Monday, 27 May 2013

Today I say it with flowers...

Welcome to my turn to hop in the "Say it with flowers" blog hop. Thank you so much to Madam Samm for creating the hop and Carol for organising and cheering us all along.

So when I started thinking what I would make for the hop, I thought what I wanted to say with flowers.... and I realised I wanted to say something nice to my mum... so I was going to make something for her... and as a little bit of a joke I decided to make this for my mum...

Yes a little pouch... but not any pouch... a sewing notions organising pouch. You see? My mum is not a very organised lady... oh her purse, and her diary... are always a little mess (she knows and admits it) and since I remember I have given her gifts such as new, bigger purses and diaries, with lots of pockets...but it has never worked...

And, even thought I haven't seen where she keeps her sewing notions (you see she has a new sewing machine) I know all the accessories for her new machine came in a little cardboard box (she showed me, hint hint hint that she wanted me to make her something)... so in an attempt to rescue them into a nicer home... I thought she could put them in here...

Aren't those pockets so good? She has space for bobbins (sorry they went right down in the pocket and you can't see them), little scissors, a slim pocket for the seam ripper and a bigger one for other accessories... even though the picture has my notions in, I sort of threw in the "In Love" pincushion as it was made with fabric from the same line...

And look how nice it looks with the matching needle case. I am not actually giving this one to my mum... although she has another version of it I made... so now she has a complete set of her own.

Well mummy sorry I spoiled your gift, but it is on my bag of things to take to Argentina next time I am over... so you will get it, soon I promise!

Now off you go to visit the rest of the very talented ladies showcasing their flowery creations...

May 27th

Thanks for stopping by today and have a fantastic hopping day!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Tic Tac Tic Tac - A guest post

Today I have asked my lovely friend Maria to be a guest blogger and share the story on her tic tac tic tac cross stitch... Maria does not have a blog but she is a very creative lady that owns a super creative shop, they make the most wonderful pillowcases. You can visit and share some love on her Facebook page or website here.

And now I leave her to tell you all the story...

When my Argentinian, almost English with a Luxembourgers touch friend Nati, asked me to write a bit about my embroidery, I was not quite sure what to say apart from sending her some pictures. Then I remembered that there’s actually a sweet story behind this work. Let’s go back 14 years in time, shall we? 

So here I was in the beginning of my university years. Yeah you know how those are, right? ;) Going out, meeting people, too much alcohol, too little sleep. That was me too for while! But I was not alone; I made great friends along the way, and 3 very good friends. One of them is actually going to get married this summer and the remaining 3 of us are going to be her bride’s maids! But back to the story! So one day, instead of going out to drink, dance and meet boys, we decided to stay home…knitting! The mother of one of the girls used to do a lot of works in crossed buttonhole stitch and we all got curious. So we tried it and we loved it and for a while instead of going out on the town we would stay home chatting all night long and…knitting. That was a bit embarrassing at the time. I confess it still kind of is, so it is something I don’t mention very often at dinner parties! J But for some reason it was addictive. I couldn't stop doing it.. And that’s when I realized Mother’s Day was arriving so I had this idea to do something for my mum.

I don’t really remember how I came up with the clock idea. I actually think I found it on a magazine and just decided to go for that one. But I immediately remember thinking it was funny: so many clocks! Tic tac, tic tac. So I spent a few nights at home in front of the TV doing this. Obviously to a great part of my friends I was just ‘hanging out with some other crowd’ ;)

I don’t recall finding it difficult to make but I used the embroidery hoop to make sure it would be perfect. The most challenging item was actually the golden clock because the thread was a bit thicker than the other ones. It required some time, some patience and attention, but I loved doing it.

I didn't finish it on time to offer it to my mother on Mother’s day, so I showed her what I had already made and told her that once done, that would be her gift. I missed the deadline. And maybe because I didn't give it to her as a proper gift, it kind of stayed forgotten in a threads basket for a few years. I completely forgot about it until very recently, on my birthday, my mum who contrarily didn't forget it, offered me the gift I once offered her but this time in this gorgeous frame so I could hang it in the kitchen of the apartment I share with my boyfriend. I loved it!

It represents karma to me: you give love and receive love, and that’s what I got! I spent a great deal of time doing this to surprise my mum and she managed to surprise me back 14 years after.
So it is up now and I think it brings some colour  some warmness and some romance to our little kitchen. Being not a huge space, some small details like this frame make all that stainless steel not so obvious.

So here you go Nati. I just hope your readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed knitting. And you know what? Writing this and remembering those times 14 years ago, is making me feel like dusting off my old needles!

