feather & lace

A finish and a new start to share with you today!

First . . . a large diamond painting project, begun in April, and finished only the other day.

No idea how many hours I spent on this but it was very enjoyable to do. I now have to decide where I’m going to hang it. It’s quite big: canvas measures 80cm x 30cm with the diamond painted part measuring approx 75cm x 25cm.

That’s the feather, now for the lace . . .

After the success of learning the “lace” stitching in knitting, I rummaged through my yarn stash and went on-line to look for suitable patterns.  I had 10 x 50g balls of Rico Design Fashion Fantasy DK cotton, bought more than 6 years ago, and never used because I always felt my knitting skills weren’t good enough.   Anyway, I shopped online at Wool Warehouse and decided on a Sirdar pattern:  Beachcomber DK # ref 7283 which is for a summer cardie, in cotton.  Options are for short or long sleeves, and sizes from 61/68cm (child) chest through to 112/117cm.

I’m knitting this for myself, so am following the 102/107cm size, which (if my yarn knits up like the Beachcomber) will need 6 of my 50g ballls.  If all goes well, I should have enough left to knit the smallest child version too.  I always begin with a swatch, especially when not using the recommended yarn for a pattern. Rico Designs says to use a 3.5mm needle for 22 x 28 tension, so I cast on 22 and knitted 14 rows on a 3.5mm needle.  That came out spot on, 10cm x 5cm so I didn’t waste any more time before casting on for the real thing.

This is how far I’ve got so far after using the first 50g ball.  I am knitting the back, which has 2 bands of the lace pattern (18 rows repeat).  To make things easier for myself, I’m using 4 stitch markers, one either side of the 13 stitch bands which means I can knit mindlessly until I come to a stitch marker, slow down to follow pattern, then speed up again.

And another to give you a closer look at the band ((which would have looked better if I’d blocked but I’ll worry about that when all parts are knitted).

 

learning lace stitch

Well, I’m feeling rather pleased with myself, I have to say because I recently mastered a new knitting stitch pattern and new horizons open up before me!  The stitch pattern in question is: “lace, or the art of deliberately knitting holes into the pattern lol.

It started, not very long ago when I spotted a lovely dress pattern for 32cm dolls on etsy.  Pattern is by CuklaMania here.

Sadly, I didn’t have any yarn in my stash that would work (so I had to order some in) but in the meantime, I saw no reason why I couldn’t give the pattern a try out on different yarn.  Having quite a collection of dolls in various shapes & sizes, I was confident, a dress knit in a slightly thicker yarn would fit at least one member of my dolly family.  So . . . pattern paid for (thanks to Daddy Viking, because I don’t have a p@yp@l account), downloaded & printed out.  And I set to work with Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” yellow on 3.5mm needles learning how to “yo” and “ssk”.  Much tinking happened along the way but . . .

in no time at all (okay, maybe longer!) I had finished a dress – yay!  A dress that looked exactly like the pattern photo – oh joy!  I then rushed upstairs to try it on a few dolls.  And it is the perfect fit for one in particular (a 40cm doll).  On a roll .  .  .  I then pulled out a ball of light minty green 4-ply and gave the pattern a second try, still on 3.5mm needles.  And then again in Stylecraft Special DK, a sort of raspberry pink, on 3mm needles.

The “exercise” being to see how yarn type or needle size alters the size of the finished dress. And also to give myself more practice with the pattern, which, in turn, gave me plenty of practice in “tinking” every time I forgot to “yo” and didn’t notice until the end of the next row.

This last photo shows the slight difference in size depending on yarn or needles.  Dresses 2 and 3 are good fits on my Disney Animator dolls.  I have yet to knit the pattern in a finer yarn and make it to fit the doll it was intended for in the first place.  But that will happen fairly soon.  In the meantime, now I’ve mastered a new knitting technique, I’ve been browsing patterns, and am feeling very motivated to take on a much larger knitting project in the interests of stash-busting.  The main problem there being, my stash is so big and choice of patterns is so vast . . . I’m dithering about what large project to begin.  Never fear, I will share with you, once I have decided.

ScrapHappy # July

Time to link up with everyone in the ScrapHappy group

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2,
Bear, Carol, Preeti, Edith

and big warm welcome to Debbierose who joins us this time.

and to show what scraps I’ve been playing with.  Actually more of the same . . . as I finished off 6 placemats I’ve been working on, made using up lots of cheerful 2.5″ squares.

Last time I had 6 “tops”

Since then, I zigzagged bands of scrap wadding together to make pieces large enough for the mats,

and delved into my stash of fabrics to be reused/recycled (using 2 old tablecloths for backing fabric and binding).

zodiac quilt – drum roll

Drums rolling here . . . and lots of photos to share my happy dance with a combi cross stitch/patchwork project.  Begun way back in Sept 2015.  It all started with a cross stitch kit by Vervaco.

This kit came with charts to stitch all twelve zodiac signs, but only enough aida & thread to stitch one.  I knew that when I bought it, and had already planned on swapping the 14 count aida for 20 count aida, choosing my own colours (similar but not exact references) and stitching all 12 designs.

