Thursday, 8 May 2014

I'm Moving!

I've really enjoyed writing Crafty Blueberry and it's done it's bit to help me keep going through some trying times.  Recording the things that make me happy has given me great pleasure as it's given me the chance to see how many good things I have in my life whatever else may be going on.  'Count your blessings' may sound clich├ęd but I've found out to my delight that it really does work.

I've decided that it's now time for a fresh start.  When I started Crafty Blueberry I was obsessed with crafting and nothing else.  Since then I've developed other interests (as well as still being obsessed with crafting!) and whilst there's nothing really stopping me from writing about them here I feel it's time to create something new.  That's why I've started a new blog to replace this one, called Destination: Nutshell.  I want to include everything in a nutshell, so I've transferred all my posts over from Crafty Blueberry and from a blog I'd started about creative writing.

I hope you'll follow me over and enjoy my new blog.  Whether you do or not thanks for following me and for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

You can find my new blog here.

See you over at Destination: Nutshell!

Laura x

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Treasure Sense tingling...

After work today I went to a nearby charity shop knowing, just knowing, I'd find treasure.  You know that feeling you get when you're a keen charity shopper and your Treasure Sense is tingling?  You know you're going to find The Thing.  I had that feeling as I headed the the shop, which is usually packed with cheap stuff (clothes £1.49, CDs 20p, books 10p) ready to rummage until I found The Thing...

...and I didn't find it!

You can't win them all; at least I'm saved from bankrupting myself in a binge of 10p books and assorted bric-a-brac for one more day.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A challenge, a bodging

Several weeks ago Mr CB found a beautiful cashmere/wool mix coat in a charity shop.  It's lining was shredded but at £6.99 it was too good to leave behind.  Since loosing lots of weight since having to give up gluten he's been in serious need of a new coat and this one fits beautifully.

But oh, that lining:

The cost to have it re-lined is beyond our means so I decided to try and reline the bottom part (the only really damaged bit) myself.  Actually under the arms need reinforcing but that should be simple enough to do with some cotton tape.  I bought a meter of lining fabric for about £2 then unpicked the lover half of the lining and used it to cut out a replacement from the new fabric.  

There have been several unexpected hurdles so far.  Firstly, lining fabric is one of the slipperiest materials in the known world and working with it has been a challenging experience;  I've done a lot of pinning and readjusting.  Secondly I failed to notice that the inside of the coat has a wider hem on one side than the other.  I cut both sides the same then pinned them in place and realised my mistake, so I had to unpick one half and re-sew the hems all around to try to eak out more fabric and make it fit.

Now I'm here:

I've sewn the two halves together and pinned them in place.  Hurdle number three has just loomed up in front of me tonight though.  I got Mr CB to try the coat on and I could see that the lining was pulling the hem of the coat upwards, making it bunch up.  I've unpinned the lower half of it and am going to have a hot bath to ponder my next bit of bodging.  It's been a funny stop/start process so far, with me making progress, hitting an obstacle, walking away until I get my head around it then coming back and making a little more progress.  I'm determined to finish though, it will be held together by thread, determination and bodging.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Cushions and scones

 I ordered a bundle of fat quarters from Sew Crafty earlier this week and today I've been using them to make cushion covers.  I love this sweet shop fabric, I matched it with red polka dot fabric on the back (not shown as I quickly snapped the photos and forgot).  The cover is 16 inches square which I made deliberately smaller than the cushion pad to make it squishy and full, following a tip from a good sewing friend.

I've seen this sewing tape fabric around in a few places and have had my eye on it.  The back is creamy yellow.  Both cushions have envelope backs rather than zippers or buttons. 

I got part way through making a third cushion but my machine suddenly decided not to play and the stitches went uneven and messy.  I was tired by then so after unpicking, changing the needle and fiddling around with the tension to no avail I put it all away and made scones instead (lovely gluten free ones based on this one but with chopped up crystalised ginger).  

If in doubt, make scones.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Mug cosies and an apron

At long last here are photos of what I've been making lately, beginning with mug cosies; lots of mug cosies!

The top three are on sale in my Etsy shop (Crafty Blueberry Shop) and the bottom two were for a work colleague.  They were such fun to make because it was an opportunity to play with colour combinations I've never tried before.  I'm planning on using the colours from the top two to crochet blankets when I've finished the rainbow one I'm working on at the moment.

I've also been stitching on my new sewing machine (which I adore and which is such a great little machine that it deserves a post of it's own).  I found some cotton fabric that was begging to be made into a jaunty apron.  It's neck strap and ties are made of thick satin ribbon, because why not add a touch of sexy satin to an apron?  Hey, pinny's could be the new pin up wear.

I'm still working on sewing straight lines but had great fun making this.  I can't remember where I got the pattern from as I've had it for awhile, but it was a free one I found by searching for free apron patterns on Google.  Other than that I've been sewing a quilt top which I'll try to get some photos off this week, and I'm replacing part of the lining of a coat for Mr Crafty Blueberry.  This is a scary undertaking but I'll be chuffed to bits if I succeed.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Upcycled patchwork

Here's what's been keeping me good for the past few weeks; old shirts!  Inspired by Frugal Queen's tutorial on using old shirts for quilt making (you can find it here).  I've used some of Mr CB's old shirts that are too big for him and bought some at 3 for £1.49 in a charity shop bargin bin.  I've bought several others two, all for under £2 each.  All are in good condition and either cotton or good quality poly cotton.  I also got a like new cream coloured sheet for the background colour for £1.50. It's amazing how much fabric is in a men's shirt.  These are some of my unpicked shirts, tied into bundles and ready to be ironed and chopped up.

I've got an old sewing machine but it doesn't work very well so I'm using the English Paper Piecing method and making lots of  1 1/4 inch hexagons on paper templates...

...sewing them together into flower motifs...

...and joining them to make the quilt top...

It will take awhile to make as I'm doing it all by hand but I'm really enjoying it and in the mean time I can be on the look out for a duvet cover in good condition to use as a backing for the quilt.  The only new material I'll need will be batting for the middle layer of the quilt so that will be the only expensive bit.  Hours of thrifty fun!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Proud little doorstop

I've got really bad at thinking what to write; knowing what I want to 'show and tell' is one thing, writing about it in a way that makes sense is quite another!  Therefore, without further ado, here's my latest make.  It's a doorstop to replace the crappy little knitted one I made when we first moved in.

I cut out six 15cm x 15cm squares, sewed them into a cube template...

...then into a cube.  I made a handle, attached it, stuffed the new doorstop with the old doorstop and some stuffing and fabric bits then sewed it closed.  The fabric was an upholstery remnant that I've had for years so I was pleased to use some of it up.

Lot's of people say "Oh I could never make anything, I'm too stupid", but most people do far more complicated things many times every day.  Can you really say you're too stupid to join two pieces of fabric together, yet you can drive a car, hold down a job,raise a family, use a computer and lots of other mind boggling tasks?!  We're all capable of making things as soon as we take the pressure off for it to be perfect and just enjoy making something instead of relying on a stranger in a factory somewhere to make it and for a big company to sell it to us.  So my new year challenge is:

Just give it a go!