Tag Archives: textiles

Cruising and Clocks

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During my recent working craft cruise one of the “makes” was a wall clock. I have done this project on a previous cruise and it always proves popular. We used vintage fabrics, wadding, strong card for backing, embroidery hoops and of course, a clock mechanism. It does prove to be fiddly and the clock mechanism is temperamental. Although, that could be because they had travelled by mail all the way from China! The ladies who made the clocks were delighted with the outcome.

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Lessons Learnt

Use round doilies to minimise cutting and bulk.

Make sure backing card is strong but cuttable.

Provide smaller embroidery hoops (but not too small)

This project will defiantly be repeated if I’m lucky enough to be asked onto another cruise!

Creative Cruise

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20170706_111744IMG_1139When we were on our recent cruise around Scotland, one of the projects that we made was a clock.  We used vintage textiles including tray cloths and doilies. The results were amazingly good and everyone who made one was delighted with the results.

As always there were lessons to be learnt.

1) The wooden embroidery hoops, used as a frame, take up a LOT of space in a suitcase!

2) Do not squash your finished clock into a suitcase as this stops the hands turning!

3) Use vintage doilies for the clock face not tray cloths. This way you don’t need to cut the fabric to fit and you get a better result.IMG_1192IMG_1120

Watch this space for more cruise craftiness.IMG_1184

Travel and Felting

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Another busy busy week. Not that I’m complaining as, fortunately, all is good.

I took Damnvan1 out of winter storage this week. I am very fortunate in that friends let the camper van live in their barn, so it has been warm and sheltered all winter. This year she did however need a new battery and a minor repair- all down to age I’m afraid. She’s not too old and low mileage but I keep thinking about changing/upgrading her. Shshsh! Don’t tell her! I might keep her forever!

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This week I’ve also been on a felting course which was free! I like free! It was a two hour introduction course, very relaxed and very informative. We were supposed to make an egg, which I did and then got bored. I went onto make a small piece of felted Textile which is destined to become a Wild Woman! More about that at a later date!20170330_111953

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Thats all folk see you soon!

Cushions Galore

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Eldest child turns up and says”Can you make some cushions for my new house Mum?”

“Of course I can son – no problem” I reply.

And the result is:

Eldest son arrived clutching a bag containing off cuts of Harris Tweed. Irregular shapes with some from a sample book as they had appropriate holes in them. I put them together in a random patchwork pattern and stitched them ktogether. I chose a lush silver grey velvet from my stash ( Hoorah more stash used up) and inserted a zip along one long side. There were some Harris Tweed labels which I stitched onto the cushions and whoo hoo! Two really nice cushions. They look great in son’s new house and coordinate nicely with the decor.

Textile Inspiration Packs And

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Cruising along the coast of Norway we had a total of seven craft classes. One very popular class is using our Textile Inspiration Packs. We make these packs up using a variety of textiles, colours and buttons and bows. The idea is that during the class the ladies( it’s usually women) choose a pack and let the fabrics  inspire what they make. We guide, suggest and help the ladies with what they make. In one case we actually made it!

The ladies enjoy this project and often make a rosette or flower brooch.

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One day I went on an excursion to The Troll Mountains. The scenery was awesome. This picture of the mountains is jaw dropping. This is where adventurers BASE jump from the top! Now a banned sport following many accidents. Apparently (mad) some still attempt the BASE jump in secret. I won’t be joining them, it’s one ” thrill” that I shall forgo.

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Because we were in Norway the home of Trolls I was on high alert to see a real Troll. They are notoriously shy, mischievous and cheeky. But guess what! I found one willing to pose for a photograph!

20170131_123158Good bye dear reader, see you soon.

Inspirational Textile Packs

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Friend K and I have spent a few hours putting our ” Textile Inspiration Packs”together for a forthcoming cruise that we are teaching crafts on. We don’t go until mid January next year but I am strapped for time.

