Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Red, blue and green

a touch of black and just the backstitching to go

and then the stitching is finished


And all is revealed.

now to get him framed!

oh and choose a replacement for my Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, 14 January 2018


nearly almost done. I have the feeling that makes the question of what this is much clearer.

Today I think I also decided what to do with it when it is finished.  That is going to speed up the finish as I am using this piece to get me back to sewing following the cold (although following suggestd it is gone, I am still coughing) and before I get back to any quilting.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Tissue box to Hat

This is a project with inspiration in stages.  It began with one of the many antique related T.V programmes. My mother watched the programme and it had a thinking cap on it.

My brother likes hats, wearing them, collecting them, so my mother mentioned  the thinking hat.  He noted it sounded like his type of hat but not at the £45 the one on the show sold for.

She then mentioned it to me and that lead to the oft expressed phrase of the crafter, I could make that.  Together my mother and I though about what material we might have at hand and of course there would need to be a tassel.

I am not sure if the project would have gone any further had I not spotted a tassel out of the corner of my eye in a box of mixed items at a Stray Aid Charity Shop.  I rooted it out thinking the tassel might be one I could use for the hat.  They can be expensive new.

The tassel was one of two attached to a cover for a paper handkerchief box.  A rather sumptuous handkerchief box cover. With two tassells, and looking like it had never been used, score!

Tissue box cover

The more I looked at it, the more I thought it might supply more than the tassels for the hat.  Look at the dark green velvet, the brocaded satin.  It even had lining and maybe the bias binding could be used.  I handed over the most reasonable price,(surely less then I would have paid for one tassel retail) got an odd look from the volunteer as I noted I was going to make it into a hat, and took it happily home.

I started unpicking it and the more I did so the more I thought this might all work for a thinking hat.  I looked them up online and viewed other peoples blogs, one of which had a nice link to Godleys patterns. I looked at lots of pictures  and realised that I needed something pivotal before I could start.

Measurements, the size of my brothers head to be exact. So I messaged my sister in law and asked her if she could get them for me without telling my brother why.  I thought she might measure one of his other hats.  Shortly thereafter my brother posted on facebook.

"Earlier this evening, as I sat in my tub chair watching nonsense on youtube....my wife measured my head....as quietly and unobtrusively as possible.....there was no exchange of words.....I pretended it wasn't happening......that's just normal isn't it.....happens to everybody doesn't it?"

Oh how that made me laugh, I could just picture the scene. My sister in law when passing on the measurements noted direct and silent usually worked and had made my brother most contemplative, she did not ask what I wanted the measurements for, content to also wait to be enlightened. Now I had the measurements I needed it was time to figure out a pattern to fit with the material I had. Basically a long strip pieced from the velvet and checks and then six triangles from the satin brocade.  This required some geometry!  I checked it would fit the material, finished unpicking and paused.

Then as I was looking for something to watch I came across Bagpuss, the pink and cream stripped cat who oft required a thinking cap in order to think of a story to fix things.  Between the Wombles and the Mice from the Marvellous Mechanical Mouse organ in my formative years is it any wonder I hoard, use scraps and discarded stuff and mend things...I think not.

Anyway back to the thinking cap/hat. I decided to reverse the order of the material and have the checkered at the bottom as it was stiffer being a gauze ribbon over a slightly quilted satin, and the velvet at the top in the hopes it would be easier to sew the top of the hat in.  There was already a thin layer of wadding in the hankie box case so I kept that  adding a bit of quilting to the velvet to add to its structure and hold the wadding in place. 

Whilst the material for the top had to be made from triangles to get the circle out of the strip of satin brocade, I could do the lining for the crown as a full circle cut from the lining of my charity shop find. 

It went together quite well. I did even manage to use the bias binding to make the edge all nice and neat.

Thinking Cap

Tassel on thinking cap

Inner thoughts? 

The original item had one small label attached to the lining 

It said


I thought that quite suitable for my rather oriental looking thinking cap. So I left it on.

The Tassel went on through the crown of the hat and into the crown of the lining thus holding that in place.  Of course there were two tassels so I still have one left for some other tassley project some time in the future.

Happily it  the measuring was successful and the hat fit.

As requested, and gracefully granted by my brother, picture of thinking hat on the thinking head.

Playing cat and mouse

with two bits of material gifted to me from a fellow quilter I met at work.  There were bits in her stash she had not got plans for so they became my stash.

There can be interesting inspiration in gifted bits.  Material I might not have chosen for myself but looking at them I am inspired.

