practical sewing and a thank you

I’ve been quite busy these past few weeks with some very colourful patchworking – which I can’t reveal just yet.  However, I also did some less colourful, and more practical sewing, which I can share.

I’d been meaning to do something about the cushions on our kitchen chairs for ages.  I bought a set of seat cushions a few years ago because it was cheaper to buy ready-made, than to buy inserts and make my own.  They were to protect the chair seats, which are made of straw, from cat claws.  The main problem with these cushions (apart from getting grubby very quickly . . .  was that Ducky


found a new distraction.

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He ate his way through the ties that were there to tie cushions onto chairs.  In this photo, you can see one of the ties which was chewed to the knot.  On others, he went so far as to chew where it was sewn to the cushion!  And not just on one chair!  Over time he gradually worked his way through all 8 chairs, chewing sometimes one, sometimes both ties!  This meant, every time we pulled out a chair to sit down, not only were the cushions getting grubby, but 9 times out of 10 the cushion fell on the floor. 

I was suddenly spurred into action to do something about this when our daughter, aka Lindashee, said she would be travelling to France for work, and coming to stay 2 nights with us.  Literally on the day she was due to arrive, I pulled out a large piece of fabric I’d been hoarding for years.  3 metres x 150cm bought about 8 years ago which had cost 10€.

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The diagonal lines are a pale green which, you will see in other photos, does sort of blend in with the kitchen. 

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The ties aren’t colour-coordinated  – I used navy blue – but I decided to sew on all four corners.  I didn’t even bother making the covers with an opening (for washing) either.  Just machine sewed the final seam shut. 

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And managed to tie UNDER the seat part, in the hopes that Ducky won’t be tempted to start chewing.


They’ll do the job of protecting the seat part from claws, which is their main purpose.  And for only 10€ worth of fabric, I had enough to make new covers for all 8 chairs.

A last photo, totally unrelated:

from Sabine

to say thank you to Sabine, a French friend who lives in Germany.  She went to a patchwork/crafts show not long ago and sent me a lovely FQ plus more bookmarks for my collection.


ooooh more gifts!

I’ve been very spoiled in recent days, with friends wishing me well, and spoiling me with gifts to keep me busy while I convalesce.

get well 01

Avis knows I’m trying to build up a stash of the entire colour-range of Stylecraft DK Special, so she sent me 5 new colours for my collection (Walnut, Jaffa, Matador, Royal & Plum) and 2 packets of Trimits safetly eyes for future amigurumi.  And Pascale, a neighbour, popped round with a box of “Mon Chéri” chocolates.  I do love a “mon chéri” – naughty, but nice.

Then yesterday the postie had to ring the bell, because mail was too bulky to push through the letter box slit.

get well 02

And what did I find?  A parcel from Sandrine, containing all I need to keep me happy with some colouring in.  A “Christmas Sweater” colouring book, and 5 different bookmarks, plus a brand new packet of felt tip pens.  Well I certainly have lots to stop me from getting bored!

Oh and another parcel . . . but something I treated myself to.

star fabric

Pelenna Patchworks were having a little bit of a fabric sale on last week and I fell in love with this print.  It’s from the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” collection.  It was only £6 a metre, so I grabbed 2 metres.  As I’ve already mentioned, I’m going to become a grandma in August.  I will definitely be making a small quilt and these stars will be the main fabric to work with for that.  We won’t know if Baby Viking is a boy or girl until the big day.  I reckon this fabric is suitable for either.

In the meantime, I am continuing to lounge around indoors, putting my feet up as often as possible.  On 3rd May I go back to see the surgeon to have bandage and stitches removed, plus an xray to make sure bones are healing well.  Fingers crossed!

thank you Lynn

I celebrated an unbirthday this month!  And such fun it was, thanks to Lynn, aka The Tialys, who sent me loads of wonderful goodies.  Do you want to see?  Of course you do! 

Well first up, there was a selection of fabric, for future patchwork and other sewing projects.

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Four animal prints – I do like a big cat! 

from Lynn 01

More interesting fabrics, with one large panel covered in patchwork houses, a lovely bright pink “cat” fabric, and some very vintage looking “vignettes” all on a wild flower theme.  Plus, at the bottom of the photo, two patterns to make vintage style teddy bears!

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And . . . two gorgeous hand-knitted baby cardigans (colours are to die for – a shame they won’t fit me), a book mark, two skeins of Anchor thread and a lovely owl card.  The cardies are simply adorable, and the perfect size for my reborn dolls . . . so we had a quick photo shoot.  First the moss green & purple one, which seems to fit all girl dolls nicely.

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Here it is on Alice . . . then on Grace

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and on Lily (who isn’t assembled, just has head & limbs sort of stuffed inside, but you get the general idea).

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And then the plum coloured one on Grace

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And on Lily

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I really am going to have to get my act together and take care of my reborns.  Lily and Noah have been waiting for ages for me to reassemble them.  The only clothes making I’ve done so far has been a couple of crocheted hats, one pair of trousers and a nappy – that’s not really good enough, is it?   So, once I’m back on both feet (literally) I really will have to set to work! 

the chicken or the egg (what I received).

