Creative Ideas When You’re Staying at Home

Well it’s the start of the second week at home, doing some home schooling and I thought I’d share some patterns and tutorials available online. Most of the patterns are on my wish list to buy, and make! Most of them are also from small businesses and independents, my favourite businesses to support, other links I’ve shared are available free.

Zeens and Roger Fit to Burst Mitts- beautiful lacy fingerless mitts made with 4ply yarn, and Rosina has a discount available til the end of March, so be quick! Ravelry shop link here

Cozamundo Rainbow Cushion– a super cute little cushion crocheted from DK yarn, I know I have some of this in my yarn stash!

If you fancy a simple dressmaking project, here’s a free dressmaking pattern for the Stellan T-Shirt, by French Navy Patterns. (You will need access to a printer for this one to print the pattern out.)

There are 100’s of free embroidery and cross stitch patterns on the DMC website, you’ll be spoilt for choice. This one by Holly Maguire might be the next one that I tackle…

Ann Wood’s Very Nice Mice have been on my Pinterest to-make-list for ages, they have such cute faces.

Maura, aka The Messy Brunette has just released some beautiful PDF Embroidery Patterns. I really like these flowers.

Lots of independent illustrators and designers are sharing free printable colouring in sheets, including Berylune who have just opened a colouring competition, for more details click here. It’s for grown ups too, and there’s a lovely prize!

There’s a couple of other links here for free colouring pages that I’ve come across. Rachel Mahon’s Rainbow Thank you Postie is a good one for the kids, and I think this self portrait will be fun for everyone! Viktorija Illustration

Cloud Craft (my favourite website for embroidery supplies and felt) are still shipping twice a week and also have a lovely blog full of creative ideas for children and grown ups!

Two tips for keeping creative-

Try small quick projects that are simple and easy to achieve. You get a quick sense of satisfaction with out using too much brain power! Do you have a stash of freebie kits that have come with magazines?

Don’t worry about having too many works in progress on the go. Pick them up as the mood takes you- one day you might relish the challenge of something small and intricate, the next day you might want chunky yarn that works up quickly!

In other Shirley Rainbow news, my shop is remaining open, however I’m only posting to UK addresses. Most of my shop items fit into card envelopes which are letter box friendly. I’m more than happy to gift wrap an item and send directly to the recipient (if you don’t mind my wonky wrapping skills!) As and when I get the time, I’m going to try and keep sharing things online. I love seeing what projects other people are up to, it makes me feel more connected with our lovely online crafty community. It’s going to be a strange few weeks and I feel like I need all the normality I can get.

I hope this has been helpful, love to you all and take care

Teresa

FREE! Valentine’s Hoop Art Tutorial

Last year I created a tutorial for Take a Break Magazine with instructions on how to make an embroidered Valentine’s Decoration and I can now share that with you here on the blog! It’s very simple, combining stitch details and a handy bit of glue to keep everything in place.

You will need:

7” Embroidery Hoop, available in craft shops

Fabric measuring 11” x 11” (If your fabric is thin you might need 2 layers.)

Felt

Buttons, ribbon, lace and decorative trims in colours that match your background fabric.

Needle, sewing or embroidery thread in contrasting shades to the felt and buttons.

Glue

Scissors

Piece of card at least 18cm /7” square

Pencil

Instructions:

1. Start by drawing round the outside of the inner ring of the embroidery hoop onto the card and cut the card circle out.

2. Secure the back ground fabric in the hoop by laying it over the inner hoop and pushing the outer hoop down over the fabric. Tighten the screw and check the fabric feels taut.

3. Cut 2 lengths of lace and ribbon 20cm/ 8” long. Cut 7 triangles of felt that measure 4cm/ 1.5” long on each side (or as many triangles as you need). Lay the lace and felt triangles onto the hoop and adjust the position until you are happy. Secure the lace with a tiny bit of glue, letting the ends hang over the edge of the hoop. Add a dab of glue to the felt triangles to secure them in place.

4. Thread the needle and use running stitch to stitch around the lower edge of each triangle. Fasten the thread off by weaving it through the back of the stitches.

5. Lay the ribbon over the lace and top edges of the triangles. Secure each end with a tiny dab of glue. Stitch buttons onto the ribbon.

6. Using another shade of thread stitch your message on to the bunting triangles. You could do initials and a heart, or a cheeky Valentines message!

7. Push the fabric out of the hoop. Tuck the ends of the ribbon and lace under the outer hoop and push the outer hoop back into place again.

8. Cut two little hearts out of felt and a length of lace and ribbon each 15cm long. Fold the ribbon and lace in half and stitch into place on the bunting. Stitch the felt heart on top of the folded lace and ribbon and add a button to decorate.

9. To finish the back of the hoop cut the background fabric to an inch away from the hoop all the way round. Put a thin layer of glue around the inner hoop and press the fabric into pace. Doing this in small sections makes it easier.

10.Finally, put a line of glue around the edge of your card circle and press into place.

And you’re done! If you make one I’d love to see it, either tag me on Instagram or send me an email, shirleyrainbow@outlook.com. You are welcome to sell products made to this design, please credit Teresa Bettelley at Shirley Rainbow as the designer and if possible link back to the blog post.

