Archive for May, 2012

Phew! It’s been a scorcher of a week – cloudless blue skies and a blazing sun from first thing in the morning until last thing at night. Lovely!

In truth, it’s been way too hot to stay inside for the last few days so my crafting adventures have been a bit thin on the ground this week; Instead I’ve ditched assorted projects in favour of the odd spot of sunbathing and lots of gardening…. Quite a welcome change really.

Here’s the only bit of sewing I’ve done this week – I think it may possibly fall more within the realms of embroidery though…..

A pair of cross stitched VW splitties – not quite finished yet but both destined to embellish different sewing projects.

Both these pieces of cross stitch are destined for separate projects I’m working on. The smallest one is going to be used to embellish a scented heart shaped sachet that I’m going to hang in the wardrobe of my camper van and the larger piece is going to be incorporated into a much needed needle case for any sewing on the go that I may need to work on.

They’re both my own designs…… and without wanting to sound like a right royal misery guts, I don’t really want to share them with anyone. They’re also ACID protected; For more info click here.

If you are interested in a bit of VW themed stitching there’s a couple of free VW themed charts that you could use here.

And I’ll share one of my designs with you too….. Suitably patriotic to help you celebrate forthcoming events in the UK throughout the Summer.

I wonder how many people actually do make a point of acknowledging the original designer when they make use of their free ideas?

Maybe it’s a bit late in the day to be setting to work to make a cross stitched Union Jack heart – what with the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations set to take place in only a few days time. However, it’s an easy chart to follow as it only uses whole cross stitches and a simple backstitch to outline the shape – easy enough for even a complete beginner to have a go at!

Please feel free to use this motif in your own work but remember to acknowledge the original designer when displaying or selling your finished work 🙂

Here’s the chart to make the job a bit easier…..

This motif can be produced quickly and easily; It is suitable for complete beginners as it uses only whole cross stitches and simple backstitching to add definition to the outline.

The sun’s STILL shining; Time for me to back out into the garden and water the plants. But before I sign off please note that next week see’s the crossover into another month and the new theme of ‘Dyeing’. I’ve got my rubber gloves at the ready and can hardly wait! Until then, Happy Crafting 😉

A very quick post this week again I’m afraid……….

This month’s theme is sewing; my machine has gone into overdrive recently with assorted strings of bunting, cushions, bags, patchwork etc flying out at a rate of knots. It’s been manic!

Here’s a few of my favourite makes of the moment…….

Felt Union Jack Cushion

Floral Micro Bunting – Perfect for decorating your favourite ride….

Patchwork Bags – Tanglewood Style

I love this! It’s called the ‘Tanglewood’ bag and the pattern and full making up instructions are available to purchase from here – http://rosylittlethings.com/tanglewoodpattern.html

‘It’s a little bit hippie, a little bit preppy. It’s a little bit country and a little bit Liberty. It’s embroidered yokes and dangly earrings. It’s blackberry crumble, balmy nights, and piccolo solos. It’s picnic quilts spread out, corner-to-corner on the concert lawn. Bring on starlight: You’ve got the perfect bag for it now, honeygirl.’  Alicia Paulson – Posie, Rosy Little Things Blog.

Machine patchwork – Cool!

Tanglewood Bag Detail

Phew! I said it’d be a quick post didn’t I? It’s back to the sewing machine for me I’m afraid – no rest for the wicked! I’m destined to end up like this young man if I’m not careful….. I certainly know the feeling!

Banksy’s ‘comment’ on the use of child sweatshop labour currently being exploited in the name of the Golden Jubilee and Olympic celebrations – something a lot of us handmade in the UK crowd have been pointing out for the last few months……

My first appearance in ‘Craftseller’ magazine 🙂

I’ve been celebrating having a few more moments of fame over the last few weeks…….. as I’ve had a quick mention in ‘Craftseller’ magazine; Blink and you’ll miss it though!

Anywhoo, back to Earth and another quick make for this week’s post – Fabric Flower Hair Barrettes.

Felt clad flower barrettes by Wulli Bulli (aka The Big Blue Bully Bus).

