Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Time for a Catch Up!

 Time for a catch up, I think! It's been far too long. Grab yourself a coffee and take a seat.

Well, what have you been up to since we last met?

I joined the Twitter ranks recently, but haven't really been able to get my head around it. However, it was advantageous to me in a roundabout way. It's a long story, which resulted in me loading a photo of one of my bags onto Homemaker magazine's Twitter feed. I only did it to practice using Twitter but it wasn't long before an editor got in touch and asked me to submit a 'Star Letter' featuring one of my bags. I was originally offered a whole page feature but either I was too slow to reply or they asked too many in order to get a result, but I made sure my Facebook Thread Shed page was mentioned.

They've since asked me to give a 'reader's tip' for one of their featured project patterns but I haven't seen whether it's been used or not yet.


Probably as a result of the published letter, my Folksy shop started getting more viewings for a while, resulting in me selling the 3 items above in quite a short time.


 I showed the beginnings of this corner-to-corner crochet blanket in my last post. It took 3 goes at the border before I was happy with it. I wanted to use as much of the yarn as I could without running out, so it took a bit of juggling with the colours and numbers of stripes, and some weighing of yarn and guess work! I'm not finished with C2C yet - I've started a project with a motif in a different colour.

While I should really be running up quick projects to add to my stock, I've been drawn to work on slow, thoughtful, hand-sewn items. The little pouch above is the perfect size to hold a couple of lipsticks, and it's all hand sewn apart from the short, boxed corner seams.


This is a more longer term hand-sewing project. It's progressed quite a bit from this, but this shows the detail. I loved doing this, almost-sashiko-like, quilting. This part is the flap for a bag, for which I am trying to follow a pattern in a Japanese book, relying mainly on the diagrams and a few random numbers!!

In other news, my daughter launched a soap-making venture at a lovely open afternoon in her garden a few weeks ago. We had a few stalls there and served refreshments on the lawn. We've now booked a few events to do together later in the year.

Also, a friend and I started a new, monthly, craft group last week in our village hall. There were 5 of us at the first meeting, with another 4 or 5 (who were on hols or busy) promising to come next time.

Right, it was good to catch up. Mustn't leave it so long next time!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Corner to Corner Crochet!

Good afternoon all!!
I showed a glimpse a couple of posts back of a denim project in progress. Did you guess what it was?It was a cushion cover made from recycled jeans of all shades of denim. After adding a single line of red machine embroidery I decided to stop there and keep it simple.


As I was on the denim theme, next came a couple of zipped bags. One sold at a local event but I have this one for sale in my Folksy shop, which I'm trying to get stocked when I have the time.


I've abandoned the denim, for now, because I've discovered a new addiction in Corner to Corner crochet (as I mentioned last time). This youtube tutorial  will show you the basics (I couldn't find the tutorial I used - she was Australian, had a soothing voice and used UK terms).


This blanket was the result of  my first go at C2C. The centre panel was a poncho from M&S that I bought from a charity shop and disassembled. I wanted it to be a little bigger, so added a border in sage green.

Being someone who always has to try something new, I next ventured into stripes of C2C crochet. This one is still in progress, but I already have an urge to try one with motifs or pictures. For this one, I used a few balls of DK I got from ebay in a couple of lots that happened to go together. The tricky part is working out the biggest size I can make, without running out of any of the colours. It may mean a bit of juggling and improvising - but, still, I don't like things to be too symmetrical and even!!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Bag Bonanza!


Hi there!! This is my first post in 2 months; it's also the first post from my new laptop! I was getting more and more frustrated with the old, slow laptop, that my posting became almost non-existent. Then, when we got a new router and it was incompatible with the old laptop, we had no choice but to get a new one. So here I am....


I've yet to get my photos into better order, but in the meantime, here are a few bags that were under my machine recently.


 They are all made using the Tilly bag pattern by Debbie Shore but, as you can see, you can get very different looks just by varying the fabric. My versions are not reversible because they have inside pockets and different lining.

 All of these are made with fabrics from sample books that I bought from an ex-interior designer.
The green/beige one has a belt for a strap, the red/black one has a kind of nylon webbing for a strap, and the others have self-made straps. The vintage buttons are for decoration only because the flap fastens with Velcro.

I had my first stall of this year at an event last weekend and this red/black version was sold there.

I recently won a three month subscription on the craft selling website Crafters Boutique so I've listed a few things to give it a try. My photos look darker on there than elsewhere but maybe it's due to the fact that I was doing it all from my iPad at the time! Anyway, it would mean a great deal if you could take a look and let me know what you think (about the photos or anything).

