Two mini finishes!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and happily crafting this week! I’ve got a couple of small projects to show you.

Firstly, I made another log cabin chicken and sent it to my friend Claire for her birthday.

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She has called her Twinkle because she has stars in her eyes Smile I attached a felt circle and a star-shaped bead for each eye. I wasn’t too sure about adding them but I’m sure Claire can cut them off and recycle them if she wishes. I filled this one with split red lentils so it is nice and heavy too.

Now, if you know Claire and visit her blog, you will know that she prepares for Christmas all year long. She’s always making little things which she squirrells away for presents and stocking fillers. In fact, she had me making things for Christmas last October!!! I’m usually the kind of person who is still running around on Christmas Eve. Anyway, as a surprise, I also made Claire a Christmas decoration and sent it to her wrapped in Christmas paper. Yes, I do know it is February Winking smile She could choose to open it or keep it until Christmas 😆 I bet you can guess what she did.

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I’ve seen these decorations many times on the internet and in magazines and they are really simple to make. This one took me less than half an hour so I know I’ll be making many more. Let me know if you’d like a tutorial and I’ll post it here for you very soon.

The news from my other blog is that my ripple blanket is now finished. Hurray! If you haven’t seen it yet, pop in and take a look over at Sewing Beside the Sea 🙂

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my dear friend Teje who has just published a wonderful pattern for a crocheted scarf on Craftsy. The pattern is full of clear photographs to show you every step of the way, as well as having written instructions, and I can’t wait to make it myself! You can find out how to get the pattern from Teje’s post by clicking here. Here is a sneaky peek. You’ll have to go to Teje’s blog for lots more colourful photos and to find out who is modelling the scarf. I wonder…. Enjoy!

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It’s almost the weekend and I’m on holiday next week YEY!! I’m going to sew, sew and sew some more Smile

Avis x

Look at the size of it now!

Hi everybody 🙂

Now my parents’ house move has been successfully completed, things should begin to return to normal again here. Thank you to everyone who watched and waited and sent us good wishes. It has been a long haul but the most important part is done.

The house move took priority over everything else and so now, I have time to share birthday presents from last month along with more updates on some works in progress.

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The card is from one of my wonderful blog reader friends. How appropriate is that design? The blackwork goodies and pinking shears were from my lovely sister and the fabric shears and quilting book were from my other half 😀 My daughter bought me a subscription for the digital version of an American quilting magazine, a brilliant way to subscribe without the shipping costs! What a lucky girl I am 😀 The book boasts a smart way to make kaleidoscope pattern quilts but I’m not sure I’d use the suggested method as it involves a lot of wasted fabric, probably bits that are too small and pointy to use for anythiing else. My motto is “I pay for every square centimetre, so I need to use every square centimetre”. I’ll reserve proper judgement until I’ve made a block or two. Believe it or not I didn’t have any fabric scissors before getting these ones. I don’t know how I managed before! And I now have loads of ideas for using those pinking shears 😀

As you can see, the new blackwork kit is waiting in the queue for my embroidery frame. Yes, I could buy another frame but then I’d have two embroidery projects on the go and I can’t have that 😉 So, I’ll finish the Bothy Threads Narrow boat first. Here is a progress check 🙂

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I also have to thank my lovely friend Claire who sent me these! I arrived home exhausted after the house moved on Friday and these little lovelies were in my letter box. The surprise  made my day! So to Claire “Merci beaucoup” 🙂

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I love hand stitched cards…..and those buttons are perfect for……my purple and blue quilted bag.

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I’ve been looking for a button for this bag without success and I’m delighted to add this  painted one. As you can see, it isn’t sewn on yet. The two smaller ones will be used in other projects. My other bags are here if you want to see them.

My crocheted ripple blanket is coming along very nicely. Look at the size of it now! You can also see that we have had a bit of snow again…..that must be because I’ve just booked a camping holiday he-he. It looks like we are in for a chilly time so I’d better get this blanket finished 🙂

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and two more photos of scrumdiddlyumptiousness. Thanks to Roald Dhal for the adjective 😉

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I do like a nice roly poly blanket 🙂

Now, as we are (I am) having a bit of a purple fix, I thought you might like to see my Caithness Glass paperweights.

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Most of them were bought at the factories in Wick, on the north coast of Scotland, and Oban on the west coast where we saw them made. Actually, the car park at the Wick factory was the only place my beloved old campervan ever broke down. I didn’t want to leave there either 😉

I’ve just realised it’s getting towards dinner time. What’s for dinner? This….

