Work in Progress

So I’ve been dipping into my stash of procion dyed fabrics and decided to use up some of the smaller pieces that I just couldn’t bear to throw away.

I really enjoyed making torn strip samples on a workshop with Ruth Issett and, as much of my stash includes fabrics dyed following this workshop, I thought I’d make a larger piece in this style.

I started by gathering together my torn strips in varying sizes and colours then tacked them randomly to a ground of calico fabric.

I then thought ‘what now’ and sat around just looking at it for a while! Do you ever have that feeling, you get so far and then lose momentum?

I thought about free machine stitching everything in place in order to catch in all those frayed edges but I quite like them, they add a soft texture. So I decided that I would make this a hand stitched piece and I would use only my own dyed threads.

My starting point has been to use a simple running stitch to secure everything in place; I chose an orange shade as this contrasts nicely with some colours and tones in with others.

Close up of stitched strips

Close up of stitched strips

What to do next is the question.

I’m thinking some kind of stitch sampler but I will need to be careful that this background doesn’t just become distracting – possibly a layer of organza on top to knock back some of the colours a bit?

Thinking cap on till next time!


Feeling very fortunate this winter

It is impossible to put into words how sad it is to see the devastation experienced by all those caught in the floods in Britain. Let the rest of us remember that their plight goes on long after the weather improves.                                                                                 In Edinburgh we have been fortunate enough to escape the extremes of weather seen elsewhere and I can’t begin to imagine what so many people are going through.

Guitar Pedal Board Bags Completed!

Custom handmade bag for guitar pedal board

The completed bags are approximately 65cmx49cmx20cm with a zip around 3 sides so they open right up. The flap comes from the back so that the zip is covered and the waterproofing improved. Since this picture I have added long straps that are stitched to the base and back of the bag, this allows the weight of the boards to be supported better and puts less strain on the handle attached to the top of the flap.

I have to say that these bags became very cumbersome to stitch as they progressed due to the size and the fabric! PVC is very difficult to stitch!

I found this very useful tip all over the internet: Scotch Tape                                                         Instead of spending money on silicone feet for your sewing machine apply Scotch Magic tape to the bottom of machine feet as well as strips either side of the base plate, close to, but not over, the feed dogs. NB it has to be the semi opaque ‘magic’ tape as this is the only one that the pvc will glide over.                                                                                                This tip works like a dream and saved my sanity!

Close Fitting Tea Cosy

My daughter & I are in the habit of having a cup of tea and a chat when she comes in from school so I recently bought a teapot. Of course I would need a cosy, especially as the lid becomes very hot in use.

All the knitted/crocheted cosies seem to fit tightly to the teapot without having to be removed to pour the tea but all the fabric ones I could find need to be removed for pouring. As a dressmaker I wondered if darts could be used to contour fabric to the shape of the teapot then came across a wonderful tutorial by PlanetJune Craft Blog, just what I needed                So here is my version:

Russian doll fitted tea cosy

This is so practical as I don’t need to remove the    tea cosy when pouring the tea, it keeps the lid in place and keeps the tea hot!

Take a look at my own tutorial in the tutorials page.

Turtle fabric fitted tea cosy


This version was my first attempt, it was a little small and I felt it wouldn’t be very efficient at keeping the teapot warm. The version above covers the teapot more completely. I do love this fabric though it’s called ‘Hip Tortoise’! I didn’t have enough to make another cosy but my daughter did get a nifty bow tie out of the remainder.