Friday, 28 February 2014

Hooray! flower cushion

This month Minerva crafts sponsored me with this cushion kit. You can buy it on their website.

Am I the only woman in blogland not to have used Stylecraft DK yarn before? It is absolutely fantastic stuff. How can acrylic yarn be this soft? It comes in such a wonderful array of colours too. So you can make this cushion to sit in any room in any colour way.

The pattern called for the cushion pad to be sewn inside the crochet work but I have small children, I will need to take it off to wash, I am sure of that, so I made a button opening.

The kit includes a pattern, yarn and a cushion pad. One cushion uses one whole ball of cream and a little bit of each colour so there is enough to make another one for someone else.

My mind is now whirring with making cushions in all colours using up bits of stash from carrier bags stuffed under my sofa! I am sort of yarn bombing our own lounge. My Laura Ashley curtains are looking dated now but I will have to hang on a bit longer.

Happy Crafting. Thanks Minerva
Jo xx

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Spring Swap Friends List

Thanks to all you fun loving followers who have put your name down to join in the Spring brooch swap. Look out for your name listed below and if it is not there, I am a noggin and you need to tell me so I can sort it out!

I did the old fashioned paper in a hat thing and this is what it turned out....

Emma Elliott and Ellie Foster
Swallow barn and Dorothy Griffiths
Penny and Hannapat
Chrissie and Gilly
Deb Hickman and Ladybird Diaries
Clicky needles and Amy 
Mamasmercantile and Not enough time to craft
Jessies Needles and Plain Jane
Rachel Jaques and Robbie Parker
Linen Cloud and Pretty Little things in a box

Get thinking, making and creating with your talented minds and hands and don't forget to get in touch with each other to swap addresses. We will aim to post around the 14th March or sooner if it suits you.

I had an odd number (Duh!I didn't think about that) but I will make two and send one to both Bee at The Linen cloud and one to Angela at Pretty Little things in a box and they can send me one each - is that fair or am I just bagging two??? I don't know how else to do that one.

Happy swapping! Jo x

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

New blanket

Hello, we have had a glorious couple of days and it is making me get outside, clean the greenhouse, rake the moss out of the lawn, which sort of removed the whole lawn in fact. It also alerted me to the fact that I ate a 9" Christmas cake and 2 camembert cheeses two months ago and I have no stomach muscles left!

Anyhoooooo, this post is not about the state of my winter physique, I am writing to show you my new crochet blanket project for a wedding present I want to make for August.

I have about 50 balls of yarn from magazine freebies, someone gave it all to me here - I know, you are probably sick of hearing me say that but it is true.

I have started a throw or blanket that is worked in rows all in one piece which I have never done before because I am not always confident that I will have enough wool to complete a whole project so I always do bits and see how it goes. This time, however, I am pretty sure I can just keep crocheting along.

My friend bought me the book to cheer me up a few weeks ago. It is American but I am OK with those abbreviations because once you know the pattern you just get in the groove with it.

Happy crafting Jo x

Monday, 24 February 2014

Name Plate Number Two.

Linking up with Stitching Sundays with Chrissie (a bit late) but here is my name plate for my other daughter's quilt which is not made yet but all cut out and ready to go. All tacked and ready to go.

Another coincidence of Chrissie and I is that we have both used variegated colour run thread this week. I have never used it before but it looked really pretty.

I have hand quilted Little M's quilt but encountered a disaster, I spilled a whole glass of red wine on it as it was all laid out on my lap during hand I threaded a new needle, looked away to chat to bloke for a second and as I pulled through the long thread I knocked the glass BAM!!

I washed it on 30 degrees even though it was only a quarter quilted but it didn't all come out. I might try washing it a bit hotter now that it is finished and shrinkage would be evenly distributed. So here is an artistic photo with it all rolled up because I don't want to traumatise anyone with a full frontal quilt photo with faded red wine stain included.

Never mind, she really doesn't care - I made it for her, that's what it is all about isn't it?

Thanks to all who have joined in with the brooch swap, I will pair up in a few days so there is still time for anyone out there to join in.

Jo xxx

Friday, 21 February 2014

Roll up, roll up...

OK so if you are in the states you are freezing cold and if you are in the UK you are soaking wet right? So I thought we should all cheer ourselves up with a swap and here's how it works.

The theme of the swap is pins/brooches/embellishments etc, you know the ones, the ones that we wear on our coats, hats or handbags that strangers in the street say 'ooh that's nice, where did you get it?'

If you want to make a brooch pin to swap and receive one yourself enter your name in the comments below and I will pair people up in one weeks time on the 28th February. You can share this post on your blogs too if you like.

To give us lots of time, we will send our creations before or around the 14th March. 

If you are feeling a bit nervous, play to your strengths - it could be felted, sewn, crocheted, knitted, collage, beads, buttons anything you like as long as it cheers us all up and speeds us on into Spring.

Roll up, roll up are you in?
Jo xxx

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Hooray! Triangle scarf

This scarf started life a long time ago. It was from a pattern in Molly Makes issue 25, I am not as wealthy as to have bought the magazine that month, a mum at school ripped it out and said she saw it and thought of me - so that is my only reference I am afraid. I posted about it last March!

The pink and blue wool is something lovely and expensive, I think it is Debbie Bliss cashmerino but I was given two balls of it in a bag of all sorts. The honey colour is some sort of crepe wool. What a mash up!


It really needed blocking and was much better for it.

I am still a bit transfixed with my new pom pom maker.

