upcycled #7

Sewing related items for the Red Cross this time.

A wingless hen pin cushion made from quilting fabric and felt scraps. Stuffed with polyester toy filling and two small beads added for eyes.


Needle books made from two layers of fabric scraps, simply stitched around the edges to secure and then trimmed with pinking shears to avoid fraying.

Needle books with acrylic felt pages.


A small cutting board was homeless until I made this sewing accessories folder from a table runner remains and a scrap of dressmaking fabric. A simple button and hair elastic made the closure.

Sewing accessories folder interior. The large zipped and lined floral pouch is stitched to the folder along the bottom and another button closure keeps it secure when the folder is closed. Underneath the pouch is another pocket (not visible in image) which can hold a rotary cutter. The small square at the front is a needle book, also permanently attached to the folder.

upcycled #6

This post shows more bags I’ve recently made for the Red Cross upcycling group.


A drawstring craft bag – made from furnishing fabric and other remnants. The drawstrings are a pair of shoelaces.


drawstring craft bag interior pockets


Japanese Oshin bag – made from quilting cotton remnant and a table napkin. The drawstrings were formerly the handles of a retail store’s carrier bag.


Lined tote bag from an old duvet cover. Hearts from various fabrics, fused to the bag and then free-motion stitched to secure.


Originally intended to end up as a clothes peg bag, the addition of the gusset made this bag suitable for storing small toys or even pyjamas. It hangs from an internal child’s clothes hanger and the opening is reinforced with a length of strimmer line. Approximately 15″ x 15″ (40 cm x 40 cm).


A multi-pocket craft bag from corduroy remnant and an old pillow case. The handles are lengths of wooden dowelling. The handles are secure but easily removed.

multi-pocket bag interior


upcycled #5

Still here and still making things for the Cheltenham British Red Cross shop to the exclusion of anything else. Today we filled the shop window with almost everything the craft group has made so far. During the past week I had made doll’s bedding for a wicker crib and a wooden cot and a few people seemed interested in them almost as soon as they went on display so fingers are crossed that they’ll come back and buy. Little Ted, kindly modelling the bed set below, was relieved not to be included in the window display.

The bed linen was upcycled from curtains, old pillow cases, a shirt, and a scrap of quilted fabric. The padding was a remnant of high loft polyester quilt batting donated a few weeks ago.




magnifier cover

I am unable to embroider the Victorian Street crewel work piece whilst seated on the sofa because the frame is wide and it’s just awkward to turn it over in a restricted space, but I wanted something to stitch in the evening so I made a cover for a magnifier I recently acquired. Two of the pieces from Sachiko Morimoto’s book Stumpwork Flowers embroidered way back in March/April 2014 were used for the outer cover and the lining is a synthetic batting which should protect the glass well. One flower on the cover is watercress and the other is viola.  This evening I might add some fancy stitching along the seam as I think it looks a bit plain. I only ever framed one of the completed flowers from the book and the rest have been in a cupboard since. Three down, fifteen to go. Any ideas on what to do with them?

needlepoint sampler #2

Yesterday I finished the needlepoint sampler, added a fabric border and attached it to the footstool. Taa Daa! I’m not sure how well it might wear but it adds a nice splash of colour to an otherwise plain carpeted floor. I deliberately aimed for a different stitch in each of the forty areas but as I was typing the stitch list I noticed that I’d used Tent stitch in two sections. Too late now to unpick one of them but I won’t lose any sleep over it. I quite enjoyed doing this but it might be a while before I attempt any of the projects in the charity shop book that got me started on this in the first instance. Stitches used are listed below with the name that was given in the source I found it in but you may know some stitches by other names. If you spot any glaring errors between what stitch I claim to have used and what I actually stitched, please let me know!


box of birds 3rd panel

Panel number three is the pied wagtail, balancing on a fence post.

The fence: lollipop sticks cut to size with a craft knife and coloured with wax crayons. Posts connected with craft wire. The fence is held in place with a few stitches and a spot or two of fabric glue at the base of the posts.

The purple flowers/grapes: see yesterday’s post.

Tendrils: thread dipped in fabric stiffener solution then wrapped around a wire. Uncoiled when dry and stab stitched to fabric.

Grasses: Chopped up scraps of free-machine embroidery from a few years ago.


box of birds flowers

This past week I’ve been working on the background for the pied wagtail but it’s not quite finished so you’ll have to wait a day or two for the main reveal. The image shows little triangles of colonial knots with a few french knots in between, stitched onto water-soluble interfacing. I tried colonial knots a long time ago but couldn’t easily convert from right to left-handed instructions so gave up on them until The Left Handed Embroiderer’s Companion by Yvette Stanton made me think again and with my hoop clamped and both hands free, I find they’re not difficult at all and I’m now a fan. I can’t make up my mind whether these triangles are less like wisteria (my original intention) than bunches of grapes but I don’t think the wagtail will mind either.