Sunday, September 21, 2008

Good weather.

Its so frustrating that I can't share any photos of my surroundings. Sadly, my dear little camera had an accident during the week. It had been borrowed and fell on some hard tiles............ a rather sad accident.

So no new photos for a while.........

All this when the weather is so nice again. Truly Autumnal weather, chill mornings warming up later into glorious sunshine.

At present I am prevaricating. I should be getting on with the ironing. Not my favourite occupation.

I have started knitting again. A red aran cardigan. I had planned to design one of my own - something I have vague ideas of. However, I need this cardigan rather urgently. The design work can wait until I have more time. This yarn started out life as a different cardigan. Sadly, I just did not like the design when I started knitting it. The buttonholes just seemed huge, so I ripped it all back. This design has pockets and will far more practical. Just what I need.

The quilt I showed in last weeks Blog has now been collected in and will be given to St Lukes Hospice soon. It was nice to see all the quilts together. We had our photos taken with them.

At school, I have started a Craft Group. The projects we shall tackle include knitting, sewing, felt-making, card-making, and many others. Last week I started showing them how to knit and start French knitting and making woolly bobbles. (Like the one on the pink bobble hat shown.)

It was so nice that some wanted to take the French knitting away with them! One or two took the knitting needles off with them too. They have relatives who can help with teaching them to knit at home. Very excitingly, I have two boys in the group. One of them was delighted to take one of the home-made bobbles home with him. I do hope they enjoyed themselves as much as I did. For next week, I have bought some more French Knitting Bobbins. These are in the shape of little people. Such fun!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I've been bad.

Oh dear, I really have been naughty. I went and bought some more fabric! The trouble is I have such a large stash already! I do have plans for the new fabric. The idea at the moment is to make fleece-backed lapquilts using the fabrics as features.............

I went to Knots and Needles, a local stitching group, on Thursday evening to hear Magie Relph speak about African fabric. I just couldn't resist, so I bought some.

I bought some Shwe-shwe. One of Magie's Mini Adventure Packs - 20 pieces each 10 x 8 and a half inches. Its such beautiful indigo fabric. At present, because I have not yet had the time to wash it, it is as stiff as cardboard. Once the excess dye is washed out, it becomes very soft, I am told........ (I've just placed the different designs on top of each other in the photo.)

The other piece is a lovely brown fabric I found on Magie's store, which she brought along to the meeting. I couldn't resist. Its soft and delicious.

The frog fabric was one I bought to share with a friend some time ago. We finally got around to sharing it out at the same meeting. (I photographed it with the brown fabric shown above, but it made the darker fabric look very very dark indeed.)

Then, oh dear, today I went to Hobbycraft. I needed some extra knitting needles for a Craft Group which I am starting at school. I saw some John Louden fabric bundles on sale. Last time, because they were full price, I managed to leave again without buying. This time, they were reduced......... I couldn't leave them there. Indian cotton. Nice.............................

The nearest I got to any knitting was buying two magazines. There are some beautiful projects to be considered in these pages. I just loved the cushion cover on the front of Piecework. And oh, Debbie Bliss............ Who could resist? I couldn't.

My only excuse is the sunshine. I hadn't seen much for a few days......................... These were taken in the car park close to Hobbycraft in Stockport.

Oh yes, I finished knitting a bag some days ago. This has only been languishing because I have managed to lose the pattern! Why does something always go missing when I have been tidying my workroom?

This has been felted since the photo was taken. It just needs the flower adding and a ruffle round the flap. So frustrating!!!

Busy, busy, busy................

Well, I have been really busy doing a lot of sewing lately. This first image is of a skirt I made. Well, reconstructed out of a pair of trousers that was languishing in my wardrobe. The trousers had really wide legs which was probably why I hadn't worn them in a very long time. It was so easy to turn them into a skirt. I shall use this skirt a lot - some really useful pockets.

A very simple dress, with side pockets. Why do women's dresses and skirts usually not have any pockets? This was made to get myself back into making my own clothes and using up some of my rather large stash. The pattern is Kwik-Sew 2677. A really comfy dress, I added darts to the front to give the design more shape.

The Hospice quilt is finished and the binding is done. I shall be handing this over on Wednesday. It will be fun to see how all the other lapquilts turned out. There are four (or is it five?) in all.

These photos show just how daft I went with the free-machine quilting. I covered the design with flowers and leaves in resonse to the mostly floral patterns used in the fabric choices. There are a few squiggles too for variety. The backing is a gorgeously soft fleece. Warm, cosy and washable.
I can see myself making one of these for myself (unless it gets claimed by someone else) one day.

The last two of my projects recently do not have any photos...... yet. The first of these was a fully lined cloak made without a pattern for my younger daughter. "Mum," she said. "Can you help?" This was a Friday. The Fancy dress party was on the Saturday evening. Bless her, she did most of the sewing, I did the cutting out and working out how to make the thing and how much fabric we needed.
The fact that it was fully lined was my own fault. She was going as "Little Red Riding Hood", but wanted a full cloak and not a cape. (She is 23.) I suggested that since we were going to be making a cloak, wouldn't it be more practical to make something she would wear again? I suggested lining it in black so that it could be fully reversible........... I think my sanity must be in question here.................She loved the idea, and looked magnificent setting out for her party.
Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of her setting out and I have not seen the cloak since. It will be safely stashed somewhere............

Since then, I got involved in helping a neighbour. Her young daughter (aged 15) had just been named as the Rose Queen. A really pretty girl, she had been given a lovely boned strapless and sleeveless evening dress. It was too big around the bodice. I spent a fascinating and nerve-wracking few hours, fitted in around work (school had just started again), working out how to alter the dress. In the end I summoned up the courage to take the side seams apart, deconstruct the boning in that area, take in the seams, recontruct the boning and hand stitch the lining back in place. Sadly, no photos yet, but apparently the dress now fits beautifully. She had her first public engagement as Rose Queen yesterday.

My fingers are now itching to get knitting again, and I have some fabric poised ready to be made into a dress...... I may not have time to cut it out today, since I also have a few items that really ought to be mended............. There is a box of schoolwork to attend to as well. Now what shall I do first?