Four seasons quilt

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Which knitting needles?

The point made in this video hits the nail on the head. You choose the knitting needles which suit you. You then have to choose the needles which suit your project. Sometimes you need to use the circular needs because you have so many stitches or because it takes up less space. That can be part of what guides your choice. Some long needles really get in your way and are awkward. I like plastic needles or bamboo needles but hey can break and that is really annoying. The trick is to have more than one pair of any size and that can be done by getting spares in op shops , craft sales and at fetes. Steel ones can be taken by other people in your home for uses other than knitting. I don't know why but family members can be quite good at bending needles when they use them for something other than knitting. If you live in a safe home for steel needles then they are my preference because they are durable. You need to buy good quality ones though because some metal needles make a horrible sound when you are knitting or they sound like they are rough. Needles should always sound smooth. If you don't know then borrow needles or buy op shop ones until you know the needles you like. Double ended needles are always steel in my opinion because they really can break easily and that is frustrating. In the end, what I think, or what anyone else thinks is not relevant. It is what you think. I prefer to use plastic needles for the thick wool and steel needles for 8 ply and less. For me it just works better that way. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Henriette cloth doll makeover

I found this little doll in an op shop and she was sadly neglected. I cleaned her up, filled in the bald patches of hair so she could have a new hairdo and made her a pretty and very cheerful dress from some charm squares I had. She has frog earrings and I put blue laces in her shoes.She looks so cheerful now and is in my design studio. I have called her Henriette and she is now my stitching friend. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Minion cushion

Proud mother moment. My daughter gave me a bag of T Shirts so I could turn them into quilts. There will be a Dr. Who one, a superheroes one and then I had 3 T shirts left over. We worked out that two of them will make a nice bag but I said to her that the Minions one would make a good cushion. I was right. It has made the softest, cuddliest cushion ever. T shirt material is great for making cushions I have discovered. The cushion is two layers of T shirt material. The Minions T shirts is the outside and then left over backs from two of the other T shirts make the lining. I then made a bag from a clean pillowcase and stuffed it with fibre filler. Totally washable and easy care. I cut the bottom off another left over T shirt back and made the bow. I wanted to do a running stitch border around the edge with some yellow crochet cotton I had but found that was too hard on my hands. I'll try again today because I have until the weekend before daughter gets her upcycled cushions. It was great to know she had learned my lesson of recycling, upcycling or donating to charity. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Heart pincushion

I like the look of needlepoint because it has an old world charm . It actually makes a very durable fabric. I like the rhythm of doing it too. It's a soothing thing to do.  This is something I had worked out a while ago which I had adapted from a pattern I saw in a magazine. I didn't like the basket they had in the middle of it. I just changed it to a heart and am happy with that especially since it's a pincushion. You can gather the similar pins in the separate areas of the pincushion if you want to . I backed it with some faux corduroy with a crazy patchwork pattern. It's very soft and the colours tone in well  with the front of the cushion. I edged ti with beige cord which I hand sewed on and then added a turquoise button. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Puff stitch flower blanket.

Earlier I put up a tutorial on how to crochet puff stitch.  You might want to look at that and have a little practice before you start these puff stitch flowers.  In her video Bella Coco shows you how to make the  puff stitch flowers and at the end she shows how to sew them together so you can make bags, blankets, jackets. Whatever you want. Bees DIY has a free pattern for a puff stitch flower blanket and the instructions are clear and set out well. By changing the colour of your wool or yarn you can change the feeling of the blanket. You could make one for each season!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Easy crochet flowers

You have to start somewhere. Crochet flowers are not hard but here are some tricky beautiful ones which you can make once you understand the principles. You can use them to decorate beanies, bags, jumpers. You can join them together to make pretty blankets. They are a good thing to add to your crocheting repertoire. You can make nice centres for them with pretty buttons as you stitch them on. If you start simply then you will gain in confidence and ideas. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Patchwork bags