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I’m not totally sure what is in it other than beef, vegetables and sliced potatoes on the top. It was made by my OH yesterday while I was unpacking boxes with my sister, so this is a photo of it cold. I’m sure it will be delicious reheated and teamed up with Yorkshire puddings  😀

Finally, I have a confession! A lovely reader, a few weeks ago, nominated my blog for an award and I decided to leave my acceptance post until later. Then, everything at this end became very busy and I still haven’t posted about it. Now I can’t find the nomination!! I have put the images of all the accepted awards down the right hand side of the page so I know it isn’t those ones. If you nominated me for different ward, please let me know when it was so I can find it and accept gracefully. Apologies again to that very kind person 🙂

So, these are my only WIPs except for my Under the Sea applique project, also here and here. I hope to be right back into the quilting groove very soon so watch this space 🙂

Have a fun weekend!

Avis x

It’s time for another dose of nostalgia!

Hello everyone!

Today I have some eye candy crochet to share with you and also something very close to my heart, right at the very end 🙂 I apologise in advance about the length of this post but I hope you will find it enjoyable and maybe you will also visit my previous Trip Down Memory Lane post too.

We (my sister and I) are in the process of moving my parents into sheltered accommodation. It is somewhere they can have complete independence in their own apartment without having to worry about gardening, general maintenance, security etc. They can even ask the chef in the complex to make dinner! This is why my quilting has been put on hold and I’ve only managed a few minutes here and there on projects I can pick up and put down. I am absolutely itching to quilt but, at the moment, the move is taking over my life 😀

I have downed tools for the weekend as I need a break and every muscle in my body is aching! It’s time to whack up the central heating, watch the snow falling outside and get crafting.

My plan today is:

1. Write this post

2. Do some special finishing touches to my blackwork project that I have been stitching along with Claire. I can share the finished project in about two weeks when everyone else is finished 🙂

3. Stitch more of the cross stitch narrow boat. (This might be superseded by putting the binding onto the next quilt in the queue).

Anyway, the house move has meant a lot of sorting and packing and general downsizing which my parents have coped with admirably. The hardest thing for us to cope with has been the decorating of the new flat which my sister and brother-in-law have mostly worked on like Trojans! and all the “stuff” that has been accumulated by my Mum over the years in the current house. Every cupboard has been booby-trapped with an avanche of “stuff”! Would you believe that the only things Mum has discarded in about the last 40 years were her crafting things? All the knitting needles, patterns and wool scraps have gone….given away…about ten years ago 😦 Luckily for me, I did find and old knitting bag which Mum had saved from her sister’s belongings when she died. It had a few patterns and lots of needles inside so I’m so grateful to have those now 😀

When I was about six years old, Mum and I used to visit a very old relative of her’s. Mum has always called her Aunt Yemmy, or that’s how it sounded anyway and that name has been used by the rest of the family too. I have always thought Yemmy was an unusual name and wondered where it came from (yes, I know I have a strange name too and I don’t know where that came from either). Well, I recently had a look into Mum’s family history and it turns out Yemmy was actually Emily. So for all these years we have been corrupting the name Aunty Emmy into Aunt Yemmy!

Anyway, Aunty Emmy used to crochet. I remember my mum choosing and buying crochet cotton, visiting Aunt Emmy to drop it off and then going back to collect crocheted goodies weeks later. Mum never crocheted.

Here are some of Aunt Emmy’s treasures I found this week at Mum’s. I’ve included some close-ups as some of my readers are so talented at crochet that they will be able to have fun working out the patterns 🙂

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The next examples are incredibly fine and heavy. They are only about 7 inches in diameter.

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Some of these pieces were crocheted in the 1960’s. I remember watching the pansies being crocheted. It was like magic! My sister has another set of these with pink pansies. most of the other pieces would have been made in the 1950’s and earlier. The last two examples are incredibly fine with tiny stitches. They are about 7 inches in diameter each and are much heavier and more slinky, if that makes sense, than the rest. All have been boiled and put through the mangle many times. It is a wonder how they ever survived! I hope you like them 🙂

So, last but not least, something I have been trying to find for years!

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I know, it doesn’t look like much….but I made this when I was 10 years old.

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You would not believe how many times I’ve described this piece of embroidery to Mum in the hope that she would still remember it and hopefully have it tucked away somewhere. She has always denied knowledge of it. There were actually also two smaller pieces (you had to make a set of three) but I still haven’t found those. I wanted to include this in my previous post which was really a tribute to my Primary School teacher, Miss Fox, way back in April but I couldn’t find it. If you’d like to read about my wonderful inspirational teacher and see a few more of my very early creations you can do so here. So where was it?? Right under my nose…..clearing out Mam’s spare bedroom….under the mirror on top of a set of drawers…..still being used four decades later 😀 You have no idea how happy I am to have found it!!!!

