Friday, 11 February 2011

Finally Finished

This blog has been very neglected since late last year but at last I have finished the ripple blanket for Avid Reader and felt that it deserved a post.

Ta Da

It fits over the top of a double bed with no overhang and as requested the ripple colours are random and every now and then a variegated ripple was added. Avid Reader is very happy with the result and I am pleased to have finished it. The super easy instructions from Attic 24 were just brilliant.

It is a nice heavy weight blanket that will be used for snuggling on the couch and an extra layer come winter time.

There will be no more posts for a while as Avid Reader and Crafty Things focus on other interests and work/study for the time being. Thanks to all our lovely visitors for dropping by.

Monday, 18 October 2010

I Was a Winner.

Boy, oh, oh, boy, I was a winner in a blog giveaway run by DragonflyCrafts. Look at the lovely goodies I received.
The parcel with lovely photo card.
The contents. The sewing on these is just so even and the colours fit together beautifully. Thanks very much, Fiona.

On the creating front a few felt softies have been created. The first was an elephant - made as a sample to show a group of children. the pattern came from the very useful book on my bookcase - My First Sewing Book Hand Sewing by Winky Cherry. The patterns in this book have been ever so useful over a long period of time.

The eyes are split pins and the tail has been plaited on after the sewing was finished. The idea for the split pin eyes came from the kits I have purchased from Paper and String. The elephants sewn by the children were then decorated with glitter and fabric paints whereas mine was left very plain.

Second on the felt softie creating spree was a little car. This time I created the pattern myself with some help from some images found trawling the web. Again this was a model to inspire a group of children.

When I worked on this softie with the children we left out the split pin idea. I had tried this to see if it would look like a door handle but in the end decided the car looked fine without this addition. I did wonder about adding buttons for the wheels but have not tried out that idea yet.

Last on the creation line were some Perching Doves from Fa La La La Felt. I purchased an ebook copy of this great little book of felt Christmas decorations and chose the doves to have a go at first. I tried out several different variations before settling on the way I like to make these. They are a little addictive - I couldn't just make one!

With these two I followed the directions in the book to stitch the wing detail but I added the curve at the top of the wing and a second row of decorative stitching inside the first.
With these two I experimented with stitching on a wing that I had cut out with pinking shears but in the end found this to be a little fiddly. I also experimented with both blanket stitch and running stitch around the outside and decided that I preferred the running stitch. I love the way Amanda Carestio has designed these to be sewn onto pegs! Instead of buttons for the eyes I again resorted to split pins.

The ripple blanket is still slowly growing - lucky for me the recipient is so relaxed about when she will get the finished item!

Happy Crafting

Monday, 16 August 2010

Long Time, No Posts Probably, No Visitors but...

As always the same old excuse - things get busy and something falls by the wayside.

There has been some crafting going on but getting down to the putting it on the blog has not been happening.

Avid Crafter has made some beautiful gifts for friends. She sewed a patchwork scarf, knitted a neckwarmer, created a bag, cooked chocolate brownies and bestowed these as gifts to four of her friends. Sorry no photos at this stage - they are there somewhere but not easily found.

I have Zentangled and found that it is a great way to snatch a little relax time as you focus on just creating the pattern you are working on. I bought a little sketchbook to do my drawing in and then decided it needed a cover. I had seen something that I liked in Kata Golda's book - Hand-stitched Felt - so I hunted out some felt and created a felt cover with pockets to keep my pen, pencil and shading stub in. I had a trial create first and made the stationary pouch exactly as described in the book and then adapted this for my sketchbook cover.

They were great fun to make and I used a little bit of felting I had made for the pocket. More about the felting later in this post.

Here is one page of my drawings using the Zentangling. I am having great fun experimenting with all the patterns that are shared from the newsletters, flickr pool and various blogs.

Next bit of crafting was gifted to my mother. When the Craft Fair was in town I went and looked and spent and signed up for a felting workshop. It was to make a scarf from a long piece of wool batt to which you added pieces of wool tops and silk to create a design, wet it down, worked it over and over and over to felt it altogether. In the end you get something like this.

Next shot shows a close up of one end.

I was pretty pleased with the result. This was something I had never tried before and I enjoyed creating it. I came home with some more batting, tops and silk to try out some more but stuck to much smaller pieces than the scarf. I have used the pieces for the pockets of my book cover and stationary holder and cut some up into squares for some cards.

One last little link. I stumbled across this set of tutorials and loved the little needle book. Just the thing to keep your needles safe when travelling.

Happy crafting!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Things Discovered

Just a quick post with a few links for you.

I just came across this tutorial and am just waiting until I can try it. I like the idea of a carry strap and the lovely big button holding everything together. This is one of the positive things I admire about the crafty blog community - so many people are willing to share their ideas.

I also came across this art idea. The idea of breaking down complex patterns into easily repeated patterns that are then combined to create very interesting images was one that really appealed to me. I followed a few links and was amazed by the number of images being created.

