Monday, 9 January 2017

New Year, New Start, New Job, New everything........

Well, happy New Year to you all.

You may have been wondering where I have been.  The truth is, life has been pretty hectic of late.

I have decided to open a Craft Workshop.  Based in Carlisle, Cumbria (right at the top of the M6 just before you hit Scotland), it has taken up quite a lot of time with planning, phone calls, sorting stuff out - and that is even before getting the keys!

The new venue is Atlas Works in the Denton Holme are of Carlisle.  Easy to get to via public transport, street parking nearby, and lots of amenities close by.

I have also been building the new website in preparation, you can find it here...

www.soozintheshed.co.uk

So, we now have the keys and we are in and decorating.



The only reason I find myself with time to write this blog is that I am stuck at home waiting for the new carpet to be delivered.

We aim to have an open day on Sunday 15th January (yes, really, that quickly) between 11.00am - 3.00pm, so it really is all hands on deck.  (I'm so glad my parents are retired and can use a paint brush!!)

Do pop in if you are passing, have a look at what we will have on offer and chat to us about bespoke parties and craft courses.

We have loads of classes on our website already - find them HERE and look forward to welcoming you into The Shed very soon   :)

Monday, 5 December 2016

How to make a Proddy Rag Wreath


These proddy wreaths are so much fun to make - easy to do with just a little preparation time, and the best thing is, you can make them from recycled shirts too!!

So, first of all, find yourself a polystyrene wreath - the choice of size is up to you.  The bigger the ring, the more fabric you will need.
You will also need PVA glue, a paint brush, and your fabric.



I would say half a meter of fabric for a 250mm ring to work 4 rows.

Cut the fabric up into 2.5cm (1") squares - you don't have to be too fussy as the finished look is 'raggy', but keep them roughly the same size.


Take a paint brush (the handle end) or an old knitting needle, dip into the PVA glue and make a hole, not deeper than 1cm, into the centre of the wreath ring.


Now, take a square of fabric, position it over the hole, dip your brush back in the glue and poke the centre of the fabric into the hole.


Add another piece a centimetre away..... and another.....


Continue adding the rags at one centimetre intervals all the way around.


Add a row inside and an row outside the original row.


You might want to add more rows if you wish, and even cover the whole ring, but as one side will be against a door or wall, there isn't really any need.

Add a ribbon loop to hang and there you have it - a beautiful rag wreath with not a lot of effort.


Fun wasn't it?

If you prefer to watch a video of this tutorial, you can find it over on my You Tube channel HERE.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Cute Christmas Purses - free tutorial

Sometimes you just don't know what to buy someone for Christmas so you end up giving them money.

But money just seems a bit impersonal, don't you think?  Obviously very useful, but it can look like there has been very little effort or thought when you give money - in fact, the opposite is probably true, you have probably spent so much time thinking and rejecting ideas that by the time you decide to give some money it is the best idea ever!!

Anyway, to make your gift of money look a little more exciting, why not make a cute purse from Christmas Fabric to pop it in?  They will get a lovely hand-made gift then too.


Fully lined, with a zip, you can whip these cuties up in no time - about 30 minutes all in.


I have popped some instructions for you below.  Let me know if you make some wont you?


How to make:  (use a 10mm seam allowance throughout)
  1. ·         Take your zip and measure the outer fabric to match it.  Cut two pieces of fabric the length of the zip and whatever depth you wish to make.
  2. ·         Cut two more pieces the same size for the lining.
  3. ·         Place the outer fabric on the desk facing UP, place the zip on the top edge facing DOWN, place the lining on top to match facing DOWN.  The zip will now be sandwiched in-between the two fabrics.
  4. ·         Using a zipper foot, sew carefully down the zip line. You will have to stop half way, put your needle down, lift your presser foot and close or open the zip to enable a neat line across.
  5. ·         Open up the pieces and place them back to back with the zip facing up at the top.
  6. ·         Place the 2nd piece of outer fabric on the desk facing UP, place the zip on the top edge facing DOWN, place the lining on top to match facing DOWN.  The zip will now, again, be sandwiched in-between the two new pieces of fabric.  Sew it as before.
  7. ·         Open the layers, open the zip half way, and place the outer together RIGHT SIDE TO RIGHT SIDE, and the inner together RIGHT SIDE TO RIGHT SIDE. Pin or clip the sides of the zips making sure the zip edges face DOWN into the lining fabric side.
  8. ·         Pin or clip around to hold it all in place, change to a regular presser foot then sew all the way around, but leave a small gap in the bottom edge of the lining for turning.
  9. ·         Clip the corners and trim away any access, then turn the right way in.  Sew a neat line across the bottom of the lining to close the gap before tucking the lining into the pouch.




Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Memory Cuddle Cushions, from a Loved One's shirt.

I was recently commissioned to make some cushion covers from men's shirts.  The gentleman who owned, and obviously wore the shirts, had passed, so these cushions were to be a precious memory of him.

First of all I was told they were to be for a 16"  (40cm) cushion pad.  And there lies the first issue. You would think that you could just cut a square and sew it up, wouldn't you?  But at no point could I get a 16" measurement that incorporated the logo too  (Ralph Lauren).    The measurement across the shoulders was less than 16", but if I dropped down I lost the logo as the measurement down from that didn't measure 16" either.

So, a bit of artistic cutting and rebuilding was needed.

First I took off the sleeves (both of them), and sewed a little fabric under the shoulder seams to make up to 16" (plus seam allowance of course) across.  I cut off the back and used it to panel in a piece at the front, therefore utilising the buttons from the front to be the opening for the cushion at the back.

To make it less cushiony and more "shirty" I sewed a sleeve back on the front, laying across the chest.  I also left the neckline in place, sewing up all the gaps by hand.


So, as you can see, I managed to get the logo in  :)


And the back.... perfect button opening for the cushion to pop in and out for laundering.


So, that was one done, onto the next.  

The blue one was a bit trickier again as it was short sleeve, so a huge lack of fabric to work with. 


 So what I did was I simply cut a square out of the main part of the shirt to include the neckline and logo, hemmed it all the way around and appliqued it to a plain square taken from the back of the shirt.


Again, I used the buttons from the front to make the opening for the cushion to pop in and out.
  The blue method was definitely easier, and both look good I think!


I hear the recipient was pleased anyway, and that's the main thing   :)

Friday, 18 November 2016

Personalised Christmas Napkins, that cleverly become crackers!

I am constantly trying to think up new class ideas - I like to do some of my classes in two hour slots, as I find this is a nice time frame for people to keep their concentration levels up, and create something pretty too.

Christmas Crafts have usually bypassed me (nah Humbug and all that) but I made an extra effort this year to put on some Christmas Craft ideas. 
One of them will be this..... a handy personalised Napkin that trebles up, one as a place setting and the other as a gift cracker.  (Obviously it doesn't 'crack', but you know what I mean)


The initials are cut from Christmas themed fabrics and appliqued onto the hemmed and stitched linen squares, then rolled around a cardboard tube with a little gift in.


If you fancy doing this workshop, and why would you not?  after all, it's playtime, on a sewing machine!!, just give me a shout   :)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Crazy Quilted Christmas Stockings

A week or so ago I ran a workshop for Crazy Quilted Stockings.

I LOVE the Crazy Quilting technique, used with a sewing machine it is such a pleasing thing to do and surprisingly easy.

I originally made the stocking for the Hobbycraft Blog a little while ago, so thought it would be a good one to run out as a workshop too.



Three lovely ladies came along, they chose the Fat Quarter packs that they wanted to use and we got to work.  Cutting, snipping, sewing, ironing, cutting, snipping, sewing, ironing..... it's a very repetitive craft  :) 

I was so absorbed in stocking making that I forgot to get any action shots, but here are the finished stockings in all their glory.

Two ladies chose the same colour schemes, while another went for something a little different.




