Tag Archives: fabric

Peg bag

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A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine smashed a hole in my concrete garden and put up my washing line. I got all excited about being able to hang my washing outside again – then realised that I had no pegs! I hurried out to buy some and greatly enjoyed hanging my washing out in the sunshine. However, my beg bag looked like this:

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Not pretty! I woke up this morning wanting to make something and, with several piles of washing to get through, a peg bag seemed like the perfect Saturday morning project.

I had a little look on Pinterest and found a pattern for this bag:

photo of a peg bag

I was going to adapt it slightly by adding a long strap and had some fabric in mind. But as I was rummaging for said fabric, I came across a pair of pink shorts.

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I’d bought them in a sale several years ago because I liked the fabric!

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I think they were super cheap (probably about £1) and have been stuffed away in my fabric box ever since. But they suddenly seemed the perfect thing for a peg bag!

I started by cutting the bottom off to make it straight.

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I also cut a section out of the back because they were a bit too wide.

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Then I got out Granny’s old sewing machine to stitch the edges. And this is where the process became a whole lot slower! I’ve not used the machine for a long time (in fact, the last time was probably when I was a teenager and Granny was sitting next to me explaining what I needed to do) and although I have the original manual, the language is slightly old fashioned and it takes a while to work out what it all means.

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Eventually I managed to wind thread on to the bobbin, attach it correctly (it took a few tries!) and get the thread ready for stitching. It coped surprising well on even the thickest parts of the fabric, but I found that the thread kept breaking – so frustrating. It ended up looking pretty messy! If I was giving this to someone else I’d probably have lined it to hide the mess – but since it’s only for me I decided not to bother. Anyway, I adjusted the tension and, even though I made it worse to start with, I managed to get it right in the end.

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I trimmed the bit I’d cut off so I could use it as a strap. I also cut some plain fabric to back it, then stitched both sides together before turning it the right way round.

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I hand stitched the strap in place. At this point Maisie decided to ‘help’ me. It’s actually really hard to sew with a cat in the way – she kept twitching and trying to catch the thread.

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Anyway, when the strap was attached I filled it with pegs and put it to use straight away.

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It’s a slightly different pink to the other things on the back of the kitchen door, but I figure the more pinks I can get in my kitchen, the better!

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Recovering chairs

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When I moved into my house I ended up with 5 mismatched dining chairs. I don’t really mind the mismatched look, but some of the chairs had definitely seen better days! They were grubby and one was slightly torn. Here they are in their original state…

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I decided that fresh fabric would do them the world of good. I bought this lovely spotty  fabric (I was tempted by some stripes, but decided it would probably end up looking wonky!) and was ready to get started.

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I started with the chair that Mum covered a few years ago. I took off the cream fabric and used it as a template for the first cover.

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After ironing it (using lots of spray starch to get rid of all the creases) I began stapling it in place, making sure that I pulled it tight on each side.

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The end result was pretty scruffy on the bottom…

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…but I was really pleased with the top.

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And it looked even better actually on the chair!

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I’m sure this isn’t the most professional way to add new fabric to a chair seat, but it’s quick and easy! I timed the last one and it only took me 15 minutes from taking the seat off the chair to putting back on again. That included cutting and ironing the fabric and beating the dust out of the seat!

Here are the finished chairs, still mismatched but looking a whole lot better than before.

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My ‘new’ chairs make me smile every time I walk through the room!

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February

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I’ve had blog posts running through my head all week, but no time to write them down. Now it’s Saturday and I have all the time in the world and the words have run out! So instead of words, I thought I’d give you some pictures of what I got up to in February.

I enjoyed some early (and very short lived) signs of spring.

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I made my first ever crochet necklace. It’s still on my desk and I just love looking at it!

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I made a cover for my journal.

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I whipped up a super quick baby boy blanket.

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I’ve also been working on another project since the beginning of the new year, but I’m making it as a birthday present, so I won’t be able to show you for another couple of months.

What have you been up to this month?

