Monthly Archives: January 2014

Chat, Other, Sewing

The dance-like-nobody-is-watching of stitch craft

Free-motion sewing calls the senses and casts a spell that captures the soul. Once you start, you are lost to its charms. When not doing it, I’m thinking about it …It feels so…  so brain -soothing, so trance-inducing and such a wonderful unconscious celebration of just being. It’s the little book of calm for compulsive sewing. The dance-like-nobody-is-watching of sewing craft. So lovely to do. Really, I urge you to have a go yourself – you will truly love it.

The next time I go to Dublin I will be hunting for some cotton gloves with rubberised finger tips – they give traction, grip and control to manouver the fabric around so that it glides without stuttering or other annoying sticky impediments. That gives rise to jagged angles that would poke your eyes out like skinny elbows instead of voluptuous curves in the resultant stitching – gah! Jags and pulls are irritations that puncture the fluid  motion and create ripples of irritation through the zen-like spiritual elevation and enlightenment of the spirit. Ah. I wax lyrical. But you will, too, if you try it.

Anyhoo, I appliqued and decorated a flower with FM stitching (and stitched down a bird cut from a fabric bought for some curtains) then made a lavender sachet with some squares of linen and cotton just to find something to make and do some FM. I am enamoured.

Before Christmas, I made a bunch of chef’s hats and delivered one to Joe (as you might guess) who loves to cook. His speciality is (you guessed again?!) soup! He also likes hats – he sported a rather nice reindeer one with a flashing red nose at his outdoor carol service. Now he can look a treat and dress up in the kitchen for his soupy supremos.

Have to say, machine embroidery isn’t a patch on FM…. just saying…. Next time you feel stressed, try free-motion sewing. Failing that,  add a dab of lavender to milk. Leave town with an orange and pretend you’re laughing at it. Do something different. Roll up your sleeves, or eat an orange or am I just being a bit Manny after swallowing the little book of calm? (Black Books), Lol.

Have fun, Hel

Chat, Other

Lost My Bottle, Found a Guiding Light

See the lamp on top of the bookcase? The shade was €2.00 from a charity shop – brand spanking new. In fact, the very same shade is in B & Q at €26.00 – saw it there last week.

The bottle was €6.00 from a car boot a few months back. That’s €8.00 so far. Had to order the lamp conversion kit from Amazon, well, didn’t have to but the local prices from Woodies and B & Q were stupid and Amazon sold the kit for about a fiver with a few euro for shipping. Saved about €20.00 buying online.

The only other bit was something to fill the neck of the jar. The bottle lamp conversion kit accommodates a range of standard bottle necks but this was an old bottle garden (sadly, no cork stopper) and much wider. So, we improvised by using the cardboard cake bottom from the Christmas cake. Found a round sugar bowl that was just too proud to fit and used that to draw around on the cardboard base. Then we peeled off the silver foil coating, Modge Podged it, sprayed it with a quick mist of Rustoleum Ivory paint and that was that.

Just for info, we did also order special drill bits for drilling through glass and ceramics but decided against drilling a through the glass  in case we wanted the jar back one day. They will come in useful though, I’m sure.

Lamp works like it’s supposed to and looks like it cost a lot more than €15. Happy.

Chat, Sewing

Cosied Up Cafetiere

Free motion stuff. I am loving it. It feels so hippy-chick, shabby chic, bohemian heaven and all round zen. It’s the ‘dance like nobody is watching’ of the sewing world. I made a quick cosy and spoiled it with free motion lettering which I didn’t like – you can see the corner of it in the picture. It says ‘Morning Flower’.

Happy enough with it generally though, I worked on it a bit. First I drew out the main shapes in Illustrator and just printed them out. I could have cut them with the Pro or Cat but they were simple so didn’t bother.

Then I ironed down lots of fabric scraps onto Bondaweb and traced the shapes on the back and cut them out. Set them out on the cosy template till I liked the composition and steamed them in place.

The fun starts with taking it up to the sewing machine. Changed the foot to a Walking Foot and dropped the dog feeds. For free-motion, my stitching isn’t wild child but a reasonably careful outlining of the main shapes with quirky, wobbly lines of straight(ish, lol) stitching. The effect is charming. So easy to do. So much fun.

Tomorrow, I’ll cut the linings, wadding and finish making the cosy. Lovely little project.

*** It’s done and here it is***

And now I have the shapes cut out to make the same again – now, besides Mrs Trellis of Swansea, I just don’t get comments so I wouldn’t know if you’d like the shapes as a PDF for you to print and cut or snip by hand and have a go yourself.

If nobody asks, I shan’t post but am more than happy to give away – free – if anybody does.

Chat, Crafts, Sewing

Cafetiere cosy

Made a little cosy for my main cafetiere and want one for my other as well now. The nudey one will have to have a dome-shaped cover – its handle is soldered at the bottom but not the top so having a tie or button at the top wouldn’t stop it slipping down. Another opportunity to have some applique fun, though. Love applique so can’t wait to get cracking on it.


Speak laters!

Free, Sewing

Free Love letters

There’s a title, eh?! You’d wonder who’d share them online, if at all. But, ner, not those kind of letters at all. Letters to cut out for applique. Our  next big day to look forward to is Valentine’s Day. My fancy has turned to doing some applique and the obvious word choice is ‘Love’. Thought I’d share the letterforms I created today (Illustrator then saved as PDF) should you fancy having a go yourself.

They’re in PDF format and free but you’ll need to subscribe to download the file.

Love letters for applique pdf

L_O_V_E letters pdf

Hope you have fun.

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