Friday, March 29, 2013

First piece

After my patchwork quilting course in January I haven't felt the pull to do any more patchworking, those small squares and neat lines are not where my hands and heart are right now. The thing that I really loved though was the machine applique we did and so for the last few weeks I've been working away on a little applique quilted hanging. It was meant to just be a practice piece but I find it almost impossible to be patient and spend lots of time practicing. I know I could get better results if I did but my craft time is so limited that I always get sucked in to making it in to something. Luckily this type of piece is very forgiving so it has nicely combined lots of learning with an end piece fit to gift.
 After appliquing hearts  to a piece of calico and embroidering some text on I trimmed down the piece and bordered it with some plain deep blue cotton. I then made a sandwich with batting and some more of the calico. To quilt the piece I sewed a button heart and then just three little embroidered running stitch hearts. I haven't got a hand quilting hoop yet but think I'm going to get addicted enough to this to invest in yet more equipment!
 I then attached some bought bias binding (I couldn't resist this pretty stuff on our last trip to Bath in November though I had no idea what I would use it for - the haberdashery stall in the Guildhall market there has a very tempting range of ribbons and binding). I managed to attach it working backwards because I like to make things trickier! I'd read instructions and watched tutorials, but anyway at least it was small enough to manage it the wrong way round. I really struggle with being able to see ahead to what the practical implications of right/left inside/outside are for some reason.
Which is what I'm blaming my second mitred corner cock up on. Having had beginner's luck and got the first one right I then had a brain fritz and sewed round the whole corner - this of course then doesn't leave you any room to turn it out the right way so the unpicker and I had a little time together at this point.

  Still not perfect but at least it folded back.
 Yay - I can do mitred corners!
 Once the binding was machined on I then folded it round and hand stitched down the back.
Added a couple of loops and a twig from the garden and yay - I love it! Let's hope little Emily Grace is as keen!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A very woolly day out


If you could make it out of wool then I think you could find it at the Wool House  exhibition just finishing up at Somerset House this weekend. A wool loving friend and I had such a fun day out there on Thursday. 

The attention to detail and commitment to the vision of the showcase was truly impressive. From the courtyard colourful sheep statues and topiary made from fleece guide you to a wing that has been lavished with amazing creations. Stepping foot into the lobby brings delightful surprise after delightful surprise as your eyes are being drawn to a crochet life size bear or a hug of a chair, you think you are about to step on to a checkerboard floor of marble until you sink into a deeply luxurious carpet. The best of everything that wool can do from high fashion, through every style of furnishing and decoration for the home displayed in meticulously designed room settings to a craft room full of delights. I was so proud to feel part of this woolly world, to be already a convert to its delights and was so inspired by the quality of the craftsmanship, the inventiveness and the riot of colour and texture.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A deliciously ridiculous level of excitement over a kit

Have I ever discussed my unnatural love for craft kits before? I swoon for a little package that promises to have all supplies and instructions in one place and make crafting something easy. Sometimes I even get tempted by knitting kits with yarn and needles. I've so far resisted those as it would be like carrying coal to Newcastle. (Though I did learn to knit by buying a kit so perhaps that's the root of all of this passion for packaged bits of stuff that I already have.)

Now there are kits and then there are Kits.There are some kits that I am almost powerless to resist. The kits from Alicia Paulson. Oh my. These are the Rolls Royce of kits, fabulous design, quality contents, personalised note, so much promise that I too can craft like her! I know I should buy the PDF and use up some of the supplies I already have or get stuff I need locally but oh then I wouldn't have the delight of opening them up. Of staring a while, turning it over in my hands without even opening the cellophane so that I can appreciate the meticulous organisation. Then I ease out the pattern and try and preserve the supplies undisturbed until I'm actually ready to dive in and begin. If I were a rich woman I might just have to buy two of each kit so I could preserve the work of art that arrives in the post and have the fun of making it - or perhaps more accurately starting to make it...

These kits are definitely a guilty pleasure as even though I always have the best of intentions I might not always actually finish the product, I was going to have to admit to never - Christmas ornament kits I'm looking at you  - and then I remembered the Country Girls  - phew! Anyway it's an indulgence I'm never going to give up as long as I have pennies in my bank account. If opening some nice post can make me so happy it can't be wrong and of course Miss Maggie Rabbit will soon be hopping around on this blog.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I've caught one!

An actual FO. Wha?! Thought those didn't happen round here any more. Second one of the year. Like the first it's a two colour Honey Cowl. Love it. I was spurred on this weekend by news of a cold snap and cold and snappy it has been. It's had three days wear now and so I am pleased to say spring can shuffle right along in now please. I'll happily wash this sweetie and put her to bed to wait for next winter. Though it's been ridiculously mild really overall this winter we are getting the coldest bit at the tail end and I am ready for springing gaily in the daffodils stat.

Anyway, it is not spring we are here to discuss it is the woolly lap companion that is now a wearable neck companion, here are the details:
Pattern: Honey Cowl - MadelineTosh
Yarn: Dye for Yarn - Wool/Silk DK in Peacock butterfly taking a dirt nap and A dark storm is coming near
Needles: 5mm, 100cm circ
Started: January 2013
Finished: March 2013

Fourth time around. Wouldn't bet against more of these for next winter time gifts as it's such a pleasing, meditative knit. Especially in the two colour for extra visual entertainment. These lovelies were chosen by my dear Squam pal, Lily, who went to the Dye for Yarn shop in person. Very special to me because of that and because this yarn and their colours really are something to treasure. Their colourway names are everything I think colour names should be, no boring numbers, full on descriptive. LOVE. Venture in to the shop link with care as these are pricey little darlings but hard to resist for that special something. The slinkyness next to my neck is most appreciated as is the way the tones work with the lovely depth and texture of this pattern.

Every time I've made this I've thought hmm it is longer and less wide than I would really like, which I could so easily have adjusted by casting on less stitches but that would have meant finding a shorter circ and we all know the rumours about the state of my craft supplies. So long and narrowish is where we stayed and round my neck this shall stay until someone turns up the temperature.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Craft power

So all that talk about tidying craft supplies this weekend? Well as it got closer I knew all I wanted to do today was CRAFT. I was all talk yesterday evening, "I'm going to POWER CRAFT tomorrow, sew this, knit that, make cards, jewellery blah blah blah". Probably an entire new craft could have been learned as well...

Turns out the power of the craft was in the pace it got me too. No more capital letters here now. All is mellow and right with the world after a bit of knitting here and there. I kind of sewed some hearts, thought mainly I played with fabric. Just  finding time to stop and stare, letting the power of craft have its way.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Domestic duties

In a rare turn of events I seem to have been doing dutiful things such as cleaning and tidying this weekend in place of more creative pursuits. I'm not sure it quite qualifies as spring cleaning but I admit I feel a little lighter for how organised my wardrobe is now. If only I was naturally a tidy person! Still it's all secretly just preparatory work for what I hope I'll get to next weekend - sorting out the craft supplies. Yay!

It should also be noted that the squock and I have had a fair few quality moments  together and I may have had a couple of nice lunches out with the Mr. Hmmm not quite chained to the kitchen sink after all :)

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