My Little Squares… A finish!

Hello there, thanks for popping by…Will you come with me on a trip down Memory Lane? 😊

Way, way back, when I was eleven years old, and new to a School I was lucky enough to be invited, (by the girl who went on to become my best friend) to her house for tea one day. In that single moment, she changed my life.

Of course, we had no Crystal Ball, and I had no idea then, how meeting her and her family would go on to influence my whole life… 😊

Let me explain…

Her Mum, (amongst other things, to be fair.) made Patchwork… I remember that it covered every available surface and I was enthralled… absolutely enchanted! BUT, I was also rubbish at sewing, and a budding ‘perfectionist’ which was not a great combination! πŸ˜‚

I was absolutely convinced I ‘could not’ sew… Sewing lessons in School were a disaster and did nothing to build my confidence.

But still, I felt drawn to fabric. The memory of my BF’s Mum, with all her lovely sewing paraphernalia spread around her, just stuck solidly in my consciousness. Whenever I saw her as I continued to grow up, she would take all her patchwork out of boxes and drawers and let me hold them and try to convince me that I didn’t have to be perfect to get started! 😊

Gradually, and without me realising it, her words started to sink slowly into my consciousness and I started to make little bits and pieces… A Quilt for my boys… a memory of their childhood and family holidays. (still in the process of hand quilting!)

My Mum’s Memory Quilt.. (top finished, but I can’t decide how to Quilt it…)

And finally, this year, my ‘Spring Greens for Mac’ mini Quilt… and this one, I have finished!

Then, my love affair with tiny one inch Squares continued… I was recovering from Covid, and needed a distraction… They were the perfect thing!

Last week I finished the cushion cover and I have to say, I’m really, really pleased with what I achieved…

It’s not perfect and I’m in the middle of making cushion number 2 using all the knowledge I gained…This current one will be an improvement because of what I learned making number 1! 😊

But isn’t that the whole point? I feel like I have indeed come around ‘full circle’… The woman I am today, has met the girl I used to be and looked her squarely in the eyes but with compassion and love.. Whilst also acknowledging that perfectionism is completely overrated. 😊

Although every part of the story brings me to where I am today, I grieve a little for the years I wasted.. I was trying to ‘measure up’ to this ‘ideal’ of a set of sewing skills that I felt I didn’t have and it was a complete waste of time! πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜Š

I am eternally grateful to all the Women who, over the years, have passed on their skills and knowledge to me and kept me pushing forward in spite of all I said about my work ‘not being good enough’ ect…

Thank you… thank you. From the bottom of my very full heart. β™₯️

I do hope that whatever you’re doing this week, you can find the time to do a little of what makes you happy… For me, that has to be Crafting… 😊

Until the next time,

Debbie.

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A Beautiful day.

Hello there, thanks for popping by…

What a glorious day I have woken up to, here in the North of England, with the promise that it could continue into the Bank Holiday Easter Weekend… that will be a treat… It doesn’t happen very often up here! I’m sat at my desk with the sunlight streaming through the window and thinking that living in the UK, in the Spring Sunshine, takes some beating! 😊

I’ve decided to make those little Squares into a Cushion cover, and I intend to make a simple envelope opening for a cushion pad that’s 16 x 16 inches square.

I perhaps should have gone for a 12 x 12 inch pad, but it seems to me that an ‘average’ size cushion is 16 inches and so I plumbed for that. It seems a little big, but we’ll see… and it’s all a learning curve anyway, don’t you think? πŸ€”

Here’s a couple of pictures of my progress this week…

16 one inch Squares make a block.
Three larger blocks completed.
Starting work on the 4th block.

I’m making things up as I go, which is my favourite way to work. I love trying to figure out what goes where, but it does mean that sometimes I will make mistakes because there is rarely any forward planning from this girl! 😊

I’m hoping to finish the blocks over the weekend, and then make the cushion cover by the middle of next week. I’ll let you know how it goes, but I have to be honest and say that I’m having the best time making this, and it’s probably going to be the first of many cushions!

I’ll pop by again when I’ve made some more progress… Until then, I hope you manage to get a little bit creative in whatever you do in the next week…

Debbie.

These Little Squares.

Hello there, it’s been a while, but thanks for popping by…

I was rummaging through some boxes yesterday, looking for something to ‘pique’ my interest… I was a bit bored, restless even, and none of my current craft projects could hold my attention.

So I gave up what I was trying to do, ( which was knitting, I think ) and went on a ‘mooch’ through the boxes in the corner of our bedroom which also doubles up as my craft ‘space’ during the day.

I won’t show you a picture, it’s embarrassing, but let’s just say that it’s stacked high and if I live to be over a hundred I probably won’t even dent much of the surface!

