Friday, 5 July 2013

Friday at last!

Hi Everyone I hope you are all fit and well.  Here in the UK we are hoping to experience a unique event, a large red/orange ball has appeared in the sky and it is making everything very hot - any ideas what it could be?  Well hopefully, summer has arrived this weekend and I hope those of you in the UK will be making the most of it.  I think our non-UK friends must find our preoccupation with the weather somewhat amusing - I hope that, wherever you are in the world you are enjoying life and finding some time for yourself.  Come on in, you are all so welcome.

It has been a busy week at work - I repeat myself all the time here as it is always busy in work as I am sure all of you are too.  However, I have tried to keep my hand in with my sewing although at the back of my mind I am fretting about the unfinished projects which need to be completed to give as gifts.  I am really interested in what gifts you are all making for Christmas, I am still thinking about it but any thoughts would be so welcome.

When I was going through my cupboards and sorting out the sewing room I had unearthed many kits as you have seen.  This little kit I am going to show you was bought from Ebay ages ago for a couple of pounds.  I don't know about you but I just love Volkswagon vans and have dreams of having a couple of weeks in one by the sea, roaming from place to place!  The pack came with a cut out pattern and some fabric to make it all up.

The Seller is called Sewintocrafts and she is a really good seller in terms of delivery and the finished product.  I just hadn't got around to sewing it all up.  As you can see from the photograph below it is a pretty little van with a lot of Cath Kidston fabrics which all come with it.  It was very easy to cut out and I couldn't wait to start putting it together - my usual impatient self I am sorry to say!

I thought I had some paper which you ironed on to the fabric and when you removed it the fabric would stick to another piece of material.  However, after I had ironed it on and cut out all the shapes I realised that it was only a form of backing material.   I decided that I just had to go with it as all the fabric pieces had been used..........what did I tell you about being impatient folks. I have joined a little group of sewers in the next town who meet every week and there is a really lovely lady who is there to help people like myself!  She explained the different types of backing so I need to make sure that I use it for applique as it is useful for making sure the pieces are all in the correct places.  As it was I had to pin them all down which was ok but the end product was not as it should be - will show you in a little while Folks.

I had decided once I had put all the pieces together that, in fact, I didn't like the combination very much and wanted to use my own fabrics.  It was too late by now so I decided to carry on and do a dry run with this one.  The fabrics are lovely but I didn't feel that the contrast was good enough - what do you think Folks, would love to hear your views.
I hadn't used the zig zag stitch very much before so I was a little nervous about it when I arrived at the class.  Rachel, the lovely tutor was nonchalant though and told me not to worry!  She explained how to switch over to zig zag and the difference in the various lengths and widths of the stitches, all very technical to me.  I went very slowly and carefully but it wasn't an easy as it looked and I tended to be a little on the wonky side - hope you know what I mean.

I really enjoyed doing it Folks but understood what Rachel meant when she suggested that I stick the fabric down first although the instructions didn't mention this so I guess it is open to personal taste.  It took me around an hour and a half or perhaps a little more but I did complete it.  I was so pleased with it although the VW does look as it is a little on the drunk side - the backing will take care of this next time.

Well there is it Everyone the finished piece.  I originally set out to make a cushion and then changed my mind and decided to make a couple of holiday shoppers for my little granddaughters, what do you think?  I am going to embroider their names on the little plate in the front - I also have to embroider the VW logo on the circle under the windows.  I ran out of time at the last minute so need to finish it this weekend.  I have made a firm decision, nothing left unfinished from now on............have to be strong.  I would love to hear your views about colours, fabrics and overall style of the bags - need to do two distinct colours as the girls are very strict about this.  They go on holiday in a couple of weeks so I need to get a move on.  Any suggestions warmly welcomed.
I had a couple of hours off this afternoon from work so took myself off to a little town not far from where it live.  It was such a lovely sunny day and I had a wander around the charity shops to see if I could find any goodies - and I did.

Some lovely pieces of Liberty fabric for 50p a piece, absolutely gorgeous, shame there were only three of them.

