Partly Solved Mysteries

Posted on both blogs Oh Sew Tempting and Sewing Beside the Sea.

Hi everyone,

Last week I posted about two mystery objects that I’d found when going through my late Aunt Edith’s crafting goodies. I asked for your suggestions for their uses and promised to reveal the answers to you this week. The original post is here if you want to see more photos.

I already knew what this object was used for.


It’s a tool for making proggy mats. Proggy, or clippy mats, as we call them in the North East of England were made from wool or strips of fabric, reclaimed from worn out clothes. My maternal Grandmother, who died before I was born, was apparently an expert clippy mat maker. I wish I could have met her because I’m told she was an amazing craftswoman who could turn her hands to many different crafts.

Here is a link to some modern proggy mats on Pinterest.


When the tool is pushed against the rug backing, the “proggy bit”, which is loaded with wool or fabric strip, pushes through. When the tool is pulled away from the rug, the internal spring makes the “proggy bit” retract back inside the metal tube.

This is the original box.


And the instructions.



So now you know what it is for Smile.

Now, the second mystery object is still a mystery in my opinion.


Several readers thought it might be a hinge. There were also other ideas. I think they mean the type of hinge that stops a drop down lid from dropping too far. For example on a writing bureau or upwards on the lid of a chest. I’m not convinced it is a hinge as it doesn’t straighten so I’m still open to suggestions on that one. I just don’t understand why this would have been stored with Aunt Edith’s crafty things if it is a hinge.

So, sorry I don’t have an answer to Mystery number 2 but I hope you enjoy looking at the proggy mats anyway Smile.

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

I’ve caught the pinwheel bug again!

Good evening everyone 🙂 I hope you are all well!

I’ve got a couple of projects to share with you today.

The first is a whole bunch of pinwheels, twenty four to be precise 🙂 I started to play around with a few scraps yesterday afternoon and made five pinwheels with different prints. Then, this morning, I was drawn back to my rotary cutter and the Mean Green Sewing Machine. As if by magic, the five became twenty four. I had to stop myself 😉

I’m longing for Springtime and the pink is reminding me of the thrift flowers that should, by now, be starting grow on the cliff tops where I live. There is no sign of even the plants let alone the flowers! It is so cold. The crows are usually nest-building in the garden this month and there is no sign of any such activity.

So the pink is to symbolise the Spring we don’t yet have. Hurry up Springtime! We are putting the clocks forward this weekend, British Summer Time 😉


Now, I’m taking you all back to Winter with a woolly hat I’ve just finished for Mum. It is supposed to have a pom-pom but she doesn’t like them so it shall remain pom-pom-less. I made it in a couple of evenings and it is very thick and snuggly. It isn’t meant to be a dressy hat, just one that she can pull on when she needs to pop to the shops. I hope she likes it 🙂


That’s it for today!

I’m linking with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Have fun!

Avis x

Me SHOUTING? Well that doesn’t work either!

I’ll get straight to the point and then move on and be done with this…..and sorry, in advance, for this text-heavy rant to all of my lovely readers.

Over recent weeks, I have found several breaches of copyright from my blog and the latest one has really upset me 😦

I made it very clear and politely wrote in my copyright paragraph, that yes, I am happy to share , otherwise what is the point of putting all of my own hard work up here on the internet.  I requested people should ask me first if they want to copy content which includes pinning (some people think pinning isn’t copying). In other words if you don’t ask, you are breaching my copyright. Anyway, pinning is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the latest breach is concerned and whatever happened to “bookmarking” and “favourites” anyway? Several of my images have been “borrowed” in the night and then reproduced elsewhere. I’m talking 20 to 30 images at a time and this has now happened many times. These people mean business!

Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t but that makes no difference to my copyright. I’ll outline what happened to me and you can decide for yourselves. I won’t name the culprit as the issue, from my point of view, is over (for now).

Anyway, I “found” one of my tutorials on another blog. All of the photos were mine, the design images drawn up with my software were mine. My photo tutorials are pretty self explanatory, I’m told, but being aware that some people prefer words for the fine detail, I always include them. My words had been changed (badly).

