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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Hook, stitch and explore

A little hooky time ...

I now have 30 grannys to make Amy's cushion. 15 brightly triple coloured with the black edge for the front and 15 single coloured with again black edge for the back.

Just need to make an effort and do the sewing up and make it look presentable now, thats the boring bit, a good DVD and an hour or two sitting in the daytime needed, you just can't sew black in the evening with the artificial light.

I happened to be looking at Rachael's hookabilities blog when Amy was here and she noticed the lovely ripple Rachael is working on. Oooh's and ahhhh's and she asked if the second cushion could be a ripple. I've never done a ripple before, but have given it a go, it's growing nicely, a few more rows added since this pic and a couple more colours too.

A little stitching time ...

A monthly ornament for September. This one is for Isabelle. As you can see i've stitched 'Isabelle's 1st Christmas' on it. Amy has a new ornament each year for her tree and this year it's going to be this one.

This little design i'm sure you all know well. It's one of the 2006 12 Blessings of Christmas by Lizzie Kate. These have a very special meaning to me. I lost my dad December 2005 and during 2006 i stitched the Blessings onto one piece of fabric in memory of dad - a very therapeutic stitching project - and gave it to a local hospice and they have it on show each Christmas in their chapel. I thought that as Isabelle is our little angel and my dad is an angel dad it would be most appropriate, some of you might thank thats silly?

Wednesday evenings have been spent in the parlour with Barb and some of the ladies in the Sampler Girl SAL at Needlecraft Haven. I've managed to build a house this month, why is it house stitching/building always seems to take so long? I do find that it seems to take me longer to stitch a house than anything else, is it the same for you? Do you avoid designs that have houses on them for this reason?

A little relaxation time ....

A few days away for DH and i, some quality time hoping to visit places we have never been to before, it's nice to have a little holiday, i'll show you pics of our trip when we return.

Hope you are all well and happy

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Last year i was so impressed when i saw a covered tape measure i knew i just had give it a go. I looked at a few tutorials to get ideas.

This is how i covered the ones i have sent out to friends. It might not be the right way to do it, but it works for me and i am happy with the finished result. I haven't had any complaints from ladies who have received them that they have fallen apart yet!

I was asked if i could provide a tutorial of how i make them, so here goes, my first attempt at anything like this, i'll try my best.

The last one i made i tried to photograph at each stage -

Materials you will need :-
1. Retractable tape measure (i buy mine at a well known supermarket on the haberdashery stand, there are other sizes and shapes available)
2. Double sided tape
3. Scissors - 2 pairs, sharp pointed ones and standard ones (where are my sharp ones in this pic?)
4. Craft glue
5. Paintbrush
6. Stitched design - please make sure it fits before you start
7. Backing fabric
8. Braiding (as deep as the side of the tape measure)

Fix 2 strips of double sided tape to the retractable side making sure you cut the edges to the curved shape - be careful not to cover the button

Fix 2 strips to the other side the same

Stick the double sided tape all around the edge making sure you go right to the ends near the puller. I use a 1cm tape as it is the perfect size for this type of tape measure. (Forgot to take a pic of that but you can see it in the pic below)

Remove the backing from the double sided tape on the flat side and attach your stitched piece making sure you centre it. Don't worry if you get it wrong, it often happens, just take it off carefully and reposition. You might need to remove the tape if it's not so sticky and start again. Press down firmly and then carefully cut around the fabric leaving only enough to go down the side of the measure halfway.

Remove the backing tape along the side and carefully press down the fabric all around the edge. You will need to cut around the hole carefully with your sharp scissors - here they are in this picture, i knew i took a pic of them!

Remove the the backing tape on the reverse side and do exactly the same thing again with your chosen backing fabric.

Place the braid around the tape measure and cut to length

Now for the messy bit with paintbrush and glue. I use the plastic cover that the tape came in and put some glue into that, it's so much easier to use with the paintbrush and you dont get too sticky and it's not so messy, you just throw it away when you've finished with it.

Put a layer of glue all around the edge of the tape measure along the middle to hold the braid, being sure to cover the edges of both fabrics.

Press the braiding into place. I always put glue all the way around the square opening to secure all the loose threads of the fabric to stop the stitched piece from fraying and to stop the braid fraying. The PVA glue i use dries clear so is not seen, make sure your glue is clear when dried too.

Be patient while you leave it to dry thoroughly, mine are left overnight to be sure.

HEY PRESTO...... a lovely gift for a friends birthday, or for your own workbox. I really should make myself one of these!

I hope this makes sense and would really love to see any that you make. If you need anything clarifying or have a problem, there is an email button top left of the blog or you can leave me a comment.

Happy tape measure covering.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Fruit & Veg Show

The fruit and veg show was a huge success. Lots of new exhibitors this time and the tables were laden with produce and crafting items.

The guy that usually takess the pics for us was not there this year, DH did manage to snap a few before the judges from the Royal Horticultural Society did their best to award prizes - its a hard job and they have 3 years training and a written and practical exam to be able to wear the gold plated badge and have the honour of being allowed to judge at a show.

I am so disappointed though, the ones of the craft table didn't come out so nothing to show my crafting friends of the talents of our local ladies.

Here's the pics DH took of the hall. I'm hoping someone else has some so i'll be able to show you the craft stuff at a later date, i am asking others who attended but so far no luck.

The floral arrangement section was disappointing this time, it usually does so well and the childrens section was also disappointing. One young man was thrilled though that his 'Miniature garden in a standard seed tray' won him a trophy and a 1st place rosette, he had sewn real grass seed over the summer hols and kept it clipped with scissors, pure dedication!

