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

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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

Birthday Makes Revealed!!

Well, the big day has come and gone and I can now show you what I have been frantically making the last couple of weeks!

Our gift to Abi was a sewing machine.  I had a sewing machine for my 18th and I wanted to be able to do the same for her, it will probably have to be instead of a family holiday but it will be worth it as it is a really useful gift that will hopefully last for many years.

So of course I had to make something to go with it, well two things actually.  A pretty cover for it and a quilted mat to go under it.

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I got the mat idea from one that a friend had made for my Mother-in-law.  It is basically a rectangle a little wider than the machine and about four times the depth.  The front hangs down and has a pocket for scissors, pen etc and also a pin cushion.

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Not the best image but it gives you the general idea.  I used my extra large yoyo maker for the pincushion.  I also put little yoyos on the machine cover to add a little something.   I hand quilted round some of the paisley on both the machine cover and the mat.

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I also wanted to do something a bit more special as it was her 18th so I printed onto fabric a photo Abi had taken of herself and added some stitching to the grasses and the boat and then added a verse at the top.

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Sorry, I forgot to take a photo before putting it into the frame and could only get this angle without reflections but the bible verse reads

‘For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.’

I always try to make the children’s cards and this year for Abi I decided to use some of my dear Dad’s bits he used to use in his watch making.

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An owl made with small watch movements, little screws and washers, a couple of some sort of dial for the eyes and a tiny watch for the necklace.

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Oh, and if you were wondering, the ‘bits sticking out of his head’ as Abi so eloquently put it when she asked, are actually supposed to be the numbers one and eight but they are rather close to the top of his head!

Abi loved her ‘Grandy’ so much that it was lovely to be able to use something of his to make her card.

The last make was this owl basket.

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I had seen a couple of owl baskets on Pinterest but they both had the ears as part of the eyes which I didn’t like, also one looked too tall to fit on Abi’s bedroom shelf and the other was only the head and would have been quite shallow. Quite a lot of frogging went on, especially with the ears but I eventually got it how I wanted it to look and I have jotted the pattern down.  For the yarn I made my own out of t-shirt following this great tutorial by Sheila at Sewchet.  Her tutorial is so much better than one I have used before and has plenty of pics to help. I think the pattern would work with any yarn as long as you worked on a smaller hook than recommended to make it work up firm.

Well, Abi loved all her makes and I am really glad that I took the time to do them. If anyone would like the pattern for either the owl or the sewing mat I can post it up here.

Have a great weekend and Happy Crafting!!

Sharon x

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

Monthly Challenge – May

For this month’s challenge I have a rather amusing bag, a scrappy cushion and something made with clay to show you!

Firstly the cushion cover is my make for Josh and made using scraps and recycled fabrics. ( I haven’t put a cushion in it yet as I will have to be storing it until Christmas.)

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For this I cut a square out of an old sheet and covered it in a spray, washout, fabric glue.  I then cut and tore strips from my scraps bin and arranged them to more or less cover the square.

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I then added more fabrics this time cutting and tearing to smaller strips and long triangles before I then cut a square of organza and glued this on top.

To hold it all together I machined wiggly lines through all layers to represent the waves of the sea.

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Next I appliqued on the little boat and man fishing.

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Lastly, I trimmed the edges and cut a square the same size out of the front of a secondhand shirt to create the back, so that the buttons became the opening.

I particularly like the way the light catches the organza, almost as if the sun is reflecting off of the sea.

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My next make is for Abi.  I decided to try to make hers out of air drying clay, something I haven’t done since my schooldays! (And being for Abi, it is an owl!!)

I made her this little trinket dish.  It’s not perfect but I had great fun doing it.

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Firstly I kneaded the clay into a ball,

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then I used the heel of my hand to create the indent of the dish, shaped the ears,

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and used my finger to shape each side of the beak.

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The clay was starting to crack so I smoothed it over with a wet finger.

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I created the indent for the eyes firstly with my finger

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and then neatened it with a playdough tool!

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I then marked around the eyes,

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the pattern around edge of the dish

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the nose

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and the ears.

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It took less than half an hour in all and I really enjoyed making it.  It is something I would like try again.

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The only thing I am disappointed with is the edging pattern at the bottom, it went a bit wonky where I switched position!

Lastly for Me/the home is my string market bag.  This just makes me laugh.  It has turned out huge!!  I wanted it to be big but this absolutely swamps me.

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I’m only just over 5 foot but this is ridiculous.  Here it is hanging from the light switch.

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I knew that I needed to use cotton as other yarns stretched so I used this

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Hmmm, maybe next time I need 100% cotton, although it was already massive before putting anything in it.  Anyhow, Abi has fallen in love with it so it may just be heading her way, at least she will be able to fit whatever she wants to in it!

I have some ideas for next month’s makes but I’m not sure how much I shall get done as over the next couple of weeks I shall be doing some secret projects as Abi is 18 in the middle of June and I would like to make her a couple of bits.

Happy crafting and a Happy Weekend!!

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

You Continue to Inspire Me…

I love reading all your posts, I am constantly creatively inspired!!  Yesterday I needed a gift I could make in a day, a  holiday day at that, as one of Abi’s best friends, Leah, is turning eighteen. Abi is going to see her today and I wanted to make her a little something from us all.

Recently I have been particularly inspired by Ericka’s erickaeckles blog.  I have loved seeing the progress on her twin star quilts, the planning, the fabric choices, thoughts on quilting etc.

So this gift was an ideal opportunity to try proper patchwork.  I have made two very basic and simple quilts with squares and rectangles but I have always used fleece fabric as a backing and used very basic and minimal quilting.  This was the ideal opportunity to make something small but a little more adventurous.

I had a couple of A6 notebooks I picked up in Poundland the other day so I started to plan a cover for one of these.  I drew out a plan, finding a number that the height of the notebook was divisable by and drawing a grid.   I rubbed out some lines and added others to create the patchwork I wanted.

With the patchwork I used tiny scraps from my scraps bin and part of a sheet for the backing. I was really challenging myself as some squares were only 16mm wide.  I added 1cm to each square to give 1/2 cm seam allowances.  I had thought to machine them together for speed but it just wasn’t feasible with such tiny pieces!  So it was hand sewing.  I didn’t mind as I find hand sewing relaxing but I was a bit concerned about time especially with the quilting I had in mind!  There were several interruptions to help make a ‘live mouse trap’,  go to the park, give opinions on homework etc but it proved quicker and easier than I thought.

For the quilting element I was again inspired by Ericka in this post here where she mentions the baptist fan.  There is also a post with more about the baptist fan here.  It gives such a lovely effect and after reassurances that it wasn’t difficult I decided to go with that pattern.

When I did my quilting I was doing it from memory (not the best idea) but I had obviously forgotten exactly how it went and my fans are at various angles instead of neat rows but I was pleased with the effect.  I also backstitched her name onto a plain patch.

Another thing erickaeckles mentions is how the squares and colours soften as you quilt.  I had been a bit worried about one of the prints I used but I was amazed at just how much the quilting really did soften the edges and bring the whole thing together.  The bottom half is quilted the top is not yet quilted.

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I am so, so pleased with it.

It is far from perfect but I feel that I really stretched myself.  You can just see the fan stitching below.

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I felt a bit reluctant to give it away but it had her name on it so it had to go!!

Thanks to you all for your constant inspiration and this time, especially to Ericka!

Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx