Category Archives: sewing

Yes, I’m a Wool Warehouse fan!

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Welcome to Wednesday! Yeah, a very unappreciated day. For many, it’s too far from the weekend! With my shifts, that doesn’t mean a lot. My work days this week are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then Saturday and Sunday. It was a very low-stress day at work today. Not too busy, time to put out new quilt fabrics on the shelves, nice customers.

I took photos of a couple of finished objects tonight and realised there’s a lot of Wool Warehouse product being used. The New Delhi quilt cottons in the cuff (top) are from there, as is the tortoise fabric by Lewis and Irene. And when I put the ribbon in the casing for the drawstring I used a bodkin that I also bought from Wool Warehouse. This kind of bodkin (pinch or pincer) is one I saw a lot of YouTubers using for tutorial videos and it makes putting in drawstrings so effortless.

Do you like the Bollywood Elephant button on the cuff? I originally used a silver button but when I saw those elephants at work I knew that one of them belonged on that cuff!

The Wishing Well shawl has grown fast. I zoomed through the first yarn cake and since taking that photo I’ve started on the second. I won’t use all of the second cake because the shawl is quite large already but I’ll see how it goes.

It’s going to be an early night for me tonight. No Netflix to drag me in for multiple episodes. I. Can, Resist.

Window on the Weather – Day 7

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I held out a little longer for a photo this morning. When I got up around 8am, it was pretty blah, though I did get a good action shot of squirrels running across the snow. Then the sun came out, and that was the photo I decided to use.

The four squirrels must have signed a peace treaty, as hunting in the snow for buried walnuts is taking precedence over territorial squabbles. Since Mr Fixit cleared out the broken lilac, their superhighway across the treetops has been slightly interrupted, and a black squirrel was on the cherry tree at the end of the main branch, and I could hear its thoughts as it hesitated……….WTF happened to my usual commute??? After a moment, it decided to jump anyway!

After all my manic sewing pre-Christmas, I haven’t done much this week. But I did finish these:

two more cuffs

A few days ago, I traced a seahorse from a colouring book onto fabric using a Frixion pen. After layering with batting and backing I free-motion-quilted the seahorse in three different colours of thread, then ironed it to remove the lines. The stitching is a little rough but I have a lot more control now that I wear the non-slip gloves with the little plastic dots all over. I didn’t know what I was going to make, but in the end I decided to make a small bag using some flowery fabric that echoed the thread colours for the back and the lining.

This is the last day of my week off. I’ve done a little sewing, some knitting, some reading, a lot of cooking and eating and relaxing. It’s been great! Tomorrow I’ll have to switch on the work brain and get back into the swing of things.

Any excuse for a bit more sewing…

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Any excuse for a bit more sewing…

I sewed Saturday, Sunday AND Monday. And wrapped things Monday evening so I could start giving my co-workers small gifts on Tuesday. Because we are on shift at different times, with most of us being part-time and scheduled different days, I allowed five shifts over the course of the week to see everyone before my holiday week starts on the 21st.

Usually all I feel like doing is vegging on the couch after work. I DID intend to do some knitting tonight but then I remembered that I had seen a poster at work advertising a new tutorial on the blog for a coffee cup sleeve. Coincidentally I had seen it mentioned on Facebook too, and had actually made one, but I messed it up, and the one-way print was upside down!

Well, I looked at the clock tonight at about 8pm and thought to myself, hmmm, lots of time to pop downstairs and run up a quick coffee sleeve, eh! So I did. Rather than make it in Christmassy colours, I went for a gorgeous leafy print. And because a coffee sleeve can get lonely without company, I made a mug rug (coaster) in a leaf shape, just for fun. It’s pretty big, about 9 x 7″, so perhaps more of a mug and a cookie rug.

The button is a ceramic one from the stash. And the mug rug is made with raw edge strip applique, but wider strips than I usually use, and a prettier stitch. Somehow I lost track of time and it was nearly 10pm by the time I emerged!

Other things that I have finished this week include:

this cuff
this zipper pouch with scrappy scrap trees

and this journal which you’ve seen the cover of before, but once I had made my mind up about the person I wanted to give it to, I changed a lot of the pages to be more relevant to her interests.

And now it’s time to hit the sack as I have work again tomorrow.

