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.


giving & receiving

A few photos of recent giving & receiving.

Three more masks, all identical, and all reversible (plain black on one side, and a very manly Japanese print on the other side).  Sadly, I didn’t have any matching binding, so just raided my stash and went with navy blue for the ties.  These made for one of our neighbours, a teacher, who (in theory) should have been returning to work when schools reopen after 11th May BUT it turns out higher secondary school kids won’t be going back to school until September.   I would have preferred to make masks in bright, fun fabrics, but understandably, our neighbour was worried about his credibility in a classroom full of teens.  Oh well, I expect masks will still be in order in September, and neighbour is going to be wearing masks with the black fabric showing.

And on the receiving end . . .

my sister-in-law had fun with her sewing machine last month and made me the cutest bag ever.

And that’s not all . . . neighbour’s youngest daughter, Mona (who will be 3 in September) proudly presented us with some of her recent art-work.

For me

and one for the husband.


knitting for Toddler Viking (finished)

cardie finished 01

Yay!  I am so pleased to be able to share photos of the finished cardigan I’d been knitting for our grand daughter, aka Toddler Viking.  Pattern is Sirdar 1219 and I chose to knit sleeves & lower body in a fun variagated yarn, but a plain yellow for the bodice part.

cardie 01

Pattern called for a Sirdar Bamboo DK, I substituted for a Gründl acrylic/polyamide mix, also DK weight.

In all, cardigan, in size 2-3 years, required approx 120g of the variagated and 30g of the plain yellow.

cardie finished 02

Once I overcame my fears of having to follow a stitch pattern, for the bodice part, I really enjoyed knitting this project.

cardie finished 03

I was less at ease with the picking up of stitches (evenly) for the neckband and two front bands . . . and had a slight ooops with spacing my button holes . . . but all in all, I am rather proud of how it turned out.   So pleased with the progress I’ve made in following a knitting pattern, in fact, that I’m all set to cast on and start a new project!  Stay tuned!

birthdays & unbirthdays in February

There was a fair amount of secret crafting and gift giving for birthdays & an unbirthday in February . . . in chronological order . . .

bags galore05

These two bags, which I made and showed you in January, went to their new homes.  The one on the left to our neighbour, Brigitte, who celebrated her 70th birthday on 10th February.  And the one on the right was sent as an unbirthday gift to Karine.

for Avis 03

For my good friend, Avis, who is an Aquarian, like myself . . . I made a needlebook and a matching scissor fob, stitching a design by Elizabeth Almond.  My little stitched gifts were sent with the pair of Eiffel Tower scissors and a vintage wooden bobbin (thank you to the husband for sanding & staining).

for Avis 01

for Avis 02

And last, but by no means least, . . . my sister is also a February baby, although she’s a Pisces.  To her, I sent 2 jars of locally produced honey plus


One of the tote bags I made in January AND

biscornu 01

a biscornu & matching scissor fob, with pretty pair of scissors & wooden bobbin (again, thank you to the husband for sanding & staining lol).

biscornu 03 (2)

biscornu 03

biscornu 04

This blackwork design is my own (can be found on my “free chupin’s xstitch” page) although I did alter it somewhat when stitching these pieces.

While I did buy in the scissors, to gift, and also bought in some plain wooden bobbins,  all the stitching/sewing was done using supplies from my stash.

happy unbirthday – January

I’m going to try and send a few more unbirthday gifts this year . . . an idea I began a few years ago but which fell by the wayside in 2019.

For January, I sent a surprise package to a French friend, Valérie.  One of the folding bags I made recently.

bags galore03

This is the one I sent, and just in case Valérie was unsure how to go about folding, I did a little photo-montage which I printed out and sent along too.

bag folding

surprise mail – sent & received

Two photos of some surprise mail to share with you today . . . first, something received.

from EmyLuby

This lovely little pouch was made and sent by Karine of Mes101Luby.  The little story behind it . . . back in August, Karine’s husband sent out a secret message to followers of her blog asking if we could send a doggy birthday card to their dog Emy, who was 10 years old on 1st September.  I, of course, sent a card, wishing Emy a very happy birthday lol and Karine very kindly decided to send a hand-made present to all the people who had sent a birthday card. 

Next for something sent . . .

for Zineb 02

A pair of fingerless mittens crocheted following a video tutorial by Loopy Mabel.

