#craftblogclub Spring Clean Gift Swap Challenge Launch!


Who’s ready for a #craftblogclub challenge?! We are pleased to welcome back the #CraftBlogClub Spring Clean Gift Swap.

The challenge is to create and send a gift to a fellow #CraftBlogClub-ee, using only the materials you currently have stashed away at home.  The idea of this challenge is to use up those materials that have been lying around and to help you have a good clear out.

If you want to take part in the challenge please email Emma missemmaberry@gmail.com and include your name, twitter name, email address and postal address. Please email Emma by 8pm on Tuesday 7th April. I will then email everyone back with the name and address of the person you are making a spring clean gift for. 

The deadline is to post you Spring Clean Gift by 12th May. Make sure you include a note revealing who you are. Feel free to write a blog post about the gift you send and receive. On 19th May our #craftblogclub chat will be a reveal where we talk about our creations and the gift we receive. 

We can’t wait to see your wonderful creations, making use of those unused materials. Remember #craftblogclub is every Tuesdays 7-8.30pm GMT, join us for lots of crafty chat, blogging inspiration and fun challenges – Come Join Us!

Inspiration, Knitting & Crochet

Arm & Finger Knitting Book Review

I first started knitting in 2010 using the basic knit, purl, increase, decrease and to be honest I haven’t stretched my knitting skills since then. So imagine my excitement when I was asked to review Laura Strutt’s latest book Arm & Finger Knitting. What a perfect way to expand on my knitting skills, plus I love reading Laura’s blog and always admire her knitted creations.

30. BookI have to admit I was slightly nervous about trying this new approach to knitting but my mind was put at ease as soon as I saw the ‘useful terms & abbreviations’ list. I don’t know about you but I am so often put off by this list in some books, but in this case there were just 9 things listed and I was fairly sure I knew what they all meant. Phew!

Before picking up the yarn I enjoyed an evening of reading through the book and admiring the different projects. The book is neatly set out with arm and finger knitting projects for both the home and to wear. I am particularly fond of the knits for home. The projects will add warmth, texture and colour to any home. As someone currently planning a trip, the travel blanket on page 51 really caught my eye. I love the concept of the pocket that allows for the blanket to be folded away whilst at the same time making a comfy pillow.

This book is a real pleasure to follow with clear instructions and a natural flowing commentary throughout. The ‘Make it yours’ and ‘Tip’ sections make it feel as though Laura is personally willing you on as you knit. This book is ideal for the avid knitter looking to try a new technique to the absolute beginner, it really is the perfect gift for any keen crafter.

Arm & Finger Knitting (CICO Books) is available from all major book sellers including Amazon

Please also make sure that you check out Made Peachy at www.madepeachy.com  Twitter and Facebook 

30. Book Tour Poster


#Craftblogclub Secret Santa

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and super New Year. I was battling a terrible cough like many over the festive period, but still had a fab time with family and friends. Over at #craftblogclub we hosted a Secret Santa following it’s success in 2013. This Christmas I was given the lovely Zoe @oodlesofcraft. I made Zoe some Christmas bunting and her very own Christmas stocking. After reading Zoe’s blog post I think she liked her handmade gifts!

29a - Secret Santa


I was away for Christmas so wasn’t at home when my Secret Santa parcel arrived. I was pleased about this though as it prolonged the excitement of Christmas! I was the very lucky recipient of a beautifully hand made gift from @EmmaRuthJones. Emma had made me a notebook (which is the perfect size for jotting down crafty ideas) and a beautifully delicate bracelet. Thank you Emma, I love them!

