It’s finally happened. I have created a monster. Literally.

Here he is enjoying my 30th Birthday party:

Dino likes to party

Dino likes to party

Dino face

Dino face

Not the greatest shots but I’d only just finished him in time to gift him to my friend for her Birthday, so took these snaps before she was about to leave for home. I am very proud that I’ve finished him – he’s bigger than any of us expected, despite the fact that I read the ‘finished measurements’ recently. While he’s not quite as dinosaury as I had hoped he would be, but he’s a jolly little fellow, and my friend likes him, so that’s a win!

In the end I did need some assistance with the neck ruff, and even with mum’s expert advice, we could not work out how to do the picot edging for the green spikey bit, so I used felt instead. As I was knitting up to the wire, I got mum involved with the horns too. She loves to assist with my knitting.

I am now so excited to start another knitting project, and I think it will be my jumper. Yeay!!!

Approaching the 12 month deadline…

So, when I say to myself that I work better with a deadline….that mainly seems to be true of the workplace only! I am very close to finishing some of the projects on my “12 months, 12 projects”, but I’m going to work along the lines of  Samuel Beckett when he said “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” I will fail better!

But I don’t really think that I’ve failed, far from it. I have discovered the joy of patchwork quilting, and am sure that the quillow will be finished by Christmas. I’ve even rediscovered the joy of knitting, even if I don’t have a jumper to show for it, yet. I have a 99% finished dinosaur, which will be done this week as I need to give it as a gift, and this is something I would never have completed before setting myself this task.

This week, I even transformed a regular little black dress into an 80’s wonder, with the help of a £1 strip of bright pink velour. If that’s not something to be proud of, I don’t know what is!

Quillow cutting – done!

I’ve had an exhausting day, failing to figure out how to improve the fit on my pencil skirt, and giving up all hope on making anything wearable this year. Maybe dress making is a step too far for me right now. Especially as I’ve finally figured out how the quillow will look when it’s done. I’ve always known it would be very similar to Gran’s, but there were a few blocks I didn’t like. I had various ideas about alternatives, but until now I haven’t gotten around to planning which ones to go with. So, as per usual, with a deadline looming, and running out of fabric, I decided to just get on with it and figure it out.

Behold, the final 9 squares, some sewn, but all fabric cut, ready to be sewn together in the next month.

final quilt cuttings

At present it’s laid out on the carpet, so just imagine that all that brown colour is navy blue and we’re away. I’m not quite sure how I’ll do the hearts, but I have a feeling they’re closer to embroidery than patchwork, but will call Gran later to discuss.

So there we have it, final design and cutting for blocks done! Except for the front block, but I’ll think about that later. It took so much brain power to figure this out I had to have a 10 minute nap half way though. But I finally like all the fabrics together, you can see all the nice bright colours in the most colurful fabric, and it looks fun next to all the reds and blues too. Phew, I would have hated to have spent all this time on something for it to have ended up ugly.

12 months 12 projects: June (just!) update

Oh my giddy aunt, where on earth has the year gone? This blog is over 1 year old now, and I am so glad that I have started it as I am most certainly doing a lot more creating than I was doing before. All I ever dreamed of when I was younger was being a fashion designer, and while I’m not actually designing or making dresses (yet), I am mastering some of the arts of sewing and crafting, and it’s making me very happy (and sometime frustrated) indeed. I’ve also met some lovely crafty people along the way, and it makes me supremely happy to go to craft night, to drink wine, to chat about making things, and to actually make some things. It also makes my Gran and other older relatives happy that I am crafting, as they can give me their old bits and bobs they no longer use, and also share their wisdom with me – I am so lucky!

Gran sent me a sewing magazine this week, ‘Sew’ magazine, and it was wonderful. I love Pinterest, but there’s something so joyous about having a limited amount of pictures to look at, and words of wisdom to concentrate on, instead of being distracted by all the other potential pretty things on the world wide web. It even came with a free pattern – and the shirt looks remarkably similar to one I owned at uni. I really miss that shirt and would love to have one similar back in my wardrobe. It’s my 30th Birthday soon, and I feel that perhaps a magazine subscription might be a very practical thing to ask for, along with some vouchers for fabrics/ sewing classes.

So, with August soon approaching, and my self imposed deadline for my 12 months projects, I am having a serious look at what I can achieve by then.

Honestly, I think I will be able to complete 50% of the list, for varying reasons.

1. Make my own Quillow

This is SO happening. I can’t even remember where my passion for quilts suddenly came from back in 2013, but it has only kept on growing in that time. I am quilt obsessed. And obviously, I started with potentially the hardest quilt to make, and, as the boyfriend keeps suggesting ‘why don’t you just make something simple for your first quilt?’. No, easy would be TOO easy for me.

I am 5 blocks in, and can reasonably make a block in 2 evenings (cutting one night, sewing the next), so once I’ve done that, I will need to baste. Which will take time. A day off project methinks.

Here’s my post about the Quillow of joy.

2. Knit a cushion cover

Currently on hold, as I have a lot of wool and little desire to buy more, so need to find a pattern I like.

