One reason that I wanted to make the Harris Tweed quilt that I mentioned in my previous post is because I want to improve my embroidery skills. My Grandmother and to a lesser extent my Mother were great needlewomen. I can embroider to a certain extent but there is always room for improvement.
I found this book in my Grandmother’s belongings many years ago. It is a small paperback book first published in 1967.The instructions are clear and simple and it’s a delight to learn from.
I also have another book, not quite so old, published in 1981. So….. back to slow stitching.
I’m nothing if not indecisive! I have thought this project through and gathered together the necessary. I’ve researched, upcycled and finally started to work on my future travel project. I don’t like it! I like the theory, I enjoyed the ideas book and I tried hard. However I don’t like it!
On review of my first hexigan ( which would be the first of many) it just doesn’t work. The beautiful Harris Tweed is too thick when folded over. It doesn’t sit well with the vintage embroidery and in short it doesn’t work! No amount of pressing will improve the look, but I haven’t abandoned it completely.
I adore the vintage embroidery which was worked by my Grandmother over fifty years ago. Don’t worry! I only cut up the cushion cover because a Grandchild tried to colour it in with a permanent Felt tip pen! So….. rethink, re trench and start again.
I did like the embroidery that I had done on the reverse of the hexigon so I intend to incorporate that into the “take two” project!
This is the second plan. I love the Harris Tweed that I’m going to use and I’m delighted to upcycle my Grandmother’s vintage embroidery.
I couldn’t make my mind up which of these two books is my favourite. The book “A Trip around the Wool” is a great book and up there among my current favourites. It’s a bi lingual book in both French and English and beautifully illustrated. I’m just starting a project titled “52 Happy Memories of 2007”. The aim is to create an embroidered hexagon each week culminating in a 52 hexi quilt. I’m already falling behind so nothing new there.
The second book “Stitched Memories” by Tilly Rose is a glorious book sub titled “Telling a story through cloth and thread” which sits well alongside the other book. I’m using old embroideries and Harris Tweed to create my memory quilt. But lots more about that as it starts to come together.
One of the best things about this time is the decorations. Forget the dark days and add twinkle to your life with fairy lights. Get all wrapped up with recycled paper. Make your own cool wreath.
This wreath is so easy to make that even I can do it. I made it three Christmases ago. It squashes flat and fluffs out when the decs go up. It also ticks the recycling, upcycling and reusing boxes. Here’s how:
Take a wire coat hanger and bend and twist into a rough circle keeping the hook as,well, a hook.
Cut plastic bags into approximately 2 x 6 inch strips
Take each strip and knot around the wire
Keep going round the circle pushing the knotted strips close and tight.
When the circle is full fluff out the strips and trim if required.
Add decoration of choice or leave without
You can use coloured bags ( I used clear) and adapt for other occasions e.g. Halloween, Baby shower, wedding, Birthday etc.
Hook up the wreath. Stand back. Admire.
Happy decorating to you all dear reader!
On the recent cruise one of the crafts that I taught was the making of a log book or Journal about the cruise. The loose leaf file was covered in fabric and then embellished and used as a scrapbook. It was possible to embellish the cover using wooden printing blocks and many participants also used buttons, beads or fabric to add interest to the cover.
The passengers collected maps, tickets, postcards, photographs, and any other memorabilia to put into their log. At the end of the cruise everyone was delighted with their souvenir and maybe we have some converts to Smash booking.
Key Elements of a Smash Book. Instead of buying a scrapbook album and page protectors, a smash book is a journal in which you can write, draw, paint and glue in embellishments and memorabilia as you’re on-the-move. No planning is involved – you simply decorate as you feel
Hi lovely readers! I have talked a lot about the destinations on my recent,wonderful cruise but not about the crafts! The very reason for me being on the cruise in the first place is that I was actually teaching crafts! And what a great time we had!
One of the very popular crafts that we made was silk purses. We used silk ties to make these simple colourful make up pouches. I did start buying ties from charity shops but was not very happy. Silk ties in charity shops are quite expensive. They are often not too clean! They do not wash very well ( my Mother was right) I ended up buying lots of silk ties from China. These are sold as wedding ties and are colourful, good quality and nice to work with.
The purses are quite simple to make and the only other requirement is a zip. If you place the tie longways and use the zip as a measure, you can wind the tie round and round until the length is used. Pin and then slip stitch as you go. Slip stitch the base and insert the zip. Job done!
These are a small collection of the finished purses that were in our final Exhibition of Crafts. Didn’t we do well?
As you know my friends, I occasionally work on cruise ships teaching crafts. I am always on the look out for interesting, new crafty ideas, and as such have come up with a project using silk ties. I could use polyester but silk would be much nicer. I therefore started to search charity shops and quite frankly can’t believe the price of second hand ties! Polyester are generally around £2 but silk ones are about £4.50 Why on earth are they charging so much more for silk ties? There are dozens of them in the shops and are obviously not selling. I don’t want to pay too much as I need at least 30!
That took me to eBay where the plot thickens. I found great silk ties at a cheap rate (£1) so I decided to order three as samples to see if they will work. OK they are coming from China and won’t arrive until May! But hey! I can wait. I placed the order and then realised that they might be clip on or elasticated! I contacted seller who seemed very sweet but there was a language problem Chinese v English.
A short search later I found a private seller with one silk tie for sale. Well it was a start! A lovely silk tie in girly colours and great condition.
The tie arrived promptly this morning and it is very nice. I then turned it over and Amazingly Naked ladies! Tasteful but naked.
This is an interesting craft project indeed.
Welsh Wales weather can be very wet! However, on our recent seaside break in Llanbedrog it wasn’t too bad. We had a few nice beach days and a few variable days. To fill in a dull morning Step Grandaughter and I attempted some block printing. I’d gone well prepared with fabric paint, print blocks and linen tea towels. ( all left from my recent craft cruise)
As usual Benji dog wanted to play as well!Step Grand daughter did amazingly well. She is patient and plans carefully. We were both delighted with the result and great plans are afoot for teachers’ Christmas gifts!
Finally! Last project for my forthcoming craft cruise.
This project is decoupage. I’ve got lots of wooden boxes, shiny glue and various papers. I have used a Winny The Pooh book that I picked up in a charity shop last year for the demo project. The result is really attractive. I lined the inside of the box with a contrasting paper and have sealed it with three layers of shiny glue. Had I had more time I would have done more coats as this then gives you the ability to finely sand the surface producing a better result.
A lesson learned from this cruise is to choose smaller projects next time! I have packed the craft case but there is a considerable overflow. At least we are not flying so we can have the remainder in our hand luggage.