Crafty works in progress

Despite the lack of reading, I have been doing other stuff, believe it or not.

Back in the early 1990s, Laura Ashley issued some of their fabrics in precut squares, and I picked up a whole load of these packets, but never got laura-ashley-quilt-topsaround to doing anything with them. 20 something years later and I’m overflowing with fabric, so I decided I had better do something about the situation.   I’ve therefore been doing some paper piecing, and have got to the point of making some headway into a quilt/patchwork top. I have *no* idea what I’m going to do with it, or what happens next after I’ve completed the top – I’ve never got as far as backing and binding, but that’ll happen sooner or later!

Large Cross Stitch SamplerThe large sampler has been sitting out and about for over a year now, and I should get around to finishing it off. A couple of more weeks should do it once I get my act together – of course the nights are now getting darker earlier, so it means that I’ll have to get the clip on light to put on the frame – I once brought a specialty clip on light, only to realise I already had a book light that I never used and that would do just the job!



Having done The Festival Of Quilts a few weeks ago, and despite saying I’d not add to the stash, of course I did. That did prompt a tidy up of the stash – here’s an indication of what the stash looks like (excluding the crates worth of fabric!). I dare not look at the fabrics or the amount of wool that’s hiding around the place – there’s only so much a girl can take in one go!

So there’s plenty to be getting on with – I now just have to do some of it!




Friday Salon: Craft Room wishlist versus reality



Any copyright belongs to infarrantycreative

Especially when I see how other people do it (normally the Americans, it has to be said), there are times that I would really like a separate room that I could label my “craft room”. Somewhere where I could have all my stash out, available to see and access quickly. Somewhere where my sewing machine and ironing board could be out at all times. A room with enough space and light for me to stitch or sew, draw or paint to my heart’s content. Somewhere to place my computer with access to the internet to allow me to get inspiration where I needed it, and post my thoughts to the world, perhaps designing my own corner of the world. A couple of shelves on which to store my crafting books and magazines.

Continue reading

Friday Salon: Top 8 Must have “Crafting” supplies

Excluding Photography for some reason, here are the tools that I believe are essential in the crafting world!

1) SCISSORS! At least one pair, if not two. One pair for paper, one not. All the crafting stuff I do involves the cutting of “stuff” and you simply can’t do it with a Stanley knife.

Continue reading

Sunday Salon: Reading on Sunny days and Rainy Days

The Sunday Salon badge
I have a certain level of guilt about being inside. I grew up in 1970s England to Irish parents. As soon as the weather was “decent” (i.e. “not dark, not raining”) it was certainly a case of “get outside and play”. There was certainly no problem with reading – in fact, I was able to read and write before I went to school and I can never remember not being able to read – but being outside was certainly encouraged, for the rarity in decent weather if nothing else.

Therefore as an adult, choosing to be inside when the sun is shining is certainly a great source of Catholic Guilt. If it’s sunny, you’re outside, it’s that simple. You may go outside to read, that’s ok. It might be sunny and bloody freezing when you stop for more than 2 seconds but that’s not the point

If it’s a rainy day, I generally stay inside and do stuff – most but not all of it reading. I might be doing the dreaded housework, or the ironing etc. Again the guilt factor will prevent me from spending ALL of the day reading (or sewing or watching TV…). I can hear the internal voice going “how can you sit there and read when you know the place needs a dust?!”. Most of the time I can ignore the voice, but sometimes I can’t!


So what about you, constant reader? Do you read more on a rainy day or abandon everything else on a gorgeous day so you can be outside?

Friday Salon: Abandon hope all who….

Do you have any projects that you have scrapped and started over? What made you start over from scratch?

I’ve restarted a couple over the years, but couldn’t name them off the top of the head. Generally it’s when I’ve found a mistake and there’s too much work in frogging it, meaning it’s quicker to start over.

The most memorable one I started again was the Lavender and Lace “The Wedding”, which I originally started on Linen for my older brother’s wedding. I decided part way through that I hate working on Linen, in this case because I had so much trouble working “over 2” that the result would never work.


I ditched that attempt for several years, until my younger brother announced his engagement. I then attempted the same image, this time on Aida. The finished result is above.

I have also attempted a number of other Lavender and Lace pictures – including the Celtic Christmas Angel, but because they were scrapped, I don’t have photos!

How many wips have you started and never finished?


Friday Salon: Hoop or no Hoop?

Cant remember what kicked off this post, but just a quick question – do you use a hoop when sewing? Frames? or do you sew with just the fabric?

Most of the time I use a hoop. This is to keep the fabric stretched so that I can get the same tension in my stitches, so there is no bunching etc. I have quite a few hoops, and which one I use depends on not only the size of the fabric, but whether I want to have both hands free to stitch – some of the hoops I have have extensions to them, which means I get to attach them to a table, or slop the extension under my arm.

I dont use hoops for hand quilting – yet. I’m not at that stage of my quilting to need tension in doing the acthoops embrioderyual quilting.  When I have done some hand sewing of fabric, I have liked the fact that I can get a rhythmn going with the little stitches which can be quite soothing in a way. I have yet to do basting of multiple layers but suspect that I will need to use a frame then, if only to keep the multiple pieces of fabric together.

I used to have a floor based frame, but rarely used it, and dont use it now – it was slipped under the bed a few years ago, and I dont even know if it has all the parts yet. They do take up an awful lot of space and I’m not sewing enough to have one permenantly rigged up in my living space.

So what about yourselves? When, if ever, do you use one?

Friday Salon: Complicated much?

What is the most complicated piece you’ve ever completed?


I’ve done quite a few pieces that I would consider complicated.


The one I did, and swore that I would never attempt again was Mary Hickmott’s “Horus”, that took me about 6 months to do. It was done in multiple colours over linen (which I decided I HATE!), as well as using Krenick metallic thread – which kept breaking and smelt awful! I swore I would never attempt it again, but needless to say, I saw another kit of this at a show I was at a few years later, and for some reason brought it. One day, perhaps!

HorusThis one is a Lavender and Lace item – code LL019 – which i started for one brother’s wedding, but didnt complete – again it was on linen, this time with multiple shades of white (PLUS beading!).  My other brother got married a few years later and I did complete it this time – on 16 ct Aida!