More scrappy gifty things

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It’s been a good Sunday. We’ve been to the library and I came home with a huge pile of crafty books and magazines to browse through at my leisure. We picked up tea at our favourite tea shop, where Mr Fixit had them smiling at his gnome mask! We went to the gym and burned off a microscopic percentage of the calories we have ingested since the Christmas season’s baking started. And I spent two hours in my sewing rom making two more cuffs.

These cuffs take about ten minutes to make. However the rectangle of scrappy strip fabric that I used to make them took about an hour and a half to create! Not a quick project if you do it this way. I’m happy that I finally used the turtle button from Maui. The one with the silver button is a gift.

When we returned home from the gym, ds3 was in the process of baking more gingerbread cookies. Jeepers, we’re still working on finishing the chocolate babka. And I plan to make some berry crumble bars tomorrow because I have been craving them since the last time I made them. I am thankful for loose comfy pyjamas right now!

Christmassy scrappy gifty things

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Christmassy scrappy gifty things

It’s time for a weekend off and I have been sewing again. Mr Fixit was supposed to be on holiday this week but in reality he has had to be available for calls and texts and has also opened up his work laptop a few times. Today he needed to be involved with a move and he even took ds3 with him for an extra pair of hands.

My day alone started out nice and slowly with my usual checking of emails, Facebook and Ravelry. After breakfast I went for a walk around the neighbourhood for about 40 minutes, so I wouldn’t feel guilty for sitting down later on. I prepped the dough for chocolate babka and went downstairs to my sewing room.

I don’t think our family will be doing much in the way of gifts this year, but I made my three sons their very own gnomes! These little guys are about 8″ tall and are made from fleece, faux fur, beads and a little embroidery floss. The boys were tickled pink by them and I hope they enjoy hanging them on the tree every year from now on.

Two other completed projects were these cuffs. I recall seeing something like this on a YouTube video – it may have been StitchesByJulia. I didn’t look it up, just went from memory. The one with the two tone button will be for me. I forgot to include the loop of elastic in the seam so it’s sewn on at the end, and it really should be shorter. The one with the silvery button will be given away. I made sure to do the elastic right that time!

I’d like to make more of these. I have a large turtle button made from coconut shell that I bought in Maui, so I feel a cuff with turquoise fabrics would look great with that.

I also finished another couple of scrappy tree ornaments with cinnamon stick trunks.

Between all the sewing play, I did get a good dinner made. We had chestnut lentil loaf with mushroom gravy and roast potatoes and roasted cauliflower. And of course the aforementioned chocolate babka (bread).

Another quiet day to look forward to tomorrow. With the covid restrictions, our work’s Christmas dinner was postponed. I do hope we will be able to have it in January. I have my Secret Santa gift all ready!

Scrappy days are here again!

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I found myself with extra time to sew this weekend. I was supposed to work Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and have Wednesday and Thursday off. However, shit happens and as it turned out I developed a sore throat Saturday evening after dinner.

With covid at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, and after a terrible night’s sleep, I texted my boss Sunday morning and told her I thought I shouldn’t go to work and that I would get a test that day. That meant lots of sewing time, and knitting and Netflix too (I completed the yoke of Turtle Dove and divided for sleeves and body).

The test result came back this morning – negative, thankfully – by which time the other assistant manager had been asked to fill in for me today. So more sewing time was had, as well as a bit of housework and some menu planning for the week. I baked lasagna and chocolate chip cookies to keep the family’s tummies happy.

And this is what I made…

scrappy trees with cinnamon stick trunks
16 tree ornaments/gift tags from quilting cotton, some batting and pink soft fabric
a round pincushion with a moose button (hard to see the moose in this photo)

I know exactly who the pincushion is for. The other things I have made/am making are being piled up in my sewing room at the moment. I am just enjoying the creation of them and looking forward to deciding who to give them to.

