Shirley Rainbow News

Hello everyone, how are you?

We are all okay at Shirley Rainbow, taking each day as it comes and trying not to fall out with each other. I’m very grateful that all I have been asked to do during this pandemic is to stay at home and home school my children, however it’s a lot easier than it sounds! At the beginning of the lock down I shared a few online places that you can access free colouring in, patterns and so on, I’ve included more of them today, and some creative projects I’ve done with my kids too.

First up though, I’m taking part in the Home and Family Online Market, hosted by Pedddle on Sunday 17th May, from 10am to 10pm. It’s full of lovely products for your home or to share with family. All products in my shop will be available to purchase at the market, and I’m running a 10% discount on the day of the market too, use code HOME2020 at checkout.

Can you tell who coloured which doll?!

I’ve certainly been very grateful for all the resources the internet brings over the last few weeks, its been a great way to entertain the children with colouring sheets and school work. Through Instagram I came across Of Unusual Kind, who have some beautiful paper dolls to download for free, colour and cut out; my daughter and I have really enjoyed doing them. I also found a great website which has lots of fun colouring in pages to download (some for adults only!) called the Together Gallery. Project One features the work of loads of fab designers and illustrators sharing their work for us to colour in at home.

One quick project we have done at home was making rainbow fridge magnets, using card and magnets that originally were stuck on the back of notebooks for the fridge. They cut into smaller pieces quite easily so with a bit of glue we were pretty pleased with the new magnets and sent some in the post to friends and family. I also had a lot of fun making origami stars from this method on Pinterest and we have hung them in our living room window.

I’ve got a couple of new products heading into my shop over the next couple of days ready for Sunday’s market, here’s a preview of one of my favourites!

I love their little faces!

I also hit 101 sales in my Folksy shop this week! Feeling proud of me!! Thank you so much everyone for your support and sales!

Teresa x

Project Bag Giveaway!

How are you all? I hope you’re okay.

This is just a quick blog post to say that over on my Instagram page I’m running a giveaway! The lovely people at Love Crafts asked me to decorate and embellish one of their new project bags for their Instagram page, and sent me another one to give to a follower!

This is the project bag I did…

Embroidered Project bag from Love Crafts
Close up!

The giveaway prize is:

A cotton Project Bag from Love Crafts for you to embellish

Two pin badges from Love Crafts

A rainbow tassel to add to your bag -made by myself!

Aaaaaand, a Shirley Rainbow hand embroidered necklace.

Giveaway prize goodies!

If you would like to enter, please pop over to my Instagram account and follow the instructions there, thank you!

The project bags are available to buy at Love Crafts here. If you fancy decorating your bag like I’ve done, I’ve given basic details of the embroidery stitches used, in the images below:

I used DMC Etoile Embroidery threads for all of the embroidery. Good luck with the giveaway,

All the best, Teresa

Creative Fun

When you run a creative business it can be quite tricky at times to actually enjoy doing the creative side of the business! For example, when you are making a batch of 80 hand stitched badges it’s pretty easy for creative fatigue to set in. The run up to Christmas is very draining this way, and I always try to set aside some time in January for some fun, experimental creativity and making. This January didn’t go quite to that plan, with three commissions quickly lined up at the start of January- obviously that is not a bad thing! But at the end of January I was still feeling a bit dull and fed up that I hadn’t had the time to have some creative fun.

So, February then! I took one day last week to make a little project completely for fun, and I really, really enjoyed myself. Here she is…

(Quite a while back I started a Pinterest board called Little Dolls, with the vague intention of creating a little doll at some point. That’s half the problem with Pinterest though, you spend loads of time getting ideas for projects and pinning them, but never actually making them. However, I have now made a tiny, doll shaped inroad into my Pinterest wish list.)

Making her certainly got my creative juices flowing again so I made a pincushion out of English paper pieced hexagons. EPP is something I tried last year and never got around to picking up again, even though I enjoyed it. It’s a great way to use up small scraps, of which I have many.

I did a punch needle workshop last spring; its taken me until this week to actually try doing punch needle again. I rather enjoyed getting the hang of it again, I think I need to choose a more tightly twisted yarn than the DMC Natura I did use, which is loosely twisted. I love the colours though!

So I guess the moral of this blogpost is to take the time to have fun creatively, just one little project can give you the confidence to try some others!

