Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cotton Reel Tidy

Spring view

Hello Dear Readers

As spring now seems to have arrived, and indeed we are just entering into British Summer Time here in England, I thought a picture of the local countryside would be a different start to this post.

Do you find that when searching for the right cotton reel for a project you are working on, you then have to untangle the reel from all the rest - no matter how often you had tidied them up?   I certainly do!   So I thought I'd try to devise something to solve the problem.

Cotton reels with "Tidy"

I have tried making small cards similar to those used for keeping floss cottons and labelled them up with the cotton reel number, but then found when I needed a small length of cotton to sew a button, or a popper I was still going straight to the cotton reel.   So those saved lengths stayed where they were!   That wasn't the idea.

So, back to the drawing board, I considered, what did I need exactly?   Something to save those short lengths!  And came up with this idea to neatly and securely save 3 individual lengths around a cotton reel.  Now you might say, "Oh, I don't need that!  Why don't you just wrap them all round the cotton reel!"  But if I do that I can never find the right end to undo, so they all have to come off again!


All you need is some card (cereal box,  perhaps), ruler, pencil and sharp cutting blade and scissors to cut out the indentations.  The idea of the indentations is (I guess, probably obvious) to keep the cotton together.  The measurements can be seen above but just in case you cannot read them:

Large "Reel Tidy" is 4.5 x 2cm with indentations of 0.5mm (with a depth of 0.5mm)
And the smaller "Reel Tidy" is 2.5 x 2cm with indentations at 0.6mm intervals (with a depth of 0.5mm)

The blue cotton reel in the background is a paper prototype.

Another view of Cottons

Another view of the Tidy

I have found this has improved my cotton reel storage!

Do you think this would help you?

I'd love to know if  you've seen or bought something that does the same thing, as I haven't.


I wondered why I hadn't had any responses from a couple of bloggers whose blogs I commented on.  Then a friend told me I'm set up as a "no reply" blogger.  Can anyone tell me where on the Blogger Dashboard I can change the "no reply" setting, so that I can then receive replies?  I have searched and cannot find it.

Can you help please?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Crazy quilted purse

A while ago I dabbled in Crazy Patchwork and wanted to add lace to this purse, but couldn't find exactly what it needed.

This was my first time stitching velvet and Crazy Patchwork.  Using  stranded cottons, beads, a shisha mirror and even incorporating a perlè bound washer on the lower left of the back.  There were lots of stitches that were new to me - split stitch, feathered chain, double herringbone - and a few not so new - chain stitch, french knots, and lazy daisy flowers.

The Flashing Scissors
The Flashing Scissors
The Flashing Scissors

I then decided I needed to make my own lace.

Next post ..... lacemaking!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Homemade Organic Bread

I was looking at a post by Josie the other day when she was reviewing her Kenwood breadmaker that she had bought on EBay for only £11!   Amazing, what a bargain.   My breadmaker cost considerably more than that!  I bought this model last year and it is my second machine from Morphy Richards (due to natural wear and tear) and each one has given excellent service (No, I'm not being paid to say this!).  They have modified/improved the model over the years and it is now easier to place and remove the baking tin from the machine.  Both the bread or the dough are very easy to remove from the non-stick baking tin and the mixing paddle no longer gets stuck in the baked bread as it used to with earlier models.

The Flashing Scissors
I make Organic Malted Wholegrain bread and it's amazingly light - as Josie said about hers  - and so tasty!   I've never costed my bread out so Josies figures made very interesting reading.  I make about 2-3 loaves from one bag of flour (1.5 kg)  so I don't worry too much about the cost because I know my bread will be nicer and cheaper than shop bought bread and more importantly I also know exactly what goes into it.  I find that unless you can get to a decent real bakery it's impossible to buy quality wholesome bread.

The Flashing Scissors
We like our bread cooked in the oven as it gives a very crusty finish, so I set the machine for mixing and kneading only and when it has done this I take the dough out and give it an additional manual kneading.  Next I place it in an oiled tin, covered with cling film (which has also been lightly oiled), and then cover this with a teatowel and put it in a cool oven to rise.  I heat the oven at 100 degrees C for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and place the covered dough in the oven to rise for 30 minutes.  Then I remove the risen dough from the oven, heat the oven to 190 degrees C, and remove the teatowel and cling film and cook the risen dough for half an hour.

The Flashing Scissors
The Flashing Scissors
The Flashing Scissors
It has not always been a success but on those occasions it has been due to operator error, i.e. rushing too much, which had caused me to forget to add the yeast.

It can be a bit of a chore, but when we are eating the bread I am glad I spared the time.

It is really lovely to get fresh bread out of the oven.  You can't beat that homely smell of just cooked bread which drifts around the house and it is just so delicious!

Until next time I take my leave of you.

Thank you for popping by, hope to "see" you again soon, when I will air some ideas about stitching problems.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Magazine Giveaways

Do you make the gifts that come with the stitching magazines?

The Flashing Scissors

Last year I bought a copy of a new quilting magazine "Love Patchwork and Quilting" which had a needlecase kit with hexagons.  At the time lots of bloggers commented that they throw this sort of gift away because the materials were not very good quality.

The Flashing Scissors

However, I made mine up as I thought the tiny hexagons were really quite sweet.   I made a pincushion and added a pocket on the back for my needlethreader and tiny bobbins of thread and my scissors fitted nicely in the open back of the pocket.

The Flashing Scissors - My extra pockets and pincushion

I have used this almost constantly, despite having many other types of pincushions and needlecases.

Do you take the time to stitch magazine gifts? And if so, do you use them?

Saturday, March 07, 2015

A little bit of stitching

When I'm travelling by train I hate sitting with nothing to do, so I stitch!

This is a tiny purse I stitched on my recent journeys.   It is 3 x 4" approximately, with a wrist strap of 10".

The Flashing Scissors -  Tiny Purse

It was embroidered using Perlè thread.

The flowers are Sussex Puffs with buttons and beads in their centres.

The sides were attached to the zip, again in Perlè.   Then the purse was finished by continuing around the three open sides.

I included a name label just for added cuteness, hopefully!

I'm sure I'm not alone in stitching on the go?  If you stitch on the go, what are you stitching now?

Monday, March 02, 2015

A knitted tunic

This is the back:

In case you are wondering about the white wool it's the length of the back with knots at measured points so I know when to increase or decrease.  Not my idea!  Saw it on Pinterest and I think it's on my Pinterest board -  "Fabulous Knitted items" and headed "Keeping track of rows".