After going through a few boxes rather listlessly, thinking,

‘No… that’s not it…’ and

‘What on earth was I thinking here’?? ect

( I’m sure you know the score, we’ve all been there! )

I came across a box full of little Squares.

I had a bit of a fling with these ‘Charmers’, back in about 2018/2019 for about 6 months or so… I even made a start on a Christmas table cloth which is languishing in a box somewhere in ‘Stack’ em’ High’ in the corner of the bedroom…

But as is usual with me, ( Magpie that I am ) 😊 they were all put down when something newer and shinier came along… ( half inch hexagons, I’m looking at you! )

So there I was, bored and a bit restless, until, that is, I opened the box! My heart did that strange fluttery thing it does when I behold on something new (ish) and exciting! Oh! Yes! This is it! The NEXT THING!

Knitting forgotten ( for the moment at least ) I excitedly dived into all those little coloured squares again, as if I were greeting a long lost Relative.. my heart is singing! and I’m not going to let the matter of trying to get over a bout of Covid 19, stand in my way…( I’m on the mend, thankfully ) and if I just do a little at a time, stop as soon as I feel tired and my head starts feeling ‘Woolly’ again, it will all be magical, won’t it?

After all, don’t they say that slow and steady wins the race? 😊

I hope you’re able to keep Crafting, and you’ll join me again soon, but until the next time, take care…

Debbie. x

November Musings.

Hello there, thanks for popping by…

Well here we are, into mid November already!

I honestly don’t know where the weeks go.

I love this time of year, love the shortening of the days and the darkening evenings… I love waking up in the dark and watching the sky lighten.

In the Autumn and Winter time I find myself knitting more… or at least I did, until I started hand sewing back in the Summer… Do you remember, I showed you?

I ended up making another 3 Grace Jar ‘Jackets’ as a fund raiser for my Church and each one was different…

They were so much fun to do!

I carried on making Bookmarks too, and have recently made a couple ready for Christmas.

I have finished some knitting though!Back at the start of the year (possibly in late February) I started my ‘Friendship Frankencardie’. It was made from oddments of wool and treasures that friends had given me over the years. It was the first time I had ever been so adventurous and quite possibly deserves a blog post all of it’s own.. 😊

Oh, that glorious array of colour! It makes my heart sing!

Until finally, a couple of months after finishing the cardigan, I got my act together and put the buttons on… just in time for the colder weather!

For a first attempt, I have to say I’m pleased with the result. 😊

Gosh, I have so many other things to show you, but I think I’ll leave it there for now and save other things for another day!

Where ever you are in the World, whatever you’re doing I do hope you find a little time for Crafting.

Until the next time, stay safe out there…

Love,

Debbie x

It’s been a long time!

Hello there, thanks for popping by…

Well, I don’t really know where to begin, it’s been so long!
So I think I’ll just ‘dive right back in’ as though it was only last week that I was writing! ☺️
Here in the UK, we are slowly emerging from Lockdown, taking things day by day and, as awful as parts of it have been (I don’t want to dwell on that here, because ‘here’ is sewing and sanity… ☺️) I’ve have been very busy sewing and frankly, it’s held, and continues to hold me together!
My style has changed somewhat since last we spoke… for so long I worried about trying to find my ‘Artist Voice’
(Gosh, I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious… but it is a ‘thing’!) well, quite by accident, I found it!
Really, if I’m being truthful, I did a whole lot of praying about it and in time I feel like that prayer was answered, but that’s a story for another time… ☺️
Would you like to see what I’ve been getting up to these days?
Well, here goes then..

This was a Bobbin Sampler Roll that I did back in June when I first started out on this new adventure… I was so lucky to have such good friends who donated bits of lace and ‘frippery’ so that I could try things out without spending any money… as you can see, my beloved hexagons are still there, but they’re smaller these days! I’ve also been experimenting with basic embroidery stitches and they worked beautifully in the setting.
FFrom there, I did a few Needle cases… This is one of them! That was great fun to do, but from there I got interested in Book or Journal Covers…

There’s so much more to show you, but perhaps I should leave it there for now? Perhaps you will have forgotten who I am!
But it doesn’t matter… I can always introduce myself again! ☺️
I hope that whatever part of the world you are in, you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe..
Until the next time, I hope you find some Crafting Time of your own..

Debbie.

Lazy Summer Days.

Hello there, thanks for popping by…

Well it’s been a good long while since I posted, but life bobs along up here, much the same as it has been doing for much of the year, my two Teenagers both passed significant birthdays this year, and Hubby and I celebrated our Silver Wedding in May too so it’s been a very busy first half of the year…

I’ve always managed to get some crafting in though, and my attention has turned, as it always does, in the summer time, to Patchwork.