29b - Secret Santa


A big thank you to everyone who took part in the #craftblogclub Secret Santa challenge. I am enjoying reading everyone’s posts. It really is so wonderful to make something handmade for a fellow crafter. I hope you can join us for the first #craftblogclub of 2015 on Tuesday 6th Jan at 7pm. We will be sharing our Secret Santa posts. We have lots of exciting things planned for #craftblogclub in 2015 including guest hosts and more super challenges! Here’s to an amazing 2015 of crafts and fun :)


#craftblogclub Secret Santa


It’s that time of year again and we are SO very excited here @craftblogclub! If you took part last year I am certain you will want to be involved again. For those of you uncertain of how it all works here are the rules:

If you want to take part please email me at katie@katiegetscrafty.com and include your name, twitter name, email address and postal address. Please email me by 8pm on Tuesday 11th November. I will then email everyone back with the name and address of the person you are making a gift for.

You then make that person a Christmas gift – this can be anything you like and made from any craft. It would be lovely for everyone to receive their gift in time for Christmas, therefore we have set a deadline of 20th December. Make sure you include a note revealing who you are.

Then the real excitement begins. We all receive a special handmade Christmas gift from our Secret Santa! You can then write a blog post about the wonderful gift you receive and about the gift you made.

I hope you are all as excited about this challenge as I am. I can’t tell you how giddy I was to receive my Secret Santa last year.

I look forward to receiving your email by 8pm Tuesday 11th Nov. Enjoy making and receiving your special #craftblogclub gift.

My amazing 2013 Secret Santa gift from @teenagebabushka

My amazing 2013 Secret Santa gift from @teenagebabushka


Inspiration, Sewing

Craft Shop Favourite – Exeter Sewing Machine Company

As part of my Craft Shop Favourite series I would like to introduce the Exeter Sewing Machine Company. As well as selling fabrics and hosting a variety of classes, they also sell and repair sewing machines. I would love visiting the shop when I lived in sunny Devon. I have remained in contact with shop manager Jenna and I am delighted to share this interview with you. There is also an amazing giveaway!

What Sewing Machine could you not live without?

My new Brother Innovis VQ2. Sewing machines are often designed with a particular craft in mind and the Brother VQ2 is for the quilters. It has a 11 1/4″ long arm and fantastic lighting system.

Brother Innovis VQ2

Brother Innovis VQ2

What are your top 5 tips for Sewing Machine Maintenance?

1. Check if your machine needs oiling – many modern computerised machines don’t and oiling can actually damage them. Generally speaking the computerised machines with a top-loading horizontal bobbin do not need oiling, but check your manual to be sure.

2. Gently clean the surface of your machine with a damp cloth and wipe it again with a dry cloth. Remember to unplug the machine before doing this.

3. Clean the bobbin case. Dust and lint gathers here. Use the cleaning brush supplied with the machine to remove any lint and dust.

4. Use the best needle for the job, remember to change your needle often. This help prevent possible damage.

5. One of the best things you can do for your machine is to use a good quality thread. Poor quality threads, or those actually intended for overlockers will shed more lint and break more easily which will clog up your tension discs.

What is your favourite item that you sell?

There are so many essential sewing tools available now and we are always seeking to stock new and exciting products! My current favourite has to be Aurifil thread. I first heard about it on social media and knew it was creating quite a buzz in the quilting world – so I had to find out more. Since using Aurifil I haven’t used any other thread for my quilting projects. What makes it so special is the superior quality and reliability of the thread, combined with strength. We’ve started stocking the finest weight, which is perfect for applique and piecing as well as quilting.

Check out all this thread!

Check out all this thread!

We are happy to give one lucky Katie Gets Crafty reader a pack of Aurifil threads as a giveaway. The pack contains five reels of thread!

Win me!

Win me!

To enter simply:

  1. Like Katie Gets Crafty facebook page and leave a comment on the giveaway post letting me know you would like to enter.
  2. and/or send me a tweet @katiegetscrafty and use #KGCgiveaway

Here’s the important stuff: The giveaway will close on Friday 8th August at 6pm and the winner will be picked at random. I will announce the winner on Saturday 9th August. Sorry but this giveaway is only open to UK residents.

