The Handmade Fair- Guest blog tutorial by Shirley Rainbow 

If you pop over to the Handmade Fair website you will now be able to find a tutorial by Shirley Rainbow! 
This is a piece of work I was asked to do over the summer by the lovely people at Folksy (who were sponsors of the Handmade Fair this year) and I’m so excited to say it’s available for people to see now! It’s a step by step guide to stitching and finishing an embroidery hoop for display. 


The link is here if you would like to go and have a look.

The Handmade Fair is a craft fair created by Kirstie Allsopp.  There are lots of lovely tutorials on the Handmade Fair blog featuring all kinds of crafts, it’s definitely worth a look for some inspiration. 


Many thanks to Folksy and the Handmade Fair, and also to my friend Lucy for letting me take photos in her beautiful home! 

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September Craftiness

I thought I’d share a mid September catch up on some crafty bits I’ve been working on recently. I had hoped to share an exciting project I’ve been working on but sadly I’m not able to yet- hopefully soon! 
I finished the Floral Fields embroidery design by ThreadFolk.  I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this, it uses surprisingly simple stitches but the overall effect is beautiful and complex. I’m decorating my living room next week and it will be given pride of place in my newly decorated room. I’ve been eyeing up some of the amazing free embroidery patterns available at DMC for my next project. I’ve not really done many embroidery patterns designed by others before, as a qualified embroidery designer I should be able to do them myself I suppose! However for an easy project to pick up in the evening it’s ideal, as all the hard part of designing is done for me.


As the weather here in England has turned decidedly autumnal I’ve been thinking about gloves and scarves and hats. I’ve made a one colour version of the Autumn Vintage fingerless mitts by Rosina of Zeens and Roger, using some Hobbycraft Women’s Institute Soft and Smooth Tweed. This is a really lovely Aran weight yarn, it really is very soft, almost a silky texture. The slubs through the yarn give a tweedy texture without any roughness, and the mustard colour is spot on. Why does this yarn not come in more colours?! Even though I completely botched up the pattern (I worked in the round despite the instructions clearly telling me to TURN….) I’m very pleased with how they have turned out. I’m not sure what else I will make with the yarn, I’ve got about 350g of it left! 


I’ve been working on a few new pieces for my shop, particularly to take to a charity craft fair I did last weekend. Sadly the weather was pretty horrific- beautiful sunshine all morning which lured us into thinking it would be nice all day but instead it turned very windy and we had several downpours of rain- I do hope the fundraising was successful. 


Last but not least I can share this piece of embroidery my mother in law asked me to to do for a recently bereaved close friend. I was so pleased that both of them liked it, it was a pleasure to make it. 


Til next time

Teresa 

Crafting is My Therapy

Image from July’s entries to #craftingismytherapy

For the month of August I’m the guest host of the hashtag #craftingismytherapy. The hashtag was created by Nicola of Me You and Magoo and Jennifer of Jennifer’s Little World to promote a creative online community. To quote Nicola “the focus of our hashtag is crafting for pleasure, basically taking some ‘me time’ to unwind in our busy lives”. 

Even though I crochet and embroider for my online shop I love to keep some craft time just for me, and this hashtag is perfect for sharing this. I’d love you to join me! Just use #craftingismytherapy_august on Instagram posts during the month of August, as easy as that! I’ll be sharing a round up of my favourite posts at the end of the month here on my blog and also on Instagram and Twitter. 
Any craft is welcome, at any stage in the making process! 

There is also a giveaway being run for August, a fab set of Posca pens will be sent to a lucky person! You will automatically be entered by sharing a relevant image tagged with the hashtag above. For more info on the giveaway please check here or here.

Teresa x

Crafty Doings in July

After spending a lovely hour or so catching up with my favourite blogs this morning I’m inspired to write a catch up post of a few bits I’m making and have finished recently. My living room cushion makeover is on going. We have a four seater sofa and an armchair, so I am fairly limited in the amount of cushions we can practically fit and use in the living room! I think I can squeeze a couple more in at the most. My latest cushion is my corner to corner crochet cushion. It’s made with Stylecraft Special DK and some sparkly acrylic stuff. I really enjoyed making it, it’s so quick even when you are in a right tangle of yarn. I put a zip in one of the sides so it can be washed. 

