During lockdown I started on a new creative project to cheer myself up and help me keep busy, and five months later I have finally finished it! An appliqué quilt, but as I already have a winter quilt for my bed, I wanted to make it into a really bright, colourful, summer duvet cover instead.
I spent ages deciding on the pattern I wanted to use, and finally discovered this gorgeous pattern by Laura Heine.
It’s a paper-piecing technique where you cut out the shapes using the template provided (its the same template for every square) and then use double-sided sticky paper (fusible web as it’s often known) to iron it into place on the fabric. Then I sewed around all the edges to hold them in place and stop any fraying. Continue reading →
I’m a natural hoarder, so being a new mum I want to keep EVERYTHING – every babygro, every onesie, every adorable dress etc. However my house is now heaving with stuff and we simply don’t have space, plus I’ve been looking for a new crafty project to get my teeth into, so I decided to make a little memory quilt for my daughter using clothes she has grown out of. (Or more fashionably known as “Upcycling”).
After a little searching in the interweb I found a really cute pattern called a Panda Pop Quilt and I am thrilled with how it looks (although I have adapted the pattern a little). Continue reading →
I love a play-kitchen, as do most kids, but they are huge and bulky and take up a lot of space, which I really don’t have in my house at the moment, I saw this a few years ago and made one for my god-daughter, and decided to make another one for my daughter’s second birthday.
Ok, so after I mocked the Cloth Bum Mums for being a bit cultish and hardcore, I have of course drunk the Kool-Aid and become one of them.
The night time nappies, after a bit of trial and error are working well and we don’t have any more leaks which is great! However I then went a bit further down the rabbit hole and discovered wool wraps, instead of waterproof ones. It’s really quite fascinating and the way that they work is that if the wool is well-lanolised it will absorb liquid slowly, at the same rate that it will evaporate. Meaning that it’s never wet and much more breathable for your kid.
It sounds like witchcraft, but I bought a wool wrap, lanolised it, and sure enough it works! However the wrap I bought is basically just woolly underpants, and it’s not very effective under a onesie, so I decided to knit some “longies” that would work as pyjama bottoms as well as a wool wrap over the nappy.
T-shirt quilts are popular in the USA but less common in the UK as far as I am aware.
The idea is you find a collection of t-shirts, such as for your favourite football team, or collected on holidays or at music festivals, and cut them up to make a quilt. I tend not to wear t-shirts much, but in my work overseas in the humanitarian world, branded t-shirts are common to identify yourself as a staff of an NGO and make it easier to work with communities and government officials etc, as well as showing off your donor’s logo as required!
As a natural-born hoarder, I have kept all of my response t-shirts from all my overseas aid work, as well as various t-shirts collected from other events here and there, and I recently discovered them gathering dust and mould in my attic and decided my maternity leave was the ideal time to get started doing something useful with them.
It is also 10 years since my first deployment as a humanitarian to South Sudan in 2009, the beginning of my career as an aid worker, so a quilt to mark 10 years of my humanitarian career seems fitting! However I must admit that over the years some of the NGOs I have worked for have significantly more t-shirts than others, and one NGO I have worked with for around 3 years only ever had 1 t-shirt (once you settle into HQ you tend not to get so much of the branded stuff) so the quilt appears rather skewed towards one particular NGO which is not necessarily reflective of my career but nevermind – I’ll let you guess which one!
This year, partly for environmental reasons, but also mainly because of my reduced salary while on maternity leave, I am trying to do a mostly homemade Christmas (with a few small exceptions).
In order to do a good homemade Christmas you need to plan ahead and not leave it to the last minute – there’s never any time in December! But also I’ve got more time on my hands than I used to at the moment so with that in mind I have been busy making all sorts of things!
You may have noticed my blog has become utterly dominated with adoption stuff, because, you know, becoming a mum is the single biggest thing to ever happen to me. It’s fairly monotonous and dull, which is not unlike my life at the moment – very little else going on in my life so there’s less to write about.
However in my boredom I have been missing my pottery classes and so have set about doing some more knitting and sewing and crafting in the evenings to keep myself busy and less bored.
So to break up the monotony of talking about adoption and being a mum here are some of my recent crafty projects instead!
Well there’s more news on the job front, but before I get to all that misery, I’ve been busy making MUGs, mugs, glorious mugs!
Practising handles and also learning slowly how to get the dimensions right – I can’t easily gauge how much something will shrink by (I know it’s about 15-20% shrinkage in the kiln but almost impossible to see what that will look like!).
One of my first mugs – very pleased, and it looks a little small but almost mug-sized – but then it shrank…
Yes, it’s time for a few more of my pots and things I’ve been busy making! Some finished bowls and things, turned and on the drying shelf ready to be bisque-fired (the first firing) This is a large platter I … Continue reading →
Well, I started my first pottery classes in January 2017, and at my class last Monday I reflected how far I have come.
Here’s my very first efforts from last January/February:
Even though it has been a year, I still make fairly wobbly things, and so each week when you come into the class, the first thing you tend to do is search the shelves for your pieces to see if they have been bisque-fired or glaze-fired etc.
There are some people who are BRILLIANT and make perfect things, and so usually I’m searching through all the perfect things looking for the slightly wibbly ones which are likely to be mine.
So last Monday, I was searching through the shelves, lifting up all these perfectly-round bowls to see if my wobbly ones were underneath. I searched and searched, and at some point, I lifted up a really good bowl, and was shocked to realise my stamp was on it!
I was so surprised to realise that my bowls are actually pretty damn circular!
Very chuffed indeed, and I may just have to keep some of these for myself…. just hoping the glazes come out looking alright!