Posts Tagged ‘the big blue bully bus’

So! Are you ready for some more sewing adventures? Yes? Good – It’s great to have you on board!

If you followed my last post carefully you should have ended up with something that looks a little bit like this:

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Today we’re going to add the finishing touches and incorporate it into a really simple cushion design.

Ready to start? OK, grab yourself a half metre of a plain, hardwearing fabric and cut a square measuring 35 x 35 cms and two rectangular pieces measuring 35 x 25 cms.

Take your square and fold in half then half again and give it a little press with an iron – This shows you where the centre is.

X marks the spot!

X marks the spot!

Now you’ll need to position your beautifully crafted patchwork using the crease lines to help you. Once you’re happy with it’s position pin everything securely in place.

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Now for a bit of sewing – Either using a zig-zag or standard straight stitch, carefully sew along the edges of your work, removing the pins as you go.

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This part takes a bit of time and requires a lot of lifting of the sewing foot and re-positioning – Just stick with it; You’re nearly there 🙂

Now you need to find a piece of scrap cardstock which we’ll use to make the central piece of our patchwork. You’ll need to cut a circle of card that’s slightly bigger than that unsightly hole in the middle of your work, then cut an even larger circle of fabric – It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit rough; No-one’s going to see your wonky scissorwork.

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Now take a needle and thread and place a line of running stitches around the edge of your fabric circle, put you card circle in the middle and pull the threads tight so that they gather neatly round it.

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Press with an iron and take care NOT to burn your fingers. Remove the card and Hey Presto! – A perfect fabric circle to add to the centre of your work.

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Now you’ll need to pin it into position…

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And sew it into place.

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This is the stage when it’s probably a good time to do another little happy dance and marvel at your completed patchwork. Do the Instagram, Facebook, Twitter thing too if you have to – It’s good to share your triumphs with others.

Yay! The front of your cushion cover is complete - Gone forever are those unsightly threads and frayed edges of fabric.

Yay! The front of your cushion cover is complete – Gone forever are those unsightly threads and frayed edges of fabric.

So we’re on the home run – Not much more to do until we’ve made our marvellous cushion cover.

First we need to turn our attentions to the two rectangular pieces of fabric that are going to make up the rear of our cushion. We’re not going to fuss with zips or get into a muddle with buttonholes, we’re just going to make a simple envelope fastening so start by hemming each piece.

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Once your hems are sorted you’ll need to piece all the elements together – Remember! You’re creating an envelope fastening at the back so you need to overlap your two rectangular pieces. Pin everything into place. take a deep breath and get ready to do your last bit of stitching 🙂

Yeah I know! Get me with the snazzy label :)

Yeah I know! Get me with the snazzy label 🙂

Now it’s a simple matter of sewing around all four edges of your cushion cover. I usually make a second pass with a zig-zag stitch as this helps to prevent fraying and also ensures nice strong seams that won’t burst open any time soon. It’s also a good idea to snip the corners off to reduce fabric bulk and make it easier to turn your work.

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And, speaking of turning your work, that’s the next thing you’ll need to do. It’s time for the big reveal! Are you as excited as I am?

Well? How does it look?

Time for a final press with the iron and then we’ll pop a cushion inner into our marvellous make. If you’ve followed this tutorial closely you’ll have made a cushion cover that’s just the right size to take a ‘Krakris’ cushion which you can buy at Ikea for the princely sum of £1 – Total Bargain!

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Ultimately though, you’ve made something that looks like a million dollars; You should be dead proud of yourself 🙂

And now you know how to do it, what’s stopping you? Go on! Make a few more and give your home a little makeover – You’ve got no excuse not to 🙂

Happy Stitching Folks!

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Oooh! The Bully Bus Manufactory is packed to the rafters with festive fabrics, ribbons, trimmings, sequins and tiny little jingle bells. It can mean only one thing; This year’s batch of Christmas decorations is FINALLY underway………….. and they’re more gorgeous than ever before!!!!!

We're all been given away completely FREE!!!!!!

We’re all been given away completely FREE!!!!!!

And the good news is that this set of six of the holiday season’s finest, once sewn up and each given a little ribbon loop for hanging, are going to be given away absolutely FREE to one very lucky person!!!!

