Friday, 18 February 2011

Duvet update

Thanks for everyone who gave an opinion on my possible duvet.  I took your advice and made it a little less chaotic (I say I did but it was mainly OH, he’s much better at design than me!) and this is what I’ve come up with and that's what we’re going with.  


I’ve been pinning shapes on this evening and its coming along nicely.  Watch this space for the rest……

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Constructive criticism required…

I’m about to decorate Miss M’s bedroom and we’ve been umming and ahhing for ages about how to change the bedding, should we get duvet covers, make a quilt etc etc.  In the end we decided to get a plain duvet cover which I will then applique on random shapes in the fabric range we’ve selected.  I’ve been playing around trying to mock up the duvet cover but having a real crisis of confidence.  Bearing in mind I have NO design experience, very little colour awareness and like bold patterns but usually too timid to use them!  The colour range we’ve selected is Dreaming In French St Germain palatte by Pat Bravo with some Moda solids in flesh, purple and lilac.  The duvet cover is from John Lewis and plain lilac.  3 of the walls will be a lilac colour and 1 will be a darker plum colour to match the curtains.  There will be 4 small cushions, 1 bolster cushion and 2 larger cushions covered with the same fabrics as the duvet cover and the whole feel we are going for is eclectic, bohemian, warm & cosy. 

Here's what I’ve got so far……


… what do you think?

I’ve tried to balance shapes, lights and darks and scale of print vs. solids.  OH suggested embroidering her name on the bottom but I’ve just put her initial at the moment.  I like the bottom and I like the corners, I think I like the 3 ripples in the middle but maybe the top right section is too cluttered. 

What's right about it, what's wrong about it, am I on completely the wrong track, all advice gratefully received, even if you don’t normally comment, please give me an opinion today, I need blogland approval!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

My day out in Brighton…

I had a lovely time at the Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft Show at the Brighton Centre today.  I went last year and reported back so I thought I would do the same! 

There is a mixture of interests catered for including knitting, quilting, paper crafts, card making, general sewing and also miscellanous stalls like a bloke selling hanging baskets!  This year there were less fabric stalls, in fact I only saw 3: Stitch Witch, Eternal Maker and the most beautiful stall I ever saw from Dandelion Designs; they were 4 deep at this stall, all oohing and aahing over the vintage buttons, Scandinavian-esque stitchery and Union Jack Quilt kits. 

(beginning to regret not buying this kit…….)

So what did I buy? Well I bought lots of hab-dab stuff including invisible thread, a new blade for my rotary cutter, a new bias binder maker (which allows to add iron on tape to added) and a loop turner. 


A new cross stitch kit for Christmas, I was on my way out when I spotted this and just had to have it!


Some strips of pretty panels, not sure what I’ll do with this but it was too pretty to leave behind!  I could applique the panels to t-shirts for the girls or on  a bag maybe……


and then……. from The Eternal Maker the most lovely Echino linen!   Yummy yummy yummy! Echino Bonbon in brown.  I bought 2 metres intending to make a skirt for myself and it cost more than I usually spend on fabric (£16/m) but I HAD to have it!.  This stall had the best fabrics I’ve seen in the flesh for ages.  They have a shop and workshop based in Chichester which I have visited before and will be heading back there soon!


There was a stall run by the UK Hand Knitting Association which was running knitting workshops.  Wanting to capitalise my recent knitting adventure I had a little introduction to increasing and decreasing stitches and knitted myself a little kite shape.  The lady also gave me a set of knitting needles and a ball of acrylic yarn although not as nice as the cotton yarn and bamboo needles I got from the WI workshop it will do for practise!

After this I decided to go Fabricland where I could easily spend all day and much too much money!  I’ve bought from the website before but of course you have to pay postage but as I was in Brighton, well it would have been rude not to visit! 


I bought this cotton seersucker with a peach stripe which was £1.99/m!  So I bought 4m!  I intend to make a shirt for myself with this. 



This is a jersey mix which I intend to make a top based on one I bought from Dorothy Perkins. 