I’ve started a new piece of embroidery, just for me! It’s from the Thread Folk Artist series, I think it was a limited edition design, you can find the Thread Folk shop here. I’m really enjoying it so far, it suits my style of embroidery of small areas of stitch to make the whole. 


I’ve made these cute little thank you cards for the teachers at school. I got a bit obsessed with taking photos of these, I love the flower pattern (which is by Emma Lamb, in her book Crochet Home) and I can see more of these flowers being made in the future. 

I wanted to add all the pieces of work I made for Sherwood Art Week to my Folksy shop, but so far have only added my Satsuma Bird Hoop Art. Lots more to come soon. I’ve also added free 1st Class postage to all UK orders from my Folksy shop.


Last weekend I had a lovely time meeting some other Folksy shop owners. We met at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and enjoyed ambling around, admiring the Tony Cragg exhibition and talking about all sorts of stuff. Thank you to Trudi, Jane, Anna, and Holly for a great time, and Camilla and Sian for organising it! 


And that’s it for the mo! Nothing else that I can reveal yet- I have some Christmas bits and bobs in production, yikes! 
Teresa

Crafting Gold (and silver and bronze!)

I’ve been really into metallics this year, I bought a gold spotted sweatshirt in the January sales and some gorgeous gold brogues from Clarks too, so when I saw on Instagram that one of my favourite online haberdashers, Cloud Craft was selling iron-on metallic vinyl I knew I had to have a go! 


As with all my orders from Cloud Craft it arrived very quickly and I couldn’t wait to have a little go. I bought one sheet of gold, silver, bronze, copper and pewter. The instructions provided were very clear, and I tested my fabric to see if it could withstand the hot iron. I had a go on 100% wool felt, which did scorch slightly but the colour returned to normal after a few minutes so I wasn’t too worried. I used scissors to cut the vinyl which was a little tricky, but only, I think, because I decided to cut out something so small. And voila! Here is my first little mini make!


I also had a go at cutting the vinyl using a paper punch. This was not very successful, the punch was just not sharp enough to get through the protective plastic sheet that covers the metallic surface. However a hole punch was fine, and I managed, inspired by my sweatshirt, to create beautiful metallic spotted linen. Here is the finished result with my embroidery design. 


I also tried it with the copper sheet.


The only no-no with this vinyl is not to use a biro to draw the shapes you want to cut. The biro seeps into the fabric during ironing and creates a rather obvious line round the shape, I’d recommend using a pencil! 

I found it trickier with larger pieces to get the heat evenly distributed so this is something to practice, as they have buckled slightly. I’d like to play around with different textured fabrics for appliqué. Applying the vinyl to felt gives a wonderful, almost leathery texture. I’m really impressed with this stuff, the effects are great. I’m looking forward to playing around with some Christmas ideas too, expect to see a lot more metallics from me! 

Teresa

Disclaimer- I am not affiliated with Cloud Craft in any way, just a very happy customer of their products and service! 

Skirt and scarf

I’ve been a busy bee over the last few days and seem to have finished a few pieces of handmade clothing, gone through my mending pile and done some crochet! It’s funny, at times it seems like nothing is getting done and then all of a sudden you have loads of finished pieces. I’ve also been finishing off pieces for Sherwood Art Week, more on that next week! 
I finished this crochet cowl last week. It’s made from King Cole Panache, an acrylic wool blend single ply yarn. It’s DK weight but has some variations throughout which gives a lovely texture. The pattern is the Triangle Infinity Scarf, which I found via Rosina’s blog, Zeens and Roger . I did 26 starter triangles and 18 rows of triangles. I didn’t expect to wear it for months but it was freezing last week and so it got worn straight away! I expect it will get worn loads in autumn and winter. It’s a very satisfying pattern to work with.


