Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 4 February 2015


(The Beatles)

The state of my fabric stash was terrible. When I was going to put my new stuff away, I couldn't even make my way through the disaster zone of my desk. So a Grand Sort Out was definitely in order....
And that's just a small fraction of the linings and fat quarters, there's the furnishing weight fabrics to be sorted as well. It's quite'surprising' quite how much fabric I've amassed over the past four years...cough...

I've been doing a bit more stash busting as Julia lost her craft tote to her sister over Christmas and asked if I could make her a new one. So, to The Stash, James and don't spare the horses.....

I know that Julia's got this Union Jack fabric on a chair at her house, so thought I'd make her a bag that would be camouflaged when she put it down!! ( I do love her really...honest!)

And last week, I had a request from a family friend if I could have a sewing day with her as she's just bought herself a machine and hadn't sewn since school days. So I bought my sewing table downstairs and we set to.  It's hard work concentrating on keeping your seam allowance straight!
Ellen's sewing started off decidedly wobbly, but her seams were really straight and even by the end of the day!  She'd bought a load of Marvel Comics fabric which was very funky but extremely slippery nylon...we persevered though and made a cushion cover. But I thought that she should make something out of better quality fabric so helped her make a simple tote.

Ellen also learned how important ironing is to make a good product. Cos she's like me and hardly irons anything, lol!!  But you did really well, Ellen - keep practising. You'll be fab :-)

The gold hedgehog I showed last week went off to live with Queenie Jeannie in Germany!  I made another, this silver one...she's definitely a girlie, don't you think?

Anyway, a friend bought her when she visited yesterday and ordered another in red!  It's amazing how popular these patterns are, but honestly, the wool is lovely, soft and squidgy and even I, a confirmed soft toy hater, have been converted!

So, that's another £15 raised for Zoe, which takes it to £55. If anyone else would like a tote or Hooter/Hedgie, let me know, it's for a great cause :-)

Have a great week!


  1. Beautiful the bag for Julia. And your friend did well with hers.Really good colors. I think this little hedgehog has made my heart weaken. They are so adorable. As far as stash goes..I think we all have more than we need. But if you get rid of it...there is always that one piece you need. Enjoy a fun week

  2. ahhh wonderful dear Lunch lady Jan... love the two totes really bee-you-tea-ful ... it is the hedgie.. mm cute plus!!!!

    And well done on the sewing classes too and agree on the ironing as you sew that is why my ironing board is there :D
    Shaz in oz.x No number yet
    {Shaz in Oz – Calligraphy Cards}

  3. A riot of pattern and colour, that's what I'm seeing and how wonderful it is and then in the flick of a picture we see beautfully finished bags. Soooooo jealous of your skills.
    Lynn 25 xx

  4. I just love all the fabric you've used & your friend . Happy woyww Jill #22

  5. What a fab bag Ellen made! Love the colours of the fabric and am happy to see it but where was the photo of the cushion cover? Bet you didn't get one or you would have shown it to us.
    Great little hedgie and definitely a Princess with all that silver sparkle.
    Hugs, Neet 29 xx

  6. I'm whizzing round all my fav blogs while the twinnies play with the Knex by me 😃
    Jo helped me sort two huge bin bags full of my fabric a couple of weeks satisfying isn't it? 😃 I've loads more to do yet but need to wait to have somewhere to put it first 😉
    Hugs Annie x #15

  7. There will be no stopping Ellen now.

    I love the bag you have made for Julia.

    The hoggie is just so cute.

    Happy WOYWW
    Sue #37

  8. So much lovely stuff - the little hedgie is very cute, and I love Julia's bag. Perhaps that's where I'm going wrong, I'll do anything to avoid ironing while I'm making things, even to the point of sitting and pressing the turning with my fingers over and over hoping the warmth from my hands will cause a crease so I don't have to get the ironing board out -- I do that regularly I'm ashamed to say! But I can see that ironing really does pay off because your bags look so beautiful and crisp - not a wonky seam in sight!
    Hope you have a great week, Diana xx

  9. Wow ...Ellen did very well for one day of sewing with LLJ. I imagine Julia will be thrilled with her bag. Always amazed at how you put together such a wonderful selection of fabrics. You need a lot of fabric to be able to mix and match. Have a lovely week.
    sandra de @13

  10. Hi Jan, I love the choice of fabrics you use they really make the bags special though the quality of workmanship helps too Lol! I fully understand the stash problem, it has got to be a priority for me this year to use up some stuff and have a good clear out (well my intentions are good Lol!). Happy crafting, Angela x 33

  11. Well I would just love to spend hours looking through your fabric! The bag for Julia looks fab I am sure she will love it! Well done on raising the money, you have such a kind heart! The new hedgehog looks very sweet! You will be impressed with me this week I got my sewing machine out!!! That's as far as your impressed will go though as I sewed on paper!
    Jackie 4

  12. Love the silver hedgehog. I can't thank you enough. I reckon you could start a trend with your sewing days! Great work. Take care Zo xx

