Scrap Happy # June – “crinkle toys”

I’m linking up with Kate and Gun today, for the once a month ScrapHappy post.  The idea being to try and make the most of our scraps which we seem to accumulate and never throw away.   I try to keep my fabric scraps fairly organised, in different plastic bags according to colour, but I also cut 2.5” squares from scraps from time to time, and store them in a little box because you never know when pre-cut squares will come in handy.

I had an idea to make a couple of baby toys and these little scrappy squares were exactly what I needed.   I could have chosen more harmonious colours, but I wanted to keep them as busy and random as possible.

scraphappy 02

scraphappy june 01

Two small blocks quickly sewn together.    The finishing wasn’t entirely “scrappy” but it was definitely very economical.  I had bought some micro fiber dusters not long ago (1.80€ for a pack of lovely bright colours).

crinkle toy 01

And I had also bought a few toy making accessories, namely mini rattles (1.5cm in diameter) and some teething shapes.  So . . . I proceeded to make mini quilts with my two blocks.  Still with ScrapHappy in mind, I pieced scraps of wadding until I had the right size to match the blocks.  And inside  I also slipped a piece of “crinkle paper”  except mine is cut from an empty packet of Senseo coffee bags.

crinkle toy 02

Then added the teething shape and binding.  This one, with spotty fabric from my F2F2 quilt and a bright yellow back will be for a niece’s baby, due in September.

crinkle toy 03

The binding for the second one, leftover from the “a little bird told me” baby quilt.  With a purple key and bright green back – this for Baby Viking.

crinkle toy 04

crinkle toy 05

So there they are!  Two home-made “crinkle” toys.  Each with a soft texture on the back; crinkle paper & tiny rattle sewn inside, and a key for teething.  Not counting the cost of cotton fabrics & wadding, which were scraps,  I estimate they cost less than 2€ apiece to make (with bought supplies of micro fiber, teething key and mini rattle).

2 crinkle toys 01

They measure approx 8” square.

Other ScrapHappy crafters, who don’t necessarily post each month, being:

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean


cloth baby books – warts and all.

Mummy & Daddy Viking are getting ready to welcome Baby Viking.  Still 2 months before due date, but there’s DIY going on in their home, involving plastering, painting, and laying parquet.

I’m keeping busy here and starting to prepare a few things.  My first crafting project being inspired by

vignettes 01


vignettes 02

Two different series of farmyard animal fabric squares.  Which I sliced and sashed



I won’t bore you with all the pages . . . you get the idea!  Then quilted and assembled to make a cloth book.

viking book 01

Assembly didn’t go quite as expected, but I honestly don’t think Baby Viking will be criticising grandma’s sewing (at least I hope not!).  A lovely bright green and some purple for the cover –  2 of grandma’s favourite colours.  And pig prints on front and back because Daddy Viking loves pigs.

viking book 03

The inside looks like this.

Viking book 02

There are a total of 16 pictures in this book, for Baby Viking, and a matching green silicon teething flower.

While on a roll . . . and because my English niece is expecting a baby boy in September.  The cover in orange (another of my favourite colours).

orange book 01

I changed my page assembly technique for the orange book.  And there are only 12 pictures in this one.

orange book 02

orange book 03

I bet you’re wondering what that little orange tag thing is for, aren’t you?  Well, that was something that didn’t go according to plan.  There’s always something, isn’t there?  The plan was to add a tag and popper so this book could be kept fastened shut.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the thickness of the closed book (with all those wadded pages) . . . and my tag was too short.  I couldn’t remove it because that would have meant messing up my seams . . . so it’s just there, for no reason other than for people to wonder why it’s there.  I’m sure my future great nephew will find a use for it. Possibly something to chew on, or simply to fiddle with while turning the pages?

F2F3–FootSquare Freestyle season 3

Kate is a gem!  She’s organising the third season of the F2F patchwork quilt swap.   The swap works thus:  there are nine of us taking part.  Each lady has chosen her colour inspiration and each lady has been allocated a month.  Each month, we all make & send three 12” (finished size) patchwork blocks for the lady of the month in her choice of colours.   We will therefore all end up with 27 blocks.   I had lots of fun as Miss February last year, in season 2 (F2F2), making blocks for other ladies, often out of my comfort zone where colours were concerned.  My colour choice last time was bright orange, green & blue on white.  Which resulted in a vibrant, cheerful quilt.

F2F2 finished 01

This year’s F2F swap officially starts on 1st June, running through until February.   I’m Miss August this year, and my colour inspiration is: turquoise, black & grey on white.


Before I get carried away with those colours, though, I need to do some fabric shopping (what a hardship!) because there is Lynn to sew for in June.  She’s chosen neutral shades of grey, some beige and cream, with vintage faded rose pinks.  Greys I have in my stash.  Beige and cream too.  But vintage faded rose pinks are not something I tend to use – hence the urgent need to fabric-shop so I can get patchworking asap. 

You’ll be able to see everyone’s colour inspiration, as well as blocks once they are made here: FootSquare Freestyle.

eye candy

I’ve been extremely naughty of late . . . unable to resist having a flurry of shopping with Mr Visa and buying in reams & reams of gorgeous fabrics!  First up, I went searching for some “solid” colours to match my recent buy of the Hungry Caterpillar stars.  That’s the fabric I bought to make a baby quilt for Baby Viking. 

I bought in a skinny quarter of each colour and I’ve got 2m of the star fabric.  Solid white will probably also be used, but these are the new fabrics, hand-picked for my first grandchild.

gender neutrals

Some people query the wisdom of buying patchwork fabric on-line because they find it difficult to match colours.  I have to say, I’ve never encountered this problem.  I just placed my star fabric on my computer desk while shopping, and chose colours on screen.  The star fabric was bought from Pelenna Patchworks and the six colours from a French seller on etsy.