This is a polyester blend, which I don’t normally like but it will make a lovely skirt for me.  There might be enough for one of the girls as well!

So that was my haul from Brighton, I found the show at the Brighton Centre a little disappointing this year, mainly as there were much less fabric retailers this year.  Chatting to a stall holder apparently it costs too much for the fabric retailers as they have to have a large stall to hold the stock.  In fact all the fabric retailers had small stalls whereas the paper craft retailers had large stalls.  I think if you are interested in more than just 1 craft then it would be worthwhile but I don’t think I’ll bother next year, especially as the best stall there is one I can easily get to, living between Brighton and Chichester! 

These fabrics will have to wait for a little while as the next project is decorating Miss M’s bedroom….

Friday, 11 February 2011

Jam and Jerusalem

I recently joined a Women’s Institute group which has just been set up in my local town.  Now before you groan and assume its really boring and full of old women,( no offence to old women, I hopefully will be one for a  long time, but not just yet…) its a really cool and funky group.  We’re all aged between 30 and 45ish and there are a lot of crafters in the group already and some very stylish women, I feel very out of place sometimes!  Anyway this week we had a knitting workshop run by Caroline who owns the cutest little wool shop you’ve ever seen.  She divided us up into beginners and intermediate knitters and we set to.  My mother taught me to knit when I was a kid and although she was a fantastic knitter (I remember cable and fair isle featuring in her knitting) the yarn gene didn’t pass down to be me.  I spent 6 years knitting her a tea cosy, so long in fact that the kitchen was redecorated with a different colour so by the time it was finished it didn’t match!!  I remember knitting as being very labour intensive and I ended up with very inconsistent stitches and random stitches!  So I went to the beginners group!  We did some simple stitches including ribbing and here’s what I did!


How cute its that, look how consistent the stitches are?!  You can’t see terrible well but there's really neat ribbing at the top and shock horror, I ended with the same number of stitches as I started!!!!!   Is it wrong to be incredible proud of such a little piece of knitting! 

I showed to the girls and Miss M said ‘Oh that would fit Barbie!’  So I sewed the edges together and ta-da…….


Barbie has a new top! Or Skirt, multi functional garment!  Its a little snug going over her hips (tell me about it sister!) but it works!  Now I’m knitting something else…..  I can’t actually tell you what it is as I have no idea, I did think I would knit myself  a scarf but I don’t think I have enough yarn (might have to visit the shop and get some more) but at the moment I’m just enjoying sitting and knitting.  I really enjoy sewing but I don’t enjoy that I go off in private to do it whereas with knitting I can sit and watch TV and spend time with kids and still produce something.  I don’t think I’ll ever become a knitter more than a sewer but at the moment I’m enjoying experimenting. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Water bottles

My kids currently take packed lunches to school every day so I made them some personalised lunch bags this year. Our school had a £1/2m building program this year to enlarge the school hall to allow hot dinners to be served, (all hail Jamie Oliver, we love you!).  This means the kids won’t be taking their lunch bags into school but I still want them to take their water bottles as they can drink them in class when they need to.  So (insert drumroll here) I made them water bottle holders!
It was based on this tutorial from Kathy at Pink Chalk Studios except I used wadding rather than Insul-Brite, this gave it a little more bulk than the original so my base disc didn’t fit quite as well as hers but I’m still pleased with it.  The girls have already used them for after school activities and I don’t have the carry the bottle, yipee! 
I lined the bottles with rip stop nylon as I did their lunch bags and I used different patterns to quilt the layers together.  I can’t believe how much fun it was just sewing line after line to quilt the purple fabric!  I tried using a more haphazard free motion quilting technique on the pink fabric with varying success.  I like the end product when other people have used it but I think I need a lot of practice as it was a little too haphazard!  I keep getting a little closer to the idea of actually making a proper quilt, maybe one of these days I’ll actually get there! 
I shall be linking up with all these lovely link parties this week and crossing another thing off my to-do list!
The Girl Creative
BWS tips button
Show and Tell Green
Roots And Wings Co
make it wear it