Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wimbledon tea cozies & sleepy creatures!

I have been busy beavering away trying to stock up for my next craft fair. Here a few things I've finished!

Sleepy creatures!
Tea cozies, cup of tea anyone, perfect for a cup of tea whilst watching the tennis!
This yarn is gorgeous is supersoft Rooster Almerino (50% Baby Alpaca and 50% merino wool), beautiful to knit with. ( I have three tea cozies).

Custom order bunting to match a kitchen..

And lot of other things, more bunting, iphone cozies, zipped pouches, lavender bags, peg bags, crocheted bunting, cuddly bunnies and aprons all of which I still need to photograph! Phew! I am enjoying it though and seemed to have developed a system that works for me of making sure whatever I'm working on is all cut out and ready the night before so that the next day I can sit down and sew straight away in the morning. Otherwise I tend to waste time dithering about what I'm going to make before I actually start doing it. Bags tomorrow!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Confessions of a F. A.

Fabric Addict...

I week or so ago I went to London and said I'd post some of the gorgeous Liberty fabric I purchased together with the fabric I also purchased from John Lewis whilst I was up there.

You see given the opportunity to go shopping in London, I'm not interested in the clothes shops or the shoe shops any more, nope I have no interest traipsing round Top Shop or Selfridges, those days are long gone....

I head straight for the fabric and the haberdashery departments. I cannot resist a pretty fabric, and the fabric companies nowadays seem to only do a certain stock of fabrics for a limited time, like when its gone, its gone, so if you like something, you have to buy it when you see it as you might not be able to get it again. I think there's definitely something comforting about acquiring a stash of lovely bits of fabrics. So if I see something I like I usually buy just half a metre if I don't know exactly what I'm going to make with it, so all of these are half metre lengths.

So can I confess all from the last couple of weeks and share my latest purchases sitting upstairs still in their bags waiting to be sewn...

Here they are, Liberty first. I was very restrained in Liberty as it is such gorgeous fabric but is also £20 a metre..
And this one below is definitely my favourite, I LOVE it! Wish I'd bought more than half a metre now as I think it would make a lovely dress.

John Lewis next.
Ahem. Then there is a little bag that I purchased in Birmingham whilst on a little browse around the shops whilst the men watched the rugby and the football. Some half metres of CK, tied up with pretty ribbbon.
some really pretty ditsy florals which I might make into bias binding
a cute owl print (for my son) and a caravan print (this afternoon being turned into some caravan bunting, caravan keyrings and nifty caravan coasters).
These fabrics are for bunting and patchwork cushion covers for a little girls bedroom
And these are for a custom order for bunting for a kitchen I'm putting together at the moment.
All of which will be added to this (in much need of a tidy but is far too hot today..)

And this... (there are a lot of vintage fabrics, tablecloths and recycled fabrics - old clothes and curtains in this lot). Look at the state of my ribbon box...

Ummm lastly, I'll just quietly mention that it is the John Lewis sale at the moment, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to acquire some Tanya Whelan fabrics at £5 per metre and some Cath Kidston at £7 pm could i?.... Pop in if you can they have some really lovely fabrics and yarn on sale.

Thats definitely it on the purchasing for a while...
Time to get sewing.
I am alone in my addiction or is there someone else out there as addicted as me?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bright Scrappy Bobble Trim Hearts

I've had fun today using small scraps and my favourite bobble trim to make these large decorative patchwork lavender hearts.

A little bit fiddly and time consuming to make, but I'm really pleased with them, they are using all my favourite fabrics and colours. I'll put them in the Robin Red Shop later!

Meanwhile this is what's going on downstairs..
Thats why I'm hiding upstairs in my work room...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Meet the Breakfast Monsters

Ready to look after your eggs, coming to a breakfast table near you soon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Bernina Day

I recently upgraded my sewing machine and as part of the deal you get a days free training with Bernina in London. So off to London I went yesterday for a masterclass on getting the most out of your machine! Here's the classroom, there were four of us on the course which was great as it meant we all got to ask lots of questions.

It was such a useful day, I soon realized that you can easily get stuck sewing a certain way on your machine and aren't using all the features on it.

During the day I got used to using the knee lift that I hadn't previously used, learnt about all the different feet and accessories, ways of using and varying embroidery stitches, a fab section on stretch stitches, basting and blind hemming. We learnt a brilliant way of doing gathers using crochet cord sewn between the threads which made it much stronger for thicker fabrics, which will be so useful doing the frills on my frilly aprons.