  13. Love love love your fabrics! I do have a bit of a collection and would be easy to add to it but I don't sew enough these days. Gave some away to a lady making clothes for children in Africa. Super bags! Adore the silver hedgie! Anne x #40

  14. Love love love your fabrics! I do have a bit of a collection and would be easy to add to it but I don't sew enough these days. Gave some away to a lady making clothes for children in Africa. Super bags! Adore the silver hedgie! Anne x #40

  15. You have just a little bit of fabric there. I bet you could use it all if you tried. Love the bag you made for Julia but that little hedgehog stole my heart. She is gorgeous, you are so clever. You are such a great teacher, I think you could even teach me to sew. Argh, what am I saying, scratch that one, I'll just settle for loving your sewing. Have a great week.
    Von #42

  16. YES! George is now resting comfortably next to my Italian hen Rosalina! :D They are great pals already and I cherish them both!! The silver girl is quite lovely, but I have to say that nothing compares to my George - quite an English name, don't you think?! You are such a dear for helping out your friend! Have a great week & God bless!

    Happy Crafting!
    Jeannie #9

  17. Oh how much fabric you have - yes it does have to be sorted! I am trying to sort out stuff here at my new home and it isn't easy! I hope to see you soon - we must arrange a meeting with Julia! You are invited to Kent! I see you are teaching sewing - I hope to buy a machine soon too and have a go at it - I haven't done much since my daughter was little - she will be 30 this year so I guess it is time I start again!
    Lots of love and hugs,

  18. Love your new bag. Your friend made a lovely bag as well. Have a great day.

  19. Jan you never disappoint me, your desk is always so bright and colourful. Love the hedgehog, got to be a girl, the bags are fab too

    Jan S no 55

  20. You do make beautiful totes --- and that hedgehog ---OMG --- is so sweet! Wish I had the talent to make one. What a nice bright space you have to work in. All of your brightly coloured fabrics add to the inspirational crafting area. Beautiful creations, Jan. Thanks for sharing them. Nann #56

  21. Hiya Jan, you are right, definitely a girlie hedgehog. Lolled at Julia's camo bag- naughty girl you.I'm really good at wobbly seams too- but thats probably because I let the sewing machine run away with me. I just put my foot down and go for it. Good job I don't drive, lol.
    Huge hugs and lots of love, Shaz xxxx

  22. Your friend couldn't have a better teacher, what an amazing end product, I bet she was well chuffed. Aren't wobbly seams right then, lol!!
    Love your silver surfer hedggy, they are gorgeous, I'm not surprised they're popular,
    Good Luck with your sort out and have a good week.
    Hugs Lisax #68

  23. Lucky Ellen, to have such a good teacher!

    Okay, the hedgie, I agree, she's a lovely girlie!!

    #67 this week with the
    finished chair & a chalkboard

  24. I laughed when I read about the camouflage for Julia's tote. That stash is a tad out of control, maybe you need me sorting skills. Oh and that silver hedgehog is so sweet.

    Happy WOYWW
    Hugs Eliza & Yoda 21

  25. So pleased you had the chance to spread the sewing love - I sat fighting with some beautiful silk curtains last week and decided that I really must give up this sewing lark - fingers aint what they used to be!!! I wish at least ONE of my daughters or grandaughters would show an interest but no joy so far.
    Have a good week
    Christine aka Bishopsmate #73

  26. I know! Where does it all come from? I'm sure somebody just stuffs all that fabric in the cupboard when I'm not looking. Pfft! That's a great total you've raised, in such a short time too. I bet Julia is chuffed to bits with her new tote x

    Fiona #70

  27. You should have put a warning at the top of your blog that you reference a nasty 4-lettered word in your post: IRON. I had quite the start when I first saw all the fabric on your desk. Wow! That's an impressive stash. I'm sure it is fun to sort through and imagine the possibilities. How nice of you to get your friend up to speed with sewing. It looks like you had fun together. Love the hedgehog. I suspect my cats would tear one up, but I would definitely be interested in a tote!!! I even learned how to paypal $$ to English in the proper Queen-approved format.

  28. I need to get sorting through my fabric stash ready for the move but I know I just won't want to get rid of any. Will it look less if I iron it!!! x Jo

  29. I've had a real hankering to play with my sewing machine lately. I'm still very much a beginner but haven't been able to get it out since we moved here (3 years!) Because of little fingers - I so miss my stu-stu-studio in the back of Craigs old unit lately. Am hoping when I go to *ahem* uni (sorry - I will stop bragging soon I promise.) That I can have a play on the machines in their fashion department. I got given a fab fabric birds book for my last birthday (There's a CROW pattern!!!!) and a gorgeous doll making one for Christmas. Me wanna plaaaaay!

