Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunny Days in the Garden

Seeing as we're having some beautiful weather at the moment, I thought I'd make the most of it by spending some time in the garden.

We moved to our current cottage three years ago and although the property had been fully refurbished the garden was just grass and rubble by the back door. In the summer it wasn't too much of a problem but when it rained, it was a mud bath. Not great when you have a dog who liked to play in it!

The before view

As you can see from the photo above, we used an old rug to stop the mud traipsing into the house. By the time the picture was taken we'd already started to make improvements by adding a trellis and pot plants.

Last year the garden looked lovely. I created long flower beds around the edge of the garden, and added two salad planters and a greenhouse.

The garden last year

My salad planters

The green wire fencing around the garden is not by choice but a must as my dog liked to walk among the flower beds and "help" to dig!

My greenhouse, dog and potatoes!

This year I've made a start weeding and tidying up the garden after what seems a long winter. Being out in the country the frosts we have are quite severe. I'm pleased to say unlike the previous year I didn't lose any plants.

I've created a patio area

Salad planters prepared

The garden, please excuse my washing!

The garden is already looking a bit better and hopefully when the flower bloom it will look really pretty.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Zips, Gifts and Folksy!

Since my last post I thought I'd better get making something with that lovely fabric. However I had the small problem of choosing which fabric to use! My loveable Border Collie has hurt his leg and has to rest it, so he took great pleasure in lying next to my desk while I got stuck in.

Shadow enjoying the sunshine

I decided to have a go at zips! This is something I've put off in the past, mainly because I thought the zipper presser foot looked a little daunting.

Zips all ready to go!

Some lovely scottie dog fabric to play with

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use the zipper presser foot. It fact I found it fun! I made up these;

A scottie dog zipper purse

More zipper purses!

And cosmetic bags

I am very pleased to say I now have set up a shop on Folksy I will be adding new lines regularly and my zipper purses and cosmetic bags are currently listed for sale.

I've had so much fun making these, I can't wait to get back to the sewing machine!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Fabric Treats!

This week I decided to do some sewing. My quilt still needs binding before it's finished so I thought I'd have a practice at binding a smaller project before working with it on a larger scale.

I had a rumage through my fabric stash and found these lovely fabrics

At first I wasn't sure what to do with them but thanks to my Twitter friend @MrsDG I had a project in mind.

I cut the farics into squares and strips for patchwork and this is how it looked sewn together

I added wadding, a backing, binding and a loop and now I have a pretty pot holder!

It's been ever so useful already so now I want to make a few more.

I wanted to make a new oven glove as my old one wasn't very pretty and didn't go with my kitchen. It was also quite shabby as has been used alot. I ended up making this

I wasn't very happy with the binding. I tried to make my own and as you can see it's not very neat! I spent ages unpicking it all and added some ready made binding. This is the result

As you can see from the before and after picture there is quite a difference. I've ordered myself some pretty bias binding, so looking forward to those coming next week!

I must show you my fabrics I had delivered this week. I decided to treat myself to a stash of household fabrics. I did not know what was in the pack so it was a complete surprise...

So all as I need to do now is decide what I'm going to make!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Knitting bits and bobs

My work on the border collie has taken a back seat at the moment as I got side tracked by another of Alan Dart's patterns. This one is of a cute little bear holding a cupcake, complete with an apron. I like to think toy patterns help me do develop my knitting skills so I can tackle larger projects.

This is what I've knitted so far...

I know it doesn't even resemble what it's supposed to yet but I hope it will all come together nicely.

I also decided that I needed something to store all my knitting needles so I could easily glance and find what I needed. I came up with making this needle roll

Which opens up into this

It didn't take long to make, although the hardest part was sewing the lines straight. In the end I used masking tape as a guide.

The work in progress cardigan is coming together slowly. The two front pieces are finished and I'm working on the back piece now. It's the most difficult pattern I've attempted so far.

I'm not sure if the cardigan will ever be wearable but I'm certainly enjoying the challenge.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Patchwork and Knitting

I've been busy making my second ever patchwork quilt. My first attempt at a quilt was poorly made. I was a complete beginner at sewing and cutting from material and I'm rather ashamed to say I rushed the cutting part. My strips of material were cut freehand and I quickly learnt that measuring and cutting is very important for sewing neat edges. Needless to say my quilt was a disaster but I did learn some important things.

I treated my self to Sew Hip magazine and decided to give the four part Rainbow Quilt Pattern a go. I spent ages measuring and cutting out the pattern. I bought a rotart cutter and a cutting mat which really helped. Once my blocks were done, I could start the fun part of sewing them together and this is how it turned out...

This is before all the rows were sewn together. It's lovely to see the quilt coming together!

I had to lay the quilt and wadding on the lounge floor so I could cut the backing piece. However as soon as it was placed on the floor my dog thought it was for him and lay down on the wadding! I'll be making him his own quilt next!

I'm in the middle of doing the actual quilting at the moment. I'm finding this great fun and I love the pattern the lines make on the backing material. I shall post some pictures in my next blog.

In the evenings I like to do some other crafts. I enjoy knitting although I've only completed small projects I do have a long cardigan on the go. My latest project was an Alan Dart pattern of a springer spaniel.

I've got the Border Collie dog on the go now....really must finish that cardigan!