That took me until June 2016.

Then, stitched squares were put in a drawer, with plans of assembling into a patchwork . . . and the years passed.  Until I finally got my act together this year, and made a start . . . and now I have a finish – yay!

Finished quilt measures approx 130cm x 173cm (51″ x 68″) so it’s really only a lap quilt.  I used the QAYG method because quilting is not one of my strengths.  Anyway, enough talk, I’ll leave you with some photos.

And ending with a couple of close ups on cross stitched centres. Had to include one of Gemini (Daddy Viking only just had a birthday!).

 

more sensible sewing

I’ve been busy, cutting, pinning and sewing . . . nothing very exciting, but having a few more sensible sewing sessions.  6 years ago (time flies), when helping with MIL’s house clearance, there were lots of bed sheets, some never used, that I saved and had been storing in a cupboard ever since.  We don’t use sheets & blankets, we prefer quilts and quilt covers . . . but the advantage of bed sheets is, there’s an awful lot of fabric to use up.  MIL wouldn’t have liked for good fabric to go to waste, so I hope she’d approve of what I’ve done!

I pulled out two sheets in “blues” (both brand new), gave them a wash and iron.  And I’ve made a reversible quilt cover.  Added plastic poppers to the bottom of the quilt cover and had enough fabric to make matching pillow cases (2 in each fabric).  Btw:  when I say “pillow case” I use the word meaning “bed linen, so for use on bed pillows.

The hardest part was battling with two whopping great big sheets, and getting them cut square so I could sew and make to fit for a 200cm x 200cm quilt. There were quite a lot of scraps left over . . . the floral might make something pretty for my dolls. Not sure about the other fabric, but it’s going in the scrap box.

Another sheet, in beige, but slightly faded in places, gave enough to make 4 pillow cases (two already in use, so not in photo)  and I also came across a couple of “old” table cloths (mine, from about 30 years ago when we used table cloths).

Table cloths were without stains, but one had obviously been used/washed more often than the other . . . fabric also has a distinctive “kitchen” look to it, but I’ve turned it onto pillow cases regardless.   Before cutting and sewing, I did actually have a proper measure up, and you’ll be seeing more of the green soon because  I cut a couple of rectangles and strips, to finish off some of my scrappy table mats.

I do, of course, have drawers full of fabric I could have used for this sensible sewing, but I liked the idea of using the bedlinen & table cloths to make more bed linen.  Still have a couple of sheets, but I might save them as they’d make good backing fabric for future patchwork quilts.

“Life” a finish off

If you vaguely remember having seen a photo of this once upon a time

that means you’ve been following my blog for quite a number of years.  This is a cross stitch kit I stitched from February – July 2015.

A kit by Design Works”, artwork by Jo Moulton.  Not only did I love the colours but I loved (and still love) the sentiment:  ” Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”.  Anyway, it was very enjoyable to stitch, but like most of my cross stitch projects, once finished, it was folded and put away in “the drawer”.  Where it remained forgotten about for almost 6 years.

However, after my recent bout of sensible sewing, and the making of cushion covers for kitchen chairs using a sage green fabric.

Plus, after the new sofa covers (not been clawed to pieces yet!) . . . I remembered my “Life” design and realised it would look rather nice  on the “new” sofa.  I had plenty of the fraying sage green fabric left so I made another simple back of a cushion (same as above).  Cut a few strips to add borders on the front.  Did some very sparse quilting on the front, just to hold the wadding behind in place, and voilà!

There are still numerous folded cross stitch pieces in the drawer, waiting patiently to be finished off properly, but for now, I’m just very happy to have this one finally on display!

 

sensible sewing

I’ve been doing some “sensible sewing” for the past few weeks, by which I mean, not fun, but practical.  Sewing jobs that needed to be done.  First up it was mending.  Mending a few holes/rips in a couple of pairs of the husband’s trousers. Also hemmed a pair of jeans I bought myself last year and that were about an inch too long (despite me being tall with a 31″ inside leg).

After that, I decided that the cushions on our kitchen chair seats really needed some attention.

Way back, in 2015, I bought some square seat pads to protect the wicker seats of our chairs from cat claws.  They weren’t terribly pretty, but they did the job.  They had 2 ties on each, to be attached to chairs to stop them falling off but . . . with our cat, Ducky, who loves to chew things, half the ties had been shortened, not to say gone missing, and cushions were forever falling on the floor.  In June 2018 I made new covers.

Made from light-weight cotton, sewing ties on all 4 corners, and fastening under the seat.  It took Ducky a while to eat his way through these, and they did stay on a bit longer lol.  But I was fed up with them slipping about once a few ties were missing and therefore came up with a new solution.  Chairs now look like this (oops chair bars needs a clean!)

!

I removed the purple cotton ones (will be recycling fabric for patchwork) and made new covers in a sturdier fabric which I originally bought to make new sofa covers (but chickened out when faced with complex shapes of sofas and sheer volume of sewing required). Fabric is a lovely sage green and looks almost denim but it isn’t. In fact, I can’t remember what it’s made of but boy, it frays like rotten!

