About Me

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Welcome to my blog... I live in an English seaside town with my husband and our five young boys. I have a passion for all things pretty. In particular anything Cath Kidston, vintage inspired and anything bright, colourful and cheery really. I love to knit, crochet and sew as much as I possibly can.... I also love books and of course TEA!!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Back from a loooong break!!

OK. So you lovelies may not even remember me it was that long ago that I was in blogland!! So much has happened since my last post that I'm not even sure where to start.
I guess I should begin with the biggest development... I'm no longer a stay at home mum! That's pretty much what's kept me from blogging (well that, a house move and my addiction to Instagram... "Hello IG buds in blog land"  *cue mad waving*) 
To cut a long story short I decided to take the plunge and enrol on a college course in childcare. I volunteered in a nursery whilst doing my course and was lucky enough to be offered a full time job last September as a teaching assistant in the reception class. I absolutely love it!! Although I have felt pretty exhausted on occasion having five young boys of my own (and a husband! Haha),  I really feel lucky to have found something I love doing and to have made some amazing friends along the way, both at work and at college.
My next step is to study for a year and achieve a C or above in GCSE maths so I can enrol on the latest level 3 childcare course next September (Oh, if only I'd studied harder in my maths lessons all those years ago!) ) *sigh*. But its great to have a goal and feel like I have career possibilities ahead of me. 

Anyhoo, I know I've blathered on enough about that. I'm going to post some pics of our handsome boys to bore you some more.. And maybe some pretty, crafting ones too!! Apologies to my IG friends who may have seen some of these pics before!

These photos were taken by my lovely photographer friend and her husband. It was an amazing day and the boys and I had so much fun. I highly recommend them. Laferme.co.uk

Even though its been busy I have still managed to fit in a wee bit of crafting one way or another, just to keep me sane. I can't deny I've missed crafting madly since going back to work. Its been difficult sometimes to find the time or energy even though I've been craving to pick up a squishy ball of wool or smooth cotton fabric.  But that's the beauty of the holidays eh?!!

So, let's play catch up shall we?...

Crochet Spot - Granny square with a flower

I will try and remember the patterns I have used for these, but some of them were made quite a while ago.

Hexagon how to by Attic 24

I really enjoyed making this cushion!! 

I used Jane Brocket's Starburst Flower pattern for the front

And simple granny stripes for the back

This is just plain old granny squares made into a cowl

This is the 'simple sunburst crochet heart tutorial' by Bunny Mummy 

I've also done a bit of cable knitting, crochet doilies, jar cosies and had a go at Tunisian crochet!

Oh and I'm still in love with patchwork and quilting...

Quilting my Star mini quilt

English paper piecing, hexagons! 

I think I'll save some of my other WIP pics for another day. I'm hoping to be able to blog a little over the summer hols and get some projects finished. Maybe even have some time to catch up with everyone's blogs too, boy I miss this!!!

Bye for now


Monday, 5 November 2012

Paper piecing diamonds!

Hey folks!
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 This is a speedy post just to let you know that I am still here in blogland. I am alive and well... just a tad busy (aren't we all?)... I apologise if I didn't reply to all your kind comments on my last post or left a comment on your fabulous blogs of late... I am popping in and enjoying your creativity and inspiration often. I hope to grab some spare time to sit down and do a 'proper' post soon as I'm not liking that feeling that I'm drifting out of the blogging community  :(  I want to give my blog a bit of a face lift soon and get back on the bandwagon!! Maybe even host a giveaway... ooh get me!!!

There certainly hasn't been a lack of crafting round these parts, I've been beavering away with my hook and yarn and needle and thread...
 For now I will leave you with a photo my latest paper piecing WIP...

(I couldn't resist a play on PicMonkey with this photo!)
I'm experimenting with more traditional colourways at the moment. What do you think? I'm not following any pattern and just seeing how it goes, hand piecing the diamond how I please. I'm planning on hand quilting this one (can't wait for that bit!!). It will be a small table topper/ runner when complete.
Anyhoo, must dash for now... hope you all have a good week!!!
Happy crafting lovelies...
xx Louise xx

Friday, 12 October 2012

An Autumnal Quilt....

Wait for it....Hold your breath now!!!....
It's true.... I have made a quilt that is NOT mini and NOT made with hexagons. It's a bloomin'  miracle I tell ya! Admittedly it is still smaller than your average quilt. A measly 38" x 38". Teeny
compared to the huge quilts crafted by talented and experienced quilters.  But I am happy. I am progressing at my own pace and enjoying every moment.
I used most of my Moda Urban Cowgirl jelly roll for this quilt. The colours of this fabric range are very Autumnal and perfect for this cosy and colourful time of year.
Inspiration for the pattern came from a new book that landed on my doormat recently (thank you Mr Postie!). I have been after it for a while now. Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making. It is full of beautiful quilts with simple and achievable patterns which leap from the pages through her use of stunning fabrics. The focus is on enjoying the whole quilt making process without rushing, worrying or over complicating.