I am sure they all enjoyed the story as much as I did! Thank you Maria for sharing it with us... I wish you were here today, it is the perfect rainy day to spend it inside knitting!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Birds needle book winner announced!

So we got to the end of the birds blog hop, what great projects and fun items we saw this past days! I am always so glad to get to see so many creative blogs in these hops... and next one starting on 27th May (and it is my day as well) is the Flowers blog hop...

But first of all I need to announce the winner of one of my needle books... and Mr Random picked Linda J. who said:

Linda J8 May 2013 16:59
How cute are the bird needle books! Perfect for gift giving and hop giveaways. Thanks for providing the links, Nati. Following on google and in my sage feeds.

I just wanted to clarify that as I had two posts included in the giveaway I decided (as it was the easiest math) to have numbers 1-100 the birds blog hop post (as I had very easy 100 comments at the time of selecting the winner) and then after that 101-177 the Sew Mama Sew giveaway post. By the way I decided this before I draw the number.

Linda, I will be emailing you shortly to get your postal information so the package can be on its way soon!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WIP sneak peak

Last week husband was on a business trip... so although I didn't do as much as I was planning (I underestimated walking the puppy every 2.5hs would be so so so distracting for my crafting) I was in over productive mode... so some of the pictures here are already finished items... but the posts are still in progress so it counts... doesn't it?

I had a go at a 5 minute craft for the spare bedroom wall... yes 5 minutes or less! (if you do not count the trip to my friends' house to borrow the stapler) and then finished up my second embroidery for my embroidered wall art... and it is already up and hanging in the wall...

Went through thousands (not exaggerating here) of pictures from trips, days out, etc for the last 5 years, play around with my photo editor, saturation and colour, sent them to print... trip to Ikea to buy the frames... and we have a new and inspiring photo wall....

And I finished my little project for my next hop...

And if that was not enough... I am also almost finished in a whole new set of seat + back cushions and table cloth for the balcony table and chairs... if the sun doesn't come to Luxembourg I bring it anyway to my balcony! It will be bright! With some of the leftover fabric I also rocked up another 5 minute craft for the kitchen.

And lastly I am working on my ATC swap... and this was my first go at it...I may make a few to add to other little gifts and projects I made and then give my partner the one I like the best...need to practise on the consistency of my stitches... but I am pretty happy with the direction it is taking...

Wow after putting in words (and pictures) all that I have been up to, I feel proud of myself! Well done and keep it up! What have you been up to lately?

Linking up at WIP Wednesdays at Freshly pieced today.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Artist Trading Card Swap

I am so happy to be taking part in the Artist Trading Card (ATC) Swap organised by Ali @ Very Berry Handmade. Ali has a fantastic and inspiring blog and shop... she sells Liberty!

Very Berry Handmade

So a few weeks back I decided to join in my first swap, and this sounded like a great challenge. The theme is something new... and I already decided what new skill I am going to test try for this swap!

Partners are secret, so I cannot really tell you anything about my partner... apart from the fact that I discovered a new, fantastic and inspiring blogger. Pity I cannot even  follow her blog as it is a surprise, but I am sure to be clicking that button as soon as she gets my card!

So an ATC is a 6.4cm by 8.9 cm (2.5" by 3.5") piece of fabric, sewn to be hard (but not too thick) that displays a little piece of handmade work. In the back it will have the name of the piece and the details of the artist that created it. Sounds so much nicer than a modern business card, doesn't it?

I will be showing shortly in my wednesday's WIPs the progress on the card that I will be sending to my partner during the week of 3rd-8th June.

Any ideas on what would you make if you were me?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

First winner announced!

WOW... huge exclamations marks as well!!!!!! What a week! It has been so much fun hopping around from one blog to the other, getting to "meet" great creative blogs and the chance to win so many amazing gifts!

First of all let me apologise but I don't think I will be able to respond all the comments to the giveaway posts... I will do for the birds blog hop as I always do... but with the two events on the same week I do not think I will have the time... I am so sorry, but I read every single one of them and I am sending back a big THANK YOU, for your lovely words, your funny comments, and just for taking the time for a little note!

So back to business, my birds needle cases giveaway is still open (here) if you want to have a chance at wining one of the needle cases. I made 4 and only two are pictured (the other two are as lovely I promise  but I wanted them to be a surprise to the winner!

But my embroidery kit pattern giveaway is closed and it is going to.... Joyce Carter

I will be emailing you shortly to get your mailing address so the gift can be on your way shortly! Also I will be asking you if you like the colour scheme in the sample or whether you would like to try a different colour combo! I am happy to oblige if I have the colours in my stash... and I have loads you should see!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Calm baby blanket

I am really happy how my new blanket turned out... my friend wanted me to make for her baby a crochet granny square blanket "just like the ones you made for charity" - she said. But I needed to do something different.