So what do you have to do to be in with a chance of seeing them gracing your gorgeous tree come Christmas Day? Simple really! Just visit my website and add your name to the mailing list. That’s it; That is all!

I know, I know! I said a few years back that I’d given up on my website in favour of all things in the Blogosphere but so many people have asked me over the last few months if I’m online that I’ve finally caved in to the mounting pressure and opened the website back up – Albeit clearing everything out and starting again from scratch!

It’s far from finished. Since July I’ve made it my mission to add at least one new item each day – whether it’s to create a page, add a photo or set up a shop listing and slowly, but surely, things have begun to take shape until I’ve reached a point where I feel happy to share it with the whole wide world!!!!

So that’s where you come in 😉

Please feel free to share the link with family, friends etc : http://www.bigbluebullybus.co.uk/

On the home page there’s an option to join the mailing list – Anyone that adds their name to this from 16th October – 31st October 2013 will automatically be entered into a prize draw where one name will be picked out at random on November 1st to win the luvverly tree decs!!!

And what happens once the draw is over? That’s simple too – Your contact details stay with me; They won’t ever be shared with a third party. From time to time you’ll receive an email in your inbox in the form of a little newsletter highlighting new products, events and further freebies or discount offers. But definitely no spam; No inbox full of inane drivel from a slightly loopy lass in a camper van (I’ll save that for this blog, lol)  and no hard selling!!!! 😉

So? What are you waiting for?

Happy Wednesday Folks!!!!!!! And Good Luck!!!!!

Wow! Look at me – The second post in a week; I’m in danger of turning in to a blogging goddess! As promised here’s another mini feature explaining my lengthy absence from cyberspace……………

I treat myself to this!

The London Emblem Badgemaker 5 - Bloody Marvellous!!!!!!

The London Emblem Badgemaker 5 – Bloody Marvellous!!!!!!

I’ve wanted a badgemaker for ages but since returning to a life filled with freemotion machine embroidery it’s become a necessity rather than wishful thinking; I NEED to make badges, pocket mirrors, bottle openers etc – I REALLY DO!!!!!!!!

Hence the purchase – A rather pricey item, but boy has it been worth it 🙂 Here’s the linky thing if you fancy finding out more or want to invest in one yourself:  http://www.allaboutbadges.com/product_info.php?products_id=42

So what does it do? And, more importantly, what have I done since getting it?

Well, obviously you can make badges – In three sizes as it happens; 25mm, 38mm and 55mm. But you can also make keyrings, fridge magnets, bottle openers, pocket mirrors, medals and freestanding photo frames. Marvellous!!!!!

At the moment I’ve got the 55mm set up – the perfect size for incorporating some freemotion gorgeousness 😉

Ready for some of my designs? Here we go:

Sugar skull themed fridge magnet.

Sugar skull themed fridge magnet.

Also in badge and pocket mirror options.........

Also in badge, keyring and pocket mirror options………

A floral selection - Inevitable really!

A floral selection – Inevitable really!

It's come to something when I can write neater with a sewing machine than I can with a pen in my hand!

It’s come to something when I can write neater with a sewing machine than I can with a pen in my hand!

An apple for the teacher - A really simple idea but a lovely gift whether it's in badge, keyring, fridge magnet etc form :)

An apple for the teacher – A really simple idea but a lovely gift whether it’s in badge, keyring, fridge magnet etc form 🙂

VW's - You don't seriously think I'm going to miss them out? Do you?

VW’s – You don’t seriously think I’m going to miss them out? Do you?

Of course I had to do a T25 option........

Of course I had to do a T25 option……..

And it would be rude to leave a classic Beetle version out!

And it would be rude to leave a classic Beetle version out!

And now of course there's Christmas to contend with and festive versions to make.........

And now of course there’s Christmas to contend with and festive versions to make………

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And what sort of person would I be if I didn't pay homage to my favourite seamstress and her co-stars?

And what sort of person would I be if I didn’t pay homage to my favourite seamstress and her co-stars?

Incidentally, Monday 16th September marked 100 days before Christmas (and just like last year I’m making references to Sally Finkelstein!) The ‘nightmare’ has once more officially begun!!!!!!

