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!

A llama and a shawl

This evening, while watching poldark I quickly made up this cute little felt llama. My sister is feeding rather under the weather, with labyrinthitis and 3 children to home school, so I wanted to make something for her so she at least has some happy mail.

It’s from a kit by the make arcade and its quick and easy to do. I Like that you get templates, so if you like a design you can just get more felt and make another one! I hope she likes it!

Over the last week or so I’ve also been working on this windmill shawl, which is now quite a repetitive pattern of 2 alternating rows. I’m not sure what I think of patterns where the rows get progressively longer though… It feels a bit disheartening.

Cute dachshund

Today I was in the mood for another quick and easy project, so I got out the little felt dachshund keyring kit that I was sent in one of my stitching santa parcels.

It was easy to cut out

and then I changed the order suggested, and sewed on the eyes and ears before sewing the two body pieces together.

Then I decided to use blanket stitch to join the body pieces together, even though back stitch was suggested. I discovered the reason for their suggestion when I got to the top part where you sew the ribbon and label in! But I kept going and just brought the needle back through the label before completing the blanket stitch.

He’s meant to have a little red neckerchief but it looked like it was strangling him (I may have stuffed him a bit too full!) so I didn’t go with that idea.

He’ll be a cute keyring, or ‘dangly bag thing’ to send to someone!

Plus, while catching up on a couple of episodes of masterchef I added a few rows to my C2C blanket.

My finished blue tit

Here’s my blue tit wall hanging, in situ. 

I’m so pleased with how this has turned out. I spent an hour with sue on  tuesday, cutting round the edges and then cutting out the background sections between the leaves. I love how doing that has made it feel complete, and with even more depth. 

Sue was really complimentary about my work, especially given that I’d never done any needle felting before. I held it up next to some of her work and was so proud of myself as I’d never thought i could produce anything as good as this. Sue said she’d never suggested anyone work on  a wall hanging like this before as it would be too tricky and take too long, and I’m very grateful that she didn’t say that at the beginning or  try to persuade me to make something else instead. It’s taken a total of about 7 hours of work in the workshops and at home in between, but it’s definitely been worth it. 

Unfortunately there is only one more felting workshop, which i can’t get to, and then i need to wait for the summer for the next lot of them. So I’m already thinking about other things to try out. Top of my list is a blacksmith workshop for a day! It’s rather expensive but i have money from Christmas presents that I’ll use for it. I’ve also got two needle felting kits at home to make a badger and a fawn. I’m nervous about those as I’m not sure I’ll get the shaping right, but if it all goes wrong on one then i guess I’ll learn from that and improve on  the second. I’m also working on a secret crochet project that I’ll blog about when it’s done. It’s going to take a while to finish though as it’s big, so I’m spending quite a lot of time on that at the moment instead of doing other things.