penny snake

I’ve made one hundred and twenty four felt pennies so far and stitched over nine thousand five hundred buttonhole stitches in the process. They will now go in a bag to await a decision on their final use.

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.

Advent calendar anyone?

I like easy-to-make Christmas decorations and Sachiyo Ishii’s book Sew Your Own Felt Advent Calendar (by Search Press) seemed to fit the bill. The two pocket toys I’ve made so far were easy enough to make but my oh my, were they fiddly to cut, sew, and stuff, even after I’d increased the pattern pieces by 25%! Personally, I prefer the type of advent calendar where the chocolate er, item for each day, is a hidden surprise but in this calendar it looks as though the toys are intended to be visible right from day one so this particular calendar doesn’t work for me as a countdown to Christmas. However, as I said, I bought the book mainly for the toy patterns but if I did make the calendar itself, I’d increase the overall size of the calendar and pockets and give those a closure of some sort to add the surprise element.

My santa and elf are 4.5 inches tall, 1 inch taller than the book pattern size.

upcycled #9

After a break of several weeks while I visited family in Scotland, I went to the Red Cross craft group yesterday where we spent the morning tidying, measuring lengths of upholstery fabric that had been recently donated, and then organising an area on the shop floor specifically for items that the group makes or upcycles. Together with a doll to make clothes for and fabric to make cushion covers, I came home with a very old unfinished embroidery kit in need of some tlc.

Part of the Penelope needlework range by WM Briggs and Co. Ltd., it’s a collage named Facade and the instructions suggest stitching down the grey and white felt pieces or attaching them with fabric glue. In this instance, glue was used which has left brown patches where the felt is missing. Some of the white felt is also partly stained from glue having seeped through so I’ve decided to replace all the felt and stitch it down.

At first I thought that a few window cills and heads were yet to be added but the kit’s instruction photo clearly shows them just as they’ve been applied. Odd. I’m tempted to add them. The horizontal stitching differences in the lower windows bug me too but those are also as per the instructions. I can’t fathom what the designer was trying to suggest here.

I don’t suppose we’ll ever know who the original embroiderer was or why it was never completed but there’s a frame waiting for it when I’ve done my bit and then it will go on sale.





a little meadow and some legs

I’ve been working on this little 7″ x 5″ meadow for several weeks just doing a few stitches at a time as it’s impossible to do much more when you need to read sub-titles on the television but I think it’s done now. Calico for the ground fabric as usual. I mixed acrylic paints with medium to turn them into fabric paints but I’m not sure what benefit if any was gained by doing so. I think the calico would have taken the colour just as easily without the addition of the medium.


I used this excellent free pattern to make a couple of chicks as a start for lots more to use in a future window display and then had a session of just making legs using various wire gauges and construction methods as practice for a much larger bird I had in mind to make. The big bird is not made from fabric and there’s no stitching involved but it’s not quite finished so all you get today is chicks studying the results of the leg making practice.



tiger tiger 3

He’s finished now and stitched to what I thought was an appropriate background fabric which I never thought I’d find a use for. A suitable mount is yet to be decided upon so he’ll go on a pinboard in the workroom for the time being. Hope he doesn’t scare the inhabitants of a nearby shelf  when they realise he’s staring in their direction!

tiger 3


tiger 4

using a doodle piece

I’m off to visit Big Sis next week and as usual I’ve prepared something to embroider during the lengthy train journey but I can’t find the little triangular needle case I made a few years ago so I had to make a replacement. It’s as basic as can be, using half of a recent free motion embroidery doodle piece for the outside and a layer of felt on which to park the needles. Being fairly bright and colourful it shouldn’t easily get lost.

red needle case 1