In the bag

fabricOur craft group recently had a very popular session making bags/purses with traditional clasp tops. Several people enjoyed it so much, they kept making them and still are. My version was a slight twist on the pattern as ususal I like to add my own twist…


In my stash I had a piece of furnishing fabric picked up from one of my crafty friends – they had a stash sort out and I couldn’t pass it by! This project suited it well, its a little bit glam and has a bold pattern; I took the motif as a basis for the shape of the bag.

Now, I just need the occasion….



Making waves

Since Christmas I’ve been working on a new weaving project. Its been my most ambitious weaving yet but really enjoyable. It combines my ambitions for crafts and recycling.

For the warp I used some lovely linen yarn; its strong and makes bold lines though the weaving. For the weft, I upcycled a load of old t-shirts from my stash and cut them into long strips.

I started without knowing what the colour theme would be but looking at the colours the blues, greens and greys stood out. They reminded me of the colours of the sea in moody light and the bright orange and whites were like highlights on the waves of white horses and the reflected sunset. So the theme was born – a seascape.

I love the mix of colours, textures and patterns. Some of the t-shirts were printed – these patterns sometimes show though as different colours, sometimes are hidden and the background colour is seen. The weft is woven with random lengths like the changes of light on the sea.

And so, for the ta-dah moment, a fabulous rug…


Quite finished quilt

Unbelievably, I’ve finished my quilt. I’m so, pleased. Many moons ago I read an article about making a quilt in a weekend. Ha! I can do that I thought. I can do a random pattern of stripes, use up all (ha) my scraps, make it look like a sea and do wavy free form quilting.

Well, it kind of meets that expectation except, most definitely the weekend bit! I know its been a while because the photographic evidence goes back 18 months and they weren’t taken when I started. I feels like four years but lets just settle for somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, here it is…

Raw edges and stitching in progress.

raw edges q

Work in progress, detail of strips, up-cycled fabrics including the odd remaining button…

detail q

detail q2

And the finished item folded…

finished q folded

Rear view, made in giant log cabin pattern…

finished q back

And the right side…

finished q

Phew! All done and very satisfying. Light weight and perfect for a spring/autumn boost.


Reusing & recycling – fused plastic


I’ve been having a go at fusing plastic bags. The idea is to make something more durable and either useful or ornamental from ordinary plastic shopping bags and food wrappers. There are lots of Youtube videos with hints and tips but the essence of it seems to involve an iron, baking parchment (essential to protect the iron and ironing board) and plastic bags. Friends warned me that it was fairly unpredictable and not as straightforward as some of the videos seemed so I was expecting to experiment. So, I did…


I started with food wrappers. Crisp bags are good, cheese wrappers too and even coffee bags. I liked the contrast of the silvery inside of the crisp packets and the colourful exterior. I think these could be embellished with embroidery or maybe added to larger pieces.


Next I tried shopping bags. Its important not to use biodegradable ones for obvious reasons. I used a combination of bags, they all worked fairly well. Plainish, white ones worked well as a base. Those that have a paint/ink coating needed more heat but eventually fused.


I added small pieces of different colours and text to give some interest to the surfaces. Keeping the number of layers more or less the same across the piece means that a similar level of heat can be applied and the layers bond at the same time; this keeps things simpler. But, you can go back to an area that doesn’t bond first time to give it more heat.


Next I started fusing the pieces together. I’m not finished yet but the plan is to make a bag or container. Watch this space and see how it turns out.