Teresa x

All about the (nearly finished) Stitch Sampler

My stitch sampler is finally finished being stitched! Actually it was done a few weeks ago but never mind. I kept thinking I wouldn’t do a blog post about it until I’d finished mounting it etc but that may not be for some time now as when I washed the piece the hand dyed thread I had used ran, and has stained the fabric. I need to try and sort that before mounting it properly.

Anyway. Here is the finished stitching.

It took almost 30 hours to do in total.

I’ve done four close up photos, one of each section with a list of stitches below. I used The Needlecraft Stitch Directory by Sarah Whittle, The A-Z of Crewel Embroidery from SearchPress and online tutorials by Nicole at Cloud Craft for reference.

From the left to right:

Couching with variegated thread

Fly Stitch to create a zigzag

Fern Stitch

Straight Stitch

Running Stitch

Coral Stitch

Chain Stitch

Whipped Back Stitch

Interlaced Running Stitch in two colours

Blanket Stitch

Magic Chain Stitch

Closed Feather Stitch

Chain Stitch

Running Stitch with 3 strands of floss

Tied Herringbone Stitch

Feather Stitch with French Knots

Leaf Stitch

From the top down:

Herringbone Stitch

Whipped Running Stitch

Laced Back Stitch

Back Stitch with Lazy Daisy

Chevron Stitch – my favourite!

Chain Stitch in 6 strands of floss

Open Chain Stitch / Ladder stitch

Raised Chain Stitch

Feather Stitch

Upright Cross Stitch

Double Whipped Detached Chain Stitch

Straight Stitch

Couching

From left to right, in ‘columns’:

Japanese Darning

Square Laid Filling in single strands of floss

Laid Trellis work with French Knots

Double Cross Stitch

Cloud Filling Stitch

French Knots and Lazy Daisy

Battlement Filling Stitch

Basket Stitch

Couched Filling stitch

From the top right corner outwards:

Blanket Stitch partial pinwheel

Straight Stitch – this is where the dye has run.

Double Blanket Stitch

French Knots with 6 strands, 3 strands and 2 strands of floss

Fern Stitch

Cable Stitch

Blanket Stitch Pinwheel (orange) 6 strands of floss.

Couched Circle (pale pink)

Blanket Stitch Pinwheel (teal, 2 strands of floss)

Woven Circle

Blanket Stitch Pinwheel-pink.

Spider’s Web Circle – whipped

Japanese Knot

Wheat sheaf stitch

Now I’ve done this I just want to keep going and do more. I might start another large sampler with more stitches I still haven’t tried…

I did make this set of two mini Stitch Samplers for my Folksy shop. I think they would be a cute addition to an embroidery hoop gallery wall, or in a sewing room! I’m possibly addicted to trying new embroidery stitches!

Teresa x

2019- the year of Stitch

How is January going? I hope you’ve had a good start to the year. It’s been quite busy here. There’s been quite a lot going on behind the scenes: I’m working on a commission that I can’t share yet, and some other exciting stuff I can’t share yet either! However in between all that I’ve been doing a bit of embroidery and I think that 2019 should be the year I learn more about, and practice, embroidery!

I started the year with these little Drop Cloth samplers that were so much fun to do. So far I’ve only sewn one up into a pincushion. Will I ever dare stick a pin in it though?Embroidery kits are a great way to try out new stitches, and I’ve been having a look at what I might try next…

In the mean time I’ve dug out my embroidery books and have designed a simple layout to try new stitches, and also some I’ve not used for a while, in a sampler. There are so many embroidery stitches to do but it’s difficult to work out how to utilise them sometimes, so I find I use the same stitches over and over. Even if I don’t find a way to use them in other embroidery I’m enjoying giving new techniques a try. I’ve also decided, inspired by my Instagram friend Alison Sye, to time how long I spend on the embroidery. So far it’s 10 hours.

Clockwise the stitches I’ve used are

Herringbone stitch

Whipped running stitch

Laced back stitch

Running stitch with lazy daisy

Chevron stitch

Chain st

Basket Weave Stitch

Cloud filling stitch

Lazy daisy stitch worked in a grid with french knots

Laid trellis work.

Couching

Fly stitch

Fern stitch

Straight stitch

Couching

Chain stitch

I’m drawing the lines with an erasable pen so that it doesn’t get too chaotic ( I’d still like the sampler to look good!) and I will do some more blog updates on what I’ve stitched. And maybe at some point I will incorporate the lovely new stitches into some pieces for my Folksy shop!