What else have I done since we last met! Well, I've joined the Twitter ranks, listed more items in my Folksy shop, read The Mill on the Floss (what a struggle that was) and become just a little bit hooked on Corner to Corner crochet.....More to come on that soon!

Bye for now
Teresa x



Thursday, 4 February 2016

Still feeling the felt!

 I'm still working with felt. These simple hand warmers are cut from the back and front of a felted wool jumper using the bottom rib for the edge.  I machine sewed the seam on the outside using my walking foot so that the wool wouldn't stretch, then added a few buttons for decoration. I was going to add some decorative stitching around the edges too, but decided they looked fine without it.

 When I tried them on for size they were so warm and soft and comfortable I didn't want to take them off.
I'm going to sell these but I must get around to making some for myself too. They'd be perfect for wearing at my craft group where my hands can sometimes get cold.  I don't know how hard it would be to knit or sew in these, but it would be better than full gloves.

 I've given the felt stash a rest now and am starting to look at my denim. This is one project in progress and I have a couple more ideas to try.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Felt frenzy!


Well it's not exactly a frenzy, but it sounds good. Whatever it is, here is the result of it so far.



Five Felt Hearts, made from charity shop woollen jumpers that I washed to shrink and cut up many moons ago. I've used some of the multi stripe before so there wasn't enough to make 2 with that. They have some lavender inside and also a little wool stuffing to give them shape, because if it was just lavender it would all fall to the bottom.


The same template for the centre of the lavender hearts made these little felt brooches. I made myself a similar one a couple of years ago and get many compliments when I wear it.


Here's a close-up of the green one (which is my favourite out of these) with a thimble to next to it, to give some perspective. I've put them on my Thread Shed Facebook page (post scheduled for later today) in the hope that I'm in time to cater for St Valentine's Day and also, possibly, Mothering Sunday.

I'm not finished with the felt yet but haven't managed to do anything with it today, apart from raid my shed for some more materials. Instead, I've been doing some admin for myself and a couple of voluntary organisations I'm involved with, which has taken me the best part of a couple of days when it should have been only a few hours.


Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Variety is the spice of crafting!

 We've had this bird feeder up for many months. According to hubby, it's for certain birds only because the holes to get the seed out of are quite small. I've watched it through the kitchen window swinging wildly in the wind and wondered if, maybe, it could be in a better place: maybe further away from the road, too.


But it appears that hubby was correct, because these birds have been visiting the feeder recently. I think they are goldfinches. There are three here and they seem unconcerned to be buffeted by the wind, and didn't fly off when a car went past. They are a lovely sight. I'm only sorry I can't get a better picture of them.


Meanwhile, I've hatched a plan to help me decide what to craft. Having so many different materials to choose from, I find it's not practical to think of something to make and then go looking in my stock. I'm hoping I can be more efficient and productive if I decide on a specific material, or type of material, THEN think of what I can make from it. I may change it each month, but I'll see how it goes.

So, to start the new year, my January material is felt. I've made the odd brooch or two in the past but not any great amount. In this pic are the beginnings of a few brooches and lavender hearts.

I'm hoping this system will encourage me to make better use of my stash, and to develop a more varied turnover of materials and stock for sale. How do you decide what to make? Do you have the idea first or the materials? I suppose, being a recycler, I am more limited.

Over the holidays, I've been busy sewing projects requested my customers, including a duvet cover modification and a few walking frame pocket hangers (don't know what else to call them). I'm always happy to receive requests because it takes the guesswork out of knowing what people want. Next week, a friend is bringing me a favourite bag of hers (not one I made) for me to replace the torn lining.

Variety is the spice of life!
Bye for now
Teresa x

Monday, 21 December 2015

Oh, Christmas Tree.........!

 Our church held a Christmas Tree Exhibition last weekend; another function in our Raise the Roof Campaign. It was such a success, it took the total amount raised so far to £30,000.


Here's a pic of the day before, with some trees ready and others in the process of being set up. I think there were close to 20 trees in total, all provided by various local groups and businesses.



All the trees were bigger than they look in these photos. Most of them at least 5 feet tall. This one is by my Craft Group, and is decorated with all our handmade decorations.


This one, by the Women's Institute, is very eye-catching, with it's snowmen, all knitted by their members. All visitors were asked to vote for their favourite tree, and this one came a close second.


