Monday, 28 May 2012

Sewing, stamping and stock

I have been busy working away on some new stock for my Folksy shop.  I got out my fabric stamps again and started playing around with stamps and fabric combinations.

I also started using some of the lovely fabrics I showed you in my last post

I was very disciplined and only allowed myself to go outdoors and enjoy the sunshine once I'd finished all the machine sewing!  I took some things outside to stuff and then hand sewed the openings....

So what was I making? 

Some more of my 'Sewing Essentials' kits! 

Here's how the complete 'kit' looks -

Each kit contains a handy drawstring project bag (complete with french seams = no raw, fraying edges), pin cushion and little needle book with 2 felt pages, and a handy little pocket - perfect for holding threads, buttons etc.  Here's the inside of the needle book -

This lovely yellow floral Sewing Essentials kit can now be found here in my Folksy shop

I also had a play around with other fabric combinations, here are some of them -

Cute pink cherries.  This Sewing Essentials kit can be found here in my Folksy shop

This gorgeous blue floral fabric reminds me of Cath Kidston/vintage type material, it's actually from Sew La La online fabric shop who stock a gorgeous range of vintage inspired fabrics.  This kit can now be found here in my Folksy shop

Lastly is this lovely bright pink birds/flowers kit.  This one can be found here in my Folksy shop

Now, whilst the sun is still shining I am thinking about trying some little embroidery designs to embellish my next projects, so I'll take my sewing project bag out side and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts :)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Goodies from USA

Wow, what great weather we're having!  I'm scared to miss out on any of it in case it doesn't last long, however I'm finding the mid afternoons just a tad too hot so I'll take this opportunity to let you finally see all the goodies I got from the Other Half's trip to America :)

Not only did he come back with a suitcase full of fabric for me (that I had ordered from Hawthorne Threads and Lola Pink Fabrics) but he also returned with all these yummy treats -

Mmm, peanut butter and chocolate - what a combination!

Now, onto the important stuff - the fabric.

I place 2 orders and had them shipped to my sister-in laws house in Ohio (where my OH was staying) so not only were the fabrics mucho-cheap, shipping was also next to nothing,  how jammy do I feel?!

So here's some pics of my new fabrics -

I got a huge selection of basics, only after I looked through them did I realise the majority were dots!! (Totally subliminal ordering!), a little bit of Flea Market Fancy, and some Scoot - 'boy' fabrics with a transport theme.  Some of the fabrics were in the sale and of course I couldn't resist such bargains. 

This is the huge bundle of fabrics that I realised have circles or dots on them! 

After I had opened my packages of fabrics I sat at the dining table for ages just playing around with different combinations, there are lots of bright colours in the fabrics I've ordered, I love bright colours, and especially bright pinks, there are a lot of them in there! 

There are also some very pretty neutrals, always handy to have.

Cute boy fabrics which hopefully will be turned into sweet little boy quilts :)

First things first, as with all new fabrics I get, these went straight into the washing machine and out to dry -

* A note re pre-washing fabrics - I always pre-wash my fabrics because a) fabrics shrink the first time you wash them and I don't want someone washing a cushion cover or something else I've made and it shrinks and ends up a mess, and b) I'm worried that bright/dark colours could run into light colours once sewn together and ruin the finished product. 

Not everyone pre-washes, but these are the reasons I'd recommend you do. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A project bag

You may have noticed lately that I've been taking a bit more of an interest in hand sewing.  You can see some embroidery I did in my last post.  I've also been working on some cross stitch from my new book 'Cross Stitcher Home Style'.

I'll show you more of the project I chose in another blog post, but for now, here is a little taster - the pretty threads I'm working with -

So of course I needed somewhere to store my book while I was working with it, my aida, hoop, threads etc, right?  I thought I'd make a fairly large zippy pouch.  I had some lovely thick Cath Kidston in mind...teamed it up with pretty pink/white polka dots and designed/sewed both at the same time. 

Pretty fabrics and a zip....
A handy little inside pocket...
I added a little key fob - always handy for tape measure or attaching a little needle case to etc.

I added a double outside pocket too, pockets are good, I hate having to rummage around in the bottom of a bag to find stuff!

I also boxed the bottom corners of my bag to increase storage space. is the finished bag -

I made it pretty big so that it would hold the book or magazine I was working from, my travel sewing roll, my little zippy pouch that holds my threads and scissors, and my fabric and hoop. 

You get a better idea of the size here -

Extra spacious!
Such a handy bag, with lots of storage, it's been great already for keeping my things away from the toddler (and the cat) and just generally keeping my sewing clean while I'm not working on it. It will also come in really handy for when I'm taking projects out and about. 

After all that sewing (and brain-work!) I was ready to relax for a bit with a cuppa and some home-made carrot cake, yum!

PS. If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll be aware that my other half has recently spent a little time in America....of course I didn't miss my chance to order some (OK, a *lot*) of fabric from some lovely US fabric stores.  I'll show you in my next post the massive pile of fabricy goodness he came home with!!

Linking up to -

Sew Happy Geek Making

Monday, 7 May 2012

A little bit of Cath...

I seem to be going through a massive phase of hand sewing/crafts lately, first there was the crochet, and then I started to get into embroidery.  I ordered some great books, including A Rainbow of Stitches which I would highly recommend.

