Wednesday, 11 January 2017


It is with a feeling of utter devastation that i write this post. My wonderful mum, who was a big part of my crafting life and mentioned often on this blog, she left us yesterday afternoon, completely unexpected.

I miss you so badly already mum. I love you and have always loved you deeply. You were my rock and my best-best friend.

needle-felted bee

Towards the end of December, me and wonderful mum went to a new-to-us venue, Straight Curves in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.  They have some really interesting classes and judging by all the class samples displayed in the classroom, I think we might be going again!

We took the Needle-felted Bee class.  Looking at the website, it says Carol Wilson was the tutor, I hope that's right!  I really must try to be better at taking down tutor's names to credit them.

It was a really good workshop in a lovely venue and I even took some photos during the class!

I have needle-felted before.  I made a flat picture at home and we did needle-felted brooches at one of the Speed Craft sessions, which involved needle-felting into a biscuit cutter.  This was my first time 3d felting.  Above you can see my sponge, the bee shape I created using Jacob wool and the needle felting tool which is different to my Clover 3-needle tool.  We got to keep this one!

I have only felted with merino wool before, this was a lot fuzzier but just as good to work with.  Putting the stripes on took judgement about thickness and placement.  We had lots of pictures of different bees to work from, but I just went with a stereotypical bee.

Felting the wings was really hard!  I attacked them several times with scissors and had to start again!  I added a few embroidery stitches for the veins.

And here is my little bee all finished!  He's on a brooch back, but I won't wear him until the summer.  The tutor had hers mounted on a small piece of wet felted "landscape" in a wooden frame.  I quite like that idea and may, possibly, one day, get round to it!

This bee is very messy underneath, but hey, you shouldn't be looking at bee's undersides!

Doing the class gave me an urge to needle felt (though I wasn't well afterwards so didn't) and writing this post is making me want to needle felt...  I've got a couple of books and some merino at home!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Mellerstain Parrots #4

As I'm now feeling loads better, I've joined in with the SAL again and continued working on the Mellerstain Parrots by the Crewelwork Company.

Here's where I was last time I checked in (November?)

Really blurry picture there!

Here's where I am now

I've completed all the acorns and oak leaves at the bottom - except I haven't !  I've just spotted that there is a leaf poking out behind each parrot's tail!

OK, so I've NEARLY completed all the acorns and oak leaves!  

I also did some of the berries at the top.  I'd like to get these berries and leaves finished for the next check in - then on to the parrots themselves!

I'm stitching along as part of a SAL where we all work on our WIPs, you can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:

If you'd like to join in, please contact Avis

Friday, 6 January 2017

17 Kits in '17

Hot on the heels of my 17 WIPs in '17 challenge, I also want to work some of the kits I've bought or been given as presents over the years.  Some of them are new, some I've had for many years, but I'd like to work them all and make some space in my house for new kits!


1. Sarah Homfrey goldwork kit, bought at one of her classes

2. Sarah Homfray crewel kit, bought for me by my parents

3. Mini Chatelaine and Scissor fob kit, Christmas present from my parents

4. Pincushion, Christmas present from my parents

5. Laurelin Montmellick kit, a birthday present from my parents

6. Beetle wing embroidery kit, birthday present from my parents

7. Bunny cross stitch kit, cover gift with a magazine

8. Boothy Threads Love Tree, a present from my ex-in-laws

9. Spellbound necklace kit, bought at the Knitting and Stitching show

10. Beaded Christmas tree, present from mum

11. Metal styling.  A gift a few years ago, I don't remember who from

12. Cold enamelling.  Another kit I've had for years

13. Copper leaf starter kit, again, a present a few years ago

14. Gel candles.  A gift from my parents

15. Lily's Mosaics mosaic kit.  I bought this at a class earlier in the year.

16. Screen printing on polymer clay.  A present for Christmas 2015.

17. Sheila the Sheep bookmark.  I won this in a giveaway.

Whilst writing this post, I thought of a few more kits I have, but they will have to wait until next year!

17 WIPs in '17

I would like to finish my WIPs this year.  I know that I'll start new projects, and some of them will become WIPs, others will get finished.  That's OK, I just want to make sure these particular WIPs are done by the end of the year.  I'm going to make this a page on my blog so I can keep an eye on it.  I'd like to join in a WIP challenge, so if anyone sees any, let me know!


