Wednesday, 24 February 2010

New Sewing Machine!!! YAYYY!!!!!

So, Today was the Day!!! I got a new Sewing Machine. My grandmothers sewing machine has done me well, made many a quilt and clearly stood the test of time. But I felt the time was right to purchase a new machine that would perhaps make quilting and crafting just that bit easier. So here is a look at my new machine. It is a Janome 8077. Apparently a Limited Edition slightly simplified machine of another Janome, but it does EVERYTHING I wanted it to do any more.
It is an electronic machine. (as opposed to a mechanic one, like my old one.) So it is basically computerised, I took lots of advice and most people said that the electronic was the way to go, although I am sure many people will say differently. Above are all the stitches it can do, I have spent the evening mucking around, trying all the stitches. I did have one MAJOR knot which took me a while to sort out, but seems to be fine now!!!
It has some great features including a setting to sew without the foot pedal, set the needle to always stop in the fabric (great for free-hand quilting), a really easy to use speed slider to control the speed of the machine, great for tricky areas.

This is just a little sample of some of the embroidery stitches it can do. I particularly like the stars and the blanket stitch. The blanket stitch is sooo even, something I as a mere human struggle to achieve.
Anyway, it is now VERY late, and I am meant to be at work at 7.30AM, so it's off to bed. Lots and Lots more projects to come, especially now I have this new machine!!! Night Night!!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Yummy Oatmeal Bake!!!

I was given this delicious breakfast whilst at my sister's Brother and Sister-in-Law's house. It is a great way to start the day and is yummy whilst being pretty healthy and quick and simple. it makes around 8-9 portions and can be changed pretty simply with your own variations.
The Recipe is as follows...

Preheat oven to 180 C or 350F

3 Cups dry Oatmeal (I use Large/Jumbo Oats)
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter
1/3 Cup Light Soft Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2-1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla extract or essence
1/2-1 Cup Dried fruit (I use a Five Fruit Mix from Asda with rasins, dates, apricots, cranberries and Goji Berries)
1/2 Cup of Nuts (I don't put these in often but are nice)

1 - Melt the butter
2 - Stir in brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3 - Add in oats, raisins and/or nuts.
4 - Stir in the milk.
5 - Pour into a buttered dish, (I use a porcelain lasagne type dish as in the picture above)
6 - Bake for 20-25 mins. Defiantly check it after 15-20 mins as it turns from goldren to burnt very quickly!!!
7 - Serve warm with milk or if being very naughty cream!!!

If you have any left over after you have cooked it the 1st time around, then you can really easily portion it up and wrap each one in clingfilm. I them take them to work, put them in the microwave and then add milk. Mine last a good few days in the fridge!!!
Hope you enjoy this recipe, I've given it to quite a few people at work and everyone loves it!!!

Monday, 22 February 2010


I was given a mobile from a friends which was a bit delapidated and worse for wear. I decided to take the wooden arms and fastenings and make some new things to hang off them. So here they are, my 2 new creations - one is cars, lorries etc, and the other is - Under the Sea...hope you like!!! (sorry for the rubbish photos, they were very difficult to capture as they were hanging and spinning)

Car, Lorry, Helicopter, Boat and Submarine!!!
Under the Sea - Turtle, Fish, Star-Fish, Clam and Whale!!!

Hope you like them both, I think they are both very lovely, I think I may give one as a gift, but if anyone would like to buy one, please let me know. Either leave me a comment here on the page or find me on Facebook.
I have been busy with a few other projects, I made a quilted iPhone case for a friend at work and will get some photos up in a few days. Plus...VERY EXCITING NEWS, I'm going to get a new sewing machine this week. I love my grandmothers sewing machine that she gave me a few years ago, but now that I am crafting so much and quilting, being able to do a few more stitches and the new facilities that modern machines have will defiantly help out!!!
More posts soon, a YUMMY recipe coming up!!!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

How -To...Make a Zip Flower!!!

My Cousin asked for a how to...and here it is...I had by sheer coincidence bought some Zips this very morning to make a few new zip flowers!!! will need

1 Zip (this one was 9 inches, but you could use a smaller 7 or 8 inch, but not much smaller) other colours work too but I like the contrast of the metal teeth on the black)
Felt (or some material could be denim, or cotton for the back)
1 Safety pin
Thread to match the zip and to match the backing
A strong needle and
a pair of scissors

1 - You need to get the zip into 2 separate pieces, do this by cutting the end off just above the metal stopper.

2 - Slide the zipper off, you can either use this on the flower or discard it...

