Posts Tagged ‘embroidery’

Swaps, Swaps And More Swaps

It seems as though 2015 is turning into the year of swaps for me. Late last year I signed up for the UK Mini Swap over on Instagram. This week was mailing due date and as it’s a UK swap I have already received my parcel and so has my partner. Again this was a secret swap so I had been busy stalking my partner hoping to make something she would really like. She had said she loved bright, happy colours so here is what I came up with.

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I normally prefer machine piecing for swaps but for some reason this time I was set on EPP. I go through phases with my crafting and at the moment I’m really into hand piecing and crochet, my poor sewing machine must be feeling seriously neglected. I knew it had to be rainbow and in no time at all I was busy fussy cutting my little heart out.

For the quilting I didn’t want to detract from all that fussy cut goodness so I stitched in the ditch in the star and then simple lines for the background. I was hoping for a shooting star vibe.

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The backing fabric and candy stripe binding was from my stash and tied the whole thing together perfectly.

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I made a little fabric basket and crochet brooch too to post with my mini.

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The package I received blew my tiny little mind. Sandra did some epic stalking and made this amazing mini for me.

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Now its no secret I love Hello Kitty but Sandra took this Hello Kitty mini to another level. The Hello Kitty embroidery is actually a perfect copy of one of my tattoos. Sandra had seen a photo of it on my Instagram feed and decided it would make a great embroidery. Seriously how frigging awesome is that?! When I opened it I screamed with excitement! She even used Hello Kitty fabric too and included lots of pretty extras, so much kitsch and bright, right up my street.

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I can’t believe how spoilt I’ve been with swaps this year and I’m looking forward to joining more.

I’m taking part in #hexiefriends on Instagram too. The idea is you make a single EPP hexie flower from 1″ sided hexagons, make the centre hexagon out of a pale fabric and write you’re name and where you are from on it. Post the hexie flower to someone else in the swap and they will send you one in return. Eventually you should have enough to make a cushion or quilt from friends all over the world.

If you’re on Instagram and would like to join in either search #hexiefriends or private message me @jakandgeegee for all the info.

Right I’m off to make more hexie flowers!

Making for Someone Else

2014 was my year of selfish sewing. The year before I had been so busy making for others that I felt I didn’t get a really get a chance to try all the new sewing challenges and techniques I wanted. I felt I had become a little bit complacent about crafting in general. 2014 was a different year, I made selfish sewing a priority and crochet too for that matter. I even decided that Christmas I would give myself a break and not make everyone’s gifts. Having said all that I did make two Christmas gifts.

The first was for my sister. She had mentioned to me that she would love a crochet blanket, very bright, a real mixture of colours. Well challenge accepted! I have only ever made smaller crochet projects so this was going to be a big undertaking for me. I started it around Easter time and planned to work on it whenever I had some free time, a nice, relaxing, long term project, or so I thought.

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I underestimated how much time it would take and ended up frantically working on it every spare second I had towards the end! I used a simple granny square block but all the colour changing took a lot of time.

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I joined all the blocks with a cream colour which I think really lifts it and brings it all together.

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Confession time. I don’t have any good photos of it yet as it isn’t completely finished. I was a lazy muppet and didn’t finish the ends as I went so I had to give it to my sister unfinished and then take it back. I’m now still steadily working through all those ends. Worst. Job. Ever.

The only other handmade gift I made was a secret Santa pressie for the Sewing Club Christmas lunch. At sewing club this year we all agreed that the lead up to Christmas would be manic so it would be better for all of us to have a Christmas lunch in January. That way we would all have more time to make our secret Santa pressies and it would give us something to look forward to after all the Christmas excitement.

So a few weeks ago we all rocked up for lunch in our Christmas jumpers (well most of us anyway), my mum even bought us all crackers!

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We all put our handmade gifts into a bag then each took a turn to take one out, lucky dip style. I made this embroidery hoop craft storage which Emmie picked out.

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This was a nice little make for the new year and great for stash busting too. I found some crafty themed fabric in my stash, layered them up to and stitched straight lines at different intervals to make the pockets. I added a simple crochet layer to the embroidery hoop so it matched the fabrics and also so the wooden frame didn’t catch on it. I stretched the fabric layers over the hoop and tightened to secure it in place.

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To make sure the back stayed tidy and didn’t move I overlocked the edges of the fabric layers before putting them in the frame. Once I was happy with the fabric placement and the hoop was tightened I used my glue gun to stick the excess fabric to the inside of the frame. Handy hanging storage finished.

I pulled this cute little pincushion jar made by Annie out of the secret Santa lucky dip. You can never have too many pin cushions!

