Wednesday, November 28, 2012

52 weeks Round Up - Part 4 - Crafts just for you!

The focus of Part 4 of the crafty round up is 'Crafts just for you!'... or alternatively 'Crafts just because!'... I'm showing off a bunch of lovely things are don't necessarily fill a need, but are nice to have, make great gifts and are great for 'just having'.

Have a look at what's on show and click on the images to be taken to the auctions, or check out my little auction widget below.

The first is this sweet little pair of Matryoshka badges I made back in Week #30.

The next are these bum-soak-saving one-size-fits all bicycle seat caps, which I made back in Week #33.

For those crafty, but organised types I made this Embroidery Hoop Organiser in week #36.

... and finally to add a little fun, this classic Purple Thread Designs framed embroidery kit which is just right for the chocolate lover on your holiday list! I made this back in Week #31.

These items, plus another bonus item are all on ebay this week with 100% going to Macmillan Cancer. Please check out the auctions below and share, post and comment away to help more people find out about my craft challenge!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Week #45 & #46 - Festive Flair

I've been busy this week gearing up for a busy Christmas season! This week's bonus items which are added to the pool of Crafts for Christmas are a gorgeous wrapped yarn wreath (Week#45) and some image transfer wooden festive bunting (Week#46).

The bunting is not quite ready to show, but I'll tell you all about my simple wrapped wreath and how you could go about making your own!

You'll need

- 1 Styrofoam/Polystyrene Ring (I used a 32 cm ring, but you can use any size you like!)
- Felt to roughly match your yarn
- 2 lots of yarn for wrapping
- Pom poms, decorations, etc for embellishment

Step. 1 Cut felt and wrap your wreath (glue it down with hot glue)

I found that wrapping with a matching felt, made it easier to wrap the yarn and softened the edges of the wreath a bit - but this is optional depending on the look you want to achieve.

Step. 2 - Glue one end of the yarn down, and being to wrap!

... and wrap...

... and wrap...

until you are all wrapped up!

Step 3: Make a pompon or ball of yarn, and add some decorations (I used some of my own laser-cut bauble decorations)... hang and enjoy!

How easy was that?

This little gorgeous wreath was made with some leftover wool form a scarf I made myself with wool from my Buenos Aires Yarn District adventures.

Of course this little gem will be for auction with 100% going to Macmillan Cancer Support and stay tuned for the unveiling of Craft #46 this evening, my wooden bunting with a retro look image transfer... here's a preview to get you excited!

***Update*** my wood bunting is finished. Check it out the finished results and feel free to bid on the auction below!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week #42 and then some! Round Up Part 3

As promised, things are getting a little Christmassy in here and since November and December are my favourite months on the craft calendar, I've been hoarding up some crafty ideas and getting making to up those numbers, up those totals and give you lots of Christmas cheer!

In the Crafty Round Up Part 3 - I'm focusing in on Crafts for Christmas, with three little numbers I've pulled out of my back catalogue and made for Christmas 2012.

The first is my 'award winning' Jingle Bell Reindeer (which won my a subscription to Cloth Magazine last year in the Sewing Directory's Christmas Competition), which is Craft #42 in the challenge.

Check this little guy you and visit the tutorials page to see how you can make one for yourself

(or simply just visit the auction below to buy one and have 100% of your payment go to Macmillan Cancer Support).

It's also that time of year that things get to be a bit tweedy and woolly... so I cracked open my woolens box and got to making new stock for my Christmas Pop-Up Shop and upcoming events...

but these Tweedy Stockings and warm and cozy hot water bottle covers are just too nice to pass up, so I'm throwing them in as Crafts #43 and #44.

The winner of each auction will get be able to select the colour of their choice!

(hot water bottle included)

... and in case that's not enough Christmas for you, there is more to come as there will be TWO more bonus items this week appearing on the blog on Thursday to take the year-long total up to 46 crafts.

Suddenly 52 is starting to look a whole lot closer!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Week #41 - I Spy Bunting

Earlier in my 52 weeks : 52 crafts challenge, I showed that a few scraps can go a long way with my I Spy Quillow and now I'm showing another variation on that theme... check out my I Spy Bunting!

A fun little way to decorate your little one's bedroom - hang them up in the window or from the ceiling over the bed, and you'll have a great decoration as well as a fun game to play.  This bunting measures 4.5 meters in length, and has 28, 4"inch triangles hanging from it, each made up with 2 different fabrics... that means 56 different patterns and things to spy!

Check it out...

what do you think? When the light is a little better I'll take some photos of the bunting all hung up so you can see it from a few different angles.

