Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Latest Mini Tote! - It's all about the base!

Hello Dear Readers,

Yay, I have a finish!!!

You might remember when I finished making my Sister's Tote I immediately wanted to make one for myself! I showed you the colours I was using, but somehow, I got bogged down with the detail!

An email from Benta of SLIKstitches asked whether I had tried the square method of boxing the bag rather than the triangular method (which I used for Sis's bag) ..... well, I have, but only when a pattern says so!

You've guessed it .... I couldn't resist the idea, could I ??!!!!!


Fabrics Used:
3 Fat Quarters
1 Fat Quarter of Calico
Strips of Wadding for handles

Finished size: 23.5cm High
14.5cm Wide
9 cm Depth
Handles are 27.5cm long, and 1/2" wide

After prepping the main fabrics, I found the pieces I'd cut off the boxed corners of Sis's bag, unpicked the stitching and placed the squares on the bottom of the fabric, and gingerly cut them out! (Cutting the outer squares 0.25" larger than the centre oblong, bearing in mind the centre "squares" had no seam ..... if you see what I mean!)

You cans see the squares in the background!

I made a pocket, and I was going to decorate the top of the pocket with a strip of one of the outer fabrics, but couldn't resist running a piece of elastic through the decorative strip .... well there was a gap .... so why wouldn't you add elastic? I do love pockets with elastic tops! I think it makes them so much cuter ..... and holds the contents of the pocket in place slightly better when the bag is in use!

As I machined the pocket in place, I stitched back and forth over the elastic to make it secure.

.... snipped off the elastic close to the edge of the pocket

I remembered seeing a very useful idea on somebody's blog (and if it was you, thank you for that!) to use pins at an angle ..... then they can be removed easier when machining the seams!

It was a nice sunny afternoon when I started stitching, and our cats were in the garden when I started stitching ..... however, with these short winter days it was dark by the time I finished! I was determined to use the machine while I could (another day and the cats might have commandeered my stitching table, and then there would be no stitching!)

..... a little bit like this!!!

But that was another day! So, back to the stitching!!!

 I always get confused here .....
about which way to stitch the corner!
..... but once I "opened"  the space up it became more
obvious how it should go ....
..... see, I remembered how to pin it! Tee, hee!

..... but when I turned the bag through
one corner didn't sit very well ....
..... and the frog visited!
.... but with some fiddling .....

..... and after a another row of stitching, when I  .....
.....  turned the bag through to check .....
Yep! The bottom was much squarer this time!

Pocket is 8"h x 7 1/2"w

After a short search I was able to find one of our home made buttons for the finishing touch!

To summarise the Pros and Cons of "boxing" or "squaring" the base:

I found it quicker using the "boxing" method ..... mainly because I'm used to this way, but "squaring" the base probably is faster because the corners don't need binding on the inside to finish.

I do hope you've made it to the bottom of this post!

And if you have, thank you for reading!

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Barbara x

Linking to Amanda's "Finish it up Friday"

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pinhead Stitch Tutorial

Hello Dear Reader,

For the first time, I am linking to Jo's "Gifted Gorgeousness", with this pot pourri sachet which I stitched for Jo's Secret Stitching Sweetheart blog hop.

"Gifted Gorgeousness" is a monthly link party run by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. We can link up each month from the 15th until the end of the month. If you would like to find out more and maybe join up go HERE!

This sachet was a magazine gift from waaay back ..... which I loved when I bought the magazine but somehow never got round to stitching until now!

Pot Pourri Sachet

I didn't think I would enjoy stitching it, but this was a fun little pattern, which I was able to stitch on my travels (on the train - not driving the car! Tee, hee!), and I even tried out a "new to me" stitch thanks to this project!

I was feeling very dubious about trailing the orange cotton behind the fabric for the single orange stitches, and then I remembered that a couple of month's ago, just before I started this project, I had read about the Pinhead Stitch over on Queenie's Friday Homework.

Queenie of  "Queenie's Needlework" shared a link to a tutorial for stitching on evenweave, which you can see by clicking HERE

I didn't see any tutorials for working the stitch on aida, but I found it does work! So I thought I would make a record of how I stitched it so in future I would know exactly what to do!


Pinhead Stitch Tutorial

Tutorial - view 1
Bring your needle up on the right of the square you want
your stitch to appear in ..... keeping hold
 of the end of the thread beneath your work
Tutorial - view 2
then down again in the centre .....
View 3
continue, bringing the needle up on the left
of the square, and down into the centre again .
Holding the tail, below your fabric, tightly, pull the
 needle to tighten the stitch, then stitch the cross stitch.
Tutorial - view 4
Sometimes the Pinhead stitches sit lower in the
fabric than this.....

When I first started using Pinhead Stitch I was concerned that the stitches would not be hidden by the Cross Stitch ....

Tutorial - view 5
..... but, as you can see in this picture the Cross Stitch
has hidden the Pinhead Stitches
Tutorial - View 6
then finish off by bringing the needle up at the top of the square .....
Tutorial - view 7
..... down in the middle .....
Tutorial - view 8
..... up at the bottom .....
Tutorial - view 9
..... and down again in the middle.
Tutorial - view 10
Oh yes .....  this view shows how the stitches will
sometimes sit lower in the fabric

I found it easiest to snip the ends off after completing each stitch, but not too close to the fabric ..... just in case!

Tutorial - view 11

I'm hoping I won't be washing this stitching at any time. However, I really need to test the Pinhead Stitch on a sampler first to see if it will survive washing. I will give you an update later. 


Funnily enough the week before I finished this sachet I had a visit from my mum and sister. They had popped into a local sewing shop during the week, and as soon as they saw this pretty ribbon they thought of me ..... and look .... it was just what I needed to finish my sachet! 

I guess that means this also qualifies as a FFO (Fully Finished Object)!

FFO - Pot Pourri Sachet


Ohhhh! I've just remembered ..... At the weekend I was washing and ironing some aida from a stitching kit ready for a new project ..... and the kit was a present from another blogger!!!! So next month I just might have some more stitching to share with Gifted Georgeousness

If you'd like to have a look to see what Gifted Georgeousness others are sharing pop over to Jo's and see who has linked up this month by clicking HERE 

Maybe you've used Pinhead Stitch yourself .... do let me know if you have ..... and did you like it ..... did it work on your project?

Thank you for popping by, and an especially big "Thank you" to all for visiting and commenting on the blog hop this week, I hope you had fun!

Barbara xxx

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop - 2017

Hello Dear Readers, old friends and new!

Happy Valentine's Day

So nice of you to visit me. 

Today I am linking to Jo of Serendipitous Stitching for her .....

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

We had to send a photograph of a sweet stitching project suitable for a lovely friend to Jo who has then allocated each one to a Secret Stitching Sweetheart.

Each Secret Stitching Sweetheart will show the photograph she has received on her blog, and will be waiting for her mystery friend to identify themselves.

Here is the photograph I have received:

Barbara's Mystery friend's stitching

I'm looking forward to finding out whose very pretty stitching this is?

Now, follow me over to Jo's place to see who else is taking part..... Click HERE. to join us as we all search for our Secret Stitching Sweethearts.

But don't forget to leave a comment to let me know you've visited before you go!

Have a super Valentine's Day!


Btw if you like cross stitch do pop over to visit Kaye's "Kitten Stitching and the Friday Frolics", where you can see more.

And you can find my 1st and 2nd frolics of the year:   HERE and  HERE

Look forward to seeing you there!