Mountain cushion

This started as an early morning post because I was too uncomfortable to sleep this morning, but then breakfast arrived πŸ™‚ It all appears to have gone well yesterday but it’s going to take a while to feel better.

This cushion was last minute birthday present idea because I had no clues what to buy and had been so distracted by medical matters the date crept up on me!


Here’s the cushion, posing on my sofa with my other wonky mountain πŸ™‚ It’s my largest machine applique/ embroidery project so far, I’ve only made postcards before, but creating the pattern and choosing fabrics is still the hardest part.

I was aiming for mountains and a small peninsula reflected in a lake. A few years ago we were in North Wales and saw a perfect reflection of the Snowdon horseshoe, and I’ve had a poster of that photo on my wall. With the different fabrics it turned out a little abstract but the recipient still understand it πŸ™‚

I didn’t take any close up photos to properly show the freehand sewing machine embroidery. The pieces were cut out of a hurriedly made pattern and attached to the cushion with ‘heat and bond’. I then freehand stitched around all of the edges a few times, for security and I like the look of several rounds of overlapping stitches – and I can never get the same line twice! I also embroidered curves across the water parts to suggest ripples, I knew I’d bought that blue green variegated cotton for a reason πŸ™‚  The sky looked a little empty, so because it’s a dark cotton I added the moon and a few stars. If I had a bit longer I think I’d add more details to the view. The entire cushion is made of scraps, and I don’t have a huge amount of suitable fabric, so the back is made of dark indigo denim to keep with the water theme. At least it all turned out big enough and just about square!


More handmade postcards

I’m slowly adding to my handmade postcard collection πŸ™‚ I’ve done a couple of swapbot swaps recently and received beautiful cards.

Handmade postcard swap:

Sent to UK


Freehand machine embroidered owl. I’m not sure what it is about his face that makes him look so daft…

Received from Australia


I think this is decoupage paper, paint, stamped shapes and collage on board. It’s a lovely card. And if I made people smile today it’s because my bicycle riding is wobbly enough to be amusing…

Washi tape patchwork postcard

Sent to Australia


The colours look off in the photo, but it’s a stripey and partially woven basic design. The swap required that the tape was protected somehow, so there’s a layer of glue as a varnish.

Received from Canada


More imaginative than my creation, washi tape with marker pen decoration, protected with sticky tape.

I’m planning to make more handmade cards (and more owls) sometime, but there are so many things I’d like to make at the moment!

Handmade postcards

Handmade postcards aren’t very popular on Postcrossing, I think most people have experienced receiving a few stickers on some paper and been less than impressed by the ‘artwork’. I’m always happy to see what people create, and I now have the start of a little homemade collection πŸ™‚ A collision of 2 of my favourite things – sewing and snail mail!

I was contacted by Mary in Russia (who first saw the cards on this blog, so hello!) wanting to swap handmade cards, a from a few of her suggestions I stitched a view of books and tea. I sent it in an envelope but I’m becoming more confident that the cards would survive naked.


In return I received a lovely cross-stitched quote and bird, with a fun woven border (and only mild damage from the long journey). Thank you πŸ™‚


I was also reminded of a card I received a few months ago from Gina in Germany as part of the monthly postcard diary swap. Sparkly crochet!


Hopefully my collection will continue to grow in size and craft styles! I’ll have to get making so I’ll have cards to send in return…

Other people make it look so easy…


That is the sad poorly fitting remains of a vest top… I got so excited! I adjusted the pattern (way too much in some areas and not enough in others, as it turns out) and went for it (who needs trial runs anyway? Me apparently) and now I’m sitting here with a load of wasted lovely fabric feeling fed up and inadequate  😦  I’m going to have to start from scratch, reprint and adjust the pattern, then adjust for the fabric I have left. Right now I can’t be bothered.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have more enthusiasm to find an old sheet to experiment with. My issue is the 8 cup sizes between me and a standard pattern… I’m not sure I’ve ever made something that fits well, so maybe this will be the one. I can dream!

Any advice from an extreme full bust adjustment expert gratefully received πŸ™‚

Fake Wrap Skirt

I’ve had some Liberty’s fabric waiting to be used since last year. I was about to sew with it when my old sewing machine broke so it’s waited a while! I started by trying to make somethingΒ  a sort of gathered skirt without a pattern, but it looked badly fitted and frumpy even half-made so I gave up on that and looked for a pattern.