This item is my 41st item in my 52 weeks : 52 crafts challenge, and it the bonus item which is a part of my 'Crafts for Young Ones' - round up Part 2 - where there are lots of other great items to buy!

Check out the auctions here - they all end this Sunday night in the two hour period ending 8:00 pm GMT.  Just remember, that the widget only updates once an hour, so if its Sunday night you might have less time to bid than you think!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

52 crafts round up : Part #2 - Crafts for Young Ones

Welcome to week #1 for the 52 weeks : 52 crafts roundup - where I am bringing back lots of items from weeks past in homes to find them homes and help you tick a few people off your Christmas list!

Each week this month I'll be reviewing this year's progress with a little round-up and throw in a new item into the mix.

This week's theme is "Crafts for Young Ones" and I'm rounding up a range of things I've made for little ones throughout the year. In addition to the patchwork baby quilt I've made new this week, there are a few items still waiting to find happy homes!

Here's what's going up (click on the photo to go to the auction)

Craft #40  - Patchwork Quilt

Craft #13 - Plush Tangrams - Aliens

Craft #13 - Plush Tangrams - Owls

Craft #32 - Fabric Lampshade - Castle Peeps

Craft #24 - Laser Cut Mobile - Under the Sea

**Updated Bonus Item** Craft #41 - I Spy Bunting

All these items, plus the secret bonus item will be ending between 18:00 and 19:45 on Sunday November 18th. Get your Christmas shopping done, while supporting Macmillan Cancer Support!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week # 40 - Baby Quilt and pattern

Hi there folks, just a little update with this week's project and a bit of news on the 52 weeks : 52 crafts front!

I've had a favourite little patchwork pattern of my lying around for a few years which I often use in teaching courses and what not, but have never got around to making available through my blog or online shop... we'll in celebration of the final 12 crafts countdown to Christmas, I've whipped up a sample and prepped my pattern for sale!

Now I'm not one for symmetry or things that are "too match-ey match-ey" but I've always loved this pattern of mine for the simplicity of it, as well as the versatility that the pattern has for taking different fabrics and colour combinations.

This little quilt measures 36" by 42" when its finished (about 3 feet by 3 1/2 feet).  It's a great pattern for beginners to follow as well as a quick breeze for an experienced sewer. All you need for it is 7 fat quarters in matching/contrasting fabrics (it's up to you!), some wadding and a back fabric and this whips up with perfect proportions and fabric usage.

Check out this one I made for the craft challenge using Mint Blossoms 'Karma Baby' fabric (if the quilt looks a little damp its because I sprayed it to remove the fabric pen lines before taking this photo... a non-damp photo will appear shortly!)

.... now I normally like to mix and match fabrics from different collections, but the Karma Baby fabrics work so well together and are just so sweet that I kept it simple. I especially love the fabrics because they are perfect for babies, but at the same time they aren't too childish or too gendered in their colours and patterns. Perfect for boys or girls!

I also embellished the pattern by throwing in a little touch of white into the binding, for a piped effect which I think makes the fabrics stand out even more.

This quilt will go up for auction tonight on Ebay with 100% of the sale going to Macmillan Cancer Support, and then the finished pattern will go up for sale on my website later this week...  I'll be selling the complete pattern and tutorial for £5 with 100% of the profits going to Macmillan Cancer Support from now until Christmas.

Stay tuned as this quilt will be joined with other baby/kid friendly items tomorrow when I post my 52 weeks : 52 craft round up Part 2 tomorrow afternoon!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Quilty Stocking - Part 2

Thanks for all the lovely comments and feedback on the Quilty Stocking tute I posted earlier this week. As promised, I'm now posting Part 2 - with easy quilting and assembly instructions so you can finish your stocking off right!

To finish your stocking you'll need:

- 2 stocking outers (made from Quilty Stocking - Part 1)
- Plain Calico or any other fabric suitable for the lining (at least a half meter)
- wadding/batting (at least a half meter)

- Quilters Square
- Rotary Cutter
- Cutting Mat 
- Fabric Pen (washable)
- Sewing Machine and Kit

1. Cut your linings

Fold you lining fabric over (right sides together if you are doing a patterned lining) so you can trace and cut through two layers, and lay one of your stocking outers face-down so that you can trace around it.  Cut around your tracing mark, or just use the edges of your stocking outer for guidance.

If you are using a patterned fabric or a fabric with a "right side" for the lining, by fold and laying them right sides together you'll end up with two pieces which are oppositely shaped, just like your stocking outers.

2. Quilting Time

Set your linings aside, and lay your patchwork pieces on two pieces of wadding/batting which are roughly cut out to be bigger than the stocking shape. (I just cut might roughly, being sure there was at least a 1/2 inch on all sides).

