Friday, 26 September 2008

Crochet and Fun Mail

I don't seem to have got much done this week, but I have started crocheting some squares for a throw, the only function of which will be to look nice. I'm thinking of this as a longer term project, and I can just make a few squares when I feel like it.

The pattern is from a book called 101 Granny Squares by Darla Sims, published by Annie's Attic. There are some very nice cottagey-style motifs in this book. I thought this block was so pretty. When I saw the pattern I immediately imagined it with the centre flower in different colours.
I've been doing one row extra all the way round to make them a bit bigger, because they are beautifully small, but other than that I'm keeping to the pattern.

This lovely fabric basket arrived last week from Darlene. It's such a nice size and will be very useful. It's beautifully made and the workmanship is FLAWLESS.

It makes a perfect container for balls of thread. Thank you, Darlene!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Just a Note

Edit: The instructions for the book cover and embroidery are in Samples From the Past Part 1, published by Blackbird Designs in 2000.

It's not very big, only about 4" x 6", and that's so it can easily fit in my bag. Before this one there was a different one which got full, but one book lasts me a long time, and this one's been going quite a while.
The cover was simple and straightforward to make. The embroidery design is an early Blackbird Designs pattern.
I use this book for jotting down creative ideas and notes I want to remember. It's not a journal of what I've made, but more of a place to keep ideas and possibilities. It might be something to make, measurements of a piece of furniture, something I've seen in a magazine, or just ideas for colour combinations.

There are some pictures from magazines cut out and glued in, but it's mainly notes and drawings. Loose pieces of paper can be tucked inside the front and back covers, and sticky notes can be added to the pages. Any little idea I want to keep in mind and not lose, goes in the book.

At the back of the book I write down quotations I've heard or read which appeal to me. Here's one I like by Christopher Morley:
"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way."

Do you keep a notebook?

Friday, 12 September 2008

Intensive Quilting

This is the result of all my time at the sewing machine lately.
I wanted to make some extra effort with the quilting because I thought the design was worthy of it. Well, it's finished, it nearly killed me and now I never want to see another quilt again! Only kidding . . . at least I think I am :)

I did some stippling around the main design, echo quilting in the borders and some cross-hatched lines in the corners. The only quilting I did on the appliques was to stitch around the flower centres for stability.

I washed it and now it's got that crinkled look, which I do quite like. My only reservation about that is that some of the small detail of the fabric print inevitably gets lost in the texture.

The back's a nice rosy print.
Pattern info: The pattern is a Pat Sloan design called Rambling Rose, from McCall's Quilting magazine, April 2004.

Friday, 5 September 2008


I recently bought this lovely book. If you like crocheting flowers, you will want to investigate this book. There are lots of patterns for both stylised and realistic flowers, several different leaves, and detailed techniques to give your work a perfect finish. The pansies in the photo are from the book.

I really liked this version of a sunflower. I love the difference in scale between the big centre and the tiny petals. The inner edge is worked over two extra strands of thread for padding, and this does give a nice stable edge to the centre.

I wanted to think of my own way to use this flower, and decided on a pincushion.

The 'cushion and leaves are wool. I was pleased with the way it turned out and the nice fat shape, and it was so easy to put together that I made another one with different flowers.

These flowers are based on a simple 6-petal flower from a different book, but I made them with 4 petals because I had it in my head that they should look like the florets on a hydrangea bloom. Beads in the flower centres add another texture.

Because, as I always say, and I think you'll agree, you can never have too many pincushions.