This is why I chose a simple Rail Fence design. Sewing my jelly roll strips together in rows of four then cutting them into 8" square blocks. I only had enough strips left over from another project to have five blocks across and five down.
{sitting pretty on our sofa}
In hindsight I should have added a border to add interest and make the quilt slightly larger but we live and learn :-) I managed to find some bargain fabric for the backing from my local patchwork shop. It happened to have teeny tiny flowers in the same reds and greens as the quilt top!!
{You'll have to look close, they really are tiny!}
I used a nice soft cotton batting and quilted 3.5" apart in one direction with a wavy stitch. It then shrunk perfectly in it's first wash to give this lovely crinkly, aged effect....
It may be small but it's still perfect for snuggles on the sofa with my babies (not all at once mind you!) 
...and small enough for squidging into a bag to take on a picnic!!
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I am working on three other sewing projects at the moment.... more paper piecing (although not hexies this time), a large quilt and a sampler table topper. I can't wait to take some piccies and show you my progress. In the meantime here is a peak at what else the Postie has delivered to me this week..........
TWO Fig Tree layer cakes and oodles of soft batting... *swoon* .... Hoping to get a bit of sewing time in this weekend. Good luck with your own projects and enjoy!!!!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

It's Ta-Dah o'clock...

...I do believe I promised you lovely lot, a ...Ta-Dah moment ??
... Well here it is.
My English paper pieced Hexagon Doll/ Mini quilt, all bound and ready for a ganders!!
I am maybe a little bit extra in love with this one... I had butterflies in my tummy when I was hand stitching the binding to the back... does anyone else get that? When you're so close to finishing a project and you can only just hold in that squeal of excitement?
It's also my favourite part of making these little quilts. (Although there was a fair amount of swearing  sighing while machine stitching that final bit of binding to the front!) I used binding clips for the back for the first time, actually they're my old hair clips but they did the job just fine. It was nice to not keep pricking myself and I'm sure my precious fabric is better off too. Very useful indeed.
Here's a close up of the binding. I cut 2 inch strips this time, so a little thinner than my previous quilts.
I'm pleased with the wavy quilting. I wonder what it will look like when I've put it through the wash?.... lots of crinkly, soft love-li-nesss perhaps?
It measures approximately 18" x 19". Not a very
practical size but oh so perfect for my wall of growing mini quilts... Which brings me on to my next ta-dah... (yes there's TWO!)
I thought I'd combine my mini quilt ta-dah with a mini craft corner ta-dah, whadya think?? I know I enjoy having a nosy at other crafters' creative spaces. So as I've made a few minor changes (like adding a table to craft at!!!) I though you might like to take a peep?
We dug out our redundant old dinning table from the depths of the garage, had a shuffle about....and voila!!
Weasel's Craft Corner was born...!
Hope you enjoyed the ta-dah's
 Happy crafting

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Brazen Craft Hussy...?

My oh my...
 that was a loong gap between posts wasn't it? My apologies. All I can say is that I jinxed myself in my last post. My time hasn't been my own (much)... the Summer holidays, although fun, were crammed full.... The return to school has not been much different. One of the Triplets had a Hernia. After only two days back at school he is now off for two weeks to recover from his operation... He is well though, and we are both enjoying our one-to-one time at home together!
I have been having the odd moment of peace here and there.... a bit of reading, the occasional click clack of my needles while knitting a row or two of my shawl (slow progress there I'm afraid)... with a hot cuppa by my side at all times of course!! But what is really getting me excited and consuming most of my craft related thoughts is...
 ...pretty and colourful fabrics...
... sitting at my sewing machine...
 ...a bit of quilting....
Ahhh........... I know, I am a fickle crafter.... favouring one craft over another then changing my mind as quick as the wind....
I. am. ashamed.
...actually no... I am a brazen craft hussy!
I love all my crafts but right now I'm a material girl... woolly pursuits will have to wait for a bit!
I have a few new fabric purchases ready and waiting to be played with... This Moda Jelly roll is full of Autumnal colours and I plan to make a quilted table runner with it very soon.
...a moda charm pack weadled it's way into my eBay shopping basket recently too... oops!
...but it is just so darn CUTE!... I have wanted one of Aneela Hoey's fabric ranges for a while now. The colours are so fresh and the prints are lovely. I can't wait to delve in to these little squares.... Moda pre-cuts are just sooo FABulous aren't they ?!!!!
Here is a peak at what I did with all those Hexies I showed you in my previous post. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions of what I should make with them. I really appreciate all your lovely comments and thoughts :)
I have really enjoyed hand sewing these little 2 inch hexies together!
The prints work so well together I think....this was the moda 30's Playtime charm pack I had waiting in my stash for the perfect project. I LOVE it!!!
I've been having a play on my sewing machine trying to decide how to quilt my hexies....
I'm definitely going to quilt something using stippling at some point (sample on the left) as I totally loved trying out free motion quilting. However I think I'll leave this style of quilting for a smaller project. I am still very nervous of mucking up.... I chose a wavy design to quilt my hexies (playing it safe).
I think it was a good choice and I'm really pleased with how it looks. (It was a wavy stitch selection on my sewing machine so was very fast and easy!!)
As you have most likely guessed I am making another mini quilt... My apologies if you were expecting or even hoping for, something different this time.... I just can't stop thinking of all the possible designs I could whip up!!! I also love seeing them hung on my wall like little works of art for me to swoon over.
 I just adore them..... Mini quilts, Doll quilts, small quilts, wall hangings... whatever you want to call them.... I. AM. SOLD!
Now I just need to choose some fabric to make the binding for this baby, then I can do a Ta-dah post.... YAY!
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Hello to Tea at Weasel's new followers and apologies once more to all my bloggy buddies for the long absence...!
Back again soon (I promise)
xx Louise xx

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Vintage Style Hexies....

