Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Through the looking glass

This week's offerings:

1. Hairbands. Made from an old H&M blouse and some Liberty tana lawn from the stash. A nice excuse to fire up my overlocker. I traced the shape from an existing hairband, cut two pieces and used some thicker material to line the middle. At the same time the audiobook of Alice in Wonderland has been on heavy rotation round the house. Alan Bennett's voice is a thing of rare beauty.

2. A work-in-progress blocking on the ironing board. Quite excited about this one. Blocking is the very satisfying moment at the end of a crochet project, when the crumpled up bit of wool fabric becomes fluid and smooth. I used to do a complicated move involving a towel and a large cutting mat to create a blocking board. Then I realised that the ironing board did the trick brilliantly.

If you are interested there is a great blocking tutorial here. 

3. A jellyfish made of rick rack, felt and some buttons. Her (of course she is a her) name is Jellina. I think it suits her. 

Felt: the best craft material in the world. Discuss.

4. The shop became a shop again! We got the awning down and held a children's art sale for Comic Relief. On sale were greetings cards - blank for your own message - and canvases.  

It was all the big girl's idea. She raised a small fortune thanks to a winning combination of very loud sales patter - thereby making her impossible to ignore - and cuteness.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A quilt for the baby

The other thing I have been making in my time away from the shop is this little fella, baby Nathaniel born five weeks ago:

The embroidered fish piece in the last post made me think how nice it would look as a square in a quilt. At the same time, a good selection of yellow-y fabrics began, as if by magic, to build in my stash. Like, all by themselves.

A trip to Whitstable last summer led to a bit of this:

Which in turn led to a very satisfying and definitely best-done-in-private bit of this:

(I posted these on Instagram hence the filters. The comment was 'I miss my blog'. I really did).

...And before I knew it I had enough for a cot quilt. I always look to Alicia Paulson for spiritual guidance when planning a quilt, and followed the technique she used in her Ollalieberry quilt

I went for fabrics that had a bit of a narrative, like this lovely Heather Ross 'Princess and the Pea' (below) from her Far Far Away range. And the Hansel and Gretel fabric. Not sure what the story is with the Mexican dudes but I'd sure like to know it.

I copied Alicia and used Warm and White wadding this time, all natural and made from hemp and not too artificially light feeling. Perhaps it would also aid sleep...

Nat in progress visible here. The choice of wadding makes it a bit thinner than usual but I am pleased with the result:

A boy! He's a bit small for it yet, in fact he's a bit small for most things yet; but when he graduates from moses basket to cot, the quilt is ready and waiting, with love.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Creative Art of Embroidery

The Creative Art of Embroidery by Barbara Snook. With a title (and author's name) like that, how could I resist? Just look at the cover: 

It spoke to me on a wild, deep and primal level. You see, I was born in the mid-Seventies: I am programmed to be drawn to folkloric, wooly and slightly itchy-looking things. I have no choice.

I found myself with a long car journey and some quiet nights by the fire ahead of me, and felt the need for something other than crochet to occupy my hands. I was given this book a while ago, and Barbara Snook called me from the shelves.

This was the result:

I like it! Not sure what I'll do with it yet, maybe a dress or a blouse. Something suitably Seventies and rustic looking. Something you could wear whilst making quiche. 

Not sure what Barbara Snook would make of the back, isn't your back supposed to be as neat as your front? I had another go and made this on some old Heather Ross fabric:

This little fish has already gone onto bigger seas, I'll show you soon.

It was all a bit too slow for me. I've no doubt you can speed up with embroidery but I fear my eyesight would not allow it. Bit of a baby-faced assassin, embroidery. It definitely brought glasses a few years closer, didn't tapestry weavers go blind in the old days? Weren't many of them children? Suddenly this all feels a lot less wholesome...

a year above the shop

a year above the shop