New Year means tidy the craft room!

Well it’s New Year and that means it’s time to tidy the craft room! I can no longer make anything in there as there is no room!   I can’t post a picture because it’s too awful for public viewing!  I may, once it has been restored to normality, post some before and after pics!

But for now, here here is a brief roundup of some of my recents makes and adventures!

This ribbon was on my presents from my son  – far too good to throw out!

Green ribbon

This crochet flag was finally finished!

Crocheted flag of Guyana

My crochet flag of Guyana for the Sixty Million Trebles Project

This was a post Christmas walk!

Lake with atmospheric clouds

View over the boating lake at West Kirby

This is my latest stash increase as I am addicted to crochet planned pooling!

Balls of wool

My new red heart yarn for planned pooling

This was a refreshing walk in the North Wales wind!

Llandudno Pier on dark day

Twilight on Llandudno Pier

And finally, it’s back to Patchwork class and a new project!

Fabric in shades of green and dusky pink-purple

My latest fabric selection for a new patchwork wall hanging!

Well that’s all for now! I’ll be back with some updates on the planned pooling projects once my craft room is tidy! 😏

Linen and Liberty Love!

It’s no secret I love linen and Liberty so what better combination for a quick make the morning we were going on holiday! I’m one of those people who needs water wherever I go  – even in the UK – so I can’t imagine being without it abroad in hot weather 😓😓

Well it’s easy to take a water bottle with you but not so easy to carry it when you’re sight seeing with a small lightweight handbag.  I knew we were going away months in advance but somehow I left it till the day we were travelling to the airport hotel to start creating a bottle carrier! Nothing like time running out to get the creative mind in gear pretty quick.

So here it is – and it worked very well.  The ribbon came wrapped round the linen fat quarter bundle and made a comfy and quick carrying strap for over one shoulder.  It’s so light I didn’t even notice it was there most of the time

Linen bottle carrier

Bottle carrier for my purple Chilli Bottle!


The trim is a couple of Liberty scraps machine appliquéd on!

Linen water carrier

Linen Water Carrier


On holiday I had bottled water bought locally but I’ve since I’ve come home I’ve bought a handbag size Chilli Water Bottle. This lightweight bottle is like a thermos flask inside and keeps your water as cold as when it was put in there, for many hours.  It’s a brilliant little bottle and saves money as I now buy large bottles of water and keep them in the ‘fridge for decanting into my Chilli Bottle.  If your tap water is pleasant to drink it would be even cheaper to fill up!

So that’s it – I’m easily pleased!


Auditioning the Fabrics

Hello!  I haven’t been around on here for quite a while so today I decided to write about ‘auditioning’ the fabrics for my grandaughter’s new quilt!

I’ve been getting over the knee replacement (much harder than anticipated) and also the return of the dreaded Sciatica!!  Having two bad legs has been pretty difficult pain wise and then to find there is an 18 week waiting list to see the Pain Consultant has been very demoralising.  Especially since the initial appointment only leads to another waiting list for the actual injection treatment, which is the only thing which made me better last time.

Anyway DH did some research and suggested buying a home ultrasound kit and it actually seems to have made a difference. I’ll never know if this time the sciatica was going to be milder or whether the daily ultrasound treatments have stopped it in its tracks so to say.  So I’m cautiously optimistic that I am improving and ohave started going about for a bit longer without any terrible repercussions.

I’ve only managed a limited amount of sewing in the last few weeks and it been more a case of sitting down with crochet hooks and a bag of cosy yarn!  But never mind that today! Today I must tell you of a new term I learnt in my weekly patchwork class, it’s called ‘Auditioning’ the fabric for a project.  So, if like me, you thought you were just messing about with your stash when you were wondering what to make and/or what to use, you weren’t, you were auditioning your fabric for a place in the final item, in my case it is a quilt.

Fabric squares for a patchwork quilt

Auditioning Patchwork squares for the quilt top!


DD is obsessed with pink girly everything after having two boys but I think it’s nicely balanced with some non pink in it.

That’s it for this week, hopefully I will be able to make it to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate on Saturday and I’ll have lots to write about next Handmade Monday! 


Abakhan Secret Sale!

Well you can tell from the title where I went this weekend! Yes, the Abakhan Secret Sale again! It all started with this in the post:

Abakhan Sale ticket golden coloured

Secret Sale Golden Ticket

this exciting ticket entitles the bearer and guest to enter the Abakhan Secret Sale an hour before the general public. I was lucky enough to be sent one again and as my friend and I had enjoyed the last one so much we couldn’t wait to get to this one!

