upcycled #13

A selection of miniature pottery shoes was donated to the Red Cross shop a while back and someone thought I might like to turn some of them into pin cushions so I did just that.

playing footsy, sort of

Rather than toss away all those oddly shaped fiddly scraps of felt I’ve been keeping, I free-motion appliqued a load of them into what might become something useful another day. I removed the paper from a piece of Madeira Washaway Avalon Fix and pinned it to some calico, adhesive side up, then added the felt scraps in a very random manner.

I was really testing a new embroidery/free-motion/darning/call-it-what-you-will presser foot. I know, I know, I have several more than enough already of these feet but this one had the largest transparent plate that I had ever come across – approximately 2 cm square! And yes, I did my usual tweak of inhibiting the hopping action (which I cannot abide) and then I modified it further by increasing the viewing area with the addition of a piece of yoghurt carton plastic reckoning that this might allow for even teeny tiny pieces of felt to be stitched without being moved or catching on the foot edge which is often what happens. It was reasonably successful. The smallest piece I measured was less than 0.5 cm long.

Here’s the new foot in its original state, then after the hopping tweak, and lastly with the yoghurt carton addition. 

I didn’t measure the extra plastic before cutting it and it probably doesn’t need to be quite as large as 8 x 7 cm, and if my centre cutout was a smaller round hole (I had used a paper hole-punch), it would be less likely to lift the  points of the smallest pieces when they are not adhered to the ground fabric beforehand. I expect those will be my next tweaks. Honestly, you’d think I had nothing better to do all day.

more advent calendar toys

Three more toys made from the Advent Calendar book.

Advent calendar toys
Advent calendar toys


It’s inevitable that when I’m looking for something particular online I’ll be sidetracked by something completely unrelated. Recently it was penny rugs that caught my attention and although they’re usually made from wool I used acrylic felt as I didn’t have any wool fabric. My circles were hand cut and my alignment of the smaller circles is less than perfect but I’ve told myself that this only adds to their hand-made charm.

This is roughly eight evenings worth of penny making and I’ve a load more ready for stitching. I haven’t decided what I might use them for but I’ll keep making them until I get sidetracked by something else.

acrylic felt pennies

upcycled #13

A peg bag. Or a toy bag for very small toys. Or a bag for smalls.

36cm wide and 16cm deep from the lower edge of the opening.

Red Cross theft

During my weekly visit with the Red Cross upcycling group today, I was handed this teacup which was found on our upcycled shelf on the shop floor:



This is what it should have looked like:


It must have taken some force to separate the pin cushion part from the cup. Why not steal the whole thing? Was it just wanton vandalism or was someone so desperate for a pin cushion (but not a teacup) at that particular moment? Perhaps they thought it was a real cupcake? I’m not often at a loss for words but this mindless act left me speechless. There won’t be a reward posted for its recovery but if you know of its whereabouts you can leave details in a comment (anonomously if necessary).

more mug rugs

I bought a length of black heavyweight fusible interfacing earlier in the year but I haven’t had much success with it fusing to anything. It’s also not what I would call heavyweight. I didn’t get any instructions with it (should have asked, I know), so it’s been trial and error each time I’ve used it. Sometimes steam works, sometimes not. Sometimes the iron needs to be hot, sometimes not. Sometimes I need to keep the iron in one place for a while, sometimes not. Sometimes it bonds to the fabric but mostly it just WON’T BOND AT ALL. You get the picture.

Yesterday I was in the mood to make mug rugs and thought the aforementioned interfacing would be ideal as a padding even if it didn’t bond to the felt I was using but this time it did, using steam. Perhaps it only likes to be associated with felt? Whatever.

4″ square of interfacing bonded to a 5″ square of felt on front and back but only free-machine embellished one side.