Getting Christmassy!

Last week I found that my to-do list wasn’t too long, so I took the opportunity to grab a few hours at work to make one of this year’s advent calendars from Stof Fabrics.

Rather than the traditional colours, I decided I would make one in the copper colour way to show people just how lovely and effective it is! Stof do some really lovely Christmas fabrics.

I had fun with a little free motion quilting on the top too, trying to follow the swirls 🙂  Think I succeeded ok!

copper advent calendar from Stof Fabrics

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Winter’s Lane Table Runner Photos

My Mum’s been making table runners recently for the shop, using Moda mini charm packs, so whilst I was taking photos of the latest one today, I also took some more photos of the table runner I made at the beginning of this year, using Moda’s Winter’s Lane fabric by Kate and Birdie.

winter's lane table runner

At Quiltmarket a few weeks ago, Moda launched Kate & Birdie‘s forthcoming fabric collection,Winterberry, a sister collection to Winter’s Lane. Sadly we have to wait until May 2015 before it will be here in the UK 😦

Quilt Show

Last Saturday Mum and I made the annual trip to the Quilt Show at Westpoint in Exeter. I love this show. It’s a nice size and there’s usually an excellent quilt exhibition alongside some nice stalls. It’s also a really nice morning out with Mum.

Even though I own a fabric shop, I still managed to find some fabric and a bag kit to buy!

fabric purchases

Sunday was a wet and miserable day, so a perfect day for staying in and doing some sewing. Unfortunately it was one of those days when nothing went right and I don’t really have anything to show for it, apart from a drawstring project bag to put the socks I’m currently knitting in. I am trying to make a cover for a recipe folder and ended up unpicking the pieces so many times as I tried to make it fit, that I am just going to start again!

I made a lampshade!

Not a lot happening here on the crafting front these past couple of months.

At the end of September Mum, hubby and I went to the craft show at Westpoint, Exeter. It’s something Mum and I do every year and this year, my husband thought he’d come along too out of interest, bless him! I was fairly restrained. Bought some pinflair glue for my mother-in-law and some fabric with VW camper vans on. Not sure what I’ll make with it yet… maybe cushions for our VW T5 van which we are planning to convert to a camper one day.

20131023-175344.jpg

I haven’t really done much knitting at all. There’s a secret project on the sticks at the moment which I can’t talk about but I’m just not feeling inspired. Not sure why. I have started a top-down jacket but I think it’s going to be too small, so the thought of starting again has made me put it down and not pick it up again.

I’ve only done a little bit of work on my quilt too.

However the Saturday before last, we hosted a lampshade making workshop in the shop, and thanks to my Mum for minding the shop, I was able to join in a make a lampshade too. The class was taught by Ruth from Quincy Lampshades and she was a great teacher: she explained things very well, and we all went home excited and pleased with how our lampshades turned out.

My husband was impressed when I got home and immediately hung it in the spare room.

my lampshade

You can see some photos of the workshop on the Hulu Crafts Facebook page.

The Art of Quilting

When I first started this blog, I had just started to collect issues of a partwork magazine called The Art of Knitting.  Knitting a blanket square every week from this magazine really got me going with my knitting and I ended up with a lovely blanket.

A couple of years later the publishers started a series called The Art of Crochet. I bought a few issues, but I’ve never really been taken with doing crochet very much.

However yesterday, Mum picked up a copy of the Art of Quilting, another new title from the publishers. Each week you get some fabric and instructions to sew a block, which will form part of a lovely looking quilt.

the art of quilting magazine

I’m hoping that by starting to collect this magazine for a while, that it will give me the motivation I need to get sewing…

A Sunday afternoon sewing project

The Sunday before last, I had a little bit of spare time (quite rare at the moment!) and I did a spot of sewing… this time I made myself a new apron 🙂

My Mum had made one recently which I really liked and so I decided to make a similar one. Hers is brown with a cream colour pocket, mine is blue with a brown pocket.

The fabric I used is some canvas fabric from Moda’s Pure collection by Sweetwater

apron made from Moda Pure canvas fabrics
My apron

It was extremely straight forward to make. I already have a plastic apron which is just the right size, so I laid it on the fabric, cut around it to get the shape, folded over the edges and sewed all the way around, including a neck strap and waist straps at the appropriate points.  The pocket was just a rectangle, top-sewn onto the middle of the apron.  It didn’t take me long to do.

I like it so much though, that I don’t want to wear it, in case I get it mucky!

Mum’s been very creative

My Mum is a very clever lady.  She’s been almost glued to her sewing machine these past few weeks, making toys for both display in my shop and for our friends’ children. But she’s also been coming up with lots of nice little things for Christmas.  These placemats are one of her ideas.

Christmas placements

She used the gold stars fabric for the main part and then cut borders from a piece of the Novelty Borders Christmas Fabric.  She sewed them together and used some special heat resistance wadding. She backed them with a piece of the Classic Stripe Christmas Fabric.

Sewing projects for fabric scraps

The other day I came across these cute ideas about what to do with left over fabric.  They seem quick and easy to do, ranging from a patchwork cushion to hair accessories to small toys.

http://www.allaboutyou.com/craft/sewing-crafts-craft-ideas-fabric-scraps/v1

patchwork cushion patternlavender bagsmouse pin cushion

Just thought someone might be interested!

Happy Mother’s Day

Anybody knitting a gift for their Mum this Mother’s Day?  I’m not, but I am giving her some lovely fat quarters that she admired when we went to a Quilting exhibition a couple of weeks ago.

mothers-day-stash

Did I tell you about that exhibition?  I don’t think I did!

It was a really nice morning out at a quilting show in Exeter.  It was a small show, but all our favourite fabric suppliers were there and I ended up buying lots of pretty fat quarters and some fun fabric for making some bags with.  Mum signed up for a block a month quilt project too, which she’s looking forward to starting.

Back from India and gearing up for Christmas

I got back from India on Sunday. It was an interesting trip and although I didn’t get to see many sites, I think I got a good flavour of Indian life. The area I visited was quite different from the usual images of places like Delhi or Mumbai which are colourful and hectic. I was up in a town called Kalimpong in the foothills of the Himalayas, near the Nepal border, where life is slightly slower. I also visited Darjeeling (v. disappointing) and a remote village called Lamagaon which only got electricity two years ago.

I did look to see if there was any interesting yarn available and I did spot a couple of yarn shops but they only sold brightly coloured acrylic stuff. I did however get some lovely Tibetan fabric. Can’t remember the proper name of it now, but I think I will use it to make some bags of various sizes, a Bible cover and things like that. It was only about £1 a metre and I loved the patterns. Cutting fabric and sitting at a sewing machine is quite a scary prospect though!!

fabric from tibet

I got back to see that my parents had decorated the house and Mum had made some mince pies… yum! I need to sort out what Christmas presents I have and if I need to buy any more before the Christmas deadline at Amazon! I have work all week and I’m going to a friend’s wedding on Saturday so don’t have anytime to get to the shops before Christmas Day! I must finish my brother’s Starsky cardigan this week too before he comes home on Sunday.

It is decidedly cold here in the UK too and it was a bit of shock when we landed at Heathrow yesterday. Not as cold as it is in some parts of the US though – the snowstorm pictures look amazing. It reminds me of when we spent Christmas in Vermont a couple of years ago. It makes me want to go back but I’ve already got all my annual leave booked up next year with trips to a Christian conference in North Wales, Malawi and Singapore, all of which will be great, but I do love going to the US.