At the end of March I showed you what I had sent to Michèle for an Easter exchange the title of which was “the chicken or the egg?”.  I can now show what I received . . . from one of the few male cross stitchers out there.  Real-life name, Thierry, forum pseudo: The Old Druid.

from thierry

A metal tray and a keyring, souvenirs from Paris;  a box of Dardenne chocolates and a gorgeous, cross stitched, Fabergé egg.

from thierry 02

Treenway silks

Early March, I was contacted by Susan of Treenway silks in the USA.   She explained to me that her company was bringing out a new line of hand-dyed silk threads in the colourway 65 Roses Harmony ®.  That some of the proceeds of the sales of these new threads will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  She also asked if I would allow her to offer customers a copy of my free chart: “A rose by any other name” for any purchase of these new 65 Roses Harmony ® threads.

Here are two of the photos Susan sent me, to show some of the new colours.



I, of course, said yes!  Any initiative to help charities is, in my opinion, to be recommended and given full support.

What was then my surprise, when Susan got back in touch, asking for my postal address, because she wanted to send me a little thank you.   And I have just received the most gorgeous assortment of silk threads and ribbons from Susan at Treenway silks.



Beautiful vibrant colours, so soft . . . an extremely luxurious bundle.

Susan has been busy attending lots of craft festivals, and also sent me this link where you can admire all the lovely threads & ribbons including hear the story behind the new 65 Roses collection.   I also get a mention (blush blush).

giving and receiving

I have yet to decide whether it’s more fun to give or to receive.  I do love to be on the giving end, especially when it involves some secret crafting or shopping.  The waiting for the person to receive the parcel and wondering if gifts will be appreciated.  But then it’s also such fun when an unexpected parcel arrives, and to be on the receiving end.  Photos today because I have been a giver and a receiver . . .

megan bday 

Here is what I sent to my daughter, Lindashee, who turned 24 yesterday.  A Michael Powell book with 20 charts for xmas decorations/cards; 15 different colours of A4 sized felt (for future crafting projects); a pink “lipstick” needle holder and . . . a “bag bag”.

megan bag

I’m getting rather good at making these now, even if I do say so myself.   I made this one in a turquoise “umbrella” nylon fabric, so it’s completely water-proof.

On the receiving end . . . an unexpected surprise from Avis who decided I needed cheering up (after having had to listen to me whinging via email about various things I won’t go into here). 

babmoo 04

Some chocolate – we all know about the positive effects of chocolate.   A tin of Spam because Avis knows that’s something I can’t find in France, and I love the stuff!  And the most gorgeous zipper pouch, made with fabric that came all the way from China.  When I say, all the way from China, I mean that Avis’ daughter was visiting China and bought the fabric for her Mum.  Fabric which Avis then made into a zippy pouch, using her gorgeous hand-cranked Singer 99k (you can read more about that on her blog).

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There was also a matching bookmark hidden inside.

bamboo 01

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This zippy bag is going to come in handy for crochet amigurumi projects.  I am currently making a monster, and have lots of loose body parts including three eyeballs, and lots of tiny fingers & toes . . . sorry, I’ll rephrase that . . . my MONSTER has loose body parts, including three eyeballs etc.   A bright zippy bag is the perfect place to keep that lot safe until I get around to the job of assembling body parts.

not one parcel, but two!

I was expecting a little parcel in the post recently . . . some supplies I’d ordered with a new sewing project in mind . . . so when postie knocked on the door, I was rather surprised to be handed not one, but two parcels.  One was my order (more on that further down) but one had come all the way from New Zealand!  A surprise parcel from Susan, containing lots of lovely goodies!

from SusanP01

Susan sent me: a copy of New Zealand Quilter magazine – their last issue, so that’s a very special one!  A very cute little xstitch kit, complete with scissors, to make an adorable scissor fob, some lovely lavender bags (I do love those hearts – so bright and cheerful) and a very cute little embroidered pig keyring: 

from SusanP02

So a very warm thank you to Susan!

Gibbs was very excited at parcel opening time . . . he was sniffing at those lavender bags, hoping one was for him.  Nope!   And when I opened the parcel of supplies I had ordered . . . he was hopeful there was something in there for him.

teething bits

Again, nope!  Sorry Gibbs.  These are for toys, and most of the items are even for chewing on . . . but not for dogs!  Yay, I ordered in a selection of silicon teething shapes plus some squeakers AND four little things that make a sort of rattle sound.  You’ve guessed . . . I’m planning on making some baby toys.  I fancy having a go at making some with different textures, in bright colours, adding squeakers, rattles or even crinkly paper so that they make lots of fun noises too.  Stay tuned!

And a last photo . . . to show a very quick & easy sewing project.

easy trousers

These, made following a free pattern by Made by Rae.  They are newborn size and are my first sewing project for my reborn dolls.  Fabric is a light-weight cotton, left over from a skirt I made myself in 2016.  I did also make a matching kimono top (a free by someone else) but it didn’t turn out quite as planned, so I’ll be trying that again and will show you when I have success.