Saturday, 6 December 2014

Cowboy incubator quilt

At Drayton patchwork and quilters, we have been making quilts for premature baby incubators. The incubators can therefore be covered at night so that it seems like night time, as the lights are on in the ward for 24 hours. This is my effort, a cowboy themed quilt inspired by the fabric used to make the cowboy boot appliqué and also the backing. The appliqué was made using the heat and bond technique. I photocopied one of the cowboy hats from the backing fabric and blew up the size by 200% to get the larger hat shape. I used free motion to create details on the hat and used satin and zigzag stitches to finish the edges of the appliqué. Great fun to make. I have plans to make another one, but not sure I will get it done before Christmas.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Bobbin lace cushion carry bag and bobbin case

I have recently started Bobbin lace! Yet another new technique I just had to try. I was given a bobbin lace cushion by my lovely in laws. I started going to classes lead by my friend Sandra. Sandra makes it look so easy, but she is also a very good teacher so I am really getting into it. The cushion I have is shaped like a dome and awkward to carry, so I made a carry bag. The design was based on a bag owned by Sandra, handmade by a friend of hers. I really liked the design so decided to replicate it. The outside is made with a blue woven upholstery fabric, lined with a heavy weight cotton. I stabilised the panels with iron on vilene. 

One side has an outside zipped pocket...

The bag unzipped either side so I can get the cushion out easily. You can see the pockets I added to the inside....

I also made a zip up case for carrying the bobbins. This was made with the same fabric as my bag...

This is the case with the zip open...

I made the case with a central page, with pockets on both sides of the page and on the inside of the outer cover.

Here are some examples of my bobbin lace, all bookmarks so far! I have a long way to go before I try one of the more complicated patterns!

The snake on the left is made with whole stitch, the second from the left is the same pattern in half stitch. The two bookmarks on the right are the same pattern made with a sequence of half stitches called ground torchon. I am trying spiders tomorrow! Very exciting!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Boutis and Trupunto pin cushion

I recently borrowed a fabulous book from my friend Jackie called Boutis and Trapunto by Catherine Coget. It is a very inspiring book. I had to try these techniques! Boutis is a type of quilting where you stuff small areas to create a raised image. Trapunto is were you add a cord in a similar fashion to Boutis. I decided to adapt one of the patterns in this book into a pin cushion pattern. It was lovely to do some hand sewing, I found it really relaxing. I went a bit mad and added a lace trim and bows. I love the fact it is very girly and frilly! Looking forward to trying some more Boutis and Trapunto. Perhaps with more colour next time.

This is the book....


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Masquerade ball - Mask and broach

Last night I attended a masquerade ball in aid of children with eye cancer. It was organised by Katie Lord and Natalie Crowe. They did such a good job of organising it, I had such a good time! I made my own mask out of organza. I used a technique that Kathleen Laurel Sage uses to create wonderful floral creations. I used free motion stitching and used a soldering iron to cut out the shape. I could not resist adding lots of sequins, using beads to you can not see the threads attaching them. It turned out to be quite comfortable and I really enjoyed wearing my disguise! I also made a matching broach. The mask and broach has hints of yellow to match my dress.

Here is a closer look at my sequins and silver stitches....

Friday, 21 November 2014

Even more christmas decorations for the charity sale at Taverham!

I have been busy making more christmas decorations for the sale at Taverham, sew simple, craft shop. This time I had a go at some Christmas puddings and red and white christmas stars. The sale is tomorrow and Sunday 10am - 4.30pm. There will be lots of lovely handmade items made by members of Drayton Patchwork and quilters. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Christmas tree decorations

I am getting ready for Christmas and making lots of tree decorations. I started with a little bird. The pattern was given to me in a workshop by jackie from my local quilt group. I love the red floral fabric, but I think I made the beak a little bit big.

I have also made a batch of snowmen.....

Gingerbread men ......


And some reindeer.....