3 - Thread your needle with normal cotton, but double it over so you are sewing with a double strand for extra strength.

4 - You need to start by making a tight coil with the end of the zip, and then secure this with a few stitches. Keep the needle and thread in the flower and keep turning, twisting and stitching to begin to build up the flower.

5 - What I have tried to show with the picture is that by folding the edge of the zip you make interesting shapes in the line of the flower. Fold these and secure flat to the flower with more stitches.
6 - Once you have sewn all the way round, tie off the thread and cut off the remainders.

7 - Using the 2nd piece of the zip, cut the top on off so both ends of the zip are the same.

7 - Sew a simple running stitch through the lower part of the zip edge, (use the matching thread, doubled over as before, I used a contrasting stitch so you can see it)

8 - Pull the thread through so that it causes the zip to curl round. Pull until it has a reasonable curl and then tie a knot in the loose end, but don't sew the ends together yet.

9 - Sew this to the underside of the flower using a similar technique to before, folding and stithing, you may end up overlapping, that is fine.
10 - Before you close the end of the zip, decide if you want the zipper on the flower or not. (I decided not to in this flower, but I have done on other flowers already posted, they look good but do add weight!) If you do, slide it on and decide where-abouts you want it, then you can put a few stitches around the teeth of the zip in the matching thread so the zipper doesn't move.
11 - Try and end with the final end of the zip ending near the middle of the underside of the flower for a neat finish. Secure the ends with a few stitches and a knot. Don't worry if it isn't very neat as all the ends will be hidden. Once the flower is finished turn it over and find your backing material.

12 - Cut a disc of felt just big enough to cover all the loose ends on the back.

13 - Using you matching thread sew the backing disc to the flower, I haven't been amazingly neat, I was being quick, but you can take your time and try to be neat, although you wont see it from the front so not a massive problem.

14 - Get your safety pin and cut a disc of the same fabric that will fit just inside your safety pin.

15 - Sew this onto the disc already there, making sure it is held securly and that you sew the fixed side to the broach or you wont be able to open it!!!
16 - You have finished - wear your flower with pride and starting making more to sell to your friends!!!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Scrap Cushion!!!

I saw a cushion like this whilst in the States and thought it was a brilliant way to use up all the nice scraps of material I have left over from quilting etc. It is really easy to make, I bought the cushion cover and the filler in Asda for £4!!! (bargain!!!)

I cut and laid out all the pieces and then tacked them on, and then set about the rather boring and arduous task of sewing them all on. I chose an orange embroidery thread and used almost 2 Skeins of the stuff!!! It took almost a week of sewing in front of the TV, but it is finished and looks rather nice against my new sofa!!!!

Thanks very much to the Knights for their generosity and to God for his provision. The sofa is great and just what we needed.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Mini Crafts...

Ribbon or Selvage Edge Flowers

I was inspired to make some of these whilst doing some research into felt creations...they are simple flowers made from the selvage edge of some material I have been using to start a new patchwork (more of that to come later, but it is a gift, so will have to keep quiet until it has been given!!!)

I made these 2 different ways, the first being the more difficult way, keeping the selvage as a whole strip, folding it backwards and forwards and sewing it as I went to keep it in place. The flowers with the yellow and white buttons were made like this. I then tried a simpler method, which whilst nice is maybe not as fun. The 2 flowers with pink buttons and the green button are made by folding and cutting the selvage or ribbon in half until you have 8 pieces (3 times), then doubling those pieces over, threading the open end of each of the 8 pieces into a needle and thread and then sewing to secure. A button was then sewen over the top to hid the stitches!

I have sewen the back of this one with a felt disc and after sewing it on half way round, inserted a closed safety pin to allow it to be used as a brooch or embellishment on a handbag etc...

Zip Flower
I have seen LOADS of these in the shops, especially in America, on tops, shoes, bags, headbands and as broaches, however they always seem ludicrously expensive especially when you know how cheap a zip is. So i thought I would have a go myself!!! in the end it was pretty easy, although it took me a while to decide how best to make it. Basically I opened the zip and cut the bottom off to allow the zipper to come off. I then used one side of the zip to make the tighter middle flower which I basically twisted and stitched as I went. I then put a loose running stitch along the 2nd side, at the edge furthest from the teeth, pulled so it formed a circle and stitched it to the 1st half. Before I closed the circle I pushed the sipper back on and then secured it with a few final stitches. I then sewed a felt circle and safety pin on as before.

Anyway hope you like, I enjoyed making them all...hopefully will be back soon with more pretty things!!!