Any one else wondered what that arm bit was for? I hadn't a clue when I saw it in my drawer. Makes sense when you fit it to the machine, its a seam guide.
The button holes that I'd been avoiding were so easy, we even did corded button holes, what a revelation, and I can sew on buttons with my machine now! We ended the day playing around with the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) and doing some free machining. A fantastic day and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity, everybody on the course found it really useful and away with little tricks and tips that will make a big difference to our sewing.

Of course I couldn't go to London without fitting in a little bit of shopping afterwards. I headed straight to John Lewis (I had some birthday vouchers still to spend) where I bought some gorgeous fabrics in half metre lengths (photos soon!) and then onto Liberty's - my absolutely favourite shop in the whole world!
A quick detour to pick up some soap, and then onto the Fabric department....
This is their fabric of the month, wouldn't it look gorgeous as a Summer Dress?
I fell in love with this fabric and bought some of this, and three other half metres all Tana Lawn, which I would love to share today, but we are having building work inside today and there isn't one spot I can photograph it as everything is in chaos!! Hopefully things will get back to normal over the weekend, and I can photograph them then.

Have a fab weekend xxxxxxxxxxxx

Edited to add:
Another thing we did on the course was cleaning and oiling your machine which I am ashamed to say I'd never done on either of my machines, but it was really easy, I've just done it this morning!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Treasure Hunting

I leap out of bed uncharacteristically early on Sunday mornings, for one reason, the car boot sale! I love rummaging and treasure hunting, and we are lucky to have one every Sunday locally to us, although the location changes alternate weeks. One of the locations is just across the road from us, (although that hasn't always been a good thing as I have staggered back with my fair share of tat over the years!).

I like to think I have got more selective now ;-) and here's what I found this morning.

A beautiful old printers tray which is fits perfectly in my workroom to store cottons and little bits and pieces.
Some collapsible shelves ready to be used at my first craft fair, the couple that were selling it used to do Antiques fairs, its very light, folds flat and will be very useful on my stand. I'm starting to give thought as to how I'll display my bits and pieces.
This beautiful knitting book. Its very old, perhaps 1930s I'd guess(?), it doesn't say, but the photographs and text are gorgeous I have to show you. Do click on the images and read the words.

Inside were this pullover pattern and a typed pattern for fair isle mittens.

And finally some lovely white tablecloths and tray cloths (asking to be appliqued), washed and hanging on the line.

I also bought some knitting needles and linen tea towels (in the washing machine).

Also as I'm typing I've just realized I bought a tablecloth, some cushion pads and more knitting needles which I asked the lady to keep for me and I would pick them up on the way back... Yes, you've guessed it, they are still there! Memory like a sieve...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Can I take you on a Tour of My Garden?

This is sort of a "before and after", but the wrong way round!

When we first moved to this house we were lucky to have enough land to start to grow things. This was our first vegetable plot, to the side of our house, eight beds and some hazel tunnels which we grew beans and sweet peas up. (Our house is in the middle of our plot so its sort of split into different sections as you will see). I think in this photo there are some cabbages, broad beans (my favourite) carrots, onions.
This is a year or so later, we moved the hazel to form an archway over the central path over which we grew our squashes, beans and peas.

It was lovely that the children got involved sowing seeds and picking what they'd grown.
Tromboncino, lovely little courgettes, or bigger as a squash. I always grew an extra large one to enter into the village show or carve into a creature for Halloween.

Another corner of our garden became the flower garden, where I grew all my favourite flowers for cutting. Amaranthus, dahlias, calendula, cosmos, salvias...

The Cutting Garden in Spring
A spring bed, in a slightly shadier patch under a tree. Tall, stately foxgloves, one of my favourite flowers.
This is our front garden, where I packed in lots of jungly colourful plants.

So that was the before. Are you ready for the after?

1. The Vegetable Plot...
2. The Front Jungly Garden (nettle tea anybody?)

3. The Flower Garden (blimey those poppies really self seed!)

As you can tell (!) we are doing some renovation work at the moment (we have extended our house over my beloved veggie patch and the cutting garden is going to become a parking area) so my poor garden is a total mess. It has been totally neglected this year, and probably shan't be touched again until things are completed later in the year, so its so nice to look back at photos of how it used to look!! It might look a big disaster, but I know it will look lovely and change isn't always a bad thing.

There will be some space left for a small veggie/flower patch so I'm really looking forward to starting a whole new garden, although it probably won't be until the autumn time as we have our hands full at the moment with all the work in the house going on.

Thanks for coming on a tour of my garden!