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Sunday Sevens #87

Sunday Sevens is half right this week in that at least I’m posting on a Sunday. I really must work on the ‘sevens’ part though, as demonstrated by the 24 photos that follow…..

1. Wisteria is one of the many reasons that May is my favourite month. Georgian architecture, cottage gardens and the odd perfect blue sky are one of the many reasons to love England.

2. Talking of architecture, I snapped up this book in the charity shop this week for just £2.00.

3. Bought these quilting clips which should be useful for bulky fabrics or when pin marks would ruin leather/PVC.

4. I ordered a couple of metres of this fab ‘ice cream truck’ fabric from Ditto fabrics while it’s in the sale. It’s even better in the flesh and I’m tempted to get some more.

5. Mr H-L and I had a day out in Salisbury. First stop is always the Old George Inn, now run as the Boston Tea Party café, for Eggs Royale where we sit in the same place – a Grade One listed bay window which still has a few of the original panes of glass. On the wall opposite is a list of all the landlords/licencees since 1320!

6. Its Grade One status means that no fixtures can be permanent, including the lighting. I love the quirky solution of suspending old teapots wired up as pendants over the table.

7. Breakfast provided the necessary sustenance for Mr H-L to survive not one, but TWO fabric stores whilst we were there. Franklins were celebrating their 60th anniversary and the shop is more of a craft centre spread over two floors. They hold a good selection of quilting-type cottons, if a little on the pricy side at £18.95 per metre. I bought mine from the bargain bucket where everything was £2.95 per metre:)

8. I can’t imagine spending that much on a sewing machine…..

9. Fabric Land is one of nine branches spread over Southern England and this particular shop is pretty good, stocking completely different fabrics to Franklins. Their full price printed cottons were £3.95 per metre – an important factor when considering my workshops are all-inclusive and I need to make a profit.

10. As a treat for being a good boy in the sewing shops, I took Mr H-L for a quick pint in The Haunch of Venison, also dating from 1320. If you get a chance, follow the link and read the brief history as it’s quite interesting.

11. See the bread oven in the left of the inglenook?

12. Here it is close up, now secured with iron bars and a padlock due to its macabre contents having been pilfered several times in the past.

13. Why anyone would want to nick the mummified remains of a hand, chopped off of a man caught cheating at cards, is beyond me, though!

14. Here’s the accompanying poem that describes the grisly event in more detail.

15. My recent fabric buying bonanza has culminated in this towering pile of cotton prints, all of which are destined for Summer sewing workshops.

16. There are some lovely combinations for the kids to choose from for this PJ and pillow project.

17. Mr H-L rustled up a tasty breakfast on Saturday morning….

18. …..whilst I whipped up some butter and a quick loaf.

19. Love Sewing popped through the door later in the morning, so everything stopped for half an hour while I put my feet up with a cup of coffee.

20. No.1 Son’s team won the Cup.

21. Here he is with the winner’s medal.

22. Mr H-L’s shorts are finished and ready to be blogged on Wednesday.

23. Last night’s sofa project was this crochet pincushion which was a free gift with Mollie Makes this month. It might be going in this year’s #stitchingsanta parcel……

24. Sunday morning will see me squeezing in a couple of hours of selfish sewing while Mr H-L does the grocery shopping, No.1 Son has gone to see his girlfriend, No.2 Son is at the stables and No.3 Son is happily colouring.

Said project is a white linen triple-layered dress which has caused me one very big practical problem at the moment. Stay tuned for an update;)

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series thought up by Nat at Thread & Bobbins – follow the link to find out what it’s all about and how you can join in, too.


Needlecases & Pin Cushion

I suppose it’s only a natural progression after making a pin cushion to want to make a new needlecase too? Well it was to me anyhow, so I browsed Pinterest (as if I needed an excuse) and my favourite was one by Loopy Linnet which was so lovely that I made my own version;

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Lovin’ the way the new sewing machine makes free motion embroidery so easy and so much fun.