Another giveaway…

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…from someone else! I’ve only just come across this blog, but Diaper Mum is having a giveaway to celebrate her 1 year blogiversary (there seem to be a lot of these cropping up at the moment!) Pop along and have a look here. (There is the option of a fancy button to link to her blog, but it always takes me so long to figure out how to get them on to my blog, and then they often don’t work, so the ablove link will have to do for now!) Here is a little peek at what is on offer…

Journal cover

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Two years ago I started a journal. I looked for ages to find a good book. In the end I settled for one with lovely paper (thick and smooth) and an ok cover. I thought at the time of making a cover for it and now I’ve finally done it! And in the process I have made good use of some of my new fabric, ribbon and buttons.

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It’s a simple design – basically a rectangle with the ends folded over for the book cover to slip into.

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A ribbon stitched along the back ties at the side to keep a pen in place.

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I think the pocket on the back took longer than everything else put together! But I’m quite pleased with the stitching, even though it took so long.

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I loved all these buttons and couldn’t choose between them, so decided to stitch all of them down the spine!

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I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and it only took a few hours from start to finish. I can’t believe it took me two years to get started on it!

New goodies

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Last Friday I spent the day in absolute bliss – I visied a craft fair in Exeter with two friends. It was such a good day! So many pretty things everywhere you turned. I often found that I’d picked something up, but was immediately distracted by the thing right next to it! Needless to say, a fair amount of money was spent. So here are some of my exciting new goodies…

These don’t look particularly pretty, but will be ever so useful.

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These don’t look pretty yet, but have great potential for beauty.

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Some papers with which to make the above look more beautiful.

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Some gorgeous new fabrics and ribbons.

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I especially love this one. I have plans for a journal cover (it fits well with my thankfulness list).

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Some yummy crochet cotton in ice cream shades.

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Lovely lacy edging.

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Five lengths of giant ric rac.

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Some wonderfully soft and snuggly yarns. The Rowan is more purple than the picture shows and is beautiful to work with.

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A gorgeous, vibrant bundle of threads. Again, I have no plans for them, but I couldn’t walk past without buying them! I’m sure they’ll be useful for something.

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A new handbag and purse. I’ve been looking for a new purse for a while (my old one was too small for all the things I keep in it and it would never shut!) and you can never have too many handbags 🙂

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A new obsession – tapestry. This is my first kit and I’m already loving it! My friend talked me into getting it (and in turn I persuaded her to get a kit too!) and I’m so glad she did.

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I’ve actually done a lot more than this now – I’ve finished the pink bit between the top prongs of the H, completed four blue hearts and some of the cream around them.

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And of course – buttons!

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These are just gorgeous and are now living in three pretty jars on my windowsill.

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I’m very much looking forward to using my new goodies – I’m sure several of them will be popping up in posts in the near future 🙂

 

A new, blue pinboard

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I’ve just had a week full of cleaning and tidying. I was properly ruthless and threw away a whole load of junk which has been cluttering up the place for far too long. Some things, however, still had some life left in them but needed a little facelift.

I found a pinboard covered in ancient letters, receipts and dust. It had been wedged between my desk and TV table for goodness knows how long. I decided that it was time for it to be useful again.

I covered it with some duck egg blue fabric. Sadly it wasn’t quite wide enough to cover the board completely from side to side, so I added some spotty blue ribbon. I also added a boarder and criss-crosses of white cotton. It’s all stapled on to the back – it’s pretty messy, but as it’s screwed to the wall no one’s going to see it!

I found the ‘Welcome’ sign on sale in Store 21, and decided that it would be perfect for haning all those leads that normally sit around getting tangled together. Plus, it looks pretty!

I added a few embellishments – a few button drawing pins and paper covered pegs…

…some cute little safety pins…

…a couple of paperchase badges…

…and one of my Jenny Arnott magnets (cleverly attached to a drawing pin).

Pretty and practical – a good combination!

Marvelous magnets

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A few days ago I was having a last little browse on facebook before I went to bed, when up popped a picture of some very pretty magnets.

Photo: Sets of three pretty floral fridge magnets are now half price for a limited time only :) http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/jennyarnott/product/floral-rose-fabric-fridge-magnets

Not only were they beautiful, they were also on sale! I couldn’t let this opportunity pass, and snapped up 2 sets. I was delighted when they arrived only a couple of days later, all beautifully wrapped in blue tissue paper.

And here they are! (There is just one packet in this picture because I’d already ripped the other one open!)

They’re so pretty! My original plan was to use them on my whiteboard at school, but seeing the grubby state of the current magnets I’m starting to have second thoughts.

