what Claire made for Christmas #5

This is the last post with photos of the secret crafting which kept me busy for Christmas 2018.  And this time, it’s a sewing project.


For the husband.  He had asked for various tools (for metal engraving, wood chequering etc) so family clubbed together to buy the various tools, hammer, book etc . . . plenty of things to keep him happy.   Tools in this photo are the metal engraving ones.   I was rather worried, when I saw the sharp ends on these, and decided to make a) a little fabric tray to keep them all together on his work bench.  And b) a tool roll, so that the husband has somewhere to keep them all.


I chose a very manly William Morris print for the outer fabric.


and fabric from the same collection for the inside.  Pockets are made with leather and I added a felt flap, so that tools won’t slip out.



I’m not sure whether leather pockets was such a good idea . . . time will tell if it stands up to the pointy ends.  If not, I’ll make a second one, using denim which will probably be more hard-wearing.


what Claire made for Christmas #1

Like many of you crafters, I was very busy in the months before Christmas, either sewing or hooking, to make a few original gifts for family and friends.  I’ll be writing several posts, to show you what I made, otherwise there will be just too many photos for one post.  The first 2 gifts I’ll show off, were for my two French nieces. 

Some sewing for one, and some crochet for the other. 

PJs 01

For the youngest niece, who is almost 15 years old, I decided to make something practical.  Bought in a pretty floral fabric and a plain turquoise . . . set to work with one of my favourite NewLook patterns and made 2 tunics

PJs 02

and 2 pairs of shorts, using another pattern, so niece has 2 pairs of PJ shorties, which she can mix and match.

PJs 04

For her older sister, who is a student, in her first year of higher education, I decided to just have fun with my hook, and make a little mascott to sit by her computer in her little bed-sit and keep her company while studying hard.


This is my version of the Monty the Moose pattern, by Little Aqua Girl, and published in “Zoomigurumi 7”.   I made him using Stylecraft DK (colours: sherbert, mushroom, cream and sage) and a 2.5mm hook to keep things nice and tight.  I’ll let my niece find a name for him, but while crafting, in my head, I christened him “Sherbet”. 


I gave him purple eyes, which you can see better in this WIP photo . . . awww, doesn’t he look cute? 

99K gold hearts

Christmas is only one week away now!  How are you all getting on with your end of season preparations? 

I was industrious earlier this month, doing some very gentle sewing on my Singer 99K.  Regular followers will remember, I treated myself to a slice of the past this summer, when I bought a 1939 hand-cranked 99K Singer sewing machine.

singer 99K 04

And how I said I would be doing some “proper” sewing on this lovely machine at some point.  Well, in the run-up to Christmas, I did.

xmas 99K singer

I threaded Mrs 99K up with a golden coloured thread, and spent several very peaceful sewing sessions making up the 2018 batch of fabric & felt decorations.  This year, I cut into a Golden Cranes fabric, making simple hearts, with gold ribbon . . .

xmas 99K hearts

And, while gold comes in 9k, 18k and 24k . . . I’m calling these my little 99K gold heart decorations. 

Scraphappy # October (or will I ever grow up and take myself seriously?)

It’s 15th of the month . . . time to link up with Kate and Gun, for the monthly Scraphappy post!  An opportunity to use up some of those scraps, and for me, always a good excuse to have a bit of a laugh.  I do worry about myself sometimes.  It doesn’t take much to keep me amused, nor to make me laugh.  For this month’s scrappy project, I was totally inspired by an idea I found in a book purchased recently in Lidl.

book 01

Title translates as “sewing with scraps” – how appropriate!  And there are lots of quite novel ideas inside.

book 02

28 different projects, in fact.  There are several I do really want to try, but the one that literally grabbed me, when I opened the book was a project to make your own shoe laces. 


Now . . . after foot operation in April of this year, I had to wear clumpy post-op shoes for a while, then a pair of medical shoes, and swelling is now down enough for me to wear men’s trainers!  I’ve already got a date for operation on the other foot (23rd November) so I’ll be back to post-op shoes and medical shoes over the festive season.  And then more long months wearing men’s trainers.  And then I’ll need orthopedic insoles.    It’s somewhat depressing – not in the medical sense of the word – just very boring, having no pretty shoes that fit.  Anyway . . .

scraphappy oct01

When I saw the idea in the book, I thought “What fun!” A brilliant & easy idea to liven up my boring trainers . . . and make myself smile each time I look down at my feet!  I deliberately pulled out lots of different colours from my scraps . . . if I’m making shoe laces, then I want them as bright, as zany, and as cheerful as possible!  Process was simple.  I cut my strips 1.5” wide, not bothering about getting them all the same length.  Some are only a few inches long, others much longer.  Sewed all strips together and pressed, exactly as I would if making bias binding.  Sewed all the way along, laced into my trainers, snipped to the right length and made a knot at the ends.

scraphappy oct03 

It’s pure fluke if I ended up with orange in the same position . . . I could have made matching laces, but I wanted odd laces, to go with my “odd socks” – yay!

scraphappy oct 02

And in case you’re wondering if I really will go out like that . . . yup, most definitely!  Jeans hide the socks, but I’m smiling inside because I know they’re there. 

Let’s now go see what other members of the Scraphappy group have found to do this month.

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

crafting for Baby Viking

We’ve just come home after a long weekend trip to England to catch up with family.  We stayed with our daughter, aka Lindashee, and Mr Lindashee.  Met up with my sister and her partner, Mr A, for a few hours (hadn’t seen them in 7 years!).  And, of course, went to visit Viking parents, where we got to meet Baby Viking.

