I’ve spent the past eight days in idleness and it’s been lovely. I haven’t done anything craft related whatsoever and I haven’t felt guilty at all. Shortly before mid-day however, after completing the umpteenth online jigsaw of the morning, I decided it was worth suffering jigsaw cold turkey and get back to sewing again. By this afternoon a small landscape idea was beginning to take shape for which the first step was to paint a semblance of land and sky onto the calico with watercolours. Setting the colours by ironing can wait ’til tomorrow, by which time I may have thought of something better to sew!


Sunday stitches

The tissue holders are now made and I prefer the one with the children on it. I used sew-in interfacing on the blue fabric and lined it with quilting cotton which has given it a little more substance than the birdy one. The birdy version was lined with more of the outer fabric and is much softer. The pouch itself seems a little baggy but if I’d made it any smaller it might have been difficult to put the tissues into it. Because I hadn’t measured exactly where to place the children (duh!), they didn’t match up equally to the edge when folded in so I made that one as an open pouch but I think it’s much better and it shows off the lining nicely.




The floral panel was made to liven up the front of an otherwise extremely boring lightweight canvas shopper. I ironed freezer paper onto polycotton fabric then cut them to A4 size before printing the design in greyscale. I stitched it to a larger piece of identical fabric so that there would always be fabric in the hoop as I moved it around when free-motion embroidering. Trimmed to size when finished and edged with some satin ribbon. Something to do on a wet and windy Easter Sunday!


educated in an afternoon

Quilt, the first,

and the following is how I imagine a quilting teacher would report on my efforts:

“This is considered a beginner’s project and should have been well within Crunchnrustle’s capabilities. She has spent many hours researching quilting via YouTube videos, books, blogs, and magazines, so she knew what skills and equipment would be required. She was also aware that she did not have a stash of standard quilting fabrics but went ahead anyway. The use of different fabric weights and textures has contributed to the skewing of the quilt. C only used a long narrow metal ruler as a cutting aid which she says was difficult to hold still against the rotary cutter and claims that this must be why the books are curving out of shape and why the shelf appears to be warped but this may just be an excuse for inaccurate measurement and a desire to make the quilt in one afternoon.


C had also recently discovered a quilting blog which provided demonstrations of hundreds of quilt stitches but she did not bother to practice any of them at any time, as is evidenced by the lack of consistency in the background quilting pattern size. The only redeeming feature of the whole quilt is the hand and machine embroidery on three of the book spines.
I suggest that if C intends to undertake any further quilting projects, she practices some basic stitches on a regular basis and builds a stash of fat quarters as well as purchasing a quilting ruler. I am undecided as to whether this quilt deserves a pass mark.”


I am as ever, undeterred.  I have even added quilting as a category in my blog so I guess that sub-consciously I intend to begin another quilting project, but not today – a crochet hook, wool, and a new pattern are tempting me. This first quilt will remain on view to remind me that it is not possible to become a master craftsman without first being an apprentice. Still, you gorra have a go, dontcha?  And I did learn a lot. Loads in fact, none of which will go to waste. Do you quilt? Was your first effort a success? Do tell.

Leah Day’s blog supplied all the little videos on the stitches I have spent hours just watching, fascinated by her talent. If you want to do the bookshelf quilt project yourself, the instructions can be found at Don’t Call Me Betsy.

what is your ultimate craft?

I’ve been thinking about the ultimate craft. You know the one. It’s the craft that you do to the exclusion of all others. The craft that takes up all your spare time (and cash). The one that gives you withdrawal symptoms if you can’t get to it for a couple of days. The one that you become really proficient at (or not). The one that makes you ooh and aah over new supplies or alternative techniques. The one that constantly has you on the lookout for new projects for it. The one that leaves you gasping in disbelief when you hear someone remark that they can’t stand that craft. The one that helps you relax and forget the worries and stress of everyday life.
I’m still subconsciously searching for my own ultimate craft. I’ve tried many crafts during my lifetime and with each one I thought I might have found the craft for me but I always moved on to something else. Going back to any craft after an extended absence has not made me think it could now be the all-encompassing one although it was often lovely to visit again and again. I’ve amassed lots of skills during my search, skills that have given me confidence to try different unrelated things and which have enabled me to occasionally help others to have a go at something. The search has been a life-long pleasure even if I haven’t yet found the ultimate craft for me. Maybe I’ll never find it. Perhaps for me it doesn’t exist. Does it matter? Probably not, but I won’t give up looking. Who knows what I may find along the way? Have you found yours? Do you even think we each need an ultimate craft? Do tell.

the craft photographs

Today’s photographs are of some jewellery that I made at the tail-end of last year. All the pieces apart from the pink floral earrings are made from polymer clay. The poppies were test pieces for the first commission I ever accepted last year. I have loads more bits of jewellery that I’ve made but today I couldn’t be bothered to dig it out of the trunk where I keep a lot of my craft bits and pieces.

One of the reasons for buying a better camera was to take photographs of the jewellery I make and I don’t think these photographs turned out too badly considering that I didn’t use any additional lighting, flash or lightbox. The image sizes do however, show up all the flaws of both my photographic as well as my crafting skills! At some point I intend to make a lightbox and I have some white fabric in my fabric supply bag that might be ideal but am currently lacking a suitable box. Once it’s made I suppose I’ll have to sneakily buy some lamps but I’d never get away with saying “What, these lamps? We’ve had these for aaaages!”