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Hope you all had a lovely day yesterday – just popped in to post a few pictures for you. Firstly of the sewing case I have made for my sister-in-law as a present, thankfully got this completed on Christmas Eve.
I have taken the pattern from a case that I got in a raffle at a quilt show a few years ago. It is a really useful little travelling case and was very simple to make. The fabric is from Simply Solids – both patterned and plain.
The case is 11 inches in length and 7 inches wide so I cut 2 pieces of fabric and made a quilted sandwich using some very thin wadding. I used my marking tool again to quilt large crosses three times along the length of the case to hold it together.
The pockets are the width of the case and about 3 inches tall. I have lined them as well with wadding and stitched them to the case backing to hide the seam (stitched wrong way then folded back and side seams stitched). I also did some top stitching with zig zag to stabilise the wadding and make it look pretty!
Binding was then attached – machined to inside then folded and hand stitched to outside, I also made a little pin cushion out of the matching labels fabric I had. I have used a big plastic press stud to fasten it as they are nice and invisible when sewn with matching thread.
My lovely children and friends got me some very nice crafty gifts for Christmas, first this quilt history book that I have had on my wish list for a while, ‘Pieced from Ellen’s Quilt’. I love reading about the women who made quilts and this uses Ellen’s letters to tell her story of life in Wisconsin in the 1850s.
Then there was more fabric – Ellie seemed to think I already have enough fabric so was not expecting this (though I had hinted!) but she and Kerry bought me all this lovely stuff from Very Berry Fabrics.
How exciting and means that I have lots of lovely hexi making things to take away with me.I am off to Spain for 2 whole weeks in a couple of days so lots of time sitting on the terrace sewing, lucky me!
Have a lovely New Year and see you when I return.
There was great excitement in the valley last week (well Sharon, Helen and I were very excited anyway) as we went to Simply Solids to meet designer (and Editor of Quilt Now) Katy Jones, who was launching her line of fabric Priory Square.
It was very interesting to hear Katy talk about the inspiration and the design process.
And of course we bought some of the fabric – Helen and Sharon bought some of each design in the range. Here is Lisa , one of Simply Solid’s owners, who matches beautifully with the fabric she is cutting in her top made from one of the prints.
I bought this half yard of that one which is my favourite – look at those lovely flowers!
Helen won the raffle as well so got a lovely goodie bag full of fabric and thread.
There was also the great excitement of a big scraps bin – all at £1 for 50g, so I got all of this for £8 :-) Look at the cute prints, I think these are going to be some hexi centres for gifts for little people. I do love those little robots!
These are also beautiful fabrics for patchwork, do not have a project in mind for this yet!
There is a post on the Simply Solids blog about the event. You can also sign up for their monthly stash club for 2015 which this year has a choice of bundles, this is a really good way to build up your fabric stash and I am using loads from my last subscription.
Happy Christmas to one and all, I have finished a sewing gift late last night which I will post about soon and am still working on some things – better late than never!
Thanks for visiting and have a lovely couple of days.
I am having a very festive weekend, the last bits of decorating have been done and last night was the Marsden lights switch on so the village now looks very pretty.
Our local Morris dancers and fire jugglers were out too so that was very nice. Along with a glass of mulled wine and a mice pie it was a lovely couple of hours.
It is attempting to snow today as well but it is mainly slushy hail at the moment, hope things don’t get too bad, my Mum and Aunt are flying in from Spain today as sadly we have a family funeral to go to tomorrow so the last thing we need is bad weather!
My tree is up and it is not only a Christmas tree but a memory tree, as few years ago I got rid of all the mass-produced baubles.
Now I only have ones that I have made (which remind me of many happy hours of stitching) and special ones bought mainly on holidays or hand-made from other craft fairs.
This year’s hand-made by me have been added ,one flower and one hexagon so far, maybe more to come if I have time.
And here are the special ones both from Bavaria, our visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber where we found that amazing Christmas shop.
