Monday, 17 November 2008

Announcing a New Love

I am very fed up that I have had this horrible, rubbish cold for about ten days now, and all over my birthday too.  It's also spreading through the HenHouse (sorry everyone, says mummy meekly).  Then again, I have been so ill with it (think man flu) that I've been incapable of any of the chores that usually fill my days; you know, hours and hours of diligent washing, ironing my other half's socks, dusting every nook and cranny, hoovering, gardening and weeding, etc etc, as a good Hen should.  I'm sure you can tell from my previous posts that my days are generally filled with those sorts of tasks...  Well, due to the cold, I've had no choice but to sit around just sewing, crocheting, reading, blogging, reading blogs, ploughing through the tin of Quality Street I got for my birthday, watching Jason and the Argonauts and Star Wars etc etc.  Blimey, it was exhausting, but someone had to do it!

Did I mention that I had rallied temporarily on Saturday and managed to drive to the sewing Centre at Clapham Junction to pick up my new beauty?  You're impressed by my stoicism, I can tell.  Well, what can I say, bloggers; it's love...

This is the third sewing machine I've ever owned.  My first one was a present some 7 years ago and hummed along reasonably happily doing the odd bit of sewing here and there until March of this year when it had clearly had enough (I think it must have had that cold I mentioned). I decided to upgrade to a better machine with a few more fancy functions (but still quite basic) and started doing a lot of sewing.   At the time, I gazed longingly at the Berninas as the man in the shop extolled their virtues and remembered all those times I'd read and heard that they are the best. Well, I was very happy with my new machine which was definitely a step up from my first one but since then, I've sewed pretty much solidly most days and then a week or so ago, the needle hit a pin (sorry, life's too short in my opinion to take out all pins before you get to them,) and it was pretty much a disaster area with wonky stitches and a very unhappy bobbin. Off I went to the trusty Sewing Centre (at least I was able to drive there this time) and to cut a long story short and one telephone call to my lovely patient understanding other half later, and the Bernina was a done deal. Nothing else will cope with my incessant sewing it seems!  So, this weekend we decided not to go to our cottage because I felt pretty rotten and not up to driving for four hours and just wanted to rest.  Well, rest and sew, obviously...

What is that sausage shaped thingy I see lurking in your crochet trug, I hear you say?

Let's have a closer look...

Do you remember the pencil roll I made for the Munchkin from the Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts book?  Yee-haw!

Faced with my burgeoning scraps basket...

and lots of crochet hooks in different sizes now that I am tackling making crochet flowers, I thought, why not make a mini version in which I could keep my crochet hooks?  What better way to try out my new machine (did I tell you about my new sewing machine?) and even better, to try out the walking foot which came with it.

As you can see, my favourite pinky, greeny, turquoisey colours dominate.  I liked making this and as it's also practical, I am quite pleased with it!

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday (my other sister, not the one of the shopping trips last week).  She is mad about owls so I set about owl crafting.  First up, I made this little make-up bag from the book Sew Pretty Homestyle with this fab Alexander Henry "Hot Couturier" owl fabric I've been hoarding for ages.  I embellished the top edge with a simple running stitch in embroidery thread, added a little green velvet ribbon pull and lined the bag with a choccy/duck egg spotted fabric.  I used my new zipper foot to insert the zip and the swanky function which allows me to alter the position of the needle, very cool! 

It looks nice, I think, but it turned out smaller than I expected. Much as the Homestyle books are lovely to look at, I never find the projects that successful, as I have mentioned in previous posts.  Remember the slipper for the one-footed dwarf?

I'm starting to feel as if I am in Lilliput Land! All of you out there who have this book (the English version), am I missing something? I've read it from cover to cover and I cannot see anywhere that it tells me to enlarge the patterns and yet everything I make is tiny! I even traced the pattern for this make-up bag and added on a half inch seam allowance and it's still fit for a dwarf, one with one foot who wears make-up, obviously. Ah well, it's homemade and it's the thought that counts, isn't it?!