Teresa x

Handmade Christmas Gifts 2018

Hello everyone and a very Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a good festive break. I’ve enjoyed a bit of time offline, doing some embroidery and a bit of crochet too.

The embroidery is a drop cloth sampler pincushion kit. It’s totally different to any embroidery I’ve done before and it’s really fun making it. It’s from Beyond Measure which is a gorgeous online shop selling highly desirable haberdashery and more.

I’ve started a new cleckheaton jumper in style craft life DK in Silver Nepp which is a gorgeous yarn with multicoloured slubs throughout. However I might have made it a bit small so I might be pulling it out and starting again!

I want to share a few of the handmade gifts I made for Christmas this year; I didn’t make many as the three weeks before Christmas I’d put aside for making got ridiculously hectic with some other projects.

I knew my parents were getting a slow cooker for Christmas so I made my mum a crocheted pot holder for it. The pattern is from Emma Lamb’s book Crochet Home. I made it using DK cotton yarn which worked out to be just the right size. For some reason I didn’t take a finished picture before it I wrapped it. Here’s a work in progress photo, it was finished with a scalloped border. I then went on to make another of the pot holder patterns in Crochet Home for my godmother. I used the same DK yarn but this one came out rather on the large size! I still liked it though, so off it went!

I designed and made an embroidered tree for my sister which I loved doing. She has a beautiful collection of Christmas decorations so I hoped this would fit in well! I enjoyed it so much that you might see a limited collection of them in my shop next winter…

During a browse on Pinterest a few months ago I’d come across some little tiny dolls made from scrap fabric which were super cute, and I thought I’d like to have a go at making some as a gift. After doodling a few ideas I made a little pattern and thoroughly enjoyed making a little lady, a cat and a fish with two tiny blankets. I used some scraps of Liberty cotton, wool felt and some vintage pearl beads. The cat and lady are filled with lavender so they can be popped in a drawer with your clothes. I gave them to a friend in a little tin and I will definitely be making more of these!

One of my commissions before Christmas was to make a Christmas card with the three kings on, I’ve not made any cards for a while now so it was a nice change.

This Christmas I managed not to have too much of a melt down about actually giving people the gifts I’d made them. It seems silly when I make stuff to sell to complete strangers that giving something to someone I know well (and who usually likes me!) is so hard, but there you go! I can’t help being a bit daft.

Teresa x

Summer Shenanigans- Crochet Rope Basket

Hello there! It’s really been quite a long time since I popped by here. Everything is fine, the summer holidays have meant a bit of a slow down over here at Shirley Rainbow HQ. I’m busy behind the scenes though!

I thought I’d share a bit of a blog round up of summer shenanigans so here goes part one… Crochet Rope Basket

This was a bit of a hit on Instagram the other day, which took me by surprise! It was a really simple, and quick, make which I made up as I went along. I’d seen some similar baskets on Pinterest which were made with much chunkier rope. I had a left over ball of Bobbiny Rope from when I made my Half Moon Bag earlier this year, and I wondered if I’d be able to achieve the same kind of results with it.

The pink yarn is one I bought in Hobbycraft. I can’t remember the name of it though! It is an acrylic yarn which has a rainbow coloured cotton yarn twisted in, and it’s a DK yarn. Any similar yarn would work though, and I used a 3.5mm hook for a tight tension.

I made a chain loop of 3 chains and then 6 dc into the loop. Then I caught the Bobbiny yarn and crocheted over it, making 2 dc into each dc from the previous round.

I continued working in a spiral, increasing evenly as I went along, but I didn’t count any stitches, I just kept making sure the circle was smooth around the outside. Counting from the middle there are 9 ‘rounds’. The last round is worked with only 1dc in each stitch around.

I then did a round working only into the back loops to start the side of the basket.

The sides of the basket are worked by doing 1dc into each dc of the previous round. There are 16 rounds in total for the sides.

At the end of the 16th round I cut the bobbiny rope and folded it back, I crocheted 6dc over the folded bit to secure the end.

I then turned the basket and worked another dc round just using the pink yarn. The top of the sides are folded over to give more structure.

And that’s it! A super quick and even though I say so myself, a super cute little basket! Any further questions about how to make this just leave me a comment, thank you.

As you can see I’ve still got a little bit more rope left so I’ll be making another basket very soon! I’m going to be addicted!

Teresa x