Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Elephants never forget.......

Appliqued Fabric Journal Cover

It was one of my dearest friend's birthday last week and, oh the irony, I forgot!  As soon as I realised my error, I got stitching and made her a little notebook cover.

It fits an A6 pad and is just the right size for jotting down notes or shopping lists.  I based the little elephant on this stamp from Handmade Harbour, but substituted three hearts instead of the birdie. 

I used some cute elephant print fabric from my stash to create the cover flaps which hold the notebook in place;

Happy (belated) Birthday Naoko!

Appliqued Egg Cosy Giveaway - Winner

The Giveaway is now finished and a winner has been chosen

The method the children and I used to come up with a winner was somewhat time-consuming - We wrote out the names of all of my lovely followers (which took rather a while) and then picked one from a hat. I then checked through all the blog comments to ensure that the 'winner' had at some point left a comment.  The first person hadn't, so another name was pulled out and all the comments were rechecked and success......

We have a winner,

'Forgetmenots blue'

Congratulations and don't forget to let me know your choices so that I can get stitching x

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Travel Sewing Kit

 Altered Mint Tin

My parents spend quite a lot of time in waiting rooms as my father, who has early-onset Alzheimer's, is on a new trial at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge.  My Mum takes her knitting along with her, so I thought I would make her a little travel sewing kit ready for when she stitches up finished items.

I upcycled an old mint tin by colouring it with alcohol inks and then painting the lid with a coat of emulsion (vinyl) paint.  The next step was to stamp an all over flourish pattern using white StazOn ink.  The die-cut shapes were cut with my trusty Sizzix machine and I used the same motifs for both the paper and felt. The needlebook was cut using a 'Matchbook' die which gave it a lovely embossed line along the length of its spine.

The little needlecase fits neatly into the tin lid, leaving plenty of room for thread, scissors, thimble and other sewing essentials. 

My Mum also keeps various other 'essential' items in it including tweezers and nail-clippers, but I whipped these out of the way for this set of photos! 

The tin is lined with the same soft pink felt as I used for the pages of the needle-book. Once all the stitching and gluing was complete, I varnished the outside of the tin for a little added protection. 


Finally, here's a couple of pictures from lunch on Easter Sunday, it's hard to believe it was just last week!  It was a bit chaotic once the guests arrived, so I only managed to get a couple of photos in the morning.  We seated thirty-one in total, one at each end with fourteen down one side and fifteen along the other.  The menu consisted of soup and bread for starters, jacket potatoes with salads for the main course and then a 'shared' (each family bringing a contribution) sweet trolley. Once we had finished eating the children had an egg hunt in the garden and then we 'geocached' around the local countryside.  

I had intended placing the egg cosies on the table as a place marker for each guest, however we then decided this was asking for them to get covered in food, so we popped them onto the windowsill instead.

If you fancy winning a pair of egg cosies, don't forget you have until midnight tomorrow to enter my Egg Cosy Giveaway.  To take part you simply have to leave a comment on this blog and sign up to follow it either through Blogger or Bloglovin'.  The winner will receive a handmade pair of linen egg cosies lovingly appliqued in any design or colour scheme chosen from these. 

Good Luck!

Friday, 25 April 2014

'Diamond Geezer' Journal Cover

Freestyle Machine Embroidery

Get your thinking caps on as it's time to enter the second Cuddly Buddly design challenge and there is a lovely £25 gift voucher on offer for the best creation.  This month's theme is 'Diamonds' or 'Pearls' and you have until Wednesday 14 May to get your entry in.  The only 'rule' is that you use products sold in the Cuddly Buddly shop, but with over 12,000 products stocked this won't be a problem. Apart from this anything goes and your creation could be sewing, painting, mixed media, card making, paper crafting........etc! 

I decided to put a masculine spin on the diamond theme and stitched a 'Diamond Geezer' journal cover; 

I based it on this set of digi stamps but made a few changes so that it looked like our nephew Henry.  I wanted to stitch him a little present and, as he has recently received an offer to study History at Oxford University, a notebook cover with beer on the front seemed the perfect reflection of study and socialising!

I used Bondaweb to attach the pieces and then dropped my feed dogs and free motion embroidered around the outlines in black adding depth and definition. 