Have you seen the envelope project coming together at Meet Me At Mikes. I am enjoying watching the window display grow. We sent our envelope off and it was very satisfying to see it in amongst all the others. Check it out over on Flickr.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Photos and Chitchat

I am still working on the ripple blanket. It is slowly growing in size.

Even though winter is definitely here there is still some lovely autumn colour around. Here is an autumn leaf photo collage of some leaves that found their way into my back garden from a tree in a neighbouring garden. The colours are just so rich.

Have you read about this little project. the envelope project
Meet Me At Mikes are asking for decorated envelopes to make a window display and to be part of little bit of crafting goodness and sharing. Inside your envelope the folk at Meet Me At Mikes are asking for a little bit of crafting ephemera. One lucky person will receive all the goodies after a lucky draw. Avid Crafter and I are putting an envelope together soon.

In the mail this week I received my copy of Mettazine by iHanna. It is all about art journaling and I have been waiting patiently for it to arrive after I purchased it from her Etsy shop a while ago. I love it - there are definitions, explanations, inspirations, prompts and some ephemera to get you started. I like the wallpaper cover and the touches of colour sprinkled through it. Thanks very much iHanna.

I am making some recycled books as well. They are A5 in size and all the pages are old photocopies folded in half so that the print is hidden and there are lovely white pages ready for some drawing or writing to be added. There are 15 leaves which makes each notebook have 30 pages. The covers are made from scrapbooking papers or decorated watercolour paper and the back is a piece of sturdy cardboard. They are bound with a stitched binding. Each one had a piece of brown paper tape on the front for a label. They would not be any good for collage work as the binding would not have enough flexibility.

I am thinking of putting some in our Madeit shop - the poor neglected place. Would you buy something like this? What price do you think would be good?

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Skirt Sewing

A request was made from Avid Crafter for a new skirt. I was shown some examples, in a few of the local shops, of skirts her friends had purchased and was asked did we have any fabric that could be used to create something along a similar idea. Next step was to hunt through the accumulated fabric stash to unearth some grey wool that had been purchased some nine years earlier and not used. It was a piece of fine merino wool suiting that had been bought to make a pair of light but warm trousers for Avid Crafter when she was much younger but they never happened. Wasn't she lucky.

The skirt style requested was of the pencil variety with front and back darts, back lapped zipper and a length of slightly above the knee. I had drafted a similar skirt for her some time earlier but when the shell was tried back on there was no wearing ease left so off to look through the pattern books we went as I was feeling too lazy to go through the drafting process at the time. We settled on a Kwik Sew pattern - no 2957.

The correct size was traced off and then I had to remember all the lessons learned a while ago to get this little skirt made. The zipper was first and it went well apart from forgetting the excellent tip I had been taught about adding extra to the seam allowance in the zipper area. If you do this it so much easier to do a lapped zipper. We have made a note to alter the pattern for the next time.

Darts were next and the back ones looked fine but the front darts were angled in an unusual way and did not look at all right. In the end I undid the darts up to the waist seam line and left them as sloped tucks. These were OK as they mimic the shape and style of the examples I had been shown. These front darts disappointed me as I had not, up until that point, bought a Kwik Sew pattern that had not met with total approval of the design.

We wanted a little bit of design detail and ended up with a red oraganza ribbon strip down the front. It is slightly off centre and has a piece of the grey wool underneath that has been put on without the edges being neatened. Three vintage buttons were added to the top of this strip.

Side seams were sewn and the waistband was added - again I forgot some of the good tips taught to me until part way through this part of the sewing but in the end the waistband was on and I had even managed to make both sides of the zipper even after they looked very uneven after inserting the zipper. Time for a fitting. All was good but we think that a little more room in the waist might be needed when the pattern is used again. A buttonhole and red button were attached rather than a hook and eye as there is no shortage of buttons in this crafting household. The buttonhole went well until the cutting time. I did not line up the buttonhole chisel correctly and cut the stitches on one side so then it was out with the needle and thread to add some hand buttonhole stitches to make sure all was OK.

The final request was for a fancy hem so we settled on creating a wide band at the bottom. This was done as the hem which made hemming so easy. Fold up the required wide band, machine tack at the bottom edge, fold back and run around it with the overlocker and fold it back down.
One small incident with melted organza ribbon was the last trouble spot. Luckily that was rescued by undoing some stitching and inserting a new piece of ribbon. Whew!!!

The end result - what do you think? The back view show how the waistband is a little on the tight side as the line from the zipper to the top of the band should be straight but I need to allow some breathing room!

There is some more vintage fabric to use up so I think there will be another skirt produced with this pattern. A top is also almost finished using the same pattern as these. The fabric is a patterned rib knit with some red in it so it may well be teamed up with the new skirt at some time.

Happy sewing.