happy un-birthdays in April

Three more padded envelopes were posted this month, each containing a little card and surprise un-birthday gifts for three blogging/crafting friends.  Three home-made gifts, all on the same theme . . . but each one totally different.

To Angela, aka Wisher, in Singapore

oops; I forgot to take a photo!  This is one Angela took, when the package arrived.


To nanacathy in the UK

marker book 01

And to Lynn, aka Tialys, in France


The little “books” contains pin, crochet stitch markers and beaded knitting markers.  Assorted to the colours of the “book” each time. For example:


So something pretty, and useful, I hope, for crochet and knitting projects.  Blackwork designs on the front were all freebie designs. The first two found on Blackwork Journey but I can’t remember who the designer of the Easter egg is.

“Live Simply” happy dance

In March, I had a happy dance, having finished off a cross stitch design: “Live Simply”, a kit by Dimensions.  However, that was just the happy dance for a finished stitching . . . the real full-flung happy dance happened this month.

Live simply finish 01

Live Simply finish 02

I have made a lap top case for my niece, N.  Her parents gave her a Notebook PC for Christmas, and she had asked if I could make a protective cover for it . . . so I did lol.  Some simple piecing on the front, and some freestyle quilting.

It’s just a simple pouch, but I added handles so it can be carried like a bag, and a couple of large poppers to make sure it stays shut.

sugar skulls zipper pouches

Way back, in December 2015, I had a purse making session, using a lovely batch of metal purse clasps I had bought.  I made a whole selection of little coin purses for ladies in the family and close friends, trying to choose different fabrics to suit the tastes of the ladies these gifts were intended for.  Below, is an example.  Purses, left to right, gifted to: my daughter, my sister and my niece T.

purses 06

Niece T is in her late 20s, and I thought this pink & purple fabric was perfect.  She loved it, and put it into use immediately, as a mini-make-up bag . . . however, when aforementioned niece  saw photos of the rest of the batch I had made, notably this one, I got the impression I hadn’t chosen fabrics quite so well.


Sugar skulls on red, was made and gifted to N, 2nd son’s partner lol.  Anyway, my sister (mother to niece T) asked if I had any more sugar skull fabric leftover . . . and could I make a second purse for T.

Now, I did have a couple of purse clasps left over, lurking in the back of my supplies drawer, but I fancied trying something different.  Spent a while on youtube, watching video tutorials on how to put in a zip properly, using that special zipper foot which came with my machine and I’d never used before.  I also had a small piece of the red sugar skull fabric . . . but decided to splash out and buy a new FQ in black.

The result of a couple of hours sewing . . .

sugar skull 01

One zipper pouch, 9” x 5” (made to the size of my zip) which, I hope, will be a nice make-up bag size.

sugar skull 02

One smaller zipper pouch (approx 5” x 4”) which would be big enough just for a few make-up essentials to slip in the bottom of a handbag . . .

sugar skull 03

And another make-up bag sized zippy pouch (about 7.5” x 5”) in the original red fabric.  Zips have been left open in this last photo so you can see the gorgeous contrasting turquoise lining.

These pouches are quite light weight.  I ironed on interfacing to the outer fabric, to give it a little more body, but that’s all.  I learned quite a lot during this sewing project.  Was really surprised at how easy it is to put in a zip when you use the correct foot lol.  In the past, I’ve just used the normal sewing foot.  However, there are a few areas I need to improve on for next time.   I also discovered (to my expense) that even just a few hours sewing was probably more than I should have done and I paid for it the next day.  So, mental note to self:  keep sewing sessions to under one hour for the time-being.

more monsters

Last month I showed you this fellow

green monster

Made copying the idea found in a French magazine


And ever so quick & easy to make.  All you need is a short zip (10cm or 12cm), a piece of felt for your main colour, white felt for eyes, 2 buttons and a small piece of decorative ribbon (optional) for the little side tag.  So I made some more.


The pink monster very quickly found a new home.  It was my youngest niece’s birthday on 2nd March, so I needed to come up with a small pressie for the occasion.   She likes bright colours, especially pink, so . . .


A pair of fluffy (shop bought) slippers, along with a little bracelet and 2 packets of paper hankies which I popped inside the monster zippy pouch. 

felt “monster” purse

I had a fun (and very short) sewing session with felt not long ago . . . after having found an interesting idea in a French patchwork magazine


green monster

All it required was: a 10cm zip and some felt.  I added buttons for the pupils, rather than cutting tiny circles in black felt.

green monster 02

Realised, afterwards, that I put the zip on the other way around from the photo – I put that down to me being left-handed lol.

My “monster” turned out somewhat bigger than the examples in the magazine (which are supposed to measure 10cm x 12cm) so he’s more of a small zippy pouch than a purse.  Not to worry – he was fun to make, and is actually the perfect size for what I wanted.


Yup, I filled him with coins, but the edible ones . . . and he was then wrapped up and sent off with some other goodies to Avis who is a February birthday gal like me.

Bagpuss dear Bagpuss, old fat furry catpuss

Another freebie kit stitched.  Bagpuss, from the August 2002 edition of CrossStitcher magazine.  And finished off as a 16” cushion cover for my daughter, for Christmas.



I used the embroidery option on my machine, just to date this little project


With a bright pink cotton back, and pretty buttons, so the cover can be taken off and easily machine washed.

bagpuss 04