This book is full of cross stitch and embroidery designs.  I'm not very good at freehand drawing, so this is ideal as it features little motifs (and bigger designs) that I can trace and embroider.

I also got Cath Kidston's book Make.   There isn't so much that I'd actually do from the book, however, when I saw the cute little embroidered roses I just knew I had to give them a try! 

The design starts off as a drawing like this -

...and you trace it onto your fabric.  Julie from The Awkward Niche recommended Frixion pens for tracing/drawing onto fabric.  The pen lines are then easily removed by ironing your finished work.  (I transferred the image onto plain white paper, taped it to the window, and placed my fabric on top so I could trace it!)

This design took me about 2.5 hours in total to sew.  I used 3 strands of thread so the finished look wasn't too chunky, I felt that some of the designs in the book weren't as delicate as I'd like my finished embroidery to be.'s how my embroidered Cath Kidston rose looks -

Every time I look at it I feel more pleased with it!  When I first finished it I wasn't too sure about it...but I think that's just because I've never really done anything like this before, and I wasn't sure how it was supposed to look!  I really love the effect the longer satin stitches give, so this will definitely be something I'll experiment more with in future embroidery projects. 

I've just done this one on a little piece of cream calico fabric and plan to use it as a 'patch', that I can sew onto another project (not sure what yet). 

The main reason I wanted to try this particular piece of embroidery is that over on Instagram, I've been seeing lots of people embroidering onto cardigans!  Firstly is this one I saw on Tales from Cuckoo Land and then I found this gorgeous pink version on Shabby Chic Sarah.

When we had our shopping trip last Tuesday, I searched everywhere for a suitable cardigan, but of course, I couldn't find one that was 'just right'.  I'll keep searching, and in the mean time I'll keep practising my hand sewing....

Linking up to -

Making I Heart Nap Time

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Follow the snail trail!

A blog post on a slightly different theme today....snails!

Laura from Cupcakes for Clara is launching a new range. Laura has very cleverly created a new character called Colin.

Can you see why I love Colin? - He reminds me of my 2 year old (red head) son, Joshua!

Colin is a little boy who loves to collect snails...whereas Joshua likes to stand on them, ....but let's not dwell on that!

Laura's new range will launch on Wednesday 9th May and until then a few of us bloggers have arranged some snail trail fun for you!

So here's what you need to do - on this page there is a snail hidden, click on the snail and you'll be taken to some fabulous FREE downloadable fun!

You can check Laura's blog daily for updates of the blogs taking part (and where to find more free stuff!).

Remember to check Laura's Etsy shop next week for the launch of some gorgeous new products.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Shopping treats

I thought I'd share with you a few of the lovely items I got from a shopping trip on Tuesday. 

We headed North, to Dundee.

The beautiful view over the River Tay towards Dundee
My OH and I had a lovely day out, here was the agenda - shopping, coffee (and cake!), more shopping, lunch, more shopping, home. 

We hit Primark first, and spent a l-o-n-g time in there!  At least the OH had his iPhone/Twitter/Internet to keep him busy while he waited.....

Here's a dress I tried on (and bought), the pic is a little fuzzy, but you get the idea

A very rare sighting - a photo of ME!
I also got a top -

I really love this pinky coral colour and luckily it seems to be in the shops now.  I also need to work on adding bright/light colours into my wardrobe more. 

And that was ALL the clothing I got in Primark (well, for myself anyway, we got Joshua a few bits and pieces).  I did, however, get a few very pretty things for the house -

Cushion cover on the left, tea towls on the right

How gorgeous are these patterns?  Very Cath Kidston inspired...and very pretty.  I just love the cushion cover, I would love to get fabric like this from the roll!

I also got this lovely tea towel -

I *almost* feel that this one is too pretty to will pain me to use it, but it will look so nice hung up in the kitchen!  I really should've bought more to use for sewing with ;)

I also found this cute wrapping paper, again, it reminded me of Cath Kidston -

The red/white star fabric in the background is a cushion cover I got for Joshua's room.  It's all baby blue and cream at the moment, but when he moves into his 'big boy' bed (hopefully no time soon!) I'll introduce more primary colours (and that's where the plan for his own quilt comes in too!). 

Lastly from Primark I got these photo frames/boxes.

I've been experimenting with embroidery/cross stitch lately and I have a plan in mind for these frames. 

Phew, that was a long time spent in Primark.  Can you tell I love it in there?  Cheap and cheerful :)

Then it was time for this -

The OH was flagging after only one shop! 

I was lucky enough to have some WH Smith vouchers so I snapped up this gorgeous collection book from Cross Stitcher -

I can't wait to try some of the projects in here, my mind is absolutely full of inspiration and ideas!

I also got this cute measuring tape washi tape - I couldn't resist!

Lastly, I got me a new scarf.  I've been looking for ages for something that was 'just right' and now I've found it :)

Phew, that was a lotta shopping!  We had a lovely day, and managed to spend lots of time together (even if it was me shopping and him carrying the bags!).  The reason we planned a day together is that next week, the OH heads off to America for just over a week...but on the plus side I've ordered 2 big packages of fabric from American fabric stores...and they're waiting over there for me...yippee!  (I'm just finding the silver lining and all that!)