Monday, February 22, 2010

Stitching, knitting and mending.

Sometimes I enjoy mending. Not often, but I enjoyed doing this.

It was one of those comfy, much worn but still reasonably neat long sleeved jumpers. Stupidly, I managed to get a hole in one sleeve last week. I could have darned it, but had nothing in exactly the right shade, so cut the sleeves off just above the elbow and scoured my ribbon box for lace and ribbon. I bought the lace on a whim some time ago. The ribbon was decoration on a box of chocolates................

So now I can wear a favourite jumper to work once more.

And yes, it was worn to work this morning and here is the proof. A photo taken not ten minutes ago. The subject is my newly finished bag. I posted about it last time.

The bag is huge, but is going to be oh so useful................... As you can see, I did alter the handles. Now I have a bag I can carry over one shoulder. I have a tendency to put down bags I am holding in one hand using a handle. To be honest, I have nearly lost them too! At least I won't walk away from it when it is on my shoulder...............

Speaking of bags, I also finished this one. This is the lining. It is a fun print of frogs.

It now sits awaiting an owner. It is one of my useful-for-presents containers.

I also got on with my tunic. It is a pattern called Cicely from Jaeger and can be found in their JB25 booklet - 15 designer garments by Martin Storey. I am using Jaeger Trinity from my stash.

This is the photo from the booklet.
Oh, I forgot, I did finish the socks and was wearing them yesterday to keep my toes cosy when I went out to clear the snow off my car.

These two photos are of my palette used when finishing my latest page for the Traveling Pages project. Photos of the finished page will be available as soon as it arrives with Maya.

Have you ever had one of those moments when a fabric shouts "take me home"? I had one of those last week. I went into a shop I had never visited before. Bubblitex. I had been past the farm gate many times, but never had the time to stop and browse. I managed it last Friday.

If you are ever in Cheshire, I implore you to go and look for yourselves. It is a glorious wealth of furnishing fabrics housed in an enormous renovated barn.

This gorgeous fabric will make a wonderful fully lined jacket. I can hardly wait for the warmer weather when I shall be able to wear it. I do have to make it first, but I do like to dream..............

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Works in progress.

Firstly, my helpers. Fast asleep, as usual............

Felix has snuggled himself under the blue and white fleece cat quilt to the left.

I was seen taking photos, so Coco demanded a fuss and a tummy rub.

The cat bedding was all in a messy pile so that I could take photos of the projects I am currently
working on.

But first, a couple of completed items. The first is rather an indulgence. This skirt is a kit from clothkits. I do love their cheerful designs. I bought this for myself some months ago in one of their sales. I just could not resist. Fully lined, the skirt is knee length. The design is called "Big Birdie".

The second skirt if a little longer. I made it using the same shapes as the Big Birdie skirt. This was made from a scant metre length I had in my stash. I added the pockets. The striped fabric came from my stash of quilting fabrics. Like the skirt above, this too is fully lined

Now onto the items in progress. First, the knitting:

A delightful cabled bag design by a friend. I just love the way the cables twine into each other. This has a picot edge and will have a ribbon threaded through a series of holes. It is knit from the top down.

Next, another pair of socks? Well yes, I do not feel that seven pairs is quite enough.......... Well, thats my excuse. The pattern is "Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Sock" by Kate Atherley.

This time I have tried to make them the same. I have not quite succeeded. I might have done better if I had thought of the idea first and measured the length of the first red length of this variegated yarn. I'll do it next time.

Now the projects I am working on. First, a bag. I need this one for a holiday which is coming up. Since I don't like the handles, I am going to made a shoulder strap instead. Much more practical for me. The pattern is Vogue V8215. You can see the lining fabric to the top right hand side of the bag.

The outer fabric was a remnant from a local Upholsterer's sale, but the lining is an Amy Butler fabric I bought in an online sale.

The next item is a new skirt. Or will be. I had to piece two short lengths of wool tweed together to get enough fabric for this project. The design is from the second edition of "Sew Hip".

The next project will be a re-build. (The link gives details of what I did last time. You will need to scroll down. The finished bag is here.) One of my faithful shopping bags has started to deteriorate badly. I had lined it some time ago to keep it going. Now, however, it needs rather more work. This will be fun!

It is still functional, but the outer is getting rather too thin and going into holes. The lining is holding the whole thing together.

Oh yes, I found these two remnants sticking out of a shelf in a craftshop recently. I can see two nice little evening tops here.

Next week is Half Term Holiday for the local schools, so I can sew................... Hope you have a nice week too!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Having fun with textiles.