Having decided on a food theme for our Ladies Group tree, I was stumped as to what to have on the top. I eventually thought of making a felt gingerbread man as an alternative to a fairy. I also dried orange slices and made popcorn 'tinsel' strings.


Other members of my group made decorations out of cinnamon sticks, cupcake cases and pasta, and made hanging biscuits or polystyrene ball 'Christmas puddings' wrapped in gingham. We then added candy canes and chocolates. I have to say, the overall effect was almost a Victorian look, and much better than I'd expected. We were delighted to get the most votes, as it seemed to have captured the Christmas spirit for a lot of people.

I already have an idea for our next tree, if they organise another Exhibition in a couple of years!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Monday, 30 November 2015

Stitches!

There have been a lot more knitted stitches produced here at A Time for Stitching, recently, than sewn stitches. But they were mainly for plain beanie hats, so didn't make for interesting photos.

However, I still have pics of other sewn projects that I haven't shown you yet.


I designed a new handbag pattern a few weeks ago. It can be adapted so that each one is unique. I was pleased with how these turned out and, although they didn't sell, they had lots of positive comments, and I've had a request for one in a different colour.



I sold a baby quilt earlier this year and the lady who bought it tracked me down via a mutual friend in order to request another one. She wanted to give a quilt to a friend who had admired hers. So, I made it in double quick time and it has already gone to its new home. I am more productive when I have a deadline!


Our church is having a Christmas Tree Exhibition this December, as part of the ongoing campaign to raise money for a new roof. My craft group is having a tree at the event, and the obvious theme is handmade decorations. I made these 3 out of wooden curtain rings, which I crocheted around then added felt and wool features. My ladies group is also having a tree, with a food theme. I've been drying orange slices and making Christmas trees out of cupcake cases, and plan to make some popcorn garlands nearer the time.


This is the item that restarted my yarn production. Do you remember these? A friend wanted me make this tea cosy for her friend. I've seen many, but never made one. Nor did I know how it was made. Here, I'm trying it on one of my tea pots for size.


A lot of what I've made recently has been as a result of requests. Back in August, I was asked for some lavender bags. I made 2 for that customer, then carried on and made many more sets of 2, using cotton fabrics and vintage hankies or doilys. I only have one set left now but still have lots of lavender to make more.

On the knitting front, I've made 3 beanie hats and a scarf, and now have on the needles a waistcoat for myself. The waistcoat must go on hold (again) now, though, because I have an order for a baby jacket to knit.

It keeps me out of mischief!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Hellooooooooo....!







My goodness, it's been a long time since I posted. Let me know if there's anyone still out there! Just say hello.

I loaded these pictures a few weeks ago and a lot of what is here has already sold. The cat quilt has gone to the new great-grand-daughter of a lady from church, and half of the glasses cases were sold at various selling events that I've done.

I've had a stall at 4 or 5 events in the last couple of months, a couple of which were quite successful. I've also had independent requests to make things; like a couple more baby quilts, a knitted tea cosy and a phone case.

I have a couple more events booked this month and I'm trying to be more professional. The trouble is, I'm still too good at procrastinating.

And so, I'm off to get on with some knitting.
Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 10 September 2015

End of an Era!

I've never known such changes in our village in such a short space of time as are currently happening. The hotel and 2 pubs are all (or have) changed ownership, the senior citizens' sheltered housing block has closed, and the village 'Fun Day' has restarted this year on a grand scale, for the first time since the 1980s. The biggest change, however, has been in relation to the village school.


The school was made up of 2 buildings: the infant school (above) and the junior school. I was one of the first pupils to attend the infants because it was built when I was about 6 years old. I took this photo shortly before it was demolished, ready to make the site into a car park for the new school. The junior school is also closed, but future plans for it are still uncertain. We've had a brand, spanking new school built by the council  (on a site just behind the trees behind this school) and the children have all started there this term.


This is my first class photo at the infants school, where my gran was the school cook; a role that I also took on many years later. I am in the top row, second from the right, with a yellow cardigan on. I can name many of the girls here, but the boys all look the same to me now!


Just before the demolition of the school, a get-together was hastily organised and some past pupils met up to reminisce and look at old photos.A few of the people in the class photo are here (amongst some from other classes), including one of the teachers (the lady in the middle with the white handbag). In this pic, I am in the front with a light jacket and black trousers). I haven't changed much, have I.......!!??