Anywhoo, that’s the end of my second mini-post. And, as you can see, I haven’t been resting on my laurels whilst keeping quiet in blogland – I REALLY have been busy. And it’s set to get busier!!!!! Ho hum!!!!

Happy Crafting folks!!!!!!

Something tells me that I’ll wake up on 22nd of December and still have a list as long as my arm of things to do before Christmas!!

But here’s a few things I can tick off the list after a busy week of making festive fripperies galore!

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The Christmas cards are sorted – VW themed of course 😉

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And there’s half a dozen extra decorations for the tree – In the form of fuse bead splitties and bays……

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And a small batch of snowman themed fridge magnets have taken over the kitchen at Bully Bus HQ!

In fairness, I spotted this brilliant idea on Pinterest – The original link is here: http://www.inkingidaho.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/snowman-tea-lights.html

I just used the bits and pieces I had to hand and dug out a few Sizzix dies to make the job of cutting out easier. I think the results are great 🙂

But, a short and sweet post this week as I’ve still got lots to do and one final shopping trip to make! Ho Hum!

Happy Crafting Folks!

This week I’ve taken the first tentative steps towards a new VW themed crafting project as part of my October focus on ‘Making Memories’.

So for the next few days it’s all about cutting out endless squares from old pairs of jeans that I’ve worn at numerous festivals and on many camping trips over the last four years – minus the mud, grass, oil and beer stains that they’ve accumulated as a result! 😉

The first batch of denim squares – With many more still to cut out!

I haven’t got very far at the moment; I think I need a couple of hundred at least before I can really make a start! Still, one leg down and a good few more to go……. 😉

Hopefully more will be revealed next week………

It’s a new month and a new theme; September is all about ‘Embroidery’.

So I’ve been sat thinking about the 101 things I want to attempt over the coming weeks and how I can tie this month’s theme in with my general list of things to do…….. it’s to the designing table I’ve been………. and here’s this week’s offering……. 😉

It says in Wikipedia that, amongst other things,  ‘Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.

A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work — chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch — remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.’

Cool ! I like stitching – Cross stitch is my perennial favourite but I’ve recently been dabbling in freeform machine embroidery after a break of nearly 16 years. I’ve learned to love my sewing machine again; I think that’s a story that’s best saved for another week though……

This week I started out by digging through a box of unfinished projects in a bid to find something to blog about. And I actually turned up a tapestry that I’d started at least 10+ years ago as a soft furnishing idea I’d had for the last house we lived in!

Tapestry work that hasn’t seen the light of day for over ten years!

First things first, I sat down and finished it – There wasn’t that much left to do……… I can’t think why I’d discarded it in the first place. Now I’ve just got to find the time to source some coordinating fabric so that I can make it in to the cushion cover I had originally intended it to be used for (possibly another ten years for that to finally see completion then!) 😉

Detail of part of my old tapestry cushion project – A bit of blocking and pressing might be required to get it looking its best methinks!

Sitting down and finishing the piece actually got me thinking some more……. It’s been ages since I’ve done any tapestry; I kind of forgot how nice it is to sit and quietly stitch my way through a larger, more time consuming project. It’s very satisfying to see a design gradually spring to life over a period of days, rather than quick-fix crafting that’s done and dusted in a few hours. With this in mind I decided to plan out something that’d keep me quiet for a week or so…… An on-trend, mandala inspired tapestry cushion.

This was my initial starting point – a tried and trusted design originally intended for use in cross stitch projects.

One of my ACID protected designs – I use it constantly in cross stitch projects but decided to apply it to tapestry work this week for a bit of a change 🙂

All my designs start out on the computer – actually plotting something out from scratch can be a bit laborious to begin with but once the initial idea is complete it becomes very easy to manipulate it, change colours etc in a matter of moments. So I started with a conjectural view of the original design as it would look when worked as part of a tapestry rather than cross stitch………

The initial design looks just as good when worked as a tapestry rather than cross stitch.

Then I started playing around with it a little bit by adding a background colour and repeating, rotating and flipping the basic motif……

Looking good!

And also added a few more design elements to create something which could be used as a tile for further repeats…….

Looking gooderer! As Keith Lemon would point out 😉

I went through exactly the same process with a bay design before alternately placing each element together to create a larger block of four tiles in total. And finally altered the outside edging to make the whole design look like a more cohesive, finished end product.

