Appliqué tote bag

I love participating in swaps (which I sign up for through Ravelry). This month I signed up for a favourite colour swap where you send your partner things in their favourite colours. My partner likes peach and mint and I decided to use some peach and mint coloured felt to decorate a tote bag I bought in hobby craft.

My partner likes folk designs and birds, so I used that as my inspiration. I drew out my design

and then cut out the main bird shape from peach coloured felt (these photos make it look like a bright pink but it’s not really like that!). I stitched on the wing and then embroidered detail on, taking care to avoid the edges as I knew I needed to blanket stitch it on to the bag once it was done. I used 3 strands of the thread while sewing, so it would show up on the quite large design.

Here’s how it ended up

And here it is blanket stitched onto the bag.

I’m so pleased with it. It was a simple idea but I think it’s been really effective. I’ve found the embroidery really relaxing to do, which I need at the moment as I’m struggling with low mood and stress again. It’s definitely an idea I’d use again as it can easily be personalised with different designs.

The only issue with it was that when I took the tote bag out of its packaging it smelled absolutely disgusting. A rinse in the washing machine didn’t sort it, so it had to go through the wash properly and wait to dry. But now it’s fine!


O little town of bethlehem

Today I went on a course over at the patchwork basket in Newent. It was to make a fabric wall hanging.

I spent the day cutting and sticking my different batik fabrics and learning how to use my sewing machine to blanket stitch and how to sew cord on. Now I just need to add the star and do all the sewing!

Here’s how it progressed during the day

Working with sissy… And a little bit more crochet

Well, since she’s been named, poor sissy (my sewing machine) hasn’t been brought out to play. But today was the day!

I wanted to make a little present to say thankyou to a teacher in school who gave me a beautiful faux fur long gilet that she was wearing for world book Day (in order to dress up as a bear!). She didn’t like it as she thinks she is too short for it and she thought it would suit me better as I am tall! Well, I love it, and it has certainly kept me warm during the snow.

I decided to make a little bag that she could use in school, maybe to put things in for the kids to pull out etc. But I wanted it to be a bit interesting too.

I had this gorgeous material with little woodland creatures on, so decided to copy the bunny and blanket stitch on a felt version to the front of the bag.

Of course this meant I had to line the bag to hide the stitching, so this is the result of a full morning’s work (not least because I unsuccessfully tried satin stitching the detail on the ears and tail before unpicking it all at it looked too messy). I’m really, really pleased with the result though and think it was totally worth all the effort. I really love the sparkly ribbon that I had in my stash… I’ve never bought ribbon… Just kept anything that came my way!

This evening I carried on with a bit more of the second octagon for my top. Here they are next to each other. The one on the left is made with a smaller hook, and has one row less than the one on the right. I’m thinking I’ll add that round to it and then continue both with the bigger hook and they’ll be fine for front and back with no frogging required! What do you think? Can you see flaws in this plan that I haven’t spotted? Let me know more if you can! All help and advice will be gratefully received 💞