May change to ‘crochet a cushion cover’.

3. Knit a hat based on a TV character

COMPLETE FEB 2015 – Tyrese’s hat. It kinda honours his memory now though, sob.

4. Crochet baby booties

Have the wool, have the pattern, need to do. A good project for being on trains too. Very doable – what’s putting me off is the fact that they’re for someone else, so I feel pressure to do them perfectly. However, the person who preggers doesn’t know I’m making them, and I’m sure she’d be touched by the sentiment rather than judging the quality. I hope.

5. Sew some PJ’s

Sooooo close to being done. I did NOT follow the rule of ‘Measure twice, cut once’. I measured too big, cut a few times, and now things are a little wonky.

6. Crochet a blanket out of Granny squares 

Getting there. Wool delivery imminent. Good train travelling project. Will be done.

7. Knit a dinosaur

I finally have the wool I require to complete this. The dino now has a body and I am going to get him finished this week. Yes I am!

8. Sew a pencil skirt

Would be a good one to complete on a day off, OR if I go back to sewing school soon. I’m starting to think ahead to autumn and this would be great in a purle/ or green tartan. I do love an autumnal outfit.

9. Sew a Dress

Pattern in hand, need to choose fabric and make this at sewing school as I don’t trust myself to get it right by myself. BOOK ANNUAL LEAVE to go to classes!

10. Knit a  jumper

I am stupid and have lost the pattern. Will re-find and re-start. Unlikely to be complete by August, but will remain on the list.

11. Make a mini quilt featuring ‘flying geese’

Mmmmm, not sure about this one. Will probably give it a go once I’ve finished my quillow as it should be relatively straightforward and will be a good stash-buster. OR can incorporate into the quillow if there are enough scraps.

12.Make something cosy with hexagons

All I need to do is print off some more hexies at work. Will put template in bag tonight and photocopy 100’s tomorrow. NO MORE EXCUSES!

Do normal people shout at themselves to get things done?


I went Stylecraft crazy on Wool warehouse  recently, with the intention of getting all the colours I need for my crochet blanket. Look at all the colours!


Not quite as bright as they are in real life – that red is blinding! It’s far brighter than I expected, so I may have to purchase an alternative shade later down the line. And the light green is a bit, er, I don’t know, the type of shade of wool which made me think I hated crochet when I was younger. It’s almost apple green, but too light. I’m sure that next to the right shade of some other colour it will be fine.

Here’s a shot of some granny squares I’ve made, some more successful than others. Some I love, others are the most hideous things I’ve ever created (again, I don’t think the photo captures the true ugly. I’m looking at the yellow bordered one)!:

granny squares multi

The purple flower ones at the bottom might make it into a cushion cover, but now I’m not so sure how much I like them. But I really like the top left flower square, and think I will definitely make more of those later on.

In the mean time, I’m going to keep making the regular squares in different colours and have a lovely mix and match granny square blanket, with a solid coloured border (probably purple).

And in final woolly news, I’ve started making the knitted dinosaur! So far, I’ve done this tiny amount:

dino pink

You can see all the scribbles of a mad women from when I tried to make it before, but thought I would reduce the size of it. I failed. Turns out it’s much easier to knit something if you just follow the pattern!

Quillow progress…and a chair

I’m getting there with the Quillow. I’ve recently completed square #4 of #10. I am well aware that this does not make me 40% of the way there, what with the actual quilting part and putting on the border etc, but I’m very excited to be making progress!

Here’s the four of them huddling together on the kitchen floor:

4 squares of Quillow

As well as working on the quillow, and buying all the wool for the crochet blanket, the boyfriend and I recently made the mad decision to reupholster a chair. Silly because 1. we’ve never upholstered a chair before 2. it is a slightly odd shaped chair, and probably not the best place for a novice upholsterer to start.

We started months ago, but I got so cross with it the first weekend we tackled it, that it had to be removed from the flat for some time before I could look at it again. As you can see from the picture below, it is by no means perfect, but with a few extra staples, it should be perfectly fine to live in our flat for a little while longer. It’s the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever done. It’s part of a pair, so we’ll have to do the other one eventually…

Quillow 4

I learnt something about quilting!

I was very brave this evening, and got out my quillow fabric. I even used the iron! I was VERY careful about where I put it, and no more floors were damaged. Phew.

So, the last time I worked on my quillow, I was getting in a tangle with my triangles. I couldn’t work out how to make sure that they were all the right size and piece them together neatly. A bit of googling this evening led me to these posts:

This first one is pretty darn obvious once you start doing it. Make sure that every square is the right size after every press! Duh!

And this one taught me the correct size to cut my triangles in the first place. Turns out I didn’t leave a big enough seam allowance. So now I know. The triangles on my quillow for this square will be smaller than planned, but it will look fine.

I am mighty proud of the first half of this square:

half star block

It’s amazing how easily triangles come together with a bit of excess fabric to snip off! Shame my rubbish camera doesn’t take good snaps. It looks good in real life, I promise.