Mr Fixit and ds3 went out yesterday and bought a tree and we have set it up and decorated it with a red theme and strung lights everywhere. I think we are in the same frame of mind as our neighbours – make more of an effort with Christmas/Solstice/Yule this December because it’s been such a blah sort of year. Get the tree up early, brighten the place up with more fairy lights, bake more goodies. We are fortunate in that the five of us live under the same roof and Christmas will be very similar to previous years because the rest of our family lives so far away that it’s almost always just been us. We only travelled to visit them on the other side of the Atlantic one Christmas, and we surprised them all. That was 1999. The kids were aged between 1 and 7 and we had a great time. Mr Fixit’s parents, who used to come over quite a lot, usually visited in the spring or fall for the least extreme weather, but they did come one Christmas and the funny thing was that it wasn’t a white Christmas in the valley. We had to drive up to the ski resort for some snow.

Have a happy and bright day!

Fun finishes

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I had a fun evening last night making some Christmas-themed masks to wear at work.

We are all thoroughly fed up with covid and mask-wearing and all of that shit but I am cheering myself up with my fun masks. One of the fabrics looks like knit stitches, so you know that appeals to me. The others are just pretty Christmassy ones in non-traditional colours, which again is definitely my thing.

And this morning I experimented with a bit of buffalo plaid flannelette, some faux fur and felt, and made this GNOME mask. The lining is quilting cotton.

I haven’t put it on my own face yet, but it looks good on Sally!

I sent a photo to my sewing friends and they loved it – I’m sure it’ll give my co-workers a good laugh too.

I’ve also finished another journal cover. I spotted a quilt block that someone had made yesterday and they said it was from a video by Darlene Michaud. It’s called Wonky Selvage Christmas Tree and of course I just HAD to make one.

I really like this idea and can see myself making more.

I don’t think I showed you these two journal covers yet, either. I need to tea dye a bunch more paper so I can finish them.

Also, exciting news! My yarn arrived from Wool Warehouse and it looks like this…

Cygnet Chunky in Blackberry

So my swoncho is well underway – the pattern is Turtle Dove and I found it on Ravelry (link to my project page). I have already knitted up one whole ball and started the second.

I swatched with a 10.5US/6.5mm needle because I didn’t have a 7mm in my Knit Picks set, and I liked the fabric I was getting. My gauge is 15 stitches to 4 inches rather than 14, so I am following the instructions for the Large to get a Medium. There is a LOT of ease written into this pattern which makes it less fraught!

I hope that life is going well for all of you. Happy crafting! After all, our creativity and crafting is often our sanity-saver, right?

FO: denim rag quilt, and more journal play

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Hello my crafty bloggy friends. How are you?

I have been spending lots of time at my sewing machine. After my last post, I quickly finished the rag quilt that I had in the pipeline. This used a huge chunk of my stash of old denim jeans.

I managed to get all the sewing done in one afternoon. It helped that I had some 505 temporary basting spray because sewing the squares together was a heavy job. Three layers per square (denim and two flannelette) times two equals a tough job with the walking foot on the machine. I made sure to switch to a heavier duty needle and a longer stitch.

As I wanted the denim side to be the “right side” all my seam allowances ended up on that side. I turned every alternate square a quarter turn, so that the deer print on the back looked more interesting. And then I spent ages clipping the seam allowances every half an inch, most of which I got done in the evening. There was just a bit left to do next morning, and then I tossed it into the washer and dryer to fluff up the snipped bits.

I almost forgot to say that my seam allowances were 3/4″. I decided that it would be better to lose a bit of size overall and to have a fuller fringe effect. I love the result!

The next thing I played with was a picture created with scrap fabric. When I was on my retreat at the beginning of October I made a very rough sketch of the view from my bedroom window. I attempted to recreate it by using cotton strips, raw edge applique and free-motion quilting.

I started with the sky, which is actually my favourite part. It even has some tulle stitched over the top for a bit of a misty texture. The mountains were next, then the fields of trees, fruit and vegetables. This is appliqued onto canvas and would make a good journal cover!

Talking of journals, I made another cover today with, once again, the raw edge applique technique and some sugar skull fabric. The colours I picked out for the outside were inspired by the skull cotton.

That took me about three hours! I think with this sort of modern print and clear colours, it would be more appropriate to use regular white paper rather than tea-dyed for this journal. I shall have to think about how to decorate the pages though.

I’ll be working the next four days so that will seriously limit playtime in my sewing room, but I hope I will be back soon with more fun stuff to show you.

