Handmade for Valentine’s Day

If you go to your newsagent today (in the U.K!) you will be able to buy Take a Break Monthly magazine featuring an embroidery tutorial by me!

It’s a Valentines inspired piece but there are plenty of ways to personalise it for other occasions such as wedding or anniversaries? Perhaps even a Christening gift.

It’s in the monthly magazine and the front cover looks like this:

It was really fun designing this project and I learned a few things about working with a magazine as well.

However (blatant advert for my own shop coming up) if you don’t fancy making a gift for Valentine’s Day there are some really rather nice bits in my Folksy shop

And also these beautiful pieces from other sellers on Folksy

Dottery Pottery – Trinket Dish

Vanilla Wind – Little Bunnies

Love Lottie Knits – Lavender Hearts

I thought this card from Gaynor Marshall Designs was pretty apt for me!

Xx Teresa

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

Folksy Friday- my sewing themed Folksy finds

It’s Folksy Friday! A wonderful day where Folksy Shop owners share the wonderful wares of their fellow shop owners across the World Wide Web.

I’ve decided to theme my Folksy Friday on sewing. I’m missing sewing, especially dressmaking, at the moment, as I’m so busy making Shirley Rainbow stock for craft fairs at the moment. I’ve had a lovely browse of sewing themed products on Folksy and found some gorgeous items I’d be very happy to find under the Christmas tree (hint hint!)

These beautiful scissor earrings are from Rock Rose Jewellery . I love the detail on them with that tiny little screw!

This cute whale kit really appealed to me, I like his happy face. The kit is from Windswept Girle.

I’m sure this beautiful Singer Sewing Machine Print would look lovely on the wall above my sewing table. It’s A4 in size and is from By Charlie’s Hand .

I have many many handmade Christmas Decorations, but no sewing machines! This is so detailed, and is made with free machine embroidery by Emma Louise Corry.

This is a truly amazing piece of kit for any sewer, and the story behind it is very interesting. Its made from an original Victorian sewing pattern, and is called a sewing casket! It’s from Katrina Krafts.

I couldn’t resist including this cute cat Needle Case by Kate Rowe Design . The cat has such personality!

Büchertiger Supplies stock beautiful sewing threads and embroidery floss. I was particularly drawn to these 3ply French Linen Sewing threads, the colours are gorgeous and I like the little cards they are presented on, too.

Tote bags are always handy, I’ve got quite a few and can always find a use for more! Craft themed ones are best (obviously) and I really like this one by Woah There Pickle.

Finally another pair of earrings, super cute Button Studs from By Victoria in sterling silver. I had a lovely pair of earrings like this years ago that I bought on a holiday to Barcelona, unfortunately one of them broke and I’ve never seen a pair like them since, until now!

And that’s it, all my sewing themed Folksy Friday finds! I’ll be sharing these across my social media too, to support Folksy’s campaign to support handmade and small businesses. Every sale to a small, independent business really matters, to read more on why check out the Just A Card website!

Folksy are also offering 20 free listings to all shops, old and new this weekend, so if you are thinking of setting up an online shop maybe now is the time!

Teresa x

PS- I’m not being sponsored by Folksy for this post, I just really want to support them! I love the community I’m part of through Folksy and have learned so much with their support!

Craft fair season is here!

This weekend sees the first of my craft fairs for Christmas 2018!

On Sunday 4th November I’ll be having a stall at the Embankment pub on Arkwright Street, Nottingham. I’m in the Jesse Boot room upstairs so please come and say hi if you visit! There’s lots of stall and the pub serves food too, perfect for a Sunday lunch.

The following weekend on 10th November I’m having a stall at a fundraiser for a charity called Open House, which offers fantastic support for women with post natal depression. It’s going to be a great event, there’s a bouncy castle, cake stall, raffle, craft stalls, and visits from a local choir and some therapy dogs too! For more information about the support Open House offer please check their website here.

The fundraiser is held at The Vine, Bobbersmill Road, Nottingham.

I have a weekend off after that, and then November ends with a stall at the SOCK Gallery in Loughborough, on 26 November from 10-5pm. It’s the same day as the Christmas lights turn on so there will be a lovely festive atmosphere!

December begins with my first fair at the well established Craft in the City event in the centre of Nottingham, at Waterstones. I’m really looking forward to this fair! It’s held on every weekend in December with different stall holders each weekend. I’d love to see some friendly faces so if you are shopping in Nottingham please pop by.

All the info and times are on my News and Events page here.

If you can’t get to Nottingham though, I’m always open online….! Every sale, big or small, is very much appreciated, thank you for all your support.

Cheers, Teresa x

I’ve not been idle!

Hello! How are you? My goodness it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post! Hope you are all okay. I’m fine and very busy getting ready for the festive season. I’ve got quite a few fairs lined up in November and December which will hopefully be lots of fun. I’ve put a full list of the fairs and so on on my events page, and there is (will be soon) more information on my Facebook page. It would be great to see you if you are in the Nottingham area!

I’ve got a few new products I will be taking to the craft fairs and thought you might like to see them on here too.

My sewing machine has been getting quite a bit of use lately, as I’ve been making these zipped pouches. Each purse is lined in cotton and features a hand embroidered patch, which I’ve hand stitched in place. I’ve made them in two sizes, a small coin purse (which fits a bank card in too) and a larger pouch, which could be used for all sorts of bits and pieces. Sewing and crafty bits and bobs, makeup, or a handy pouch for all those odds and ends that end up in the bottom of your hand bag. I think they’d be suitable for all ages!

I’ve also been making a crocheted version of the small purses. This is a pattern by Rosina at Zeens and Roger which she has kindly given permission for me to use and sell from. They are so much fun to make, and I’ve really enjoyed choosing the lining fabric too, I’ve used quilters cotton which comes in so many fun prints I always want to buy loads. These purses have been a great stash buster and I’m hoping they will be popular at my fairs.

And badges… lots of badges have been made. I love the pink and gold ones especially. They are perfect for filling festive hosiery! A selection of badges (no two are ever exactly the same!) are available at the Victoria Walker Boutique, Leeds, and The Focus Gallery, Derby Road, Nottingham.

Thank you for reading,

Teresa

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