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finding space…

28 Aug

Some people are addicted to storage solutions. I might be one of them, or it might just be that I NEED to be addicted to good storage when my flat is rather small and certainly not big enough to happily double as a crafting workshop. It took me a while to realise that my boy-o was actually rather annoyed that we could never eat at the dining table because the sewing machine and all of its many accoutrements lived there. Now that I have realised that this could be a little irritating, I’m trying to find ways to incorporate my sewing equipment into the living space without it looking untidy or unwieldy…

I found this wonderful cake stand in a charity shop for £3.50 (I know! BARGAIN!) and after deciding that it was highly unlikely that it would ever contain actual cakes (unless I have another Marie Antoinette party), I thought it would look equally pretty if I filled it with my threads and tape measure and other bits and bobs. I think it looks good in the middle of the table, and doesn’t take up any more space than a vase of flowers would, and I don’t see anybody complaining about flowers!

Tell me, do you have any clever storage solutions for your crafty stuff? I’d love to borrow a few ideas – especially when it comes to storing fabric. I’ve been stashing it in my wardrobe and it’s starting to grate…


hello sewing machine, it’s been a while

7 Aug

I’ve finally finished my temporary teaching work, which means I can get back to the psychology phd (which has been hideously neglected so far this summer) and also to crafting. How wonderful. This means, I hope, stepping up the frequency of not just making things, but also of writing about them.

I’m off to a good start at least. I’ve been busy sewing quite a few cushions stuffed with old fabric scraps. This is a wonderful way to not just use up the odd bits and pieces, but also to clear out all the unwanted clutter from your sewing corner. Suddenly I have so much more space now that I’ve made use of the scraps I’ve been stuffing into plastic bags.

These lovely little russian dolls started off life as a coaster from Accessorize given to me by one of my closest friends for Christmas (it was a Russian themed Xmas party). But it makes such a fantastic stencil, I’ve been using it over and over again. It’s not just good on fabric (using fabric paint), it also works well if you want to make fancy wrapping paper from brown paper and normal spray paint.

And ta da, next up are those speech mark cushions that featured a while a go on here but as cushion covers. After a couple of weeks of trialling them as cushion covers, I realised that my envelope backs were not going to be a good enough design to stop them from slipping off the cushion and looking a little messy, so I turned them into smaller, stuffed cushions instead. Much better.

I’ve now rectified my envelope back design (two overlapping pieces of backing fabric, rather than simply a flap to feed into the back of the cushion) so they’re a lot neater, and these cushion covers were made in the new way. I’m in love with this floral print – its one of the ones I found in my local junk shop, but I think it’s really charming. I’d love to know more about where it came from – it looks a little 80s to me, especially when I pair it with the black and purple stripe down the middle.


Ah, it does feel good to be back to making things and taking pics and showing them to all of you. It will also be really nice to get back to reading my favourite blogs – most of them crafty, some of them quite random (baggage reclaim in particular, a friend showed it to me as a joke, but I’m completely hooked!). One thing I’m afraid I’m not so looking forward to is getting back to the whole Etsy side of things. I have to say that as the site just gets bigger and bigger, I’m feeling more and more lost on it, and less and less inspired. It’s probably just me, but it does seem like selling things face to face would be a lot more rewarding. Maybe it’s time to organise a local craft fair!

do punctuation and cushions mix?

10 Jul

So, apart from cushions, my great past-time love in this world is the written word… I can’t get enough of books, and they spill off of every surface in my house. I try to write every now and again, but reading is for me the greatest pleasure. So, as a tribute to this joy, I’m trying to work on a mini-range of cushions and quilts that pay homage to the cement mix holding all those words together… punctuation. I decided to start with some quotation/speech marks because they turned up in my English lessons this week, so it seemed fitting.

I ended up making cushion covers with envelope backs and just using my previous cushions (cheap primark things) inside them. The speech marks are appliqued on in scraps of different patterned fabrics.








I can’t wait to start work on some other  types of punctuation – I’m thinking an exclamation mark and a question mark and maybe an ellipsis… (I’m fond of those). And I’d like to do another set of speech marks using different patterned fabrics on a pink background. It’s very satisfying to mix up to two of my major passions in life. Have you ever included another of your passions in your crafting life?

A while ago I mentioned popping into Poppy Treffry’s sample sale in Islington. I did do this a weekend ago (it was during this trip that I found my wonderful Sashimi) but alas, I didn’t find anything quite right for my life. I wasn’t technologically minded enough to invest in a phone holder, and I wasn’t domestically minded enough to buy oven gloves. The designs though were lovely, and I’m always so impressed by her free-hand stitched writing.

amidst the turmoil

2 Jul

Argh! Things have been so busy. I’ve taken on some temporary work as an English teacher, and it’s making it very difficult to find the time to either craft or write about the crafting. But… finally I’ve created something. I’ve finished the quilt that I bought fabric for in Australia – the ice creams and hearts. It’s taken pride of place in my store of quilts (i.e. on top of my wardrobe – space is VERY limited). I’m planning to donate it to the Swindon Craft Fair raffle so if you’re coming along, look out for it!

sew excited!

25 Jun

Looking forward to this event… Thanks to sew and the city for mentioning Poppy Treffry to me, I visited her website, and now I think I’ll most certainly be getting myself a few bits and pieces from this sample sale.

the street where you live

24 Jun

There’s been a flurry of activity here – which is something I don’t often get to say! Another appliqued cushion cover.

It’s inspired by a ‘moving in’ card I received from my bro and his wife at the beginning of the year. It was a street of colourful and patterened houses that made me desperately want to own a house that I could wallpaper on the outside (there must be such a thing as external wallpaper… surely?). For the time being, I’ll have to make do with imagining myself into one of these fabric houses. It would be the middle one for me I think.

Anyhoo, I’m really enjoying making these cushions, and I’m looking everywhere for easy-to-applique (but still meaningful) designs that I can use. I’d like to end up with ten in total – the teapot, umbrella and houses mean I’m currently at three – so please let me know if you have any ideas for other designs! I would be most grateful fellow crafters.

inspired by a British summer…

23 Jun

It shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s a rainy day. This is a British summer after all, and they are notoriously wet and windy. To be honest, it’s probably a good thing given how dry Spring was and how much water it takes to keep dear old Britain lush and green. So, rather than be disappointed, I’ve decided to be inspired by the weather (how very English) and I’ve made this cushion cover…