I am selling the snowmen, gingerbread men and reindeer at Taverham Sew Simple on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd November. Some of the proceeds will go to charity. Although, I may keep one or two for my own Christmas tree! Who knows I might make more, they were great fun!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Beaded kumihimo bracelets and hand spun winter woollies

I am really enjoyed making these beaded kumihimo bracelets. I had a play with some different beads, I especially liked using the long magatama beads shown in the middle. These bracelets will be for sale at Dilham village hall, home of the Worstead spinners, weavers and dyers on 6th December. Some of the proceeds will go to fundraising for the guild to do repairs to our building. There will also be lots of other spun, woven and dyed hand made items. The adjacent village hall will also be open with a Christmas fair with lots more crafty goodies and nice things to eat.


I have also made some cosy winter warmers made of handspun yarn to sell....

The brightly coloured hats and the cowl are made from merino. The light grey, cabled hat is made from Shetland fleece and the dark/light grey striped hat is made from a mixture of black welsh mountain and light grey Shetland fleece.  For more information on the patterns I used you can see my ravelry page Ellieb93.

I am now working on a mask for a masquerade ball in November, I thought of using a technique similar to Kathleen Laurel Sage's organza work, I will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The cutest little Cotswold cottage scissor keeper

Yet again another purchase from the knitting and stitching show. I was admiring the lovely handy work of Sue Hawkins. She is a talented needlework designer. A Cotswold cottage scissor keeper kit caught my eye. I had to buy it and attempt to replicate this gorgeous design. It took me about 5 days to finish completing a few hours each evening. I really enjoyed sewing it and I am very pleased with the finished piece. Not as neat as Sue's but not bad for a novice. It has made me want to design some of my own 3D stitch early. Here it is...

I could not believe how many different designs Sue had made. If you want to find out more see Sue's website

Soldering irons and organza are the future!

Last weekend at the knitting and stitching show (Ally Pally) I bought a snowflake kit and a soldering iron from Kathlene Laurel Sage. Kathlenes display was so inspiring with a miriad of organza goodness. She uses a soldering iron to cut and seal the organza to make flowers etc. Kathleen was very helpful, she gave me a quick rundown of how to use the soldering iron. I was so excited to have a go, but did not get chance until this weekend. The instructions were really easy to understand, it took me about 6 hours to complete as I was faffing about a bit. Here is my finished snowflake decoration.....

I am definitely hooked to this technique. I have a hole host of ideas to make things using this technique. If you are interested is ordering your own kit see Kathleen's website... Kathlene has kits you can order online and you can see lots of lovely things she has made.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Thread painting and reverse appliqué

Thread painting
A couple of weeks ago I went to a brilliant class on thread painting lead by Linda Turner. The class was so inspiring. Linda is such a good teacher! This is what I started in the class, following a pattern designed by Linda. I used waxed crayons to shade the sky and added a few migrating birds in the background.

I bound it like a regular quilt and added triangles of fabric on the back so I could tuck some doweling underneath to hang up. The back....

Reverse Appliqué 
I was inspired by a friend of mine, Lyndsey, to sew some reverse appliqué. Lynsey had done some lovely Halloween inspired place mats usin this method. I layered 8 fabrics, sewed a design through all the layers and cut away some of the fabric to show the layers beneath. I used machine thread painting to decorate the butterfly and dragonfly (I am addicted after Linda's class!) and finished off the flowers with hand sewn French knots.

 I completed the back with the same method described above. The back...

I really enjoyed making these pieces. Now I am working on a boutis / traptuno pin cushion amoung other things. I am also waiting for a couple of hand knitted hats (from hans spun yarn) to dry, they may be my next post. 