Now, I have a question for you all. I believe this technique is called “Huck Embroidery or Weaving” but I hope you will correct me if I’m mistaken. The stitches do not go through to the back of the fabric. They simply weave under the threads which you can see on the close up photo. The white threads are part of the fabric. I only embroidered the purple and green. Does anyone know where I can buy this fabric with the special threads today? I have tried to find it, but not knowing whether this really is huck embroidery or not hasn’t helped. The huck embroidery fabric I’ve found on the internet isn’t like this piece. Maybe you have an old magazine with this pattern in it. Miss Fox allowed me to read her sewing magazines and I have other items I’ve made from them. Some are in the post mentioned above.

So, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Let’s see if my wonderful virtual friends can solve this mystery for me 🙂

I’m off to start the 2nd item on my list now!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Avis x

A bit of this and that!

Hello lovely bloggers 😀

I hope you are all having a very crafty time!

I have been saving this recent finished project to share with you while my busy time at home continues. You may remember, just over a year ago here, that I had treated myself to a few lovely Moda remnants and wondered what to do with them. 

I eventually decided to use some of them on a disappearing nine-patch quilt. I posted about the finished top and included a very mini photo tutorial for anyone who wasn’t familiar with this pattern here. I love this pattern so much that I’ve made several quilts using it. There are various ways to arrange the blocks. You can choose a very regular pattern as I did here (see from the third photo down) and here (one of my favourite quilts ever). Alternatively, as I did with this one, you can go for a very scrappy patchy look. My Mum loves this one 😀

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I have no idea why this is the only green quilt I have ever made. I love these shades as they are all the colours of nature….grass, trees and wheat fields.Image

Since I was on a nature fix 😉 I did the quilting in a regular surfy waves pattern. I love quilting this pattern. It satisfies my desire for neatness and tidiness (I hope my sister isn’t reading this 😆 …..ssh! I can hear you giggling sis!)

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And another close up for good measure, very important in quilting too 😉

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One more just to show off the squishy snuggly goodness on the reverse 🙂 The backing and binding are in my favourite Moda ivory solid. It looks just like Jersey gold top milk in real life, creamy scrumptiousness!!

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Now, what else? Well, I’m continuing with the blackwork SAL with Claire here. I’ve actually finished the project but I mustn’t reveal all until everyone else is done. I’ll let you see the next finished stage soon.

My ripple blanket is also coming along nicely but as it grows, it is becoming very warm to sit under while I am crocheting. I must finish it before the winter leaves us or I won’t be able to bear working on it again until next year 🙂

So now, I have the rest of the day free Yey!! I’m off to continue cross stitching the Bothy Threads Narrow Boat. This image is from Bothy Threads

Cut Thru' Narrow Boat

Happy Sunday everyone 😀

Avis x

Ripple blanket progress check

Hi everyone 🙂

Here is a quick update on my progress with the ripple blanket. I’ve now completed each of the eight colours twice. I’m really pleased with the 1970’s look and how fast it is growing!

Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway here. Thank you to everyone who has already entered. I’m pleased you appreciate that I’ve made it really easy for you to have a chance of winning. We seem to be stirring up lots of happy memories together so I’m loving reading all about your favourite gifts 😀

Time to crochet!!

Avis x

 

I can’t put it down!

Helloooo!!

New project on the go….

I’ve been wanting to crochet a ripple pattern blanket since I finished my Granny Squares one in May. My favourite ripples are at Playing At Craft, The Lazy Crafter and Attic 24. The great thing is, Lucy at Attic 24 has written a very clear photo tutorial here which is great for beginners like me.

My yarn arrived a couple of days ago. It is Stylecraft 100% Acrylic Double Knit so it didn’t break the bank. It was actually recommended to me by the lovely Trish at Made by Patch. Her blog is well worth a look. She mainly does crochet but there are several other strings to her bow. Go and see for yourselves!

Here is my yarn. I have two of each of eight colours. Maybe there’ll be some left for other hooky magic 🙂

The pattern suggested you should try a practice piece first which turned out fine. You can see how clear Lucy’s pattern is. I shrunk the photos before printing it to save trees 🙂

All going well…so back along the other way for row 2.

