Inspiration, Knitting & Crochet, Sewing

Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show 2015

On Saturday I attended the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate. To say I was excited is a HUGE understatement. The night before was like Christmas Eve – I just wanted it to be morning and show time! I had wonderful company with me, Hilary, my mother in law. This was actually a Christmas treat from last year from me to her. I thought we would go all out, so I got us VIP passes which was fab as it allowed us to jump the queue, have a goodie bag and get a reduced price on the workshops.

My favourite stand by Amanda Blackwell at Joe's Toes

My favourite stand by Amanda Blackwell at Joe’s Toes

Festive Robin

I just love this Robin!

The show had the most wonderful stands and suppliers of every craft you could possibly imagine. There was also an ‘artists in action’ area which allowed us to see the artists at work, plus fabulous exhibitions of stunning projects.

It sure was busy but everyone was so lovely – especially the stall holders. We had a lovely chat with Jane Greenoff, founder of the Cross Stitch Guild, and she was kind enough to sign Hilary’s book.

I've made lots of fabric brooches - this has given me the idea of building them up to make a wreath.

I’ve made lots of fabric brooches – this has given me the idea of building them up to make a wreath.

How cute is this quilt? Love the bunnies tail!

How cute is this quilt? Love the bunnies tail!

I couldn’t get over just how vast the show was – we were truly inspired and ideas were flowing over lunch as we discussed our crafting goals for 2016.

We ended the day with a Dressmaking workshop with Sandra Togher of Bowey Gallery. We both want to get into dress making next year and so we thought this was the perfect kick-start, and it certainly was. We were given a free pattern and both now feel more confident to give it a go in the New Year.

We had the most wonderful day, needless to next years show dates (1-4 Dec) are already in the diary! This really is a show not to be missed.

Workshop time!

Workshop time!


Our free pattern :)


#craftblogclub Spring Clean Gift Swap Challenge Reveal

At the end of March #craftblogclub set a new challenge – The #CraftBlogClub Spring Clean Gift Swap.

The challenge was to create and send a gift to a fellow #CraftBlogClub-ee, using materials that have sat unused.  The idea of this challenge was to use up those materials that have been lying around and to help you have a good clear out.

I was partnered up with the lovely Kay. I know Kay likes her knitted items so I saw this as a chance to dust off my knitting needles. I had some wool left over from a scarf I made years ago. So I decided to make Kay some wrist warmers. Not much use to her now but ready for the winter.

 Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 21.57.16

I also had some fabric left over from a jute bag I made last year and there was just enough to make another. To my delight Kay loved them both.

From Kay I received the most wonderful gift. Next month I am getting married and Kay has made us a beautiful cross stitch as a keepsake for our special day! How thoughtful?! I’m not ashamed to say I shed a few tears when I opened my gift. Thank you Kay x x x


I can’t wait for the next challenge – there really is nothing like getting a special hand made gift through the post! #craftblogclub is every Tuesday 7-8.30pm GMT, join us for lots of crafty chat, blogging inspiration and fun challenges – Come Join Us!

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 – 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 Unleashed do some good tutorials

And there are some good jewellery tutorials on Flamingo Toes



Our latest tutorial shows how to make a wire bead cage – 

My favourite DIY of Erin’s so far is these photo coasters:



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

I watched this earlier and am inspired to make a skirt. She makes it look so easy



For papercraft I like stamping, gelli plate and brayer techniques



My favorite tutorial is @thezenofmaking on English paper piecing. I’m addicted now!



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



@EmmaRuthJones also has some ace tutorials on blog!



My Craft Space

It wasn’t until our most recent move that I realised how important a craft space was to me. For the first two weeks in our new place I was feeling frustrated and it wasn’t until I sorted all my craft materials that I became settled. Like many of you, I would love a dedicated craft room. This month’s issue of Sew Home & Style has a lovely article on creating your dream craft room and it is my dream one day to have something like this… 13a - Sew Good things come to those who wait. Until then I am more than content with the space I have created. I have divided our lounge into two, with a snug area for the sofa and TV and the other half is my craft space! With the help of my fiancé we built two bookcases to store everything. I also have a beautiful Lloyd Loom ottoman to store larger pieces of materials, wadding etc. Our dining table (now craft table – dinner on our laps is fine!) is positioned next to the double doors letting in lots of natural light. 13. Ottoman I have added a few personal touches with a framed cross stitch by my nan, a beautiful drawing from the lovely @layoutlines and our engagement present from our very dear friend @twoducksdisco. These really do inspire me when I am working.