Undaunted, I woke in an owly mood again today and completely inspired by the beautiful crafts of the very talented lady at Kitschen Pink, I made what I can only describe as a stuffed retro owl. Have a look at Kitschen Pink to see the fabulous ones she makes (and sells) there (and the rest of her frankly delicious blog while you're at it, if you don't already).  I teamed some lemony flanellette I had on my shelves (no idea why but I do love a bit of flanelette, now I come to think of it) and some funky floral fabric which is actually an old sheet from a charity shop which I bought a few weeks ago intending to use it to make some bunting next Summer.  I added some vintage buttons from the same charity shop for his eyes (I also put one on a little heart on his derriere but I forgot to photograph that before I posted him, (sorry!) and best of all, I tried out one of the many stitches on my new sewing machine which is basically a machine blanket stitch, to attach the applique pieces. Oh my, but how I love that! He's looking a bit flat here...

But I soon sorted that and he found himself a very cosy spot!

So, that is my owl crafting done for another year.

At least I thought it was, until the Munchkin saw me making the retro owl this morning before school and declared undying love so I think I shall be churning out one more (I think Father Christmas might find him somewhere along the way).

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more owly...

Well, I must sign off now, my wonderful other half has arrived home with some very beautiful, very pink flowers for me in honour of our anniversary today. He's just the best!  Thank you for the best years of my life, lover.

You haven't forgotten what day it is tomorrow, have you?

Until then, my blogging friends...


  1. I have sewing machine lust and yours seems to be pushing me over the edge. It looks very sexy. You have made some wonderful things. You're very talented.

  2. P.s. How rotten to have had a cold for so long. I do hope that you feel better very soon.

  3. Wow... that sewing machine is fantastic - I have a 1960's one that is soooo heavy I can't lift it, my OH brought me a tiny JLM one. Have you seen them??? They've great for quick fixes but I think I want one like yours. Does it make you a brew as well??!!
    Loving the crochet hook roll, mine are all over the place.
    The owls are great, has your sister seen the ones in habitat?? we do a lovely knitted one. I really want to make a macrame owl but I've forgotten how to do it. :(

  4. Goodness me! That machine looks way beyond anything I would call simple! The owl worked out well, thank-you for the acknowledgment and kind comments - my original Lemony Rose owl was lemon coloured flanelette with a vintage roses print. There's only one owl listed on my Etsy at the mo as the others have sold. t.x

  5. I'm am definatly going to do sewing lessons after seeing your gorgeous owls, I did A level textiles at school but have not used a sewing machine since but I'm seriously getting the urge to!! Your sister will love them!
    Hope you feel better soon, even us girlies are entitled to man flu. By the way, have you seen the man flu kits in Boots christmas catalogue, as if they need any more! Hurray for your lovely husband and Happy Anniversary...Claire xx

  6. Blimey top little red one is a baby...maybe one day i'll get a grown ups one! LOL!

    Love all your makes!

  7. I loved your blog and your crafts. The hook and the pencil sets are very nice. It's a good idea. I'd like to do one.

  8. Lovely blog. I'm expecting great things from that Bernina!

  9. Cute owl!
    Your new sewing machine looks great. I've only had one and it is still going although refuses to sew some over thick things...

  10. I like your owly crafting! So cute! I'm sure your sister will love them both. I'm so jealous of you with that sewing machine! I need a new one that can keep up with me and that has a walking foot, oh and so much more. I also wish I had some Cath K stuff (wink wink). Hope you feel better soon!!!

  11. This post is a blessing. I really feel so good reading it. I wish I could make such beautiful posts and pictures - and make such wonderful things. Well, hope never dies. Maybe one day.


  12. oooo love the owl , am in awe of the machne and happy anniversary :-) Lesley x

  13. Oh God, I am now insanely jealous. That machine blanket stitch is the best thing EVER. I have an ancient old Bernina that just does straight stitch and zigzag and as much as I love it dearly, I do find myself frequently fantasizing about a new model.
    Ah well.

    Hen I linked to your blog today from mine, I had to put it in an Edit-note at the bottom as I forgot initially, hope thats ok? Lx

  14. I've asked Father Christmas for a sewing machine... fingers crossed he received my letter and then I too can make fabulous creations!

    Victoria x

  15. Holy moly. I am loving your blog-found via Attic 24-you are so talented.

    I will continue to explore.

    That owl pillow is too much.
    And the pencil/crochet hook thingy too....too much.

  16. I would love a new sewing machine, one with a bit more welly, one like yours!!! If only I had more cash to splash! Happy making!


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