Didn’t think I was going to make it, but just in time for Easter 12 patchwork eggs!

I saw the pattern for these eggs in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine issue 19, and knew I had fabric which would be perfect for making them.  The only problem I had was whether I would get them finished in time for Easter with it being only a week away! Luckily I had a little bit of help (thank you mum!!) with the  snipping of the eggs along the inside seams once they were sewn together and I have just got them finished this evening – with plenty of time to spare!

   

They are perfect for using up any small bits of fabric – which I seem to have a ridiculous amount of, so I had more than enough to make a set of 12! They were also really simple to do and much quicker to make than I thought they would be! Very happy, I can’t wait until Easter! 

   

The houses have been built and the doors are on, it’s finally starting to all come together!

I managed to get some time today to add my house detail onto my patchwork quilt background which I started last weekend.  As mentioned in its previous post the idea for this quilt came from All People Quilt Magazine http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/quilt-patterns/wall-quilts/home-last?page=0%2C2 by Jaybird Quilts http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/2011/11/home-at-last.html?m=1.  For these houses I chose to use the same colours that I had used for the background patchwork as I felt out of the fabrics I had to use these looked the best.  It took me a little while to cut out all 36 houses, roofs and doors but I got there eventually! 

I sewed these onto the patchwork background using a large zig zag stitch, I didn’t want to use a smaller stitch as I wanted the stitch to stand out and provide extra detail.  I couldn’t decide on what colour thread to use so in the end I used a different colour for each row! Next I sewed on the doors using a slightly smaller zig zag as the door were much smaller in size and anything to big wouldn’t have worked.
   

 

After a mammoth session of finishing off all the loose ends I have finally got the front part of the patchwork quilt finished.  Now I just need to find a nice piece of fabric for the back and the edge binding and some wadding, then I can get busy quilting the front and back pieces together.  

After two days of busily crafting this weekend my marathon has come to an end and I saved the biggest until last! 

After the successes of finishing my cross stitch owl cushion and getting started in a new patchwork quilt I decided to tackle s big unfinished project on my to do list, a Lego brick blanket.  I knew the Lego blanket make was going to be a big task but I think I underestimated at the time how much work it was going to take to make just one blanket let alone the 4 I am wanting to do! I had made about half of the bricks I needed to complete the first blanket so set myself the task of finishing the bricks I needed and to get them all sewn together.  It was quite a task to do but after a long time (and with aching hands!) I got all the bricks I needed finished. 

  

I made 23 bricks in total (eleven 1 dot, seven 2dots, three 4 dots and two 6 dots) this is fewer than the pattern (http://www.redheart.com/files/patterns/pdf/LW4395_corr.pdf) and I put them together in a different order to the pattern also. I chose to do this differently as I wanted to make smaller blankets than those in the pattern and wanted to do my own layout with the bricks.  
It took me a little time to decide on the best layout of the bricks but I finally got there! I joined them using black wool as I think it makes the bricks stand out the best, and then attached the brick dots – which took quite a while!  After I had finished all those I worked on the border for the blanket, I did this slightly different to the pattern and just did rounds of dc stitches in 5 colours one in the black which was the same as the joining wool to provide a strong edge colour, then yellow, blue, red and dark blue, which I had used for the bricks. The final size turned out to be 28 x 29 inches. 
   

 

I am so impressed with how well this make has come out! I knew from the picture in the pattern it would look good but it is even better when you see it up close! The recipient is going to be very happy with this! I am very happy to get this one made and off my list, however, I still have another three to make! I think I will be busy with these Lego bricks for a while, not that I am complaining – I love Lego! 

Carrying on with my crafting marathon weekend but running out of time and sewing out of my comfort zone!

As I have so many quilt makes on my list this year I was slightly worried that if I did them all by hand using the paper piercing method that I have always used I wouldn’t get them all finished in time.  I have also wanted to try making a quilt from scratch using a machine, so I thought this would be the answer the my extensive quilting list – to attempt doing some of them with my machine.  I will keep doing the more complex patterns of stars and hexagons that I will be doing by hand but the more simple square patterns I am doing I will try and do by machine.  

 

This first quilt I have started on is based on a quilt I saw on All People Quilt magazine by Jaybird Quilts for a square background quilt with appliqué houses and heart detail, http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/quilt-patterns/wall-quilts/home-last?page=0%2C2, http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/2011/11/home-at-last.html?m=1 this is perfect for its Christmas recipient who only recently moved into a new house! I decided to a basic 6×6 square area background with each square being 5×5 inches in size.  I cut out all of the fabric into 5×5 inch squares and laid them all out into the pattern I wanted – this took quite a while to get the result I was wanting but I got there eventually! 
  

