Monday, 31 August 2015

Repurposed Wool Pixie Hat

I think I may have a new sewing obsession - Pixie Hats!

This is from a pattern by Big Little. Aimee from Small Steps Big Noises first introduced me to these gorgeous woodland inspired sewing patterns a while back, she has made quite a few beautiful pieces from Big Little, like this Wild Things Hooded Scarf for instance, I have definite plans to make one of those too.

This pattern was incredibly simple and quick to make. You really don't need amazing sewing skills or any experience following patterns to make this.

The cat decided he wanted to be part of our photo shoot!

And one of the things I obviously love about Big Little creations is that they are perfect for repurposed wools. This hat started life as a jumper.

View from the back.

Quite a few of the patterns, this one included, feel like they would be perfect for Christmas present making. This one is going to be tucked away as a present for Maria, so Venetia is sworn to secrecy. Although I think the style really suits Venetia too, so I can see a different one being made for Venetia for Christmas!

The jumper I used was a bit on the small side, especially as I obviously wanted to try and match up stripes, so I went with the age 3-5 sizing to make it fit, and I think it's still OK for Venetia never mind Maria.

So this month I'm finally getting back to linking up with 'Ho, ho, ho and on we sew' again (only 16 weeks till Christmas!), which for August is over at Sunshine Through the Rain.

I think there may be a good few more Christmas present Pixie Hats over the next 16 weeks, they are very cute (as well as warm and comfy) and I do have a plentiful wool stash which could do with being reduced somewhat!

Perhaps pet Pixie Hats could work too!

Now that we're about to hit September, have you got Christmas crafting plans in mind?


Friday, 28 August 2015

Golden Anniversary Quilt

A finished quilt today! You last saw this way back here in July when I was working on the centre. It was made from one beautiful (but slightly stained in places), embroidered table cloth, and 2 plain vintage sheets.

This quilt was a special quilt because it was a present for very special people on a very special occasion. Harry's Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary - a Golden Anniversary, hence the golden yellow colours in there. They are such lovely people, and it's wonderful to have them as family. Making a quilt under those circumstances is just a pure pleasure.

One of my favourite photos from a recent visit with us, the children all adore them.

Photographing it was not such a pleasure, it's a bit on the large size to hold easily, and unfortunately most of my photos were fairly rubbish!

Folded up was easiest!
Aside from the very familiar use of repurposed fabric, this one feels quite a different kind of quilt to my usual makes. I'm so much more used to working with a wide colour range. In fact, only a month or so ago I remember making a comment that I couldn't ever imagine making a 2 colour quilt, and yet that's pretty much what that is here. What have you made or done recently that you thought you'd never do?

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF which today is over at My Quilt Infatuation.

Have a great weekend,


Monday, 24 August 2015

Take 5

1) Ho, ho, ho and on we soap!
I've missed the last couple of months of 'Ho, ho, ho and on we sew', this is not good for my Christmas organisation, but I'm hoping to get back on track this month! So far in August, present making has taken the form of soaps and bath bombs though rather than sewing. Perfect activity with children on a rainy day (of which we have had many!)

It's also a great way to get them wanting to have a bath, too often mine don't see the need!

There are masses of DIY recipes available online and if you're looking for supplies to give it a go, we recently put together a bath bomb making present with goodies from The Soap Kitchen. They're a local company for us but with internet ordering, and I was really impressed with their customer service (I'm not in any way being paid to say so!). They do Bath Bomb Kits too if you're looking for a ready made present.

2) Hat Boxes
Latest charity shop buy - not one, not two but three hat boxes, of reducing size so they fit inside one another. 

Hat boxes are another weakness of mine at charity shops, they make handy storage containers, they're good for putting presents into and, depending on their appearance, they can be great to decorate too. We have couple in the house which I 'covered' in wools and are used to store toys.

A green flowery one with wool toadstools, which is home to some fairies and their fairy doors and accessories.

And an under the sea one...

Which houses some mermaids and other wooden sea creatures, as well as lots of shells...

Not sure to what use these latest three will be put. I think I've seen a lovely dolls' house created in one before, and a collection of hat boxes hung very effectively on the wall for storage. Or Maria might claim them, she seems to like them just as they are!

3) Daily fish
Since I just had an underwater theme going on there, I'll show you the one addition to my fish over the past couple of weeks, a crab...

He is in celebration of the many crabs which have been caught rock pooling so far in these holidays. Most of them caught by Theo, who is our expert rock pooler, though he does have a couple of crab claw wounds from some of the larger specimens!