A BIG THANK YOU to Jenna for her tips and advice and especially for the FANTASTIC Aurifil giveaway. If you find yourself in Exeter then you MUST visit the shop. Also please make sure you visit www.exetersewing.co.uk and follow @exetersewing and www.facebook.com/exetersewing

Inspiration, Knitting & Crochet, Sewing

#craftblogclub – What’s your favourite online craft tutorial?


For tonight’s #craftblogclub chat we shared our favourite online tutorials. Tutorials are a great way to learn a new skill or for a quick refresh. Below I have listed some of the suggestions from tonight’s chat. Here you will find tutorials for crochet, paper crafts, sewing, jewellery making and lots more. I hope you find something that will inspire you to get crafty!


For all things #crochet you MUST visit attic24.typepad.com – Lucy’s blog inspired me to learn to hook!

Lucy’s blog is so colourful and inspiring. So good to see her popping up in various craft mags now :-)

Also for a weekly dose of craft tutorials check out @craftsonsea #pintorials loads of things to do plus you can link up too!

Here’s one of my most popular tutorials – lots of traffic via @Pinterest!

Really my best suggestion would be to go to Pinterest – there are tutorials for EVERYTHING!



I quite like Crafts Tuts Plus crafts.tutsplus.com 

Crafts Unleashed do some good tutorials craftsunleashed.com

And there are some good jewellery tutorials on Flamingo Toes flamingotoes.com



Our latest tutorial shows how to make a wire bead cage – http://www.eightandsixteen.co.uk/2014/07/jewellery-101-diy-wire-bead-cage.html 

My favourite DIY of Erin’s so far is these photo coasters: http://www.eightandsixteen.co.uk/2014/07/diy-shabby-chic-photo-coasters.html



I used this tutorial for my first sewing machine make. Simple and clear instructions for an easy cushion cover bit.ly/U1DcB9 

I watched this earlier and am inspired to make a skirt. She makes it look so easy http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkuJY1dJ6SCWxPcAVvdVpPg



For papercraft I like https://www.youtube.com/user/Claritystamp stamping, gelli plate and brayer techniques



My favorite tutorial is @thezenofmaking on English paper piecing. I’m addicted now! http://www.thezenofmaking.com/2013/08/english-paper-piecing-tutorial-series.html



I still love @MS_Living tutorials they are so simple and inspiring



@EmmaRuthJones also has some ace tutorials on blog!



And the winner is…

We had so many entries for our latest giveaway with lots of fab ideas. We had cushions, upcycling a toy box and lampshade and much more. But there can only be one winner. Drum roll please…

I am pleased to announce that the lucky winner of a metre of beautiful insect fabric is…

Jenny Riley!

Congratulations  Jenny! Please email me at katie@katiegetscrafty.com within 48 hours with the address you would like this posting too.

Thanks to everyone who entered and a BIG thank you to Sam, Catherine, Lynda and Becky over at Wheeler Fabrics. If you missed out this time don’t worry. We have another fantastic giveaway for later this month. Watch this space!


Inspiration, Sewing

Fabric Giveaway!

Win me - what would you make with a metre of this beautiful insect fabric?

Win me – what would you make with a metre of this beautiful insect fabric?

I hope you have seen my interview with Sam – shop owner of the wonderful Wheeler Fabrics. Sam and his team have kindly offered a metre of their favourite fabric as a giveaway to one lucky Katie Gets Crafty reader! Sam will post the fabric to the lucky winner.

Here is a reminder of how you can enter:

  1. Leave a comment below sharing what you would make with insect fabric.
  2. Send me a tweet @katiegetscrafty and use the hashtag #KGCgiveaway
  3. Like Katie Gets Crafty Facebook page and leave a comment on the giveaway post letting me know you would like to enter the giveaway.

Here’s the important stuff: The giveaway will close on Tuesday 1st July at 6pm and the winner will be picked at random. I will announce the winner on Wednesday 2nd July.

Sorry but this giveaway is only open to UK residents.