Saturday, 22 September 2012

Inspirational Road Trip

I recently went on a road trip with my friend to Cardiff, Wales, to see Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

While we were there we took the opportunity to do a bit of sight seeing as we had never been to Cardiff before.

We went down to Cardiff Bay for a look round and I found so many wonderful little shops and attractions that have just filled me with ideas!

The first place we visited was The Wales Millennium Centre where the tourist centre was selling a lot of local gifts, such as slate tiles and coaster, welsh honey, and other novelty items.  I bought a lovely butterfly bottle top from here as a gift for my parents.
The centre also houses the Portmeirion Gift Shop.  These sold a variety of gifts and items that I loved.  They have an on line store here.  I was really inspired by a few items of their stationary, particularly a writing folder made from oil cloth with a map pattern.  Unfortunately I cannot find it on their website now, but yesterday went on a fabric shopping trip and saw some oil cloth with a map pattern so am contemplating whether to buy the fabric to make myself something similar.  Decisions decisions......

The next place we went was Craft in the Bay, the Makers Guild in Wales.  This was full of all manners of items from glass to ceramics, textiles to jewellery.  I loved it here, and would highly  recommend anyone into crafts visit here.  I saw various things I would like to have a go at making myself, such as intricately decorating hanging hearts to fabric jewellery and fabric/stitched wall hangings.

The picture shows items made by a textile artist called Susan Smith, links are also available for many more crafters part of the makers guild on the website.

We also visited the Norwegian Church Art Centre where they had an exhibition on by Andrew Coslett "Made in Penarth".  They were also showing some very interesting jewellery using colouring pencil but sharpened to about 1 cm long.  They were very cute!

The last attraction we visited was Lightship 2000.  Originally built as a light ship, it was bought by Cardiff Bay and restored to be a floating Christian Centre.  You can walk around all the areas of the boat, including the engine room, old sleeping quarters and light tower.  There is also a cafe on board, and a chapel that is still in use for services.

There were also a few independent craft boutiques within Mermaid Quay of the bay, including Zia and Fabulous Welshcakes to name a few with websites.  For the rest I highly recommend you visit!

Until next time, happy Crafting <3


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Bit of Crochet Design

Worked on a bit of crochet the last few days, after wanting some crocheted boot slippers for myself, but coming across various designs on the Internet for crocheted baby boots.  Having two young daughters I loved these!

The pattern I decided to have a go at was from a website called Topsy Turvy which gave me an awesome pattern for crocheted wrap around boots. I played around with the pattern and made a few different pair of booties.  The pattern is for a pair of boots to fit a size 4, around 9-12 months.

This is a very similar design to the pattern off of the Topsy Turvy website, though I did reduce the row after the sole to make the sole more defined.

With these boots I used thinner Calico thread, and had to adjust the design so that it fits a new born.  The website does give a link to size one boots but I made these at the spare of the moment so couldn't get to a computer to see the how to, so just improvised.

And lastly I had a go at a more 'fluffy' effect with a loop stitch after I looked up the loop stitch YouTube.

None of the boots have buttons attached yet as I still need to make a trip to the market, but I plan on going in the next few days, and making a few more, so I can post fully completed pictures pretty soon.

Also the last few days I was looking through various crochet pictures on Instagram and was inspired to make a blankets of flowers - individual crocheted flowers all sewn together.

Without thinking I began to make 5 point flowers.  After making about 16 flowers it dawned on me that the pentagon design is not the best to put together as a repeated pattern.  If I was going to make it into a blanket, it would look more like a lacy throw.  Here is a picture of the flowers I currently have put together in how they would be sewn together.

 So now I'm not too sure what to do with them? Continue to make the blanket/throw with this colours plus another 3 different colours, or to save these flowers for another project and start again making 6 point flowers?  Decisions, decisions.......Any advice anyone?

Well as usual, I still have hundreds of different projects flying round my head, and also I think now is the time to really start thinking about Christmas (only 13 and a half weeks!)

So until my next post, happy crafting <3

Monday, 17 September 2012

Patchwork, quilting and a new addiction

So, as promised, here is my post on my new found love of patchwork and quilting.

So, it all started when I received a free patchwork magazine with one of my craft mags, and I saw an advert for quilting classes in Sheffield, where I live.

The course was at Patchwork Garden, and I had been thinking of taking a class in something, so I thought "why not"

So I went in and the owner, Tricia, was very helpful, and a really good teacher.  She showed me a small cushion front people make as their first project, and told me to pick 4 colours, two main, one light and one dark.  I chose two different owl patterned fabrics, a blue and a cream.

Tricia showed me some of the basic patchwork techniques for blocks, small blocks, larger block and triangles.  I went for 2 full day sessions to complete this mini quilt, the first day spent doing the patchwork, and the second day I spent layer and quilting it.

This is the final piece and I am so happy with it for my first attempt, it is going on my wall.

Whilst I was making my first mini quilt I was given a few magazines to have a read through to try and decide if and what I wanted to do next.  I learnt a lot from these magazines, so much so I decided to take on a mammoth task (according to Tricia at the shop) but I had confidence in myself.  I will eventually be an eight point star quilt.  I have designed the pattern myself from looking at different patterns through the magazines.

I am working with 5 different colours for the start, and I tried to graduate the colours out from black to purple to blue and finally white.  The start is made up of 8 diamond shape, and each diamond is assembled by cutting numerous strips of my fabric, stitching them together staggered, so they can then be cut into strips at a 45 degree angle.

I have so far made 3 diamonds, and got the majority of my strips cut to finish the other 5.  This is what I have done so far, so I hope to keep you updated with my progress.

As usual comments, questions, anything is welcome, and do please follow me here on my blog, or any of my other media sites at the side, if anything I do interests you as I would love to hear from you!

So until next time, happy crafting <3

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sewing, patchwork, crochet and more

I went to Patchwork Garden again this Friday just gone, and had an awesome time as usual.  Am now working on a diamond star shaped quilt, big enough for a double bed.  Haven't had much time to take pictures of what I have done so far on this though, so will leave talking about it too much for now.  I will take some pictures so hopefully we can look at it in my next post.

However, I have got some pictures to show you today.  The first being my completed crochet blanket.  My daughter loves this, shes started to sleep with it at night. I talked about making it though a lot in my last post, so u won't go into it again, just wanted to share the completed pictures.

Next to show you are my crocheted hanging heart decorations. The first one I have shown before, a single purple heart hung with ribbon and stuffed with ordinary toy stuffing I had from my owl doorstops.

The second idea I had evolved to make was a triple heart hanging, decreasing in size and again hung, and joined with ribbon. The principle was the same as the first heart, but the wool I used was a lot thinner, and think it shows particularly with the larger heart. But none the less I like it and it is now hanging in my kitchen.

I hope you've enjoyed this short but sweet installment.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch or leave any comments you like.  My next post I will look at the patchwork and quilting I have been doing, but for now, happy crafting.
Sam <3 xx