I have also made a few more Christmas flowers for friends.
I am getting on well with the bee quilt, here is my inspiration. Details of the source in this post.
And here is the progress so far, really enjoying doing this, am limiting myself to seven hexagons for this one due to lack of time and it will be appliqued to a cushion cover.
All of this is from my stock of vintage linen, embroidery, lace and crochet with added beads and maybe some embroidered flowers if I have time.
Hope you have had a good week, don’t forget to like my giveaway post from last week as I will picking a winner on Friday 12th Dec.
Thanks for visiting.
A few years ago at Harrogate I saw some really stunning, original embroidery in the graduate showcase and was really pleased to see the work of Caren Garfen back again, this time with her own exhibition.
Caren’s work is called ‘She was cooking something up’ and is based around a kitchen installation. It takes the theme of women’s lives and their relationship with food, dieting and body image. Not only is it technically amazing, all of this is hand stitching on screen printed backgrounds, but so creative and powerful.
Apologies as my images are all a bit yellow due to the show lighting.
I was lucky enough to be able to talk to Caren and tell her how much I loved her work.
There are some more detailed pictures (in better light) at this show link.
Her website also gives more details of her work and there is a really interesting interview with Caren at this link on the Textile Artist web site. I particularly like the way her work links modern stitching with the history of women’s work and needlework.
As someone who is really interested in the history of needlework it is fascinating the way that women’s lives were often influenced heavily by their skills with a needle in terms of employment, readiness for marriage, social activities etc and this work makes us think through stitching about our lives and current pressures on them.
No longer do we have to be proficient needlewomen to clothe our families, or ‘make do and mend’ to help the war effort, or have 12 quilt tops ready before we get married but for many of us needlecrafts and knitting are still very central to our lives.
It always fascinates me as someone who has crafted all her life that knitting, quilting, embroidery and sewing are now popular like never before (and often on prime time TV), not because we have to do it but because we want to do it and the ‘handmade home’ is now once again valued over mass production.
The fact that the internet (the original idea of linking computers was to protect data in the event of war) is such as resource for us all (not just women but mainly women) to share ideas, encourage each other and to often enable us to sell our work is fantastic.
My life would definitely by so much poorer without my bloggy ‘imaginary friends’ as my kids call them. So on that note thanks for visiting and have a nice week ahead!
How I love Saturdays :-) back to back cups of tea and a bit of blogging to share with you the joy that was Harrogate Knitting and Stitching, followed by more actual stitching.
And tomorrow will be more of the same! Ellie and Kerry have gone to Harrogate today and I am sure they will have a fab time as well.
I have not visited for a few years, partly due to not actually needing any more fabric (probably ever) but definitely being good in the run up to moving house and trying to use up what I have got in the last two years.
However this year Sharon and Helen from knitting group also wanted to go.We had a lovely day and also helped with restraining each other’s spending which was soooo hard.
It was fun to shop with people who have very different tastes.I am so drawn to anything medieval whereas Helen loves flowery prints and Sharon bought bright solids for her latest art gallery bunting.
The exhibition halls were full and there was much more gorgeous fabric than in previous years, as well as the lovely wool and stitching stalls and the exhibitions itself.
Our first purchases were actually from Simply Solids (got to support our local business) where I bought some mini charm packs similar to those I got from them on their opening day.
Then I found some fat quarters of the Moda Printemps that I had used from one of those mini charms packs for the hexagons so bought a couple of these to use as backing.
They are going to become toilet bags this afternoon for Christmas presents and will look lovely with some co-ordinating solids – such pretty designs!
As always Sue from Springwood House Designs had some beautiful Robert Kaufman Christmas fabrics so I bought these to add to the stash plus the sliver one for flower brooch making.
I was also very tempted by a wonderful Robert Kaufman tree panel and after seeing it on a few stalls finally gave in and bought one.
