(Dixie Chicks)

A long post today...desk first, then you can duck out sideways if you'd like!

Bag making time again!  I'm using the Botanicals fabric together with this pale green cotton.

It's at this point that you begin to wonder if you've done everything ok so far, or whether it's all backwards!  And yes, I have finished a bag before now, only to discover the zip was upside down.....

But not, I'm happy to report, this time! Phew :-)

The zip is the right way up....yay, happy dance!!

This was the only thing I sewed this week as we were away at the weekend, taking our younger son to a University Open Day...in Lampeter, West Wales.  We bumped into a familiar face en route....
We met up with Hettie for lunch in Abergavenny - it was good to catch up for a brief natter and hear all about her recent trip to the US!

When we got to Lampeter, we had a stroll around the town - it's very quaint, quite small but we stumbled across a Quilt Museum! Oh dear, what a shame..... I left my menfolk to potter and in I went, not expecting much to be honest...

Wow, was I wrong!!  It was the most amazing double height space featuring one woman's collection of Victorian quilts. These were made by men who worked in the woollen mills nearby, of which there were many making Welsh flannel and blankets. These were all from off cuts, very much the 'make do and mend' mentality.

This was the back of one of them, which I found just as interesting as the front!  It showed what fabric the off cut had come from and was neatly labelled up.
This end of the space featured quilts made by people in the home, from old clothes and sheets etc - the exception was that bright red patterned one which was made by a soldier after the Boer war...the stitching on that was fantastic! All hand done......

There were quilts everywhere!  The patterns were amazing....
I love this one, though it did make my eyes go funny!!  I love the figure in the main fabric.
A simpler pattern, but no less effective.... as were these....

I took a whole load of photos but we'd be here all day if I put them all up!

There were modern examples of quilting too - this owl made me smile.
There were two smaller rooms exhibiting fabric and textile artworks - the table in the middle was piled high with quilting and fabric books to peruse....I've got to go back cos I just didn't have enough time in there!

They were marvellous but this was my favourite....something to aim for, eh? Better get some practise with that free machining foot I bought recently!!

So, sorry for the long post today. but if you're ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit...especially as there was a very fine fabric shop, Calico Kate's, right next door!

Have a great week :-)



I make a few things for a friend in the village to give as presents...a couple of weeks ago, she asked me to make bags for her grandchildren. Well, the 6 year old girl was easy...pretty little craft type tote with all the trimmings. But a 2 year old boy? He won't want a bag like that....

Choosing the fabric was the easy bit - I had half a metre of this fun owl print and some contrast linings. But I had to go and purchase some extra, very important, plastic bits.

Strap adjusters and D rings?  And no, it doesn't involve any strange hanky panky!! Cute owls, huh?

Can ya tell what it is yet?  ;-)

I thought a little lad would like a backpack in which to stash his lego/blasters/marbles etc etc but had never made one before. I found a tutorial on Sew Mama Sew's blog but if any of you out there fancy having a go, the method is sketchy in places. I'm glad that I have a reasonably good grasp of bag construction, so I was able to make some educated guesses cos the instructions were quite vague at times. Doing the strap adjusters for example. I'm still not entirely sure they're fitted correctly but it's too late now! And the straps slide through ok, so who's checking?!

I'm quite pleased with the result. Will shorten those strings though......

I just hope that the little lad likes it at Christmas!

I admired some knitted Remembrance poppies on Chrysalis' blog last week and she very kindly sent me her pattern....
I could NOT get a decent photo of these..the red was hard to get right.  They're actually so much nicer in real life. Here they look like a mad pair of eyes (or boobs!). But Chrysalis' pattern is so easy to do - I've enjoyed making them :-)

And here's some more In-Your-Face-Red....I grow these Kaffir Lilies together with Nerines at the edge of my raised veg beds in honour of my mum, who always had these for cutting in her garden. The sun was doing some good backlighting this morning - it made me smile and remember some great times when she was alive. I reckon this is a happy photo!

Finally (!), I went over to Julia's yesterday for a crafty day and lunch, we were joined by Fiona (Staring at the Sea) who drove up from lovely Dorset.  Julia kindly let me raid her scraps box for bits to make Christmas labels out of on her Cricut..
I tell you, I ain't a natural stamper! But it was fun.
It's not going to win any prizes, is it? LOL, but I don't care :-)
Fiona was using this really gorgeous SU stamp....
Julia was sorting out papers to go with photos for scrapbooking.....
In short, it was a really fun day!
And I got to riffle through Herself's button stash for black ones to sew onto more poppies! She's a good mate (but don't tell her I said so.....grin!)

Have a great week everyone :-)



Thanks for all your fab comments last week, lovely girls, they made me feel an awful lot better. I had a kidney infection and was feeling really rubbish so your kind words were very cheering :-)

I didn't move from the sofa for two days (and THAT, Julia will tell you, is very unusual!) and needed something to do. So I sewed all the granny squares together for the blanket I've been making for the Crochet for Kidneys (ironic, huh?) charity that I support. The daisy motifs were fun to do and the effect is very pleasing....

It's cheerful, isn't it? I hope that the dialysis recipient enjoys the bright colours.

