Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Little Deer

Hope all my UK friends had a lovely bank holiday weekend. The sun was shining and it was warm! It felt great to finally be out of winter jumpers and into pretty summer clothes. However the weather has turned cold again and it's been raining all day!

I treated myself to the latest issue of Craftseller magazine over the weekend and couldn't wait to get started on my own version of the adorable deer featured on the front cover. The deer in the magazine was made out of felt but I had some pretty fabric in mind that I thought would look great. I adapted the pattern so I could sew the fabric right sides together to hide the stitches and keep the edges looking neat. 

Just needs a head

I didn't want to add the hat, stars and feather like the one in the magazine so I left those out. However I did add a cute bow around the deer's neck. 

Ready for the tail!
The finished Deer

I really enjoyed making this and already have more fabric choices planned. You can buy the deer from my shop on folksy here

Friday, 17 May 2013

Handy Size Box Bags

With Father's day quickly approaching in the UK I thought it would be nice to make gifts for my Dad instead of buying something which can sometimes be difficult and impersonal. My Dad is so hard to buy for as he always tells my sister and I that he has everything he could wish for. That may be such a beautiful thing to say but it really doesn't help us out finding a suitable gift.

I find it is hard to make things for men. I have so many ideas that are more suited to woman and I do love pretty fabrics. Over the years I have made my dad little gifts, such as a tiny cross stitch pillow and a patchwork cushion featuring a photo of our beloved dog Ben.

The patchwork cushion I made my Dad for Christmas 2012

I came up with the idea of little box shaped bags, that could be useful for keeping bits and pieces in. I bought some fabric that was more suited for men (I resisted the urge to buy pretty floral's!) and sketched out some rough designs.

I made one for my fiance to test out for me and he was very impressed with how roomy the little bag is. It holds his keys, loose change and phone, keeping them together in one place. It is also very useful for storing dog bags in as we never leave the house with out them. (Even when our dog is not with us! It has become a habit)

I had to make some more in pretty fabric as the bags are just the right size to keep make up in a handbag.

I am working on a design for making these bags in a larger size for travel wash bags. I always like having a new wash bag when I go on holiday and can see these bags being very useful. As the bag has boxed corners it's quite surprising how much can fit in them. Perfect for all my lip glosses!

I have more ideas for father day gifts, so I shall blog about them soon!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Pretty Flowers All in a Row Swap

A while ago a friend of mine, Sarah organised a swap on Instagram and I jumped at the chance to take part. I met Sarah over a year ago on Twitter and I was seriously impressed with the things she makes. I took part in another swap with Sarah a while ago and along with some lovely gifts I was thrilled to receive one of her bags and cards. Designs by Sazy B can be found here. It's well worth taking a look.

A Designs by Sazy B bag

Sarah's swap was called Pretty Flowers all in a Row and I was pretty excited to start it. I was very lucky to be paired with another lovely friend of mine, Vicky, whom I also met on Twitter. I've taken part in a few swaps and really enjoy them.

Parcels from Vicky 

Vicky put such thought into her swap parcels. I love the heart she knitted especially for this swap and its in two of my favourite colours, cream and pink. 

Here it is hanging up on my sideboard in the dining room. 

Lovely gifts from Vicky
 (I also had chocolates but I ate them before I could take a photo - oops!)

I forgot to take a photo of the swap gifts I sent to Vicky. I sent her a shopping bag with flowers on, a packet of seeds, a pretty box of long matches for candles and a phone case I made out of floral fabric. 

Thanks Sarah for organising such a lovely swap and thank you Vicky for being a great swap partner.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Spring/Summer Cushion Covers

Summer is finally here! Well two days of lovely hot sunshine that is. Temperatures reached 22 degrees today but looking at the forecast it's rain for the rest of the week and will feel much cooler. I am terribly British to start a post speaking of the weather! It has been beautiful and it's lovely to see the garden come alive again. The scent from various flowers and herbs are glorious in the evenings. My greenhouse is almost full, my beans have been planted and my peas are just starting to poke through the soil. I am really looking forward to shelling peas and having runner beans for dinner.

My greenhouse

I've been busy lately designing and making cushion covers. An idea popped into my head one evening and before I knew it I was surrounded by fabric, cutting out shapes and piecing them together. One of my initial sketches included a scene featuring a dog in a garden, standing next to a shed with some flowers in the foreground. One I had cut shapes from fabric and laid them out I couldn't help but think it looked too messy so I simplified the design and came up with this;

 How cute are the little dogs?!

Anyway, I loved this design so much that I want it to feature in more of my work. As you may know I do many other crafts besides sewing and find zipped pouches/bags really useful to store my bits and pieces in. I made myself one to keep my knitting notions tidy.

I can't help but love the red. It's bold and bright, perfect for summer. 

Another cushion cover I made was one just for myself. I thought personalised covers would be a nice touch and made a 'N' one as my name is Nicola. I tried to keep the design feminine and added machine embroidery details to soften the harsh shape of the 'N'.

Today's cushion design is a pretty patchwork cover. I appliqued hearts onto each square with bondaweb and then used a tight zig zag stitch all around the edges. I really like this cushion and have cut out squares and hearts in other fabric combos to make more.

So what else has been happening lately? Well I finally finished another WIP! I'm doing quite well this year finishing off various projects. In my last post I spoke of my first ever evenweave cross stitch, well I finished it and I'm thrilled to bits with it. I turned it into a little cushion for my rocking chair. It really is going to be something I treasure forever.

I'm working on knitting a summer top using a lovely shade of cotton. I've completed the back and about half way through working on the front. The cotton feels lovely and I really hope it's wearable once it's finished. I shall let you know!

I hope all my UK followers had a lovely bank holiday and enjoyed the sun shine. What are you working on at the moment? I would love to see

Until my next post, take care xx