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This one is for me to keep and use in my sewing room but I was inspired to come up with a new design and make some to sell in my Folksy shop.

I had some remnants of red linen left over from a dress I made recently (that’s for another post one day) and I remembered some fabric that I bought on a whim ages ago (knowing it would be useful for something).

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It’s a great London-themed poly-cotton with images that could quite easily be appliquéd individually using my favourite scribble-stitching.

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So I decided to go the whole hog and create a very commercial item that will hopefully appeal to a broad market, yet is still very much a craftsman made piece.

And these are what I came up with…

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They are stiffened with interlining and lined with the London print fabric.

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They are quite generous in size at 4.5 x 5″ so I decided to keep the bulk to a minimum by only adding one ‘book’ of felt in which to store needles. These are big darning needles so you can see that there’s space for loads more…

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I took a ‘Lifestyle’ shot for scale…

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In an effort to think with my business head on (difficult for Crafters) I designed some matching pincushions to encourage multiple purchases.

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They are so light in weight that they can be included in the parcel and posted at no extra cost which should be quite appealing, especially to overseas buyers. I’m thinking that they would be great gifts to family living abroad as the price is reasonable and the international postage is low.

I’ve got some beige linen as well, so I’m going to come up with some designs using that too. They’re quite quick to construct after the first one – I always cut a template out of card once I’ve finalized a design, and you usually find more efficient methods after you’ve made a few, don’t you?

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So that’s it – my new “London Collection” of patriotic needlecases and pincushions!





Pin Cushion & Thread Catcher ‘Tadah!’

I don’t know about you but, although I do a LOT of sewing, I don’t even have a pin cushion which means grappling with loose pins from the tub and dropping most of them on the floor….so I thought it was about time I made one.

A pretty one. Not just a functional one.

When I first had my own studio I promised myself that I would indulge my girly desires to make pretty accessories whenever the need arose – and now the need has arisen.

After browsing Pinterest for pin cushion designs, I came across this one by Curry Bungalow – genius!!

thread catcher

It consists of a detachable pin cushion and a thread catcher weighed down by a covered bathroom tile. Such a clever idea and, hopefully, it will save me hoovering after every sewing session:)

You can buy the pattern here as an instant download PDF which is what I did as soon as I saw it! You just know when something is exactly what you’ve been looking for don’t you and, if you’re anything like me, can’t wait to get started.

One of my favourite textile artists is Pants and Paper and I love this particular design of hers on an iPad mini case:-

iPad mini case

One of the reasons I bought my new sewing machine was to do more free machine embroidery as my old one just wasn’t up to the job. I could never seem to get consistent stitching and it was always missing stitches despite using a new needle each time. My new one is ace, so simple and quick to set up and the results are fantastic even for a free machine embroidery novice like me.

I kind of already had an idea how to combine the original pattern with the design I had in mind, and I just had to adapt it to the size tile that I had leftover from a kitchen refit ten years ago in my old house (well, I can’t throw spare tiles away; they might come in handy one day!!)

The entire project was created using scraps of fabric leftover from various other makes, so it satisfied my craving for a craft fix without costing a single penny – bonus!

This is the detachable pin cushion which fastens to the thread catcher via a strip of velcro (hook and loop tape) on the covered tile;

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Here’s the thread catcher with a handy little loop for storing your embroidery scissors;

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Here’s how it looks from the front;

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Some close up detail…..

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And finally….


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I chose some scraps of ‘Rosetta’ by Clarke & Clarke for the lining so the inside is just as pretty as the outside!

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The tile does a brilliant job of securing the whole thing to the worktop right next to the sewing machine. In fact the entire design works so well that I have no idea how I’ve managed over forty years of sewing without one!Pincushion thread catcher - 12

I’m thrilled to bits with it and it looks soooo pretty in my studio. In case you missed it, here’s the link to the pattern again Pin Cushion Thread Catcher so why not have a go at making one for yourself?