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My very clever friend Becca made this insanely cute purse, which my mum got.

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Rachel got these handy pattern weights that my mum made. How useful, I really must make some.

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I didn’t get a chance to photograph everyone else’s gifts but they were all equally as awesome. We all enjoyed a lovely lunch catching up and chatting about all things crafty.

Midweek WIP’s (Almost)

I know I’m a day late but yesterday just kinda got away from me. I had to do grown up stuff like housework and cooking Yuk! Anyway I’m here now although I haven’t got too much to share this week. We spent the weekend out walking with friends as the weather was finally dry enough so I didn’t get much sewing time.

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It was so nice to be outside without getting soaked, letting the monsters explore the local woods, although we were all pretty muddy by the time we got to the pub for a cheeky pint!

The boys both wanted new scarves for the weekend adventures so they each chose some yarn and I got to work with my crochet hook. I opted for a simple stripey cowl. I can honestly say I had no influence on the colour choices.

Monster no1 chose quite mellow colours but brightened it up with the red which I really liked. Then there’s monster no2s scarf, I’ve called this the German Custard Cowl. It really reminds me of Birds custard and the German flag! I think their colour choices really show how different their personalities are.

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I managed to finish one other small project this week, the little embroidery for my sewing room. I think it sums me up perfectly 🙂

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Midweek WIP’s

It’s that time of the week again! I’m quite surprised to say I have actually got a few projects to share with you this week as since moving I’ve found it really hard to get back into any kind of sewing routine, but here goes.

My EPP cushion hasn’t really gone much further, I’ve had a bit of a look in my stash but nothing is really jumping out at me for the background so I’ll probably buy something new.

I was thinking this
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Or this?
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Tonight I’m going to finish this fun little pot holder, I just have to hand stitch the binding and I’m done. I used a few scraps from my stash, the moustaches have to be one of my all time favourite prints and this was the last piece I had that was really useable.

You can’t go wrong with spotty binding.
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I’ve started a new crochet project too. I’ve had my eye on a nice, chunky infinity scarf with a hood but couldn’t decide on what pattern to follow so I did what any sensible person would do and decided to make it up. I opted for this really soft yarn from my new local wool shop, Pack Lane Wool they have an online shop too.

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So far this is all I’ve done, but in my defence it is crazy long and ribbed too so it’s not growing quite as fast as I’d hoped. It should be ready for next winter though!

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My last project of the week is a cheeky lil stitchery for my sewing room. Not really sure where I’m going with it yet but I like it so far.

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Busy. Busy. Busy.

I’ve had a good week this week make wise. Firstly (and the thing I’m most excited about) I posted my Handmade Gift Exchange gift to Claire over at Claireabellemakes. I posted it Friday lunch time and she was busy tweeting about it Sunday. After looking at Claires blog and following her on twitter I decided to embroider a line drawing of a camera for her to hang at home. I was so pleased she liked it as much as I enjoyed making it. Now I just can’t wait to receive my gift!

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I also had two birthday presents to make this week, one for my aunt and one for a family friend. Neither of them had asked for anything in particular and I try to make as many of my gifts as possible so I opted for making them zip pouches. I think these are great as you can use them to hold anything, from your iPod when you go to the gym (other personal music devices are available 😉 ) to a little embroidery project to chuck (or place carefully, it’s up to you) in your bag for when you are bored on the train. The other advantage to these is they are pretty easy and quick to make.

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As they are straight forward I thought it would be good as my first tutorial. I will add it to the site soon so keep an eye out over the next day or two.

As well as all my projects on the go this week we have been busy as a family this weekend. Saturday we all went to Monster no1s girlfriends house to celebrate her 4th birthday. Yup you did read that correctly I said girlfriend! I met her mum at anti-natal classes and we have been close friends ever since, and so have the kids, they are like a little old married couple and they are so funny to watch.

Sunday was Fathers day so we had a family picnic planned, this included our parents and my sister. The monsters were really excited and the dogs couldn’t wait to get to the park. Unfortunately Pluto was a little too keen and leapt out of the car boot when we arrived at the park. My car is big and for a little dog it’s a long way down. Pluto found this out the hard way, he managed to dislocate his knee 🙁 We took him to the vets and the decision was made to operate tomorrow. Fingers crossed it all goes well and he will be his normal self again soon.

On a brighter note, I have finally got my bum in gear and set up my Etsy shop. I have put a few bits up and I promise to add more on a regular basis so make sure you go have a look!

I think it’s about time for some sleep for me, so hope you all have a good week.