tutorial

First of all, a great big “THANK YOU” for all your kind birthday wishes.  I did indeed have a lovely day – and an especially lovely time beforehand too, as I was away for a few days – I’ll tell you all about my special birthday trip later this week.   But it’s now time now  to announce the winner of the Fred – or Ginger – kit.  I absolutely adored all your comments and had to recount the winner three times as I kept dissolving into giggles when reading them whilst counting!

Fred & Ginger

And finally, after working the random number generator and having several recounts, I am pleased to announce that the winner is comment number 55 – that’s Gayle – well done Gayle – I’ve emailed you.  If you haven’t already you might enjoy reading the comments.  They are absolutely wonderful – thank you so much everyone and I’m only sorry I can’t send everyone a Fred or Ginger kit for Christmas.

And, thinking about Christmas, I wanted to share my Christmas tree stand cover idea with you.  This came about because, as usual I have been dreadfully disorganised.  I had planned to make a Three Kings tree skirt, but I didn’t get around to it so was faced with, once again, the problem of disguising the horrid plastic log at the bottom of my tree.  And I didn’t want to spend lots of money as I WILL make a tree skirt next year – I hope!  So …. I had a rummage around my workroom and managed to put together what I think is a rather nice cover, using only items I had to hand.  And it can be easily dis-assembled once Christmas is over and everything reused for future projects.  

Christmas Tree Tub

It looks a bit like a woolly tub I think!  If you’d like to make your own, you’ll need:

  • bendy card or plastic – sufficient to wrap around your tree stand/bucket  (I had a sheet of handbag base that I cut into half and joined with parcel tape – see pictures below)
  • Parcel tape if you need to join your plastic or card
  • an assortment of patches cut from old knitwear
  • toy stuffing
  • sewing machine

How I did it:

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 Measure around the base you want to disguise.  Cut your plastic into a strip that can be bent into a ring that will fit comfortably around your tree base – allowing for joins if necessary.  Make the cover as tall as you wish – mine was about 8″ tall.  I allowed a couple of inches for each join and stuck my plastic together  with brown parcel tape so I could easily peel it off and use the handbag base for its original purpose after Christmas.  

xmastreetub 006

Join your patchwork squares into a strip that’s about an inch less than your plastic strip in length, and half an inch taller.  I joined my squares with machine zig-zag stitch, allowing between 1/2 and 1/4″ seam allowance (I wasn’t too fussy) and pressed the seams open so that the machine stitching doesn’t show.  

xmastreetub 008

When your strip is the right length, join the two short ends so that it forms a circle and slip it over your plastic ring.  The woollens will be stretchy and as the woollen circle is very slightly smaller than the plastic one, this stretch will keep it in place without distorting its shape.

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 Place your cover in position with stand inside then assemble tree (you could also make this to cover an inelegant bucket or tree stand for a real tree).  

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 Optional step:  Untangle puppy from the decorations she has stolen while you were unpacking your tree and place the decorations out of reach.  

Image4Fill tub with toy stuffing to resemble snow.  Then decorate your tree – switch on the lights ….

Christmas Tree TubStand back and admire!  (I added my baby squirrel softies to my snowy scene – but I’m not sure how safe they’ll be with Miss Daisy on the prowl).

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Meant to be …..

by Helen on November 17, 2013

Wish upon a Star: Mr Fox

A very quick post indeed as this afternoon I’m bit busy with my Mr Fox “How to Stitch Fur” video tutorial for the December Magazine.  But this morning  I popped into Dartmouth for coffee with friends and while we were enjoying a stroll around the narrow twisty lanes I happened to glance into a shop window and saw…… THIS!!

Dartmouth Shop Window

 Some things are meant to be!!   

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Wish upon a star …. part two

by Helen on November 6, 2013

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a little fox.  Now this little fox had one special dream that he held tight to his heart and did nothing about while he waited and waited and waited  for it to come true.  But one day he met a very wise old owl who told him that it’s no good just waiting and hoping for your dreams – you have to make them happen.  

So one starry, snowy night, the little fox chose a very bright and shiny star.  Then he sat for a long time on a nice fat comfy toadstool and gazed at this star very hard indeed while he wished for some help to make his dream come true …..

Wish upon a Star: Mr Fox

And the very next day he saw an advert for embroidery classes.  He instantly enrolled and carefully practised his stitches every day. Now his dream really has come true ….. 

Wish upon a star: Mr Fox

 He can embroider beautifully!  

A very silly story!!  But my fox is all finished and ready for the December Bustle & Sew Magazine.  And in the magazine, as well as the pattern for Mr Fox, I am including a link to a new video tutorial that will show readers how to stitch him – especially the shading of his fur.  The second picture of my fox is another lovely illustration from Flapdoodledesigns that’s destined to feature on the cover of a new collection of Bustle & Sew patterns – the Woodland Collection that’s coming very soon.  

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Free Liberty Patchwork Pup Tutorial

by Helen on December 28, 2012

I can hardly believe that Christmas Day is behind us now!  So much anticipation, preparation and general excitement and then – the day was gone in a flash!  Townie Husband ate lots of roast potatoes (too many to count!), I am ashamed to report that I was rather greedy with Rosie’s home-baked mince pies, whilst Rosie and Ben were observed snuggled down in a corner together scoffing chocolate Santas (Ben’s were doggie-chocs of course).  There was laughter and fun, a little (but not very serious) bickering, and a good time was generally agreed to have been had by all.  

Liberty Patchwork Pup (3)

During the holiday period between Christmas and New Year I have always loved to sit down with a sewing project – this year I’m hoping to make some progress on my rather neglected snowflake door curtain – but that’s not anywhere near ready to show yet.  So I thought this might be a good moment to share instead my Patchwork Pup tutorial, created from a selection of vintage and new Liberty fabric from their new Liberty Lifestyle Collection.

Liberty fabrics are so quintessentially English – and their new craft range works really well with their vintage designs too as the more vibrantly coloured craft fabrics beautifully complement the more muted tones of their vintage patterns. 

Libety Patchwork Pup (2)

The pup’s body is created from a cheat’s version of pieced hexagons – all machined onto a firm cotton base creating a nice strong fabric for your softie.  My finished puppy measured about 10″ long, but the pattern can easily be re-sized if you wish.  If you’d like the free tutorial then please just just CLICK HERE to download the pdf file.

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