In this instance it had to be a cushion for my cat mad brother and his equally cat mad wife. Then I thought perhaps one each using the gifted material on the front and something else on the back.

That morphed into the back being decorated using T shirt pens and the fabric dye pastels,  as the seams would take bits of the original cats and mice away.  Add their names ready to make cushions.   

They turned out OK I think.                    

Maybe a little big for the filling, but then it has room to move.

My brother and sister-in-law liked them.

Monsieur Twiggy Toupe (yes they really did call this cat that) really really likes this one and has claimed it as his. 

That one of the cats would end up on the cushions was not unexpected.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Day Fifteen of the Advent

Some of you will have seen this design developing (and upside down) today it takes its intended place as the picture for day 15 of the Online-advent-calendar hosted by Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching. If you came here direct and not via Jo then why not click on the link, look at the previous days and join us for the rest of the hop.

So the question is...is Tom wrapping ready for gifting on Christmas Day or unwrapping early?  Either way he looks rather happy.

In addition to the Christmas Picture to go behind door number fifteen Jo asked I share any Boxing Day traditions.

I have been mulling it over and there are not many, a fry up for lunch from Christmas dinner leftovers.  Try out any gifts that were not already full explored the day before...mooch in front of the TV and eat far too many chocolates.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Secret Santa

Two words that are an immediate crafters dilemma 

Should I consider making something!

The question can't be answered until the moment the little bit of paper is drawn and the name revealed.

So now knowing who it is, should I craft, what should I make and perhaps most importantly of all have I the time to finish whatever I start. 

This year I have just changed teams, bidding farewell to people I have worked with for years and who's likes and dislike  are as known to me as mine to them.  Now the new team is a mix some I have worked with and know a little, others I do not know at all. 

I had some hopes I would draw the Star Wars enthusiast.  Alas that was not to be. I drew the name of a male colleague who's preference I have no knowledge (except he is on a diet which ruled out the easy chocolate option).  

I finally decided to craft, I bought a box and turned to my pyrography tools a quilting book and a calligraphy book to personalise the box.

You may guess that the recipient of my Secret Santa'ing  has the initial P.

Here are the books I got the Celtic Knot and the P from.

I finished nicely in time, early actual as I will not be at work for the gift giving so I won't know for at least a week  if he liked it or not.

At least I had fun making it.

A little update, he liked it and what is more embellished it.

carefully colouring it in with highlighter pens, which surprisingly have set into the varnish.

I think he was after the fact worried I would be upset at his addition but hey as a meddling embellisher myself I am rather chuffed he liked it enough to add his own personal touch and make it his own!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Upside down

this looks rather scary and weird!

an angry sort of tiger!

right way up?

And the final image is coming together.

Can you make it out yet?

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Christmas runner

The material for this Christmas runner came in a bag of "scraps" from a local curtain shop.  I was already delighted by the price of the "end of roll" material at the back of the shop.  Material over £20 a metre at £1 or occasionally on sale for 50p.

Always happy to cut just a metre and willing to advise if a particular material just was not going to wash at all well the shop assistant was ever cheerful in woolly hat and gloves almost all year round.  Brrr was that shop cold! A bag of free random bits, well that is a delight to me both on the parsimonious side but also there is something about figuring out what to do with random that appeals.

Cream on cream

This cream and gold (reversible to cream on cream) material was already in strips. Very heavy curtain weight it was not going to do for the patchwork however, my mother had mentioned liking the idea of a table runner, and the ones she liked were not cheep.

Gold on Cream

So, edged with satin bia binding (bought from Boyes at a most reasonable price) and finished with matching tassels from my stash this particular bit of gifted fabric became a Christmas runner.

I have some more strips, and of course it is in the back of my mind (and for some time it has stayed there who knows when it will reach the front) to get some more bias binding and tassels and make some more.

The happy lady trying to stay warm in her woolly hat was always encouraging me to make stuff and sell it. I never have. Well other than the charity craft fair at work, but I am not sure she would have counted that!

At the moment I just wish I knew where (if at all) she and the shop she ran have gone.  The shutters came down at the location I knew a long time ago and although she spoke of them reopening at another location there have never been any "we have moved to" signs on the door.

Now that would be a good Christmas gift, finding them again.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Hospital stitching

Well this time the appointment went ahead as planned and happily I got less stitching done than anticipated as the procedure took less time than expected.

I can't say that the addition of a bit more grey and some red have clarified things much however, I am still finding it quite pleasing to look at.