Four seasons quilt

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Original Madcat

I have a lot of leftover wool. I have always knitted and crocheted so I am always looking for ways to use up the wool or yarn. Sometimes that is easy because I can knit or crochet a colourful jacket or blanket. There are still lots of bits of yarn and wool left over. One rainy afternoon I was sitting there with the bag of bits wondering what I could do with them. Not another blanket! I decided I'd try and make a cat. A mad cat. Something different and funny. This is it. I loved it when I saw her and so did everyone else. I got some good feedback and encouragement .People shared ideas so then I was confident to experiment and make more. They have made people laugh, cheered them up and have been very popular. My original madcat has found her home in my design studio and watches over as I create my projects.

She just makes me smile.These madcats are a great way for me to use up all my buttons, braids, ribbons and other bits and pieces I have collected. They are an exercise in upcycling as well as creativity. 

Crochet Bag

I was sorting through all my craft magazines and found a crochet one with some afghan squares patterns. I tried one of them and really liked how they looked. I made more and was wondering what I'd be doing with them. There are only so many blankets you can make. I decided on a bag and once I did that then more ideas came into play. I worked out edging the squares with deep purple would be a good way to lift the already interesting afghan squares. I had to think of how I would put handles on it and I am more than happy with the cut down straps I used because they extend the pattern of the bag. Adding a black shoe lace with beads is important to me  because I like bags to be closed. You don't want things falling out and you don't want people easily accessing what is in your bag.I have lined it with hessian which was quite hard because I had to slip stitch it in place. I didn't want to ruin the crocheting by machine sewing over it.The hessian is sturdy and will keep the shape of the bag and fits in with the look of it. More than happy with this one. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Not Madame Butterfly Madcat

I wanted to make a pink madcat which was a bit whimsical. I had found the little bee and started to crochet my madcat but was thinking a butterfly was what I wanted.. Madcats are made of a mixture of treble crochet, double crochet and slip stitching. Then they are embellished. I was looking through my stashes of decorations and buttons and found the little ,pink dragon fly button. I had been looking for  a butterfly. I thought I had a butterfly I could use ! There was not one to be found anywhere and if you could see all the bits and bobs I have, you would be as surprised as I was. So I used the bee and dragon fly button and Not Madame Butterfly was born. 

How to crochet

I am glad to see crochet becoming popular again. It's a very easy , comforting thing to do once you learn and the pieces are achieved more quickly than knitting so the short term, quick reward is there. It is probably better to start with a thick hook and thick wool to start with. You can see the stitches, you won't break or bend the hook and you will feel quickly like you are getting there. Acrylic yarn is machine washable but will not keep its shape for as long as pure wool which is very hard to wear out. Pure wool has to be hand washed, is durable and warmer. In the end it is up yo you. I use both and  a mix of both. That's half the fun of it. This video should get you started. You can also use cotton and that makes really nice bags or tops for the warmer weather and cotton makes nice baby blankets too which are easy to care for. You will feel awkward at first, but you will get faster and enjoy ait and be making granny squares in no time!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Poppy Madcat

Poppy  Madcat came into being the week of Anzac Day this year. Anzac Day is the day ,where in Australia ,we remember the fallen. Poppy was originally called Poodle Madcat because of the bouclé wool I used. It was actually hard to crochet the madcat with bouclé wool because it was difficult to see the stitches and on something like this it is important to keep the stitching right. I loved making the poppy. I don't often do things like that so it was a bit of a challenge holding all the bits together as I formed the flower. Poppy now lives in Arizona. She was commissioned because this particular woman does a lot to help and rescue cats. She loves Poppy and Poppy has been quite happy over there in all the heat and survived the long journey well. 

Crochet Yorkie Dog

This crochet Yorkshire Terrier Dog came up on the Bees DIY Facebook page. I have sites like that one coming onto my Facebook feed because it inspires me. The pattern itself is here on Crochet Parfait , another good site to follow if you like crochet. The instructions are well set out and clear. On this post I have added the video for the facial hair of the dog because that is the bit you would really need to get right to make this dog as cute as it is. it is very clever but the finished dog is all in that facial hair. Oneof the best reasons to run a blog  is that I can store the ideas and patterns of projects I want to complete. When I am ready to do this dog it will be here waiting for me!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Gemstone Frog Pouch Necklace

I like making gemstone pouch necklaces. Somehow the gemstones do seem to help and to have a crochet necklace helps too! This little frog was for a family member. I looked at pictures on my iPad and then just crocheted the frog from a picture and made it up as I went along. It has little black beads for eyes and I just happened t have a lime green lanyard to match. The gemstones are in the pouch at the front of the frog to make him look like he has a tummy. Great way to use up bits of yarn!