You may remember the start of this quilt, a couple of years ago now? I’m making it in English Paper Piecing, in memory of my Mum, who passed away in 2015. It’s really starting to look like a quilt now, isn’t it? 😊

One of the things I love about hand sewing is how portable it is.

This was on a trip out to the seaside a couple of weks ago….my lovely friend is modeling here, and we spent a lovely half an hour or so gazing out to sea and stitching. It was heaven! 😊

Here I am again, out in our garden during this lovely summer we’re having in the UK at the moment. This gorgeous day to day sunshine is practically unheard of and I’m really making the most of it and stitching outside whenever the oportunity arises. 😊

I’m very active on Instagram if you’d like to see more pictures of my ‘summer of stitches’.

I’m ‘happyjustcrafting’ just the same as on wordpress. It would be lovely to say hello… 😊

That’s all for now though, I hope you’re all having a lovely summer wherever you are, and until next time, I’ll keep crafting, and I hope you do too…

Debbie.

Christmas Wishes…

Hello there, thanks  for popping by….

Wow…where has the time gone? Autumn flew by and here we are a few days after Christmas!

I hope you have had a lovely few days….

Ours was all that I hoped it would be! Busy periods but with just the right amount of ‘down time’ interspersed throughout….

This was my Christmas Eve cast on…

I had the yarn already balled up in my stash, and the pattern is from Danni at Little Bobbin knits and called ‘Twas the night before Christmas’. Isn’t it lovely?

There wasn’t as much knitting time as I thought I might have, but I have done a little more since then…

I love the fact that you can quite clearly see the outline of my phone in the picture! Here is the North of England, at this time of year, the light is abismal and fades by mid afternoon…..really, I shouldn’t take progress shots after 2pm! πŸ˜‚ Never mind, I’m sure you forgive me!

In other news, I’ve been so busy making socks ( and other things I hope to be able to share with you soon) throughout November and December… I learnt how to knit socks TAAT ( two at a time) and toe up…That was great fun! I’m not really sure which technique I prefer….here are the first pair I made….

My Jolly Holly socks.

Yarn WYS holly berry

Needle 2.25mm 2 

I felt like I was on a roll then and so at the begining of December, I started my Advent socks….

Yarn WYS Candy Cane

Needles 2.25mm

I have named them my Elf socks, for obvious reasons! πŸ˜„
This first picture was taken at 10.15 pm on christmas Eve! I went right down to the wire! Thankfully, I managed a finish in time for Christmas…just! 


It’s been a busy few months, but as ever, I am never happier than when I am crafting and today I began a new quilt…pictures to follow!

I hope you are enjoying the holidays, wherever you are, and my Christmas wish, is for peace, joy and love to be with you and those you know, through the festive season and on into the New Year…

Until next time,

Debbie

Summer comes and goes!

 

Hello there, thanks for popping by…..

Well, what a Summer it has been! I hope the Summer has been kind to you, where ever you are! Mine has been lovely! Filled with warm days, finding time to be with friends and family, and once I got my Hayfever fully under control…lots of Crafting!

Here are a few pictures…..20170813_134533

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This was my ‘Holiday’ make it is the first quilt I have ever made from start to finish, completely alone and I am thrilled to bits with it! 😊

There are definitely things that I want to improve upon next time… for example, I’d like my wadding in the binding, Β to ‘ fill’ the space it has a little better, so that there are no little gaps at the very top…It was also my first time using pre made Bias Binding. I usually make my own and I will go back to doing so, in the future! I didn’t like it at all, although I did like the gingham fabric…

I’m already thinking about my next quilt…I can’t wait to get started again! 😊

My eldest, has just returned from a Uni Field Trip to the Isle of Skye…I needed to keep my mind and hands occupied in the few days before he left…. that was the quickest pair of socks I have EVER knitted! Β I decided to make them on the Tuesday evening, and I finished them on the Saturday morning! admitedly, they were made with DK yarn, but still! 😁

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In other news, I am very close to finishing my very first Sweater…would you like to see? It’s only taken me two years to get this far! πŸ˜‚20170921_164743

I’ve found it much easier to work on the kitchen floor, as I’ve been sewing this up…the light is better down here!

I’ll post again, when I have a FO (finished object) to show you…so for now, and until the next time….

Debbie.

 

 

Spring turns to Summer, and the Crafting goes on….