I have not been posting about the work I have been doing lately. Sorry about that, I have been rather busy.
This collection of fabric is destined to become clothing. I am seriously trying to get my large piece fabric stash into more manageable proportions. Yes, I know you have heard this all before, but I really must make some clothing to replace the aging items in my wardrobe. Rather more satifying than going into a shop and buying............. or that's what I'm telling myself.
Here are some of the patterns I shall be using. Yes, that is a vintage Burda shirt pattern at the bottom of the pile.
The main project I am doing at the moment is my monthly pieces for the Traveling Pages group. This is great fun and I am learning a lot seeing other people's work.
This first lovely page was made for me by Trillian. My theme is "The Sea". Isn't this interpretation lovely?
Here is a close-up.
The next piece is my working of "Flowers" for Kath. This was sent to Crete at the end of January.
It uses some of the lino-print fabric I made earlier in January. (You will need to scroll down through this post to see the fabric I printed.)
This is a close-up of some of the stitching.
Here you can see the flower bud I added.
And some free machine embroidery in progress. This was used for the appliqued flower.
Now, I have started on "Leaves". This is the theme for Maya and will need to be completed and sent off before the end of this month.
I indulged myself this morning, having huge fun with fabric paints.......... Children are not the only ones to enjoy playing.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Memories are made............

Memories, in this instance are definitely made of fabric and thread.

I was taken back to the time when my daughters were aged 10 and 8 (back in around 1993), when I found these items.

My husband had been taking boxes down from the loft (roof space) when one of them collapsed. The boxes all belonged to my elder daughter and were to be taken to her new home so she could sort out what she wanted to keep.

I used to make quite a lot of my daughters' clothes and these two pairs of culottes (one in brightly coloured cotton, the other in crepe de chine) alongside the cotton shirt were made years ago. I had forgotten all about them.

We used to have a lovely fabric shop in the local town. Called Harts, it was a favourite haunt of myself and my daughters. They chose the fabric and the patterns, I did the sewing. They usually liked to wear the same things, so my younger daughter had pairs of culottes exactly the same as these.

The clothes were summer weight and the culottes would have been worn with colourful t-shirts.

The last item here is something which my dear husband returned to me after sorting through a drawer of stored items. I had stitched the insert to my own design on 32 count Aida (or was it 28?), in 1996 as a present for my mother-in-law. It was found, safely wrapped and never used after her death some six years later. It is one of those lovely pottery bases with a kit lid produced by DMC. Do they still produce these?

I remember stitching one of a completely different design for my own mother. Her container sits on the dressing table in her bedroom. Another of my designs, originally contained within a card sits in a mounting as part of a small clock in her bathroom........

Why the photo of Felix? Well, my dear little friend has been spending most of the time I have been typing this trying to get me off this chair! Cats!!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sharing the sunshine.

Sorry to have kept everyone waiting, but here are the remaining names of those given the Sunshine Award. (To read all about the award, please see the last post.)

Again, in no particular order, since they are all wonderful:

Christine of Lady Jane's Wardrobe.
Just go along and look at all the wonderful costumes she makes. A fellow member of the Stitching Sisters Group, she also has a second Blog for her embroidery. Its lovely to be able to see the wide variety of textile work Christine shows on her Blogs.

Jodie, of Ric Rac.
This is a Blog recently found and thoroughly enjoyed reading. Jodie makes the most wonderful fabric creatures and lots of other things too. I think what I enjoy most are the little stories woven around the small figures she makes. It is all so enchanting, it really makes my day.

Nadine Ruggles, writer of "InchieQuilts".
This Blog is much more professional than many I have seen. I like to read this regularly because Nadine gives such good information and advice. She is also so encouraging to those like me who have not taken the plunge of trying to get work into a major exhibition. It remains one of my ambitions.

Norma, of "Norma's Needleworkz".
Another member of the wonderful "Stitching Sisters", Norma makes the most delightful lace and tatting items.

Electric Sheep.
This excellent podcast is guaranteed to raise a smile. I always enjoy hearing a new episode and hope you will enjoy listening too. While not a Blog as such, I hope the podcast can be thought of as an honourable winner of the sunshine award, alongside the other people I have mentioned.

Barbara of "Embroidery Overlaps".
Barbara makes the most wonderful pieces of embroidery which are always an inspiration. I have followed her Blog for some time now and am always learning something new.

Donna of "Knitsamadworld".
Donna is a fellow knitter and organiser of a knitting group to which I belong. Her Blog is full of her various projects and always interesting to read.

The last mention on my list of very special people is:

Barbara, of "Rainbow".

Now Barbara's Blog always makes me stop and think. She takes such amazing photographs of each of the varies projects she makes. Added to this, she adds music for her readers to share. This makes her Blog a particularly rich and thoughtful experience.

Thank you to all of those I have mentioned over the past two posts for making the experience of reading your Blogs so special. You all equally deserve the Sunshine Award. I shall continue to read and enjoy all the work you share with the rest of us.