November 30, 2009

Get your stuffing at the ready...,'s almost December, and this year's christmas tutorial is on it's way!

November 26, 2009

Cross stitch,

I've noticed recently quite a few craft bloggers, mainly Hillary, getting into cross stitch. When I think back to the years (12 in total, I think) spent designing cross stitch day in, day out, I wonder exactly how many cross stitch designs I must have completed. I have no idea.

For those who are newer to this blog, my first job after leaving University was as a Needlecraft Designer for Coats Crafts UK, chances are any cross stitch, tapestry or embroidery kit with an 'Anchor' brand label made between 1994 and 2006, I will, to a varying degree, have been involved with the design.

There are some of my designs still around,

the Owl was probably the best selling kit I ever did, and once designs retire from the range, they quite often pop up again in magazines.

I left Coats when we relocated from one part of the UK to another, my parting gift was this little gem.

One of my first designs for Coats was a set of 3 miniature victorian style stitchettes, one was of a bath, one was a jug and bowl, and the third was of a toilet. Two were discontinued after a couple of seasons, but the toilet remained for a good few years. Once it was also discontinued, it became my ambition to get a loo back in there,

and 'flush flush' is still in the range today!

Edited to add - No, I didn't stitch any of these designs, Coats have a team of outworkers who do all the sewing. The design team churn out designs at such a fast rate, there was no time for any cross stitch!

November 20, 2009

Pom poms,

I don't enjoy making pom-poms, it hurts my fingers. But sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.


So on that note, I'm off to clean the toilets, both of them!

November 12, 2009


As primarily a softie maker, I quite often have leftover bits, pieces, and softie limbs. Some I just throw out, while others give the impression that they could actually have a second lease of life as something else.

This was a trial run, so didn't get used for the final piece. It's been sat on my desk all week,

...while I ponder what I could do with it. It's fringed felted wool, with a piece of wire running down the centre (which can come out if need be).

Any ideas?

November 4, 2009

It's far too early for the 'C' word...,

...isn't it! But having been handed a (rather long) Christmas list by Lucy, an idea began floating around in my head. We've just started watching season 4 of The Wire on DVD, so I was after a bit of light hand sewing to do in front of the TV. There are quite a few patterns available on the internet for stuffed trees, but I decided in the end to adapt my own by altering the vase I make for the flower stems.

And, here they are,

also, inspired by the tree print fabric picked up at the Festival of Quilts this year.

I do need to come up with a christmasy tutorial for this year, are the tree's too obvious?

I can tell others are thinking of Christmas already too from my blog stats, the Elf hat tutorial is getting quite a few hits, as it does every year. That was the first tutorial I ever did and quite basic compared to how I would do one now.

Still, I bet there are a fair few kids wearing Elf hats made out of leggings on their heads for the school christmas play!

November 1, 2009

The bag and the bunny...,

A while ago I asked for help with ideas for a christening gift I had been asked to make, well, in the end, I kind of adapted the book bag idea, into a toy bag inspired by Stephanie's one, using the Beatrix Potter prints from my fabric stash.

It all begins with a rabbit softie,

the back of the bag has 'Beatrix' embroidered on it as the little girl it is for is called Beatrix,

the rabbit lives in a pocket on the front,

and the bag is lined with the Beatrix Potter prints.

It's gone off to the christening today, so bye bye bunny!