So instead I decided to play with colours, do something a little different and assembled it completely the other way around... yes the seam is on display and she is the queen of the show! Voilà, here's the new blanket... 

And I am calling it "The calm baby blanket". Just because the colours are very soothing and relaxing... and I am hoping that the baby that will use it will be calm and relaxed when wrapped in the blanket and enjoy cosy naps...

It measures 94cm by 80cm... which I thought would be a nice size for naps and going around in the pram... also maybe in the crib while the baby is still little... and because I live far from this little one I feel this way I can be close to her on a daily basis!

You can find the pattern for the granny square in this tutorial (here) I posted last year. Once all the squares are ready I assembled it with a simple crochet stitch to join the squares together. The only difference this time I did it on the right side of the blanket so they will show. Border is double crochet stitch all around in the same white yarn... here's a close up!

And as a little reminder today is the last day to enter my sewing supplies giveaway for your chance to win a counted cross stitch kit. Visit the post here. And for your chance to win the lovely birds needle book don't forget to sign up here.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

It is for the birds hop and giveaway!

Hello and welcome to my stop in the "It's for the birds" blog hop. As usual a huge thanks to Mdm Samm for coming up with such great and creative ideas and inspiring us to create wonderful things. And a special thanks to Mary for cheering (and organising) us all along the way!

I signed up to this hop with absolutely no idea of what to make... I had seen a few times vintage birds shapes into appliquéd items, loved it, but never made something of the sort... until a few weeks ago there was a birds week at The Graphics Fairy (I love this blog it has amazing vintage images released every day).

And voilà, this is what I made... vintage bird inspired needle cases.

For the images, I downloaded four different birds shapes from the site, printed them off in a size I liked, then traced their silhouette and made it into templates. I used colourful fabric that would contrast the cream background I was planning to make for the needle cases.

I have previously published a tutorial on needle cases (you can download it for free here), but I wanted a simpler take on it this time... as I wanted a super quick project... I managed to make four needle cases in an afternoon! So I guess that counts for quick!

And I have made available the bird patterns for free (here) so you can also make some quick projects with it.. And if you are up for a quick tutorial... please visit my previous  post (here)... but don't forget to continue reading for the giveaway!

And now for the giveaway!

I am celebrating my 100th post, and what a better excuse than a blog hop for it! And that's I why I made so many needle cases... don't worry I am not hoarding them! I am sharing them... and the first one will be for one of my lovely readers and followers. Look how lovely they look with the tulips from my garden!

So what do you need to do? Well simply follow me, in any way you like Google (the blue "join this site" button on the right had side bar), Bloglovin (the + button on the side bar), Facebook, Pinterest, etc and leave me a comment below. Make sure I can contact you back to let you know if you win! I will ship it anywhere and will randomly select a winner after the blog hop is finished on May 15th.

Now don't forget to visit the other creations on show today...

Wednesday, May 8

Have a fantastic day!

Vintage bird needle case tutorial

So here is the tutorial for the vintage bird needle case. It is an easy and quick project inspired by my In love needle case (click here for the free download) but it has been simplified to fewer steps. And you can rock up this lovely needle cases in a whim... and they are really useful too!

What will you need? (for each needle case)

  • Template for the birds images (print at 100%). You can download it for free here.
  • Two 10 x 6.5 inches pieces of fabric. I used plain cream cotton, they will be the back and front of the needle case.
  • A 6.5 x 8 inches piece of fabric for the pocket and a little extra to make the bird.
  • A 10 x 6.5 inches (or a little big bigger if desired) batting piece.
  • A 9 x 5.5 inches piece of fleece.
  • Any double sided iron-on interfacing 
  • Sewing machine and notions

Step 1 - Print your template and transfer your shapes to the paper side of the iron-on interfacing. Iron the glue side to the back of the fabric and cut out the bird shape following your transferred template. 

Step 2 - Take the paper off the interfacing and iron the bird shape into one of the pieces of the plain fabric. To make sure it is in the right place, fold the piece in two and centre it on the right half of the fabric. Make sure you take into account a 1/4 inch seam allowance on the three rough edges of the fabric.

Step 3 - Pin the fabric to the batting (no backing fabric) and quilt as desired. If you rather have a backing piece of fabric, use a scrap of fabric as it won't show in the final design. I did free motion and straight line quilting and all look adorable.

Step 4 - Place the quilted piece right side up.Then fold the pocket fabric wrong sides together and place on top of the quilted fabric aligning sides and bottom rough edges together. If desired you could run a line of decorative stitches along the fold of the pocket fabric.

Finally place the remaining piece of fabric wrong side up.Pin in place and trim the excess of batting/fabric all around.