    That tote is amazeballs! She did a brilliant job and I love your hedgehog :P

    Carmen x #53

  30. Love the tote you made for Julia and the fact it will be undetectable if she pops it on her matching chair lol. Ellen's bag is great too what a lovely friend she has. Fell in love with the silver hedgehog so had to go check out the other one which I loved even more! Hope you at least felt some self satisfaction after your mammoth material sort out. Hugs Lottie x #78

  31. Can you imagine if she sits on her tote...some choice words would be uttered I am sure! I am giggling just thinking about it. Don't faint...there is a machine on my desk...don't say I didn't warn you! LOL #56

  32. Love the patriotic tote - t looks really cool! I'm sure Julia will love it too! Your friend looks happy with her tote too! Your photo cation was so funny! Cute little hedgehog fellow - you should really name them! Or would it be more difficult to say goodbye to them that way? Happy WOYWW! zsuzsa @ InkyDinkyDoodle #34

  33. Hello! Thanks for stopping by today - it's much appreciated! I might have a challenge for you. Young Miss B here is into her cross stitch and I'm trying to get her into knitting too (at least so she can knit her own goth jumpers) but do you think I can buy her a decent bag for either her embroidery or knitting that isn't all florals or polka dots? Can I 'eck! Being the busy bunny I am, I don't have the time to sit down and work out how to make one for her, although I know I could, but if I send some pic of what I've got, can you let me know a price for making one? Her birthday isn't until July, which is when I'd want it for! LOL.... Plenty of time for me to find a job to pay for it.... ulp......

    Glad you liked the panto photos - you'll have to come down and see it one year (you don't have to bring children....LOL).


  34. All those lovely fabrics. I love it. I would be sewing more if I could get nice fabric like that. We have fabric shops where you can buy dressmakers fabric by the meter, but nothing as modern as what you have there.
    Mrs hedgehog is gorgeous! So sweet.
    Have a good week, hope the weather isn't too bad,

  35. Love the hedgie, (deffo a lady!) and the tote you made Julia, and also the fab things Ellen made with your help. Thanks for the visit, sorry I am late getting back, been drooling over more new stamps on the Paperartsy blog again tonight! Helen 8

  36. Well that sounds like a fun day...stitching with you! And it looks as if Julia's tote was made by magic--love it!! I'm so fascinated by the idea of your mother's prewar Good Housekeeping recipe book--in the U.K.! I get teary too looking over Mom's recipe cards and books...there are so many, and it just seems like a big part of her life because she did cook a lot up until just a few years ago. I look at all my recipe books and think I need to pare them down, but then I was given a bunch from my MIL, and now I have my mother's whole collection because sister doesn't want them at all. I could build a little cooking library I swear! Isn't it funny how the fabric, yarn and craft stores seems to call us in! I'm glad you got what you wanted though, because you totally deserve it. I'm due for a visit to Hobby Lobby this week--I've been real good. Hobby Lobby has fabric, sewing things, craft things, home decor, you name it. And there's always a 40% off coupon. Oh, and I have to say my sister tried to steal my tote bag--but I'm not as nice as Julia, because I love it too much!! Hugs dearest! Sandy Leigh #61

  37. Well, your visitors are right..I do LOVe em the new tore and will be round to get it as soon as I can. And I will photo it on the hall chair so you can all play spot the bag.and I won't even be in the picture, fnar fnar!! I no est.y thought that your stash was down to a few select pieces and a box of a bit shocked and feeling less horrified by my paper problem!!

  38. What a lovely tote you made for Julia and how nice of you to do. She is a doll and we all love her very much and I think you are so nice to make one for her.
    Glenda #48

  39. Lucky Julia! Love the bag for her! And the hedgie hogs are adorable. I must not have been by last week; I think this is first time I have seen him. Thanks for sharing. #32

  40. Hi LLJ
    Lovely makes as usual ....your friends bag is great ... But then she had a good teacher.
    I can just picture Julia playing hunt the bag on her chair lol.
    Stash busting ... Now that is a problem .... You should try working where I do .... It's a nightmare really it is ..... Well it would be rude not to buy something wouldn't it?
    Looking forward to the sewing bee?
    Janet @18

  41. That is why I never could do anything decent sewing - I hate ironing, lol!
    The new bag is wonderful also and I love your stash of material!
    Thanks for your earlier visit!

  42. A surprising amount of fabric eh!! Sorry but you can't blame elves for bringing it in!! Love the bags, lucky girl having a lesson from you! Hugs, Chrisx 43

  43. Hi seeing your space and what you've been making...great tote for Julia and I can see a very happy Ellen with her tote. Definitely female and so cute these hedgehogs. Have a super week Cheers RobynO#20

  44. Oh, I laughed about the camouflaged bag! I can just imagine Julia searching for it right under her nose! My, my, that looks like a professionally sewn tote! Lucky friend to have you for a teacher! And the hedgehog is just so so cute!!!!
    Happy WOYWW!
    Hugs, peggy aplSEEDS@3

  45. Ellen's fabric is gorgeous, and she looks justly proud of her efforts, thanks to your help and encouragement. It's lovely being able to encourage newbie crafters, isn't it? Mrs Tiggiwinkle looks fab. I have some similar yarn, and will have to try these for charity. Well done on getting the stash sorted - it's an endless task (well, for me anyway). Have a great week, Chris # 11