Another Year Over!

Hi everyone, Happy New Year to you all!

Hasn’t the year flown by? I hope you found lots of time for crafting and that you now have several finished projects to show for it. I did a lot more hand stitching in 2014 than patchwork and quilting, not by choice, just that it was easier to pick up and put down hand sewing when I had spare time.

At the beginning of 2014 I launched the Chicken Run which is still going after a whole year! I have to thank you all for your support with that. There are now lots of handmade chickens all over the world. Also, a larger SAL group on my other blog has been formed for crafters wanting to finish a variety of projects. It started with only two of us, Claire and me, and now we are ten strong!

It’s been a very tough year for me in many respects and crafting has kept me motivated. There have been several occasions when I have been sent to the sewing room by my OH because he had decided it was time I had a break LOL. He was always right. It did me good to have a sewing break now and again.

Thanks to all of you who have liked, commented, emailed and read my posts last year. It’s always lovely to hear from you and even if you don’t comment, I know you are visiting the blogs.

Here are some photos of my completed projects from 2014. If you want to read the original posts click here and then click on the photo of the project you want to read about.

2014 Finishes collage

Here’s to a wonderful crafty New Year for all of us!

Avis x


Friends Across the Sea

Happy Sunday everyone!

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks in this neck of the woods. I’ve been working hard to keep up with my target of one stripe per day on the crocheted ripple blanket and I’m only just managing. I’ve also been stitching the 1st stage of Cirque des Cercles and I’ll be ready to post about that on my other blog next weekend.

Finally, I’ve been busy designing and making this table runner for my daughter to take to India as a gift.


I had originally planned to have pointy ends but then as I laid out the blocks to be sewn together, I quite liked the idea of framing the octagons.

Here it is just before quilting. I love these greeny blues Smile The background is actually ivory cream but it looks white in the photos.


The quilting up close.

runner 3

Finally, the back and the label. I almost forgot about the label!!


My daughter took it to India on Friday and it will be gifted when she meets up with Friends Across the Sea. I hope they like it Smile Maybe she will send me a photo of it in situ when she hands it over. If she does, I’ll add it to the end of this post. It would be lovely to see it in the Indian sunshine.

I hope you are having a wonderful crafty weekend!

Avis x

Another year over…

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve been in the quilting zone. I’ve been concentrating on lots of hand stitching over at Sewing Beside the Sea. I’m sure the quilting bug will find me again when my sewing room warms up a bit. At the moment it is far too cosy in the living room sitting with my feet up, doing a bit of blackwork, cross stitch, knitting and crochet….not all at the same time of course!

I was just updating the “Finished 2013” page above and I can’t believe how many things I managed to complete, especially as it has been such a busy year for me apart from sewing. I’ve enjoyed every single project as well as reading all of the lovely comments and emails from people along the way. Your blogs have been very inspirational too, so I have many ideas stored up for future projects in 2014.

Here is a little gallery of my finished projects this year. Please note that from May onwards, I only included patchwork and quilting projects on this blog. So, if you’d like to see the hand sewn projects from then on, just hop over to Sewing Beside the Sea. If you’d like to visit any of the posts relating to the pictures in the gallery, just go to the “Finished 2013” page above and then click on the photo.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have lots of exciting projects lined up for 2014 🙂 Now….where did those chocolates go?

Avis x

Happy Dancing!

Hi everyone, I’m happy dancing today because I have a finished table runner to share.

This one is extra special as it will be flying across the ocean to America on Thursday with my daughter. She will be staying with her friend’s family for Thanksgiving and we thought it might be nice for her to take along a gift that was made in England.


Apparently, the family have a white wicker dining table which has a glass top and they use blue crockery. So I’ve used different blue solids with crisp white cotton. I hope they like it.

Here are some close up photos of the quilting…





I’ve densely quilted the runner so that it lies nice and flat. Too much “loft” might make vases etc. topple over. It measures 48 x 18 inches. I’ve also sewn a personalised label to the back.

I’m off to sew more of the blackwork which you can see on my other blog. Click here if you want to take a look.

I hope you are all having a lovely crafty weekend. Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments and emails. I really appreciate them all Smile

Avis x

Quilt as you go mug rug tutorial

This is my favourite way to make a mug rug as there is no need to quilt it at the end.

You will need:

Backing fabric 11 x 9 inches

Wadding 11 x 9 inches (you may wish to use heat resistant wadding but do not use polyester wadding as it will melt onto your iron)

Five strips 8 x 2.5 inches

Binding 48 x 2.25 inches, folded and pressed in half with wrong sides facing.


Lay the wadding on top of the backing fabric.


Position the first strip, right side up, about one quarter of an inch from the right

hand edge.


Sew in place using a quarter inch seam through all three layers.


Turn the work so that the strip is positioned to the left.


Lay the next strip on top of the previous strip with right sides facing.


Sew a quarter inch seam through all layers down the right hand side of

the strip.


Lift the second strip and press towards the right.


Like this.


Place the third strip on top of the second strip with right sides facing.


Sew a quarter inch seam through all layers down the right hand side of

the strip.


Lift the new strip and press to the right.


Continue until all five strips are attached. Then sew down the right hand

side of the final strip.


Then sew along the top and bottom and trim all the way round to make a



Line up the raw edges of the folded binding strip with the edge of the mug rug.

Leave about 3 inches before starting to sew a quarter inch seam down the side.


Stop sewing one quarter of an inch before the first corner.


Pull the work away from the needle area of the machine. There is no need to

cut the threads. Turn the work to this position.


