A couple of years ago I stumbled along the concept of making dishcloths. I thought what a great idea when I heard about it. Little did I know there is like a whole secret dishcloth making society out there. If you’re not familiar with the dishcloth phenomenon basically its just a homemade version of the cloths that you buy at the store to wash your dishes or clean your house with expect homemade dishcloths are way better. They last longer, clean your items better and are more environmentally friendly. Again its getting back to the way our grandparents lived. They created items at home instead of buying them at the shops. You don’t have to just wash your dishes with them, they can also be used as face cloths. Dishcloths are an art within themselves. Googling Dishcloth patterns just now and 551,000 results showed up.
I’ve been knitting and crocheting my own dishcloths for a couple of years now. Fantasy me creates amazing dishcloths using very funky and complicated patterns. Reality me can’t follow a pattern so the only dishcloths I’ve ever made have been basic crocheted rectangles that aren’t really straight. I found them very useful to practice my crochet on. Also I haven’t exactly followed the dishcloth rules (do I ever) To date I can’t be certain all my dishcloths are 100% cotton. I think they are 70% cotton/30% acrylic mix because up until the last few months I’ve never had 100% cotton yarn.
A couple of days ago I heard about a dishcloth swap run by Mel from One Crafty Mumma I thought I want to be involved in this. Make 4 dishcloths in about 2 1/2 weeks yep I can do that. I do have one basic pattern which I can follow and I call it my favourite dishcloth pattern. I’m sure it has a fancy name and it sounds similar to this one You cast on 2 stitches and at the start of every row you cast on an extra stitch. When you get it to a width your happy with (you have a half triangle at this stage) you decrease a stitch at the start of every row until your back to 2 stitches and you cast off. I love it you don’t have to keep count with this one. I knitted my shawl using the same principal.
So far I have finished 2 dishcloths and have started my 3rd, once they are all finished I’ll weave in the ends. I’m using leftover yarn from my shawl as its 100% cotton which is one of the requirements. My dishcloths might not be fancy but by making them I’m gaining the confidence that they actually do look ok even though they are really basic. I’m considering giving dishcloths as gifts next yea, by making these ones my mind is thinking yeah I can do this. One day I hope to get fancy with my cloths but until them diamond dishcloths are good.
I had a really crafty weekend.
The first thing I did was attend a class with Lisa Tilse from The Red Thread Blog She ran a free class on making a fabric coil bowl at a local shop. I heard about it through a friend on facebook and thought what a great thing to learn. Clicking on Lisa’s blog I noticed it looked familiar. I looked through my pins on Pinterest and noticed I’d actually pinned her coil bowl blog page about 12 months ago. Funny how the world works now I got to have Lisa show me how to do it.
I really enjoyed the class however you know when you do a class there is always just one person who just can’t get it or things just go wrong. You wonder if they have any craft ability at all. Well I was that person. My first attempt I used black yarn to stitch with. Not a good idea cause I couldn’t see my stitches properly. I also cut my yarn too short resulting in me trying to knot it and tangling up. On my second attempt I used a very light weight yarn and being heavy handed as I tend to be I keep breaking the yarn as I pulled it. Third time lucky I tried using raffia. It worked really well. I still managed to break it a couple of times but it was easier to knot back up. Once I got the hang of it the process was very easy. Lisa said it gets addictive and I can see how. I’m going to have another go at it at some point. Lisa mentions brickies line is meant to be good to use so maybe I shall get me some before attempting it next. Even though I had a couple of mishaps I still had fun and it was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
The second day of my crafty weekend I attended a small quilt show held by the local quilting group with a few friends.
The public was asked to pick their favourite quilt on display for the peoples choice award. It was a difficult decision as there were so many lovely quilts. There are so many talented people out there. Finally I picked a small quilt that had some hexies in it. I do love hexies. I really like the colour of this quilt and the cheeky little bears.
We had a lovely couple of hours looking at all the lovely quilts and handy work. We were all inspired by things we saw. Of course we had to sit and have a cup of tea and a bite to eat at their café they had set up. It would’ve been rude of us if we didn’t.