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 21 August 2015

Stories from my Makes





The more eagle-eyed readers will recognise these makes from previous posts. After I've sold an item I don't just forget about it when I'm working on something new. I'm always pleased to hear how it's being used in it's new home or, best of all, see it in action. So, as well as my makes having a 'past' story, based on the various places the materials came from, they also have a 'present' story. And, hopefully, a long and full future.

When I sold the pink baby quilt, the customer told me it was destined for the first baby girl to born in their family for 50 years. It was a great honour that they thought my humble quilt suitable for such a momentous occasion in their family.

The blue quilt was bought by a friend for a friend of her's baby boy. She reported back to me later how her friend loved the quilt and would lay the baby on it, noting his position on the design so she would know if he'd moved when she looked at him again. That she thought enough about it to pass on the story was quite special.

Another friend asked me to make the purple bag for her step-daughter when her previous one wore out. I see her around and about quite a lot and she, more often than not, has the bag over her shoulder. It's so lovely to see that she likes it and that it gets plenty of use.

Finally, an elderly friend bought the daffodil bag from one of my stalls. I see her quite often and she likes to tell me where she has taken it and how useful it is. Apparently, it's been to Norway on it's travels!

I hope the stories keep coming because it, somehow, makes what I do more meaningful (although I'd still do it even if I didn't hear anything back).

Bye for now
Teresa x




Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Blankets and Bunting!

Hubby and I are recently back from lovely week in Cornwall; specifically, Charlestown. This is the third time we've been to Cornwall, and the second time we've stayed in Charlestown. It's a great base for exploring the area. I'm glad we revisited the Lost Gardens of Heligan because the amazing new Poppy Field of Remembrance was in full bloom.

We were having a lovely time right up until the Thursday..............when hubby managed to catch a 12hr bug (or a touch of food poisoning) and I fell (into the road, in front of a car)! Luckily the car wasn't going very fast, but it stopped with a dramatic screech making everyone in the vicinity turn to look. The result was a skinned right knee with ripped trousers, and a lovely big bruise on my left knee. We had only just stepped out of our accommodation because I was determined to get an ice cream from just down the street. I still made sure I got my ice cream, though, before we went back to dress my wound. 



In crafty news, I finished this wavy design baby quilt before the holiday and started the next one (below) ready to take with me.


I always take a craft project on holiday but rarely get a chance to do any of it. This time I managed quite a bit. I also picked up a pretty bundle of pink fabrics and a couple of doilies at a wonderful craft/vintage emporium in Mavagissey. I've already used the doilies to decorate a baby quilt, which I'll show next time.


The stitching group I go to on a Monday evening seems to have ground to a halt. Nobody seems to have the time to go, and as we meet in a pub no one wants to walk in if they think no one else is coming. Before it fizzled out we were knitting bunting for decorating our village fun day. I've put mine together and will get it to the fun day committee soon. As for the stitching group - I hope it's just a blip and it gets going again. I still go to my Tuesday afternoon group, and it's going strong. We meet in the local scout hall and average around 8+ members per week. We're in the process of arranging a meal out together and we're going to continue right through August, when most groups have a break.


I'm waiting for a customer to come and pick up this order of bunting that she requested for a party in August.
There are three strands of 10 flags each here, to decorate a marquee entrance.

I had a stall booked at a craft fair this week that was cancelled, but I've got a few more booked later this year. So I'm going to be optimistic that they will be successful and try to make plenty of stock.

First, I have to finish:
the stripy, crocheted blanket above (lots of ends to sew in!)
2 quilts that need quilting and binding
another baby quilt - that I haven't started yet.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Random Round-up!


 I've was lucky, recently, to have the chance to buy a selection of fabric sample books from an ex-interior designer.  I had a good rummage and came home with 5 full books and a pile of larger samples - all for £30.
She had about 140 fabric books in her garage so it wasn't easy to choose just a few.


The fabrics are perfect for bags and purses. The boxy bags above are my first projects with the samples.


I had a couple of round cushion pads taking up valuable space in my shed. This one now has a crocheted cover, complete with zip, and is ready for my stall.


I saw a triangular shaped purse somewhere on the web recently and had to have a go to see how it was made. I think I've got it out of my system for now!

In non-crafty news, son and girlfriend have moved into his new house. It's not quite finished yet but they couldn't wait. It's lucky they can still pop over the road for showers and internet connection. I had visions of them moving in one weekend, with us all traipsing across the road with all his belonging until it was done. No such luck. We still  have all his belongings, too. I'm sure it will go eventually, but it'll be a much slower job than I thought.

Bye for now
Teresa x