Apologies for the creases but you can see from the detail photos what a wonderful piece it is – more like a work of art than just fabric.
This will not be finished for this year, it needs lots of time lavished on it – hand quilting and maybe some seed beads as well.
I also picked up some bargain back issues of a few magazines, I do love reading craft mags even if I will never have time to make any of the things in them!
Also came across a bargain bin for fabric on one of the stalls – most of these were £1 each :-) I am trying to break away from just medieval and could not resist the bright elephant print second from right.
The exhibitions are always a delight – these pictures were from the graduate showcases – the first knitter is a Huddersfield student which is very nice to see.
I loved this Hobbit themed set – look at Smaug the dragon!
And these would make amazing gifts for dog owners.
I have some more work to show you but will do that in another post as this one is getting a bit long!
Hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour and thanks for visiting. Now off to use up some of this stuff lol!
How did I get to this ripe old age without discovering the joys of hexis or mini charm packs?
I suppose previously I thought that I had enough fabric to play with and didn’t need to buy themed collections but since I discovered the joys of English paper piecing (and my addiction to hexagons) they have come in really useful being just the right size for the creation of endless hexi flowers.
I have put them to good use though. I could cheerfully just sit here making hexi flowers and watching Netflix while it rains but feel I need to be purposeful in what I do ;-)
So I have made a couple of aprons as Christmas gifts with the mini charm packs I bought from The Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge.
I added little patched pockets as a contrast to the hexagons.
These will go with some mini baking sets that I discovered on that trip as well. They are for the smaller cousins in the family (previous recipients of rabbits).
I have made lots of flowers out of a Moda mini charm pack from Simply Solids.
This is from the Moda Printemps fabric range which is lovely and very good value at £4 per pack.
That has made all these and enough for one other that I need to add some of my solid stash to. I think these will be turned into make-up bags for other Christmas presents.
I have also been using the mini charm packs for patchwork to make a wash bag for another relative. I used up most of the squares in this pack but added some plain ones from stash rather than the flower patterned ones as I wanted to personalise the bag.
Elan has an Israeli name and so does not get much personalised stuff so thought I would try out my applique skills. Since I couldn’t find any letters the right size I also drew these myself and am pleased with the way they have turned out. Just need to line the bag and add the drawstring this evening.
All of the above flowers have been made with 1 inch hexis but I am also doing some more work with the tiny 1 cm ones. This is from stash fabric and will be a pincushion – am intending to make a matching needlebook, again for a Christmas present.
Since this is my year of patchwork and quilting I am going to spend a lot of my time thinking of ways to use up the hexis. Thankfully I have Pinterest and the whole of the world-wide web to help me ;-)
I may just buy a few more charm packs at my visit to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show – which is exactly a month today !!!!! Not that I am at all excited.
Hope you are all well and happy and have had a good weekend, I am off to Spain on Friday so will be back in a couple of weeks. Take care and thanks for visiting.
There has been great excitement here in the village this week as we are being used as a film set again, this time for a movie, ‘A Monster Calls’ , with Liam Neeson (who will be playing a tree apparently so won’t be doing any live filming) and Sigourney Weaver who will!
The village and the surrounding countryside has already featured in lots of things, most notably, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, and ,’Where the Heart is’, and we had Micheal Palin spotted here not long ago while he was filming a ghost story at the vicarage.
However the most exciting thing apart from star spotting is that one of the village shops has been given a make over, this is usually one of our local charity shops and has a very plain window similar to its neighbour that you can just see a bit of on the left of this picture.
But look at that gorgeousness! All that lovely stock. Sadly it is going to have to be turned back after the filming but everyone in the village loves it and wishes it could stay.
We will have some themed shops this weekend though as it is the Jazz Festival and I helped my friend Sharon make bunting with some of the music themed fabric that she bought from the Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge a few weeks ago.
It is in the window of her art gallery ‘Enjoy Art’ which will hopefully be busy with lots of visitors to the festival.