Hey Presto!

I can’t wait to get stitching this design!

I’m really pleased with the finished result – Albeit only as a computer generated image at the moment. I think it’ll look great if I actually manage to complete it. I said I wanted to design something which would take me a week or so to create but I’m guessing that if I’ve got it done by Christmas 2012 I’ll deserve a rather large pat on the back for all my efforts…..

At any rate, I’m off in to Leeds tomorrow to gather supplies ready for the task in hand. Wish me luck!!!!!

Although many people that I spoke to said that there didn’t seem to be quite so many stands selling handmade wares as last year, I thought that there were a fair few crafty types at LVWF 2012 when I had a look round for myself. The overall judgement did seem to be that people were tired of seeing the same old stuff been rolled out at most shows, week after week though, so it was really flattering to hear that the Big Blue Bully Bus Stand was seen as a breath of fresh air to most folk passing through and I had some great feedback over the four days that we were there; There definitely seemed to be a real buzz of excitement in the tent for the entire duration of the show with people billing and cooing over each new treasure they spotted 🙂

To view piccies of the stand you’ll need to check out the board I’ve set up on Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/bigbluebullybus/the-big-blue-bully-bus-wulli-bulli/

Edited highlights of some of the goodies available at this year’s Leeds VW Festival.

But my favourite art and crafty bit had to be the graffitti stand where assorted rides were given a new lease of life with a quick lick of paint…..

A nice little line-up of vehicles that have already undergone a transformation.

Hibiscus flowers – Great choice!!!!!

‘I’m just going to let them do what they want’, said the owner of this late bay……..

Sadly, I was too busy to get back and find out how the above bus turned out; I bet it was a stunner if the other examples were anything to go by….. Can’t wait to see the pictures of it that’ll no doubt be posted up on the official LVWF website over the next few days 😉

Phew! We’re back in one piece but in desperate need of a nice hot bath after four days of hard core camping.

A quick set up of the tent on Thursday…

The trade tent; Bursting at the seams with fabulous goodies as usual 😉

Followed by a nice relaxing walk around the grounds of Harewood House the following morning to look at the birds and admire the gardens…

The Courtyard at Harewood House; A great place to grab a cup of coffee and a nice slice of cake.

All finished off by a bite to eat in the Courtyard…

Lemon drizzle cake for me; Coffee & Walnut for Mr Other Half 🙂

It was a great weekend with lots of new faces and a fair few familiar ones stopping by to say ‘Hello!’ ; A fantastic bunch of folks as usual 😉

Now that bath of mine is just about ready……… more piccies to follow tomorrow 😉

It’s the time of year I kind of like the most…….. the annual VW show that’s right on our doorstep; Leeds VW Festival at Harewood House – just six miles away from home.

Billy the Bulli and Vince Bully Bus have both been prepped; Ale has been purchased in sinful amounts and nibbles are ready to be consumed by the countless friends that pop by to say, ‘HELLO!’ Come what may, we’ll be setting up camp tomorrow afternoon and hopefully updating the blog over the weekend at regular intervals……. fingers crossed……

The weather forecast says that there might be rain over the weekend – it’s been kind of a tradition with LVW Fest over the last seven years…… But this is the first time it’s scheduled to run as a full weekend event though. I hope there’s no mud! Regardless, I think it’ll be a good weekend at Camp Big Blue whether the sun shines or not……. 😉

Will there be evidence of fibre related goodies? You bet yer life there will! Lots of hand knitted and crocheted daftness, plus some rather gorgeous vintage glamping essentials and a few tea trolleys added in for good measure……. and that’s just in our tent 😉

A sneaky peek?

Festival Owl Hat: Pattern courtesy of the very talented mamachee on Etsy 😉

Owls are a bit of a Leeds thing; They’re also set to be the uber cool theme in accessories (Again!!!!!) this Autumn.

You know what they say………. Get ahead; Get a hat!

And I know of a nice little trade tent in the heart of Yorkshire where they’ll sort you out just right…. 😉

Check out the website: http://www.vwfestival.co.uk/

or come and say ‘Hello’ at Camp Big Blue ; You’ll be very welcome 😉

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……