The very clear and helpful tutorial came from the Colour and Cream blog, where there are loads of free tutorials to follow!  I highly recommend it if you need a fix of happy crochet :-)
Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous!  I was a bit crocheted out and fancied doing some knitting to use up some of my stash as featured last week...cough. So I made up this Minion hat for a baby to finish off a tiny scrap of bright blue!  And then I had to crochet the Eye, but needs must!  It just needs a black pompom as the finishing touch.  I've knitted another variegated pink hat for a teenager but haven't taken a pic of that. Both are to send off for an outreach project featured on the UK Handknitting website's charity directory.

That was over the weekend; as Monday was very rainy, I managed to get some sewing done...for me! Yay! Remember that blue fabric I got a while back?
I am making a slightly larger zipped craft tote so that I can carry around some crochet/knitting etc when I'm off somewhere. The dark spot is actually navy, it's a better combo than appears in this pic.
Nearly done, just topstitching to make it look neater :-)  Honestly, our camera is amazing at coping with low light levels cos it was as black as Hades in my craft room with all the rain going on outside!
I'm not so sure about that navy spot now but it was the best match I had and I wasn't going to buy any more fabric!!  It'll do.......

And this pic made me happy too....
One of my bags made it all the way to Denmark!  That's a first for me :-)  I hope it gives its new Danish owner many happy years of service!

Hope you gals have had a good week.....keeeeeeep crafting :-) 



(you'll find the answer later!)

This is rather a photo heavy post for which I apologise but there's quite a lot to show today!

I found these floral fat quarters in Fabricland during my last visit - a bit of a departure for me, I don't normally 'do' flowery but I loved these and knew I had some co-ordinating fabrics at home.  I wanted to make a couple of things for my mate's birthday so set to......
I added a strip of the dots, with some fat ricrac peeping out and added a flower and fun button....but what is it?
Adding some top stitching to another item....
Et voila - a large make up bag, covered notebook and tissue holder. I was really pleased with how these turned out, especially as I didn't work to any pattern...cough........:-)  My friend Sue liked them, so I was happy about that too!

Then I decided to make my god daughter Angharad something for her 16th birthday (as well as including some filthy lucre!)  The make up bag proved surprisingly straightforward to make so I thought I'd make a slightly larger one that she could put hairbrushes, perfume etc in.  I thought black, white and hot pink would be just right as she's a smart girl :-)
I wouldn't say I'm a zip expert but they don't hold the same fear for me now!  The fat ricrac looks red here but it is a hot fuchsia pink in reality.
I know she'll have got it by now so it's safe to show you - hope she likes it!

Now, the reason behind the song lyric today... Baa, baa Black sheep, have you any wool?

Why?  Because SHE'S got it all.................

My name is Lunch Lady Jan and I'm a Yarnaholic.........
In honour of it being National Wool Week, I thought I'd share this!
Um, I possibly have enough to start my own shop.....hangs head in shame.  To be fair, a good third of this was gifted to me by a friend but there's quite a lot of new stuff too. I nearly always buy yarn when it's reduced (frantically justifying here folks!) but there's enough to keep me going for quite a while!!  The knitting roll in the middle was my mum's and she started me off on my crafting life when I was a lass, so it's thanks to her really that I'm doing what I do now. I wish she could see how crafting has changed my life.

But I thought you'd need an addition to see the scale of the problem.........
Ron is just telling me that he could lie on those comfy colourful clouds of wool if he wanted to - but the sunshine has won instead. Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I think I'd better make a start on reducing my stash!

Have a great week xxxx


(Emeli Sande)

Right then...I sincerely hope that someone...anyone..can see this blog!  After changing Internet providers, I tried to alter the email addy in Blogger settings - all without the aid of a safety net or large gin!!  So, fingers crossed...here's hoping :-)

Bunting making is like buses - you don't make any for ages then three come along at once! These are for a friend to give to twin girls. The ribbons have been sewn on, now it's time to part with some buttons...

Choices, choices.....

These two photos make me happy - sad, huh?!

I loved this combo of fabrics so much last week, that I'm using up the leftovers to make a craft tote...I am so mean when it comes to fabric, cutting really carefully to ensure maximum output per metre!  There was JUST enough to get all the pieces needed. That yellow paper has my calculations from when I first worked out the pattern - I daren't lose it now!
A bird's eye view down into the construction - it always amazes me how backwards bag making is!  How you have to do pockets and embellishments first and the actual putting the bag together is the very last thing. That took me a while to get my head around and also how the fabric is usually inside out and back to front! Scary stuff :-)
The nearly finished article!  See, I still get things wrong - should have sewn the buttons on the pockets before attaching them. I can still do it now, but it won't be as easy. Doh!

I'm ploughing through my granny squares to make a blanket for Crochet for Kidneys.  Just another 18 to do!!  It keeps me out of mischief, doing these...cough.... Why are you laughing?  Are you insinuating something?   I can be good, I CAN.

Ok, you're right, I can't!  Full of mischief and getting worse each day. Wahoo - it's like a switch went off in my head after turning 50. Grin. Watch out world.....yeah!


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