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

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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!

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

Folksy Featured Maker


I’m absolutely delighted to be letting everyone know that I’m the Featured Maker on Folksy for the next two weeks!  Folksy is where my online shop is based, and is a real champion of British craft and handmade products.  I’ve been selling with them for four years now and find it’s a great platform.

On the Folksy blog you’ll be able to read an interview I did with Hannah Berridge of Hannah Berridge Ceramics – just click here! You might also find me popping up on their social media too to share some more about my embroidery.

I’ll also be offering a 15% off discount in my shop until 11th June with the code MAKER15. As ever, 1st class postage to UK addresses is free! 


I’d love to hear if you have any comments about my interview, just pop them in the box below.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who has supported Shirley Rainbow over the last four years, I really do appreciate every comment, either online or in real life, and of course every sale too!

Xx

A few crafty things

Hello everyone,


Firstly thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my Betty Dress (last post), I was very pleased everyone likes it as much as me! I’m also very pleased as a photo I put on Instagram of the dress has won me £20 to spend at Sew Over It, I’m the SOI show off winner for February! Yay me! ( Sew Over It pick their favourite make from one of their patterns from the hashtag #SOIshowoff every month, if you want to take part).


Other than my Betty Dress I don’t seem to have much to show for February. I did finish a crochet jumper but I haven’t taken photos yet and keeps raining so I won’t get them done today. I continued making my granny square coat. I also started making a scarfy shawl thing with some mohair acrylic mix that was on sale in Boyes. It’s a rather nice yarn. Does anyone shop in Boyes? I love the nearest one to me, it’s like going back in time to a shop in the late 80s, they have often have great craft supplies (as well as lightbulbs, batteries, cleaning products and some bizarre clothing!) 


I did make a lovely bag when I did some pattern testing for Rosina of Zeens and Roger . It’s made using t-shirt yarn from Tiger and was a quick and satisfying project. The pattern is now available here. I’ve now popped some beads on the end of the tie fastener. I think it looks nice and summery, I’m looking forward to using it. I rather like t-shirt yarn, I’ve not used it much before but I’ve enjoyed playing around with it. 
I hosted FolksyHour on Twitter on Tuesday night which was great fun. FolksyHour is a chance for Folksy shop owners like myself to get together and have a chat about all the aspects of running an online shop, and making your own products. I decided to create a desert island of craft and inspiration, taking inspiration from Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the theme, we managed to pack lots of music, some art galleries, quite a lot of craft supplies and Tom Hardy’s leg! You can read all about it here
Teresa xx

A quick catch up

Hello!
I’m back after an unplanned blogging break! June was a very busy month at home- it’s both of my children’s birthdays, my mums birthday and my wedding anniversary, plus my husband went on holiday, we had several birthday parties from school and three fancy dress non uniform days…. Yikes! However I now have an unexpected lull in the the school run- we have chicken pox in the house! So while I’m trying to call the school I thought I’d finish a quick blog post.


I was busy in the first week of June making an order of badges for the Victoria Walker Boutique in Farsley, Leeds. My badges are available in store only.  I’m hoping to make some more badges like this for my own shop on Folksy. I did manage to pop a couple of handstitched Apple Badges in my Folksy shop too, a cute gift to say thank you to a special teacher. I was really pleased when Folksy selected them as part of their Gifts for Teachers Guide.


I’ve also added to my ‘With Love’ jewellery collection on Folksy, there are now three necklaces and a pair of dangly earrings, all featuring hand cut wool felt hearts that are hand stitched onto a wool felt back ground. All the jewellery comes presented in little Kraft card boxes, so it’s ready to wear, or be given to someone special. 


I’ve been doing a little bit of Christmas making too- so far I’ve made a new teddy bear tree decoration as they have been very popular before. Choosing some colours and sketching a few designs of new Christmas items is my next job! I’m feeling bizarrely organised. 


Right, time to clear the kitchen table for chicken pox distraction craft time…
Teresa xx

Happy Scrappy Crochet Garland- free pattern

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Hello!

I hope you’ve had a good weekend!

I’ve made a little garland for my daughters bedroom, and as it was really quick and easy to make I thought I’d share how to make it here! The style of this garland is not my own idea, I’ve seen several like this on Pinterest but this is my own version.

I used DK yarn and a 3mm hook for a dense, firm texture to my Granny Stars, but use any thicker yarn and a slightly smaller than recommended hook for the same result, but just a bit bigger than mine! My daughter, who is 2, chose the ribbons and I think she did pretty well!

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You will need:
Small amount of yarn for Granny Stars, I used an acrylic yarn, no idea what brand though!
Small amount on contrast yarn for hanging cord, I used some Rico Essentials Cotton
Scraps of ribbon in matching or contrast colours

Granny Stars- make 5, UK terms

( I’m calling them Granny Stars because they are made using clusters of trebles, like a Granny Square!)

Chain 5, use a slip st to join and make a ring.
Chain 3, 2 trebles into ring, chain 3, *3 trebles into ring, chain 3* 4 times (5 clusters and 5 ch spaces) join using slip st to join round.

Chain 6, 3 trebles into first chain space, *chain 3, 3 trebles * until final chain space, do 2 trebles and join using a slip stitch to 3rd chain in first ch6 made. Fasten off.

Using a contrasting yarn chain approx 20 stitches. Using a scrap of ribbon or lace, crochet over the middle of the ribbon to catch it firmly between the stitches. I didn’t count stitches between pieces of ribbon or stars, but there is approx 20-30 stitches between each piece. Continue like this adding a star and piece of ribbon alternately. (The order I used was 2 pieces of ribbon, star, ribbon, star, ribbon, star, ribbon, star, ribbon, star, ribbon, 2 pieces of ribbon) Finish with 20 chains and fasten off.

Weave in ends and ta-dah!! You’ve made a cute little garland!

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This is the first time I’ve written a crochet pattern so if there is anything you don’t understand please get in touch and I’ll do my best to help! If you do make a garland I’d LOVE to see it- email, or tag me on Twitter or Instagram (links to my accounts are on the right).

I’ve hung my garland on the window frame, using a bit of tape, so it’s a really quick way to decorate a space.

Teresa xx