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11  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / My first cushions! on: August 08, 2011 08:47:39 AM
I wasn't sure where to post this, as it was more of a sewing exercise that turned into cushions than an intended 'homewares' thing... Smiley But they have definitely made a difference to my living room so I'll go with this!

I've had a second-hand sewing machine for a few months now, but having established that I could hardly sew a straight line hadn't dared to actually make anything with it! My mum finally persuaded me that I'd gain a lot of confidence if I actually sewed something constructive instead of making lots of wobbly lines on scrap material, so I took a deep breath and started chopping up fabric. Three patchwork cushions later...and I'm officially addicted! I love the cushions, even the dodgy bits, and as I've still got a couple of free 'insides' I'll definitely be making more. When I get some more material...turns out old stretchy t-shirts aren't as easy to sew. Ie, they stretch.

Here's the two most recent ones:

And my newly 'redecorated' settee:

You may be able to guess how I progressed through more complicated sewing here!
12  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / One Tiny Discworld Thing? on: July 08, 2011 06:34:38 AM
Would anyone be up for a new Discworld (Terry Pratchett) swap any time soon? A nice small 'Tiny Thing' swap would work well for me and I'm sure lots of other people - summer can be a busy time, but one little thing can't hurt can it?  Smiley I'll be away until the end of July so signups not starting until August would be best - but what about anyone else?

A few previous swaps/Discworld inspired crafts...

13  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Recon sewing machine case! on: June 08, 2011 08:55:28 AM
I inherited a 'new' sewing machine from the sixties not long ago - the machine is great but the case was bleurgh.  Lips sealed I couldn't cope with seeing it any longer, so I spent a pleasant hour or so with paper, posters and glue and ended up with something that no longer offends me (it's sitting in my living room, so no avoiding it!)

I might go and tweak / add to it at some point when I have more time, but here's the before and after...There's more progress pics on my blog  Smiley

(The camera has picked up a lot more bumps than you can see in real life!)
And what it looked like before...
14  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / The turtle moves! (aka Discworld tshirt...) on: June 02, 2011 01:58:03 AM
After I decorated a couple of tshirts for my recent swap partner, I really wanted to make one for myself too, so I made this! If anyone reads the Discworld series of books they'll recognise it, for anyone else this is Great A'Tuin, the turtle who swims through space carrying the world on it's back   Roll Eyes

I used the design in my avatar but had to draw most of it freehand with tubes of paint...not the easiest things in the world to manipulate but I only had one major error, and I managed to cover it up  Smiley

15  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Dr Who banana! on: May 31, 2011 03:26:45 AM
I made this as part of a recent swap - if you watch Dr Who then you should get the reference, but if not it's just a banana I guess  Smiley

I've not done much needlefelting but I was happy with how this turned out. It was about 3 inches long btw.

16  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Recon Dr Who tshirts on: May 27, 2011 01:01:28 AM
I decorated a couple of tshirts for a recent swap - it's the first time I've done this but I'll definitely be doing it again! The pics are a bit rubbish as I don't have a proper camera...
The first was a black tee with a TARDIS on the front and one of my partner's fave quotes on the back - the writing is actually sparkly silver but didn't come out very well on the photo.

The second had a hand-drawn 'clockwork robot' face that I appliqued (again by hand - didn't trust my machine skills!) and another quote, again hand written. The face looks best from a distance (because at the end of the day it's other people who see your clothes most!) and it actually looks pretty scary  Smiley

One day I'll try a stencil!
17  COOKING / Dessert / Lemon-berry upside down cake on: May 17, 2011 05:48:26 AM
I made this this morning and have literally just finished my first slice - it was sooo good that I had to share it!  Smiley

I based the recipe on this http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/9965/upsidedown-berry-cake?pager.offset=20 but since I am physically incapable of following a recipe to the dot I made a few tweaks.

I used 3 eggs instead of 4, with an extra 2 heaped teaspoons of plain yoghurt added instead; I also used 175g of sugar instead of 200g; 200g of flour and 50g of ground almonds; and finally the zest and juice of half a lemon stirred into the batter. I also used 2 dessert spoons of golden syrup to go with the berries rather than 2tbsp, as I thought that would be too sweet - in my opinion that was the right thing to do, but I don't recommend removing the syrup altogether as my cake was *just* on the right side of being too sharp. (I did use redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries in my fruit mix, so if you use sweeter fruits you might not need the syrup.)

It was a really easy cake to make and tasted divine. It would also work well with custard or icecream! Try it  Smiley

(sorry about the pic, my camera is broken  Sad)
18  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Pre-quilting questions! on: May 15, 2011 07:48:24 AM
Hi all,
I recently became the proud owner of a sewing machine (which is over twenty years older than me - at least one of us knows what to do  Smiley) and I am really keen to make a quilt. I'm a complete machine novice (although I can hand-sew) - are there any particular techniques or methods that I could practise before I get onto an actual quilt? Also, is there a really simple, hassle-free pattern that anyone could recommend as a starter quilt? I can't afford to splash out on any fancy equipment so if I can make do with scissors, cotton, fabric and my machine that would be perfect Smiley
Thanks, M x
19  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Machine novice on: April 05, 2011 04:26:11 AM
As of yesterday I am the proud owner of a 'Singer 431 Convertible', bought in 1964 and hardly used Shocked (given to me by a family friend). Smells a bit musty but apart from that seems in perfect condition! And with the original booklet  Smiley

Here's the thing - I know nothing about sewing machines. My mum knows all there is to know but unfortunately I won't be seeing her for at least 2 weeks...and I want to start NOW! After some fumbling I have threaded the thing up and spent a happy quarter of an hour sewing random lines on a bit of cotton. I just have a couple of questions:

1) Does anyone else by some miracle have the same model, and if so can you give me any specific tips for using it?
2) Are there any general tips for a novice?
3) What is a good, quick and easy starter project once I move on from straight and wiggly lines?  Wink

I know practice makes perfect but I would really appreciate any insider knowledge!
20  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Mother's Day / Mother's Day cards on: March 28, 2011 03:26:37 AM
I made these cards last night and this morning  Smiley

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