YAY! it was sunny yesterday.

Unusual but nice I think, just toying with the idea of buying one more ball to make a border to straighten the whole thing up a bit.

It is still a work in progress really but with sunshine like that, I just had to take some photos. I am off to take a look at the other CAL projects with Marianne and Chrissie today.

Jo xxx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Hooray! knitted handbag.

Just posting to show you a bag I finished with the rest of my Minerva wool kit from December. I love it but that one is going on my craft stall in the Spring.

I am in that time when I am in top production so I make things I am familiar with, are quick to complete or from things that recycle materials I already have.


I always fall back on my hat pattern, I know it inside out and can make it in lots of different sizes using different hooks and yarn.

Might try some with a pom pom this time.

Just yarning along while the girls do colouring, threading, building dens and making fun this half term holiday. Jo x

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Stitching News

Two themes today, firstly while the young are out partying on a Saturday night I stayed in and finished the top of the first Cabin quilt, my first ever quilt Eeeek. I am really pleased with it.

I had inspiration from Joy to put hearts on the blank squares which looks really good.

I also had some inspiration from Joy to add some hand stitching. I wanted to mark the year we put up the cabin and name each quilt; for those new, I have two girls so I make two of everything!

So a little Linky-dinky-do with Chrissie to her stitching Sundays, here is my name plate for the quilt. I drew her name and the date with a pencil but just let my needle do the work with the flowers, it was so liberating.

So one down, one more to go, then I need to get onto the construction part with wadding and backing etc.

Part two of my post today is to say - "Look at our lovely giveaway gifts!" I say 'our' because the girls have adopted the hedgehogs, they took them to bed and everything. So sweet. I won a giveaway over at the beautiful blog of Sue from Sweetpea family. I love checking in there to see such lovely crochet projects.

The frenzy of opening a parcel in the post addressed to them both was exciting to see. (Thanks Sue it so made their day)

Just look at this lovely parcel - hedgehogs, stickers, notebook, felt ring, teeny tiny hearts, African flower coasters and the most fabulous hand cream.

A BIG thank you Sue. I feel so lucky. I love this happy post thing, isn't it great? Thanks for stopping by.
Jo xx

Friday, 14 February 2014


Someone tell me how I have been living my life with out a pom pom maker?!

So fast and easy, make them with the girls, hang them round the house, instant craft gratification.

Just what we needed with a big girl home from school with a virus - the postman must have felt my pain.

Happy Valentines day. Jo xx 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

hooray! a shirt skirt

I did some ironing yesterday and noticed one of bloke's shirts had a hole right in the middle of the back. I could not repair it so I did what only I would do and cut into pieces to recycle into new things...

Little M was playing along side me and asked if she could make a lipstick case so we cut off the cuffs and she had a little go on the machine with me, she loves that. She was so proud, she made her sister one with the other cuff...

She was waiting patiently to show her dad when he got in from work. "Look dad, I made a lipstick case." she enthused. "Is that my pink shirt?" he enquired. "It had a hole in the back," I said. "I know," he said, "but I always wear it with a jumper on top!!!" 

Oh wowsers - I cut up his shirt!

but we gained a new shirt skirt for Little M - We love making those.

More squares for the girl's quilts. I nearly cried when I cut up those strawberry boden trousers which had been handed down through 4 girls to us, the oldest girl being 14 now. The other ditsy print is a pair of my pyjamas that had seen better days. (can you see, I cut up another shirt there but that one had been donated by bloke for the scraps pile)

In reality, there was nothing more than the collar left.

We showed him what else we had made from it and we all laughed about it like characters from a 1950's American sitcom, but I did feel a bit bad deep down. Ooops-a-daisy:@

Jo xxxx

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Hooray! Evening coat

I have finished my evening jacket today, which goes really well with my infinity scarf. Just in time too because I am going out tomorrow evening to see the comedian Jack Whitehall in a show.

It was me and my trusty four year old camera assistant today, she actually offered when I said I had finished my coat! She did really well actually in a gap in the rain clouds.

The sleeves are quite long, I like them like that. They are cut on the opposite nap so you get a great tonal effect. 

I used a pretty grey mini-bobble trim around the bottom and I need to get some more to go around the sleeve seam. That would finish it off perfectly. It was all in the details with this make: covered buttons, faux pocket flaps, double top-stitching around the collar, back belt detail, two-part sleeve construction and bias binding the front facing. I have learnt lots and really enjoyed the process of making this jacket that Little M says makes me feel like a mole, nice!

Hope you get to do some making today. Jo x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Bit of this and that

I know my tag line is that I make something everyday but it doesn't mean I finish something everyday! - I have started quite a few projects this last week, worked on some larger things and joyfully finished others.

I started this, my second Elise Shawl:

From this I found behind the sofa on a machine spool and rewound into manageable cakes.

Then while I was behind there I found these I started ages ago to make a scarf, might do some more because I love the colours:

I bought these for £1 a packet, no idea what for!:

I started this infinity scarf and have vowed to write down the pattern, thanks for all the lovely comments:

I finished this scrapbook page from last summer which has been on my desk for over a week, oh I am dreaming of the sunshine:

I have done a few more hour long sessions on my evening jacket and am enjoying the process rather than rushing:

Machined some of my quilt pieces together, very satisfying to use up stash from what I already have:

So there you are, very productive but nothing quite as yet to show which is finished. I love having lots of things on the go but I also like the thrill of finishing projects too.

What are you about to/ really want to/ wish you had time to finish? Jo x