Lift the binding and finger press in this position. The fold should make a

45 degree angle and the raw edge should be in line with the right hand side

of the work.


Keeping the fold in place, bring the binding down in line with the next raw

edge of the work.


Continue to sew from the very edge of the work to the next corner and

repeat until all four corners are done. Stop sewing about three inches

before the finish.


Overlap the ends of the binding strip and cut so there is a half inch overlap.


This bit is quite tricky! Sew the ends of the binding, right sides together,

using a quarter inch seam.


Finger press the seam open then continue to sew the rest of the binding

to the mug rug. Turn the binding towards the back of the work.


Hand stitch the binding to the back, folding to make the mitred corners.




Just testing Winking smile


I’ve also made table runners, toppers, cushion fronts and place mats using

the ”Quilt as you go” method. It also works well for small jelly roll strip quilts.

If you want some extra challenge….use diagonal strips, maybe of different


Something to look forward to…’s a mystery!

Happy weekend everyone!

Where did that week go? I hope you are all well and happy and you are getting lots of lovely sunshine as we are, here in the UK.

I have a couple of small finishes to share with you this week. You may remember my Strawberries and Cream post here. I’ve now finished the two table toppers. The larger quilt top will have to wait a little longer 🙂

First up is the scrappy one.

ImageI enjoyed experimenting with the free motion quilting.

ImageHere’s more detail.


I think it might work well with the plain side up for a change. Two for one……bargain 🙂

Next, the hexagonal kaleidoscope strip style one.


I played safe with the quilting here.


Also, binding the unusual shape was a new challenge for me but I found there was very little difference to binding 90 degree angles. You all know how much I love to bind 😀


So, I had fun, fun, fun! I hope you have all had fun this week too 🙂

My Starry, Starry, Night quilt has been entered in this months “Made It” challenge at Woolhogs. You can pop over and vote for your favourite projects, which are not all sewing and quilting, and visit lots of lovely blogs.  The nice thing is that the winner is chosen at random. The voting is just for fun 🙂 So enjoy!!

Some of my regular readers will know that Claire recently introduced me to blackwork embroidery. You can see a couple of my finished pieces here and here. If you visit Claire’s blog you will see lots of progress from all the stitcher’s on the latest “Stitch Along” here. There are still a few stages to go. What a difference a change of colour makes.

Also, today I’m letting you into a little secret 😉

In a few weeks time, when Claire’s SAL is finished, there is going to be a Mystery Blackwork SAL here. It will be a small project, designed by me and it will last for about 6 weeks, with the chart being released in installments. That’s the mystery part! So, you all have plenty of time to sort out some embroidery floss and a small piece of aida fabric. You could also use linen or evenweave or your other favourite cross stitch fabric, though there won’t be any cross stitches. I’ll give more details later but would love to know if you’d like to join in the fun. I expect the stages to take about an hour per week to stitch so everyone will be able to find time to stitch along.

It’s going to be another busy week ahead for me. I hope I manage to get time some time to sew.

Thank you for all your lovely comments and emails. They make me very happy 😀

Happy crafting!

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 🙂

















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






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!


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

ImageEven in the 60’s I loved purple 😀

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

Playing around….

Happy Thursday folks 🙂

I made this table topper a few weeks ago and a tutorial will follow soon so I thought I’d let you have a sneaky peek 😀  It only took a couple of days to make from start to finish and it’s the same design as the one in my gravitar which I gave to my sister last year. Her version is made from different fabrics to this one. I think it would be lovely in Christmas fabrics too.




As you can see, I’ve been playing around with watermarking. It doesn’t take long to do so I’ll definitely be using it from now on 🙂

I hope you are all well and enjoying doing some crafting this week. Thank you for all of your lovely comments, as usual, and welcome to all of my new readers from around the globe.

We’ve got SNOW!!!!

Avis x


A few photos of past projects and UFOs

I thought I’d share a few photos of things I’ve made before I started this blog! So you now have a better idea of my crafting history 🙂

I’ve done lots of knitting, needlepoint, cross stitch, sewing etc. I nearly always design my own pieces and have also sold kits for the cross stitch cards and cushions which are my own designs. Everything pictured here is designed and made by me. I have lots more but these give a flavour of my work. I really enjoyed making everything and just wish I had more time  to craft 🙂

As always, comments are most welcome.

Here goes………

I love this large printed gingham.

I made these personalised ones for a man in America. They were one of his presents to his girlfriend for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Sing along……On the second day of Chistmas my true love sent to me…….two personalised cushions 🙂

I used 16 count aida across the top and bottom and embroidered the names in cross stitch. The top name is the place in Mexico where his girlfriend was originally from. Apparently, the monarch butterflies migrate from that area every year and his friend also migrated to America. Hence, the butterflies and the names. It was all his idea. How romantic.

He was really pleased and said Mayra loved them too. Awww!

And here’s a table runner that comes out every year 🙂

and another…..

Bunting. Sooooooo pink 🙂 I sold some of these on ebay.

A cushion cover which has “stitch in the ditch” quilting like my table runners. I have to admit that the cushion inner is a bit large. It was the only spare one I had.

This is a quilted table topper which I made for my sister. It is about 25 inches square and I’ve used it for my avatar thingy.

This quilt top is ready to quilt. Its been waiting for quite some time. I love blue and purple!!

And a few cards from kits I designed and occasionally sell.

This one has beads to add a bit of extra sparkle.

I used beads for the baubles and metallic thread for the pot.

I hope this gives a flavour of my projects past. Whatever I do next is sure to involve sewing of some description…………..

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