This time the sale started earlier and was in a much larger building with more space to look through all the lovely things. There are boxes and boxes of craft bits and bobs as well as fabric bundles, rolls and bolts. There are also slight seconds of things like foam, wadding and cushion inserts which don’t seem to have more than a few dusty marks on them or a small piece of foam pulled off. I especially like the uphostery ex-display fabrics which hang up on a rail as there are some real bargains £1 a display hanging which has fabric priced at £15.99 a metre in some cases!   It was also lovely  to meet Will Abakhan who had sent the tickets out and was on hand to greet customers as well as helping in the cafe later in the day!

Fabric on the roll

Some pretty fabric – few metres worth

Bacon bap

Our complementary refreshments after an hour of bargain hunting!


As a golden ticket holder we were also provided with a hearty bacon bap to aid our recovery after athe early start (8.30am) and bargain hunting!

After a very tasty bacon bap and coffee we embarked on the next bit of the day – buying things from the ordinary shop with our 15% discount! This proved far too tempting as every time one of us found something and wondered whether it would be suitable the other was all encouraging and ‘yes it’s perfect’ type thing – so we egged each other on until we had to go back to the car to offload all our stuff! The staff were fantastic all day – they carry things to  the car for you and are very helpful all round.

I think Mostyn is the best Abakhan branch of all and I am so lucky to live near it.  In fact I can easily get to the Birkenhead, Liverpool and Chester branches as well which seems unfair when lots of people don’t have a branch at all!

I havent ant got any pictures of our special dessert which we received after our second shopping spree but it was delicious!   It’s definitely worth looking out for the next secret sale in a few months, especially if you keep an eye on their Facebook page and spot the chance to win a golden ticket.  It’s a smashing day out for crafters!

Bacon bap

Marilyn enjoying our breakfast baps



Linking up with Handmade Monday again this week!


Exciting!!  Some time ago I was invited to take part in the Hillarys Craft Competition again! I took part last year too – you can read about my entry here.

First you have to select your fabric, I chose the Daisy Pistachio, It was quite hard to decide what to make as I really wanted to incorporate the reverse side into my design. I spent quite a while thinking about what would be useful at this time of year, ie summer! I really love taking lunch out into the countryside but one thing which always bothers me is having to eat lunch on dirty picnic tables and how to keep crisps from blowing away and fruit from rolling away on our typical British summer day and our ‘rustic’ ie wobbly countryside picnic tables!

Daisy fabric

My daisy fabricIt’s a very silky, tactile fabric and the reverse side is pretty cool too!

Daisy fabric

The reverse side of the Daisy Pistachio fabric choice











So here is my idea using some hessian I already had!   I have made picnic mats for me and my husband and think I can get about 3 or 4 more out of the Daisy fabric, just need more hessian or any similar fabric

Picnic mat

Finished Picnic Mat!

I cut two pieces of hessian to make fairly large sized placemats. The size is completely up to whatever you feel is right for you and your family.

I thought the reverse side would make a good pocket for the cutlery !

Fabric Pocket for picnic mat

Pocket pinned and waiting to be sewed in position

To get round the food blowing/rolling away idea I made a fabric bowl from an idea from my Patchwork class teacher.  It’s a very simple and quick way to make a pretty fabric container.








You put a large circular object on your fabric and draw round it.  I used the lid of my sewing box!

Circle template for fabric

Lid of my sewing box

Fabric bowl being made

Gathering the sides of the bowl up with tacking stitches









You can line the bowl and even use interfacing to stiffen the fabric but with this fabric there was no need to interface and I wanted the cool lining on show!

A quick round of large tacking stitches are sewn round the edge of the fabric and then drawn up (like you do with curtains) and it magically brings up the circle into a bowl shape!I     To keep the shape and size I pinned the gathers and then cut a 4inch strip of the fabric to bind the top.  As it is a curved edge to bind I cut the fabric at a 45 degree angle using my 6×12 inch ruler.  If you are unsure about binding there are so many tutorials to google I haven’t gone into detail for this bit.

You do need to keep the gathers in place with pins or clips whilst you get the binding into position.

Binding fabric

Wonder clips are great for keeping thick fabric in place instead of pins!


Place the two pieces of hessian right sides together with the cutlery pocket and bowl in the middle

Place the two pieces of hessian right sides together with the cutlery pocket and bowl in the middle

Completing the mat is just like any other two sided mat or table runner – place right sides together and sew all round the edges and then turn right sides out through the little gap you remembered to leave on one side! I left about a 6 inch gap to ensure I could get the bowl through!


If you want to make a tie for keeping the mat neatly rolled up then make this from a 3 or 4 inch wide strip of fabric.  Folding each side into the middle and then folding the whole thing in half lengthwise so that there are no raw edges on show.   Sew it lengthwise and then  fold it in half and  insert it between  the two pieces of hessian at the side of the bowl.  The folded edge goes in the seam with the two lengths of the tie laying towards the middle of the mat.

