Secret Paths Shawl

This is my version of the Secret Paths Shawl designed by Johanna Lindal. I used ‘Batik Swirl’ DK Yarn from Style craft for this project. I thought the yarn contained more purple than pink when I chose it, I tend to veer towards blues and greens for my crochet so it was good to move out of my colour comfort zone.

As you can see from this photo it is very chunky when made up, I see a lot of women wearing massive scarves and it’s a look I don’t think I can carry off!

Here is my younger model showing it off to better advantage

I enjoyed making this and I think I will add some tassels as featured on the original design.

I had planned to put a Shawl/scarf making ban on myself but they are my favourite item to make, they don’t take ages to do and its a good way to learn new stitches and techniques.

I started to make a cardigan about a year ago but its fallen by the wayside. I’m nervous of crocheting clothing, I don’t know if it’s the time it takes, the cost of the yarn or worrying if it is going to fit me properly and look good. I know I should just go for it, after all, I can just unpick it and make more shawls from the yarn!

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Christmas Quilt

Behold my Christmas quilt! I am so pleased with this quilt, mainly because it went from idea to finished item in around 5 weeks. The quilt I had in mind to make was this Laurie Matthews design but as I was working with a pack of fat quarters I didn’t have enough fabric to follow her pattern so this is where I had to dig into the stash and tweak the design to suit what I had, isn’t that the best thing about quilting?

I sliced my triangles in half and rejoined them to get 14, I played with the layout and decided on this arrangement

talk about making life complicated for myself! Thankfully I saw the light and stitched my stars to one large piece of fabric rather than joining 14 blocks together!

I joined the stars together with some silver Yarn just to add a bit of interest to the plain white background. I constructed the stars using the English paper piecing method, something I hadn’t really done before. Some of the diamonds were fussy cut, I saw the work of flossieteacakes who has opened my eyes to the potential of this technique, her book is now on my wishlist (as if I need any more books but hey :))

Quilting this baby took me a couple of evenings, jeez my arms were sore after manoeuvring it around the machine!

I really enjoyed stitching up the quilt border, it was lovely to feel the weight and warmth of the quilt while I stitched. Through the hours of making this I’d had a vision in my head of me and my girl snuggling under it watching Christmas films and reading Christmas stories. Here she is having her 1st snuggle under it after performing at her nursery nativity.

Here’s a full view of the finished article and some detail shots:

I loved making this and hope that we will have many more Christmases snuggled under its warmth.

Thanks for reading and I’m wishing you all a happy and healthy 2019 x

Be Merry!

The pattern for this ‘Be Merry’ mini quilt was featured in a Christmas gift pattern booklet free with Simply Sewing magazine. I fancied something quick to make so this pattern looked ideal.

I found a pack of Japanese fabrics in my stash that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show back in 2016, the colours are bright and there’s a gold outline around the shapes which I felt was suitably festive so I finally cut into the fabric after 2 years of procrastinating over what to use it for.

The base fabric is another piece from the stash – this time from a pack of fat quarters Christmas themed fabrics that I’d picked up in the Hobbycraft sale last year. I’ve done more with these fabrics that I’ll share in my next post.

This was a really simple applique project, that took me a couple of evenings to do. I also learnt how to do mitred corners with this project, courtesy of a Fons & Porter YouTube video, this is a technique I will definetly use again, thanks ladies!

The finished article has been hanging in my dining room over the festive period. The decorations below always make me laugh – I bought them in Poundland last year and when I opened the pack at home I discovered there was no ‘L’ in ‘NOEL’! I might make an L for next year but it makes me smile as it is.

Baby Clothes Memory Quilt

I absolutely loved some of the designs on my daughters first baby gros, leggings and T-shirts. I don’t have to room to keep all of my favourites so I thought I’d make a quilt. The problem of working with baby clothes is their size (pretty obvious really!) so I decided to design my quilt using half square triangles in an attempt to use as much of the fabric as possible.

I don’t think I’m alone in finding the cutting, piecing, pressing and squaring of the blocks extremely satisfying!

I found the quilt design Promise of Spring on Pinterest, I was amazed by the versatility of the half square triangle and as I still have a ton of half square triangles left over from making the quilt top I plan to make up a sample block quilt (once I’ve finished this one!)

I like the back of the quilt as well!

I plan to have this finished in the next couple of weeks – I started it nearly a year ago so it’s time to get it moved from the WIP pile. I’m adding a simple border, not sure how to quilt it yet, I’ll probably do straight lines in the white section to push the coloured sections forward but I’ll quilt a couple of test blocks before I dive in!

Pine Needle Embroidery

I’ve had the idea of doing ‘something’ combining pine needles and embroidery for ages so I finally put needles to fabric and got stitching. The road I walk down when I’m out with the dog is littered with pine needles and I am always struck by the lovely patterns they make on the pavement.

I am really pleased with how this has turned out and as I have a plentiful supply of needles I’m planning on creating some more designs – probably incorporating some beads as well – in the coming weeks.

Here’s some photos of the work as it progressed, those little demons in my head that attempt to squash any creative ideas were out in force in the early stages saying “why are you spending hours stitching down pine needles? It’s going to look rubbish!” but I pushed on and they are now silenced by the finished result!

It looks good held up to the light too:

While stitching I wondered how the design would look on a coloured background and I’m also thinking of doing a number of different sized circles on a larger piece of fabric… I have too many ideas and too little time!

Foundation paper piecing

As I’m working on a large quilt project at the moment I thought I’d do a bit of experimenting with foundation paper piecing to give me a break from the the what feels like endless Half Square Triangle cutting and piecing!

I copied this simple design, watched a couple of YouTube videos and I was away.

I made the rookie error of not checking that the fabric was large enough to cover the space so I just added another section to cover the gap:

I really enjoyed this and can see a lot of potential in the technique. As I didn’t want yet another random piece of fabric around me I took the opportunity to try out some different free motion stitch patterns. I’m now using it as a coaster on my work desk, it adds a nice splash of colour to my environment and if I’m having a long day it makes me look forward to getting home and doing some more stitching!

Herbstrauschen Shawl

Back in October I spent a week on the Greek island of Zakynthos enjoying some late season sunshine with my sister in law and two teenage nieces. I took a crochet hook and a skein of wool with me (along with countless other threads,stitching projects,paints…you get the picture!) so I wanted a simple project to work on. I had a stash of downloaded patterns on my phone and finally decided on the Herbstrauschen pattern by Christina Adorjan:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/cadors-designs/patterns
I started crocheting on the train to Birmingham and then put in most of the hours sat on the balcony drinking coffee and chatting with the girls. 

Early morning view from the balcony, it wasn’t always this quiet!

My sis in law loved watching me making the scarf and asked me to make her one but as time is tight for me just now I finished this one and gave it to her for Christmas.

This is a great pattern that was challenging enough to keep it interesting and the three row repeat meant I could talk while I worked and pick up/put down the crochet without losing my place. I also learnt the German words for crochet stitches!

I’ve got a few more finished crochet projects to share, mainly more scarves, I think I need to enforce a crochet scarf ban in 2017 and get a bit more adventurous with my hooks!