1. I made this orange peel quilt in a QAL back in 2014!  It needs backing, basting and quilting.

2. This is the second quilt in my Silent Scream series.  I need to finish improv piecing it, then back, baste and quilt.

3. I started this polaroid bunny quilt back in October from the large collection of bunny fabric I have amassed.  It needs lots of blocks making before it can be a full quilt.

4. These are the mini-bee blocks I collected to make a quilt for Siblings Together.  I didn't get a chance to do this last year as I was too ill at the time, so I will get it ready for this summer.

5. I started a medallion quilt with these New York Beautify Flying Gueese wedges.  The curved piecing is not going well so it stalled...

6. I finished this And Sew On quilt back in 2013!  Except I never really finished it... I never quilted the actual blocks and they do need it.  It's time!


7. I started making a top, my first.  I intend to finish it!

8. Not technically a WIP as I haven't started it... I did buy the fabric for it so want to get this bunny kit made up.

9. Similarly, this Alfie Lapin clothes kit is all ready to go and I bought the fabric to make the bunny.  I didn't need the pattern as I made a Luna, but then I got the book for Christmas!  Lots of Luna clothes coming up...

10. I began working on this bag over Christmas, I haven't posted about it yet.  I want to get it finished asap as the zip broke on my usual bag and I'm using an old one which only has 1 pocket!  1 pocket!  What's the point in that?


11. We took a Casalguidi class in June, I need to finish the class piece.  It's the woven picots that are putting me off, they're so boring!

12. Slightly cheating here!  This Mellerstain Parrots crewel piece is my current project for the SAL, so it's very likely to get done!

13. I started this goldwork brooch at the Knitting and Stitching show in November, it shouldn't take long to finish it and make the second one that I bought the metal threads for.

14. This needlelace bird is from a class in April or May.  I really need to finish it, but it might take some research to find out what to do!

15. This Broderie Anglaise piece is from the Knitting and Stitching show, so not an old one.  It will take a lot of work to finish this!

16. I started this Pulled Thread piece in November at the RSN.  Such a shame I was so ill and upset at the time, though hopefully we will take another class there.  Anyway, I like the piece and it came with great instructions so I'll get this one done too.


17. Wooden heart chalk board.  I want to decorate this.

That's 17 so I can join in the 17 in '17 challenge!


This is being held by Anne and Meredithe, the idea is to take 17 WIPs and work on them in 2017, you don't actually have to get them finished, but I really would like to!  Feel free to come and join in, you still have today and tomorrow to link up.

I'd also like to get some of my many kits done.  I bet I have 17 actually, I might count them up and write another post!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Classes at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 treats you all kindly (and me!)

Back in November last year, wonderful mum and I went to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate.  We spent 2 days there, staying at the hotel across the road so we didn't have to take our coats with us and could return excess shopping to the room during the day!  We also took part in 4 classes.  I have to say, I do not know the names of any of the tutors, very lax of me, I know.

One of the classes was wet felting a flower.

This is slightly different from the wet feting I've done in the past as we used short strands of wool rather than merino.  The felting technique included picking it up and splatting it against the table repeatedly!

My finished flower came out too large for a brooch, though I would like to have another go with a smaller one.  This class was brilliant, we all had such a good time.

Another excellent class was Embroderie Anglais, where we used a stiletto to make the holes in the fabric.  I hadn't realised it was such a simple (though time consuming) technique and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The tutor was great as was her assistant.  I think she was from Peru.

The classes were only an hour which is why I didn't achieve very much.

We also did goldwork with Sarah from Golden Hinde.  I remember her name as I have met her a few times, she's lovely and very helpful.  We used pearl purl to make these simple but effective goldwork brooches.

The finished piece will fit in this brooch back.  Of course, I haven't yet completed either of the pieces from the classes!  They will show up in this year's WIP list.

The fourth class was absolutely appalling.  The teacher was rude, confrontational, disorganised and useless as a teacher.  We were supposed to be making ribbon flowers.  Apparently there are 2 techniques.  The one she showed us was different to the one on the hand out and she got very angry if we tried to follow the written instructions.  I actually walked out of the class.  

I'm going to be back later in the week with my list of WIPs to be tackled this year.  Then I need to find some linkies to help keep myself accountable.  If anyone knows of any, please let me know!