Category Archives: projects
I have been feeling the urge to Spring clean lately…how about you ? I know this is the sort of thing one expects at this time of year but I am a great saver of things, hoarder! …we don’t use that word in our home. All my “saves” have wonderful plans, right! So I knew I was having a moment when I found myself checking out my fabric stash, I was just looking for the ” just right fabric” you know the one your sure you have somewhere if only you could find it !
Then my daughter and some of her friends came over for a night of …just chillin’. They started to look at the fabric stash as well and started to put different colour combinations together. I said please go ahead and have fun, well they had loads of fun and started to make piles of their favourite colour mixes. I was thrilled with all the choices they had made for me, sometimes I find a new set of eyes can produce wonderful and exciting results. They all enjoyed themselves and left with their personal choices listed on paper with small snippets of each fabric choice taped in order of preference.
Consequently I have been busy making many variations of my small string quilted purses. Each one a designer original.
As you can tell by the pictures they really are unique and fun. When I made each of these purses I cut small strips of cotton fabrics in varying widths and stitched them at an angle onto a base fabric. After this I made up the purse shape as I do with my other designs. How do you like the colour combinations? please leave us a comment we would love to hear from you. Maybe you have been stash busting too!
I basically draw out a shape on paper that I think will work for a felted purse, I sometimes cut out a cardboard copy of this if I think I will make more than one.
Then you need to find a sweater of your choice from the thrift store…go for 100% wool whenever possible they felt up a lot better than other types. Take this cool find to your washing machine and do all the things you have been told not to do to wash your wool sweater! Hot water, lots of soap and agitate! when you have done this rinse out the soap using cold water, spin and place in the drier…this should now be a few sizes smaller ! and felted. Once your sweater is felted you can cut open the seams, now you have your working fabric. Your decision as to where to place your pattern happens now. Choose a part of the design you like and see how it will look folded or turned the other way. When you are happy with your choice, cut out and hand sew the side seams. I use strong buttonhole thread which comes in a mass of different colours.
I use an easy envelope style flap on the front of the purse. This design lends it’s self to a few variations, make a point like a regular envelope, angle up to the left or right side and round out the point as seen in the pictures. I sew on a large snap closure making sure to sew a small piece of felt underneath each part of the snap. This gives stability to the closure. Decorate the top if desired, I used a knitted, crochet and felted flower with two wool leaves. You could use recycled buttons, embroidery, loops, lace or whatever comes to mind. Let your creative juices flow.
If you are unable to find a wool sweater try making a swatch from your many scrap pieces of yarn. The multi coloured purse with the gold coloured flower was actually a test swatch that I made to see if I could knit with two yarns. I knitted in a round and found that the join looked kind of nasty so I decided to felt it. After this I cut it open were the join was and TA DA! a lovely working fabric to design with. If you need to flatten it out, just use an iron on hot and steam for a few seconds.
I love the versatility of this project. I am sure that I will be making more. I hope you will give this a try and if it helps.. you are making an eco friendly project by saving sweaters from the land fill.
I have been busy bottling peaches and apricots for the winter and will do some plums later. We all enjoy fresh fruit crumble/crisp during the long wet wintry months so this is my chore during the summer when all the fruit is abundant. Most of the fruit is grown in the Okanagon Valley here in B.C. The jars of fruit lined up in the larder look very pretty and I am always thankful when the job is finished. I sometimes give a jar of fruit as a gift and my friends are very pleased.
We enjoyed a quick trip to Oregon last week, literally a flying visit. We dropped off our daughter and her friend in Eugene then headed out to the coast. We stayed in Reedsport and travelled around the area going to Winchester Bay, Coos Bay and Cape Arago. We hired a dune buggy and went for a drive on the dunes near Coos Bay. My husband had a wonderful time driving me around the dunes but I was squealing most of the time because of the steepness of the dunes and the speed we were travelling. On the last day we headed up to Florence before collecting the girls from Eugene and heading back to Canada. We travelled the equivalent of the length of England at least once on our long journey over 600 miles in one day ! Thank goodness for knitting projects, some of which I was able to complete. Of course, I just had to go into the fantastic yarn shop in Coos Bay and yes, I bought some yarn!
My latest work is a lovely hand-knitted, lace-edged, wool shawl made with 100% Canadian yarn from Briggs and Little, a company in Nova Scotia. I chose a very pretty lilac colour and used two skeins to make this size which is approximately medium to large. I knitted the main body in garter stitch and finished the edge with my own lace design which is a combination of crochet and knit stitches but using knitting needles to do them both. I have a few smaller shawls in the making but would like to finish them with a lace edge so wanted to finish the larger one first. Now that I have worked out how to do the lace edge, I can get them all finished for my Fall sale.
I have done very little spinning since my last blog post but hope to start again as soon as I have knitted a baby gift for a friend who lives in Australia. I am thinking of knitting a little fruit cap; you know, the cute ones that look like strawberries and cherries. I made a pumpkin hat for my her first baby so think I will choose a blueberry hat for baby number two; they are both boys!
Today was a day not unlike any other. I had plans to work on my pouches and purses, as I told my SIL in the UK that I would. Believe me, I have to get busy but the sun was shining and I thought I would take advantage of the good light and take some photographs.
I have recently purchased some beautiful silk ribbons from a company called Treenway Silks here in B.C. The colours are divine. I would have liked to have had one of every colour but alas I must be careful with the budget. I took some great pictures and then one thing lead to another and I was photographing all kinds of different things that just happen to be on my table to-day. I really did tidy up last week but it certainly doesn’t look that way around here.
Yes, I was completely side tracked and looked longingly into the garden and not much actual work was being done. I daresay a lot was going on in my creative mind but the needle was not in my hand being busy so I gave myself a little talking to; you know the one “Get on, must do more work” etc, etc!
It must have worked because I have completed my felted fish purse now and have to say I had lots of fun making it. I even love how the shape of the pouch, when opened, is fish-like. The zipper pull looks like a tail fin – not planned, just a happy accident.