I used NewLook pattern 6326, a fake wrap around skirt with an extra little pleat. It fits really well, it’s clearly a style that works for me πŸ™‚ I’ve got some more fabric now to make another version… I’m thinking of moving the zip to the side to have a one piece back, and adding a false wrap piece with a few nice buttons to the waist band to go with the faux wrap look.

The fabric is a cotton lawn so I decided to line it. Unfortunately I made a kind of integral lining, didn’t pre-wash and now it’s got a funny bag on it I’m hoping I’ll be able to creatively iron out… I wore it to work, so the photos are of me half asleep in the back garden early in the morning!

There was a good discussion at the sewing club that evening about how frustrating it is to make something so well that no one asks if you made it! Because no one asked πŸ™‚


Stitched postcard progression


Layered fabric! I’m getting fancier πŸ™‚ And stitching the fabric to the edge of the postcard gives me more space and a neater edge. I need to work on my control more now, and figure out why my bobbin tension suddenly goes strange occasionally…only whilst embroidering so I must be doing something. I’m great at unintentional whip stitch!

This card is for a “mail art postcard” swap on Swap-bot, the recipient likes birds on branches, and that’s a shape I can do! I wonder what I’ll get in return…

The fabric comes from a scrap bundle from ‘M is for make’, lots of nice bits to play with πŸ™‚

Embroidered postcards


During this month’s Postcrossing forum ‘postcard diary’ I received an amazing crocheted card of a fish in sparkling seas. It got me thinking about what I could create… After the stamp collage card I received next I decided I had to make something to send back!

It’s a first attempt so nothing fancy. I’m still getting used to machine embroidery, the tension never seems right. And getting them onto the card neatly was difficult too. I should progress from flowers soon, then who knows what will head off in the post! In an envelope obviously, but I do wonder how it would survive as it is…

Travel wallet – first attempt

My travel envelope broke recently so I thought I’d make a new one. I then thought it would make a nice Mother’s Day gift! I looked at a few pictures, did a vague measurement off my passport and some A4 paper so all my documents would fit, and just went for it with the pockets. I also tried out my freehand embroidery on the front for some decoration.


I had some sudden inspiration and stayed up late sewing – never a very good idea, it resulted in lots of unpicking before I decided to give up for the night… And I then spotted several issues this morning which were too late to solve. I got a right angle out to make things straight and it’s still wonky! And it’s really floppy which might not work, I used some light interfacing but it’s nowhere near enough. So it looks nice but I’m not sure how practical it is.



I’m still loving the hammer on press fasteners πŸ™‚

I’m planning to try again for myself. I’ve got some faux leather and fabric from a long ago holiday which might make a nice combination, and maybe some tougher interfacing.

I’ve got another gift idea too which I might try next. Maybe I’ll send this off as well to be trialed but I think it needs to be a lot tougher to shove in bags and carry around airports. I’m sure it’ll find a use somewhere, maybe a document carrier or useful pouch…

Travel cable tidy


I decided that jewellery holders probably wouldn’t be as appreciated by the men I was making for, so I made cable tidies for the travelling man to transport cables, plugs, chargers and converter plugs in style (or at least more easily!)


I followed the pattern from the same little book as the ‘bling books’ I also made as gifts. A basic cardboard template for the front, inner and fleece lining. Two stripes of elastic to hold the cables (and don’t iron elastic, it melts! So iron everything before starting – I learnt the hard way!). A short section of the template for the pocket – I adjusted the pattern here to add a zip. It’s an easy edit – I sewed the zip to the folded edge of the pocket and stitched the zip edge to hide the raw fold, then stitched the other side of theΒ  zip flat to the inner (I tried it with the zip folded over too but it becomes bulky and harder to manage). It’s then easy to sew the pieces together inside out leaving the pocket end of the tidy open, turn the cable tidy the right way out, then turn just the pocket inside out and sew up the final edge where it’s hidden. I also zig-zag stitched that edge to make it a bit neater. I found an edge stitch helped to keep the whole case flatter and neatened the edges. They fasten with poppers, I lined them up by sticking pins through the fabric then marking the points, it seems the work! Measuring the positions on the fabric didn’t work because it never quite ends up straight… And the number of poppers varied by where the poppers would fit around the seams and elastic.

The recipients seemed to appreciate them. There’s a few travellers in the family so who knows where these little projects will end up!