Sunday, 29 March 2015

Knit a Flower Basket Tea Cosy @ John Lewis Sheffield

I shall be running a Flower Basket Tea Cosy Workshop @ John Lewis Sheffield on Wednesday April 22nd and at the moment there are places available.  In the workshop you will be provided with the Rowan double knitting yarn for the project, the Cosy can be made before the workshop so all you have to do is produce the flowers and leaves on the day or you can make the Cosy after the workshop.  The Cosy will not only keep your tea warm it will also make you think that Spring has finally sprung!

So if you fancy a day with knitters, a lovely lunch and learning how to knit flowers in the process then why not join us?  Contact John Lewis Sheffield directly or you can e-mail me through this blog.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Work in progress - A 'Ohio Star Quilt'

I've been developing new projects to teach for Rowan and following on from the success of 'Quilt in a Day' I am now planning a 'Ohio Star Quilt', in fact my first workshop for this is being run on June 13th @ John Lewis, Sheffield.  Although the quilt is one large 'block' of Ohio Star this workshop will show you how to develop smaller blocks to make into a quilt.  I have produced the above sample as a trial and its using Rowan's latest Spring collection of fabrics, I really love the colour combination of lime green and pink, its looks so 'Spring' like and fresh.  Its always a bit of a problem knowing the best way to show a quilt and I have used the washing line before now but I need colour in the garden, so on the carpet was the best I could do.

I am also developing a 'Learn to Sew' project using the fabrics above, this will be a complete beginners project and will be an item of clothing - I'll post the pictures when it's completed.  I love this floral fabric in the Rowan range I think its very 60's-ish and reminds me of fabrics designed by Celia Birtwell. Its one of the current range and I'm hoping that my 'students' will be able to use it.

We just need a bit of sunshine now to appreciate these lovely Spring fabrics.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Crochet Birds for Easter

These little birds are super quick to make and take up small quantities of yarn - which all 'crocheters' have.  I've designed them for Easter but they could easily be used for Christmas or any form of decoration.  You will need some double knitting yarn, a 3.5mm crochet hook and a bit of stuffing for your 'bird'.

Please be aware that these are English crochet instructions, so if you are making this in the USA a dc: double crochet will be an sc: single crochet and a tr:treble will be a dc: double crochet.


ch - chain
ss - slip stitch
dc - double crochet
tr - treble

Start off with 4ch and slip stitch into first chain to create a circle - or you can do a sliding loop as per photo  if you prefer.

Round 1: 3ch ( this counts as 1 tr), 11tr into circle, join with a ss into the top of the 3ch.


Round 2: 3ch, 1 tr into same stitch, 2 tr into every tr stitch of round 1,

join with ss into top of 3ch. (24sts)

Round 3: 3ch, 2 tr into next tr, (1 tr into next stitch, 2 tr into next stitch) 11 times then ss into top of 3 ch.  ( 36sts)

Round 4:To continue, increase in every 3rd st. (48sts)

Round 5: Increase in every 4th st. (60sts)  Fasten off.


Fold the circle in half, introduce the second colour and starting in one corner fasten the 2 edges together with double crochets - there should be 30 of them ( half the circumference).

Before the semi circle is completely enclosed stuff some wadding into the birdie.

Then work dc's to the other edge enclosing the body of the bird.


To create the 'fantail'
On reaching the other corner, in the space of the last stitch work (3ch, 2tr) in the same space, turn

Next Row: (ch3, 1tr) in 1st space, 1tr in next st, 2tr in next stitch, turn

Next Row: (ch3, 1tr) in 1st space, 3tr in next 3sts, (2tr in next space) turn

Now work 6dc down left side of fantail, back to the starting point


Work along top of bird putting 1 dc into every treble (10dc) till you reach the opposite edge

Now work 12tr into the corner linking the last treble with a ss into 2nd dc on the edging. Turn


Now make 3dc along treble edge, 3ch and then another dc into same treble space - this creates the 'beak' - then 9 dc to take you back to the top edge.

SS along this edge till you come to the centre of the back.  Cut the yarn leaving a piece long enough for a tie, put a knot in the end of it and pull through stitch leaving a long enough loop.

Wings - 2

Start of with 4ch and ss to form a loop or create a sliding loop
Row 1: 3ch - counts as first tr, 2 tr, turn  (3tr)

Row 2: 3ch, 1tr in 1st space, 1tr, 2tr in last space, turn (5tr)

Row 3: 3ch, 1tr in 1st space, 2tr, 2tr in last space, (7tr)

Now work 6dc along edge to finish at starting point.


Sew wings into place one each side of bird.
For the eyes I produced a 'french knot' but a small button would be good.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Making 'Saw Tooth Stars' from Rowan fabric @ John Lewis, Sheffield

Had a lovely day on Wednesday @ John Lewis Sheffield creating 'Saw Tooth Stars'.  We started the workshop learning the basic construction of this quilter's block, there was some puzzled expressions on the way and I could see that the ladies didn't realise how mathematical quilting was but they persevered.  But when we were in the final stages of creating the block and it was coming together the Sheffield ladies cheered - it truly was a 'eureka' moment!

The ladies had enough fabric to produce a cushion like mine and having practised with their trial block they had the opportunity to get creative with their Rowan fabric.  I chose to do 2 blocks with reverse colour combinations.

Having produced their 'practice block' they then went on to creating and designing their own colour combinations using the Rowan fabrics.

 Loving this colour combination

 Some hard work going on here.
The same 'Saw Tooth Star' block with a border and wadding and getting ready for a bit of quilting.

and they also learnt how to 'fussy cut' their Rowan fabric.

I shall be doing a 'Saw Tooth Star' tutorial in a future post.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Quilts in a day @ John Lewis, Milton Keynes


It's a long time since I've blogged and I have run many workshops since I last posted so I thought it was time to share some of the lovely work produced in the classes. I have posted them to Facebook but they look so much better on a blog.

So, here is the first set produced many months ago at John Lewis Milton Keynes using various designs from Rowan fabrics.


This quilt has this gorgeous Tula Pink fabric - can you see the deer?








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