Monday, 4 March 2013

February sewing

I've been busy using up the scraps and practicing new techniques. I've always wanted to have a go at lettuce edging and finally found the perfect project to have a go.


 I started by staring at this pile for inspiration. I liked the narrow bits of lace in the picture. It would have been a shame to cut up the long lengths into small pieces so I decided upon a scarf.

 I cut the man's t-shirt into strips and joined them...that gave me lots of length to practice the lettuce edging! I used up an entire reel of thread and had to swap colours. I am surprised it worked so well seeing as the fabric was not very stretchy...mind you I REALLY did pull it HARD! My hands ached lol.

 This is the under-side. I did a long running stitch down the centre and ruched it up...looks pretty without any extra embellishment really! I might make some plain scarfs like this at a later date :-)

  I squared up one of my late Father's ties and used this as the main panel then attached some lace down each side. I used silver thread and a decorative stitch...the thread shows up better in real life and looks quite attractive. 

I made the flowers by cutting up strips of fabric, twisting and folding them and stitching as I went along...A neighbour taught me how to make flowers out of ribbon like this when I was a child, so glad I can still do it lol.

This is the finished article. As you can probably tell it stands up around my neck almost like a collar. I have to say this is one of my favourite recycling projects to date. I have worn it quite a few times already and it feels special. You'd never think it was made from scraps!

Sorry the text is all a bit weird and heavy, I am not sure what I've done...hopefully the next post will be more normal lol.

Friday, 8 February 2013

valentine coaster

Continuing with the them of trying to teach myself how to quilt, use up the stash and make useful things for the home I decided to make a little coaster. Mr D always uses an old card to put his mug on so I thought a coaster for him would be a perfect start as he actual NEEDS one! Great to make something that is actually needed, it's so nice when a hobby becomes useful :)

I started with some rectangles... a lot of my sewing seems to be based on rectangles just lately for some odd reason. I sewed them together to make 2 squares.

At this point I couldn't find any batting/wadding so in the interests of being green I decided to use up some scraps from the last project...of course as things go I did find some wadding after I'd done this lol...but the 'scrap wadding' acted as a stabiliser anyway so that was good  :)

Then I thought seeing as it was for Mr D and the fabric was mostly red ( which makes me think of romance ) it needed a heart of some sort. Off to the kitchen to find a heart shaped cookie cutter as a template to draw around ;-) Here you can see I hadn't found the wadding yet but I did put a layer of real wadding under the red when I started to sew.

Then I sewed around it, left the actual heart plain to make it stand out...well it already had that pink print on it...and played around with quilting the outside...and "Hey Presto!" it worked!

Here is a pic of the back...You can see it was a sandwich! ...the scraps worked well as a stabiliser...I guessed it doesn't really matter what goes inside as long as you can wash it okay :)

A later view of the back... I attached the second 'red square' I'd made as a back to cover up the hideous mess lol...this is before the binding was added....but after it had been squared up this and the next pic are possibly out of sequence but I'm sure you can suss out the order I sewed in.

I squared it up with the rotary cutter and quilting does look squarer ( is that a word? lol ) than the photo would have you believe :-)

I don't have a pic of it with the binding on but I did bind it with a thin white bias binding which was all I had in my impatience but worked well...Perhaps I'll remember to take a pic of the finished article soon...but you get the gist of it...I think it's cute, certainly doesn't look like it was made from scraps and could make a perfect Valentine's gift. Ah yes and just in case you are interested, the red fabric was from an old 'Next' brand ( I think )  ladies' top ( I bought it from a charity shop with the idea of altering it but never did...well I have now, but not into another top lol ) the pattern was from the outer top and the red was  the lining ...hence the perfect match, yay! :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

January's sewing

Well I've been crafting non-stop through January trying to cut my fabric stash down and at the same time trying to teach myself new things :)

I'm trying really hard to recycle and use up my fabric stash AKA old clothes and no longer used curtains, bedding and charity shop finds. I'm finding it's a great thing to do... it's not only 'green' but while you are teaching yourself if you use stuff from the recycle pile it doesn't matter if you make a mistake, so I'm finding I'm allowing myself to be more adventurous than if I had gone out and bought brand new fabric.

