Thursday, 5 May 2016

One metre of lace = refashion


Yip, that's all it took - only 1 metre of lace.  This t-shirt had an elasticated waist, which, at the time I thought would be great but in practice it kept riding up.  When you are tall with a long torso like me, it's a pain in the derrier to have to keep on pulling your top down.  In the long run it meant that this t-shirt, which I really like, would end up in the charity shop donation bag.

Instead, voila!  It took about half an hour to unpick the elastic, pin on the lace and stitch it down.  It's lengthened the top and revealed a slight A-line shaping which is proving to be flattering on my not-so-slim figure.

Yay for a successfull tweak!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A new WIP

One of the tasks of sorting through Moms effects was sorting her sewing room.  She has / had many projects on the go and I'll show some of these as I unpack the packages that I've shipped from South Africa to Yorkshire - when they eventually arrive.

I have benefited so much in inheriting good scissors, needles, a few finished projects, a completed tapestry that is not mounted, many amazing sewing, patchwork and other craft books and magazines, as well as some unfinished projects.  

Mom had all her wip's and crafty stash sorted into labelled ice cream containers.  Amongst these was one unlabelled ice cream (project) container.  When I opened it I found this assortment of blocks and a small pile of fabrics.  The smallest blocks measure just under 2 inches, the middle sized blocks are 3 1/2 inches, the two big ones measure 6 1/2 inches and those four stripy ones measure 2 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches.   Unfortunately there were no notes to indicate what she had in mind but I will play around with them and hopefully find a layout that would make a pleasing mini wall hanging or maybe 2 placemats.  They're not my colours but they are scrappy and that's good enough for me.

Edit:  I originally posted this on 4th January from my android mobile using the Blogger app.  Well it got stuck while 'saving' and I couldn't get it back no matter what I tried.  It also caused my blog to freeze somehow and only after googling this problem today, and finding some ways that have been put forward to mend the problem, was I able to fix the problem.  Hopefully it won't happen again.


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Packing away the last 2 years


The last two years have been a steep hill to climb.  At best I'm not someone who shares my intimate emotions during the tougher times in my lifes journey but online friends may have noticed that my blog posts became fewer and fewer and then in May 2014 they stopped.

Shortly after my last blog post in May 2014 and without warning, my domestic life underwent a sudden and radical change away from everything familiar into a new-to-me one bedroom flat that needed a whole lot of work.  Supported and assisted morally by my manager at work, the flat went from black bags on windows for privacy, a mattrass topper for a bed, rolled up jacket for pillow and a quilt for bedding to slowly but surely being styled into a home with gifts from well wishers.  It took a while but I 'was allowed' to collect some of my personal possessions and sewing stuff from my former home.  Very importantly Meisie moved with me.

The best gift was a female friend taking the time to teach me to strip old wallpaper and, choose, measure, cut, paste and put up the new wallpaper.

This same friend and I shared breakfast at a popular drive through take away and made copious lists of what I need to get and as finances allowed we went shopping for kettle, toaster, cutlery, crockery, glasses, fridge, washing machine, microwave, vacuum cleaner and cleaning products. 

In many ways the whole process felt like a cleansing but its hard to let go when you're not ready.

Mom, taken 15 Feb 2008
Then in March this year Mom lost her battle with cancer.  She had really fought hard.  Devastatingly neither my sister nor I were able to be with her nor attend her memorial service in South Africa.  I really struggled psychologically with not being able to be there for her especially as this is my day to day job here in England.  Then to add insult to injury we (my sister and I) found that the legal side of Moms passing was not going according to law and realised we had to travel there to find out what was going on.

Enman and Harry, taken July 2011

As I slowly adjusted to not being able to just text or email or phone Mom, Enman  unexpectedly and suddenly passed away at the beginning of September 2015.  Even though we were no longer companions, I was very saddened.  You don't share so many years in someones company without having some good experiences and memories.

At the beginning of this month my sister and I travelled from UK to SA.  It was a 'working' trip and we worked hard at getting through our list of to-do's.   After 18 days of sun filled and warm days during which we methodically played investigators and mediators,  I finished my last chore at 01.30 on my last day in South Africa and flew out a few hours later.  We were able to collect both Dad and Moms ashes and spread them in the Helderberg Nature Reserve  which starts at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains in our old home town.  We were also able to salvage and collect a few precious items and photographs that we have brought back to England with us.

Mom had fostered Rosie (my Rosebud doll) and made her a wardrobe of clothes.

There have been some fantastic highs such as when I got to meet and chat with Kaffe Fassett and Brendan Mably at Festival of Quilts 2015.

In two days time 2015 comes to an end and I very much want to close the gate to this emotional roller coaster ride I've been on and start the new year with a fresh and optimistic view.  No-one knows where 2016 is going to take us but I am confident that it can only get better.

I wish you all an optimistic, healthy, prosperous, creative and loving 2016.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Doing it for DMC


Ever since I can remember, I've enjoyed embroidery.  Not the fancy, perfectly smooth, perfectly placed stitches flecked with silver or gold, no, just plain ordinary stitches that keep the smile on my face and the furrows off my forehead.  

So, when I was catching up on reading enjoyable blogs I found an article Carina had written on &Stitches on DMC in France.  It seems they are compiling a number of letters, all embroidered in DMC 321.   DMC 321 is the red colour thread that is traditionally used in all redwork embroidery.  These embroidered letters will form part of a permanent DMC exhibition that will open at the Textile Museum Parc de Wesserling in Alsace later this year.

I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to do.  It didn't take long to find a monogram pattern on Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread.  However, when I printed it out and measured it, it was too big, as the square of fabric can only be 15cm and the monogram was 16cm.  So I reprinted it at 70% and it measured 10cm = perfect!  

When I was in South Africa in December 2013 I bought a few Frixion pens - in pink, purple, royal blue and red.  They are brilliant for marking quilting lines and drawing off patterns and when you're done, you just hover your steaming iron over them and the ink disappears.  I chose the pink one and drew off the monogram diagram and got stuck in. In total it actually only took a few hours but in reality, I stopped to fiddle and faff in the garden, repotted some plants, made our evening meal, stitched a little more and then set it aside for the night.

 This morning after traipsing around a soggy car boot, we came home to a warm cup of tea which helped to thaw the fingers and, then while watching Crimson Fields on Catch Up, I got it finished.  I'm pretty pleased with it actually.  It's been pressed lightly, and the fabric has been trimmed to a 15cm square as required and it's in an envelope together with my details, ready to be posted off in the morning.  I think it's exciting to be part of something so special and look forward to seeing it in amongst all the other letters.


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