Roses and Baby Blanket!

Wow 😮 so much going on here I haven’t had time to write! I’ve been having fun reviewing products for Minerva Crafts – hint – I’ve been making roses and you can see what I’ve been up to over on their blog!  But here’s a sneak peek!

Pink tulle rose

Delicate little rose!

I’ve also been busy making a baby blanket for my fourth  grandchild who is due to be arriving in 4 weeks!

Multi coloured baby blanket

Almost finished! Pattern by The Patchwork Heart

We had a lovely time at the Baby Shower. I had great fun making the cake!

Pink iced baby shower cake

Rose and Raspberry Victoria Sponge Cake.

I totally forgot to take a picture of the pram  quilt I made and the little pink and grey dress. Have to ask the parents-to-be to take some before granddaughter arrives!!

More pics next week!

Linking up with Handmade Monday

 

Making Pom Poms!

I’ve had great fun this week! I’ve been reviewing Pom Pom makers for Minerva Crafts! I think I’m addicted to these cute fluffy little guys which spring forth almost magically from the Pom Pom maker!

To see my review and see what I made with my Pom Poms pop over to Minerva Crafts and have a read!

Pink and silver woolly Pom poms

Just a sneak preview of the Pom Poms I made!

New Patchwork Fairy Dresses!

So I’ve finished my new range of handmade patchwork fairy dresses and I’m almost ready to put them in my Folksy and Etsy Patchwork Fairy shops! It’s taken quite a while to complete them as handfinishing is quite time consuming!  I’ve loved creating these – it’s just my kind of thing –  Fairies, pink, purple, ribbons, floaty tulle and crochet!

My first dresses are all small sizes while I test the market. I can make them in larger size to order if necessary. Already a friend has requested an adult size so she can float about playing Fairy Godmother!!

Doesn’t taking photos take a long time?! Much harder than you’d think to try and set a scene and get the lighting right.  I took a lot of photos trying to get the perfect one, not sure I’ve really got it right yet though!

Pink fairy dress

Pink dress with cotton and silk bodice

I enjoyed crocheting the bodices in some lovely tactile yarns.

Fairy dress in pink, purple and blue

Violet and Pink soft cotton bodice with pink, purple and blue tulle.

This bodice of this one is a fresh Egyptian cotton

Lemon yellow fairy dress

Lemon cotton bodice with delicate tulle skirt.

Fairy dress with gold and lilac bodice

Silk and cotton and merino wool bodice with delicate pastel coloured tulle skirt.

These are not everyday dressess so I’m hoping to appeal to the market of special occasion dresses – birthdays, weddings, flower girl, family photo occasion etc.  This is a departure from things I’ve previously sold on Folksy and so I’ve run the shop down deliberately so I can launch the dresses as a new line.

One comment I’ve had from my test pictures is that fairy dresses should be sold with wings – I’d welcome any comments about them and whether you agree with the wings idea – I wasn’t originally intending to sell wings!

 

Making Fairy Dresses!

Making Fairy Dresses!

It’s been quite a while in the planning but I’m almost ready to open up The Patchwork Fairy Etsy shop selling the new range of patchwork fairy dresses. There’s lots of tulle, lace and ribbon and it’s all very pretty!

Pink, yellow, blue lace being sewn onto lilac gauze

Sewing some lacy trim on a fairy underskirt!

 

Pink lace being sewn onto lilac fairy dress

Pink lace trim

 

As well as the new range of dresses there will be the fairy necklaces and earrings I’ve been selling for quite a while now.

Fairy Pendant made from glass beads.

Camali Fairy Pendant

 

Fairy earring made from glass beads

Fairy earring with blue wings

 

Here’s a sneak peak at a sweet little lemon yellow dress! The bodice is crocheted in lemon cotton with little pink flowers.  Around the middle of the dress is a trim of yellow, pink and white fabric flowers.

Yellow Fairy dress

Lemon yellow cottton bodice with yellow and white tulle skirt.

So to find out when the finished items go on sale and grab an opening discount check out the Patchwork Fairy Facebook page over the next couple of days!

Very Berry Handmade Hoop Swap

Well I’ve taken part in Artist Trading Card (ATC ) swaps before but this was my first very berry handmade mini hoop swap!  The ATC swaps involve making a small credit card sized original hand crafted piece of art.  There must always be some sewing but the ATC can be a multi-media extravaganza of whatever takes your fancy.  The mini hoop swap is very similar except that the work of art is encompassed within a mini hoop of 4-5 cm in diameter and has some embroidery.

In the past my ATCs have been very diverse and they haven’t included embroidery so this was a new challenge.  There was no theme to this swap just some brief details from the recipient of my hoop as to what colours she liked.  Ali from Very Berry Handmade sorts out all the swap partners and sends off the details to everyone.  It’s a secret swap so the recipient of your art is not the person who sends one to you!

Here are some of my ATCs from previous swaps.

ATC for the Verry berry handmade spring swap

My ATC I sent to my swap person!

textile picture of Glastonbury Tor

My ATC – NightFall in Avalon

Felted scene of houses with decorations

Sparkly Mid Winter Madness!

Little card with mini patchwork quilt, some crochet and a little greetings card.

ATC My Favourite Crafts

Handmade card with green fabric Christmas tree

Sparkly tree with liberty wrapped presents

Appliqué sewing machine and quilt with a cup of coffee

“My ATC – My Craft Room!

Fabric picture of a fire, a black cat and a girl sipping cup of tea.

