Four seasons quilt

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hallowe'en Madcat

I had to make this one. I kept getting the idea in my head and just wanted to see how it looked. Now we all know. It's made of wool but the furry parts are synthetic yarn. I don't like ghoulish, unpleasant things for Hallowe'en so this madcat fits the bill for me. As someone said, she looks quite elegant!

I took this photo as I had just started to create my Hallowe'en madcat and put it on Instagram. It was instantly popular for some reason. I think people like to see works in progress these days and feel a part of the creative process. I like that approach. It's good to cheer people on with their ideas. I also value the encouragement I receive. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gentleman Madcat II

Gentleman Madcat II was such fun to make. The first one I made was commissioned. I wanted to make another because I had enjoyed the idea of making a refined madcat. I love how this one's scarf has turned out and it looks a bit like the scarf from the 4th Doctor Who. I hadn't planned it that way. I was going to put a big key in his paw, like the key to a mansion but decided to paint a cocktail umbrella and I am really happy with the way it turned out. A pin holds the two silver beads on the bottom. These mad cats are not for children but the adults who own them are more than happy with their madcats. He is synthetic yarn and I like the effect. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Scarf styling for men

Lots of men are not comfortable with thick , knitted scarves. Hopefully this video will put any negative thoughts to rest and show that men can wear knitted scarves too. In cold and windy weather they are warm and serviceable. Men's scarves are a good knitting challenge as well and it's good to get away form women's and children's scarves for a bit. 

Puff Stitch

Puff stitch is a good basic crochet stitch to know. It looks very effective , has a good texture and a thickness which allows you to make some useful items. If you use softer yarn like Afghan wool then it will make nice scarves. It can be used for bags and blankets and warm jackets. If you use different colours for the row it can have a good visual impact . This video explains the nine loop puff stitch well . 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to make 9 patches

Nine patches are a basic quilt block but there is nothing basic in how you can use them or put them to use. I have used them for quilts, bags and parts of quilts. I have halved them diagonally and then sewn them back together to make pinwheel blocks which look so different. GourmetQuilter shows you how to make them really easily and quickly. She explains things very well and so if you are new to this you will not have trouble following what she is doing.  She is using fat quarters and that is even better because you can often get packs of fat quarters on special in fabric shops. 

Christmas Bear Decoration

This little bear came as a kit but I haven't made it as the kit version. I turned the velvet ribbon into a sleeping bag and the gold ribbon into a pillow. I then added a little wreath for the bear to hold. Top left I added a gold leaf sequin and some gold yarn to make a hanger. The bear can come out of his sleeping bag if he wants to. It's just cute and I can never have enough bears! I sewed most of it together by hand. Two sides of the pillow are machine sewn. Maybe I should have added a Christmas stocking? 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Blocking crochet squares

Blocking does make a difference. if you have worked hard on a special kind of square , you probably want it to looks its best. This video shows you how to do it. Using the puzzle mat piece for the base is a great idea. You can get bigger puzzle mats and so could block more than one square at once. It is time consuming and a thing not everyone could be bothered doing, quite frankly. It will make your finished piece look so much better. On other pieces I sew the squares together and use a tea towel and the iron on a lower setting but with steam. You do not want too much heat at all. That way you can iron your bag or blanket without damaging the fibres. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cute cloth doll

This is one of the cutest and easiest cloth dolls to make. There is a lot of scope for personalising it your own way. You can decide what you want to fill it with, the sorts of materials you use, what you use for your hair and so on. You could add little arms made of wool or pipe cleaners. You could make them as pot pourri dolls and you could alter the size of the circles to make them bigger or smaller. They really are clever. Again, it's another good way to use up scraps. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cloth doll

One of the reasons I sometimes make cloth dolls is because it is yet another way to use up scraps. I knit, crochet, sew and so there are always bits of wool and material which I want to use up. Cloth dolls have a personality of their own. They are individuals and I can make them for adults or children. There is something whimsical about them. This doll is called Madeleine and I made one for me and one for my sister. My one is in my dining room because it matches the decor and she always draws comment. I like  deciding what they can wear and making the clothing. People like them as presents and it is always fun to make a doll which will complement the personality of a friend or family member. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Crochet Christmas wreath

Once you learn how to make a crochet Christmas wreath you will want to make more! You can decorate them with beads, buttons, wool. You can make glittery ones with fancy yarns and sequins. They can be hanging decorations, a little personalised gift or a nice thing to help decorate your presents when you have wrapped them. They look good attached to a hessian bag.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fun crochet Christmas tree

I love all the different ways people can develop their ideas with their yarn skills. This crochet Christmas tree is lovely and and is easy to make. It's a good way to use up oddments of wool and textured yarn. I really appreciate the way people share their ideas on YouTube now. Joanne explains it very carefully so that you do not get lost. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mouse pincushion

This was fun to make and I have to say whoever designed it put a lot of thought into the motif. It's clever how you black stitch the numbers on the tape measure. It is the black stitching which actually makes the whole design more 3D and far more interesting. I backed my cross stitch with some fawn cotton, stuffed it with fibre filler  and then stitched the cord into place. I really like how this one looks . It such a nice pin cushion for those who love to stitch!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Topiary Bag

I enjoyed making the topiary cross stitch but then I had to think what to do with it. I really liked the autumn colours and so I used the cotton material I  had which is very strong and used that to edge the hessian. I then sewed on two green buttons and put a thin brown cord through the bag. It's the sort of bag I use to carry and store my projects. It's also the sort of bag I use to store silks or patchwork pieces if I am working on a small project. It is easy care and durable. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Knitted baby booties

These baby booties are very easy to make and are more than suitable for beginners. PleasantSeas explains everything very easily and clearly and you can see what she is doing. All this gives you confidence. If you are looking for more complicated baby booties or you want choices then there are 10 free patterns on blissfullydomestic. Babies go through booties very quickly partly because they get lost, partly because they are frequently washed and partly because they grow out of them. Having simple ones helps preserve the fancier ones for special occasions and visits. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Simple crochet bag

Hectanooga1 explains things simply and clearly. She is very calm as she explains everything. If you have learned to crochet and want to branch out a bit then a bag is a good project. You can find bag patterns on YouTube and the net . You can just crochet squares and sew them together or a number of squares and sew them together. This bag is good because you make the pieces and when you put it together it looks stylish. It looks harder than it is! That is plus points for you.