I, myself, made a sample one, but it is not yet finished so you will have to wait to see that one  :)  Let's just say, it is very bright colourful and funky, not traditional at all.


Thanks for coming ladies, if you are reading, it was a blast, and you did fabulously.

Don't forget if you fancy making one yourself you can find my tutorial over on the Hobbycraft Blog.  (click on the link :)  )

Monday, 7 November 2016

Com-For-T. The grand opening of a new venture.

Alan, the Chef/Owner at Com-For-T has been busy in his own home for a while making Chef standard "heat-it-up-at-home" style food, which is delivered to you on a weekly basis.   So, it was nice to hear that he was opening a unit - had outgrown his home kitchen and was going to take the big step to getting a premises.

He opened that premises on Friday.

I meant to ask him if "Com-For-T" means 'come for tea' or 'comfort'.  Maybe a bit of both as good home cooking is proper comfort food isn't it?

Anyway, here is Alan, stirring his pot and looking mighty pleased with himself - although it could be relief that opening day was finally here.


He put on a wonderful array of foods for the opening event.  If you were to judge a man by his Garlic Bread then this guy is right up there, the GB was pretty delicious.

I asked him what Com-For-T was all about.....

I've been asked many times what the plans are for COM-FOR-T HQ.
We will be doing yummy breakfasts, "sandwiches" homemade soups, homemade cakes, pies, pasties,
a daily hot dish & ready meals to take home.
The plan is awesome simple delicious food on a constantly changing menu.




Then there was pizza.... and not teeny weeny portions either, proper man-sized bits.


I didn't try any of this... too busy taking photos of all the pretty offerings... and chatting, as you do.


Tipple was on offer too, well it would have been most rude not too accept a small glass of red.


I just LOVED these cute wooden spoons to eat the stew with, I didn't have any stew, but I did want a spoon, but I thought  I couldn't go stealing the guys spoons, especially on the first night  ;)


Home made tortilla chips to scoop up the stew too.


It was a lovely event, really interesting to find out Alan's future plans and I look forward to seeing him succeed.


So, if you fancy trying something different for Tea, get yourself down to Atlas Works in Denton Holme, to Com-For-T, and see what is on offer that day.

You can find and follow Alan on Facebook HERE.


Friday, 4 November 2016

How to make a Doily Angel Christmas Card

A good one for the youngsters.  Get them to make this years Christmas Cards - you get half an hours peace & quiet, they get a crafting session, all the relatives will love the cards - it's an all round win-win situation!




Ok, so first of all take a doily. (sneak one to one side so you can colour it in later if you wish)


Section it off as shown in the photo.  I used the waves on the bottom as a guide to where to cut.


Trim off the tops of the thinner pieces so they look a little like this.


Now, grab the metallic pen, mine was gold, and colour in some bits.  You can colour it all in if you like.
(I do realise I sound like I am totally obsessed with colouring in doilies right now!!)


Do some artful colouring on all three pieces.


Next, take your card and Pritt Stick one wing to the card as shown.


Add the second wing.


Then the body part on top.  (now, I have noticed that I have gone completely skew-wiff on this - blame the wine ((it was late in the evening when I made this, not early morning, so don't worry!))


Now for the head.  Take the gold card and the 2cm circle punch and cut out a circle.



Now grab the 1cm circle punch and cut a circle out of your circle - voila!  A halo!  See, how clever are you?  (pop the small circle in your craft box, I am sure it will come in for something.)



Glue the halo to the card as shown.


Now, cut another 2cm circle - if you are lucky the gold card will be white on one side, if not you might have to go and find some white card too.
Glue that circle in place as a head, gold side down.


Draw some sleeping eyes on - or a whole face if you feel the need.  But for the artistically challenged, eyes are good enough.


And there you go.  Fun, easy, effective.  And who wouldn't love a hand-made card this year?


And below is the You Tube tutorial, set to some funky music  :)


Enjoy!


ps:  this content contains affiliated links, which basically means, if you click and buy, I might earn a couple of pennies.