June 2020

And another month has passed. We’ve still been in lockdown but the restrictions are being relaxed. While its nice to be able to see other people at a distance, it feels both too soon to relax the lockdown and been ages that this has been going on.

The weather has warmed up so I’ve spent a bit more time outside, so slighlty less crafting going on.

  1. Snowdrop quilt – The handquilting is ongoing
  2. Learning quilt – I put the borders on the quilt top, and have pieced 50% of a back
  3. Butterfly cross stitch – No change
  4. Beaded bauble – No change
  5. Jumper – No change
  6. Sweater Scarf – Getting on with this one, I’m on the scarf portion.

My finishes this week are:

  1. Seed embroidery. I’ve popped this away but it will probably turn into a card at some point
  2. Beaded bottle. This was a quick turnaround. It looks pretty fabulous, if I say so myself
  3. Birthday cards – I whipped up a couple of cards, which are now on their way to the intended

 

Despite the lack of things to do, I’m finding it hard to predict what will hold my attention in these wierd times. The photo this week is from a walk, I went on, with a friend. I’d never seen an orange budleia before, but it was a fabulous colour and shape.

May 2020

So I’ve been starting projects. They’ve been capturing my attention for a week or so and then I start something new. Looks like I will be completing lockdown projects for years to come.

The UK is still in lockdown, I think this is week 6. It feels like the whole world has slowed down now, which is a slight relief after the intensity of the news for the first three weeks. I’m pretty sure plenty of things are happening but its hard to pay attention to everything.

My list is a bit bigger than last month:

  1. Snowdrop quilt – The handquilting is ongoing
  2. Learning quilt – I made two more blocks and then pieced the top. I’m planning to add borders to the top before layering it
  3. Butterfly cross stitch – No change
  4. Beaded bauble – No change
  5. Embroidery patch of seeds – No change
  6. Jumper – No change
  7. Sweater Scarf – A new knitting project. This is nice straightforward rib then stockingnet so more appropriate for the current climate
  8. A beaded bottle – I have been on a mission to use up kitchen items and that lead to a pretty botttle being emptied. I’m also on a longer term mission to use up the cheaper seed beads I’ve bought over the years. So I’m making another beaded bottle.

Finishes this month are:

  1. The hexagon banner panel
  2. The swan ornament

I made a pot with my pottery takeaway kit but I haven’t made anything since.

My featured image is the learning curve quilt sans borders.

April 2020

When I said I was unsure what march would bring, this isn’t what I was thinking about. This month has been spent waiting to see what would happen with the coronavirus in the UK and then waiting to see how bad it’s going to get. I’ve been working at home for three works now, two of those under the lockdown.

Although I’m still working and have been trying to do my daily exercise outside, I do have a few more hours to do things. So there are a few changes to the list. I’m trying to focus on finishing things, so I don’t get carried away with starting things. I’m also trying to work through some of my patterns and kits. I am finding that I’m drawn to the easy/familiar things rather than anything more complex or requiring the following of a pattern or new. That’s okay, I’m going easy on myself for the moment.

So here goes:

  1. Snowdrop quilt – the handquilting is going on. It’s going slightly quicker than expected
  2. Learning quilt – no change
  3. Banner panel – the embroidery is on going
  4. Butterfly cross stitch – I’ve done a bit more
  5. Swan ornament – no change
  6. Beaded bauble – no change
  7. Beaded bangle – I’m halfway through my third bangle of three
  8. Embroidery patch of seeds – no change
  9. Jumper – I’ve done a little more, but I’m finding it hard to focus on this one

There are a few finishes this month:

  1. A cushion, I turned my Hawaiian applique, handquilted panel into a cushion
  2. Beaded bauble. I embellished the orange bauble
  3. A paper hare that I started at my art club
  4. A beaded purse, from a beaded panel I finished last year
  5. A clay ornament I made last year and finally put together

I haven’t been to pottery for ages, first for personal reasons and then the lockdown. However I took advantage of the pick up service that is now being offered, and have a mini pottery studio set up in the garage for me to play with.

My featured image is from the park I take my daily walk now.

March 2020

February was an interesting month. It’s felt incredibly wintery but it’s also a month of celebrations so I’ve been kept busy.

  1. Snowdrop quilt – I made the back, layered the quilt and started the handquilting. Let see how long it takes
  2. Learning curve quilt – no change
  3. Handquilting – the handquilting is done, and its ready to be turned into a cushion
  4. Banner panel – I’ve attached the light switch and begun embroidering the background
  5. Beaded bauble – no change
  6. Cross stitch butterfly – no change
  7. Jumper – it has been started. Fingers crossed it goes well
  8. Beaded purse – I’m turning a beaded panel into a tiny purse
  9. Swan ornament – this was from a kit, I bought on a day trip to the Cotswolds. Unfortunately the instructions are not as detailed as expected.
  10. Rag rug mirror frame. This was started at my art club. I’m not entirely sure it will be finished but for now I’m still deciding.

