft.  It is a bit more expensive at £3.00 for 50 grams but they are usually on a buy two get one free deal and I love it so much, it has to be the softest acrylic yarn I have ever used.  There isn’t a huge range of colours yet so I went with a pale blue and cream. (I have just realised as I took this photo that one ball of yarn is soft and silky and one soft and cuddly.  With the soft and silky you get 100 grams for the same price, both gorgeously soft.)

IMG_391302

I am probably about halfway through the first slipper so not too bad going but I do find that I am very tense when I knit and I have to consciously make an effort to relax my shoulders. To be honest just working in garter stitch can be a bit boring so I am saving them to do when I really haven’t the concentration for anything else.

I have also been busy writing lists.  I love lists, I love crossing things off of them even more, in fact I have been known on occasion to write a couple of things I have already done on my new list, so I can cross them off!! I Hmm, rather sad I know but I always feel better when a couple of things have been crossed off.

I have an A4 notebook dedicated to my craft lists and notes.  Things to make for Abi, for Josh, for the nieces, for men, for the mums, for the home, for me soon, for me one day, gifts already made etc!  I also have this great weekly planner but things often end up getting transferred from one day to the next and the next before they get crossed out, I think I am too ambitious about what I can achieve in a day!

IMG_391706

But this week I  realised I do not have a wips list…What??.  I have posted on here about my wips but the list is changing so often that it is out of date in a few days but no list.  Well, of course, that had to be rectified and here it is.

WIPS LIST JULY 2015

small hexagons – on a bit of a go slow with these

SAM_0460966

large hexagons (I have been reading too many of Ericka’s posts lately and she has got me using up my scraps with larger hexies.  Ericka has made some gorgeous hexie cushions with scraps you would never normally put together but they look amazing!  If you pop over you could join her on one of her rambles and learn a lot about British wild flowers. ).

IMG_391605

spinning – only about 4 more lengths to spin and then I can ply, Yay!

IMG_3218027

crochet granny flower and owl cushions.  (Hmm, those were a bit buried and forgotten, to be honest, crocheting a back is rather boring.)

crochet patchwork blanket (here).  I’m still enjoying this.

IMG_3858084

knitting slippers

IMG_391201

crochet shawl  (this is another new wip using this gorgeous pattern by Sandra over at Cherry Heart blog.  It is lace weight and so, so pretty and delicate.

IMG_391807

embroidery (I’m still working through the aprons for the pj cases, only 2 to go!)

SAM_05891058IMG_1648480

To be honest it is no as bad as I thought but my to do list is items 17 long and two need to be made for gifts this month plus stocking pressies for Abi and Josh so I’m going to say toodleoo and get crafting 🙂

Happy Crafting and have a crafty week!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

Wips and Ideas…

Things have been pretty busy round here with birthday preparations but I just wanted to pop by with a few pics of my wips.  Firstly my spinning.  I have started spinning my fourth lot of yarn and I am enjoying it as much as ever.  I have chosen these two colours.

SAM_06881154

I have already spun these two, I spun a strip of the grey followed by a strip of blue until I had spun it all.

IMG_3219028

I have now moved onto these two colours, navy and teal.

SAM_06891155

When they are both finished I hope to ply the two yarns together to give a multi coloured effect.  It is rather slow going only doing a little at a time but with so much else on the go it doesn’t really worry me.

I am spinning it quite fine and I am really pleased with how even I am now managing to get the yarn.

IMG_3237042

Here it is next to some no8 crochet thread.  I am hoping there will be enough this time for a lacey shawlette.

I have hardly touched my patchwork hexies lately but they are great to have nearby to do an odd one in a spare moment.

IMG_3234039

I am nearly halfway through my monthly challenge makes for the children,

but I’m not sure what I shall be making for Me/the Home this month.

I have made the fronts of the cushions I am making with the leftover squares from my owl and flower granny blanket and have started on the backs.

IMG_3240043

The embroidery on the aprons for the bunny/mice Pj cases is coming along little by little.  I have to do these in daylight as my eyes are no longer good enough to do detail stitching in the evenings 😦

IMG_1648284

But all of this has been on the back burner this week as I have been busy making bits for Abi’s 18th.  There has been a bit of crochet, including a new pattern to share with you.  I have been busy with my machine on two other gifts and also added a little hand quilting and I have some embroidery not yet started.

IMG_3241044

I have also been trying to finish the felted picture I am making for my Mum.  Here is a little peek at one of the beginning stages.

