Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 2017 - Catching Up!

This project started with cross stitch in mind ..... but, my search for the perfect stitching kit has taken me away from my cross stitching, for far too long!

The Flashing Scissors
Tee hee! Can you guess what this is?

Traveling on the train with DH recently, my glasses were sitting on the table as I stitched, and DH thought this would make quite a funny picture of ..... and I'm sure you will have guessed ..... another Mini Thread Catcher (MTC)!

It was also a handy way of showing the size.


What's coming up?

  • Some of you have asked me for more details on my book holder (HERE) ..... and I intend to edit the post as soon as I can.
  • Also I've been meaning to start work on a new bag, and, again, will blog about it eventually!
  • However, I really do have the bug for making more Mini Travel Sewing Kits, which of course means making more Mini Thread Catchers.
  • Shortly I'm hoping to share a "Gifted Gorgeousness" post with an update on my cross stitch.


For some time I've been wanting to make a sewing kit that, by attaching a lanyard, could also double as a name badge, and, as I've said before, a sewing kit really needs a Mini Thread Catcher (MTC) (Tutorial HERE).

At the time of writing the MTC tutorial I hadn't taken photos, so hopefully these pictures might be helpful if anyone wants to make one.

Maybe I've got a little bit carried away ..... but they are cute!

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..... I couldn't decide which fabric I liked best.

Did you notice my teeny painting in the background, I was testing colours for one of the Mini Sewing Kits I'm making? Can't show it properly as it is going to be a present ..... the Mini Sewing Kit that is!

And then I've been working out what size to cut the base ..... for the perfect fit .... it needs to be smaller than the rim so that the MTC will push up and stay closed. Hopefully, all will make sense as you look at the pictures!

The Flashing Scissors
Rim circumference measures 4 1/2"

My rim measured 4 1/2", therefore, allowing for the seams, my two pieces measured 5" x 2 1/2".

Use 1/4" scant seams throughout. Read about scant seams HERE.

It is important to turn a 1/4" hem at this point, top and bottom, and press (with a hot iron) ..... and remember that's a scant seam again, so keep it small. Press the centre seam towards the base (inner fabric) 

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Press centre seam towards lining fabric

Then, pin the short sides to make a tube (Right sides together), and machine another scant seam. 

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Taper the seam slightly towards the hem of the inner fabric,
catching the hems in place.

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I used a wider rim for these later versions.

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Excuse these pictures taken on the train on my lap, but the light is so much better on the train than indoors at home at this time of the year.

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From this point it is all hand stitching.

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This time I attached the puffs individually,
but I think the Mark I  MTC (in the link above) was the quicker method.

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Oops, I guess I should have trimmed this large seam.
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A bit fiddly turning it through.
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The outer fabric needed a row of gathering stitches
and attaching to the inner sussex puff, before
finishing with the outer puff.
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You can see the hand stitching keeping  the rim in place.

Then simply twist the base, and push up into the rim, until it looks like this .....

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Any loose threads will be held inside until you are able to dispose of them, or add them to your TUSAL jar.

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 the base
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To date I've made a total of three MTC's, 


This weekend I was tempted to make some Rock Cakes, using a recipe I've gradually been adjusting over the years, until finally it has become Vegan. 

Don't laugh, but I had intended to have a go at making Super Mom No Cape's recipe for Beer Bread. I made my usual bread only last week and I thought I'd love to try Susan's recipe ..... I'd bought the beer (tee, hee, good excuse for buying the beer, not that I need one really!), bought some Oregano, and Thyme too, but then I wasn't sure I had the right flour. We have lots of different types of bread flour, but not much all purpose flour which the recipe called for, so I decided to use up my old flour on some cakes, and buy fresh for the bread next week.

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Sorry the photos are a little dark as it was a very cloudy day.

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I had to try one as soon as they came out of the oven ..... it was delicious!
 Both DH and I love them with custard too!

Now I'm in the baking mood I hope to try Susan's beer bread later in the week.


Oh, last week we found out what geocaching is. We were on a guided walk and were shown this hole in a reconstructed wall where a plastic box lives with lots of details inside. The box had been here for years and when the wall was rebuilt its own "home" was included. You would have to know it was there to find it as a brick has to slide out to reveal the box.

The Flashing Scissors


In years gone by we've had sunflowers which have grown from the seeds dropped from our bird feeders, but these days the seed that we buy for birds has the husks removed, meaning the birds spot the seed dropped on the ground, and therefore we rarely get plants springing up under the feeders these days.

So these sunflowers make me really happy! They are just a few of the plants that DH planted specially from seed this year, and they have grown into absolute giants. A couple of them have flowers as big as dinner plates ..... certainly a record in our garden ..... and you should have seen the size of the stem!

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This plant has about five, or six flowers!

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The light wasn't quite right, and I changed the contrast to take this picture ..... I love the effect.

They remind me of the nursery rhyme of Jack and the Beanstalk when I stand next to them, as some of them are over 8 feet tall.

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I love this one ..... looks like a heart in the centre!

We are not sure what to do with the sunflower heads now that they are dying back. We are more than happy to leave them in position for the birds to help themselves, however, has anyone experience in this, and would you suggest harvesting them, and if so how should this be done? Advice please! (It's only a small domestic crop of about a dozen heads, we are not looking for the loan of a combine harvester.)


By the way, if you are looking for some Halloween stitchery, you can find some lovely free vintage embroidery motifs on Super Mom No Cape's blog this week.


Oops, sorry, that's quite a long post, but I hope there was something here to make you smile (in a really nice way, of course!).

I'll try not to leave it so long next time!

Hope you are keeping safe and sound.

Barbara xxx


Sandra Walker said...

The cakes (I'd call them muffins in Canada) look delish! I've been in a baking mood this week, made scones on Wednesday, yum. Cute MTCs! We had Jack and the Beanstalk sunflowers when we lived in Alberta and our girls were young; your photos brought back those memories. We cut the heads of and left them in the sun to dry and the birds to pick them out...the deer got more of them than the birds I recall!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

What a sweet little ORTs container, very clever.
Love the sunflowers, I keep meaning to have a competition to grow one with my Toddler Group and every year I forget until it is too late!

Lin said...

Hi Barbara. Lovely to hear from you. The birds stripped my sunflower of seeds before I had the chance to think about what to do with them! I would leave them in situ to let the birds help themselves. I love the flowers, so sunshiny happy. Tiny little threadcatcher - I love it! xx

handmade by amalia said...

Your rock cakes look wonderful, Barbara. I have recently discovered custard, I am very much in favor.

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

I love the MTC - I'm definitely going to have s go!!!!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

You have been busy! I love your MTC and your sunflowers are wonderful. Those cakes look delicious too!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You certainly can't say that you've been idle! Love the wee thread catcher. I made a regular sized one once and can't imagine making it as tiny as what you're doing. I didn't know geo-caching was still a 'thing' but glad to see that it is. As for the sunflowers I think I'd leave them in place for the birds to enjoy. You can clip the heads off and put them in a dry play to let them dry and then set them out for the birds or simply leave them on the plants.

Brigitte said...

Great tutorial for the little thread containers, very clear and easy to follow. They are great for traveling and make nice little gifts. I once received one from a stitching friend and have used it ever since.
These cakes look so yummy. And they must have been overly delicious with custard.
Your sunflowers are really giant ones. When we had sunflowers in the garden we always left them until the bird had picked out all the seeds. That's what we do with all the shrubs and flowers that the birds love. But our sunflowers have never been such giant ones.