I was happy with the trial run so I started the foundation chain for real. It seemed like a never ending first row. I had enough chain for 308 stitches plus 3 chains and needed to end on the correct stitch. I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t work out! In case you don’t know already, the ripples are formed by a series of trebles, decreases, trebles, increases then repeating all the way along. (I think trebles are doubles in the States but don’t quote me on that. )

Now the 2nd row…

Time to change colour. That will hold my interest in a big project.

Nice colours but I’m beginning to worry. I kept calm (my OH would disagree here!) and carried on. Have you spotted my reason for concern?

Maybe you can now…. The foundation chain is too tight and is causing the edge to flick up 😦

So I contacted Lucy the pattern writer…..Is this supposed to happen or should I have made a much slacker chain? If I had to start again to put it right, so be it. Within minutes Lucy advised this is a common problem. I should have done a slacker chain or used a larger hook to make it. Oh well, time to wind the wool up and start again. NO!!! That was the cry of my OH who strongly suggested I leave the first one intact and get the new one going before pulling the first one out. I wish I had his wisdom 😉 I didn’t really mind having to start again. It was only an evening’s work and I’d enjoyed doing it and getting used to the pattern.

So I started again and I hope you can see the difference. I certainly can. It was worth keeping the first one just to see the difference here 😀

Then more rows were added.

All is well that ends well so they say 🙂 Thanks to Lucy and Missy Patch again. You both did a grand job:-)

I can’t put it down!

Avis x

70’s Revisited!

Hi everyone! A little nostalgia today 🙂

I bought three 100g balls of wool and a crochet hook from a lovely wool shop in Melrose in the Scottish Borders last year. We were away on a camping holiday and I just fancied doing a bit of crochet again as I hadn’t done any since the 70’s when I made a couple of tank tops. My mother wouldn’t buy me tank tops but they were the height of fashion so what was a girl supposed to do?! Well, Mum was always knitting something, so I managed to blag some of her scraps and taught myself how to crochet. No complex patterns or anything, just chains, doubles and trebles from what I can recall 🙂 The tank tops were just made up of two big rectangles for the back and front, the back was always taller than the front to form a neckline. Then another two rectangles were made to form wide shoulder straps from the top of the front, over the shoulder and joining to the top of the back. Once the pieces were stitched together, I crocheted double stitches in yet another contrasting colour all the way around the edge of the armholes and the neckline to finish. I was so hip and trendy, fab and groovy then 😆 Honestly, if I could find some photos, they’d be up here in all their glory. I’m telling you, you would need dark glasses.

Anyway, I decided to make some Granny Squares in the traditional 70’s style of contrasting colours and I showed you some of the results in my earlier post. Here is the finished result 🙂

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I made a few squares while we were away but then the bag was put away in a cupboard when we returned. I don’t like having unfinished projects lying around. They are always either finished or in my head. I make things one at a time. So I was very surprised to find this bag of wool again and even more surprised to find a few ready made squares from last year. I had to finish what I’d started!

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As you can see, I’ve added more squares, stitched them together and completed the chocolate border. Considering this entertainment cost me less than a fiver, I’m quite chuffed with it 🙂 I suppose it is just another form of patchwork really.

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I’ve got a tiny ball of each of the cream and plum colours left and a little bit more of the chocolate. So the pattern worked out well for 300 grams of wool.

I did have it slung over the sofa but DH asked me to move it because it was hurting his eyes 😆

Night-night 🙂

WIP Report!

Happy Monday bloggers!

This is purely a progress report on my Granny Squares to keep me on my toes. I’m going to use Patch’s Whipping Method 😆 to stitch them together. I thought if I showed you, I would be more inclined to get it finished. I weighed the rest of my wool today and I reckon I’ve got enough of everything left to finish the border of diddly squares plus a further border all the way around in the dark chocolate.

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If you want to see a real smasher of a crocheted blanket, go and take a look here at Patch’s cotton creation. I love the colours!!

 

I’m pleased I went back to this…….

Hi everyone. I hope you are all having a lovely crafty afternoon 🙂

Just a few lines to say…..I have started to crochet again, Yey!! I haven’t done crochet for years but there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends doing it, I just had to find that hook and see if I could remember what to do. I’ve only ever done basic stitches so I decided to see if I could remember how to do a Granny Square. They just kept multiplying 🙂 Like riding a bike, you never forget how to make these 🙂 I’ve just used spare wool and I think the hook is probably a bit big but it’ll do for now. Maybe one day I’ll splash out on some proper cotton and the correct size hook.

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Bye for now, I’m off to catch up with all of your lovely posts 🙂

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