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

I really don’t know where the months are going! I love this time of year, when it’s not quite Summer, but Spring is beating a rather leasurely retreat. In the words of John Denver, (my favourite Country Singer) ‘some days are diamonds, some days are stone’ Β Some mornings I wake up to glorious sunshine, the world, and my crafting, is full of promise….other days the skies are leaden and I have to push myself to create anything…I find it fascinating, how much the seasons and the weather affect how creative I feel…during Winter I want to hunker down and knit or crochet blankets….I want to feel cozy, warm and thankful for the shelter my small home provides for us all….IMG_20161228_111119This photo was taken in Christmas week, that ‘waiting time’ between Christmas and New Year, when you may Β still be on holiday from work, but family visitors or friends have come and gone but the New Year Celebrations are still a little way off… Looking back today at this photo, I feel a warm glow of rememberence, that was such a lovely day!

Moving on through the year, I find myself gravitating towards Patchwork and Hardanger Embroidery. The knitting and crochet are set aside until the Autumn and I can sit in my local Coffee House, where they have huge floor to ceiling windows, and a comfy Sofa right next to them…

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The light is amazing, here!

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I can sit in my tiny garden, and catch the early morning sun.

I feel incredibly lucky that knitting, sewing and crochet form such a back drop to my days. There is rarely a day that I don’t pick up a needle of some sort, or a hook, and while away an hour or two and I’m sure I would feel totally bereft without them.

This last couple of days I’ve been struggling very badly with the dreaded Hayfever… it has affected my nose and head so badly that I have been unable to doing any sort of Crafting at all. It has been truly awful, and tested my patience to the absolue limit, feeling grotty and unwell? I can cope with that….being unable to sew for fear of sneezing all over my precious work? Oh dear, I have suffered!

I have tried to console myself by looking at pictures of Hardanger and English Paper Piecing on Social Media, but there’s no substitute for the real thing! Β Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel more like myself, and the pollen count will settle into more managable levels again, but until then…here’s some more work that I’ve been doing since in the last couple of months or so.

20170609_143732Hardanger Embroidery tablecloth. White 28count Evenweave fabric and Anchor Colour 1

20170517_134611Snow melt Shawl..making good progress here and onto Clue 3….

IMG_20170506_121555_065And the ‘Big Quilt’…. I’m on to the hand quilting now and enjoying every minute!

It isn’t in any way perfect, but I’ve learnt such a lot during the making of it, and I am thrilled to bits with it!

The Big Quilt really deserves a blog post all of it’s own…and I will try in the next few days to put one together… 😊

So until the next time,

Debbie

 

Hello, old friend, it’s been TOO long…..

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

Ah, Hardanger Embroidery, how I have missed you! Of course, like most things, I hadn’t realised just how much until I picked my needle up again….

I have been in Crafting heaven over the last few days but it’s also been hard work, that’s for sure. I enjoy a challenge and I have decided to do one thing in Crafting that scares me, every day.

Just ONE thing otherwise, I was thinking, I will stagnate and allow myself to sink into the comfortable position of only working on things I know how to do well…. so, what then scares me in Crafting? Using my rotary cutter….eek! I’m not that great, it makes me uncomfortable…because, I’m not such a ‘hot shot’ at it. I have to THINK, and allow myself to make those mistakes that ineviatably happen when you’re learning…. So on Tuesday, I had a whole morning cutting out. It wasn’t bad! In fact, if I don’t say so myself, I improved massively.20170418_145034Yesterday, I took a trip into the City to gather last minute bits n’bobs so that I have everything together and could go ahead and make the sewing book….. I need to be brave! because sewing things together makes me nervous too- I like things to look good straight away…. I wonder if I’m the only person who looks at a picture in a book, and thinks… I want to make that, but it has to look just as good as it does in the picture, even though the person who made that project has probably been sewing for 20 years+ and I’ve been learning for a few months!? 😊

But, I digress….back to the Hardanger! The other thing that scares me is design! I am not a Designer in any way, and have always shied away from Β making up my own patterns because I always want to be sewing rather than drawing and if I’m honest, I’m also impatient and find the focus needed for designing takes longer than I am willing to give. Until this week…

Time to move out of my comfort zone! 20170417_170242Β Oh, Dear Reader, I have had SO much fun! I hasn’t been the trial I was expecting it to be! I have found a way of working that suits me… ( for now 😊) what I do, is just work directly onto the fabric, so I effectively, cut out the middle man… which of course is the graph paper or computer programe. So I get the best of both worlds, I am ‘making it up as I go’ but I get to sew too!20170417_160926Here’s what I got up to on Thursday… A whole day of work….but gosh, I was happy by the end!IMG_20170420_182031_830And lastly, as my Crafting goes EVERWHERE with me….a little Tea Break in the middle of the day yesterday….Waterstones Cafe!20170421_145501how lucky am I, to have the life I do! Β  Β  Β  Β I’m always grateful!

I hope you’ve had a good week, and managed to do a little Crafting of your own….

Until next time….

Debbie