Ta ta for now.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Handwoven log cabin scarf

I have been working on this for a while and finally got around to finishing a couple of weeks ago. This scarf was made on a four shaft weaving loom using 4-ply aqua blue, grey and white yarn (from texereyarns). Jenny from Worstead weavers, spinners and dyers introduced me to the pattern, it is called log cabin. I really enjoyed weaving it. Although if I had a proper craft room it would have been so much easier to leave the loom set up. I am now planning what to weave on it next. Although, I also fancy doing some bobbin lace.

This is the scarf on the loom....

Finally finished....

Close up of the twisted tassels, all done by hand.....

A close up of the weave.....

Yesterday, I went on a course lead by Linda Turner called "painting with threads", it was absolutely amazing! I am now working on a painted thread wall hanging. It's not finished yet, but I will post the result when I have finished. Linda is so artistic and produces the most fantastic work. I strive to produce something like the quality of one of her more simpler pieces of work perhaps one day. I live in hope! Click here to check out some of Linda's fabulous work.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Neapolitan Toes

I am a great fan of knitting socks and when I saw this gorgeous self striping yarn from the sirdar heart and sole collection I could not resist making another pair! The colour way I chose was hello cheeky, with a gorgeous mix of yellow, pink, blue and purple (it reminds my of Neapolitan ice cream). It is a blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon. I used a combination of my standard sock knitting pattern and the pattern on the wool band, however I did modify the pattern to allow for a larger circumference around the ankle, reducing 3 stitches per row every 5 rows down the leg to shape for the ankle. The finished socks are great! I think I will keep them for myself this time. They will be nice and snugly in the winter months.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bits and bobs

I have been busy finishing lots of little projects lately. Here are some of the finished items...

Silver kumihimo necklace made with silver galvanised beads. 
Made as a gift for my mums friend Alison

Cute little knickers made with heart lace and striped jersey fabric.
Made as a gift for a close friend, don't worry I won't name names!!

Love the bow!

Hand knitted cowl made from handspun Shetland fleece, I even processed the fleece from scratch too.
This one was made for my dad to keep him warm in the winter months. 

I am finishing off some hand knitted socks, handwoven scarves and working on some reverse appliqué at the moment so watch this space! 

Also I will be at the Aylsham show on this bank holiday Monday demonstrating beaded kumihimo with the Worstead Guild of weavers, spinners and dyers if anyone wants to visit us.

Fantastic natural dyeing course by Ros Wilson

Last weekend I went on a natural dyeing course lead by Ros Wilson, it was very inspiring and made the prospect of the whole dyeing process a lot less bewildering. She showed us how different mordants effect the final colour and I was very surprised about how vivid the colours I could achive!

Here are the colours we achieved with 3 different mordants and 4 different natural dyes. We used onion skins, weld, cochineal and logwood, can you guess which ones are which?

Ros has a wonderful garden and workshop, here are our skeins drying in the sunshine.

If anyone is interested in any of the courses Ros teaches you can find out more at her website:

She is a great teacher. She also does talks on how to design your own knitting patterns which I hope to attend.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hand quilted cushion cover

At the 2013 Festival of quilts I bought a kit from Sandie lush to make a hand quilted cushion cover. I finished it a couple of months ago. I completely forgot to blog about it.. Here it is...

I loved making it!

This years festival of quilts was amazing! I bought a lot of lovely things....

Including a cot quilt pattern and another cushion cover from Sandie Lush. I also fell in love with Lynette Andersons gorgeous hand sewn designs and bought a cushion cover pattern called the orange tree. As you can see I bought some of Lynette's Fabric range too, gorgeous!

So lots of hand quilting and sewing projects to get on with. Much of this hand sewing inspiration comes from Margaret Currie and Tricia Vint after a fabulous hand quilting/embroidery class last week. Thanks Ladies!

I will keep you posted with my hand sewing.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Handspun yarn to fisherman style jumper

I spun 1kg of Shetland sheeps fleece into chunky yarn.....

I knitted it into a jumper for my dad...

I ended up using nearly all of the yarn I spun so it is quite heavy and very warm! I hope dad likes it!