Block printing is always so popular in my Craft Classes on board cruise ships. Everyone just loves to play with paint, colour, textiles and Block printing ticks all the boxes. I do have a wide selection of wooden printing blocks but due to weight restrictions, I have to limit the ones I take. I provide “ready to print” linen bags or tea towels and away we go.
I also provide buttons, beads and embroidery threads so that the bags can be embellished if the ladies wish. It’s incredibly rewarding for me to see someone have fun and be delighted with the result. Often the ladies are unhappy because the printing hasn’t gone to plan. Usually we can recover from the mistakes using paint brushes and embellishments. And, as they say, turn the frown into a smile!
You might remember that I was making Bunting for my super step granddaughters birthday BBQ on my last blog. Well job done and I was really pleased with the result.
In the meantime I have also been sorting through my stash of “stuff”. A local charity shop in Chester, The Share Shop Chester, had put out an appeal for fabrics, sewing patterns and notions. Three sewing machines had generously been donated and are scheduled to go abroad to enable refugees to make their own clothes. I had a good sort out and have sent over forty sewing patterns for them, some dress length fabrics and a pile of threads. It’s great to know that they are going to a good cause. Not only that but I have actually made some space in my craft room.
I’m still “dust busting” It’s amazing how having friends to dinner can motivate you to clean your house! That and the dusty remains of a new boiler installation. But even better news! I’ve finally got back to working on my own projects! Maybe I will even finish something.
I was traumatised to find an error on my Miriam pattern from Quince and co. It was only when I reached all the way to the sleeve insertion that I realised the error. The pattern instructions shape at the “sides” as this is knit in one piece. However whilst it does state 4 sts dec’d the instructions only decrease by 2 stitches. When I enquired I was just informed that I must be using an earlier edition of the pattern and subsequent editions had been amended. Well I don’t think that is good enough. Patterns should be fully tested before publishing. I have had to pull back hours of work which is so demoralising. Still lesson learned….. don’t buy un checked patterns from the Internet!
Hello dear crafting friends. Result! Achieved! Done! Whoo Hoo!
Yesterday we were Grandchild minding and at a loss how to amuse her. Then…. The light bulb moment! We piled into the car and headed to Abakhan- a sewing, crafting wonderland. Grandchild was wide eyed with amazement at the amount, colours and variety of textiles for sale. She was to be a designer whilst I was to be the seamstress.
Grandchild chose a pattern ( with just a little guidance) and some fabric ( with more guidance.) Home we went to set up a sweat shop in the dining room. It’s some time since I made a garments but the pattern choice was relatively simple and away we went. I measured, cut, stitched, pressed, unpicked and stitched again. After the final press it was ready. Haute Couture wrap around and reversible dress. Lovely!
The pattern was Simplicity 8104.
The instructions were straight forward and the fabric a firm cotton.
Grandchild had chosen contrasting blues.
The model twirled and danced.
Two dresses in one go. Result!
This project has inspired me to make more. Roll on the Great British Sewing Bee.
The final project that we worked on whilst on our recent crafty cruise was a gadget bag. It started out as an iPad cover and then I realised not everyone would have or want an iPad! The patchwork quilted bag evolved into a project that could be adapted for tablet case, make up purse, sun glasses case or whatever your imagination decided. This guided but flexible project allowed the crafty ladies on the cruise to sew wherever their ideas took them.
The original idea was to use a “Grandmothers Fan” pattern which is attractive and a challenge for novice patch workers. I seriously underestimated the ability of many ladies on the course. The majority wanted to give the “Grandmothers Fan” a go. We provided the template, choice of fabrics and guidance and away we went. It was great fun and wonderful to see the delight when the padded bag was finished. I
have to admit to there being minimum quilting due to time constraints. Many of the ladies wanted to carry on crafting long after the class finished. It was rewarding to see many ladies on deck, enjoying the sun and stitching with enthusiasm between formal sessions.
The cruise was a great delight. We visited Portugal, Madeira, Canaries and Spain. I explored crafting emporiums, fabric shops and market stalls. We met lovely people and an adorable crafting group of ladies ( men tended to come just to see what their wives were up to!). Most of all we had fun! We have been so very lucky to have this opportunity and hope with fingers crossed that we can do more cruises. I have an ambition to craft my way around the World so watch this space!
Today I stumbled across a great magazine called “Vintage Life”. I am really a magaholic but find that since I’ve been Blogging and reading bolgs I don’t buy as many magazines. I suppose that there is only so much reading time in a day so I’m more inclined to savour a magazine as a treat. Which is what was doing today. I say ” was” because after I had taken the following photo I knocked the cup of tea all over it! Ah well! I did manage to salvage it even if it now has curly pages!
Maybe I will go and make another cup of tea and try to separate the pages.
Apologies to Darling Daughter but the knitting pattern did bring a smile to my face!
A friend gave me a knitting pattern of a jumper labelled “Pointelle”. Neither of us knew what this meant so I turned to “Mr Google” for help!
Pointelle is a delicate-looking fabric that is woolen or knitted and has little eyelet holes to create the appearance of lace. The fabric used for a feminine, delicate-looking knitted shirt with little eyelet holes that make the shirt look lacy is an example of pointelle.
At last WIFI again! How I’ve missed it. Sorry to miss Wordsmith Wednesday but I will get back to normal as soon as I can. Not sure what “normal” is as we travel around Devon and Cornwall. The scenery is stunning, the weather OK and the company not bad! Hubs, Benji and I have walked quite a bit of the Cornish Coastal path. Well Hubs and Benji have walked the most, whilst I’ve walked some of the shops! The path is well way marked and well maintained as well as well used.
We are currently staying near to Tintagel Cornwall. Tintagel is associated with the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Mysterious history indeed which all shops milk to the extreme. Still it’s all good fun.
Because of of no WIFI I have been “forced” to read real books and try to finish my knitting. Actually this was a real problem as the knitting pattern that I am following was on the Internet. I am still Knitting for Nepal and had started a pair of fingerless mittens to go with the scarf already completed. I have been using http://www.ravelry.com and a pattern of “knits by britt”.An uber easy pattern which I MAY finish tonight. I may then knit a “Beany” hat to make a trio of items. Then what??
Wordsmith Wednesday is a short weekly blog post that aims to define a word a week. I try to choose a “crafty” or “vintagey” associated word ( I don’t think that vintagey is a real word!) It may broaden your vocabulary or widen your word knowledge, or maybe just fun!
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs (in contrast with a satin and plain weave). This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a “step” or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this structure, twills generally drape well.
Examples of twill fabric are denim, tweed, chino, gabardine, drill, covert, and serge.
Ive finally finished my ” return to sewing” project! Yippee! I suppose that it is really a return to dressmaking project. I’ve continued to sew throughout my adult life but it had been many years since I’d made a garment for myself! I don’t know why, except that clothes can be bought quite cheaply and I can usually find a good fit. There is NOTHING to compare to completing something to wear for yourself (and being pleased with the result).
This skirt has taken me an age to make. I have prevaricated, hesitated, hummed and hawed and generally been frightened to give it a go. But I’ve finished it and it fits! I didn’t choose very sensibly for a new project. I bought a Burda pattern with unfamiliar American sizing, so more or less guessed the size to make. I naively chose a woollen fabric with a plaid pattern requiring pattern matching, and I shoud have lined it but didn’t bother. I will wear it with a satin and lace underskirt to give it some foundation.
Well the World is my oyster now! I am planning to sew more! I hope to make a summer skirt but I will let you know!