FOs: sewing/paper play

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FOs: sewing/paper play

Hello and happy Saturday! We’ve had a beautiful sunny day so far. It’s a bit cold but Mr Fixit and I were working hard, clearing out some dead wood in the backyard (and broken branches from last week’s snow, which has now all melted).

Last week I showed you the cat journal – this week it’s the sewing journal. It took a long time because of work getting in the way and also the time it took to gather a few more things for embellishing the pages. I think the more journals I make, the more interesting they will become as I build a stash of useful paper/objects.

Here’s the front cover.

And some more images of the cover from different angles.

And a few more images from inside.

I’m calling this one finished and I’m moving on.

Yesterday morning I had more fabric play, making some things for my sister. (Caroline, if you’re reading, stop now!)

I bought this New Delhi fabric from Wool Warehouse in the UK with her in mind, because she’s been to India a few times and loves it. Rather than sew a random ‘thing’ and hope for the best, I asked her if there was anything she’d like made out of this fabric. This is what she asked for…

A yoga eye pillow, which she will need to fill with flaxseeds or rice when it arrives in the mail. The spice bowl fabric is the washable cover.

And a peg bag (in UK terms) – clothes pins to you North Americans. I made two patchwork rectangles and lined them with canvas. A bit of shaping with the scissors to match the shape of the child’s clothes hanger inside and it all came together quite easily.

Next, I need to work on the rag quilt. My sewing room floor is covered in denim and flannelette squares which I will be sewing together. As Mr Fixit went out this afternoon to have a cup of tea with friends, I think that I will get started on that shortly.

Scrap adventures continue

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Scrap adventures continue

I’ve been having so much fun with my scraps this month. Following on from the hot pink pumpkin bag and the tote bag made from scrap fabric squares, I continued to experiment.

These scraps were pulled from the “black” bag, and arranged on an 8″ square of batting and free motion quilted. It wasn’t particularly successful as the pieces wanted to move around so there were some little gaps where I could see through to the batting.

Then I moved on to 8″ squares of fusible interfacing.

These worked out a little better, because I arranged the scraps so that every one was at least partly touching the fusible, ironed it, then quilted it. I had an oopsie where I melted something and realised I had used a piece of polypropylene instead of cotton! I have now invested in a snazzy pair of Fons and Porter machine quilting gloves from work, which have little non-slip dots all over the palms and underside of the fingers. I think this will help a lot. My quilting on these is embarrassing to say the least!

Also, nighttime shots in artificial light are not the greatest!

So, after watching quite a few You Tube videos on creative ways to use up scraps, I tried this.

I cut 12.5″ squares of white broadcloth and white tulle. I put them together, sewed around three sides, and stuffed a bunch of scraps into the resulting pocket. I thought I’d gone overboard, but once I sewed the fourth side and then added wavy lines across the whole square it flattened down quite nicely. I didn’t even use my walking foot, just the everyday one.

The scraps didn’t reach the edge in a couple of places so I trimmed it down to about 10″ square and then added a binding. I will actually use this – it would be good mat for a hot teapot. And I used up SO many scraps, some of which I even rescued from the waste paper basket in my sewing room.

I also finished a project bag made from fabric created from thin strips of quilt cottons.

Instead of multiple squares, this time I cut some batting 12 by 30″ and applied the strips directly to it on the diagonal, leaving the edges raw.

At this point, I had sorted the heap on my sewing room floor by colour, so it was easier to follow the colour wheel. It was such a pretty effect! This rectangle became this….

The lining isn’t my favourite fabric but I had a big enough chunk of it to make it in one piece.

How has your week been? Mine has been somewhat overshadowed by the toothache that started last Saturday, continued through Sunday and made my work day very tough, and a dentist appointment on Monday morning when I had a tooth pulled. Since then I’ve had various aches and pains and sore bits in my mouth, and I’m ready for it all to just be over!

The good news is that Mr Fixit and I are going away for a week to a guest house that’s a couple of hours drive away – far enough to feel like a complete break, but still within the province. We’ve been once before and we know the food is great, there are good hiking trails, and we will get a few spa treatments thrown in as well. We don’t plan to check social media while we’re gone. My phone will be for emergency contact with our sons at home, if necessary. I’m taking a book, some crochet, some pens and a notebook.

I’ll ‘see’ you when I get back!