2014 A Crafty Year In Review

2014 has been a big year in craft for me. I have no idea of the amount of items I’ve made this year, maybe that’s a good thing as there has been a lot.

Like in previous years I’ve made all the gifts I’ve given throughout the year. There has been sofites, jewellery, bags, books and of course tea sets to name just a few. This year I even designed my first ever softie Lolly-Fly

Lolly-Fly 1

My sewing skills have developed this year and I learnt new techniques like how to insert zippers and use a twin needle. I learnt how to read sewing patterns and have made clothing.

Purple Pillow

I’ve gotten a couple of new toys this year my Overlocker and my MC 11000. I’m not good with new things so to be honest both scared me when I got them. I pushed myself to break the fear and use them. The more I played my confidence grew with them Tiny Totes came about after using my Overlocker through the year. Towards the end of the year I even ventured in to machine embroidery and free motion embroidery but I’m still baby steps with them.

Stitch N Sew

Once again this year I’ve used my craft skills to contribute to charity. I’m made both cloth and woollen pouches for WIRES, stitched pillowcases for the Kangaroo Sanctuary and knitted items for KOGO.

One of the best craft decisions I made this year was to join the Australian Sewing Guild. I’d been wanting to attend something regularly with people who had a strong interest in sewing. After my first trial meeting I joined up then told another friend who also joined at the next meeting. I’ve enjoyed the workshops and sewing events that I’ve attended this year through the group. I’ve learnt so much. I love our monthly meetings. The members I now call friends.

Members Completed Projects

2014 has been my first full calendar year of blogging. I reached a small milestone in November when I did blog post number 200 A Ball With Nanna. I love sharing my craft adventures with everyone. I love all the comments and stories people have shared with me this year. The valuable tips people have given me. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by and read about my little adventures in craft.

Nanna Ball

So 2014 has been a great year in craft. I already have big plans for 2015.

Embroidered Pillows

Embroidered Pillow 1
These are the last of the Christmas gifts I made this year. I wanted simple projects as I learnt the embroidery element of my sewing machine.

Embroidered Pillow 2

The pillow fronts are what I made when the stabilizer incident occurred. On the embroidery machine I the stitched the child’s name on the fabric then roughly free hand drew flowers with washaway pen that I hand embroidered over the lines adjusting the shape of each petal as I went.

Embroidered Pillow 3

What I really like about this project is that it incorporates both hand and machine embroidery. I love the look of machine embroidery, its fascinating to sit back and watch the machine do its thing but I will always love hand stitching.

Sentimental Taggies

I had a tear in my eye when making these.

Sentimental Taggie 1

My mum had the idea to make the kids taggies years ago and purchased these ribbons to make them for the young grandbabies she had at the time but unfortunately she got sick before she could make them. When my niece was born this year I decided to make the taggies mum never got to make using the ribbons she purchased. Its my little way of keeping mum’s memory alive through my sewing which is the reason why I learnt to machine sew in the first place.

Sentimental Taggie 2

Quilted Hopscotch

Quilted Hopscotch
This Christmas I made another Hopscotch mat. It was mostly the same as I made last year using the calico I dyed myself with polar fleece in the centre instead of batting. This year I did do things a little different. I didn’t include a strap to tie it up with. I think this mat will spend a lot of time out and not folded up. The advantage is that it can also be used as a small blanket if needed. The other thing I did different is that this time after I finished sewing it all together I echo quilted around the hopscotch squares. Its my first proper time quilting so I can call this a hopscotch quilt.


I did have a couple of tiny incident with this. After I made it I noticed a mark on it which I tried to wipe off with a baby wipe but unfortunately it developed a yellow stain around the area when it dried. To combat this I then washed it. When it was drying I walked past it and noticed I’d left a pin in it….. on the inside! I managed to work the pin down to one corner where I had to cut away some of the applique stitching to get to the backing and fabric and cut a small hole to retrieve the pin. I then hand stitched the appliqued square closed again. This is the first time I’ve ever left a pin in something. I’m not even sure¬†how the pin got in that section. I’m just relieved that I found it before the kids jumped on it causing themselves an injury.

Lego Man

I’m pretty proud of Lego Man.

Lego Man

Lego Man was something I intended to make at some point but after the Bouncy Balls failed I had to make him as my replacement gift. The reason I’m so proud of him is that I had no pattern for him. I created him from a printable colouring in image I found online. I printed out the page then enlarged it on the photocopier to a size I was happy with so I could trace out a pattern from that. Once I pinned the pattern pieces to the fabric I added the seam allowance before cutting. I traced the facial features on with Frixion Pens (which I had developed a love of using) then backed stitched over the lines before ironing them away.

Kids Stilts

This was another Pinterest idea I saw which I liked.


When I was a kid I loved playing with the stilts they had at school. Some were plastic others were tin cans. I made these from plastic food tubs I recycled. I gave the tubs a good soak and luckily the labels came off easily. I drilled a hole in each side then using 50cm of cording (per stilt) I poked each end through the each hole and tied a knot. For extra security I coated each knot with E6000 glue. I left them for a good week to full dry and for the smell to go away (E6000 is great glue but it does smell) Once all dry I screwed the tub lids on. If the stilts are a bit light for his weight there is always the option of filling them with sand or water to be more sturdy. I hope the little person I made this for likes his Christmas present.


Buttercup is another Melly and Me softie and she will be given to a 1 year old this Christmas.


Buttercup is actually a fabric panel that you cut out, add interfacing, stitch up and stuff. Admittedly Buttercup is meant to be wearing a dress and have a bow on her ear but I decided she looks so cute she could get away with being a nude bunny. This is a great softie for a small human as she can be chewed and sucked on without the worry that bub will choke on something as all her features are printed onto the fabric. Toss her into the washing machine when she is dirty and Buttercup is ready for action again.