All the stress of my own making. Before that particular cruise I have another Caribbean cruise to fit in. Such a hard life! I also have an early alternative Christmas weekend with my girl friends to enjoy before the REAL Christmas. Then there is middle child’s big birthday weekend in a log cabin. Bonfire night party. Further projects to complete for craft cruise and knitting Christmas gift to  finish. A half made crochet blanket for expected new Grandchild phew!

Oh and I will need to post Christmas cards very early and Christmas shop the beginning of December as we don’t return from the Caribbean until 23rd December! Gifts will need wrapped and distributed early.

I also need to complete my departed Mums paper work and formalise her finances. Not to mention sell her house!

I need to make candles and do some fabric printing for a craft fair that I’ve promised to do in November.

Goodness me I’m exhausted just reading this list so maybe I’ll just lie down in a dark room!

I Will tell you more about the Textile Inspiration Packs in the next post ( if I’ve got time!)

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Confession

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As you know dear friends I am in the middle of a “Big Sort” I’ve striped my wardrobe nearly bare and am regarding it as an opportunity to buy more clothes! Well not really as I do have another wardrobe that I’ve not touched yet. I remember being told that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, this I think is true so why clog up the wardrobes with 80% of stuff that I’m never going to wear? It’s really liberating this de cluttering.

I have a HUGE stash of yarn, textiles and craft items. When I sorted my wool stash I put it into one of those bags that you use the Hoover to suck all the air out and shrink the package for storage. Now I have a confession to make. I actually couldn’t use the Hoover!! It’s not that I don’t Hoover the house honestly. I do nearly every day, but I never use the extension tube. Hubs always hovers the stairs so DONT tell him that I couldn’t use it! Oh the shame! ( not)

From this:

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imageFinally on a cheerful note:

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Dressmaking

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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.

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Grandchild had chosen contrasting blues.

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imageTwo dresses in one go. Result!

This project has inspired me to make more. Roll on the Great British Sewing Bee.

Cruise project bag

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One of the projects that we made during our cruise craft classes was a Bucket Bag. A bucket bag is defined by its shape (AKA bucket!) but lends its self to hand sewing. It would have been really good if we could have taken sewing machines but 20 machines would have well exceeded out baggage limit! So it was hand sewing and away we went. There is something very therapeutic about the rhythm of hand sewing and all those who took part enjoyed it.

We had worked hard to prepare the fabrics and templates before we went on the cruise. This made the project quite do able within the environment of a ship and the time limits. The secret of the success of this bag is to make the oval base the correct size for the bag sides without having to gather or pleat. There was a choice of textiles with the spots or stripes being very popular. There was the option to make a tote bag, to add appliqué and or a pocket. The bags were lined with a contrasting fabric and finished with rope style handles.

It was a surprise and a delight to see the ladies enthusiasm and imagination. Every finished bag was lovely, different and amazing. I took a great delight in sharing knowledge. There were a few ladies who had NEVER stitched and some experts. We all discussed, helped and learned from each other. Most of all we had fun and friendship.

And finally…….

 

Textile Brooch

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I might have mentioned ( just a few times?) that I am going on a cruise ship teaching crafts! This career change and next adventure is only a couple of weeks away so it has been heads down and fingers nimble to make the items to be demonstrated on board.

This explains the scarcity of recent blog posts. But I do have a lot to blog about and just need to find the space in my day!  Whoo Hoo!

We are nearly there with fabric cut and classes prepared. I intend to make a selection of textile brooches as one class. The problem has been how to present the various textiles in an interesting and exciting way. I have come up with the idea to make up “Inspirational Textile Packs”. These packs contain an interesting variety of textiles including lace pieces, delicate leather, colourful net, organza and gold thread or vintage buttons-plus much more. Hopefully these packs will inspire beginners and experts alike.

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Here is the first of a few sample brooches. If you want to know more you will need to book on the cruise!

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