Monday, 23 December 2013

Handspun Hat

I used some of my handspun yarn to make my dad a nice warm hat. The fleece I used was some black welsh mountain and I spun it semi Worstead style as the fleece was carded rather than combed. I was very surprised how even it knitted up as I have been apprehensive of knitting with my handspun as it does not look perfectly even. But I was pleased with the finished knit and my dad seems please too! 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Weaving Workshop with the the Worstead spinners, weavers and dyers

I recently became a member of the Worstead Weavers, spinners and dyers group in Dilham near Wroxham. We meet on Tuesdays and Saturdays and all the people are really lovely and friendly. Last week we had a weaving taster day. I had never woven before and I learnt a lot that day. We used fingers pegs and a peg loom to start. Here are the samples I made, not enough to make anything with but I got the hang of the technique. These could be used for making bag straps or a rug for instance.

We went on to more complicated looms. I made this scarf (below) on an ashford knitters loom. 

Lastly we used the Ashford 8 shaft loom. This was my favourite as you could do lots of patterns on it. However, I think the knitters loom is more my level as I would not have a clue how to set up the Warp! Definitely a craft I would like to continue! 

Fluffy Cloud shawl

I love the shawl knitting patterns written by Boo knits (there patterns can be found on Ravelry), I chose the pattern called promise me and Angel by Debbie Bliss in white. This yarn is 76% Mohair and 24% silk, an absolute joy to knit with. The pattern was very easy to follow and includes diagrams as well as written instructions. I used 6 tubes of Clear/white (ICL) Miyuki seed beads size 6/0 with only about 10 left to spare. I added an extra repeat of the lace pattern in the mid section of the shawl to make it larger and I used the standard stretchy cast off from the pattern and decided against adding extra beads to the edge. If you have not used beads in your knitting you must try it, it was such a pleasure to see the little beads integrated into the knit. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How to line a wicker basket

I bought a basket from a car boot sale a while ago and I have finally got around to lining it. I decided to post instructions of how I lined it. First here is how it turned out...

I have written a pdf tutorial for lining a wicker basket. Click here to download the pdf.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

3D Christmas tree

I went to a course on the 9th November on how to make a 3D Christmas tree with Sally Holman. I only managed to complete one layer at the class (probably due to too much talking!) but I have finished the rest off at home. Sally inspired me to embellish. I bought two of her books at the class, she brought along a few of her projects which were gorgeous! Sally's tree was much more intricate with much nicer embroidery  and embellishment. So here is my version. 

I think I might spray the star with gold glitter so it matches the gold on the tree, what do you think?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Owl cushion cover version 2

I finally finished the second owl cushion cover. I used heart appliqué to decorate the back. Using up scraps of material I had left over from the front. For this I used the heat and bond method.

Watch out for my next blog. I am currenty making a Christmas tree that I started at a class run by Sally Holmann. Watch this space!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Owl cushion cover

I wanted to try the freezer paper method of appliqué. Tricia Vint (aka The pied pedlar on google blogger) showed me how and this is how it turned out. 

I used large vermicelli free motion quilting to surround the owl. I made it into a cushion cover with a pink trim around the edge and a heart trim on the back (bottom, centre photo). I made the back opening overlap so I did not need to use any buttons or zips. I think if I was going to do it again I would make sure I snip around the edges at more regular intervals before folding over the appliqué. This would have made the edges smoother. Also I ended up padding the eyes with some wadding to make the eyes pop out and prevent the grey owl body fabric showing through the white of the eyes. I hand stitched the eyes and the beak on but the rest I attached using my machine.

I made another version of the Owl using the heat and bond method which I preferred compared to the freezer paper. I also used the blanket stitch to attach all the pieces using my machine, which I was very pleased with. I was thinking of turning this into another cushion cover but I am not sure yet. I will post the final product when it's finished. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Christmas goodies

Last week at the last meeting of patchwork and quilters at Drayton we made a Reindeer. Mine looks a little funny, not as good as the other ladies but it was still fun to make!

I also made some little tree ornaments in the form of snowmen and gingerbread men. I made four of each for the charity sale at sew simple this Saturday. Not long now until Christmas!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Grab and go project bag

I decided to use up some of the yarn I had been spinning. However, some of my earlier efforts were not very even so I decided to make a felted bag. I used a mixture of different sheep wool. These included Wensleydale, texel, whiteface woodland, Dorset horn and some unknown fleece that I learnt to spin with at Norfolk yarn. 

