Triangles Into Squares

We are almost at the end of January and this is my first post of the year! How are the resolutions going? Along with many of you, I am trying to declutter and get more organised.  Cupboards have been cleaned, tiles scrubbed and bags (and bags and bags) have been delivered to charity shops across Sheffield.

All the sorting and tidying has unearthed a rather unhealthy amount of unfinished projects….so I thought I would make start on finishing these rather than adding new projects to the pile!

First on the list is this bundle of half square triangles……

triangles jan 14

 

I made these a good few months ago when I was in my *triangle phase* (thankfully I am now through that one now) , they are made mostly from an unknown Moda charm pack with some Amy Butler, Riley Blake and a splash of Liberty. Once made up I struggled with the colour and layout, there was just too much colour, pattern and points! So I bundled them all up and forgot about them until my tidy up.

When I looked at them with fresh eyes I did like everything, apart from the triangles. So I sliced and diced them into 2 1/4″ squares and stitched them back together…

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And a close up of my not-too-bad-at-all seams (just don’t look at THAT one at the bottom)…

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My plan is to quilt it with a layer of batting and calico back, and then turn it into a 50cm square cushion cover. I may even have a go at free motion quilting if I can find a simple design which will work. If you have any ideas please leave a comment below or on my Facebook page (see right), I would be most grateful.

Free-Motion Raw-Edge Appliqué Made Easy

If you *like* Little Red Monkey & Co’s Facebook page  you will know that last night I did a somewhat foolish thing.  I cracked open a bottle of wine during an impromptu sewing session.  You know the sort where you empty your entire fabric collection – including the scrap box – all over the living room.  I was inspired by a fab tutorial found on Comfort Stitching, no idea how I stumbled onto this blog (may have been the wine distracting me from online grocery shopping), but I am glad I found it.  So out came my fabric,  large helping of wine, and I was off on my free-motion-embroidery journey.  I didn’t expect it to work, i really didn’t.  Maybe it was the lack of expectation, maybe it was the wine making me carefree about that needle cm’s from my hands.  But it turned out alright……I was that pleased I made it into a cushion.  Little M has claimed it – he is my number one fan after all 🙂

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I Love Screen Printing

A little while ago I signed up for a one day course in screen printing with the fabulous Running With Scissors. Those with a good memory may remember it was here I had my first introduction to quilting and log-cabin cushion making. And now I have a new love for printmaking, particularly screen printing. I have yet to do any at home, I need to get myself a screen etc. But it is definitely on my shopping/christmas list!!

During the class I printed a folk-art inspired print onto a tea towel, with plans to frame it (still waiting) and a lovely copper sunburst onto a second tea towel, with plans to make it into a cushion (still waiting). They are pretty amazing, but the best one of all was this…..

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((Camouflage incase your wondering!!!))

I still can’t quite believe that I printed it, it’s fab 🙂 And M loves it. Now I can’t take any credit for the design, I downloaded it from the super talented Oana Befort, you can find it on her beautiful blog here. I cut the design out of an acetate, taped it onto the bottom of the screen, and voila!  Well it was a little more technical than that but all completely doable .  If you live in the area I would thoroughly recommend doing the workshop, It was a great introduction to the world of screen printing.

Now I am off to dust down the free-motion embroidery needle on my sewing machine, I have signed up to a F-ME class in a few weeks.  If I remember correctly I downed tools last time I had a go at this at home as I couldn’t get the bobbin thread to lay flat, it was all loopy.  Do you have any words of wisdom for me???

My ATC Has Arrived!

I was so excited to receive my ATC this week. The tiny beautiful stitching is the neatest I have ever seen……

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The back is just as lovely……

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The beautiful ribbon wrapped up my little parcel, and is strategically placed to cover up details that my swap partner Gwen of Celtic Fusion Fabrics (how lucky was I!!) might not want splashed about the Internet.

Celtic Fusion Fabrics is genuinely one of my most favourite online fabric shops, they do the most amazing fabric bundles, including smallies which are bundles of fat 1/8ths. Perfect for little patchwork projects. I have alway had fabulous customer service too, highly recommended shop!!