A wonderful little set of glass - a dish and a milk jug, I think it may be 1940s/1950s and I just loved it and couldn't believe it was only 50p for the both of them together.  I thought I could put buttons in the dish and have the jug for flowers.
As I was leaving the shop I spied this little brooch in the cabinet by the door.  It is by a firm called Ainsley China and these brooches were very popular in the 1950s/1960s.  Lovely Readers I have had a love of brooches all my life and have usually worn them on a daily basis because I just adore them.
For a long time it was quite old fashioned to be seen wearing a brooch but I never minded as I wore them because I enjoyed them.  Nowadays it is quite in vogue so I am a bit hip now!!  I love having a little old ones, being chipped really doesn't matter to me at all because they have all belonged to someone and been worn and enjoyed. 
This little one was a little chipped on two of the leaves and the shop assistant was quite put out at the price and reduced it to £1.50 but I insisted on the paying the full amount as it was a charity shop - the original price was only £2.50 so I was over the moon.  I have a very large collection of brooches, none of them are worth much but I love every one of them.  My little granddaughter is also starting to want to wear them so hopefully she will develop a love for them.  I will show you my collection if you wish, if you leave a comment and let me know I can show a few pictures from time to time. 



Finally, my last find - I had to nip over to IKEA after work during the week for some boxes and spotted these fab tea towels.  You all know by now that I do love tea towels so much and I had to buy these and can't wait to make something with them.  I am not going to make another bag as I am collecting these as if they are going out of fashion but I thought about maybe covering some books for Christmas presents or linen bags or maybe covering some coat hangers with them.  Any ideas Folks would be warmly welcome.  Hope you like them as much as I do.
Over the weekend I am off to another class - in Chester there is a wonderful shop called Liberty Bell which sells wonderful fabrics and gifts.  I have been going to Sue's classes for a number of years and made some really sweet things but I have never ever had the confidence to go home and make things on my own.  Sue is so so patient and a wonderful teacher, a real natural.  Her classes are only small but so friendly  and she is running a class making a summer holiday bag which I am going to make for my lovely daughter-in-law who loves summer things.  I will show you the process as I go along.  I am excited about going as it was a last minute decision and someone dropped out yesterday so a space was left for me. 
Well everyone that is it for tonight.  I have so enjoyed having you drop by, you are always so welcome.  Please leave a comment if you wish it is so good to hear your views and ideas.  I learn such a lot from all of you and do appreciate you reading my little blog, it makes it all worthwhile.  Have a super duper Saturday and Sunday and speak to you all very soon.  Lots of love, Dorothy :-)xxxxxx


  1. I really like your camper van! I understand what you mean about the fabrics. I like CK but not too much in one go! You are right about needing more contrast - camper vans are usually quite bright. I would love to have one! Lesley x

  2. Hello lovely Dorothy. I'm always amazed that you still manage to do things even whilst working. Well done. I love the cute campervan and very much a dream if mine, I'm definitely hoping one day. I think the idea of using it for a shopper bag is great and you can incorporate some red ric rac and brighter buttons for some contrast. I love your charity finds, wow liberty fabrics!! That's never happened to me. I look forward to seeing what you make with it. As for Xmas presents, I'm not there yet as I'm working on my stock for my Christmas stall, but whatever don't sell will be turned into presents. I always make Christmas chutney for friends and family and its become a bit if a tradition as people now request it. As for the tea towels, they are very sweet, they would make lovely bunting. Enjoy your course and this wonderful weather. Xoxo

  3. Now Dorothy,

    You comment to me as though you cannot get much done. Look at what you've done this week! That little VW looks adorable. It should make a lovely little tote. It could be the top of a sweet apron as well.

    I'd love to see more of your brooches. One thing I enjoy about growing older is developing my very own style.

    Blessings to you from Harvest Lane Cottage,


  4. Your Brooch is very pretty Dorothy. I didn't know that Ainsley made things like that.
    I think your VW camper looks great and I;m sure that your grandaughter will love it too. You have accomplished more than I have this week. All I,ve managed is a few rows of knitting

  5. Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comments! You have been very busy, your camper van appliqué looks gorgeous! I am also very impressed with your thrifty finds especially that liberty fabric! I will definitely be back to visit you soon.
    M x

  6. I love your pretty little camper van appliqué, Dorothy! Your thrifty finds are wonderful too, especially the gorgeous Liberty berry print, one of my favourites! Wishing you a happy crafty week.
    Helen x