Posts Tagged ‘friends’

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.

Pay It Forward

This week has really made me realise just how many kind, interesting and funny people I have had the pleasure of meeting, all thanks to my sewing machine. I feel lucky to say that some have even become good great friends.

Last summer I decided that I would start a sewing group, a way of meeting new people locally who enjoyed sewing, knitting and all things crafty, oh and eating cake. As far as I’m concerned The Ladies Wot Stitch (as we are now known) has been one of the best things I’ve done in a long time. From a couple of adverts posted on netmums and in local sewing shops, we have become a crafty, cackling group of 8 great friends. I have to be honest production levels aren’t always very high when we meet but we do have a giggle. It’s so nice to meet up once a fortnight, catch up with what’s been going on, moan about our husbands/kids/jobs and chat about all the crafty things we want to try out. Oh and eat cake. There’s always cake.

Monday night was our first meet up since Christmas so we decided instead of doing our normal crafty night we would go for a post Christmas dinner at a local pub. We had a lovely evening, lots of giggling, good food, wine and dessert. We’re an eclectic bunch but it just works.

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Clockwise from top left – Tatum & Susan, Natalie & Hayley, Me & Julie (my mum), Tracey & Lyn.

Tuesday morning I received a lovely fabric parcel in the post from Karen at Blueberry Park. I helped her out by sending her some oilcloth she was finding hard to source and as a thank you she sent me these beauties. Thank you Karen! I’ve already started cutting them for my #scrappytripalong quilt. I am totally in love with the camping fabric!!

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Earlier in the week I also decided to join in with the “Pay it forward” craze that’s happening on Instagram. Basically you offer to make 5 people a gift in 2013 and in return they have to make 5 more people a gift. Elisabeth over at Woozy Quilts offered to make 5 people a gift and I put my name down, we had a great chat via email sharing how we got into sewing and what sorts of projects we enjoy. It was nice to learn a little more about the person behind the photos I see every day on Instagram.

I guess I just thought by buying a sewing machine I would learn a new skill and have something to enjoy by myself. I never realised that buying that machine would lead to starting my own blog, sewing group, business and meeting (some virtually) so many new friends from across the globe as well as being able to make lots of gifts for my friends and family.

I think that 2013 is going to be a great crafty year for me. I’ve also decided I’m going to make a big effort to do something nice for as many people as possible this year, I’m going to try my best to make “pay it forward” my ethos for 2013. What do you think? Fancy giving it a go? Leave a comment and let me know how you are going to “pay it forward”.

Small Blog Meet (Lily’s Quilts Fan Club)

Me again, apparently I’m very productive when working in my pjs.

I just wanted to quickly tell you about another of Lynne’s (over at Lily’s Quilts) Link ups. (yes I know my blog is starting to sound like a Lily’s Quilts fan club but tbh I don’t care!) It’s called Small Blog Meet, any blog with 50 or less followers can join the link up by writing a post about it and putting the post link on Lynnes blog here. Once you have done it visit four blogs on the link up, introduce yourself and follow the blog. Hopefully four of the bloggers will do the same to you et voila, four shiny new followers for you to entertain!

This is the link up button, make sure if you join in you add it to your blog, you can also find it on Lynne’s blog.

Lily's Quilts
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Happy blogging and have a fun weekend.

August Round Up

Morning, it is Saturday morning here, I’m laying on the sofa in my pjs while the monsters eat there breakfast writing this on iPad.

I like to catch up on my blog reads on a Sunday morning and today is no different, one of the first blogs that popped onto my screen was the lovely Lily’s Quilts. On the 1st of the month Lynne does a great link up post called Fresh Sewing Day, where she tells us all of the projects she has managed to finish for the month and allows readers to link up theirs too. Well I do like a link up it’s such a great way to find new, interesting blogs to read and hopefully make some new bloggy friends too! I also really like the idea of a monthly round up, I don’t know about you but I am a list writer, you can’t beat looking at a list of all the things you need to get done and it’s covered in ticks because you’ve managed to do it. I feel like Lynnes post is like a pretty list all covered in ticks and I like it!

Here is my ticked list, it’s not a long as I would have liked but we have been away and I’ve been busy getting Monster no1 ready for school Aarghhhhh!

20120901-081928.jpgCustom order Bandana Bib and Burp Cloth Baby Bundle, Country Garden Quilt, Go Fetch! quilt, Custom Order Phone Case.

Hopefully Septembers list will have more ticks, I’ve got no excuse as I will only have Monster no2 at home once Monster no1 starts big school.

As its a round up blog I thought I would also bore you with my Photo A Day photos, as new projects go I was quite pleased, I really enjoyed it and only missed two days.

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I’ve enjoyed doing this so much I’m going to carry on with it, here’s Septembers list for any of you who feel the same.

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You can find all the rules (there aren’t that many), instructions and the list (I do love a list!) over on Fat Mum Slims blog, she’s the mastermind behind this fun photography project. The basics are, save the list somewhere, each day you take a photo about the word for that day then share it on Twitter/Flickr/Instagram or anywhere else you want to show it off. It’s a great little reminder of what you have been up to and I find it fun to do.

The Ladies Wot Stitch

Today was my sewing groups first meeting. There were a few of us there, (thank you for your support you know who you are xxx), my lovely friend Sam made some yummy chocolate chip cakes for us. My sister came to show her support too even though she isn’t very crafty, she is more than happy to come along for the chat side of things. My mum came too, with the hammock she started at school and never finished, she has no idea how to complete it and cannot find instructions, but has set herself the challenge of completing it, so if any of you lovely readers know how to make a knotted rope hammock feel free to leave tips below! I managed to get the back done for my Country Garden quilt and am ready to start quilting.

