Sewing Tutorial: Drawstring Playmat/Toy Storage – Perfect For Quickly Tidying Toys Away  

I completed this drawstring Playmat tutorial for The Craft Cotton Company using their lovely balloon fabric. I have seen these about for a while and thought they were a brilliant idea, they make tidying up all those little tiny toy pieces that manage to get everywhere so much easier and anything that reduces the risk of standing on a stray piece of Lego is something that needs making! You could make this as big or as small as you wanted, so you can have one for taking toys out and about in the car and a big one for in the house. 

I knew straight away that the hot air balloon Fabric by The Craft Cotton Company would be perfect for this, along with a plain blue cotton for the backing fabric. The blue ribbon I used was some from my stash. 
Take a look over at this and other great ideas over on the Craft Cotton Company blog.

You can make these to any size you wish and can even make a mini version for taking toys out and about with you.

Fabric was gifted by The Craft Cotton Company.

Small take out and about version: 


Large version:

Crochet Tiger Hat From Vanessa Mooncie’s Crochet Animal Hats

Another animal hat completed, a tiger this time. It’s going to be like a zoo in here soon with all these hat animals!

After completing the leopard hat I had a lot of yellowy wool left over so decided to use it to make the tiger from Vanessa Mooncie’s Crocheted Animal Hats. I love the hats in this book, I think making them is a bit addictive!

Unlike the leopard hat where the spot detail was added in afterwards, on this tiger hat the stripe detail is worked in while you are making the hat, which meant it came together much quicker. It took a me little while to get used to having all the seperate balls of wool on the go at once and making sure they didn’t get too tangled, but after a few rows I had got the hang of it and was off! As all the detail was crocheted in while making the main hat it was much quicker to make than the leopard hat. Similarly to the leopard hat I did plaited ties for the ear flaps using the yellow and the black wool.
Now I’ve added the tiger to the completed hats of the leopard and frog, the hardest decision to make now is which hat to do next!

Quilt Project: Sewing A Triangle Patchwork Quilt

I decided early on in the year that I would make quilts this year for Christmas gifts, by deciding early on I knew I would have plenty of time to get them made. Unfortunately I have been so busy with other makes I completely lost track of time and forgot about getting started on these quilts. After this realisation I had a slight panic about whether I would be able to get them all made, but decided to try and see if I could get them finished alongside with the board of other makes I need to get finished for Christmas! 


I decided to do a triangular one first, which after my last battle with a triangle machine made quilt was quite a brave decision! I battled through however and despite a few problems and a lot (and I really do mean a lot!) of unpicking and re-sewing and a few minor meltdowns I managed to get it finished and I’m really pleased with it – there are a few little bits in not 100% happy with where some of my points haven’t lined up completely but I think thats just me being over critical, and considering it’s only the second machine triangle quit I have done it’s come out really great. 
Now this one is finished I can get on with my other quilts, hopefully these go a little more smoothly and as I won’t be using triangles for these I think they will be a little less problematic – although now I have just said that in sure they will cause me no end of stress! 

  
Triangle patchwork quilt:

Materials:

  • Fabric – in different shades.
  • Paper to draw your template.
  • Scissors.
  • Pins.
  • Needle.
  • Thread.


Assembly:

  • Draw your triangle template; 10cm long across the bottom and 10cm high, meaning the sides are 12cm long. 
  • Cut fabric into strips 10cm wide 
  • Take two strips of different fabric place right sides together and sew down each side 0.5 cm from the edge.
  • Now take your triangular template and lay it across the fabric, with the base on one sewn side and the point on the other, cut down the sides, unpick the point and turn right side out – here are your joined double triangles!
  • Layout your triangles into the colour layout you want, I chose to do a random pattern of the different colours.
  • Cut out some singular triangles to form the straight edges at the top and cut some joined double triangles in half to straighten the side edges. 
  • Start sewing the triangles together, working on the diagonal, place wrong sides together and sew down the seam. Once all the diagonal strips have been completed, sew these diagonal strips together. 

    

  • Layout your backing fabric piece, make sure this is a few inches bigger then the batting and patchwork pieces, next lay your batting on top, then place your patchwork layer on top.
  • Pin everywhere to make sure it won’t move while quilting. You could also do a tacking stitch to really keep it together.  
  • Add your quilted detail, I sewed down the diagonal lines to create a diamond detail on the backing fabric. 
  • Bind around the edge by taking the backing fabric and folding it over to the front like you would when making a hem and slip stitch around. 

Crochet Leopard Hat From Vanessa Mooncie’s Crochet Animal Hats

Following in the leaps of the frog hat, sneaking in is a very cute leopard one

I really enjoyed making my frog hat from Vanessa Mooncie’s crocheted animal hats book and wanted to make a few more as Christmas gifts for friends. I managed to find a little time Inbetween some quilts I am making (and that are starting to take over!) to make a leopard one – this took me a little longer than the frog to finish as you have to make and sew on all the individual spots which takes a little while as there are quite a few. It was definitely worth the extra work though.  


For the ear flap ties I did a slightly different finish and plaited three strands of yellow wool.  
Now I’ve got the difficult decision of which animal to pick next – I like them all! 

Crochet Frog Hat From Vanessa Mooncie’s Crochet Animal Hats

Jumping in just in time for the colder weather is a frog woolly hat!

Im glad I have managed to get some time to get this frog hat made, the colder weather is starting to creep in and it won’t be long before I will be needing a hat to keep the chill at bay! 


I saw this frog in Vanessa Mooncie’s book Crocheted animal hats and it stood out above of all the wonderful hats as the first I needed to make – I know for a fact many more of these hat makes will follow – they are just brilliant, I’m not too sure which to do next but I need to get cracking as I’m hoping to make some more of these as Christmas presents for friends, although I think I may be running out of time – in sure they won’t mind getting them a little late!

 

Crochet Granny Square Minecraft Creeper Blanket 

100 granny squares later and it’s finally finished – the grannies have successfully morphed into a pixelated Minecraft creeper blanket

I have been plodding along making granny squares for what seems like an age now – it’s my fault it’s taken me so long really though because I have only been making the squares in the few spare moments I have had between other craft projects. Also I got so carried away making granny squares I actually made a few too many in the end, I’m sure I can put them to good use on another project at some point!.  

Creeper Granny Square Blanket:

For the granny squares I completed a basic granny square using this method.

You need 100 squares in total:

Black: 20

Light green: 19

Medium green: 11

Green: 25

Dark green: 23

White: 2

Once I had all 100 squares made, it was time to get them all put together, I laid them all out before starting this so I could make sure I got all the squares in the places I thought they would look best. The next job was the Sewing together which took quite a while. I sewed the squares together with a slip stitch, I didn’t want the bulky seam you get when using a dc stitch to join.  Once joined and the mammoth task of finishing off all the loose ends was complete I went around the edge of the blanket in two rows of dc stitch using black. 

  
I am very happy with this blanket, and I know its recipient is going to love this for Christmas! Now I need to get cracking on another granny square blanket – now it’s time for a Minecraft mushroom cow, I better get cracking!