I am always quilting so I have plenty of leftover scraps. We got rid of plastic shopping bags in South Australia quite some time ago so I started using my scraps to make shopping bags for myself and others. They have been welcome and popular. I can make all sorts of bags. They get a tropical look, an old fashioned look, a retro look, a fun or funky look. I can use big blocks or use the small pieces to make bigger blocks. I generally base the bags on a nine piece set up and then make the handles to match. I am often making them as I do other things because sewing small pieces together can be tedious so I just do it for a bit and then get on with something more interesting. These bags wash and wear well. They fit plenty of shopping and cal roll up easily into another bag so they do not take up much room. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Crochet Christmas Baubles

These Christmas baubles look especially nice if you crochet them in bright colours and tone in some glitter sliver or gold yarn. They give an ultra modern look to Christmas. Te ones in the video are really nice too if you like the traditional look. They are not hard and worth the effort. In the end, you can choose the colours which match your Christmas colour scheme and they can make really nice personalised Christmas presents. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Knitted slippers

Knitted slippers are a good way to use leftover wool and yard. They are functional and can be very fancy. Some are knitted on double ended needles or round needles. You need to get the principles of knitting slippers right first. Once you understand how they are made you can move on to more complicated patterns. It is important to take it one step at a time. The video shows you how to make the slippers. It goes slowly and is explained well. There is also a nice pattern here for simple slippers which you can try if you haven't made them before. You can always decorate them with crochet edges, cuffs or flowers. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Crochet zip into a jacket

It's easy when you know how and a zip inserted into a purse or jacket can  work so much more effectively than buttons. Zips provide a neat closure and don't detract from the pattern and yarn work. The video explains the principle really well and you can follow along. It is not hard but you just need to be methodical and patient as you start it off. If you specifically want to see how to put a zip into a crochet purse there is a really good video in Portuguese. If you don't speak the language it doesn't matter because the visual aspect of the video is done extremely well. Once you understand how it is done you will work out your own way of doing it. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Baby quilt

I really enjoyed making this baby quilt and it has had plenty of compliments. It was fun. It is designed to look like a board game. I have red buttons for counters and pompoms for balls. There is a mix of modern and traditional children's images and the whole thing is very colourful. I toned it down a little with the pale blue polka dot nursery fabric and the beige edging. There are pinwheel and nine patch blocks to add to the image blocks. I have sewn on braid and ric rac which makes it look a bit like snakes and ladders. The inside is polar fleece so the whole thing is very easy care. I made a bag for it and attached a knitted pouch with a colourful cat and then the card is made of pressed hearts ease flowers. The quilt is now with its new owner and well loved. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mouse hand puppet

This mouse likes to hear and tell stories. He is made to fit a child's hand and loves to sit and listen or will happily create a yarn or two. He is made from faux fur. I tried beads for the eyes but changed them to black buttons which I prefer. I love his spotty bow tie. Makes him look like he has nice manners. The ears are edged with synthetic woolly yarn and lined with felt. His nose is a pom pom and his whiskers are yarn. I had him there for a while and wasn't so sure how to finish him. I had used a pattern and it was one of those projects where I felt it wasn't looking as good as I thought it would. I got it out last week and suddenly my ideas of how to make it better came alive. The arms are pipe cleaners with faux fur hands/paws. He's quite a character and looks so much better than he did. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Purse with metal frame

This video goes through all the basics of how to make a purse with a metal frame. It is explained well so that you can follow and understand. A sew on metal frame means you don't need the glue and you can use some cotton or yarn to sew the frame on and add another layer of design/decoration. Once you look at the video you will feel more confident at approaching something which you might think is too hard. Now I have made one I feel like I know what I am doing and am really glad to be able to add this to my repertoire of craft skills. These metal frames suit crochet purses really well and there are videos for that on YouTube. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Needlepoint coin purse

This is the first time I have made a coin purse or anything with a mettle frame. I really like how it looks and I didn't actually find it too hard to make. What I need to do , though, is go back over it and perfect it. Once you have made something new you either have to make another one or polish the original so it comes out perfectly. The metal frame was relatively easy to attach and with the needlepoint rose it just looks so effective. I need a bit more practice and I need to look at some videos so I can get the fit exactly right. I also need to be able to get the joins of both sides of the purse better so no canvas is showing at all. I had been careful but obviously not careful enough. I am happy with it and feel like I have mastered something worthwhile which has pulled my skills levels up.