Meet my friends the sock monkeys. Over Christmas week I moved from hating the blessed things to having great fun making them. I decided that I would like to carry kits for making sock monkeys in my new shop. After all there is many a rainy day on an English seaside holiday and there is nothing like a bit of creative needlework to fill the time. I read all the conventional information on making them and watched the odd youtube and then jumped in. The first one I hated and now I don’t know why. Meet Red.
He is chilling in front of the computer and later on I caught him swinging from the beams.
He also managed to teach his little friend Ginger bad habits, transforming him from a perfectly well behaved little chap into a bad mimic.
At least he looks scared.
Henry got the hump because he couldn’t join in.
However when he tried he nearly frightened himself to death.
In case you hadn’t gathered I was experimenting with different types of eye. I liked the googly eyes best but they don’t work unless you are prepared to make buttonholes through which to insert them. In the end I decided the felt were the simplest and most effective. Red was the first and Henry the last but I actually made a few more before I was satisfied.
Meet the gang.
I also found that the traditional way of doing some of the stages, particularly the arms was not the best for me so I developed a different approach. Hopefully the kits will give lots of people hours of fun. First I have to jump a few hoops with Trading Standards and the European Directive on Toy Safety or some such.
Watch this space. I might even share my journey into the fascinating world of the sock monkey and the tips for making life easier.
Watch this space.
Just in time for The Great Northern Quilt Show I have received the Kitty Kitty Christmas range from Loralie Designs. There are two panels and I have also obtained the tossed fabric and three different colours of paw prints.
These make perfect pockets for gift bags.
Or maybe a Christmas apron with the coordinating fabrics.
This panel is good for use with HeatnBond Ultra as detailed in my last blog. You have 20 different cats to fuse onto gift bags. Or you could just use it as yardage.
Wine gift bags.
Or anything that comes to mind really. I could see a table runner working too.
Other fabrics in the range make good coordinates as on the apron and bags above.
Last Year I featured Very Fairy Christmas whcih is also a very christmassy fabric.
When I receive a new bolt of Loralie Designs panels quite often the top and/or bottom row is unusable as a panel as they are not often cut completely straight before rolling. I have made a few crazy patch quilts with them. This covers up any missing bits as you can see but what I really needed was to use up odd panels not whole quiltsworth.
When I was trying to decide what to do with the Gypsy Chique (not my spelling) fabric I watched a video by Loralie. In it she used the no sew version of fusible web to fuse figures onto another surface.(I use HeatnBond Ultra) You can see these in my blog on the fabric. In case you are in a hurry this is what the finished bag looked like.
I was sorting through my ‘reject’ pile the other day and came across more panels that I could use in this way. I had also kitted up some cot quilts when I first opened the web shop and I saw that the colours in one of these were perfect to use with the panels. These panels are from the ‘Fast women Portrait’ collection and the fabrics mostly from Benartex fossil ferns. They matched perfectly and used up most of the kit in three bags which will now take pride of place on my stall at The Northern Quilt Show in Harrogate (4th to 6th September).
They work really well and in my case help me avoid my temperamental machine that does not seem to like satin stitch. It is also a good way of using some of the Loralie panels that are actually rows of fairly large figures such as the Gypsy Chique and also one you can see in my next blog about Kitty Kitty Christmas.
It is all getting a bit seasonal on here so I will go and draft a proper Christmas blog as you need to start now if you are going to make Christmas goodies.
Maybe I will see you at Harrogate. It is a really good show. Take it from someone who drives 6 hours to get there every year. The layout will be a bit different this year if you are looking for your favourite stalls. The reason is that they are replacing the old hangar type building with a proper one so this year we are in a temporary building whilst they finish it. I will be more or less in the same place as before but as they have moved the quilts to the other end you might need a minute to acclimatise before the onslaught.
The latest addition to me web site fabrics is another Loralie Designs.
Church Ladies by Loralie Harris is a fun fabric with a stained glass feel. ‘Happy and colourful’ is how I would describe it. Let’s see what you think.
Here is the panel
Matching tossed figures
What is church without a hat? Here are a few to be going on with.
Is it is or is it isn’t great fun? Well I think so but then I always did have a weird sense of humour. It cheers me up anyway and I’ll take anything that does that.
I have had a few new Loralie fabrics in since my last post so it might be worth a trip over to nsaaquilting.co.uk
If you follow my blog you will know that I finally braved a McKenna Ryan pattern in December 2012. I admit it was daunting before I started but it was one of the most rewarding quilts I have made. It was called Chrissie Down Under.
Lately I have been trying to find another one to do but have failed completely. Not one to give up easily I decided to stock them on my web page and at shows so here are the ones I have chosen. I love the farm ones best I think.
Back to the Farm Storybook Farm Next Favourite – Beach Walk In Full Bloom Bella Garden More birds with Fields End Then some Christmas ones
I also have a few singles of seaside subjects.
Whether you use traditional satin stitch as I did or follow McKenna Ryan’s own method you will definitely end up with an heirloom. It won’t be finished in an afternoon but then you wouldn’t expect it to be. If you are up for the challenge take a peek at my website www.nsaaquilting.co.uk
Or come to Harrogate in September or Exeter in April.
I have repurposed one of my quilt kits to give it a new focus.
I have taken my mixture of butterflies and fossil ferns and transformed it from this single bed quilt.
To these combinations of cot quilt and baby bag.
The fabrics are still amongst the prettiest I have seen in the years I have been quilting and this way there is no need to lose out just because you don’t need a single bed quilt. There seems to be a steadily growing if imported trend for baby showers. What better than a set for travelling. You won’t get one of those at Mothercare and there is little chance of anyone giving the identical gift.
The only problem might be actually giving it away.
I have just received the contrast fabrics for the Gypsy Chique panel that I used to make the bag in the last blog.
They are, predictably reflections of 60’s fashion.
Paisley was popular in those days but translates well to the modern day.
Matching butterfly themed fabric.
The same fabric in another colourway.
And of course the panel.
I decided to use them in a crazy patch quilt top as this is a good way to showcase fabrics.
And there you have it.
Find the fabrics here.
And here at the bottom.