I was perusing the charity shops this weekend and not only did I get some more great bargains (a new top for Xmas and some knee-length leather winter boots for the princely sum of £5.45 in total) but also this gorgeous piece of vintage embroidery.
I have taken a couple of close-ups of things we see a lot of round here – is raining again today :-(
And something that has not been seen in Marsden yet however given our role as a film venue who knows what might happen in the future!
No date but I would estimate 1930s – 50s by the style of it. Stitched on linen in cross stitch it says at the top, ‘Teach me please my ABCs’, so I imagine it was for a child’s room and will be going up in my craft room this afternoon.
It is too nice to cut up and was only an amazing £2.80. I do love charity shops :-)
Have made great progress with the hexis for the aprons, they are appliqued to the backing fabric just waiting for a machining session to be sewn together and am working on some more hexi love with the mini charm packs from Simply Solids today.
Will update at the weekend if time allows, I am running the box office for the Jazz Festival again all weekend and am hoping to see a couple of events including one of my favourite vocalists Ruby Wood with her new band The Sugar Sisters who are headlining on Saturday night.
See you soon and thanks for visiting!
Hope you are having a fun weekend, I am having a very lovely textilicious one and have just returned with my friend Sharon from visiting a new quilt shop that has opened up in the next but one village from us!
There has been great excitement at our knitting group waiting for this shop to open as it is a real live shop with classes and fabric and everything owned by Justine and Lisa from Simply Solids.
Look at this loveliness with all of the displays of cushions and quilts as well as the beautiful fabric and a cosy sitting area. Plus they have a Gamill quilting machine that I think they will be renting time on (if I ever learn to machine quilt).
There was far more fabric than just the displays in the middle of the table, a whole wall of bolts that in my excitement I forgot to photograph!
And it is only a short bus ride away, and they are doing sit and sew groups in the evening :-) I am very happy about this as I did really enjoy going to a quilting group before I moved but that one is quite a long way from where I live now whereas this one will be on the way home.Fits in fantastically with my desire to do more quilting this coming year!
I have been buying from their online shop for a while now and had previously subscribed to their solids stash club. They also have lots of lovely prints as well in the shop and are going to offer classes so it is all very good. If you live near Huddersfield go and check our their website for class details.
I did of course buy a little something from them (it would have been very rude not to!) and the first things I will show you are these little mini charm packs.
I have not had charm packs before I bought the one a few weeks ago but like how it gets you to use different fabric that you would not maybe have looked at. Just playing around with one of the sets while I was taking pictures I put together this which also features one of the fantastic lacy zips I bought from them – so pretty!
I spent this morning using the previous charm pack to make these two hexi sets for some more of the children’s aprons that I am making as Christmas presents which will be using up more of my solids stash.
The very loveliest thing though was a fantastic goodie bag!
Not only is it a fab bag and that is such a true saying but there were lots of goodies inside. Look at all this stuff, free fabric and thread and hexi papers (Sharon is going to start doing hexis once she has finished her current bunting project).
Also have bought (and subscribed to the first 3 issues for £5) to Quilt Now magazine which they had for sale.
Will leave you with the fruits of my week’s work – not much stitching time due to having a very lovely new group of teacher trainees starting but have managed 3 more flower brooches.
Sharon gave me the idea of making rounded petals by just folding the circle of fabric in half rather than in quarters. All of this fabric comes from stash and the pale pink and pink/brown flower patterns are from 2 charity shop blouses that I repurposed.
Now for a lovely evening of stitching, wine and lighting the candles, nights are drawing in but I have my fabric love to keep me warm :-)
Don’t forget to ‘like’ my giveaway post, I will be drawing the winner tomorrow. Thanks for visiting.
Well this is unbelievably my 400th post so I thought I would celebrate by inviting you to like this post and I will pick a winner who will receive their choice of handmade small from anything they have seen on my site.
