having bags of fun

I decided, back in early November of last year, that 2020 would be a stash-busting year.  I’ve made a little “rule” for myself . . . that all crafting this year, be it knitting, crocheting, cross-stitching, sewing or patchworking, must be done with stash.  The only “loop” I’m allowing myself is, if ever there’s an imperative need to buy something specific to finish off a project (ie wadding if I run out for quilting, or maybe a knitting pattern for my healthy yarn stash).    With this in mine, I spent some time doing a quick stock-take of fabrics in my stash, and came across some printed cushion panels that I’ve had in my drawers for about 10 years.  Bought, I imagine, with the idea of making cushion covers, but then forgotten about.

Anyhoot – those were the first fabric pieces I decided to use this year.  But not to make cushions.  Instead, they inspired me to make bags.

bags galore01

I always have a fold away fabric shopping bag, about my person, when I go out.  Shops don’t give free plastic bags anymore (and haven’t done for years) so a fabric bag always comes in very handy, not to mention being “green”.  With these two panels, I used a mottled beige fabric for the back panel (same as straps). 

bags galore03

And, because I wanted them to be foldable, I used the extra strip from panels (with small kitten heads) to make a “cuff” so that bag can be folded, and kept folded.  However, I also wanted to make sure the “cuff” doesn’t go missing when the bag is in use so . . .

bags galore02

I sewed a button inside one of the straps . . . and the cuff can be attached to that, because I’ve put 2 buttons & button holes on each cuff!

These first two bags, I sewed as simple squares – not wanting to give bag a boxy bottom because it would have meant losing the kitten prints in corners.  However . . . I had some more cushion panels that I quickly sewed together.

bags galore04

These have boxy bottoms, and both sides of each bag have the same cat panel.  Again, there was a small strip of fabric from which I was able to make a “cuff”.  So both can be folded and made into a very nifty pocket size.


Here’s a zoom on the Siamese “cuff”, with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons for fastening.

And I didn’t stop there!  I also pulled out some leftover fabric from clothes making . . .

bags galore05

and made two more bags using some very large scraps of feather fabric. 

I don’t seem to have made much of a dent in my stash for the moment, but it’s early days! 

ScrapHappy # January

It’s 15th of the month, in a brand new year . . . time to link up with Gun and Kate, and enjoy some ScrapHappy fun!

For me, it was playing with fabric scraps . . . and while not being terribly adventurous, the end result is lovely & colourful and smells of lavender.

scrappy happy Jan

Fabric scraps were all leftovers from patchwork or sewing projects.  However the pompoms and metal embellishments were from my stash.   Lavender was from our garden, harvested late summer and kept in airtight plastic bags since. 

Here is a list of other ScrapHappy members.

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, KerryJean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

SAL Panda Sugar Skull #2

I managed to get a fair amount of xstitching done over the festive season, which means that my current project: Panda Sugar Skull has progressed from this

15 12 19

to this

SAL panda 05 01 20

This is a lovely fun & colourful design by Lindashee.

Let’s do some blog-hopping and see what progress other SAL members made.  We have a new member to welcome to the group this time: AJ.

Avis, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ

And we’ll be back on 26th January with another update.

what Claire found under the tree

Hello everyone!  I’ve been visiting blogs since the New Year arrived only a few days ago, enjoying reading all your resolutions and new goals for 2020.  I have to admit, I’m not setting myself any goals this year and don’t have any specific projects planned.    I have a couple of WIPs that I hope to finish, but will not be putting any pressure on myself.  One thing I have decided (but that was in early November, so isn’t really a New Years’s resolution) is not to buy any crafting supplies over the coming year.  In fact, I haven’t bought any supplies since early November, so I’m aiming at a full 14 months of “being good”.   I have more than enough fabric, thread, and yarn to keep me busy for several years, so the coming year is going to be a stash-busting year for me.  This doesn’t mean to say I didn’t have a few crafting supplies on my xmas list though, or that I wasn’t spoiled by family & friends with crafting goodies.