I took the above picture halfway through making a 'Seaside Dinner Mat'. All recyled fabric apart from the wadding. 
  • Polo Shirt = sky
  • Yellow Duvet Cover = sand
  • Turquoise shirt sleeve = sea
  • White skirt = left hand beach hut
  • Childs Duvet Cover = green beach huts
  • Cloud, doors and windows = Old bed sheet
  • Pillow case = Dark blue beach hut
 I did my first real go at quilting with this. It was a lot of fun. As you can see I also did satin stitch waves, they were a test of patience, the thread broke about 10 times on every run, and that is no exageration. Ages ago I bought a box of assorted threads from Argos, they seem to be very poor quality as they continuously break through projects and shed fibres something awful! I know it is the thread and not the machine as no other thread breaks like this in any of my machines and this breaks in each of my machines without moral of the story, buy named brands you trust when it comes to thread. Mr D said throw them away, but I really don't like to waste things so I put up with the frustration. I wouldn't use them on any 'important' sewing, but as this is a bit of fun and I am just playing and learning it's acceptable....on a plus note, when the bad thead is all used up, they came in a lovely organiser box I can use for other threads so all is not lost lol.

This is after the quilting. Not bad for a first go and for someone who was just winging it and making it up as she went along ha ha. Oh by the way, the cloud I made separately, stuffed and then sewed it on...I thought this made it look extra puffy than if I'd just done flat applique. Can you see that I did little Seagulls? I sewed them in a skinny satin stitch :)

I sewed a strip of rectangles together and cut this up to make the binding. I have slight regrets about cutting it up as I think it would have worked well as a base for a runner for a table...but there will be other fabrics on other days....sigh...

Here is the completed mat with the binding. It looks quite cute and I don't think it looks too 'scrappy'. Over all I am pleased. I had never attempted anything like this before. I have since made another ( with birds on ) and we do use them for every meal time. I don't know why I never used dinner mats in the past...they certainly pretty-up the table and it's so much easier to wash and dry a mat than the whole tablecloth if something gets spilled off the plate!

I've been sewing lots of other things and will post more pics soon!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy 2013 and a new challenge for me...

Well this year is coming in with new challenges right at the beginning. From tomorrow Mr D will be away from Mon-Fri routinely. We don't relish the idea but a new job dictates it be this way. We've only been apart 4 times in our nearly 25 years together and each time was a fortnight.

 I won't be completely alone, my adult son is here and of course oodles of pets but it's not going to be easy. Mr Doxie always describes us as being "very married" and that really does paint a picture of who we from tomorrow I start a "new normal" and it's going to be weird!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mini lemon meringue tartlets

I'm back into the cooking and baking big time at the moment. I've had a bit of a craze on lemons just lately and thought I'd try using the usual lemon meringue recipe to make mini pies or tarts. I used a recipe from my Mum's old cook book and made sure I followed her little handwritten notes that she had scribbled next to the recipe.

They turned out okay, very tasty actually but not how I hoped they would look. I got the piping bag out and planned to pipe pretty swirls of meringue on top...sadly it didn't hold it's shape enough. I remember from food and nutrition lessons at the school that you must have an absolutely scrupulously clean bowl with no hint of grease at all for meringue and ensured this was the I can only assume that I didn't beat it enough. Oh well, as my old Dad used to say " the proof of the pudding is in the eating" and we certainly enjoyed them even if they weren't that pretty! The usual recipe made 7 tartlets, not bad really, I think if it had been the normal sized pie we would have just had 3 very big servings instead of making them last 2 days lol.

Mini quilt from old clothes

Last weekend I started a little project I've been meaning to try for quite a while...a mini patchwork quilt made by recycling old items of clothing. I've got as far as the top.

In real life the pink does not overpower as much as it does in the photo
 The hardest part was trying to find fabric that would match.  It took me two evenings to cut out the pieces and arrange them, but the actual sewing I did in just an evening . The look has turned out quite old-fashioned but that delights me as I like the vintage look. I haven't bought the batting/wadding yet. I think I want to bind the edges in it may look vintage but will look fresh at the same time.

At the top of this picture you can see the items of clothing I cut up to make it.

I cut up a dress, a top and a skirt.The skirt ( fabric on the top  right of picture ) was originally a child's dress which I had combined with the top of a pair of jeans, remember that idea was all the rage a few years back?...well I think I only wore it once lol...anyway that fabric is on it's 3rd life now so is quite used to being recycled lol.

It's a miserable day here, rainy and windy so I think I will spend the afternoon cutting up more rectangles from my fabric stash in preparation for making more of these. It's the kind of thing you can do bit by bit...I'll put the rectangles in a box and then one evening if I have enough and the mood takes me I can get stuck into the sewing.

Not long until the festive season how time flies, I don't know where this year has gone. I should really get my butt in gear and start making some gifts. Not sure what I'm going to do this year, although one person has requested something with owls so that gives me a starting point :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

awesome paper weaving site

I'm enjoy paper crafts just lately and found this rather amazing site, I think I will play safe and start with a heart garland...just love the little lidded pots they've done, WOW!

The PaperMatrix site here