It could be a pincushion, brooch, scissor keep, needlebook, Christmas ornament, pouch, compact case, phone or kindle case etc. Please click like and then I will choose one person and contact them and ask what sort of fabric colours you would like for the gift. I will pick a winner in 2 weeks – on Sunday 5th Oct.
We have had a busy weekend sewing – Jamie, Ellie and Kerry have been here and we have been making shifts and coifs for the girls and a tabard to go over Jamie’s new armour (due next year).
This is a work in progress but you get the general idea, it is made of wool and will be lined with red linen.
It won’t have the pleat in as we were just working on length. This picture shows Jamie hard at work making the pattern for the dagging on the white part of the tabard which involved drawing round a wineglass!
Kerry had also made a new head-dress – a coronet, she is very talented and creates the most wonderful stuff out of very everyday materials and ‘found’ jewellery.
I have been making more flower brooches – the one below from a charity shop broderie anglaise skirt that I have also used for phone covers etc. and these other ones from stash fabric.
Ellie brought me a present as well – the best sort – vintage fabric, look at this beautiful lace that someone had given her to go to a good home! I think I shall add it to the things I am going to use for the bee quilt inspired cushion I mentioned a couple of posts ago.
Term starts next week and I have a submission due for my doctorate (which I have written but may need more work) so I am going to be doing very little else but work for the next few weeks.
I have saved lots of the lovely National Trust textile pictures to post about while production slows down here at Maison Ryan ;-)
Thanks as always for visiting and don’t forget to click like!
Am having a lovely relaxing Sunday making more brooches so thought I would show you the product of my labours. Yesterday I had a busy day, housework and general fettling and a very nice (if a little damp) walk with Ted, my friend’s dog.
We went picking blackberries, I am of course better than Ted at this as he doesn’t have opposable thumbs but he is very friendly companion and I am now getting to chat with lots of the dog owners of my village!
The blackberries went into the first of this season’s crumbles with some mango and plums from my fruit and veg box delivery that I get weekly from the local deli and very delicious it is too.
Here are two more brooches. I have adapted the design to use 6 petals so that I can have different colour combinations.
This one above is made from some of the fabric I bought from the quilt shop in Hebden Bridge, the darker fabric is part of the Downton Abbey range and is the Dowager’s Paisley in Purple.
The cream one I don’t have a name for, it has a very pretty print on the background so I am making two more of these as Xmas pressies as I think they work well together. Cotton Patch has a good range of Downtown Abbey fabrics in metre lengths or fat quarters and charm packs.
This one is made with Liberty Tana Lawn in Mark Paisley, the teal and blue colourway and is the fabric that came with my brooch kit from Teazle. This online fabric site Alice Caroline has lots of Tana Lawn in different sized pieces.
Last weekend I met a very nice lady at Caldicot called Helen who makes the most gorgeous beaded jewellery. I bought these two beautiful designs from her, I think they look just as good on the back as the front and think they would look great on a medieval pouch or head-dress.
Her design company is called Bristol Beadery and she has an Etsy shop where she also sells lots of bracelets etc. Lovely ideas for presents.
I have just discovered the joys of Netflix on my laptop ( a little late I know ) but have been watching back to back episodes of my favourite Supernatural series.
I had just finished Season 8 yesterday when Netflix suggested that I might like to watch Orange is the New Black and I am now hooked, fantastic series and one I can very much relate to as every year I have trainee teachers who work in prisons.
So I will be mainly on the sofa for the rest of the day surrounded by my craft materials and essential tea of course.
My daughter Ellie has a blog about her work for the National Trust called a View from my Attic – maybe I should call mine a view from my sofa since I do spend a lot of time here crafting ;-)
A little note about links in my blog, I am not sponsored or paid in any way for the links that I put, just that lots of times people have asked me where I get things that I use so I always put links in to sources for material and patterns etc to help others find stuff.
Have a lovely rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.