Happy mid-week to you all...

Here I am with another post already... wowza! There has been a bit more time for blogging since the holidays started and although crafting has been done mostly in the evenings once the boys are tucked up in bed, I've had more energy due to the relaxed holiday atmosphere... Lovely!
 I've been keeping my hands busy with needle and thread... a quick, easy, therapeutic past time which has filled the last two evenings... In fact....

It's official... I'm hex mad !!

..... Yes I did say HEX you cheeky things...

After finishing my Hexie Mini Quilt I felt lost not having a Hexie project to work on.... I didn't have much of a plan. I just had an urge to make hexies and a spare Moda Charm pack just waiting to be used...
 (this charm pack is called 30's Playtime by Chloe's Closet)

 Little piles of fabric hexagons started to grow. Still I had no clear plan of what to do with them. Eventually I decided to make up a flower and use some spare fabric scraps to make up this cushion...

 The blue fabrics are an old pillowcase of my Mum's, a dress of mine and finally a yellow and green vintage apron that belonged to my Grandmother. I think the cushion has quite a retro vintage feel to it, what do you think?  It's a good size at 18" x 18"

Now, I need your advice fellow bloggers, if you don't mind?.... What to do with the rest of the hexies?... a hand sewn cushion?  (quilted?)....mini quilt? ...what do you think?  I'd love to know!

I'll be back soon, hopefully with some new fabrics to show you... I'm just waiting for Mr Postie to bring my parcel round. Then there'll be some more sewing machine action going on... whoop whoop! In the meantime I'm off to have a cuppa and read my book before bed....

... bye for now lovelies!!

Happy crafting


Sunday, 22 July 2012

A jolly crafty update...

Oh happy days!

...the sun is shining at last...

...it's the start of the Summer holidays and the clouds have finally cleared to cheer us all up! The boys are playing in the garden, hubby has his music on in the front room and I am sitting at the kitchen table with a cuppa, ready to give you a jolly crafty update....  The perfect Sunday :)

I needed a 'craft book fix' recently, so I bought myself this gorgeous book... it has been on my Amazon wish list since before it was published so I decided this was the one to feed my 'fix'!  I have yet to start a project from it but it has great step by step guides and techniques for patchwork and quilting and purely for inspiration it is a gem.

I've been in a sewing mood of late and managed to squeeze in some time on my sewing machine ( + a touch of hand quilting). My work is far from perfect but it was sooo much fun!

Here is the finished product...

My Hexie Mini Quilt

"Ta dah..."

The hexagons were paper pieced and hand quilted...

I used red embroidery thread for the straight stitches around the edge. I cut the binding strips straight rather than on the bias as I have before. It didn't seem to make much difference with this small project and was much quicker to make. I am jolly pleased...  *big grin*

It also looks mighty fine on the wall next to my craft shelves...
(ahem...please excuse the two little monkeys who crept into this next pic...)

Ah that's better, there we are... except I do hate the fact that due to us renting and the owners moving back from abroad fairly soon, I've had to use those dodgy white sticky hook thingys that supposedly leave "no residue or marks" on your precious walls. Grrrr!

 I do love my 'pretties' & 'crafties' area...

It is now situated in our front room rather than the kitchen after we had a little shuffle round. Oh, and I made myself a sewing machine cover out of some red polka dot vinyl I had in my stash (see bottom shelf).... Much prettier than the old plain white one I think.

There has been more sewing machine action on behalf of a friend.... yes, more bunting!!

...and of course there has been a spot of knitting and crochet too,...

This crochet 'pattern' is just me making it up as I go along to be honest... it's hopefully going to be a nice stripey cowl for the Autumn for yours truly. It's just made up of puff stitches, but the Aran cotton I'm using is giving nice stitch definition.
 I have also been working on this, another project for the Autumn....

I bought some more Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for it because I love the texture and colour plus it will match the fingerless mitts I knit earlier this year. I'm using 6mm needles to give the fabric a bit more drape.

 I'm really  pleased with the way it is coming along. The pattern is nice and easy to follow too. I hope to work on it over the summer hols and will update you along the way :)

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Well, I think I've managed to squish enough crafty goings on into one post. I hope you have enjoyed it and are having fun today whatever you may be doing. I'll leave you with a pic of two more books I purchased recently. The latest Gil McNeil novel (man I LOVE her books!) and a lovely book about the English countryside that I picked up on our hols..... it was the perfect way to relax on those quiet evenings in Devon....

book & knitting love...

PS~ a warm welcome to the new followers of Tea at Weasel's.... so lovely to have you here!!

xx Louise xx