What I liked most about this weekend was both events I attended were with friends that I’ve gained through craft. 6 months ago I didn’t know any of these lovely ladies however through different workshops and craft groups I’ve gone too this year I’ve met them. I’m lucky enough that I am not a shy person I will go to craft shows, attend workshops or classes on my own. It doesn’t bother me if I don’t know anyone. However if you don’t have that same level of confidence around strangers as I do I still urge you to try a class or workshop on your own. Find your local craft group and go to a meeting. You never know who you will meet there. Craft people are like minded souls.
Its true I think I am just a little craft crazy. Its less than 100 days til Christmas I still have at least 8 or so gifts to start or finish so what have I decided to do… take part in a non Christmas related craft project.
I won’t go into full details but I will be making a block that will be part of a larger quilt. I’m not really a quilter. I’ve started quilts before many years ago so I have made some blocks but they were just basic. I remember helping my mum hand sew some log cabin blocks about 10 years ago as well.
I want to challenge myself by doing this block. Part of the reason I’m putting it on here now is there is no turning back now I’ll have to finish it. I have until the start of December to complete it and post it in. I know the block that I need to make. I gave myself the second challenge of only using fabric from my scrap stash. I have a lot of large useable pieces in there. The other good thing about raiding this stash is that I know the pieces have already been washed and pre-shrunk. All I need to do is give them another iron. I’ve put all my chosen fabric in a Tupperware container until I’m ready to iron and cut them out. Really its just an excuse to justify me keeping the blue Tupperware container. I knew I could use it in my sewing some how.
So stay tuned. I will finish this block. I will get all my other Christmas gifts done too.
Due to life getting in the way I haven’t had a chance to get on my sewing machine the last couple of weeks.
I thought it was about time I gave it a clean (hangs head in shame not being able to remember the last time I did it) I unscrewed the throat plate removed the bobbin holder and gave the hold thing a good dusting. I also changed the needle.
I was given the tip never to actually blow the dust away as you may end up blowing moisture into the machine but instead use an artists soft paintbrush. I have 2 brushes by my machine. The first I use to clean inside the bobbin area where it gets a bit of oil on it. The second I use to clean the need threading path where dust builds up but you generally don’t get any oil.
I only got about an hours worth of sewing done but it was enough to give me my craft fix. I was stitching up a softie for xmas. At the moment I have 2 half finished softies and some embroidery work which I need to finish sooner rather than later.
I thought the tea sets I make need a little something extra to go with them.
I’ve seen this idea on Pinterest and other sites and thought what a really simple item to make up using scraps.
To make one you will need
white fabric cut 1.5″ x 4″ (polar fleece, cotton, felt)
coloured fabric for top cut 1″ x 0.75″ (felt is easy to work with)
ric rac 2.5″ (or ribbon)
Fold the white fabric in half so that it is 2″ tall
Place your ric rac between the layers at the top of the tea bag
Machine stitch around all 3 sides of the tea bag. Back stitch over the ric rac to ensure that it is stitched in
Fold your tea bag top in half and place over the end of the ric rac. Hand stitch around all 3 sides again back stitching over the ric rac to ensure its secure.
Now you have a tea bag.
I’ve seen these made where people have stuffed the inside with fibre fill or rice. I’ve also seen people stitch the 2 long sides of the tea bag like a toy and turn them inside out to hide the seems before sewing the top. These are great ideas but not really me. I like it plain and simple. These could easily be all hand stitched if you wanted a simple tv stitching project.
This is a softie I designed.
As you can see much thought and imagination went into this one. It actually came about after I used this fabric in the first lot of Baby Blocks I ever made. I heard a sibling of the child say he liked Spot. I had some extra fabric so my mind started ticking. The hardest part was finding the dog shape I wanted. After much searching online and in books I decided to draw my own, 3 sketches later I came up with the shape I wanted.
The little boy who got this gift really liked it. A dog pillow/softie was perfect for him as his mum later told me he likes to cuddle a dog as he sleeps.
My mind is always ticking and is always on the lookout for potential gifts to make. Little comments people make can spark an idea just like that in my head.
I got a lovely surprise in the letterbox yesterday.
Last week I posted the batch of WIRES pouches They have sent me a hand written thank you card and a photo of a current possum in their care. I wasn’t expecting anything so this is very sweet of them to do this. Seeing the photo of the little possum is really inspiring. It given me a real sence of what I’ve made is going to help these little creatures. I’ve already got fabric set aside for the next batch.