Pin in a few places, or use fusible wadding to hold it together and quilt however you like - Straight lines, side to side, curves, and what not. If you are straight line quilting a walking foot might help you keep all layers together.

I just did a simple 'stitch in the ditch' around the perimeter of the stars, to make them stand out. I just followed my patchwork lines, and pivoted in the corners of the star, going all the way around until I came back to the edge of my stocking.  I found this was enough to hold my layers, as I also used a fusible wadding.

Here's a close up of my stitching. You can see that by stitching in the ditch, my stitches are fairly well hidden, but also add some depth to make the star stand out a little more.

3. Trim, trim, trim.

Once you quilting is complete, trim the wadding down to match the edges of your stocking.

4. Make a hanging loop.

To make a hanging loop I simply cut a 2.5" by 6" rectangle of my lining fabric, and then pressed it in half lengthwise. I then opened it up and used my press line as the centre mark to then fold each of the raw edges in so that they were pressed to the centre, before finally pressing along the centre line again so that the long raw edges were pressed into the middle.

Then sewing a few line of finishing stitches to hold your loop together.

 5. Assemble the pieces.

Take one of your stocking outers and one of your linings, and lay them face down together so that the stocking shape lines up nicely. Then sew with a 1/4" seam across the top of your stocking only. So that the pieces are linked at the top.

Press open so that your stocking outer appears like this:

Then do the same for the second outer and inner.

6. Bring it all together.

Lay your two finished stocking inner/outers face down together so they sort of look like a giant comedy handlebar moustache.

Like so:

Pin in place, and then sew around the entire perimeter of the stocking with a generous 1/4" seam starting at the foot/bottom of the lining.

As you approach the part where the lining and outer stocking meet, be sure to put the loop in place, just over 1/4 of an inch below the point where you begin to sew the outer together, as in the photo below. If you tuck it in place and continue to sew around the perimeter your hook will stay in place. If you leave a generous 1/4 inch then you'll have enough room to sew your finishing stitch around the top of the stocking later.

Above you can see where the loop is in place between the outer stockings, and below you can see how it looks when you continue to sew, with just the edge of the loop sticking out.

Continue to sew around the entire perimeter, leaving a 4" gap in the sole/foot/bottom of the stocking. (see below)

Here's how the stocking looks from the outside, before its turned out. You can see my 1/4" seam and my quilting lines.

 7. Finishing touches.

Turn your project inside out, using the hole in the foot and then press.

Tuck the edges around the turning out hole in and sew a quick top-stitch to close the hole, backstitching at both ends (this will be hidden in the boot of the stocking, so no need to do a fancy invisible stitch!)

Push your lining into the stocking, and press around the top so that the lining lays nice and flat.

If you like, sew a few lines of finishing stitches around the top of the stocking to ensure your fold stays nicely in place.

Sewing around the top edge of the stocking. 

Trim any loose ends, and then hang your stocking up and be proud.

Your work isn't over yet, though as you'll still have to decide what to fill it with... or better yet, make it for yourself and leave that job up to Santa~

If you like this stocking, but making it isn't for you - you can buy it on ebay and support Macmillan Cancer Support through my 52 weeks : 52 crafts fundraiser. Just click on the link above to be taken to the auction which ends Sunday at 19:00 GMT.

Or use one of the buttons below to subtly share it with someone whose gift list you are on, and you might find it full of treats on Christmas morning! There are also lots of other great gifts for sale this week, so please check them out in my 52 weeks : 52 crafts round up Part 1 here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

52 crafts round up : Part #1 - Crafts for at Home

Welcome to week #1 for the 52 weeks : 52 crafts roundup - where I am bringing back lots of items from weeks past in homes to find them homes and help you tick a few people off your Christmas list!

Each week this month I'll be reviewing this year's progress with a little round-up and throw in a new item into the mix.

This week's theme is "Crafts for at Home" and I'm rounding up a range of gorgeous things I've made that will give your home that extra little handmade touch! Today 7 more auctions are going live, bringing the week's total to 8 auctions - and on Thursday a final bonus auction will take the total to nine!

Here's what's going up (click on the photo to go to the auction)

Craft #4 - Tile Coasters 
Craft #29 - Chalkboard Wine Glasses
Craft #31 - Framed Cross Stitch - I need Chocolate 

 Craft #32 - Fabric Lampshade - Castle Peeps

Craft #35 - Mini Cushion - Autumn Leaves

 Craft #37 Saucy Saucepan Holders (above and below)

 Craft #38 - Patchwork Stocking

All these items, plus the secret bonus item will be ending between 18:00 and 20:00 on Sunday November 11th. Get your Christmas shopping done, while supporting Macmillan Cancer Support!