The fruit and vegetables were amazing, we had some guys from a new allotment society entering, they were such fun when they came to sign in and were surprised at the things that had to be done to some of their goodies to make them suitable for showing. Anyone involved with a show like this will know the special requirements that have to be adhered to unless you want to be disqualified with a 'not in schedule' ticket on your beautiful exhibit. I have had that happen to me before and it is so disappointing when you have taken such pride in your exhibit.

Plants and flowers were in adundance and we did well in the cookery section. This includes cakes, fruit pies, jams, marmalades etc. I entered a few things into this one and didn't do too badly. The marmalade that the stitch club ladies love so much won me a 1st place!

All together i was lucky to receive 1 x 1st place, 2 x 2nd place and 2 x 3rd place (Isabelle's crochet bunny was one of these in the handmade toy category).

Dh did somewhat better, he had 3 x 1st place, 2 x 2nd place, and 4 x 3rd place. I must say that we did not enter as much as we usually do this time as we have won the trophys for so many years we both felt it was time for someone new to have a win instead.

One of the ladies from our stitch group won the 1st place in the cross stitch and my Grand Marquoir came 2nd, she was delighted and so was i as it was her first time in entering. She had stitched a 'stitch-a-photo' pic of her 6 grandchildren.

I did remember to get a pic of the prize books with their stitched design on the front for you to see them all together, i took them the day before the show. These are given out with the trophy so the winner had something to keep, one for each category that had a trophy. They looks so lovely all together, i stitched 2 of them and the others were done by the lady who runs the stitch club. The sampler was well received by the Best in Show winner, that went to one of the organisers for her floral arrangement display, so has a good home.

I also entered a hand knitted garment into the show.

I had just finished a new cardigan for Isabelle, here she is modelling it. It looks so much better modelled than on the table!

A beautiful pattern that i borrowed from one of the stitch club ladies, it is a Snuggly Double Knit pattern number 1708, an easy knit but the fringe did give me some trouble to start with till i got the hang of it.

The day of the show was Clare's birthday, i had remembered before hand and sent off a little parcel to her. I made her one of my covered tape measures and as she loves everything French thought part of an old free design by Windy Willows was perfect.

I was asked some time ago to do a tutorial for one of these and very cafrefully took pics of all the stages of putting it together, so i'll put that together for you soon, but silly me forgot to take a pic of the final finish, so i have snagged this one from Clare's blog. I'm pleased you liked it Clare and that you had a lovely birthday.

I am looking forward to getting back to normal now the show is over for another year, even though it is enjoyable it does take up a lot of time nearer to the event and my hobbies do suffer. The nights are drawing in now so plenty of time to snuggle on the sofa of an evening and get crafting, so watch this space for updates of what i have been beavering away at (hopefully - fingers crossed) ......

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Septembers here!

Here we are into September, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures have dropped considerably in the daytime. Time to break out the autumnal woollies and wrap up cosy in the evenings.

It's that time of the year when craft projects take off again now we are not able to enjoy outside activities so much.

Not a lot of stitching happening here so far in September, lack of concentration and organisation for the show coming up, thats on Saturday this week, so lots to keep me busy and i really dont want to be frogging what i do manage to do, if any!

Having a little relaxation time in the evenings i have been hooking though. A few little grannies to make into a nice bright cushion for Amy to accompany the throw i made for her at Christmas, you can see it in this post.

Each time i finish one it makes me smile and so happy to see the way the different colours combine, how can hook and wool make something so pretty and satisfying and it does make me marvel at the thought that i can whip up something like this when i only learnt to do this hobby such a short time ago. Big thumbs up to the internet and online buddies for help and encouragement, there are so many sites offering help and support for anyone wanting to learn a new skill.

I did stitch at the end of August and completed the monthly challenge at Needlecraft Haven just in the nick of time with pic sent off to Christine. Other finishes for this design can be seen in the album. This time the chart was by Le Chalet des Perelles and was called Le Temps des Cerises, i made mine into a tin top and will use it to store my spare needles.

Christmas stitching in the summer and i am now back on track with a monthly ornament for August.

I have loved this design for so long and finally its completed. From the JCS ornament magazine 2009 and is called Peace by Blackbird Designs.

Being so small i decided to add a fabric border to make it a little larger, its turned out really nice and will make a great addition to the others i have.

And talking of the others i've stitched this year, i remembered to take a pic of all 7 together, one for each month except July as i didn't do one that month. Maybe i'll be able to get two done one month before we get to Christmas to make the full dozen.

All by different designers and they look so lovely when you see them together. They are to add into Christmas parcels for family and friends, i'm tying to be organised this year and not have the mad rush to stitch/make things later in the year.

Are you starting your Christmas pressie making yet?

DH and i had a lovely drive to the seaside again this past weekend. Relatives have a new caravan at Heacham. A lovely place and we were invited to spend the day with them on Sunday. It was a little chilly and the rain came down in the afternoon but we had lots of fun playing board games inside till the rain stopped and we could walk along the sea front, very bracing but wonderful, i do love the sound of the waves lapping at the shore, there is nothing nicer in my mind.

It's a lovely place to visit and there is so much to do only a short drive away, a good place to holiday. I know of quite a few folks who enjoy this part of Englands coastline.

I was asked a question in a previous post by dooniebabe (i was unable to reply to you personally as there was no way to get in touch) ~ Where did you purchase the melamine square plates ~ They came from BHS (we have a local store close to where i live) and were in the sale when they were clearing out the summer stock last month.

Thanks to all who stop by for a quick read, i do appreciate your comments but i do know how hard it is in our busy lives to find time these days to do this. I am still way behind on blog reading with organising for the show, but hopefully after the show at the weekend i'll have more time to catch up with what you have all been up to and more time to do a bit more crafting myself.

Take care, love to you all