Photos to show you what a lucky gal I was this year.


Eldest son gifted me a pattern book to make dresses for 18” dolls, a DVD (The Borrowers) and a 9” doll (Sofia – a Kruseling doll).  From Daddy Viking I received a pattern book to make outfits for 9” dolls, and a DVD (Mary & Max).  And from Lindashee – a book with some clever ideas for sewing with scraps plus a bundle of 4 different xmas-themed FQs. 


From sister-in-law – a recipe book, a notebook and a pack of post-its, plus a Tshirt (which I forgot to photograph).  And from Avis – 2 balls of Stylecraft DK, “The Alchemist’s Secret” and a lovely cat print tote bag.


From the husband, I received 12 x 50g balls of yarn (3 in four different colourways) plus a plastic storage box.  And from Father Christmas, because Father Christmas always visits this house,  . . . a book on dolls and a magnifying headset which is ever so lightweight and comfortable to wear.  I wear glasses, with varifocal lenses but still struggle when cross stitching . . . this headset, with a whole range of magnifying lenses, is perfect.

2019 in review – cross stitch, patchwork & other sewing

This is the third & final post for my “2019 in review” series.  For this last one, I’m grouping together cross stitch, patchwork & general sewing.

Several cushions, which I always find is a great way to combine cross stitch and patchwork.



robot cushion 01

Three dog beds.

dog bed 05



8 scrappy xmas-themed place mats.

placemats 01

2 leaf blower bags.

scraphappy sept 08

2 easy draw string bags (as gift pouches for xmas presents).


one scrappy “I Spy” quilt.

scraphappy nov 01



a “spotty dotty froggy” memory game . . . made for Toddler Viking.


There were a few other finishes, and small projects, but I think all of the above are enough to remind me of what fun I had crafting in 2019.

best layer of the month # December

This is my last post for 2019 . . . the monthly egg-count post . . . something I’ve been doing regularly every month, without fail, for several years now simply because it makes me happy. My hens make me happy every day, always so pleased to see me, as they come running and clucking to discover what treats are on the menu for the day.

Since we began keeping laying hens, in 2015, it’s been my daily pleasure to scoop up poop, lay down fresh straw, make sure food & water supplies are all topped up, and enjoy opening the roof of the nesting box to collect fresh eggs.

For December . . . Miss Moneypenny, who is the only one of our original hens to still be alive, has most definitely now retired.  She hasn’t laid a single egg since October but, considering she’s been with us so long, we feel she deserves a happy retirement.  The other gals were all productive, despite the wet (and now cold) weather.  Mauricette laid 19 eggs, the two younger gals: Ruby and Florence laid 30 each.  Which makes for a grand total of 79. 

No recent photos of the hens today . . . just one, which some of my followers may recognise, of the annual “seasons greetings” decorations I made & sent this year.  Nothing fancy.  Just a stylised xmas tree with a gold star on top.

xmas decors 2019

I wish you all the best as we move into the new year.  May 2020 bring you laughter, good health, and many hours of crafting joy.

2019 in review – clothes making

A second “in review” post . . . this time with photos of clothes making for myself and Toddler Viking.

shirt 04

With the pattern See&Sew B6270 . . . first in a very discreet print . . . then 2 more colourful version.


flamingo shirt 01

for bb viking 02

For toddler Viking, a little pinafore dress & matching hat.

and some easy stretch leggings.

for bb viking 06

Two very bright tunics, using a MCCalls pattern with orange leggings.


spotty 03

a not very successful “spotty dotty” top for myself, but which did get worn this summer.

legging green


Two pairs of stripey leggings for myself  . . . an exercise in sewing with stretch fabrics, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

trousers 02a

an easy pair of summer trousers, from another NewLook pattern.

feather PJs 03

And two pairs of PJ shorties for myself.  Tops being made with a NewLook tunic pattern and bottoms from a Butterick pattern.

I did also do some sewing for dolls . . . which you can see on Claire’s Collections.