Monthly Archives: May 2014

Chat, Sewing, Tutorials

The Trick to Mastering the French Knot

This little lavender sachet is decorated with small beads and some French Knots. It was a stitch I’d given up on so many times. It always fell apart until I worked out what the trick to it was!

I’ve used this pretty little stitch on lots of things – like here:

And  here:

It’s a beautiful stitch for a filler like wooly-type sheep fellows or just dotted around for a pretty surface texture.

To Be or Knot to Be
Follow this tutorial to get the knack and enjoy using this pretty stitch on your projects. A little bit of practice and a taut thread. An educational post today – taut us a lesson… groan. Bye for now.



Car wash

Okay, should have washed the car but it’s up and down the motorway most days and it rains a lot here! Just wanted to show the Sheriff decal made from vehicle-quality vinyl and cut with my Cougarrrrrr. Speed 400, pressure 25. Puurrrfect.

Recognise him? Same Sheriff I made with clothing vinyl a year or so ago for some hoodies and T shirts.


Chat, Other, Sewing

Boxing Clever

Made a sunny day shopping bag with pretty box pleats and spotty peep outs over the last couple of evenings. The floral fabric is one of my favourite Ikea designs and the green spotty is a craft cotton from a local shop. Both 100% cotton. The handles came from a cheapy bag in the bargain bucket from a charity shop for a euro. The bag had seen better days but the handles were fine.

No pattern, all came out of my head based on pleated pouch bags etc. I did have to unpick a couple of times because I got myself confused attaching the inner cuff and lining and handle attachment but soon worked out and sorted. Now I have a new shopper to cheer up dull and dreary days.

Was listening to the radio and had a funny case of the Mondegreens…. Al Green’s ‘Take me to the river’… singing along I rendered the second line as ‘Watch me drown’. Lol! Sorry Al.

Here’s the inside – all lined and lovely with matching fabrics.

I always offer and get deluged with the numbers of requests (ha ha) – if you would like a pattern, I will write it up with diagrams and pictures and post it free.

Have a nice day.


Buy, Pop Ups

Pop Up Happy Birthday Text and Butterfly Topper

Heylo!  The sun was out this morning putting everyone in a good mood. It was so lovely to go out without feeling weighed down with chunky layers and thick coats like a heavy-duty upholstered sofa and wear something light. Can just move so much more easily without castors! I made a mental note that when I got back I could do a bit of gardening and plant some flowers I bought at the weekend. Sadly, it didn’t pan out. The weather changed, the rains came down and it turned very cold. The plants, beautiful in bloom, sit, pot bound, waving through the window at me waiting for the next sunny opportunity. Never mind, they look a pretty sight and the rain will keep them healthy enough.

I also made a new pop-up at the weekend and am posting it for sale today. It is €4.00 and includes the butterfly topper and the zig-zagged middle with the pretty cut-out edging. The middle has ‘Happy Birthday’ in pop-up letters with zig-zagged decorative edging top and bottom and some cut out flowers. The card pictured has the template in a standard 135 x 135 mm square.

It is available in SVG format so is suitable for a wide range of cutting machines such as the Cameo, Silhouette, Silver Bullet, Black Cat Cougar, etc. The folds aren’t fiddly and won’t take long to prepare for going inside a card.

Payment is through Paypal and the electronic cutting template will be sent to the e-mail address of the PaylPal account holder unless otherwise specified.


PDF showing fold instructions
Butterfly topper with zig-zagged, decorative edged strip
Pop up ‘Happy Birthday’ with top and bottom decorative edging and cut out flowers

Price: €4.00

Order it here:

Pop-Up Happy Birthday and Butterfly Topper (€ [price])


Thank you for looking.


Kanzashi Flowers

At the weekend I bought a couple of Clover flower makers and I have developed a real crush on making these gorgeous (and easy) Kanzashi flowers. You make them petal by petal then gather them together and tie them in a circle. The fabric in the pic is fairly sheer as it has to be doubled over in the flower template so I think bulkier materials would be difficult to work with. They make for really pretty flowers and I can see a bunch of these being stitched onto all sorts of things. The one on the left is sewn onto some wired, spotty netting with a brooch mount on the back.The centre is a bead from my stash of broken up necklaces and things (usually charity shop finds). You can see how easy it is to dress them up.

And here is a pic of the clever little Clover Kanzashi maker. It opens up to clamp a small piece of folded fabric inside. Trim the material by cutting the excess from around  the template then start sewing. The template has Start and Finish positions and numbered channels with holes to guide you through the stitch order. At the end, open the template and push the petal  along the thread without cutting the thread.  You then start on the next petal and so on until you finish up with five or six petals on a single line of thread.

Pull the petals together and tie the ends of the thread together. Primp and tweak the petals then stitch them together to keep them nicely spread and lush in a ring. All done except for a bit of a gussy up with buttons, beads, ribbons, etc.

I have some gorgeous fine fabrics that are now earmarked for a flower make over. I can see them making pretty poinsiettas for Christmas embellishments as well. This little doodat will definitely earn its keep.

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