The wording was stitched in exactly the same way and this technique gives quite a 'modern' feel to projects so is perfect when creating gifts for teenagers.

I have written a full tutorial which you can see over at the Cuddly Buddly Blog and it can be easily adapted to suit any size of notebook.  The blog also has lots of other tutorials from my fellow design team members all intended to inspire you to get crafting and entering the competition! 

You also have until Monday to enter my Egg Cosy Giveaway, to take part you simply have to leave a comment on this blog and sign up to follow it either through Blogger or Bloglovin'.  The winner will receive a handmade pair of linen egg cosies lovingly appliqued in any design or colour scheme chosen from these. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Appliqued Sewing Pouch

Antique Sewing Machine Travel Bag

A quick post today as I'm busy with preparations for Easter Sunday, but just time to show you this little make-up bag / pencil case appliqued with an antique sewing machine inspired by this gorgeous 'Handmade Harbour' digital stamp.

My sister asked me to make it as a birthday present for her sister-in-law.  I used upcycled wool in a soft dappled fawn colour which provides a lovely shabby chic feel.

The tiny sewing notions print fabric was peeled off a damaged sewing box, which I bought at a car boot sale last year.  I also used it for the zipper end tabs and they look pretty cute!

Don't forget also to enter my Easter Egg Cosy Giveaway, to take part you simply have to leave a comment on this blog and sign up to follow it either through Blogger or Bloglovin'.  The winner will receive a handmade pair of linen egg cosies lovingly appliqued in any design and colour scheme chosen from these.

Good Luck!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

SewforSoul ~ Appliqued Egg Cosy Giveaway!

Win a pair of Linen Egg Cosies

I have now finished stitching all of the little linen egg cosies needed for our guests on Easter Sunday, but I still have two more to sew.......

I'm offering a pair as a prize to one of my blog followers!

Simply have a look through all of the designs and decide which two you would like me to stitch especially for you! Then just sign up to follow SewforSoul, either through Bloglovin or Blogger, and leave a comment.  It's that simple!

The giveaway is open to everyone and I'm happy to send them anywhere the postal service delivers to!  The blogging community is worldwide and I have 'met' some lovely new friends from around the globe. I want to thank all of my readers by giving everyone a chance to win, regardless of where they live.

The Catholic School my children attend returns after the Easter break on 28 April and I'll be ending the competition and announcing the winner then.  With the children back at school I'll be able to sew the winning cosies without interruption!

Good Luck!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Freestyle Machine Embroidery Home Bunting

Raw Edge Applique Garland

We've finally had a little bit of sun here in the North East of England today, so I decided to take a break from egg cosies and instead stitch a cheery length of bunting in some lovely Spring colours.  Unfortunately I still can't get outside to take some photos as it's now very blustery, but at least the wind has blown away the fog!

There is a bit of a heart theme going on in the bunting, both as the o of 'Home', and adorning the front of the cute little houses.

The garland features one of my favourite techniques, raw edge applique. This time though I used a little bit of blanket stitch, rather than a regular straight stitch, which makes a nice change.

Not surprisingly though, I couldn't resist sneaking in just a little bit of freestyle machine embroidery, so I dropped the feed dogs and quickly whizzed around the door, roof and windows!

It's now back to finishing the last of my Easter egg cosies!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Freestyle Machine Embroidery - Easter

More Raw Edge Applique!

My 'spare' time here at SewforSoul is still taken up with producing thirty-two personalised linen egg cosies ready for Easter Sunday.  These three were inspired by the gorgeous digital stamps Owl waiting for Santa, Butterflies and hearts and  Flowers on the hill, over at Handmade Harbour. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Easter Applique Bunting

Freestyle Machine Embroidery Garland

Here's a quick peek at a string of bunting which I'm stitching for Easter Sunday.  The message reads 'Happy Easter' and features a raw edge applique daffodil at each end.  The 'T' of Easter is a cross, a reflection of the true meaning of the festival.

Whilst the rest of the UK is enjoying a bit of a Spring heatwave, here in the North East we've been under a thick blanket of fog and rain since the weekend and it's forecast to last a few more days yet.  I've therefore not been able to go out and take any pictures in natural light.

 Hopefully I'll be able to share some better photos of the whole garland when the weather clears up.

What is everyone else stitching for Easter?