I had fun designing this for YarnPieces. I was asking other people what they thought I should do for a design, got their feedback and then drew it up. The needlepoint did not take long and then I had to think what I would do with that. I found an old white frame, decorated it with my fabric paints and then glued on some bits of wool around the edge. For me it is always about using up all my bits and putting them into a creative context. My YarnPieces needlepoint is in my design studio and in lots of ways it has pulled all my efforts together just by having made it and having it on display. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

French Wool Magic madcat

French Wool Magic went to her new home earlier this year. She was very popular. Using the French wool I had left over from a cardigan was the very thing. It is thick and very soft and the colours are amazing.She was a change away from the madcats I normally make because I was using only one wool really whereas my madcats normally use a number of different colours.  I could tone in the eyes and paws with the wool and that made it easier in terms of colour choices. She is stylish and likes the nice life and is very happy in her new home with her Gentleman madcat friend. 

Four seasons quilt

 My four seasons quilt was a joy to make. I had a stash of charm squares and fabric which I had gathered from quilt shows and quilt shops. I had been putting all these fabrics in a box so that I could make a quilt but nothing came to mind so I had gone on with other projects. Earlier this year I treated myself to a new sewing machine with more embroidery stitches and suddenly the idea for my quilt was born. I had wanted to use some of those stitches on the machine. I looked at my patches and could see the four seasons. The quilt is just the simple squares with a floral edging and a sage green embossed back. I love the reds and browns in the quilts. I embellished it with some Suffolk puffs with buttons in the middle. I love making those. I use them sparingly. I had dotted them along some fancy embroidered trails on each side of the quilt. It was interesting doing that part because I had to work out where the trails would go and where the Suffolk puffs would go and which size to use where. I love this quilt and everyone who has seen it has fallen in love with it. Sometimes things just have to wait for their time to be made. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tunisian Crochet Berry Stitch

I have my Tunisian crochet hooks ready and once I feel totally comfortable with the  regular  crochet strawberry stitch I posted on this blog then I am going to try this. I am very appreciative of the fact people video how they are doing things so that we can all learn and share. This video goes at spoken speed  because Debi Dearest is talking as she does. I am probably going to be able to keep up with her. I play videos like this on my tablet so I just have to tap to stop it and it is an easy slide back to go over a bit I didn't quite master. I am really looking forward to mastering this stitch and to have a chance to use my Tunisian crochet hooks. 

Carnivale Madcat

I made Carnelvale madcat to celebrate the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 games. It was so colourful and  vital. My madcats are always popular and so many of them are in good homes now. I had wanted to make a colourful madcat and hadn't had a reason or request but the Rio Ollympics gave me that excuse to get all my colourful bits out and make that cheerful, happy madcat. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Taco, my madcat door stop

My daughter remembers the green crochet bag she wanted me to make her  when she was at primary school. By the time life happened and I had crocheted all the bits she was well past the green crochet bag stage. I thought I would finish it one day. Well, I have! It is now my new madcat door stop to replace her clay Sooty which had seen one too many dogs. I always feel a sense of achievement when I can repurpose something I have left unfinished. I really like Taco and so does everyone who visits my home. He has two big round weights at the bottom and then is stuffed solidly with  a windcheater which I cut up because it had seen better days. Love recycling too. He is called Taco because someone said his head looks like a taco and it does!

Strawberry Stitch Crochet

A Facebook friend put a link to the Whoot site where this strawberry crochet stitch was featured. I love strawberry things and I love making strawberry things so this really was me! I have to say it's been an interesting challenge. I needed to be patient with myself and be prepared to do, undo and redo. I found it quite hard with the video. Even though the video goes slowly it is not easy to  remember, crochet and then watch the video again. In the end it was good I could go back to check and look because it was reassuring to know I had mastered the stitch. At the end of this video is part 2 which is the return row for the stitch and is very easy!! What a relief that was.

I have put up a picture of my effort because I am pleased with it. Sometimes it is nice to do something completely different and which forces you to have to really practise your skills. My FB friend had suggested I make myself a scarf. Not sure yet but it is such an impressive pattern. I am also going to try a lighter green as in the video. That combination of colours is very fresh.