 

Next I sewed together each square in a row, then sewed each of the 6 square rows together so that I had my patchwork quilt front layer completed. I was really surprised how easily It came together – I expected it to be much harder than it was.  The fact it was not as difficult as I had expected is great news for the other quilts I need to do for Christmas as I now should get them all finished I time! The only downside to this method is finishing off all the loose ends! 
  
My next job is to appliqué on the house and heart shapes, unfortunately I have run out of time this weekend on this project to do this,  so it will be going into the work in progress pile! So although I have not got it all finished this weekend, I am very happy to have got started on it and have got quite a big part of it finished.   Hopefully it won’t take me too long to finish the rest of it ready for quilting! 

Starting off a marathon session of crafting this weekend with a swoop and a hoot! 

My list of craft projects is getting a bit out of hand and I have been waiting for a chance to catch up on them and get a few crossed off.  The chance has come this weekend and I am going to make the most of it and try and crack on with some projects! I was excited to get started and decided to start on finishing off a cross stitch project I had almost finished – a cross stitch owl in started a few months ago from 365 cross stitch designs volume 2. 

Once I had finished the cross stitching and got the back stitching finished it was time to make it into a cushion, I chose to make a flap back cushion and used Laura Ashley Gosford plum fabric. I really like using Laura Ashley fabrics as  it is nice and thick, making if perfect for cushions as it gives them good structure and is also hard wearing – if you have made something you want it to last for a while! 
   

 

Also to increase the strength of the back of the pillow for each of the flaps I double over the fabric rather than making a hem along the top of each edge. These two flap prices are then laid over the cross stitch fabric right sides together – ensuring there is an over lap so that it will hold the cushion pad in.  Next sew around the edge of the cushion, this secures the two flap pieces to the cross stitch picture. 
One the two back flaps were sewn on, I turned the cushion right way around and sewed a line in a purple thread an inch from the edge of the cushion. I chose a dark purple as I wanted it to stand out and it was similar to the purple used in the cushion. 
   

 Very happy to get this one finished from my list it has been on it for a long time and I’m even happier with how good it looks!  I have had a space ready for it to go for a while and it looks perfect! I can’t believe how good the owl looks, it stands out so well from the background it almost looks three dimensional!    

  
Let’s see how many more finished projects I can get done in the next few days – the clock is ticking! 

A bright sunny day and summer is approaching a perfect day for making some juicy crochet strawberries!

No play food set can be complete without some yummy strawberries! I chose to make three different sizes and they came together in no time at all. I know these will be a big hit as they are one of the recipients favourite fruits.  
I have a few more ideas of some play food items to make, but I don’t think I will get them all made – there are just so many! 
   

 

Pattern for the strawberries 


4mm hook
Red and green wool

Medium;
In red make a magic ring, ch1
Round 1: 4dc into ring 
Round 2: *2dc into same stitch dc, repeat from * once more 
Round 3: *2dc into same stitch dc, repeat from * twice more 
Round 4-5: dc around 
Round 6: *2dc into same stitch dc, repeat from *three more times, dc
Round 7-8: dc around 
Round 9: *2dc into same stitch dc, repeat from *five more times, dc
Round 10: dc around 
Round 11: *dc2tog dc, repeat from * five more times, dc
Put in stuffing 
Round 12: *dc2tog dc, repeat from *three more times, dc
Round 13: dc2tog four times, dc
Fasten off 

Stem
Make a magic ring, ch1
Round 1: 4dc into ring 
Round 2-3: dc around
Round 4: dc htr trb htr dc into same dc, repeat around (4times) 

Fasten off, leaving long tail to attach to tomato.

Large:
In red make a magic ring, ch1
Round 1: 5dc into ring 
Round 2: dc around 
Round 3: 2dc into same stitch dc repeat three times
Round 4: dc around 
Round 5: * 2dc into same stitch dc, repeat from *3 more times, dc
Round 6: *2dc into same stitch 2dc, repeat from *3 more times, dc
Round 7: *2dc into same stitch 2dc, repeat from *4 more times, 2dc
Round 8-11: dc around
Round 9: *dc2tog 2dc, repeat from * 4 more times, dc2tog
Round 10: dc around 
Put in stuffing
Round 11: *dc2tog dc, repeat from * 4 more times, dc
Round 12: *dc2tog dc, repeat from *2more times, dc2tog 
Fasten off 
Stem 
In green:
Make a magic ring, ch1
Round 1: 4dc into ring 
Round 2-4: dc around 
Round 5: dc htr trb dtrb trb htr dc into same dc, repeat around (4 times)