Teresa x

Still wishing you a Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Is it too late to say that now? I said it to my hairdresser yesterday and it still felt right! It’s been a bit of a slower start to the year than I expected, the two weeks off the school routine definitely made my brain go all fluffy round the edges and its taken a while to get back into action.

Here’s a little update on the world of Shirley Rainbow. I had a great time during craft fairs in the run up to Christmas, it was, as ever, great to spend time with other stall holders who run their own small business and have a good chat between customers. Doing the fairs is also a great way to get instant feedback from customers, which I will definitely be paying attention to. I’ve also popped a couple of new embroidery pieces in my Folksy shop and updated my Lavender bag collection, the link to them is Here.

Unfortunately a shop that I stock my work in (The Shop at Sneinton Market) will be closing this January, due to many changes behind the scenes. So I’m on the look out to apply for some new bricks and mortar opportunities- any suggestions for shops would be welcome!

As usual I’ve been working on some projects in the background, just to keep me ticking over, and also to have a break from making items for my Folksy shop. I finished a very long term project over Christmas, a tiny model of a kitchen. It was very fiddly, and very rewarding, to make it, and see everything come together. Sewing tiny curtains is certainly a lot easier than full size ones. Have you ever tried making anything like this?

I started a piece of embroidery from a free pattern on the DMC website, really looking forward to framing it up over the weekend. Sewing with metallic thread is such a pain though, I did it in small sessions so my fingers didn’t hurt too much!

I have also decided that 2020 is a year to try and do a bit more dressmaking. I hardly did anything last year- a skirt and a pair of dungarees, both un-blogged as yet! For Christmas 2019 I received a beautiful piece of cord fabric and the Ness Skirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons, which I cut out and then never got round to sewing up. I have made a start this year! I am hoping to squeeze in time to finish it very soon.

So on that note, I’d better go and actually start doing stuff,

Thanks for reading,

Teresa

Craft Fairs 2019

Hello everyone, just a quick post to say I hope you’re all well, and that my line up of craft fairs for the rest of the year has been sorted. This is where I will be! I’m really looking forward to them all, hopefully I might see some of you there!

I’ve got a few new products coming with me, including these sleepy lavender bears. Lots of badges are in progress at the moment and also some new embroidery wall decorations. And I’ll be adding some new pieces to my Folksy shop too… so much to do!

Teresa x

June Days

June always ends up being the busiest month of my year, and this year was no exception, with birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and a couple of First Holy Communion celebrations as well!

During June I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Folksy Friday animations by Leanne Warren of Leapup. I was asked to contribute a few pieces to be used in the animations, and it’s been fabulous seeing them come to life. If you want to watch them all click here, and I’ve included a few photos below too.

This little fish is inspired by my lavender bag range (I’m going to be making more soon). She caught the fancy of a cheeky seagull!

Hitch the Seagull by Big Bird Little Bird

Dora the Donkey by Lavendonmade

Beach hut bunting by Michelle Corbin Design

Photo from Leanne Warren.

This flower is now listed in my Folksy shop as a made to order item. It’s so much fun making them! It featured in the Rainbows and Unicorns animation.

Another project I’ve been working on for some time was finished during June; it’s been delivered now so I can finally share it! My auntie commissioned me to embroider her house, and my grandparents house, which she grew up in. It was to be stitched in black and grey. It’s been a challenge, I won’t deny that, but it’s been interesting too. My 6 year old daughter was a fabulous cheerleader on this project- her little fist pump and ‘yesss’ when I told her I’d finished stitching the railings was wonderful!

In between stitching these hoops – and to add a little colour to my day, I made another embroidered pin cushion. I’ve really enjoyed making these, just playing with stitch and colour is very relaxing! Should I do some for my shop?!

This week I’m going to be starting Christmas craft fair stock. Feels scary but I need to get organised! As I’ve been so busy recently with other stuff I’ve started to feel a bit panicky about not being ready for Christmas. As I write this there’s only 178 days to go…. if they go as fast as June went, yikes!

xx

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

All the good things

Last year for my birthday I was a very lucky girl, I got an iPad Pro and pencil. I very quickly bought Procreate too and have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use it to create digital designs. I’ve had some of these printed onto fabric and have tried some embroidery over the top. I used Prinfab to do the digital prints, I was really pleased with the quality.

This is the first sample I did, using wool embroidery yarn, and I’ve kept this for myself!

Two of my designs are now available in my Folksy shop.

I’ve used DMC embroidery threads to add the details and it gives a nice texture to the finished piece.

I also created a repeat pattern printed fabric, although I’m still too scared to cut into it! It was inspired by the badges I make, and the tiny bits of embroidery they feature.

Other new products that I’ve recently added to my shop are these Lavender Bags. I’ve made them using off cuts of felt and fabric from other embroidery projects, so they are reducing waste as well as being fun to make, and even though I say it myself, rather cute. I’ll be making more for definite! The lavender used for stuffing is grown in my own garden, and most of the ribbons used are recycled too, from gift wrap and clothing.

And finally, a new craft magazine arrived on the shelves of all good newsagents this week! It’s from the Take a Break family and is full of simple craft projects, including one from me! I designed a pattern for some crochet coasters which work up quickly in Aran yarn. The magazine is only £1.99, a bargain I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m also in there giving advice about keeping your embroidery and cross stitch projects neat!

Teresa x