Making bias binding

Folding the 3 inch strip sides inwards then in half lengthwise to make a tie strip.  No need to iron it with this pliable fabric!

If everything has worked you should have a two sided mat sewn together with your cutlery pocket and bowl on the top and you ties at one side!

Picnic mat and cutlery!

Picnic mat ready for use – no need to get your lunch near that messy table!


Picnic mat on table

Ready for lunch!

Picnic mat

Finished Picnic Mat!







Picnic mat food bowl

The bowl

Picnic mat

Squashing the bowl prior to rolling up the mat!

Rolled up picnic mat

Rolled up with cutlery and bowl inside

Nifty eh? 😃

All I need now is some warm weather!

To check out the other entries either click the Hillarys Craft Competition link or go to Pinterest and check out the board!


Baby Bunting and paraphanalia!!

Gosh been a busy couple of weeks!

This is is why:

4 Weeks to go!

4 Weeks to go!

new granddaughter will be here soon!

We we had the baby shower a couple of week’s ago for which I made some baby bunting!

Pink baby bunting

The bunting on the wall

I had fun making this little pram for one of the flags!

Pink pram bunting

The little pram I made!

we had cake, coffee and chat! A lovely day with lovely family and friends!

Now I am hard at work trying to recreate the ungirly black cabriofix car seat part into prettiness! It’s quite fiddly!

Cabriofix car seat new cover

The car seat fixing thing!

think I’ve nearly cracked it – just need to sew the binding then arrange the pieces in the right place and bind both together! Sounds easy when I type it anyway! 😀  So much paraphanalia with babies!

So that’s been my recent work   – next is the Hillary’s Blinds Competition and here is first glimpse of my fabric!

Daisy fabric

My daisy fabric

Well now I’m off to link up with Handmade Monday. Next post will reveal what I have made with my competition fabric!!!


Patchwork Quilts and working in the Garden!

Now finally I have finished the sewing and quilting part of the grandsons’ superhero quilts I have to force myself to do the ‘finishing off’ – getting rid of all the pesky thread ends and tidying things up – boo – the worst bit for me.  Here is part of one of the quilts with Sonic – but can you make out what I have free-motioned in the blue space between Max and Sonic?

Patchwork quilt in blue and red with super heroes on it

The mine craft stay cool square!

The other thing I’ve been doing this week is wading through the workload of the e-course I mentioned last week, It’s very intense but it does focus your mind on your hobby/business very well. And the best bit about being unable to go out much? It means my ‘office’ and my admin work is wherever I choose to make it!

Garden scene with cup of tea

My workspace!

There’s a lovely feeling about drinking a cup o’ tea in the garden and working in the shade! Don’t think it’s going to last though as cold and rain will return

Abakhan Secret Sale and an E Course!

The Abakhan Secret Sale! Wow!  I am so lucky as I live in the middle of 4 Abakhans!  Chester, Mostyn, Birkenhead and Liverpool!  Yesterday was the much advertised ‘secret’ sale at the Mostyn branch.  I have been really hoping I would be able to walk enough to get round the fabric shops again and although I can’t go for long without pain I am so much better than I was two week’s ago!

Being a lucky golden ticket holder I, and a friend, were  able to access the sale at 10am (an hour early) after having a complementary bacon batch and coffee in the café.  We didn’t rush off at 10 although as other golden ticket holders were getting moving we didn’t dawdle over the coffees too long!  There’s something about a sale which makes you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t get in there quick and get rooting!

We weren’t disappointed – there was plenty of fabric and yarn and some ex-display items to purchase, like wool holders.  My favourite place was the ex-display hanging upholstery fabrics  which were £1 a hanger, and the big box of cut- offs which was ‘fill a bag for £10!

cream,red, fabric with leaves on

the red leaf upholstery fabric

red, brown and cream fabric

the red shades


purple fabric

Purple shades!

pirple fabric

the purple shades


rainbow of fabric shades

Folk Collection – love all these shades for patchwork!


small coloured pieces in varying fabrics – ‘Folk Collection’

I managed to get loads in my £10 bag and found some useful pieces like this cotton with sweetie jars on it!

fabric with pink sweetie jars on

Sweetie-jars fabric


other fabrics from the ‘fill a bag’ box

So, as you can see I have plenty of fabric to keep me busy!  It’s not like I don’t have a big enough stash already, I just couldn’t help myself when the prices were so low.  We were very lucky to be the early ones in though as when we left to go and recover in the café there was a queue right round the whole site!

It’s definitely worth keeping a look out for the next one and registering interest for a discount ticket.  We had 15% discount to spend outside of the sale as well.  Finally at around 3pm we bought some more drinks, had our complementary chocolate pudding and went home!