The pattern I used was Grab and go pattern from etsy. However, I used an 8mm crochet hook instead. It looked absolutely massive before I felted it! It was about 1 meter across!! I used about 500g of yarn that was about an Aran / chunky weight. This was much more than the pattern suggested as I used a larger hook and yarn. I felted it in the washing machine at 40 degrees on a short wash ( about 40 min), but I ended up washing it another two times before I was happy with the felting. I think it was because the bag was so large! After felting it was less than half the original size. The pattern states to use eyelets, however, I ended up taking them out.

Here are some images... 

Cushion cover with stripes and buttons

I wanted to use some alpaca fleece that was not good enough for spinning. So I thought I would fill a cushion with it. The cover is made from a piece of linen fabric that I got as an off cut from a upholstery shop. I used one of the many stitches on my new Pfaff quilt expression 4.2 sewing machine and added a few buttons from my rather large stash of buttons. I was very pleased with the overlock stitch on the pfaff, brilliant for finishing off the linen fabric that is so prone to fraying. I made a sleeve out of calico and stuffed it with alpaca fleece before i sewed it up by hand. I placed this inside the cover so that i could remove the cover for washing. Anyway enough of my rambling here it is....

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Free motion without fears!! Thanks to Linda Turner

On Saturday I went to a class lead by Linda Turner (organised by Norfolk Quilters). I had previously tried to free motion but I really needed some tuition. Linda was such a good teacher, she really made it a fun class. I did not realise how many things you need to know before you start, for example using the correct needle and thread. So here are some examples of free motion. They are just small practice pieces I am not making into anything particular. I am going to use them as a reference to decide what free motion pattern to use on future quilts. The top left image is a section i have turned into a book mark by satin stitching the edges. The first set of images are from my earlier efforts...

After some practice I felt it was getting much easier. I am much more pleased with the next batch..

I absolutely love it though and can't wait to do some on a proper quilt!!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

English paper piecing

I have had my first go at English paper piecing this month. I inherited the fabric so it was not what I normally would have chosen but I thought I would give it a go. I used both paper and card hexagon templates and I found that the paper ones were easier to work with. I cut the fabric to approximately a quarter inch larger than the hexagon papers. I folded the fabric over the hexagon paper and tacked it in place without knotting the cotton so the tacking was easier to remove. To join the hexagons I used whip stitch. Here are the hexagons I have joined so far, I am planning on adding straight boarders and some appliqué on top of the hexagons to cover some of the less attractive fabrics. I was thinking of making the lower one in to a Christmas theme quilt. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Petrol blue annis shawl

I found a free pattern for a shawl on ravelry ( and decided to have a go. 
I used austermann merino lace in teal.  

Here is the finished results...

It turned out to be a quick knit although I found the long edge cast on a little tedious. 
But worth it in the end. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Colouriscious zip pockets

I spun some Aran weight yarn from some colour blended merino (Yorkshire range from Wingham wool work). I tried to ply the yarn so that the colour changes coordinated. Here is the finished yarn.

I knitted a simple rectangle and sewed the side a bottom edges to form a pocket.

As the yarn is not super even I decided to felt it to smooth out those oversized stitches. I also crocheted a similar pocket to test how the colours would come out with the different techniques. I used treble crochet on the crochet pocket so it came together very quickly. However, I forgot to take a picture of the crocheted version before I felted it. I popped the pockets in the machine at 50 degrees on a standard cycle. Once I reshaped the pockets and allowed them to dry I sewed on zips. Here is the finished result. I much prefer how the colours came out on the knitted version. I think felting is a great way to use up my handspun yarn while I am still learning to spin. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

More Handmade knickers - bikini brief

I loved the last knicker making kit so much that I ordered a second kit, this time I ordered the bikini brief instead of the shorts from Emma Kidd. If you want to order a kit yourself you can find Emma's email address and more details of the knicker styles on Emma's website.

This time I think I made a better job of the stitching. I decreased my presser foot pressure down to 2 from 4.6 and it was so much easier to sew neatly without puckering the lace. I have also made a pattern from the pieces sent in the kit so I can make more, so watch this space!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Matilda Blouse

After watching the sewing bee tv series I wanted to make the blouse that Tilly made on the show. I found you could purchase the pattern from her website Tilly and the buttons. So here is my version in pink floral viscose. I think I need to work on my fitting technique as the bust does not fit perfectly, but Tilly's instructions on her website were very helpful! I learned a lot making this blouse with the help of Tilly.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cathedral Window folding techniques

My friend tricia ( introduced me to cathedral window and a range of similar folding techniques published by Lynn Edwards. I loved them so much I bought a couple of Lynn's books which are absolutely wonderful. I have photographed them below.