“Tea by the Fireside”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the mini hoop swap I took a long time to start actually making it as I just didn’t have any inspiration at all. Then one evening I was idly playing with a small square of purple fabric and it  struck me that folded into four it looked a bit like a butterfly!  So that’s how I developed my mini hoop – I sewed the ‘butterfly’ onto some linen, then placed the hoop around it to see where I wanted it to sit, then embroidered freehand the stem of a flower, the butterfly’s antennae and sewed a button for the flower head.  A little bit of silver glitter glue to enhance the butterfly’s wings and it was done!

 

 

Fabric butterfly in an embroidery hoop

My mini hoop for the swap

Sixty Million Trebles!

You may not have heard of Sixty Million Trebles or maybe even know what a treble is in this context? Neither did I till a few months ago.

It’s really simple though, a woman who loves crochet heard that there were sixty million refugees fleeing Syria without much to keep them warm.  So she had an idea. She started a Facebook group asking people to crochet (or knit) a blanket to donate to the refugees with each maker counting the Trebles  – a type of crochet stitch – in their blanket and adding a tag to state the number. The goal is to have sixty million trebles overall, each stitch representing a life.

All the blankets will be temporarily joined together to hopefully make the world’s largest blanket!  The centre of this enormous blanket will be comprised of crocheted flags of each country! Once it’s been measured as hopeful the world’s largest blanket it will be divided up back into the individual blankets and shipped out to the refugees.

So this is what I’ve been doing the past few months- crocheting a blanket and two flags. I signed up for Guyana and Singapore because they looked interesting to make but not too difficult! It’s taken me a while though as I have to have rest periods when crocheting a lot

And here is the result!

Crochet purple crochet blanket

My blanket!

Crochet flag of Singapore and Guyana and a purple crochet blanket

My flags and blanket

The idea has really taken off and people everywhere are making and sending blankets into various collection points in the UK whilst we wait to arrive at the magic Sixty Million!

So if you read this and you crochet or knit it’s not too late to join in! Just type Sixty Million Trebles into Facebook and join the group and get hooking! (or Knitting if you really can’t Crochet!)

One stitch – one life.

Planned Pooling in Crochet

Autumn coloured yarn made into a cowl

Crocheted a cowl in Red Heart ‘Autumn’ or ‘Fall’ as it’s called in USA!

 

I’ve been fascinated recently by the planned pooling technique in crochet! It’s a method of crochet which involves carefully counting and manipulating your stitches to force an Argyle type pattern.  It’s not easy! I actually used 3 diffferent hook sizes to get the patterning to work as I kept needing to use more or less yarn up in within the rows!

There is a very helpful Facebook group called Planned Pooling in Crochet with lovely, helpful members who advise and support newbie after newbie tearing their hair out and crying “it’ll never work! I just can’t do it!”   It’s  definitely worth joining if you want to try the pooling technique.  This Pooling calculator is very useful too, although it’ll mean more to you if you read through the Facebook group posts first!

I used Red Heart super saver to make this cowl as not many UK yarns will pool – the sequence of colour change in the yarns has to be just right and even some Red Heart will not pool. Fortunately the Autumn shade above pools relatively easily. I bought a few different balls of this type of yarn whilst I was about it as it took ages to find a supplier in UK!

Below is the start of another scarf using Red Heart Supersaver  in Wildflower.  I love this colourway – it’s very pretty!   The  only downside of Planned Pooling is you can’t really watch TV whilst doing it as it need concentration!! Hence it will take me a very long time to make another complete scarf and much as I’d like a  blanket in it ….. not sure the old brain could sustain the focus!😀😀😀

Yarn in purple, yellow and green making an argyle patttern

The start of a new Planned Pooling project

So if you fancy a new project and you can already crochet quite well I’d recommend Planned Pooling – but a word of warning –  once you start you just might not be able to stop! (And you might miss your favourite TV programme!) 😜

Autumn coloured yarn made into a cowl

Crocheted a cowl in Red Heart ‘Autumn’ or ‘Fall’ as it’s called in USA!

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! 😏

Winter 2016 ATC Swap

A few weeks’ ago I was very excited to get the chance to take part in the http://Www.veryberryhandmade.co.uk ATC swap entitled Winter Sparkle! I’ve done a few of these now and it’s always great fun preparing my own handmade card for my partner then waiting for one to drop through the letterbox for me! This is the one I made for my partner  The tree is made from heated and fused Angelica fibres and the little presents at the bottom are scraps of liberty fabric from my stash.

Handmade card with green fabric Christmas tree

Sparkly tree with liberty wrapped presents

I posted my card out at the beginning of December as per the rules of the swap but didn’t receive anything back over the next couple of weeks.

 

 

 

On Christmas Eve morning I was having a much needed cup of tea before the family get together when the postie brought this! Ooh the excitement!!

Air mail packet

Christmas Eve post delivery

Inside was a beautifully wrapped package made so I had to remove the fastening round the two buttons to open it. This forced delay in seeing my card just added to my anticipation and I was filled with excited glee as I slowly unwound the twine.

White Envelope

Beautifully wrapped!

 

 

 

 

 

And inside? A pretty, ethereal winter scene which really did Sparkle!

Hand sewn scene of winter snow

My ATC

Sparkly fabric catching the light

See the sparkly bits!

See the sparkly trees?

Hand sewn fabric card with

The delicate stitching

I really love this card.  You don’t know who is sending you one until it arrives as it’s not a straight swap. My card was from Larissa at Stitching Notes, I have thanked her for it and it has added to my seasonal decorations at home! It came a long way overseas but receiving it on the last postal delivery before the Christmas break was almost as magical as the card!

If you fancy taking part in an ATC swap you can find details by checking the VeryberryHandmade blog by another Ali, Ali Burdon. She arranges 3 or 4 swaps each year.   You have to be quick to sign up though as the participants have to be limited to a reasonable number Ali can cope with when working it all out!

Maybe you’ll be my next swap partner? 😀