Sunday, 3 March 2019

A February Blanket

Thanks to Archie the Wonder Dog, here is another post from me. Organising the link-up "Mini Archie's February Furtle Around The Blogosphere" every month is (at least this month) doing the job of providing some motivation to write a post.

While my main craft-love goes to quilt making, the first craft I learned (other than sticking balls of tissue paper onto a background in play school) is crochet. And so when I decided to try and reduce my yarn box I turned to making a corner-to-corner blanket.

Undoubtedly it isn't perfect, but it is pretty enough, and used up some of my stash (as well as some bought yarn to coordinate). It turned out to be sooo easy, too!
I know it doesn't look quite square in the photo, but that is more a failure of photography I'm afraid...

Look at that texture:

I finished with a shell-like edge, and that was very easy too. So now I am all into crochet again, who knows what will happen next...

The pattern, like its name, works from one corner, starting with a few stitches, and increasing in every row until you decide it is large enough. Then you start decreasing in every row until you have made it to the opposite corner. In the mean time I changed colour as and when I liked, or when the yarn ran out.

Doesn't it look yummy?!

My next project will involve some quilts again, though. There is the small matter of the Finish-A-Long list... I haven't worked on those projects yet, and the quarter will finish at the end of the month. Oops!!
And why didn't I add this blanket to the list? Oh yes, I only started this after making my list... I'm easily distracted by a new project I'm afraid!! At least it got finished.

Have a look at the other posts in the linkup by clicking on the image below, there has been such wonderful crafty activity this month. Or, if you're quick, maybe you have your own post to link up?

Archie The Wonder Dog


Monday, 11 February 2019

Prizes for the last quarter of the 2018 Finish-A-Long

We are at the last post to round off the 2018 Finish-A-Long. Today we are celebrating 392 (!!) finished projects in Quarter 4 of the 2018 FAL. So many of you are joining in and getting their UFOs or WIPs out of that dark corner, and into the limelight to be shown off as a finish. If you are in need of inspiration go on over and have a look, there were so many great makes. And of course, thanks to our many generous sponsors, we are finishing off the quarter and the year by announcing the lucky winners!!

Without further ado, the winners picked by the Random Number Generator of the 2018 Q4 FAL prizes are:

The Q4 Winner of the $50 Gift Certificate from Fat Quarter Shop is Kate who blogs at Life in Pieces and she finished this adorable Halloween themed quilt:



The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF Patterns from During Quiet Time is Helene on IG @30hela and she finished this lovely rainbow solids quilt :

The Q4 prize of the $25 Gift Certificate from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Heather who blogs at Peachy Pages and she finished this Dresden Ohio quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF Patterns from Quilting Jet Girl is Cheryl on Flickr at Paisley Crazy and she finished this pretty quilt that she gifted as a wedding present:



The Q4 Winner of the $20 Gift Certificate from Sew Me a Song is Mary and she blogs at Quilting is in My Blood and she finished this Floating Hexagons quilt with a wonderful quilting pattern:



The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF Patterns from Happy Quilting is Celine and she blogs at EspritPatch and she finished this Tabor V-neck top:


The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF Patterns from Charm About You is Teresa via IG @misdosbichillos and she finished these super cute house ornaments:


The Q4 Winners (3x) of the 6 Month Subscription to Make Modern Magazine are:

1.  Melanie who blogs at Mel Meyer.  She finished this rainbow Sew Together bag:

2.   Kat who blogs at Craftaholic Kat.  She finished these cheery Christmas pillows:

3. Debbie who blogs at A Quilter's Table.  She finished this Bee Sewcial group quilt inspired by Gwen Marston:


The Q4 prize of the $25 Gift Certificate from Studio 39 Fabrics goes to Leslie via IG @sugarhousequilter and she finished this Accentuate the Positive quilt in warm colors:


 The Q4 Winner of the $25 Gift Certificate from Tartan Kiwi is Magdalena via IG @magdalenadetz and she finished this English paper pieced pillow for her living room:



The Q4 Winner of the Minikins bundle from Sew Sweetness is Robin via IG @robinbirdrobin and she finished this lovely Christmas tree skirt for a friend:


The Q4 prize of the $50 Gift Certificate from Mad About Patchwork goes to Jan via IG @snell.jan and she finished this fantastic floral quilt:

The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF Patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts is Sheila who blogs at Chez Budsmam and she finished this cute mini tuffet:


The Q4 Winner of the $30 Gift Certificate from Clover & Violet is Helen via IG @archiewonderdog and she finished this drawstring knitting bag for her Mother:


Congratulations to all the winners!  Thank you for playing along with us in the fourth quarter, and we hope you are joining us in this new year. We love to encourage you to finish up all those WIPs and UFOs, and to see what great makes will be finished next time.

This post officially finishes up the 2018 Finish-A-Long and we want to give a huge thank you to all of this years hosts: Sandra, Marci, Leanne, Karen, Izzy, Lynne, Ella and Felicity.  Each of you made this task of the FAL easy and enjoyable.  A gigantic thank-you to this years sponsors, we truly appreciate your prizes and sponsorship this year.


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A Colourful Adventure with Yarn

In the summer of 2017 while on holiday, I visited Shrewsbury for the day. There are many lovely buildings, a wonderful walk along the river, and many old areas to visit. One thing I like to do is have a leisurely browse around the indoor market. The lower floor is full of stalls with all kinds of products, and there are quite a few wonderful small shops on the upper gallery.