4) ATC Swap - 'My Favourite'
The current ATC Swap (hosted by Very Berry Handmade, who also has a lovely Liberty fabric giveaway going on until Wednesday evening, so go have a look!) is nearing its end. Cards are due to be posted this week, and I have been frantically trying to get mine finished today. The theme for this one is 'My favourite'. And I bet you thought mine would have a sea or swimming related theme?! Well, no, not this time! Perhaps in an effort to not be too predictable, or perhaps because I was all sea/swimming ATC-ed out with recent wild swimming cards, I have gone down a different route. And here's a sneak peek at the closest I got to a 'mood board' for it...

5) And lastly, a photo catch up!
I've got lots of photos from the past couple of weeks that I could have picked out to include here, mainly very predictably swimming related, but we've had one particular day that stood out more than any other for all of us. One day when there was a wonderful combination of gorgeous weather, amazing surroundings and lovely friends. We went to an old quarry on Bodmin Moor which is fed by an underground spring and is now a beautiful swimming spot, with incredibly clear, deep water and loads of perfect jumping in spots.

Spot the 2 little heads straight in there!

The clear water made it easy to take underwater selfies!
If you look carefully you can see some of the many fish which swam alongside us, plus a duck! The girls enjoyed feeding them all.
A rare moment when all 4 of mine appeared in view at the same time!

This was probably the highest jump we all did, there was another one which I reckon was easily over twice as high as this one, but I was a mean Mum and wouldn't let the boys do it - I think they'd have chickened out anyway though, it was pretty scary looking down from there!

This one is actually me! I did my fair share of jumps too, it was lots of fun, but the only photographic evidence is this one which Venetia took from quite a distance, I'd just jumped from up where you can see those feet!

Lots of spectacular walking to be done all around too.

It was a very special day and definitely a place we'll visit again.


Monday, 10 August 2015

Sunflower Mini Quilt

You might remember way back in February, when I made my hanging Bat Mini Quilt, that I mentioned I had started the year wanting to add some variety to the shape/size/design of my Mini Quilts (if you're interested, find all the ones I've made so far at the bottom of my 'My Quilts' page). My bat quilt covered most of my aims on this front, but I still felt the urge to make a mini quilt which was long and thin in shape. At the time the obvious subject matter for such a quilt had seemed a giraffe, but that idea wasn't really inspiring me, and so it's been in the back of my mind ever since. At some time in the last couple of months the idea of a Sunflower Mini Quilt popped into my head instead - probably at about the time that we finally gave up on any of our real sunflowers growing this year!

And I finally got round to making it last week.

I made it on a long, thin, vintage table runner. So that I kept the lace edging, rather than binding it in any way, I 'backed' it with a covered piece of wool, the exact size of the main runner fabric.

Here's the long, oblong wool piece in the centre with a larger linen piece underneath...

Then I just folded in the corners...

And ironed all the edges over, using a little spray basting glue to help hold them down (pins would do too!)

Then I used more basting spray to stick it to the back of my runner before quilting this fabric sandwich and adding the applique sunflower.

I did think about making the sunflower as a 'dresden plate' rather than applique, but I loved the wools in my recent sunflower cushions so decided to stick with them.

And, of course, all my Mini Quilts have some words or a quote on them. A sunflower gave me lots of possibilities here, but after browsing various quotes associated with sunflowers, I decided on this...

If you do a Pinterest search for advice from a sunflower, you'll see various gems of advice that a sunflower might give us! These were my favourites.

The advice also got me thinking - what else would give good advice? Maybe a tree? Or a cloud, rainbow, bee, butterfly, dinosaur, mermaid, the sea...? Or maybe a real person in history? It feels likes there's a child friendly art/writing project in there! What thing/creature/person do you think would give the best advice?

And speaking of advice, gardening advice this time, if any of you were looking at my tomatoes in my last post and thinking I really needed to cut off masses of those leaves then you'll be pleased to hear I have.

Thanks Emma!
Basically I had been growing a lot of beautiful tomato leaves rather than tomatoes! I usually 'forget' about pinching out the side shoots on tomatoes, it seems to be a blind spot with me. Not helped by the fact that my general style of gardening tends to be plant it and then let it do its own thing! And I always lack confidence in which shoots need the pinching out. But as with lots of things in life, gardening related or not, once you start doing something you find you can figure it out better than maybe you'd anticipated, it's just a matter of diving in and giving it a go. Perhaps that would be the advice of a baby penguin?! And hopefully I'll be more likely to get a better crop of tomatoes now.