Step 5 - Sew along the four edges leaving a gap on the top for turning inside out.

Step 6 - Turn inside out, making sure the pocket is in the inside of the case and iron in place. Iron the opening seam allowance in. Run a line of stitches all around the border of the needle case, to set the fabric in place and close the opening, I did mine at an 1/8 inch from the border.

Step 7 -  Fold the piece of fleece in half to mark the middle. Place centered in the needlecase (inside section)  , pin in place and stitch following the middle line marked previously.

And voilà you needle case is done! And how lovely it looks in the inside with my sewing notions... My vintage needle case (I use to store my yarn needles) looks especially pretty on this fabric.  Hope you enjoy making them!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Giveaway Day... Take 2... For the home

So exiting it is giveaway day and this is the second one for the day! Later this week (8th May) I am joining in    at Sew We Quilt's blog hop "It is all about the birds" and have a fantastic bird related project... and to celebrate the occasion I am giving away one of the items I made... but it is a for now I am only showing a little sneak peak!

If you are intrigued or tempted by it you can join the giveaway in advance of the revelation in this post... or/and come back on Wednesday to see the project in full (with tutorial and downloadable pdf template). I will be giving away one handmade item between the participant's of today's and Wednesday's post.

Update: I have now revealed the project in the "It's for the birds" blog hop post, you can have a detailed look here, but they are... needle books!

Giveaway is open internationally to all the blog followers. To follow the blog either click on the "Join this site" button or Blogloving + button on my sidebar. You can also follow my Facebook page or Pinterest page. Only one entry per person. Make sure I can contact you back, if I can't easily contact the winner, another one will be chosen. I will randomly choose a winner on May 15th and announce it shortly after on the blog.

You can find more giveaways today following the button below

To see my sewing supplies giveaway click here. Good luck to you all!

Giveaway day... take 1...Supplies

What a great fun it is giveaway day! Today I, like most of you, will be visiting lots of new blogs, checking out their projects and getting inspired by all the creativity around! If it is your first time here, a big Welcome!

To celebrate I will be having two giveaways this week, the first one today... on this post...and the second one will be announced on Wednesday but you can see a sneak peak on the following post (here).

So what I am giving away... a kit for my very own first counted cross stitch pattern that I launched earlier this year...

The kit includes full colour printed instructions and chart, the stitching fabric and enough thread to complete the embroidery.

Giveaway is open internationally to all the blog followers. To follow the blog either click on the "Join this site" button or Blogloving + button on my sidebar. You can also follow my Facebook page or Pinterest page. Only one entry per person please. Make sure I can contact you back, if I can't easily contact the winner, another one will be chosen. I will randomly choose a winner on 10th May and announce it shortly after on the blog.

Update - the giveaway is now closed, winner will be announced shortly.

You can find more giveaways today following the button below

Good luck to you all!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Sneak peaks on my Fresh Sewing Day

So I had written the post for my normal Wednesday work in progress post and when I went to schedule it I realised... IT IS MAY! (yes super capital letters I did actually scream). So back I am doing a double work in progress and fresh sewing day post.

April has been a weird month for me, not a lot going on crafting wise, but a lot going on elsewhere... The puppy has been amazing, lots of work and lots of fun! We visited family and friends in the UK for Easter, egg hunt and everything and we did a very short trip to Lyon to see friends that were over... so as you can see not much crafting time...

Here's Feli, my Yorkie puppy, having a bad hair moring!

But I managed to make a lovely set of pouches (here) that were featured on Lily's Quilts as part of the Projects on a budget series. The red pouch was a birthday present for a lovely friend and the big one has become my WIP Pouch!

And also made Feli (my puppy) a toy basket (see here) matching his travelling cushion and coat set (for the coat pattern see here).

I have been working hard this week to finish some more projects one at a time... so first I finished the project for my birds blog hop that is coming next week (four in all)! Here's a sneak peak!

Also I am almost done with the baby blanket... maybe just one more line of crocheting around and it will be done... and as I am hiding the loose yarn and tidying it all up as I go, once I finish I am done... yey! Another sneak peak...

So what I will be working on next? The fabric is all ready, stretched and thread chosen to get started on my embroidery... I have some zippers ordered and on their way for a few other little projects... waiting for some pictures to arrive from the lab to work on a wall art for the corridor... getting an idea?

And If we get a few nice days (no rain is all I ask) we can finish getting the garden ready to be enjoyed in the summer... daffodils are almost all gone, tulips are lovely and peonies plants have started coming out... so what else can I ask?

Lily's Quilts                           

Linking up to Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day and  Freshly Pieced.... don't forget to check out what all the other people that are linking up have been up to!


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