One of those is Ewe & Ply, as they say themselves: "We sell a huge, wonderful range of natural and ethically sourced quality British wool, yarn and fibre". Though they sell much more than that!!

I loved the dyeing I have done before (fabric and threads using different dye techniques), so I was tempted by their kit for indigo dyeing (always wanted to try that) and a kit for dyeing wool with Koolaid (I had just heard about that at the time). Being on holiday I decided to buy both...

And then the kits lay at home. Looked at now and then, but I never got round to using them... until yesterday! Ahem, 19 months later or so...

I decided to try the wool dyeing kit. This kit was from DT Craft & Design, called "Knit'n'Go felted knit sack". It included 100 g undyed DK wool, 10 Koolaid sachets in different flavours/colours, a plastic box (for dyeing in), gloves and a plastic apron. Apart from the dyeing materials and instructions, it contained a pattern to knit and felt a project pouch with belt loops for knitting on the go.

While the wool was soaking in a bowl of warm water (with a drop of Ecover dish liquid - I improvised) I made up some dye solutions from the Koolaid. I had some empty and clean dish soap bottles, so I tipped the content of three sachets into three separate bottles, added some warm water and shook to dissolve. 
My idea was to make my wool deep blue, and adding a little red and yellow for some purple and green accents. With that in mind I used Koolaid in the flavours "Blue Raspberry Lemonade" (blue), "Lemonade" (yellow), and "Strawberry" (red). By the smells you would think I had converted my kitchen into a sweets factory!!!

With the wool sufficiently wet, I poured some of the blue on. The blue turned out to be a bright light blue. Different than I had in mind, but lovely. Unfortunately I did not take a photo of it.

Because when I added a few drops of red (more small squirts than drops to be honest) the red drowned out the blue very quickly. I also added some yellow, and that slightly changed the tone of the colour too. In the end I decided to let it become what it wanted, which was a reddish pink.

To make it more variable in colour I considered trying to add some more blue again, but in the end I opted for a darker purple instead. When this went on the colour seemed a very dark grey really.

After "cooking" in the plastic box in the microwave to set the dye the yarn needed to cool, and I wrote notes (City & Guilds habits - always make notes)! When rinsing later in warm water, the water remained clear. A good sign that the dye had been well set, I imagine.

Drying it the colour seems to have lightened a little, but I am very pleased with the end result!

I am now sooo curious how this will knit up!! I don't think I will knit it into a felted belt pouch according to the kit's instructions. Any experienced knitters out there that can suggest what can be knit with 100g DK in reddish pink with darker areas...???

In the mean time I am looking in my very modest wool stash for wool that can be dyed with some of the remaining Koolaid!


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Pouches and Creatures

Today the weather has turned cold; we are having sleet and snow, and a biting wind. So having gone out to increase our supplies first (more snow is on the way), I have decided it is a great day for writing a little blog post. Then I am declaring the rest of the day only fit for sewing!

Recently, I have been trying hard to use up some of my fabrics (and other craft items) in an effort to reduce "my bits" that are spread all over the house these days. Then I received some fabric samples that the owner no longer knew what to do with. I simply cannot say NO to any fabric! The only way I could justify this was to start making with them as soon as possible.

Some of the pieces had been sewn into long strips, but I had a different idea, so I unpicked the seams. Don't you HATE using the seam ripper?! It was done very quickly though.

After separating them, I cut the pieces into equal squares, and then halved them again into brick shapes. Sorting them into sets of four, I sewed them into pouch panels, adding some black from one of my boxes:

With just black and white I found them a little uninspiring, so I decided to add something colourful. First of all I started some embroidery. Small buttons, a red perle and an evening in front of the fire later these flowers had been added:

It looks lovely, but not as colourful as I thought it would be. So out came pencil and paper, iron-on adhesive, and some cheerful batiks. A session on the sewing machine turned out this little creature and its brothers/sisters:

I just love the quirky effect of the colourful geckos on the stark black and white background. I'll be turning these in some practical pouches now.

Linking up with Archie the Wonder Dog at "Mini Archie's January Furtle Around The Blogosphere". If you want to know what that is all about, click on the link or on the button (image) below:

Archie The Wonder Dog

That is it for today, I have pouches to finish!


Monday, 14 January 2019

My Q1 Finish-A-Long List

The Finish-A-Long is starting again, and I am joining in with my current list of unfinished projects. If you are looking for the link-up to add your own list, it can be found at the Q1 List Linkup post. And if you want to know more, check out my Finish-A-Long page.

Okay, now to my own list, which looks like this:

I used my FAL Planner to keep track during the quarter, hopefully a lot more squares will be coloured in three months time!
1. Feathered Star quilt
Needs layering, basting, quilting, binding.

2. Cubes quilt
Needs the last bit of quilting, and binding.

3. Log Cabin quilt
Needs basting (again, since I removed the wadding I had started quilting with, because I didn't like the effect), quilting, binding.

4. Black & White quilt
This needs everything doing, but at least I have decided what to do with the B&W fabrics and am waiting on a ruler I ordered.
Realistically, this will not be finished this quarter, but I would like to start it soon, so at least it means I will be working on something from the list!

5. Logo quilt (still to be named - what about "My World"? Mmmm...)
Needs layering, basting, quilting, binding.

I have kept it relatively short (for me) this quarter with five projects. I find I do not do half as much sewing as I think I will, and I am hoping this way I will be more focussed... Fingers crossed for some finishes soon!

Linking up to the 2019 FAL

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