I thought about contacting the blog provider as their terms and conditions warn that blogs will be shut down if copyright is breached. I really thought hard about this, particularly as other content on the same blog is obviously copied from other sources. But you know what? I’m really not a nasty person and I felt that it would just make me even more upset about what had happened if I didn’t give the person the opportunity to change their ways. I’ve been through all the excuses in my head. They may not understand the rules, they may not have read my copyright, they may have meant no harm….even to the point that surely I should be flattered that someone thought my tutorial was so good that they wanted to copy it. But it was my hard work….that was the bottom line. Also, the terms and conditions of all of the blog providers, pinterest etc. make it clear to account holders that they are personally liable for breaches of copyright. If they don’t read or understand them, liability is vicarious.

Anyway, I emailed the blogger….no reply. I then left a comment on their blog politely requesting the removal of my work and they responded saying they were sorry I was offended and they had removed my photos and design. I wasn’t offended, just violated, but I accept that could have been lost in translation. You see, benefit of the doubt given again.

Yesterday, I changed my copyright again in an attempt to make it even more clear that copying is not allowed. Should I really have to spell it out?

Low and behold, Pinterest struck again overnight. Permission sought? No! Exasperation! JUST ASK FIRST! More form filling for me….like I said, Pinterest is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am now considering watermarking all of my design images and photos as I just can’t seem to get through to a very small number of bloggers. I know it would take me a lot longer to prepare my work and would spoil the look of the blog so the jury is still out. Maybe blogging is not for me after all 😦 It isn’t worth the upset.

Line drawn, enough said, move on…..until the next time.


Happy Sunday everyone, this is the real me 🙂

My lovely friend Teje strikes again! This time she has inspired me to be a bit more organised. She discussed a great idea of her own with me which I’m sure she’ll be sharing soon and I came up with a version of it that I really needed. The result is two new pages on this blog for projects that I finished in 2011 and 2012. The page links are at the top of this page. They are a sort of gallery so I can see my progress since December 2011 when my crafting attempts really took off. All of the photos will link to the original posts if you want to click on them. This will be useful for me as I often try to find something I’ve made on the blog and can’t remember which month it was. These photos will take me straight to it. Let me know what you think it and whether it was worth the effort. Sorry about the copyright-ish statement at the top. I’m a bit sensitive at the moment!

Also, here is another update, probably the last on this project before it is finished because it unlikely to drape nicely on this chair after today 😉 I’ve now got three stripes of each of the eight colours completed. There will be a total of eight repetitions when it is finished. I thought about varying the width of the stripes and I’ll need to make a final decision very soon. I hope you like it!


And finally, my fabric giveaway will be drawn tomorrow. It is easy to enter here. Good luck everyone 🙂

Time to crochet!

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!


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

Help! Decisions, decisions….

Happy Thursday everyone!

No photographs today folks…..just a plea for help.

I know the Autumn is only just beginning but I’m already feeling the cold this year. I’ve decided to buy my first pair of wellies and to knit some socks to wear with them.

Well, I’ve looked at lots of web sites but I’m already baffled by all the various yarns. There are so many different wools like merino, alpaca, cashmere, wool etc. and then I need to buy the correct ply. After all of the web browsing, the only things I am certain about is that I want to make multicoloured knee length socks that will wash well in the machine and stay up to my knees inside my wellies. Oh and another thing, the pattern…….this is soooo difficult!

I wonder if anyone out there has knitted socks before and can offer advice about yarn and patterns. I am an experienced knitter so I don’t mind complicated patterns and would prefer to have proper heels and toes rather than tube-type socks. Feel free to put a link to your posts in your comments (if you have blogged about your socks before).

I need to satisfy my knitting fix very soon and would be most grateful for your suggestions. I will, of course, post about my decisions and progress as soon as I can 😀

Thank you 🙂

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 🙂


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!


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.


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 🙂

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.


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

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