You won’t see these fabrics again until after baby is born. 

Next, I took advantage of a 50% off sale on Jaycotts – one of my favourite on-line shops for clothes-making patterns.


I hope to try and make myself a pair of fitted trousers – but that won’t be my priority sewing project.  And couldn’t resist grabbing some baby & toddler patterns (plus a Kids dress pattern, thinking of our neighbour, Cléo).  The 4 baby & toddler patterns all offer options to make for little boys or little girls (even though there’s a little girl modelling for the two middle ones). 

With Baby Viking due in August, and my English niece expecting a baby boy in September, I won’t try and make anything in newborn size for this summer.  Plan will be to make something for NEXT summer.  However, I’ll be able to get in some practice sewing in newborn size for a couple of my reborn dolls. 

And, because you can’t make clothes without fabric . . .  I have a favourite on-line shop located in Paris: les coupons de saint-pierre, which sells 3m cuts at unbeatable prices.   


I completely fell in love with these flamingos and bought two different colourways as well as a fun kid print, some solid white, and some white waffle cotton.  Little brain knows what these are for, but you’ll have to be patient.

And final photo to show a sneak peek of a happy dance.

sneak peek

That’s all I can show you for the time-being.  My first little sewing project as grandma to be, for Baby Viking.  Parent Vikings occasionally stop by here, so that’s all I’m willing to share for now.  It doesn’t matter they can guess what it is from the photo . . . they will still get a surprise (I hope) when they see the real thing. 

happy un-birthdays in May

I had lots of fun cross stitching a couple more freebie designs recently. Two partner designs, with two naughty partners in crime, by Sylvia and called “Der Dieb” and “Der Dieb 2”.  Der Dieb being German for “the thief”.

der dieb x2

I wasn’t sure how I was going to finish these two designs until the stitching was done, and then it came to me.  Two little coasters! Which then winged their way to NanaCathy and Mr E (because I don’t see why husbands of crafters shouldn’t celebrate an un-birthday from time to time!).

dieb 01

I didn’t send the matching mugs & spoons (sorry Cathy lol) but I did make them in two different colours, being inspired by the cross stitched border on each.

dieb 04

dieb 05

They were very quick & simple to make.  Two 5” squares of patchwork fabric for each, and a square of wadding.

dieb 03

I went for contrasting print fabric on the back.

dieb 02

Hopefully these will come in useful to protect wooden furniture from either hot mugs or from cool glasses, with condensation dripping down.  As to which one is for Cathy and which one is for Mr E . . . I’ll let them decide.

ScrapHappy # April

It’s 15th April, time for some ScrapHappy fun with Kate in Australia, Gun in Sweden and a whole group of crafting people world wide!  Other members of the group, who don’t necessarily post each month, being:

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris Nancy and Alys.

The idea behind ScrapHappy is to do some crafting sometime during the month, using only scraps.  It can be any kind of crafting, and doesn’t even need to be a finished project.

For this month I played around with some of my patchwork fabrics, and I put together a simple block.

scraphappy April

This has actually finished at 13” square but I’ll probably trim 1/8” off all around at some point because I have added this pretty block to a small pile of other blocks I have in my stash

scraphappy April 02

The plan, one day, being to have enough blocks to make a quilt.  But it’s really a coincidence if all blocks blend in with each other more or less . . . or simply proof that I do lots of sewing with turquoises and teals.

the chicken or the egg?

This is the title of an exchange which was proposed on a French cross stitch forum, where I’ve been a member for quite a few years now.  “The chicken or the egg?”.

Even though I don’t celebrate Easter, I quickly signed up because you know me:  crazy hen lady, with my lovely laying hens who keep me amused what with scooping up poop, collecting eggs and chatting to the gals every day.   I couldn’t not join in this exchange, now could I?

The “rules” were simple: to send a hand-made gift, with a chicken or egg theme, and to add some choccies to the parcel.  Originally, I was going to cross stitch a design, and make a little egg cosy.  But then I got to wondering: do people really use egg cosies these days?  I mean they’re pretty, and decorative, but they’re not really something we use.  At least, I don’t.  I usually soft boil my eggs and eat them while they’re still piping hot.

So . . . a change of plan . . . and a rummage through my crafting stash followed, during which I unearthed the following.

easter bag

Perfect!  A “chicken and egg” fabric . . . but not very big.  Little brain then started thinking “patchwork”.  As any patchworker knows, the ideal solution for making a small piece of fabric go further is to chop it up and sew it back together again.  But still, I couldn’t think of something useful to make.  And for some reason my brain was set on “useful” not “decorative”.

easter bag 02

First things first, I decided to slice up my fabric, and make bands (sacrificing the wording “Springtime”) and doing my best to pattern match.  Not perfect – it worked on a blue chicken but the egg was off somewhat.  And then I knew what to make!

easter bag with pouch

A cotton tote bag, and matching cotton pouch.  I’ve made several of these bags now, so I can literally do it without having to think too much.  On this one I overlocked the seams of the band, and top-stitched so make sure it doesn’t fall to pieces.  For the bag assembly, I used French seams, including when boxing off the bottom corners.    This gift was sent to Michèle, who will be moving (permanently) to live in Spain.  When I think of Spain, I think of outdoor fresh fruit & veggie markets and I hope this bag will come in very useful when Michèle is out doing her shopping.  I also thought it appropriate that colours are blue, white and red: the same as the French “tricolore” flag.

easter exchange

So there you have it.  One practical tote bag neatly folded away in its matching pouch, a little crocheted amigurumi chick (just for fun) some choccies, and a card.