just in

About twenty minutes ago, I heard our letterbox flap lift and went to retrieve our Sunday newspapers only to find that they were still in the process of being stuffed through the gap. When I opened the door, the delivery man pointed out the egg on our doormat and said he’d been met by a flurry of noisy pigeon wings as he turned the corner to our flat. It’s been a few years since we’ve had an egg laid on our doormat and I thought that in the absence of feathers and twigs in over a year that they’d found a better place to roost. Silly me. The information that our doormat is reasonably secluded and therefore safe from predators other than the human variety, is obviously shared (by pigeon post?) amongst the birds in the neighbourhood.  The delivery man told me quite sincerely that to have an egg laid on our mat today of all days was a gift from God and therefore lucky but I’d prefer a milk chocolate version any day.


small gifts

Now that my friend M’s birthday has come and gone, I can show the little needlebook that I made for her. I used two layers thick craft felt for the front cover and  a single layer for the middle ‘page’. The inner layer of the back cover was reduced in size to make a pocket for storing a needle gripper.  M’s birthday card was also handmade, using the September flower for decoration.



5 pots for Christmas

Now that the Christmas pots have been distributed, I can show them here. I’m pleased to say that they were each well received. The little orange and red pot was taken to ‘show and tell’ at the Janome owners monthly meeting I went to last week and I was arm-wrestled into agreeing to show how the pots are made at a future meeting. Yikes!






one I made earlier

This pot was made as a Christmas gift a few weeks ago but as I’ve made more pots since then and my technique has improved (I think!), when I was about to wrap this one I decided that the lid didn’t quite fit well enough to give as a gift so I’m keeping this one for myself, and the original intended recipient will get something else. It’s impossible to get the lids to fit perfectly in a coil pot since they are made in a spiral and tapering the end to blend in smoothly is difficult. The weight of the fabric and the kind of rope used both make a difference too. Maybe I ought to be looking at old-fashioned coiled straw bee hives for finishing hints. I’m having fun making these pots and bought a load more rope yesterday on the way home from seeing Paddington at our local cinema so I expect to make several more before the end of the year. I can thoroughly recommend Paddington by the way, it had JP and I laughing out loud and the animation is the best yet. Well worth going out for on a dismal chilly December day!


lavender sachet

I wanted to make a lavender-filled sachet as a small gift for a friend but didn’t want to just do a plain old square or rectangular shaped one. (Why would I do something the easy way when I can complicate it instead?!) After discarding two sachets made from an internet pattern which made aligning and positioning the bird embroidery a problem, I devised a pattern of my own. I’d love to be able to tell you that this little pyramid smells wonderful but as this was a prototype for my pattern, it’s currently filled only with rice. (I actually don’t have any lavender but it’s now on my ‘to buy’ list for my next retail therapy day which happens to be tomorrow.) The cord is about twenty thicknesses of the same thread used for the free-motion embroidery and construction, crocheted into a length of simple chain. I can think of all sorts of embroidery ideas for these so there might be a few more on the horizon.




teapots anyone?

The main gift that I mentioned in my last post but couldn’t reveal, was a tea cosy for Ms P who had specifically asked for one for Christmas. A tea cosy? Was that it? All she wanted was a tea cosy? All right then, a tea cosy Ms P would have. A tea cosy to beat all other tea cosies. An olympic standard tea cosy. One that fellow tea drinkers would gasp over. One that would actually be too good for covering a teapot. And then reality hit.


I had never made a tea cosy before. It would need to have several layers, probably quilted. I’m not much of a quilter. I could appliqué ‘something’ to the surface or embellish it in some way, but with what?  I mulled over a few ideas during the next few days and plumped for teapots which seemed appropriate, and then included tea cups. I made the templates and over the next week and a bit, free-motion embroidered a stack of pots and cups, each with a different design on different fabric. After I’d made what seemed like hundreds of fabric pots and cups, the actual teapot was delivered for sizing and I then had to re-think the initial design layout. I had wanted to do a circular arrangement but that didn’t fit the final cosy size so I settled for the arrangement you see below. With several pots and cups left over, I made an adjustable apron with a teapot on the pocket that matches the colour of the apron facings. I did make two pockets and can’t now remember why I only attached one to the apron but neither did I take any photos of the finished apron, so you’ll have to settle for one of the unfinished spare pocket and some of the crockery.


The tea cosy certainly doesn’t beat all others, nor was it made to any olympic standard and the only gasps to be heard would probably be in advance of some severe tittering, but it is quilted, lined, and I had fun making it, and Ms P said she was delighted with it so that’s all that matters. I don’t know what it’s being used for so far though, because the teapot’s still here….