IMG_3168007

Now for the ideas!  Well, I have so many ideas of things I would like to make so I will just tell you about the ones I am hoping to get on with in the next few weeks.

I would love to make some more project bags (now, why ever I would need more?!!).  I can’t see a pattern that is quite what I am looking for so I shall be combining one or two styles and attempting my own pattern.

I started my spiral blanket but after several rows it got frogged, I just wasn’t happy with it, I’m not sure why, I think it just seemed a bit flat. Here is what it looked like.

SAM_0696

So, when I couldn’t sleep one night I lay and thought of all sorts of blankets I have seen and nearly settled for another round ripple when I had a fantastic idea, or at least I absolutely love the idea!  This is where I tease you because I want to get a bit further with it before I show you but here is the tiniest peek.

IMG_3858

I know, not much of a clue there but I will try and show you more soon when I have the first trial bit done. It is something I have never seen done before for a crochet blanket but I am sure someone, somewhere, has done it already.

While I was planning in my crafty notebook I came across this note from Abi…

SAM_0693

It made me smile.  (Nunars is a nickname I somehow acquired in our courting days!)

My other idea is for a sewing/project book.  I have seen a couple recently but they don’t have quite what I am looking for so the creative brain cells will be getting another workout on a pattern for this one 🙂

Phew, well I must get going, I have a cake to ice, one gift not even started and three more to finish, not to mention Mum’s picture to finish!

What are you up to? Are you a little crazy like me with several wips or are you more organised and like to finish one thing at a time?

Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

Up-cycling and Rejuvenating!

Abi and I love second hand shops, charity shops, Junk shops etc.  In a word we love a bargain.  In sorting through the craft room we unearthed these!

IMG_3046

Photo bombed by Abi 🙂

IMG_3048

We will often buy something because we love the fabric and then alter it or cut it up for fabric for other projectsWe hardly bought any new fabric for Abi’s four years of textile work, we could usually find what we needed second hand. Most of this pile are clothes that Abi has not yet had time to alter, due to being so busy with her textiles and photography coursework that she hasn’t had time to make things for herself but there are a few bits for me that I had forgotten about.

Firstly I wanted to rejuvenate a rather boring denim skirt

IMG_2702512

by adding in fabric from this £1 dress.  It is a sheer patterned fabric with a plain lining.

IMG_2703513

I cut the triangular panels out of the denim skirt and filled them in with the sheer outer layer of the dress using the existing hem.

IMG_3031

Then to add a bit more interest I made a flower and some leaves with both layers of the dress (outer and lining).  I appliqued these onto the denim using a very narrow zig zag and trimmed away some of the fabric so that the lining showed through and frayed the edges changing a plain skirt into something a bit more special.

IMG_3043

IMG_3045

My next remodel was to make Abi’s skirt that she wears to work wearable again.  It is rather stained (she helps out at a garden centre during the busy season) and worn but one of those comfy, love to wear skirts.

IMG_2166497

The front V panel had ripped and there were a couple of holes.

IMG_2165496 IMG_2164495

I replaced the V panel with a slightly gathered floral panel to give her a bit more room to stretch and patched the holes with squares of the floral fabric on top and on the inside of the skirt, a denim patch to strengthen it.  I then over-stitched the patches for decoration giving the whole skirt a new look as well as a new lease of life.

IMG_2207503

My third up-cycle was from this charity shop find.

IMG_2704514

I only paid £1 for it and when I got it home I realised why!  It had all been sewn inside out.  Seeing as I had only bought it to use as fabric it wasn’t a problem.  It is woolen so I put it through a hot wash to felt it.

I then cut it to size and blanket stitched the edges to make a book cover and added embroidery to pick out some of the V stitches and now I have a lovely soft cover for my Bible.

IMG_3054

IMG_3055

I have really enjoyed these makeovers, there is something in me that gets great satisfaction out of taking something unwanted and creating something new. If you get the opportunity I would encourage your to scour your local second hand shops, there is so much great fabric out there!

I was recently interested in the dress made by Beth of After dark sewing, using a top and a shirt!  There really are some great up-cycle ideas out there.

Before I go here is a little peep at the stocking pressie I have made Josh this month.  I have used lots of scraps of fabric, part of a sheet and a shirt!!

IMG_2237

More on that at the end of the month all being well.

I hope you all have a great weekend, thanks for dropping by.

Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx