Saturday, 6 December 2014

Patchwork cushion

This is a cushion I made this week as a present.
I started with a simple patchwork using 4" squares..

The piece of patchwork was then quilted onto a piece of wadding.
I used to add a third layer behind the wadding as you would for a quilt, but if it is destined to be a cushion it's not really needed.
The quilting was done on the machine using a walking foot,
 making tram lines either side of each seam.
For the reverse I used a recycled shirt which is a favourite and quick way to make a cushion back as it has a ready made opening with the buttons and button holes already there.

The whole project can easily be completed in an evening.
My other project on the go is the Scrapadelic scarf mentioned in my last post.
It is growing steadily and I should be ready to show you the rolling up bit soon.

A couple more rows and some braiding to do.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Work in progress..

I am making a scarf using a favourite pattern called the Scrapadelic Scarf
on a blog called Crochet in Colour.

It is a very simple pattern but I think it's really effective and the half double crochet stitches make a warm scarf that isn't too holy if you know what I mean.
The fact that the ends are used to plat into braids
and therefore there is no need to darn them in, is a bonus in my book.
It also rolls up into a lovely squishy roll that is easy to wrap,
but I'll show you what I mean when it's done!
The wool I've used is Merino Blend DK by King Cole
 and the shades are Cranberry, Olive and Bronze Green.

I also just had to do another quick yarnbomb because our neighbour put out a second sign and that was just too much of a challenge!

This time I went for the festive look.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A colour boost

At this time of year as the nights draw in,
working with colourful fabric and wool is even more satisfying than usual.  

These are some coasters made from scraps.
There is a good tutorial by Svetlana here if you want one.

I used some spiral quilting and added an applique flower using free machining.
The cotton is a variegated one by Gutterman.

A bit more colour from some small pieces of crochet which needed a bit of blocking..

The first was a mandala from Lucy's pattern at Attic24 found here..

I made one for the fantastic display she did for Yarndale
and decided that I would like one for home too.
I have also made a couple of the triple layer flowers,
again from another pattern at Attic24 here.
And finally a little yarnbombing to (hopefully) bring a smile to my neighbour's face when he sees his sign..

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Finished cushion cover...

now I can't wait for the pack of Cosy colours that I am hoping to get for Christmas so that I can start the real thing!

This cushion cover came together fantastically quickly and is my practice run at Lucy's treble crochet blanket that I can't wait to have a go at.
This was a plain cushion sitting on the sofa just asking to be covered. 

I crocheted a piece the right width from lots of leftovers of wool that were in my basket and then wrapped it around the cushion and closed it up using single crochet.

Originally I had planned to then turn it the other way out, if you know what I mean, but I liked the single crochet on the outside and the way it made a kind of ridged edge.

I tired to get a close up picture of this to show you but as you can see the camera kept focussing on the rain drops on the window!!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Just couldn't wait..

I have been doing some crochet after being inspired by Lucy's gorgeous blanket over at Attic24.

I have put a pack of her Cosy Stylecraft on my Christmas list and am having to be patient.
 In the mean time I decided to have a practice with the pattern
 using some leftover wool from my stash.

It isn't blanket sized but should cover a cushion when it's finished.
Not much sewing going on at the moment as I have been busy clearing the garden,
planting raspberry canes and painting shelves.
Back to some sewing soon.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Mad Dogs!

This is Mad Dog.
Pattern from the book softies which I have had for some years and is very well used.
I often turn to it if I want to make a present.
This chap was made from recycled jeans and ..

a recycled shirt for the reverse.
And the second mad dog is Tally.
She is the reason for the name of my blog.
We set off for a walk this morning across the fields in the sunshine..

Can you see the little dots on the horizon, well...

on closer inspection they were a flock of Canada Geese.
Tally was fairly unimpressed and carried on her path..

but the geese decided they weren't hanging around in a field with a 'mad dog'.
It was a beautiful sight.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A bit of this and that..

Finally a sunny day when I am not working and a chance to take some photos!

This was a mini quilt made to sit on top of a table to protect it from mug marks and scratches.
I appliqued some felt circles which is a style used by Wendy Williams in her lovely book

The Bees are two lavender bags made from this years crop of lavender. 
One is now in my car and the other has been purloined by child two.

Then there was a tunic dress which I made using the basic pattern for Dress A
 from the Stylish Dress Book mentioned before here and here.
I made some alterations in that I took out some of the width and added a capped sleeve and pockets. 

Sorry about the poor photo but you get the impression!
The dress is made from denim and the pockets from some more of the Lazy Daisy fabric
by Brandon Mably  that is a favourite of mine.

I have really been enjoying the Frocktober Posts over at The Drapery.
I just wish I lived close enough to visit the shop.

And finally an African Flower Mandala Pot Holder.. 

This was made using a great tutorial here on a blog called Crochet with Raymond.
Unfortunately the blog is no longer in use but there are some lovely tutorials and ideas.

I like the back too and the whole thing was done in a day or two.
I can see a few of these being made for presents, I have already started a second.
And the chrysanthemums are a flowering their little hearts out and look like they are enjoying the sunshine as much as me!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Autumn is here

It was a cloudy day here but the autumn colours were shiny nevertheless.
I have been crocheting another cushion panel which is just about finished and needs making up but that will have to wait until another day..

Monday, 13 October 2014

Nursery Rhyme Quilt

The Baby quilt is finished and will be off on it's way to Germany soon.
Unfortunately it's raining today so the photo is indoors and not great.
Maybe I'll get some more before it goes if the sun comes out because
I forgot to take the back which I really love as it's recycled shirts.
Come on sunshine, help me out!  

This is the progress on the pouffe top which I shared in my last post.
I have taken off about 5" from round the edge, appliqued a circle in the centre and
quilted it to a piece of blanket..

It was fairly tough to applique the centre as I had to stitch through four layers hence it's a bit wobbly in parts but despite that I like the way it's turned out so far.

Now I need some fabric for the sides but I haven't got anything in my stash.
I think plain brown or green would be ok but it needs to be tough.
Maybe an old curtain?

Then I will finally be able to get rid of the bags of fabric scraps/rubbish that I have been saving for months now to fill it with!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Recycled cord trousers - WIP

I think it's going to be a pouffe!

This is made from old cord trousers cut using a 10 degree wedge ruler and sewn to form a circle.

Just to give you an idea of the size I included my shoe!

As you can see it's a bit big for a pouffe so I am going to have to cut it down slightly I think.

It seems a shame to waste it really but at least I have some pictures.
I'll let you know how it goes..

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Not much time..

I needed a quick project today as I have lots of jobs to get done.
I made this crocheted square ready for a cushion some time ago now
 but never got around to putting it together.

A perfect 10 minute job.
Then I just had to dodge the showers to get a quick picture.

The reverse is an old jumper.
I guess it should really have an opening but that would have taken longer!

And anyway, I have to admit to rarely washing cushions.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

ta daa.. the blue dress

This was my first attempt at getting a picture with the self timer!

That's better.
The dress pattern is from the Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.
 It's a Japanese pattern book with 26 patterns in it for tops and dresses. I expect most of you know about it as it has been around for a while now, but for those who don't, the patterns are all on paper sheets and need tracing off. This bit is quite confusing, but you definitely get used to it the more you do. The other thing I didn't realise at first is that there is no seam allowance and this needs to be added on to the pattern pieces.
That said, the patterns that I have used so far have been really good.
 I suspect it is one of those books that gets better the more you use it.
This pattern was very simple.
I cut a size 12 and it is probably a bit on the big side if anything.
 It said you need 2.2m of fabric but I managed with 1.5m of fairly wide linen, and I had plenty.

It is super comfortable to wear.
I'm not sure it needs all the gathers in the back as the linen is quite thick so I might take a bit out but we'll see how it goes.
Definitely a pattern that I will be using again.

Monday, 6 October 2014

A little black dress

I have been busy making clothes this weekend.
This one is a dress based on the Burda Pattern 7602.
I amended the neck slightly as I wanted it a bit more scooped out, and if the truth be told I scooped out a bit much and then decided to edge the neck with some black cotton trim t fill it back in!

I also altered the pockets and just made two simple rectangles.
Oh, and I also made the front a single piece rather than the two panels on the pattern.
Other than that, it's the same!!!

Moving swiftly on..this is the next plan.
Dress E from the Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.
In some gorgeous blue linen I found in Truro Fabrics last weekend.
More soon.

Monday, 29 September 2014

WIP - baby quilt update

Just a quick post to update you on the progress of the baby quilt.
I haven't quite finished the quilting yet and the binding that I had intended to use isn't quite long enough so I need to get some more or make some.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

I hate alterations!
Sometimes they can't be avoided though.
 I made a red linen dress some time ago now
and used the same combined pattern that I used for this dress.
The two patterns are from the Japanese pattern book "Stylish Dress Book" by Yoshiko Tsukiori.
 I combined the pattern pieces for dress I and dress S, because I wanted the V neck and sleeveless top with and ungathered skirt.
Unfortunately, whatever I did the second time was slightly different
and the dress never felt quite right.
 It was just too tight across the top and it sat in the cupboard.
The black one has been worn a lot this summer and I love it, so I decided that it was time to grasp the nettle and UNPICK the red bodice.
I managed to get another half meter of the linen and set to work.

I think it took twice as long as making the dress in the first place but it worked.

So now I can enjoy the last of this lovely warm weather in a red dress as well as the black one.

And also I can move on to the dark grey needle cord and royal blue linen that I bought yesterday without feeling guilty!

And this is what you get when you ask a thirteen year old boy to please include your feet on the photo of the dress!!!!

Sunday, 21 September 2014


A few years ago I made a baby quilt for someone
who has now asked me to make one for her to give to a friend.
I love making baby quilts because they are usually quite small quilts but fun to do.

I am making it very similar to the original quilt which was my own design but using some animal templates from another quilt pattern I bought a long time ago, by The Chook Shed.
I have based it on four nursery rhymes.
I'll show you some more as it comes together. 

I'm also still experimenting with crochet flowers and will update you on that this week.
I haven't had so much crochet time sitting by the side of sports pitches this week
 as the boy has broken his leg!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Just a quick update as I have been playing with flower patterns from a new book lent to me by Mum.
"100 flowers to knot and crochet" by Lesley Stanfield.
I did actually get this book out of the library a while back after reading about it over at Attic 24,
but I think my limited crochet skills have improved slightly since then.
Nevertheless I am starting with the 'Basic Designs'.
These are two Hellebores, a small meconopsis and a sprig of mistletoe.
They are all made from some wool I had in, old embroidery wool I think,
but I am going to have to get more.
It's the colour that is important to me so I may need to hunt around a bit but will let you know.

The Asters are coming out fairly early and the colours are gorgeous. 

I love the purple and yellow combination with the Rudbeckia.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Home grown and foraged

As usual there have been some successes and some disasters in the garden this year.
The runner beans got off to a poor start as the first lot were eaten by rabbits but we managed to get a second lot going and keep the bunnies off with an old fire guard.

The Dahlias have been good and are still providing flowers to bring inside as are the sweet peas.

Blackberries in the fields round us have been brilliant this year
 and I have already made two batches of jelly.
This time I was aiming for something for the grownups..

Blackberry vodka and sloe gin!
I have made sloe gin before but the blackberry vodka is a new one for me so I will let you know how it turns out. After a bit of reading on the internet, I have opted for the
 "alcohol and fruit only to start with"
Supposedly this gets more flavour from the fruit before adding the sugar later on.
We'll see.

And if I pan out you can see this fab table made from a recycled pallet
 that all the produce is sitting on.
Child number two made it and it kept him busy for a whole afternoon.
I just love it!

If you haven't already,
 it is worth looking at recycled pallet furniture on the net as it is amazing I think.
Here's just some.

And finally, a little quilted table mat which I made for the top of a wooden box.
It stops all the mug marks and the other mat needs a wash.
Any excuse to make a quick and easy quilt!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Using some recycled fabric and scraps

You may remember the pile of fabric for recycling that I showed you in my last post,
well some of it has been put to use so I thought I would share the results.

The first project is a shoulder bag made as a present.
This was made from a pair of trousers combined with a strip of this gorgeous Brandon Mably fabric called Lazy Daisy Charcoal and a scrap of spotty brown for the pocket.

The lining was a recycled pyjama top with a Lazy Daisy Charcoal pocket and the handles some cotton webbing.

I decided to reinforce the top edge with some grosgrain ribbon that I picked up in a charity shop.
I am hoping this will help the bag to hold it's shape a bit. 

Next is a very simple shower bag to take swimming.
This was made from a piece of leftover oilcloth fabric which Mum made a table cloth out of.
I'm not sure of the make, sorry.

And finally, a recycled curtain.
I just folded it in half and sewed up two sides before adding some simple ties.

It is filled with half an old single duvet folded in half..

and is well used already.
In fact it probably needs a wash
 but I am determined to ignore all housework that needs doing today and sew instead!!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

This and that..

I took the kids round to my parents this morning and Mum gave me a bunch of Zinnia which I put into my new basket from France...
what a match!!
I also came away with a pile of fabric for my recycling pile..

I am not sure what they will be used for yet but will let you know.
The weather is a bit wet here today, but yesterday I picked these..

and made three pots of this.. 

It says 'jelly' but actually I can never be bothered with the muslin bag which takes hours.
 I just bung it through a sieve.
This gets rid of the pips which otherwise get stuck in my teeth!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Two Dragons

In the garden..

well actually in a vase on the windowsill but just picked.
These are Dhalia 'Purple Gem'.

A bee diving into the artichoke flower.

The last few flowers on a beautiful red snap dragon by the lavender-
that reminds me I need to pick some lavender for drying soon.  

And finally the red geraniums by our new red front door.
I love it.
No sewing in the last two weeks but I have been crocheting .. 


The Black Sail that I started back in April has finally been transformed into a Dragon's Tail as intended.
The pattern is by Andrea Delhey and is called Dragon's Tail and was found over at Ravelry.

I used a back four ply Wool/Nylon mix by King Cole called Zig Zag.
I bought 2 x 100g balls and just needed to start the second to finish it.

I love the way it drapes but the spines still poke out.

It is definitely the most complicated pattern I have crocheted and it needed lots of counting but I am really pleased with the result.

You can see the pattern better in this picture
 but it looks like some sort of traditional costume I think..
I prefer random draping!!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Playing with a Tree Frog

I made this little fellow today with some scraps.

The book is one I found in a second hand book sale a few years ago now.
 It's called Creative Toy Making by Pamela Peake.

The frog pattern is in a section on bean bags.

 This fellow looked decidedly unhappy by a pond... 

but then he hopped into the fig tree... 

and looked right at home!!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Skirts and Flowers

Two new skirts for the summer, made using my well loved and used pattern by New Look 6053.
I have shaved half an inch off the waist edge and added an inch to the bottom of view E.
It is straight forward and very quick.
The fabric was bought online from The Village Habberdashery and they were great.
The blue one is Desert Flower in Navy by Hatbox. It's a lovely thickish cotton
and I haven't bothered lining it.
Don't look at the lack of matching down the side seam, I didn't have enough fabric to do that!
And if I'm totally honest there is a corner patch on the back aswell, but shhhhhh!!
What would Patrick and May say!!!!

 The brown is Ume on Russian Caravan.
This is a fabric designed by Umbrella Prints, an Australian Company.
Their fabrics are just gorgeous but not easy to get hold of here in the UK until more recently.
Again this skirt is unlined.

A couple of headless shots so you can see them on.

And in the garden at the moment...



Hydrangea pots 

Sweet peas growing up the shed.

And finally a WIP -
a holiday bag made from some scraps of the Umbrella Prints fabric.
It's nearly that time of year again.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Summer Garden Cushion

Another cushion!
This time a 21" cover filled with a 22" cushion pad and it was just the right size.
The slightly bigger pad means that the corners are all filled properly.

 The front was made from some more 10 degree wedges,
 this time sewed together 'top to tail' if you know what I mean.
Then I just sliced up the strip into various widths and used the white to outline them. 

The reverse is made from linen with a zip concealed under a flap.
I really like this way of making the reverse as it seems to hold it's shape well. 

This one is not destined for the sofa but is a present for our neighbour.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Summer Wedges

I have already blogged about the Angry Cushion on the left, and today I finished the one on the right, Summer Wedges.
The pair of them are now sitting on the sofa looking very bright and cheerful.

This one started with 36, 10 degree wedges sewn together to form a ring.
I then turned under the edges and appliqued the whole thing onto a
 25" square piece of pinky-purple linen.

I used some wadding to back the panel and did some circular quilting in the centre and around the edge of the wedges to hold it all together.

The reverse is made from the remaining piece of purple velvet with a concealed zip
as for the Angry Cushion. 

I was lucky enough to have had a whole day of sewing with not a lot else on, bliss.

The second project was to make a new peg bag
as last years was looking a bit sad.

This time I used old jeans to make the back and top sections,
with stitch and flip on the bottom panel as before.
(My tutorial can be found here).

I managed to use the waist band for the top section and so I didn't even have to hem it, sneaky!

When I went out to get pictures of the cushions the new peg bag was already in use
 and  I like this 'real life' picture with the birthday bunting still up
 and waiting for another June birthday in a few days.
Have a good week.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

A Colour Wheel of Wedges

I have been playing with the wedges, arranging and rearranging them on the floor.
They are ten degree wedges cut with a ruler from strips of 8" fabric.
In the end I opted for a colour wheel separated by white strips.
At the moment I have just tacked the edges under
but the plan is a second cushion to go with this one which is getting well used already on the sofa.
It is such a beautiful day here in Cornwall and I just had to get some photos in the garden.
I enjoyed experimenting with pictures and seeing how the wheel changes in different settings.

This blue pot of geraniums is brightening up the back door step.

Blue sky, white clouds, green hedges and fields
 (and a willing model, well sort of!).

Self seeded Calendula around the vegetable beds.  

In the shade of the wisteria on the bleached wood of the garden table.

And finally last night,
on some rotten wood next to the Valerian which has self seeded on a wall.
Not quite in time to catch the setting sun which sneaked away behind a cloud.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wedges on the Water Butt


I have been playing with my new 10 degree wedge ruler, another lovely birthday present.
I haven't even done any sewing yet, just having fun with colour and pattern.
I went out into the garden to catch the very last of the sun and the only place I could find to get a picture was on the water butt.
Then I noticed I wasn't alone.
Piglet was quietly sitting there with a smile on his face.

So I moved him round so that he could get a better look!
I think he likes them as much as I do...
more soon.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Angry Cushion

I was going to call it the Cross Cushion because of the crosses (surprise surprise!) but then I decided it would be a really good size for having a pillow fight with so now it's the Angry Cushion.
Always useful with two teenagers in the house which we will have as of this week.

Apart from helpfully deciding to put it on his head when I was trying to get some pictures,
 he has already spent a large part of the afternoon on the sofa lying on it,
while watching Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother!

Anyway back to the cushion..

I started with this piece of simple patchwork,
 and then I went and had a birthday and  Mum got me this..

A gorgeous book,
 Wild Blooms and Colorful Creatures by Wendy Williams.
And I also got some felt and coton perle to go with it.

So I just had to try out some of the 'Wild Blooms' from the book.

As luck would have it
the felt squares almost perfectly matched the cross patchwork I had been making.

Once I had added the applique on the white squares,
I quilted the panel onto a piece of wadding using some Gutterman Sulky variegated thread
which is lovely. The quilting was straight lines and very simple.

The reverse of the cushion is made from a piece of purple velvet
that has been in my stash for a while. I thought it would make it nice and soft.
 I made a sort of pleat to cover the zip which I have read about somewhere but  just made it up with what I had.

The cushion pad was a 24" square, and if I'm honest it could do with being a couple of inches bigger but it will do.

So that's about it, one Angry cushion.

Monday, 2 June 2014

WIP - a cross cushion

I wanted a quick fix and we have a few cushions on the sofas that are looking a bit sad.
I have been looking at various cross quilts recently and thought I'd have a go at a simple design before I try a wonky one.
I will also be trying out some Gutermann Sulky variegated thread that I got recently
 when I do the quilting. I'll keep you posted.
And here are just a couple of pictures that I can't keep to myself
 from some gardens we found by chance this weekend. Queen Mary Gardens in Falmouth.

A stunning bed of Lupins and Artichoke...

and some impressive Echiums that must just love the climate here by the sea.

Monday, 26 May 2014

A Long Weekend

We've had a long bank holiday weekend at home with lots of time for sewing and gardening.
The Jolly Molly is finished and the wadding will hopefully not shrink in the wash quite as much as the wool blanket did.

The appliqued flowers worked fine and provide enough quilting to hold it all together.

I added some buttons to finish the flowers,
 but avoided these being on the ends which will be used to pick up the hot dishes.

The reverse was some more of the grey with white dots,
 a cotton poplin that I used to back my recent  quilt, Flag it up.
Next up was the door stop.

This is a pattern that I have used before by Lotta Jansdotter in her book simple sewing.
I used some herringbone wool fabric which was lovely to work with, and a scrap of cotton dinosaurs to brighten up the top.

I filled it with scraps of fabric
and a packet of old dried black eyed beans that had gone well out of date!
The beans weight it down and the fabric  stuffing help it to keep it's shape.
And finally I snuck in a shirt that was luckily already cut out a few weeks ago.
New Look pattern 6104, again one I have done before here, but this time I made view c but with slightly shorter sleeves and no tucks in the sleeves or front panels.

The fabric was from Truro fabrics around Easter time.
It's another cotton poplin with a very slight sheen
 and I had second thoughts about it after cutting it out.
You wouldn't know but the pattern is lots of rows of tiny snails!  

Now that it's made up I quite like it.
I'm hoping the fabric will soften and wear a bit when washed.
The pattern is definitely a favourite and is lovely and quick, with no fiddly collar.
The shaping works well and I even managed to find some recycled buttons for the front.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Learning from my mistakes..

This is my Jolly Molly made and blogged here not so long ago.
I used an old blanket to pad it with as I have done before without any problem.
Unfortunately this  time it must have been 100% wool I think and it shrunk badly (or well!) in the wash and the result is fairly useless.

So now this little lot is sitting on my sewing table ready to be put together.
I have used some left over wadding from my last quilt instead of the blanket this time.
I am also planning to quilt it by appliqueing the flowers on through all the layers.
I will be following my usual method which I put in a tutorial here if you want to have a go too.
Results to follow. 

And this is the other thing sitting on the table ready to go..
a new doorstop for the back door.
A friend gave me this lovely herringbone wool fabric
 and it is just the right weight to make a sturdy doorstop.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Pink Present..

This was a present for a special little girl who likes pink.
a simple zippered pouch, lined with pink shirt,

and filled with a bunch of pink goodies.

And a pink scrunchie to match.
I love making presents with a colour theme.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Flag it up!

It's finished!
This is a quilt that I've been working on for a while and the scrappy triangle blocks are made using the excellent tutorial by Ashley at FITF.
If you haven't found her website already you are in for a treat.
 Quilts, clothes, tutorials, household stuff and a shop,  it's great.  

She calls her quilt the Nautical quilt but mine reminded me of flags as I tried to get photos and it flapped around in the breeze.

I backed it with this grey spotted cotton poplin which I really like...

and bound it with a red which I can't find the name of, but was from Truro fabrics.

I think it would make a good cushion too.

I know the quilting lines aren't even but then nor are the flags.
I haven't done much straight line quilting before but I like the effect.
Washing the quilt when it was finished, really helped to sort of crinkle it up evenly.

The bright colours were fun to photo on a bright sunny day
with lots of blue sky and fresh green leaves.

And while I was out catching the late afternoon light,
 I picked up the eggs and some parsley for a quick tea of omelettes,

 because it was a bit late to start anything more complicated!