13. Fox and Bird

I even spent an afternoon going through all my fabric and ironing it all. This means all my fat quarters are now neatly folded and displayed on a shelf. I know I am a saddo but I don’t care, this has made me very happy! I also got A LOT of enjoyment sorting all my buttons into jars. They add so much colour to my book case.

13. Fat Quarters

I love to finally have all my books on display rather than in boxes. I was very excited this week to welcome two new additions to the collection. Both books from the amazing The Great British Sewing Bee series are now brightening up my bookcase. Although I don’t intend for them to stay on the shelf as I am itching to start making my new wardrobe of handmade clothes. 13. Sewing Bee

 13. Books

All my bits and pieces are stored across three lovely sewing boxes. The cream one was a charity shop find and the red with white spots box was a leaving gift from my lovely friends. I also have an overspill of things in two very old tins from both my Nans. 13. Sewing boxes I am really pleased to share my new space with you. Now it’s time to start making :)


Using Oilcloth for the first time

On a recent visit to my sisters she asked me to bring my sewing machine with me. I always like the little projects she sets for me. In the past they have been turning up curtains, covering ottomans or making cushions. These days they are often little projects for my wonderful new nephew. I was keen to see what this project entailed. My sis had purchased some oilcloth online and was hoping I could use it to make a new cover for a changing mat.

Oilcloth is a fabric treated on one side with oil to make it waterproof. I had purchased some oilcloth recently for a tablecloth but it didn’t require any work, so this would be the first time using oilcloth on my machine.

Before making a start I read this article to give me an idea of what to expect. I was a bit nervous to start with, but I told myself it all went terribly wrong I would just buy my nephew a new mat!

I used a standard foot but changed my needle to a 90. This might have been too thick but the stitches looked OK. I cut the fabric so it folded with the fabric facing inwards. I sewed along the longest part first then turned it the right way before sewing up the top. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this is the thickest and heaviest material I have ever used, but the oilcloth went through the machine smoothly requiring no extra effort from me.

5a - Baby Mat

This really was a simple project but I wanted to share my experience as the oilcloth was a great surprise and really easy to work with. I am excited to use it again on a more ambitious project. Maybe a nice lunch bag?

Inspiration, Sewing

What makes a good tutorial?

Emma from @livepeachy is the founder and host of #craftblogclub, a weekly get together on twitter for craft bloggers and craft lovers alike. Each week we have a topic, for example last weeks was ‘What makes a good tutorial?’ As a beginner I often follow online tutorials. They are a great way to see if I am doing it right! I do love books, magazines and patterns but sometimes I just need to see someone else doing it for me to really get it and understand. I had just finished making some lovely cushions following an online tutorial so I was pleased to have the opportunity to share this great video with others during our weekly #craftblogclub.

A few months back I got my hands on this lovely fabric at a local charity shop. I wasn’t sure at first what I was going to make with it but soon decided I was going to attempt cushions.

3a - Fabric

As a beginner I am not ready to battle zips yet, so I found an envelope cushion tutorial online by The Crafty Gemini. I love how clear Vanessa is in this video. Clear instructions with great close up shots. I would recommend the video to any beginner like me. I was really pleased with the finish; I even felt confident enough to add some buttons. It was my first time making a buttonhole on my machine and it was so much easier than I thought. I don’t know why I hadn’t done it before. I think I will be adding buttons to everything from now on! I used another tutorial for sewing on the buttons. I know this is a simple sewing technique but I wanted to be sure they were secure. I used this video to check out the best technique.

I am really pleased with the final result, so much so that I will give them to my Mum as a Christmas present. It’s ok, she isn’t online so she won’t see them!

3b - Cushions

Thanks to #craftblogclub I was able to share this tutorial with others as well as bookmark lots of tutorials that others recommended. For those of you not familiar with #craftblogclub we meet every Tuesday 7-8pm. Make sure you follow @livepeachy to keep up to date with the weekly topic as well as fun crafty challenges. Maybe see you there next week?