I love the little cards that they’re attached to – even the backs are pretty 🙂

And they came with a lovely card too.

Jenny, thank you so much for my pretty magnets! If you’ve not come across Jenny’s work before, pop over to her website or find her on facebook. It’s well worth a look!

All is revealed…

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Today is the day I can finally tell you about my Top Secret Project. I’ll start from the beginning (because it’ll make more sense that way) and be prepared for a lot of photos!

A friend of mine lodges with a family. I sort of know the family through other mutual friends, but don’t really see them often. A while ago I heard that the daugher, Becky, was getting married. A little while after that her mum, Heather, got in touch with me and asked if I could do something special for Becky’s wedding day.

For Heather’s wedding (several years ago now!) she had been involved in arranging all the details of the day. But when she walked into the church there was a banner at the front that she knew nothing about. Some friends had designed and made it as a surprise for her. She said it was just so special and a wonderful surprise on a day when she thought she knew exactly what was going to happen and when.

So Heather wanted to do the same for Becky. I met up with her and found out what size she wanted and got some examples of the colour scheme from the invitation and some flowers that would be used to decorate the church. Not long afterwards I went shopping and managed to get fabric of just the right colour.

Then came the fun (and slightly scary) part – designing and making the banner. I’d asked Heather if she had anything in mind, but she didn’t. She said she’d be happy with whatever I came up with and she didn’t even want to see any plans before I started making it!

I decided to start with the lettering. I managed to find a font fairly similar to the one on the invitation. And the words I used (Forever In Safe Hands, along with their names and the date of the wedding) came straight from the invitation too. So far so good.

I then used my trusty (and very dusty!) light box to trace the words in reverse on to bondaweb…

…before ironing it onto the orange fabric.

I spent a long time cutting out all the letters, then arranging them with the ribbons on the white background.

After playing around with different layouts I decided that having ‘Forever In Safe Hands’ in a circle looked best. But how to make sure that they were properly in a circle and not wonky? A washing up bowl of course!

It was the perfect size. I drew around it with my magic vanishing pen, arranged the letters in the right place and got ironing. (You can see where I washed off the magic pen before ironing the overlapping letters.)

Then came the longest part of the process – stitching all the letters. I lost track of how many hours it took, and at times I wondered why I’d even started. But I was really pleased with how it looked when it was finished.

You can see the stitches more clearly on the back.

It was when I got to this point that I realised I’d missed a key component from the invitation – the fish! Becky and Scott are Christians and wanted that fact to be celebrated as part of their wedding ceremony and marriage. (And for those of you who haven’t realised, the first letters of Forever In Safe Hands spell out FISH!) I had to draw a fish, and managed to get it looking pretty good, and in a similar style to the text.

I played around with different placements for the fish, and finally decided that it should be swimming around at the top.

With most of the key parts in place, I sewed the ribbons around the edges. I decided to machine stitch them, which was a lot quicker than hand sewing!

I added the backing before adding one last thing – a flower on the opposite corner to the fish. The church will be decorated with lots of these flowers, so Heather had given me some to include on the banner if I wanted to. Originally I’d planned to have them across the top, but realised that they were too close to the lettering at the top. So instead I handed them back to Heather with the suggestion that they be draped across the hanging bar when the banner was in place. But I thought it would be nice to include at least one little flower on the banner itself, and I like the little splash of greenery in amonst all the orange.

And here is how it looks in it’s completely finished state:

I was really pleased with how it turned out, and so was Heather, so I hope Becky and Scott like it too!

Top Secret Project

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Do you remember I mentioned a Top Secret Project a couple of months ago? Well, things kind of came to a standstill (as they often seem to do with me) until the other day I realised that the deadline is getting pretty close!

Obviously I can’t show you too much, but I can show you just a little of what I’ve been doing. I have been doing (and still have yet to do) a whole lot of stitching. I tried it out on a couple of scraps.

In total I have 41 letters to stitch – and I’ve only done 7 so far! I’d better get a move on.

I also tried sewing some ribbon, just to see how it would look.

I like it, but am going to see how it looks with machine stitching, just to save a little time.

It won’t be long before I can show you the finished article. In the meantime, I’m taking lots of photos so I can share the whole process with you 🙂