The hall is a great size, with sofas and plenty of space for us to work. We did lots of chatting and decided on a name for the group, we are The Ladies Wot Stitch.

I’m really pleased as I have had quite a few people contact me to say they would like to come to the next meeting, The Ladies Wot Stitch will next be meeting Monday 6th August 7:30pm till 9:30pm St Luke’s Church, £2 a session.

Hope to see you there!

End of an era and new beginnings

What an emotional few days, I’m sure a lot of you have been through the same this week or over the years. Monster no1 finished nursery and is off to big school in September! How did my scrawny, twiglet legged baby grow into a cheeky, confident boy so fast?!

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Monster no1 is so excited to start big school, but at the same time he is upset he’s going to a different school to his nursery friends and has already been telling me he misses them (he only finished nursery wednesday). I think it’s going to be a great learning curve for him, making new friends, gaining more independence, all the new experiences. I’m so excited for him, I know its selfish but in a way I’m sad too, I’m one step closer to him not needing me, before I know it he will be a grunting teenager who is certain I’m only here to embarrass him. All the time he wants a cuddle before bed I’m going to make the most of it.

As monster no1 was leaving I thought I would make the nursery teachers a thank you present each. I decided to make them key fobs, they have a few keys for gates and doors at nursery that they need handy all the time so I figured this would be a good idea. I have loads of lovely scraps from the Country Garden quilt I’m making for my first exhibition that would be perfect for his teachers.

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I think when I started making them my brain had a bit of a melt down, for some reason I thought I would need a layer of wadding as well as interfacing to make it stiff enough. BIG MISTAKE. After a bit of swearing at myself (and unpicking) I quickly got them done.

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I’m really pleased with them and glad I used a ribbon loop to attach the rings, I don’t know why but I am. I just hope they all like them.

Now these are done I can get back to my list of projects, the first few bits I need to get done are a phone case for my nan, a business card holder for the hubby and my quilts for the exhibition. Once those are out of the way I’m thinking about making myself a cute clutch bag out of one of these overprinted beauties from Lu Summers.

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Oh and I will be making a few key fobs for my Etsy shop too!

I think that little lot will keep me occupied for while, what projects have you got planned for the rest of summer?

Sewing Group Update

Good News! You will be pleased to know that I have found a hall, it is all booked and we are good to go!

The first meeting (I don’t really like that word it sounds a bit boring) gathering will be Monday 23rd July 7:30pm till 9:30pm, that’s NEXT MONDAY (Woohoo!!!!). It will be held in the Miss Coppen room at St Luke’s Church Maidstone, if you click here you can see a map. There is a free carpark next to the church, the entrance to our hall is through the door in the carpark.

If you are coming, and I hope you are, just bring along any projects you want to work on and any equipment you need, or if you haven’t sewn before and are not sure where to start just bring yourself! Don’t worry I won’t go mad if you aren’t there dead on 7:30pm, I’ve got monsters and I know it can be a nightmare getting out of the house sometimes, come when you are ready.

I really want this to be a place for people to make new friends, have fun and hopefully learn new skills along the way. I am not doing this for profit, but unfortunately I do have to hire the hall, because of this there will be a nominal fee of £2 per person, per gathering. If we have any money left after the hall is paid perhaps it could go on a fabric stash kitty for the group or something?

Lastly and most importantly we need a name for our little gathering, unfortunately I can’t call us the stitch and bitch brigade as it will be published in the church’s newsletter ha ha. So please have a think and leave name ideas in the comments below.

Right I’m off to to make presents for monster no1’s nursery teachers, he leaves Wednesday, it’s all going too fast he will be a stroppy teenager in no time *sobs in a snotty sleeve*

Laters!

Sewing groups

Me again! Is it just me or does sewing sometimes get a bit lonely? Don’t get me wrong I love sewing, machine or by hand, just every now and then I envy my husband going off to work and sitting in an office full of like minded people to bounce ideas off of. Do you get that too?

I have been thinking about this more and more lately, especially over the past fortnight where I have been sewing late into the night, just two sleepy mutts and bad tv for company (oh and hubby’s snoring). It would be nice to have a group of ladies (or men, I’m not fussy), that could all get together say once a fortnight and catch up, sew, knit, crotchet or embroider and maybe even have a cake or two. I would love a nice relaxed gathering where people can learn new things, ask for help with problems and hopefully pick up new ideas. I follow the blogs of Katy, Lynne and Justine who are all members of the Kitchen Quilt Guild. They regularly meet at Lynne’s house and talk sewing and everything else. From their blogs it seems like they all have a great to time together and I’m gonna be honest I’m jealous!

I decided to do something about it, I had a search about on the interweb looking for groups to join in my area but they all seem to be for a particular craft or a bit to formal for my liking. I was telling a good friend of mine about this and she suggested I start my own, she would make the tea (I may be called Polly but I’m awful at putting the kettle on) and I could organise the rest. So what do you think? Should I take the plunge and set up my own “Bitch and Stitch” as it were? My flat is too small to do it at home but I could hold it in a hall near by.

Have any of you joined or started your own group like this? I would love to hear about it and of course any tips greatly received 😉 Also if you are close enough (I’m in Maidstone) would you be interested in joining?

Please comment below or email me, I would love to hear from you!