I made these in Stylecraft DK Special “Pomegranate” for a good friend to help keep her hands warm this winter. 

spoiled by La Pie Kikou

I received a lovely surprise parcel in the letter box the other day!  An unbirthday surprise package from a French blogging friend: La Pie Kikou  who makes the most gorgeous things. 

from la pie 01

And here is what La Pie Kikou sent!  The most adorable little needle/pin case, a fabric basket and some bookmarks.

from la pie 02

The needle case is ever so cleverly made . . . it has two little stud fasteners which, once unpopped, means the case unfolds. 

As for the fabric basket . . . it’s gorgeous!  Outer fabric is the perfect print for any needleworker, with wooden bobbins, buttons and thimbles.

from la pie 03

And I’ve already found a use for it . . . it will be my little basket to keep all my CAL crochet squares until I’m ready to start assembly.

lots of this, that & the other

I’ve been away from my computer these past few days, even though I appeared to be around (the magic of scheduling posts on WP).  Where did I go?  I hear you ask . . . over to England for a long week-end, to visit family.  We stayed with Lindashee (our daughter) and Mr Lindashee, in their new house but since they live only a very brisk walk away from the Viking family, we were also able to catch up with Viking parents and Baby Viking, who we hadn’t seen since last September.

Baby Viking is 13 months old now.  Has begun taking her first steps and saying a few words.  Our short stay was filled with lots of nattering, eating, drinking and playing with our grand daughter, as well as lots of walking in the rain.   I also managed to do some crafting!

Anyway a mish mash of photos, amongst other things, a few things I had made to take over for Baby Viking.


Probably not the right season for this little outfit, which I actually made way back in the summer.  I made a size 2 years so hopefully, it’ll be a good fit for summer 2020.  Made at the same time, and using same pattern, as the Smilie top and leggings (in size 12 months).


I also got out my crochet hook and had a trial run with ripple stitch, making a small blanket for the little plush doll in carry cot, I bought recently at a carboot sale.

ripple blankie

ripple blankie 01

Baby Viking really liked the little doll, and happily pointed to all her body parts when we were singing “Head, shoulders, knees & toes” to her . . . especially good at the “eyes & ears & mouth & nose” part lol.

The only crafting supplies I took with me were a 3.5mm hook and a ball of Stylecraft, as I suspected I wouldn’t have too much free time to sit and craft.  Delays at airport and one afternoon babysitting (during naptime), saw me come home with 2 crocheted squares.

CAL blocks

Neither are perfect, and I’m debating about whether to frog or just ignore the iffy bits . . . this pattern is by Cherry Heart (aka Sandra Paul).  There’s a CAL just started, called Nature’s Walk, running from 24th Sept – 12th Nov.  It’s free to download patterns and follow, so I’m doing just that.  However I’m going with my own colour scheme and will probably go for a smaller version of the blanket.  I also won’t even attempt to keep the same pace as other CAL participants, since I can’t see me finding time to crochet one square a day, every day for 6 weeks.  Plus, I’m already over 2 weeks behind!  So I’m seeing this more as a practice project since I’ve only ever really made amigurumi in crochet.

Looks like I might also be turning my hand to soft toy sewing . . .


Lindashee gifted me these two patterns as a surprise.  I’ve certainly got plenty of fabric in my stash to have a go at some of these critters . . . will I be able to find the time though?

happy unbirthday Debbie Rose!

What with crafting for birth of Baby Viking last year, followed by xmas, which was then followed by invitations to 2 weddings for 2019, I wasn’t able to find the time to keep up my “unbirthday” scheme.  In fact, it’s been way too long since any unbirthday gifts were made & posted . . . so time to try and get back into the routine!

For July, I sent a little something to DebbieRose.


A little cross stitched card (design by Helz Cuppleditch and published in Cross Stitch Crazy) and a cross stitch kit.  “Quilting Angel” by Jim Shore.

DebbieRose does many needlecrafts, including patchwork and cross stitch . . . so hopefully, this lovely design will be right up her street!

happy retirement

A French blogging friend, La Pie Kikou,  has recently started a new chapter in her life:  retirement.

What better excuse (if excuse be needed) to send a little gift her way.  And as luck would have it, I had the perfect little card kit to stitch up for the occasion.


The design is by  Helz Cuppleditch, and kit was a freebie in Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.  Seeing this little mouse, relaxing, and twiddling his toes in his hamac, was perfect to wish a happy retirement.  However, I know La Pie won’t be twiddling her toes, as she will be busy settling into her new home, and (I hope) filling her days with crafting.  So . . . a mini charm pack of the range “Whitewashed Cottage”  was also sent, and I’m sure La Pie will make something fabulous with it.