Fabric shopping, coffee, chocolate and a day out with a friend – what a lovely weekend!  Sorry if I’ve overdone it about going out but after months of pain and limited mobility it was wonderful and worth it even though I limped round the last bit and back to the car!

As well as going to have my days filled with lots of sewing in the near future  I’m doing the Create and thrive e-course which Vicky recommended to us a couple of week’s ago!  I Think the lack of constant pain has gone to my head and I can’t stop wanting to do stuff!  So far the course is really making me think about Patchwork Fairy and how I want things to eventually progress.  It’s a 30 day course and we’ve only had 7 days yet so I am excited to see where it takes me…

Anyhoo – time to link up with Handmade Monday again at Lucy Blossom Crafts – wonder if any of the Handmade Mondayers were at Mostyn? Do let me know if you were!

Recovering and Inspiration from Flowers!

Well I can not quite believe it but I can actually stand up straight and walk upright again! Yes I went into hospital a week ago – (HAPPY FRIDAY!) –  for the injections under sedation and so far they seem to have made a good improvement to my pain levels!  Gone is the excruciating electric shock pain in my leg which is so debilitating, and in its place is a low backache and hip-ache, which, is normal at this point, and should improve as time goes on, although it’s not guaranteed.

I am so happy to be better I haven’t been able to keep from trying out a little time in the sewing room although I am trying to be sensible and not do too much too quick.

This is what I have started to make, two small lap quilts for my grandsons which I will back with fleece.

Max's quilt!

Max’s quilt!

Some of max's favourite characters!

Some of max’s favourite characters!

As you can see, at nearly 8, the elder grandson is into Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario (as well as Minecraft but I don’t know how I’d do that!). I won’t be selling anything like this as the images are copyrighted, I am just cutting them out and sewing into the family gifts!

It’s not as neat as it could be as I probably should have waited till I was a little for comfortable before beginning!  I did feel though that I couldn’t start the crib quilt for my new expected granddaughter without giving the boys something first!

Here’s what I will be working on next:

pinks and creams colours in fabrics

pink and cream fat quarters

Lovely pinks – fat quarters from Create and Craft – I do enjoy the sewing and patchwork shows but you do have to be strong and resist buying everything!

As well as sewing quilt for the children I was very inspired by the colours of some flowers I received for Mothers’ Day and have managed to select some cotton yarn which I hope I can make into a delicate blanket for the new baby as she is due in July so cotton will be quite appropriate.

pale pink and cream rose

Vintage rose from boquet

Here are the cottons I have selected:

drops cotton balls

cotton yarn in vintage rose colours

The cotton in the picture is a little lighter than in reality but not too much so is quite a good match.  This will keep me going as soon as I have finished the Simply Crochet Poncho – I will not let myself start anything before that is complete or it will be too hot to wear it!!

I will now be popping over to Planet Penny Happy Friday and Handmade Monday to see what else has been going on while I was away!

Penrose Tiling!

Penrose tiling – what on earth has that got to do with crafting you may ask?!  Well DH recently bought me a quilting book called Geometrical Quilts by Pat Store which is full of quilts all based on – you guessed it! – geometrical patterns!  They are all beautiful but some are more complicated to make than others.  So while I am going to my weekly patchwork class but not able to carry heavy things like a cutting board and templates etc,  I thought I would try one of the quilts which is based on English Paper Piecing (EPP) method.

My choice was the Penrose Tiling quilt – the book describes this as “two differently shaped diamonds (36 and 72 degrees) to make tesselating shapes based on a regular pentagon or decadon which do not otherwise tessellate”  [Storey In practice this has meant drawing lots of paper diamonds and covering them with fabric in the traditional EPP technique

cutting out paper diamonds and covering them with fabric

covering the paper shapes

Of course before I started I had to choose my fabrics and plan out which colours would go where in the design.   I chose a fat quarter pack of various shades of purple as well as the lovely green batik fabric from my stash!   I chose these as there is a photograph in the book of a quilt which I really liked and so I have based my design on this.

pueple and green fabric diamonds

arranging the shapes to build up the layers

fabric and paper diamond shapes

trying to get the pattern right!

It’s quite hard working out how all the diamonds fit together and deciding which fabric to use for each round of shapes.  At each round I have to keep trying out the pattern!

purple and green fabric diamnonds

arranging all the layers

So although this Penrose tiling is quite complicated and tiring it is a good project for when you can’t walk/carry/machine sew any much at all. (Boo sciatica – how I loathe thee!)   This as far as I have got at the moment but I really  hope to show you the progress to a mini quilt over the next couple of weeks!

Now I am going to link up with Handmade Monday as usual but over on it’s new home at Lucy Blossom Crafts  Thank you to Vicky for taking over the hosting!