Monday, 31 October 2016

Is this the biggest cobweb in the world?

A couple of weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, we arrived at church to sing in the choir at a wedding, when the churchwarden took us to the side chapel to see 'something'. We could not have guessed what it was in a million years.

During the Friday night, a gigantic cobweb had descended from the ceiling and was draped over almost the whole chapel. It flowed over the organ, down to the table and across the chairs.

 There is major roof work ongoing at the church, and we think the combination of extra dust and disturbance caused the cobweb to be dislodged (we didn't even realise it was up there, because it was against a dark ceiling). That it came down in one complete piece is amazing.

 It was difficult to show the actual scale of it in one photo - the lights shining on the polythene that is protecting the organ during the work hides part of it.

This photo was taken from underneath the table.

Very little of it actually touched the floor. The wedding guests were fascinated by it, and some people thought it was a fake one that had been deliberately put there.

It was left there for the rest of the day for people to come and see, but then had to be taken down to prepare the area for the Harvest Lunch, which was the next day. We knew it hadn't been there the day before because the flower arrangers had been there.

the harvest loaf, baked at the local supermarket
Once the roof work is finished the church is going to get a thorough clean. At least we know of one job that won't need doing now!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 14 October 2016

Christmas is coming!

 Hi there! I've been keeping busy here at ATFS. Through the summer, I had stalls at a few events - some more successful than others! I'm thinking about whether it may be more profitable to pay more for a table at a bigger event. It's quite daunting to think about paying up to £100 or more for a single event; but paying £10 an event for 10 events is more like what I have been doing. It's possible there may be more people at that one, big event than all the 10 put together. It's worth mulling over a bit more!

I made the bag above as a sample to show the sort of thing I could take orders for. My current list of requests has one on order, in pink spotty fabric with the name Eloise. I'm looking forward to doing the embroidery as a change from machine sewing.

I've been knitting and crocheting facecloths to put with my daughter's handmade soaps as gift ideas. The set above was donated to a local raffle but a few sets have been sold on the soap stall, Scent Essential, too. She has some lovely new festive scents that would make perfect gifts. The facecloths are handy little projects to carry with me when out and about, and they're quick to do.

I recently acquired a piece of brown, felt fabric that, at first, I was at a loss for what to do with. Then, as Christmas began to be mentioned more often, it came to me. It was almost the perfect colour for gingerbread Christmas ornaments. I started by sketching out this gingerbread man, to see if it would work. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it came out and went on to make a few more. Then I added to the range with gingerbread houses and star biscuits. More photos of those can be found over at my facebook page  Raglan Thread Shed .

I love this pretty, little shopper I was asked to make. It was requested by someone to give as a gift to a friend who can't carry much at a time, so it's smaller than the bags I usually make. I just love how the fabrics look together.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Bags of Style!

At the end of my last post I showed the early stage of a slow, mindful project I was working on. Well, it took a while but here is the finished result. It's a lovely hand-stitched patchwork bag. It's made from a pattern in this book. Actually, it's made from two patterns - the patchwork design is from a different bag in the book. I've used it a couple of times and had lots of lovely comments.

Next, I wanted to try something much simpler, but just as useful. This slouchy boho bag is made from a single piece of heavy furnishing fabric. The strap is long enough to go across body so I want to make one like this for myself to replace my current everyday bag, which is wearing out.

Finally, I had this gorgeous Australian design, linen tea-towel in my stash (I can't remember exactly but I think I must have bought it from a charity shop as it still had the original sale label on and I've never been to Australia!) and decided it needed showing off on a bag. It seems I wasn't the only one to appreciate it, as it sold on it's first outing! Oh, and I added the brown canvas-type fabric and hand embroidery in complimentary colours.

In between sewing projects I'm still hooked on corner-to-corner crochet. After trying it plain, and then stripy, I'm now working on motifs. One more square to add, then a border and this will be done.
Sounds straightforward but, once again, I'm limited with the yarn left and will have to do some working out.

The craft group I mentioned last time, that I had just started with a friend, has met again, and all who came seem to be committed, which is nice. We've had a break for August, and will get going again at the end of September. The members are all working on various projects (cross stitch, knitting, patchwork) that they don't seem to find time to do at home. At the last meeting I was working on knitting face cloths. I made 4 in total (not all at the group, obviously), gave one away with a gift and the rest have sold in sets with my daughter's handmade soaps, so I'm working on some more of those too!

Bye for now
Teresa x

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