Needless to say, it was a lovely weekend.  Lots of catching up to do.  Lots of food.  Lots of walking.  Quite nice weather.  And Baby Viking is adorable. Only cloud . . . I wasn’t able to have a cuddle because I came down with shingles!  What unperfect timing, eh?

I can now show you some of the crafting I had been busy with over the summer . . . first up, a quilt.

Viking quilt 01

The pattern for this quilt is from the book: “Quick & Easy Quilts for Kids” by Connie Ewbank

a little bird 05

and it’s the second time I’ve followed this particular pattern.  The first time being last year, when I made a quilt for neighbours’ baby, which I called “A little bird told me”.

a little bird 01

That time, I went for lots of pinks & mauves because parents knew they were expecting a little girl.  With Baby Viking, we didn’t know gender until birth, so I started work with some bright gender neutral colours, basing my choice on the main fabric which is from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” collection.

Viking quilt 03

The finished quilt is therefore very bright, and lots of fun.  I’m calling it “Starry Starry Viking”.

Viking quilt 02

After the quilt, I decided to make something smaller, but practical . . .

Viking bibs

Three bibs, using a white “waffle cotton” with a band of printed fabric, and contrasting binding.

And that’s not all . . . literally the day before Baby Viking was born, I was pacing the floors here, because she was over 10 days late, and to keep my sanity, I began crocheting a bear.  So began on Saturday 18th August, Baby Viking was born on Sunday 19th, and this little bear was finished on Monday 20th August.

Viking lundi bear

This is a free crochet pattern by Zhaya Designs.  The pattern is called Baertram .  I have christened my version “Lundi” (Monday).

Viking lundi bear 02

Lundi measures 9” tall (23cm), was crocheted using Stylecraft Special DK in Camel, Cream & Black with a 2.5mm hook. I used a DMC mouliné cotton and a 2mm hook for the scarf.  Lundi has 3 fingers on his/her paws, a belly button and a very cute tail.  Facial features are embroidered in Stylecraft Special DK to make Lundi baby-friendly.

Viking lundi bear 03

Anyway, I had lots of fun with all of that.  Patchworking, quilting, sewing and crochet . . . lots of variety.   I’ve now got my thinking cap and will be starting a few crafting projects for Baby Viking’s first Christmas.  All I can tell you about my plans for that is: parents have given me permission to go as mad and as bright as I like.  Fun, fun, fun!

ocean themed crafting

It might be because of this never ending summer, with temperatures still around 30°C during the daytime . . . but I’ve been having something of an ocean themed crafting spurt.

First up . . . Carole, very kindly sent me an unbirthday gift a few months ago.  A little mermaid cross stitch kit.  Well, that gave me some light relief from all the dull browns & beiges I’ve been working on with the SAL project, and she turned out beautifully.


I deliberately didn’t give her a mouth as I think she actually looks prettier without.  And I’m not sure if I’ll be finishing her off as a bookmark, to slip insde the printed card that came with the kit, or coming up with a different kind of finish.  Whatever, she was a real joy to stitch.  The kit was a freebie from a back issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.  I had been dithering about whether or not to renew subs to a UK crafting magazine, and this gift from Carole spurred me on.  I signed up for a 12 month subs to Cross Stitch Crazy, so now have several other pretty freebie kits in my stash.  Perfect for those little projects when you want a quick finish!

Other crafting . . . if you saw my ScrapHappy post on 15th, you’ll have seen the stuffed fish I made, with its upper fin sewn on back to front.  Now, although Viking Parents said Baby Viking would love it (it’s also got a rattle inside so makes a lovely noise) I still wanted to make one that looked right.  So I rifled through scrap bags again and made another one.

3rd fishy 01

3rd fishy 02

Much more successful than the previous one, and with some lovely scraps.  This fishy has white felt circles appliqued on for eyes and a cross-stitched navy pupil.  He/she also has a “squeaker” inside, just below the upper fin. 

Here are the three fish together, all following the pattern by Lauri.

3 fishies 01

3 fishines 02

What I love about patchwork, and scraps . . . you get to use up every last bit of fabric, and each of these fishes is a reminder of past patchwork projects.  The one with spotty body was my first fish, made in March.  He’ll be staying here, as a photo prop for my reborn dolls, since he has buttons for eyes, therefore is not 100% baby friendly.  The other two will be swimming their way to Baby Viking.

“Entwined Star” – an unbirthday/house warming gift

A neighbour’s daughter recently bought her first house, and I wanted to mark the occasion with a hand-made gift.   What better excuse to do some crafting?  A house-warming/unbirthday gift!    Now, I don’t know the daughter’s taste in interior decorating, nor her choice in colours, so I thought it prudent to ask her first.   She had said she likes “hot/bright” colours,  so I took that to mean “hot” on the patchwork colour wheel.  We had a quick look at possible fabrics together, with the design I had in mind requiring 3 different shades plus a background colour.  We did toy with some hot pink, and bright yellow, but in the end, the decision was made to stick with orange. 

entwined 01

This is the block pattern I had decided on.  The “Entwined Star” and this is my version.

entwined 02

It was only after piecing, I realised I hadn’t respected the colour “values” with the black background fabric, and maybe it would have looked better on white,  but it was too late to worry about that.   So I carried on, batting, quilting, and making a 16” cushion cover.

for Raphaelle 01

Raphaelle 03

I used some grey, velvety curtain fabric for the back  and 3 old jeans buttons for the fastening.

for Raphaelle 02

I don’t tend to use black very often, so it was interesting to see how this star and oranges seem so vivid on the dark background.  The extra 1/2” orange band all around, because I felt it needed more brightness to draw the eyes away from the centre.

Anyway, I had lots of fun making this and thoroughly enjoyed tackling a new block pattern.