I made this skirt- I’m saying its a statement skirt although I’m not sure what statement I’ll be making! I really like it, and the fabric only cost £3… I know, sooo cheap! It’s from the local market and is a silky polyester type, that was surprisingly well behaved. The pattern is adapted from a Butterick pattern (B6051). It’s the skirt part of a maxi dress, which is designed for stretch fabrics. I cut the largest size out, and fitted it to a curved waistband. I like the shape of the skirt. The pockets are not great, they are a bit droopy and I’ve attached them a little low down but I like the bit of interest that they give. To stop the crazy static cling I’ve got a very posh petticoat on underneath! My grandma gave it to me ages ago; I’ve recently shortened it so I can wear it under more skirts. I think it’s from the early 80s. 


It’s very fancy! 

In my crochet basket is a corner to corner cushion cover. I’ve been admiring all the lovely C2C crochet creations on Instagram recently and thought it was time I jumped on the bandwagon! I’ve used Stylecraft Special DK and some metallic yarn from B&M Bargains. The colours are the same as my other crochet cushion projects (as part of my living room cushion makeover). I’ve really enjoyed the C2C method, even though I’ve got myself into a right tangle, it seems very quick and the colour changes are quite easy too. I’m nearly finished with the second side now, I’d like it finished by next week! Better get a move on…

Teresa xx

The grumpy crafter

I’ve been in a right grump recently, for no particular reason and I can’t seem to shake it off. I could probably blame my husband, kids, the weather, the general election and many other things that sometimes irritate me, but I think it really is just me in a grump. In an attempt to cheer my self up I have tried to make a few bits in between making stuff for Sherwood Art Week, and I sort of think it’s working. 
I made a pair of Carrie Trousers from Sew Over It, I really like the style of these trousers, and thought they would be perfect for summer. I used some very cheap viscose polyester linen look stuff from the local market, which I’m glad only cost £1.50/m as these trousers nearly ended up in the bin! They are huge through the leg! I managed to adjust the waistband so they sit a bit lower on my waist which I think looks better, but then I chopped too much off the length of the leg- argh! They are okay though, and I think I can make some adjustments to the pattern for a future pair through the leg. 


I’m really very pleased and cheered up by a bag I’ve made using Rico Fashion Jersey. It’s lined with some quilting cotton from my stash, and I bought some handles, also by Rico, to stitch on. I’m so happy with it! The pattern is the Everyday Bag from Modern Crochet by Molla Mills. I’ve not used the type of yarn suggested in the pattern, but I didn’t think it would matter too much if the bag was a little bigger. I like the stitch definition this yarn gives, and it holds its shape well.


I lined it using some quilting cotton from my stash which I must say is a rather good match. Finding a zip was a bit tricky but I’m glad I persevered… I did threaten to have a zip related strop if I didn’t find the right one after I’d been in four shops with no success! Sewing the handles on was tricky but I’m pleased I used them as the finish is much nicer.

 I bought all the yarn and the bag handles at Knit Nottingham, which is a lovely independent yarn shop in town and I got some great advice from Eleanor about the yarn. She had made a bag with it and also used the same handles which really looked good. I used four and a half balls of the yarn, and one fat quarter of fabric to line the bag. I’m going to have crochet bags every where, they are rather addictive to make. 
I’ve decided to take part in the #sewingforsummer challenge on Instagram. This summer the challenge is to make a shirt dress, and I’m going to attempt the Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges shirt dress. I’ve made a toile for the bodice, and so far it’s not going that well. I think the shoulders of the pattern sleeve just do not fit me. I’m going to compare the pattern pieces of another pattern that does fit and maybe combine the two patterns in some kind of Frankenstein’s monster dress pattern. The shirt dress needs to be made by 21st June, so I have a while yet, and already have my fabric, this beautiful viscose from Stof and Stil. 

I’m not ready yet to share too much of the embroidery and crochet work I’ve been doing for Sherwood Art Week. I’ve put a few sneaky peeks on Instagram, all will be revealed soon! I like what I’ve done. I think I do anyway…. Which takes me right back to my grump! 
Teresa xx