Fasten off, leaving long tail to attach to tomato.
Small;
In red make a magic ring, ch1
Round 1: 5dc into ring 
Round 2: dc around 
Round 3: 2dc into same stitch dc repeat two times, 2dc into same stitch 
Round 4: dc around 
Round 5: * 2dc into same stitch dc, repeat from *3 more times
Round 6: *2dc into same stitch 2dc, repeat from *3 more times
Round 7: *2dc into same stitch 2dc, repeat from *4 more times, dc
Round 8: dc around
Round 9: *dc2tog 2dc, repeat from *four more times, dc
Put in stuffing
Round 10: *dc2tog dc, repeat from *four more times, dc
Round 11: *dc2tog dc, repeat from *2 more times, dc2tog 
Round 12: dc2tog three times 
Fasten off 

Stem
Make a magic ring, ch1
Round 1: 4dc into ring 
Round 2-3: dc around
Round 4: dc htr trb htr dc into same dc, repeat around (4times) 
Fasten off, leaving long tail to attach to tomato.






From the year of the coasters and cushions to the year of the quilts!

know it’s only been a few months since Christmas but I have so many makes I do for Christmas I have to start planning early!  I have been thinking about what to focus on this year as last year I seemed to focus on sets of crochet coasters and cross stitch cushions for people – I lost count of how many I ended up making!  While thinking about this over the last few months I have seen some really nice quilts both online and in magazines that have given me a lot of ideas to make some quilts, so many ideas in fact I have decided that most people’s made present this year will be some form of quilt! 

As a result this year will now be known as the year of the quilt for me! I am still finishing off a quilt for myself and would like to get most of it ready before starting any more but I can still plan out what I will be making for these gifts so I can start getting the fabric and other bits I need together – I already have quite a bit of fabric in my stash which I can use.  I am really looking forward to doing these quilts as they are going to be a bit different to what I have made previously.  
Now it’s time to get cracking and finish my own quilt off before I get distracted doing all these new ones!!

New big project and an even bigger adventure into the unknown

I’ve been crocheting for a year and a half now, I’m really surprised with how I’ve managed to pick it up and with the things I have made – I never thought I would be able to do these things when I started! I have made everything from soft toys to scarfs to hats, but as yet have not made any clothes, until now! I saw a pattern in simply crochet magazine issue 22 for a bobble jumper and knew I had to make it!
It’s been on my list of things to make for a while now as I have been busy making other things and have been putting off making it as I am slightly nervous at starting it having not made clothing before, and I have not had a chance to find a colour I liked to do it in.  The excuse of not having any wool to start it however has now gone as I was in Hobbycraft and saw this wool by the Women’s Institute (soft and cuddly double knit, shade 705.70505, pink fleck) and loved it so bought it.
I am now ready to tackle it! The jumper is made with the yarn doubled throughout and the bobbles are made using popcorn stitch both of which are techniques that I have used previously so I am happy with that, and I have managed to complete all the other things I have attempted – even if here have been a few mishaps I have managed to sort them out and finish it! so if I can do that there should be no problem in doing this……hopefully! I have not got too much completed so far but it has been going well so fingers crossed it carries on this way!! I can’t wait until I have finished it so I can wear it! 

Cracking up a crochet goldfish 

I know a little one who absolutely adores goldfish crackers – I am an big fan of them too and had the idea to make a crochet goldfish cracker, but rather than just a stuffed toy I decided to make a goldfish cracker that would hold smaller goldfish crackers, perfect for a little one to play with and put them in and out of!

It has taken me quite a while to get the pattern together for this, and I have restarted more times than I would like to remember but I think I have finally cracked it! Instead of just using a dc stitch to make it, I decided (just to make it even more complicated) to use a spike stitch which I had seen in simply crochet issue 27.  This stitch would add a bit more texture to the goldfish rather than just a dc stitch. To do this stitch you do a dc stitch into the next stitch on the current row, then you do a dc stitch into the next stitch but not on the current row but on the previous row. The stitch was really easy to get the hang of, the hard part was where I was increasing and decreasing the rounds, but I think I have managed to get it all to work.  
I made 5 smaller goldfish to fit into the bigger one, any more would be a bit of a tight squeeze, but you could make as many as you wanted.  
Very happy with this one, I’m off to eat some crackers! 