My own trading card- I named her Lulu – is now safely with her new owner who loves her 🙂

I am really looking forward to the next swap later this year, keep an eye on Ali’s blog Very Berry Handmade for details if you would like I join in too!

First ATC Swap Completed!!

My first ATC swap is currently on route to it’s new owner (it is a secret swap so ssssshhhhh). Here is a sneaky peak….

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It is the first *swap* that I have done and I have loved it! I had never heard of a Textile Artist Trading Card before reading Ali’s post and signing up for the 1st Very Berry Handmade swap. But once I started my research (aka google) I realised that they are more common than you would think. There is a fabulous Flickr group which shows the cards made for this swap, they are all pretty awesome! I would link it but not sure how, I am very new to Flickr, in fact I joined it for this swap. If you search *very berry handmade ATC swap* then you should find the group.

I hope you have be inspired to join in with the next swap over at Very Berry Handmade!!

Stitches and Stepping-Stones

I was lucky enough to receive Ayumi Takahashi’s book, Patchwork, Please! for my birthday last month. It is a fabulous introduction to paper piecing, and just what I needed. My first attempt is going well now that I understand the whole fabric underneath/paper on top so you can’t see it thing! This is the paper pattern for the coaster (Mug Rug) that I have traced from the book ((it should be enlarged to make a pot stand but I am too impatient!))

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And here is the back which is actually the front! I am sure you will agree it is coming along nicely, and a great way to use up scraps.

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My embroidered toadstool design is nearly finished too. I think I may add some applique flowers and maybe a tiny bee buzzing around in the sky somewhere. I also need to decide what to do with it when it is finished. I may keep it in the frame and use as a wall hanging, I had originally planned to incorporate it into a cushion, but I am not sure my stitching will be able to withstand daily life with a toddler. What else could I do with it??

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My Textile Artist Trading Card is finished and ready to be posted off to it’s new owner! I am so pleased with how it has turned out, I love my design and will probably be incorporating it into more things in the future. here is a sneeky peak until I photograph it finished. I hope the new owner likes it!

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And the stepping stones in a woodland not too far from us. Very exciting if you are 3 (not so much if you are trying to keep the 3 yr old dry!!)

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Have a nice day xxxx

My First Textile Artist Trading Card Swap

I have just signed up to be part of a textile artist trading card swap which is being hosted by over at Very Berry Handmade, a lovely blog and online shop written from here in the UK.

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It is the first time I have done anything like this, but it is quite exciting to think something I make might be sent to the other side of the world.  I have also never heard of textile artist trading cards until I read the sign-up post.  I have done a little research *read Google Images* and they look pretty cute and easy to construct.  I have a few ideas in my head to fit in with the theme of Something New, but it makes me a little nervous to be making something for someone else.  On the other hand, I will also be receiving one made by someone else, and I know that it will be fabulous because someone will have put great thought, time and effort into it for me.  So maybe I shouldn’t worry so much??

If you are tempted to come and join the very first Very Berry Handmade Textile Artist Trading Card Swap with me please click on one of the links above, it would be good to have some friends along for the ride 🙂

Birthday Thoughts – Quilts, Sewing and Critters

It is my proper birthday and my blog birthday this week or thereabouts. It has been a whole year since I introduced these guys to the world…

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I enrolled on a two day quilting course last year and have now caught the quilting bug (and a severe blog reading addiction!)…

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And my latest Ta Daaaaa, which hasn’t even been blogged yet (my little one is growing up too!)

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I have learned a huge amount from other bloggers and have made some blog-friends along the way too!!

A few weeks ago I turned this ….

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…into this!

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(Another Ta Daaaa moment!)

There have been ups and downs in both my virtual world and real life, but what a year I have had. A lovely thing about blogging is that it leaves a snapshot of the nice things that have happened. I created this blog with the intention of recording my creations and developing my style. I have certainly done that!! Never in a million years did I think that anyone would read it! Thankyou to each and every one of you who stumbles upon my blog, thanks even more for choosing to follow* my Little Red Monkey escapades. You have helped and encouraged me more than you can ever know 🙂

(*via a blog reader, facebook or twitter – its my bithday, I am allowing myself a plug!)