This is another one of those projects that doesn’t take too long to complete and is great for using up any scraps of fabric and felt that you may have lying around. You will need: a needle and thread, scraps of wool felt, a vintage button, a blank snap fastening hair barrette, 6 small circles of lightweight fabric, sharp scissors and a marker pen.

It’s time to use the Sizzix machine again and blow the dust off that ‘Circles’ die 😉

Start by making your flower; Fold a fabric circle in half and place a running stitch close to the outside edge.

When you pull the thread the fabric will gather in gentle folds to form a petal shape.

Repeat this step another five times in total before gently pulling the thread tight to form each of the flower petals. Secure in a ring with a few stitches.

A few stitches at the end will form the ring centre of your fabric flower.

Now we’re going to make the felt cladding……. start by tracing an outline around the blank barrette – make this larger so that you have space to stitch around the outer edge.

Don’t worry about the pen marks – they’ll be hidden on the inside of your work.

Cut out two identical pieces of wool felt; make a little slit in one piece to feed the snap mechanism through.

Mark where to make the hole for the snap mechanism with two little dots – use sharp scissors to make a little slit and then feed the snap through.

Attach your fabric flower to the other piece of felt using a few concealed stitches. Sew a button in the centre to hide away any raw edges.

Nearly there!

Now all that needs to be done is to sew the two halves together; I use a blanket stitch but, like last week, it’s up to you as to which stitch you ultimately decide to use. Just remember to work all the way around so that the barrette is safely clad in its little felt overcoat. Finish off with a knot hidden under one of the petals.

In just a few hours you can make a garden full of these!

These barrettes are great to use on even the finest hair as the felt cladding offers extra protection from the hard metal edges; And they’re brilliant for babies too!

Happy Crafting Folks! 😉

Biff – Bully of the Bus – All dressed up to celebrate May 4th in his very own ‘Yoda’ costume!

It’s Star Wars Day! It’s also the start of another month and a new theme of ‘Sewing’.

Just a fairly quick blog post this week I’m afraid……… With a quick idea for a keyring/bag charm with a nice floral theme ……..

The Bully Bus Keyring – With the usual over the top beading and extra floral details!

So, armed with a few bits and pieces and my trusty Sizzix machine, here’s how to make that quick keyring/bag charm……

You’ll need something sharp to cut the thread with too – a light sabre might be a suitable weapon of choice today 😉

You will need:

Pieces of wool felt in two contrasting colours to make a couple of diecut flowers and centre circles – I’ve used the standard Sizzix ‘Large Daisies’ and ‘Circles’ dies to make mine;

Embroidery silk – two strands used together seems to work best for me but I’ve used three for clarity in the photographs;

A sewing needle;

Coordinating ribbon;

Keyring finding.

Firstly, start by sewing your centre circle in to place – I prefer to use a blanket stitch for this but you could try experimenting with either running stitches, back stitches, chain or whip stitching. It’s kind of up to you and your personal preference or level of sewing expertise really. Whatever you decide upon, you’ll need to repeat it once more for the second flower too.

Use a simple blanket stitch to attach the flower centres.

Here’s a quick link to an easy tutorial on YouTube if you’re unsure about blanket stitch – a quick search will reveal similar tutorials for the other methods I’ve mentioned too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXkSE2TTF4s

Next, take a short length of ribbon – about 15 cms is fine. Thread through the base of you keyring finding, fold in half and secure with a few stitches.

Make a couple of quick stitches to secure the ribbon…… before sandwiching in between the two flower pieces.

Place your ribbon in between the two, back to back, flower pieces and sew together using your desired method of stitching. Top Tip: If you find that your embroidery floss starts to tangle or knot, rub your thumb and forefinger up and down either side of your nose a few times and then slide them down the thread once or twice – it’s an old wives trick that’s guaranteed to work wonders but possibly not advisable if you’re wearing copious amounts of make-up!

Finish by making a little knot and then ‘burying’ the end of your thread in between the layers of felt.

Join the two sandwiched flower pieces together using a blanket stitch.

Voila! A finished item that’s been hand sewn by your very good self; How easy was that?

May the 4th be with you in your crafty sewing adventures this week and be careful with those light sabres!  😉