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…

Squares together jan 14

 

 

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.

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???

All Change

It’s been a busy few months around here so blog posts have been a little scarce, sorry ’bout that, but I am back and bubbling with ideas and enthusiasm 🙂

The big new is that I have started a new job, which I completely love.  It was hard decision to leave the old one, but definitely the right one.  I think any sort of change is difficult, for me it is anyway, but the hardest bit was making the decision to go, that and leaving at the end of my last shift.  But, I got through it and now LOVE what I am doing.  There is a life lesson in there somewhere!!

I have another big change to face next week too, my little M is starting school.  I am getting a bit emotional just thinking about it now, I hope I manage to hold it together when I take him on tuesday.  He is definitely ready to school, he has a keen interest in the world around him and continually asks questions about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, although these generally get onto the subject of poo within two or three questions.  Quite a talent really!  Having said all that I am not really sure what I am going to do when he is not around all day.  I have been trying hard to remember what I used to do in my pre-M life, but all I have are a few hazy memories of waking up on the right side of 9 o’clock and choosing grown-up programmes to watch on tv.  Obviously the first one is out of the question, four years is a tad too young for going to school solo, but the latter sounds good!  I think I can probably survive the day without cebeebies 🙂  We have been busy making a Treasure Box for him to fill with special thing.  He has  to take on his fist day.  It is still work in progress but I think it is pretty good for my anti-anything-to-do-with-crafts little M.

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I have a big plan to get myself through the two weeks annual leave that I have taken to get M settled into school.  I am going to turn his bedroom from baby nursery to a cool bedroom that any four year old would be proud of.  This is likely to involve the mandatory superhero-dinosaur-pirate theme that every little boy loved for at least 30 minutes every day.  But I need ideas, google is not helping me.  Have you seen anything that may help me??

I will need fabric to make a blackout blind that actually works, I was thinking of sticking little circles of velcro strategically around the window frame to secure it, with hopefully no gap for light to wake him, and therefore me, at 530 in the morning.    Will this work??  The biggest conundrum at the moment is which bed to get him??  It definitely needs to be a proper single bed, then I can get in it when he decides to take over my bed.  How such a little person fills up a double bed never ceases to amaze me!  I am thinking storage so would like a bed with draws underneath, M on the other hand would like a den.  I am toying with this bed from The Childrens Bed Centres, but they have no reviews other than on their own website, and you can’t go and see their beds in a shop as far as I am aware.  I always spend a lot of time reading reviews before I make big purchases, so this makes me a little nervous.  But the reviews they have got seem positive, but then they wouldn’t put a bad review on their own website would they??  Advice appreciated!!

Images taken for The Childrens Bed Centre. Clicking on the images will take you through to their website.

So the big question is practical storage or exciting den?? which would you choose??

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

The Dambusters

Have you heard of  the Dam Busters? Seen the film (cue very bad english accents)? You must be humming the music by now….? well it is the 70th anniversary of the famous Second World War RAF Dam Busters’ raid today, and to commemorate this there was a flyover over the Derwent and Ladybower dams, Now I am no expert but this included an old Lancaster Bomber and some small planes, possibly Spitfires??

The Derwent and Ladybower Dam”s hold great significance, as the actual real brave Dam Busters practised their bouncing bomb e here!  See……The 617 Squadron was founded as part of Operation Chastise which was a Second World War raid on Germany’s Ruhr dams using Barnes Wallis’ revolutionary bouncing bomb and modified Lancaster bombers.  Crews trained for the operation at British reservoirs including the Derwent Dam.  The German dams which help provide vital water and electrical supplies were targeted on the night of May 16, 1943, with two dams being successfully destroyed…..Beautifully displayed in The DamBusters film ( I belive it is quite accurate but I am no historian). There is a serious element too, 8 of the 18 planes who set off for that mission didn’t come home that night, 53 dies and 2 were taken prisoner of war.  Very  very sad.

Me and my little (nearly) four-year old walked to the top of Derwent Ridge to see the display today.  For those who have never visited the Peak District, this involved a serious hike up a huge rocky peak to reach the ridge.  It is the first time I have taken him to the peaks, even though we only live 20 mins away as it is not baby/toddler friendly, think steeeeep hills, rocks, stiles, loose rocky paths etc, so it was a lovely surprise when we actually made it to the top without any complaints/200 ft falls/disappearing down a mine shaft etc etc.  I think this was helped in part by his obsession with poo/beetles/mud/puddles, all in plentiful abundance.

Here are a few photos…

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The stunning view we had looking out over the Derwent Reservoir, there is a dam situated at either end but too far for little legs to walk to.

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Can you spot the well camouflaged Lancaster Bomber?? She glided gracefully through the air below us.

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The small planes, are they spitfires??? They were very fast!

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Using the rocks as stepping-stones and looking for creatures in the heather was great fun too!

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All in all a lovely day. I am very proud that we made it to the top, all the people who walked past us (we were slow but steady!) commented that he was doing really well getting as it is quite a mountain to get up! and we made it down safely too, with a little bribery of sweets to get us right back to the car. I think I may watch the DamBusters film tonight, did I mention they filmed some of it at Derwent Dam??? Go on, treat yourself to an old war film!

Clothkits Giraffe – Sewing with a Toddler!

Happy 2013 everyone. Sorry that is a whole 20 days late, it has been a bit hectic in my little world. Illness put an end to my new years celebrations, I was tucked up in bed being poorly for 4 days. Couple that with a christmas of hospital visits, a dental abscess, and working at said hospital, it was not the happiest time for my little family. But christmas is now all packed away and we have a brand new year to look forward too!

I have been slowly working through my to do list. I got a fair few craft projects from the knit and stitch show in harrogate last december. One of which was a Giraffe kit to make. I was drawn to the simple design and bought it for me and my little M to hopefully sew together. He loves stuffed teddies and animals, and he is my number one sewing fan. Everything that I make inevitably belongs to him (in his world anyway!). He slept with my owl doorstop for a week… yes it is full of gravel to make it super heavy….. thankfully no injuries sustained!

So I bought the kit for us to sew together. And we did……

This is how it came. The kit included a reel of cotton, needle and full instrctions.

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It was really easy to stich together and the instructions very clear and simple. It all came together very fast, even M who is 3 1/2 years old sat on my knee the whole time “helping”.

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Concentrating……

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After stuffing and a bit of hand stiching to close the gap, giraffe was complete!

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Giraffe went to nursery the next day. He enjoyed it!

My Owl Doorstop

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Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon with my mum at a Christmas Doorstop Workshop. It was a great afternoon, only spoiled slightly by yet another cold I seem to have acquired. The workshop was run by Sew in the City, a fabulous fabric and haberdashery shop as well as a lovely space for workshops. This is all housed in the spectacular Nichols Building where you can easily loose a whole afternoon browsing vintage goods and eating delicious cakes. I can thoroughly recommend.

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that’s my mum’s owl on the left!

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