Crafty Blogs

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Curious Cushion

This week I finally got around to completing a craft project that I began about three years ago. Shameful really, but I came across this adorable fabric on sale in a local shop before we moved into our current house. At the time my favourite t-shirt was a the one pictured, a Curious George t-shirt, so when I saw this fleece that matched so perfectly I couldn't resist it!

At the time I wasn't sure what to make with it. There wasn't quite enough fabric to make a throw, so I considered making a big cushion cover, but we didn't have room for a large cushion at the time as we were living in a very cramped shared house. So I'm sorry to say the fabric was tucked away in a box, and although we took it with us when we moved I virtually forgot about it.

This weekend I came across the fabric again and decided it was time to make use of it. We have plenty of room now, and a nice big sofa to put cushions on.

I used some clear buttons from the button jar as fasteners so that the lovely colours show through.

It's so good to have the fabric on show after it was hidden away so long and it really brightens up the living room (which was almost in danger of looking like adults live here for a moment).

Truth by told it was lovely to make something this weekend that wasn't wedding related. I'm still slogging through making bunting because even though the full size bunting is finished (around 40 metres of the stuff) I'd like to use up the remainder of the fabric by making some mini table bunting. I'm also still on the hunt for potential centre pieces and other decorative touches. Happily there's still lots of time, about six months, before the big day.

Wish me luck (I think I'll need it!)


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Pumpkin Pincushion

This is a quick guide to creating a truly terrifying Halloween pumpkin pincushion. Pierce them through with pins or have them haunt your desk or Halloween table display.

First cut six identical leaf shapes around 3.5" in length from orange felt.

Sew the long edges of these pieces together in matching thread to create a ball shape, but leave one seam open. Turn the ball right side out.

Cut the eyes and mouth from black felt. For eyes cut matching triangles. For a mouth draw a zig-zag on the felt in chalk and cut around this to create a jagged jaw.

Arrange the features and sew them in place while the ball in still open at the back, only a couple of stitches will be needed to keep them in place. Next stuff the pumpkin with toy filling, or failing that cotton wool. When tightly packed join the final seam with a neat blanket stitch. Your creation is now almost alive!

Finally cut a thin strip of brown felt around 1.5" long and 0.5" thick. Roll this length up to create the stalk.

Secure this roll in place with a couple of stitches, but before tying off the thread press the stalk on to the top of the pumpkin and draw the needle through the body of the pumpkin and out of the bottom. Pull the thread tight to create the right pumpkin shape. Finally push the needle back up through the body of the pumpkin and secure the stalk. Pierced twice through the heart your should be a truly diabolical creation!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Vintage Crafting

I always find living museums inspire me to craft. Getting a glimpse into the way people lived only 100 years ago always reminds me of the utility of skills like sewing, weaving and knitting. It's easy to forget that lots of popular crafts arose out of a need to make use of every scrap of material that was available. Quilters now seem to spend a small fortune on fat quarters in co-ordinating colours, but in the past quilts were a thrifty use of fabric scraps too small to be fashioned into anything else.

Another craft that makes clever use of small scraps of fabric is rag-rugging. With a section of hessian, and a collection of cotton or wool scraps you can make a soft and colourful rug. Last week I went on a day trip to Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire, a recreation of a Shropshire town during the industrial revolution complete with railway, fairground and working high street. We saw demonstrations of metal working, candle making, baking and wood working but my attention was caught by a sample rag-rug kit. All the recreation homes in the town were furnished with rag rugs and I decided it would make a lovely souvenir of the day.

The kit came in a paper bag and contained a square of hessian (about 13" square), a wooden prodding tool and a bag of cotton strips, mostly of green white and pink. I ended up supplementing the fabric scraps with some of my own to add colour and also to use up some small pieces of fabric I had spare.

The method recommended in the instructions was to 'prod' the fabric through the hessian from the back of the work rather than to hook it through from the front.It was very quick and easy to create rows of prodded strips.

To finish the rug I folded the 1" allowance back and sewed it into place. The instructions suggested using fabric glue for a no-sew option. The final result is lovely, if a little small.

The floral strips you can see this photo were offcuts from making bunting, something I'll be posting about next week.

I'd recommend the kit as a gift for anyone looking for some crafty inspiration. Now I know how easy rag-rugging is I'm determined to make a larger one for my living room, and I've certainly got a large enough collection of fabric scraps that would otherwise go to waste, so that's lucky!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A daffodil for springtime

It looks like spring has finally begun, and in this part of the world the daffodils are opening. Here's a quick guide to creating your own daffodil to celebrate!

You will need:
Yellow, orange or white felt
Needle and thread
A button
A safety pin

1. Cut a semi-circle from your chosen colour of felt. Cut notches into the outside edge of the circle. Curl the semi-circle into a cone and sew together where the edges meet.

2. Cut a circle from felt and fold and cut as shown to divide the circle into six petals.

3. Shape each petal as shown.

4. Push the button into the cone and the cone onto middle of the petals. Sew the button in place through all layers to bind everything together.

5. Sew a safety pin onto the back and wear with pride!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Toothless Crafting

My new year's resolution this year was to take more commissions and to make more of a business of the craft I love. With that in mind I set about in January making my first commission of the year, a large night fury.

This dragon was made using the fantastic pattern created by Katy A on deviant art. He's made of black fleece, polyester stuffing and a little felt for the eyes. He's almost entirely machine sewn which in unusual for me, but it means he was fairly speedy to make. He's quite light-weight considering his size, he's over 50cm nose to tail and has a wing-span of over 70cm!

The smaller dragon in the photos is the first dragon I ever made, a hand-sewn birthday present for my fiance. They look so cute together I'll be sorry to break them up when I give one of them away this week.

Hopefully there will be plenty more commissions to some in 2011, already it looks like knitting and bag-making will be involved. Wish me luck!

The Lucky Ladybird x