Anyway . . . cushion pads are 17″ so I cut top squares 18″, and the underside is made in two parts, with a velcro fastening.

In order to keep cushions securely on chair seats, with nothing dangling for Ducky to chew on, I added triangular flaps.  I made those by cutting 12″ squares, cutting into 4 triangles on the diagonal, and sewing those in pairs.  Having to overlock at each stage because of the fraying fabric.  I made 10 cushion covers, which meant 40 triangles.

So a big pile of triangles to overlock, then turned right sides out and top stitched.  Once all the prep work was done it was simply a question of sewing cushion covers together (and overlocking).   Front & back right sides together with 4 triangles inside. Seamed, overlocked, and turned right sides out. To end up with this.

And then attach velcro bands to the points of the triangles.

Looks a bit wierd, but once on the chair, it stays firmly in place, and underside of chair is nice & neat.  Nothing dangling!

On a side note, I also found an easy solution for our sofas (on @m@zon).  They were a dark slate grey but looking a right mess because of Le Bleu who had totally destroyed several areas with his claws.

This is the colour, with Ducky, the chewer at full stretch.  Anyway, thanks to on-line shopping, I bought a couple of pretty sofa covers.  They’re “made in China” (but then what isn’t these days?) and I don’t know how long they will withstand any claw attacks, but for the time-being, I’m admiring what could be mistaken for two new sofas.

Each cover came with a matching cushion cover but I’d only put one on for this photo.

feathers and a thank you Flo

A couple of feather related photos today . . . first up, I finally got around to stitching a cross stitch kit, gifted to me for my birthday in 2020 by Yvonne!

Lovely bright colours, nice and dinky to stitch, and one very pretty bookmark!  Thank you, Yvonne !

Next up . . . I haven’t got bored yet of the newly discovered hobby, diamond painting, although I’ll admit to having slowed down a little because I’ve been busy with my crochet hook in the evenings.  Anyway . . . I’m currently working on a very large project. Not many colours appearing yet,

but that’s because I’ve still got a very long way to go.  So long . . . it doesn’t all fit into the photo!

Not to worry!  There’s no hurry to get this finished and it’s keeping me quiet!

And last photos for today, to say a public thank you to Flo, who sent me an unbirthday gift recently.

A seamstress project notebook – to keep note of clothes making project and body measurements. I don’t honestly do any proper clothes making for myself. Nothing “fitted” anyway, so I’m thinking this book will come in handy for my dolls clothes making!  I have dolls with varying body sizes in my collection and always seem to be trying to adapt one pattern to fit another, so this could be a good way of keeping track!

stripy cat amigurumi happy dance

Last month I started hooking this colourful projet

picture and pattern from Amigurumi Today.

Lots of pretty bright colours to keep me amused with those stripes.

And it wasn’t too long before I had all the bits made . . . just had the last job to do (which is my least favourite):  sewing bits together and then fretting over facial detail.

Now, since this cat is going to be a present for a baby, I and Mrs Tattoo agreed we didn’t want safety eyes like on the model.  Mrs Tattoo asked for eyes to be embroidered “asleep”. I did my best.

And now, before you start giggling (because there’s something rather obvious between cats legs) . . . can I ask, where on earth is the tail on the cat in the designer pattern photos????

Another photo from Amigurumi Today – not even a hint of a tail.  Did they forget to add it, or did they photoshop it away?  Anyway, my version has sleeping eyes and a very obvious tail.  For which I shall make no excuses!  Final (headless) photo of cat with Daisy (my big doll).  He came out a bit bigger than I expected but, up against Daisy who is 92cm tall, he doesn’t look too ginormous.

ScrapHappy # April (and an unbirthday)

I had fun with scrappy fabrics for this ScrapHappy post.  My scrap bags were rather full of lots of very bright (and many floral) fabrics left over from clothes making.  I always seem to end up with lots of wierd shaped offcuts when clothes making.  The easiest thing to do was press and slice up into 2.5″ squares . . . and once that was done, I spent some very enjoyable hours piecing squares together randomly.

I could probably have continued indefinitely, and assembled enough to make a quilt top but I had placemats in mind when I began.  Quilts are pretty, but placemats are more useful (in my opinion).  The fronts are completely scrappy . . . for the binding & backing fabric however, I was stash busting with larger pieces of leftovers.

Flamingos on the back and a plain turquoise for binding.  And three very bright placemats with fabrics to remind me of past sewing projects.  There are bunnies & birds from baby quilts;  feathers, flamingos, florals, butterflies & llamas from clothes-making projects; dots & spots from patchwork projects . . . so many happy sewing memories!

Anyway . . . one of these mats, was packaged up and sent to Yvonne, as an unbirthday gift.  This one, in fact.

The other two are for the husband & myself for every day use.  Mats finished at approx 14″ x 20″ but they’ll probably shrink up a bit in the first wash.

I’m linking to a very creative group of people, organised by Kate & Gun for ScrapHappy.