Monthly Archives: August 2013

A day of finishing things (and starting others)

This weekend I have three lovely days off work so I’ve been catching up with a couple of projects that needed finishing. I’ve been close to finishing my quilt for a week or so but sewing the binding with my mini sewing machine was proving tough. It’s for ‘light’ fabrics only so it didn’t like battling through one layer of binding, one of cotton, the wadding and a layer of flannel all in one go. I also took up a pair of jeans on Friday night and two layers of denim was almost impossible. So I bit the bullet and bought a new sewing machine yesterday. I’ve only upgraded from the red John Lewis Mini to the blue John Lewis full size model, but it’s a lot better. The mini was a great starter machine, but it was definitely time to upgrade.

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So with my shiny new sewing machine, I whizzed through the remaining binding (before hand sewing it on the other side to hide the machine stitching from the first side). I’m really happy with it – one of the most satisfying projects I’ve done. It’s taken a while but it was nice dipping in and out of it a bit at a time. I will almost miss working on it – but I’ll love curling up under it. Here it is modelled by my other half…

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…and by me:

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When the quilt was done, I started making some cushion covers (purely as an excuse to use my sewing machine some more:

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Today I also finished off this previously armless bunny:

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Making things is therapeutic

It’s been more than a week since I last blogged – and it’s been a week in which I’ve been hiding away and finding a little solace in quietly making things.

A week ago today, a very good friend and work colleague of mine passed away after suddenly being taken ill. I spent hours and hours with Darren, day after day, and I never met a more committed and passionate journalist who was so much a part of the fabric of the newspaper he worked for. His heart and soul flowed through every page he worked on. Aside from his unique talent for designing eye-catching and bold front pages, he had a wicked sense of humour and bucket loads of compassion for those around him. I always knew Darren had my back and I hope he knew I had his too. There is a huge Darren-shaped hole at the heart of our newsroom. But I work with a truly lovely bunch of people who have shown a huge amount of support, friendship and professionalism over the past week – and I know we’ll continue to pull each other through while times are tough.

So in the sadness of the past week, I have been taking comfort in making a quilt AND a blanket. I’m sure Darren would have laughed at my granny-like choice of projects, and he liked to wind me up by calling it ‘croquet’ instead of crochet, but it’s kept me busy. I’m finishing the last bit of binding on my quilt and am using up lots of unwanted baby cashmerino yarn to make a somewhat garish multicoloured granny square blanket…

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I am looking forward to curling up under them both.

Two down, a few to go…

Just a quick update tonight – I’m working this weekend so not much time to crochet, sadly. But I have managed to finish the little girl in a kitty cat outfit – complete with whiskers and curly tail.

I love the colour of this one – think I might find it hard to part with when the time comes.

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She makes a nice little friend for the blue bear…

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Miaow

Crochet has slowed down a little for me this week after my sudden outburst of creativity at the weekend. Work is really busy this week and time is at a bit of a premium (as is energy). But I’m steadily plodding on with a little friend for the little person dressed in a blue bear suit. And it’s a little person dressed in a deep red kitty cat costume. Because… well, why not?

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I also bought some new cotton yarn in muted shades that I think will make a nice combination with the blue and the deep red I’ve been using this week. My plan is to make a coherent set of characters in the next few weeks (or months, depending on how busy I am) and then see about selling them online or in a craft type shop locally. Bit of a long shot maybe but I’ll definitely enjoy creating them.

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Feeling blue

With the Gruffalo finished (see previous post), I was ready for a bit of light relief. With all the things I’ve been commissioned to make, I’ve learnt that I much prefer making up my own little characters to recreating existing ones. So this weekend, I had a little break from completing commissions (with apologies to those who are still waiting for theirs!) to just do something whimsical of my own.

And I’m glad I did. I powered through it in one day and really enjoyed it. I’ve got a bit of enthusiasm back. So, here is my little person dressed up as a little blue bear (with Japanese style fabric detailing):

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Oh help! Oh no! It’s a nearly finished Gruffalo

Finally! I have crochet related progress to report. I don’t mind admitting I’ve found this particular commission really tough to do. Getting it to look right has been really difficult, and I’m still not 100% happy with it, but the Gruffalo is almost finished. He just needs a tail and some purple spikes on his back…

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The fact I’ve found this one quite difficult, combined with the hot weather, going running more and trying to get a quilt finished, has meant I’ve been less than keen to pick up my hook lately. But now the fact that I’ve got there in the end will probably spur me on a little. That, and a weekend off work, may just bring back my crochet mojo…