I finished my rag rug (and blogged about it). I also finished a beaded pendant, I started at my beading group. But apparently mostly I’ve started projects.

I went to pottery (once) and bought home a few bits and pieces:

  • An ornament. It needs the two halves to be joined together
  • Some more pieces for my nativity set
  • A small pot

I’m not sure what the next month will be like so we will just have to wait and see

My featured image is from my day out in the Cotswolds.

Rag rug

Making a rag rug is something I’ve thought about doing for years. Over the years I’ve collected various materials with the intention of making a rag rug but with having moved about a bit, have ended up donating or recycling the clothes.

So when I saw a stand selling starter kits back at the craft show last autumn, I couldn’t not buy one. The kit came with the two types of hooks, instructions and the Hessian for a rug.

This kit was the one I was most excited about and therefore the one I started first when I got back home. I raided my fabric stash first and described to use on of my treasured pieces, a shrunken cashmere scarf. It is a soft grey brown with turquoise/yellow/purple woven at the ends. I based my colour scheme on the scarf and dug out all the bits and pieces I was happy to use as scraps in those colours. I then went and bought five items from a charity shop.

It turns out cutting strips of fabric takes forever even though I was using my rotary cutter and going through several layers of fabric.

I started by cutting up all the fabric and filling a box. I originally thought it might be enough or that I’d only need a bit more. (Spoiler – I was wrong)

The actual process of cutting the small strips and pulling them through the Hessian is incredibly meditative.

I started in the middle of the rug and worked each side equally to give a balanced pattern, and make sure it would stay balanced if I needed more fabric. My process was to fill a bag with short fabric strips and then use them randomly until there was a third left. I then added more short strips. Sometimes I slowly introduced new fabrics and/or colours and other times I added them all at once. This lead to quite different looks in the final rug.

I had to do another charity shop run and pulled quite a lot more fabric from my stash. It used far more fabric than I’d anticipated.

Despite some concerns as I was going, I do love the final rug. The mix of fabrics gives it a really textured look and feel. For the next one, I might use a slightly more refined colour scheme. I do love the turquoise and purple but getting the balance right was quite tricky.

I would love to do another but there are only so many rugs a flat needs and I’ve definitely reached my quota for my current place. I’ll keep it in mind for the future though.

February 2020

January has gone in fits and bursts. At some points it was dragging along and now it is suddenly all gone. Crafting wise has been mixed, I’ve been under the weather for a couple of the weeks which always takes it toll.

So the list is not very exciting

  1. Sampler quilt – no change.
  2. Snowdrop quilt – I made binding but still need to prep the backing and layer the quilt
  3. Handquilting – I just need a final round of stutches
  4. Rag rug – this one was grown
  5. Banner panel – half the tacking stitches have been done
  6. Beaded bauble – no change
  7. Cross-stitch butterfly – I remembered this project recently, but nothing has changed this month
  8. Jumper – I’ve started swatching for a jumper

I finished the hat and gifted it to it’s recipient. It’s been worn a fair few times this month already. I also finally finished two heat packs. I’ve had these cut out for years and had begun sewing them up but not finished for a while. Both have also been gifted.

I’ve not made it to pottery this month for a variety of reasons so I still don’t really know where I am with all my bits and pieces.

My feature image was taken by mother. It’s of my helibore, which she looks after for me while I don’t have any outdoor space.

Snowdrop quilt

This project started with a fat quarter of fabric that I picked up as impulse purchase in abakahan. Snowdrops are my flower and I really loved the more graphic style of the fabric.

I’d just finished a bit of EPP (hexagons) and decided that I loved it, so I was looking for a new project.
I originally started with making just stars. I cut out all the papers, and made my own template so that I could fussy cut out the individual snowdrops.
All the first batch of stars were ‘perfect’ stars in that all the diamonds matched. But I pretty quickly started doing half and half stars, to make the most of the fabric.
I made about 20 stars before deciding what I was actually going to do with them. What I decided was that my second hand stitching project was going to be a full sized quilt, with stars and hexagons. I’m now really glad I used the hexagons as well as the stars, as they provide a needed resting space for your eyes.
I chose the cream and gold dotty fabric for the hexagons, and the resulting quilt had a graphic feel that is different but reminiscent of the original snowdrop fabric.

I built the quilt by making half stars with hexagons, then joining two to make a star with its two hexagons. I then sewed four or five star pieces together to make the small panels. Big panels were made of two or three small panels. Three big panels made up a row, and finally I joined up the three rows.
I reused a lot of the papers, by taking them out as I built the panel and not all of them made it out of the quilt intact but I still ended up with so many papers to use in the future. (I have still to fully tidy up all the pieces)
The quilt top is currently 57” X 95”. It’s really big, especially length wise. I wanted to make a quilt for a single bed and looked up the size.
I did a little bit of quilt maths and I reckon over the two years, I have spent ~150 hrs on the handsewing for the quilt. That doesn’t include the cutting papers, fussy cutting or basting the shapes. So in total it’s likely to be at least double that number.
I took a short break from the project over Christmas, but in the new year I will tackle the quilting.