The cathedral window and other folded blocks used in my wall hanging were from the book on the left. I made 9 blocks in a cream floral fabric and calico. I joined the blocks together with strips of the floral cream fabric. I used the same fabric to make a border around the 9 blocks. I then layered the top with thin batting and calico for the backing. I used straight quilt stitch to enhance the windmill blocks and free motion quilting to frame the trumpets block (bear in mind that this is my first real go at free motion quilting). Finally I bound the quilt  with a 2.5 inch strip of calico, attachment to the quilt was achieved by machine stitch, folding over to the back of the quilt and sewing in place by hand. I hand stitched tabs to the top of the quilt for hanging.

I really love this method of quilting, I hope to make more! Anyway here it is.  

Some close ups.....

Cathedral window



Friday, 26 July 2013

Pencil case for Grace

Grace is my niece and as she is going to start junior school next September so I decided to make her a personalised pencil case. I started with a rectangle of linen/viscose furniture material which I overlooked before doing anything else as it frayed really badly. I cut two rectangles of calico the same size as the linen. I used one of the calico rectangles to stabilise the linen while I added rows of elephants and Grace's full name, using my new pfaff sewing machine. I folded the rectangle right sides together and joined a zip along the shorter edges on both sides. Then with right sides together I joined the side seams and turned the case the right way out. To create a lining the remaining rectangle of calico was folded in the same orientation and sewn along the edges (quarter inch more on each side than the linen section), then I folded over a half inch of material on the open edge and sewed in place by hand. Unfortunately the yellow in the multicoloured thread does not show up very well in the photo. I hope Grace likes it!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

TV Tray removable pressing cover

I saw this post by Elizabeth Hartman showing how to make your own pressing table from a TV table:

I don't have much space in my craft room and thought this was a great alternative to having a massive ironing board in the way!

I had a tv table myself but did not want to transform it permanently into a pressing table, 
so I decided to make a removable one with ties on each corner.
 I layered calico, foil, thin batting, two layers of heat proof batting and a top layer of calico.
I bound the section in calico adding ties before sewing on the binding. 

I have tried it out and even with the iron on steam the table still feels cool underneath! 
Thanks for giving me the idea Elizabeth! 

Stitch Markers

I desperately needed some more stitch markers as I am knitting a massive shawl with lots of marked repeats. I used 6mm split rings, silver headpins and a selection of beads and charms. I got the charms from the Norwich bead and textile fair in April. To make the beaded stitch markers I threaded the beads onto the headpins, made a loop with the end wire with round nosed pliers and threaded them onto the split rings. The split rings fit up to 5mm needles once the headpins were threaded on. You can never have too many stitch markers for knitting!

Handmade Camisole and knickers

I have always been apprehensive about sewing on stretchy fabric. So I decided to bite the bullet and do a course that involved sewing stretch fabric, a Camisole making course at makeplace Norwich ( 

The course was run by Emma Kidd, she was an amazing teacher and I learnt so much! I loved making the camisole so much I have made a few more since!

Emma also sells kits to make your own knickers and as I loved making the camisole so much I bought a kit to make shorts style knickers. If you want to order one of these kits contact Emma via this website: You can order kits for skimpy shorts and bikini briefs as well. I am thinking of ordering one of the other styles too! Here is a sneak peak at the ones I made. They are so comfortable. Emma advises that you trace out the pattern so you can make more from up cycled fabric, so I can make loads more!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Botanical dreams shawl

I purchased the pattern Sweet dreams from boo knits on Ravelry ( I bought it as a PDF called the in love collection which included 4 other shawl patterns. The pattern was so easy to follow and the shawl came out lovely. I can't wait to try the other patterns! I used collinette jitterbug yarn in a mixture of greens, browns and purple colours. I absolutely love this yarn! It is so soft and lovely to knit with. I was not sure the shawl was going to come out very large before it was blocked. However, once blocked it was a perfect size and rests nicely on my shoulders. I knit the medium size described in the pattern. Anyway here are some pictures. The colours in the images are a little less purple than in real life.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Bed runner

My mum requested a bed runner for her king size bed. I found a website with a block pattern called the dissapearing four patch ( I used squares from a charm pack and 6 fat quarters of matching fabric as well as the backing. I modified the block so that the final cuts were 2 inched from the centre line.

I made  2 rows of 14 blocks (28 blocks in total), quilted simple squares on each block and joined them using the quilt as you go method. 

The ladies at Drayton patchwork and quilters suggested I use prairie point to finish off the runner. I am so pleased they suggested it as it really does match the blocks really well. 

The picture below shows the runner on my bed not my mums so it does not go very well with the carpet! I am afraid the images don't do the fabric justice, it appears more pink compared to the images. I bought the fabric a couple of years ago, it's a charm pack from moda.

A closer look...