Goldfish toy pattern 

Big fish
Make a magic ring, ch1
Round 1: 11dc into ring 
Round 2: 2dc into same stitch, 4dc, 2dc into same stitch, 4dc, 2dc into same stitch 
Round 3: 6dc, 2dc same stitch, 6dc, 2dc into same stitch 
Round 4: spike stitch (dc into next dc on the current row, then dc into next dc in the previous row below) 7 times, 2dc into same stitch
Round 5: spike stitch 4 times, dc then start spike stitch in same dc and complete 4 spike stitches, dc
Round 6: start spike stitch in the same dc as the final dc on previous row and complete 5 spike stitches. Complete one spike stitch into same dc (one stitch in dc and the next in the dc directly below , rather than in the next dc along as in a normal spike stitch), spike stitch 4 times 
Round 7: start in the dc stitch ending the previous round, and complete 10 spike stitches, dc
Round 8: complete one spike stitch into same dc, complete 5 spike stitches, dc then starting in this same dc stitch complete 5 spike stitches
Round 9: start in the dc stitch ending the previous round complete 7 spike stitches, complete one spike stitch in same dc, 4 spike stitches, dc
Round 10: start in dc stitch ending the previous round, complete 6 spike stitches, dc then starting in this same dc stitch complete 7 spike stitches 
Round 11: start in dc stitch ending the previous round, complete 7 spike stitches, then complete one spike stitch into same dc, 6 spike stitches, dc
Round 12: Start in dc stitch ending the previous round, 15 spike stitches, dc
Round 13: 15 spike stitches, dc
Round 14: 15 spike stitches
Round 15: start in dc stitch ending the previous round, 9 spike stitches, dc, the starting in same stitch as previous dc complete 7 spike stitches
Round 16: 11 spike stitches, then complete a spike stitch with the first dc consisting of a dc2tog, 6 spike stitches 
Round 17: 17 spike stitches 
Round 18: 16 spike stitches 
Round 19: 17 spike stitches 
Round 20: 16 spike stitches 
Round 21: 17 spike stitches 
Round 22: 16 spike stitches 
Round 23: 17 spike stitches 
Round 24: 16 spike stitches 
Round 25: dc2tog, 9 spike stitches, dc2tog, 8 spike stitches, dc2tog 
Round 26: complete the second half of a spike stitch only (dc into dc a row below), 6 spike stitches, complete a spike stitch with the first dc consisting of a dc2tog, 6 spike stitches, dc2tog
Round 26: 7 spike stitches, dc2tog, 6 spike stitches
Round 27: complete a spike stitch with the first dc consisting of a dc2tog, 5 spike stitches, complete a spike stitch with the first dc consisting of a dc2tog, 5 spike stitches
Round 28: dc2tog, 5 spike stitches, dc2tog, 5 spike stitches
Round 29: complete a spike stitch with the first dc consisting of a dc2tog, 4 spike stitches, complete a spike stitch with the first dc consisting of a dc2tog, 5 spike stitches
Round 30: 10 spike stitches, dc2tog
Round 31: 4 spike stitches, dc2tog, 5 spike stitches 
Round 32: 2dc into same stitch, 3 spike stitches, 2dc into same stitch, 5 spike stitches, 2dc into same stitch 
Round 33: 2dc into same stitch, 4 spike stitches, 2dc into same stitch twice, 5 spike stitches, 2dc into same stitch
Round 34: 2dc into same stitch twice, complete the second half of a spike stitch only, then complete 5 spike stitches, 2dc into same stitch 3 times, complete the second half of a spike stitch, then complete 6 spike stitches, 2dc into same stitch 
Round 35: 2dc into same stitch, complete a second half of a spike stitch only, then complete 5 spike stitches, dc, 5 spike stitches, 2dc into same stitch three times 
Round 36: 7 spike stitches, dc into same stitch three times, dc, one spike stitch, dc, 8 spike stitches
Round 37:  20 spike stitches
Round 38: 4 spike stitches, 7 slip stitches, 8 spike stitches, 8 slip stitches,  3 spike stitches 
Round 39:  3 spike stitches, 8 slip stitches, 7 spike stitches, 10 slip stitches, 4 spike stitches
Fasten off.

Using an orange thread sew on the mouth and eye on both the back and front.

Small fishes 
Ch6
Row 1: dc into second chain from hook, dc along row
Row 2: ch1 (does not count as a stitch), dc2tog, dc, dc2tog
Row 3: ch1 (does not count as a stitch), dc2tog,  dc
Row 4: ch1 (does not count as s stitch) 2dc
Row 5: ch1 (does not count as a stitch) 2dc into same stitch twice
Row 6: ch1 (does not count as a stitch) 2dc into same stitch, 2dc, 2dc into same stitch 
Row 7: ch1 (does not count as a stitch) dc along row 
Row 8: ch1 (does not count as a stitch) dc2tog, 2dc, dc2tog 
Row 9: ch1 (does not count as a stitch) dc2tog twice 
Row 10: ch1 (does not count as a stitch) dc2tog 
Fasten off 
Complete another small fish, then do not fasten off but dc around both fish pieces, at the tail 3dc along do not dc into the chain but dc into the row below to create detail on the tail, continue as normal around the rest of the fish and fasten off.

Using orange sew in the eye and mouth detail on both the front and back.