I started this blog for me - it expanded to show BFF Jackie what I was doing - and a few others have invited themselves too - everybody welcome!
Mostly about patchwork, with random comments about embroidery, family and life in general, come on in, put your feet up, and I'll put the [virtual] kettle on.
Just a brief post, Plum emailed me as she couldn't post a comment - has anyone else had the same problem?
Plum wrote " its not really liking me trying to leave a comment – I had to have a couple of goes the other day too. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but for the last few weeks your blog has wanted me to accept seeing all content, including non-secure content (or whatever the wording in the little cream box is that comes up). Have you changed something about it?"
I haven't changed anything, but don't know if the problem is me or Plum. Please message me if you are having problems too. Benta@SLIKstitches[dot]co[dot]uk
It's no fun reading a blog with no pics, so here's a recent finish, all bound and waiting for a new home. :-)
A number of my friends have asked me, over the years, for *very* basic sewing help, and it transpires that people exist without so much as a needle and thread - I know, it beggars belief doesn't it!
I decided that group of friends (who luckily don't visit this blog) should be introduced to this wonderful world whether they like it or not, so I have been collecting stuff for a sewing kit
or two or three
They should be useful, but look boring, but my thinking kinda stopped there. Then when I was blog surfing, I saw that the lovely Plum has made some Christmassy Pouches, and that gave me the inspiration I needed - not that mine are anything like hers, but I hadn't thought of making a pouch for the sewing kits.
I still haven't been near a sewing machine this week, (although I have hopes for tomorrow) but I did set up a production line at the school evening class - although only 4 ladies came, we had three machinists, and one cutter, plus a 3 year old rubbish collector
Resulting in 7 finished angel outfits and 5 under construction,
I have finished the quilt I was making for a friend for a Christening next weekend where she is God Mother
She's seen it on Facebook, and is very happy with it.
I usually cut my picture fabrics into 8 inch squares for the simpler I-Spy quilts, but cut these in half to make this brick effect quilt, which meant I had the other halves sitting in a pile. I also got the news that one of our teachers has finally given birth . . . to a baby girl!
I cut some 2.5" strips of pink and attached a strip of pink to each picture rectangle
I fired up the embroidery machine, and embroidered the baby's name
And now just need to finish sewing on the binding before I next see her!
Back in April (APRIL!!!!) the lovely Jen from Quilter in the Closet sent me some string blocks that she didn't think she would use. They were great but 14 blocks does not a quilt top make, so it has been in the back of my mind to make some more blocks.
I got hold of some thin paper a few days ago, and at about the same time realised that my 'string' drawers were kind of full
So I cut the paper into 12.5" squares, layed a strip of white down the centre diagonally, and stitched a coloured strip either side
and kept going until I had six blocks made (sadly I easily managed not to repeat any fabric, and have hardly made a dent in the string drawers!)
So one I have trimmed them to size I will have 20 blocks and will be ready to made another flimsey
On another matter . . . I was approached by two mums in the playground this week, on behalf of children who left our school last year to join a middle school (unusually for UK, we only have children until Yr 4/age 9 as Windsor has a three school system rather than a two school system).
The children had been asked to collect examples of fabrics: woven, knitted, and bonded or felted, and the look of panic on the mums faces said it all!
I have found samples for them both (not too difficult you understand) but I'm not gluing them into place - the kids can work out which is which!
A few people asked for instructions for the Button Infinity Necklaces I taught at Chertsey Museum recently.
These chunky button necklaces take about 120 buttons - make sure you have plenty before you start, or maybe make a bracelet first.
To start you need 2 x 2m lengths of plastic elastic cord. (I have used red cord simply so the photos are clearer, but I usually use this stretchy elastic cord which I get from Baker Ross, £3 for 30m. You can use sewing elastic, but the ends keep splaying and it gets difficult to poke it through the buttons. )
Holding the two lengths together, find the middle and tie a knot leaving a small button sized loop.
Take 4 buttons and thread one onto each length of cord, (in and out, through both holes so they lay along the cord). Push them up to the knot (this is a single [a single thread for each button] stage)
Next take any two cords, and use them both to attach another button, and the remaining two cords to attach a 6th. Push them as far up to the others as you can. This is a twin stage (two cords to each button)
Repeat another single stage followed by another twin stage, and that's pretty much all you do until you have run out of patience or buttons! You will always need to use a different two cords to last time, or you will get 'holes' in the necklace
When you get to the end, tie a knot in all 4 cords, then thread a final button on, and tie another knot outside the button
I then try and poke those cords back to the underside of the button and tie them off again. You can then push this final button through the loop you created at the start. You shouldn't need to do this to wear it as you can stretch the elastic to put it over your head or wrist
Things to think about:
The smaller the gap between each button and the next, the chunkier it will finish.
If you want a 'middle' like my turquoise one has, you can use two bigger buttons back to back.: Use a necklace they you know is the right length as a measure to know when you have reached the middle.
The stretchy cord doesn't really like to knot: give it a really good tug to stop in unknotting. A *really* good tug - it won't shouldn't break
use a variety of button sizes as you go so you don't have just small or just big left at the end
An alternative which gives a slightly less chunky finish is to add three buttons at each stage: one twin and two singles - that is two cords into one button, and the other two cords into a button each, then take one of the previous twins, and a previous single and make them into the new twins. Keep changing, to avoid holes.
Any questions - feel free to ask, otherwise, have fun!
I'm currently teaching two classes on a Monday, after having worked at school for 4 hours first , so it takes me a bit of time to get my head round what I'm teaching - luckily they get on with it!
At Broom Farm ... A quilt
A reversible dress
And a dinosaur
amongst other things!
And at the evening class I'm trying to teach basic dressmaking, how to read a pattern, and how to use a sewing machine, while trying to create 30 costumes for the school nativity play in a few weeks time!
All working hard . . .
And our first finish:
Hmmm, four more sewing hours before the performance, we'll need to get a wiggle on!
Unfortunately, due to having no memory (I'm blaming it on my age) I have absolutely *no* memory of this at all (although I can see our discussion on her post) and therefore had no anticipation of anything, but the upside is that I got a fab surprise when this arrived:
(complete with Hello Kitty tape)
As if the outside wasn't lovely enough, the inside was even better
Thank you, thank you, thank you my lovely friend!
But, of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch needle case - there is a responsibility attached to eating that chocolate, and accepting the needle case - I now have to "Craft it Forward" - which means I have to send a little something to five people!
In Hadley's words: I am sure you are waiting to see how you can be in on the Craft It Forward action!
The rules are simple...
The first 5 interested people with blogs to comment below, will receive something handmade from me in the next 12 months. Simple.
When those 5 receive their goodies, they must blog about it and then repeat the offer, ad infinitum.
So you can get commenting, and I can get thinking and making!