Thursday, 7 August 2014

Unusual tenacity!

Crafting always soothes me. Enriches, and fulfills me. I know this is the case for many bloggers. It's a funny old thing this blogging. You may have never met a fellow blogger but it often seems as if you have. That belief that if you were to meet , you would become friends. I have been lucky enough to meet some ... And it has proved to be true. We were nervous to meet,but immediately there was a link, an area of common ground.I would love to meet a few more,but my goodness the blogs I follow are far flung. And, actually I am quite shy. So I would probably need a push in that meeting direction.

Anyway, this last week I needed some fragile days. Some quiet days. Some adjusting days. Some soothing days.



Our little family have left us now and are wending their way slowly back to Dubai. I have already eaten some runner beans. That was magical watering! I am also going to make some runner bean chutney. The cupboard is bare. I made it years ago and loved it.



When loved ones leave I bang the Hoover around. I clean and sort like a madwoman. I eat chocolate. And then at night I peep into those rooms which were full of life, and, for a moment feel bereft. Tidy the may be, empty they are. But, this sad time passes and life is for looking forwards as well as back. So, out came my new sewing machine. I love,love,love it. We don't argue,it behaves,it even threads itself. If you are thinking of buying one I recommend it so highly. How I wish I had saved up years ago!


When I was tidying up I realised I had quite a big, actually, very big material stash. I have been wanting to try some fabric baskets and material pouches for ages.

So, I decide to get going. Stop thinking. Stop procrastinating and DO it. On reflection I am quite determined,I am quite a perfectionist but I lack tenacity. I have a graveyard of projects that have been started..... Knitting with circular needles. Socks that turned into wrist warmers. Arumagami nightmares. I could go on. In one way or another they have not worked.

I googled, I You tubed, I followed Pinterest, I researched pouches and baskets. That was the easy part.

I bought 50 zips for £3.69 on eBay. Brilliant. Quickly delivered. And enough to make a small dent in that stash.

Firstly I followed this tutorial. The pouches looked amazing. Mine didn't . My zips were too baggy,too pinched at the ends and made me frustrated. I should of used tatty bits of material to practice. Instead I waded into making pouches using some rather lovely Batik fat quarters. A big mistake !



Here is the next tutorial I followed. Brilliant. By placing little folded pieces of material at both ends of the zip the side seams became flat, even and not pinched at all.


It is excellent apart from the fact that it forgets to tell you to unzip the zipper before you start pushing the pouch inside out. Why do I always think it's my fault when things don't work?


My machine has been whirring and I have totally " got it" I am thrilled and amazed in equal measure. I rarely add tenacity to my list of attributes. But I was determined to make these pouches. They proved the perfect distraction. And with three little babies on the way I thought they would make nice little presents to let the "Mummies to be " know that I am thinking of them.


Next came the fabric baskets.

I have been so determined to conquer the rotary cutter and mat.

Accuracy and I are not easy bedfellows.

But, I have done it. I can cut pieces of material that are exactly the same size.

I can't believe it.

But, I have a lot to learn about putting these baskets together. This little one is passable. But there is a fair amount if bodging under that pretty ribbon.



I am going to fill it with one of these organic washcloths and lovely baby products. Let's hope there is one little girl on the way!





Talking of washcloths. I found some fingering weight bamboo yarn and these have become a little bit of an addiction.


A few statistics if you want to follow my crafty footsteps.

  1. Zips are for sale on eBay and in my opinion a bargain.The seller is called dtwell1. £3.69 for 50.
  2. I can make 3 pouches out of 1 fat quarter plus lining material.
  3. I cut a little bit off both ends of the zips before machining on the material stops .
  4. I used iron on interfacing to give the pouches a little bit of body.
  5. Make sure you open the Zip before the last bit of machine sewing.
The bamboo yarn can be bought on EBay and it is 99p a ball. I can't put a link,but this is the description. Wholesale soft smooth Natural Bamboo Cotton knitting Yarn Fingering 50 gram. It goes a long way and comes in lots of colours. The seller is called online 163 and it has arrived quite quickly and with efficiency.

I am going to carry on crafting and I am glad I feel calmer.

As always can I say a big " Thank You" to my lovely followers. It often feels you journey with me.














  1. I had been thinking about you and wondering if you were feeling sad that your family had left. Crafting is a great cure for feeling lonely. I love your pouches and basket. What a great idea to give them to new moms!

    1. My point exactly... The kindness of your comment. You have been thinking about me. Thank you x I have indeed been immersing myself in fabric and yarn. It works for me in such a special way x

  2. Nice work! I'm still struggling with my rotary cutter and trying to get every piece the same size. The fabric basket is so pretty and I'm going to look for the bamboo yarn.
    Right now I find it too hot to do any crafting, maybe this fall.

    1. I have struggled so much... And have almost lost the plot at times. BUT ,it's beginning to click. Of course I can see how vital such accuracy us for quilting but actually it helps with all my projects. Good luck x

  3. Great bags, even your first one. I think we can be too hard on ourselves when we know the little oopsies that are in a project. They will make lovely gift bags.

    1. Thank you Una. I always make sure I add a rag that says " handmade with love" I loved you T shirt shorts by the way x

  4. All of your work is beautiful, Linda. I think it's very nice that you're giving pouches to the new moms. I remember always having small things that would get lost in the bottom of the diaper bag. Those pouches will help them a lot. I'm hope all the crafting raised your spirits too. :)

    1. Thank you Jennifer. I am glad I conquered them and as you say they will be very useful for the mums and babies. I am feeling a lot more settled all round ! Love Linda

  5. We haven't met but I know if we did, we would be best friends forever!!!! I do exactly what you do, it's as if you saw me trying to make the same things you do!!!! Have a fab and creative weekend!!!
    AMarie xxx

    1. Thank you Anna Marie. I am sure we would too.... Enjoy your crafting and thank you for leaving such a lovely comment.
      Love Linda

  6. Magical watering, indeed! That photo is precious! How wonderful that you turned your bit of sadness from family leaving into such an incredibly productive week! Wow! You made so many great things! Sounds like you learned a lot too. We are so lucky these days to have so much information, videos, and tutorials at our fingertips and so quickly and easily. Looks like you found some very helpful zipper hints. Your pouches look great! The pink bag is adorable and what a great idea to stuff it full of wonderful things as a gift. :-)

  7. Great to do something so productive to get rid of that empty feeling, its something I do all the time. My youngest daughter and family are visiting at the moment so I will probably feel a little empty next week. Some great creations.

  8. I can sympathise with how you feel....I have just waved my eldest son off on the train. He is going to Australia next month and I don't know when I will next see him. It could be a couple of years maybe more....I have a Janome machine too but a different model to yours. Think I will doing some crafting as therapy too. X

  9. How true that is ........ so strange this blogging affinity yet so wonderful.
    Absolutely love your new sewing machine and a Janome the brand I've been hearing really good things about. As I am still a machine sewing beginner far behind all the lovely things you've made the janome is going to have to wait. Lets just say I can't sew a zip on yet and threading the spool is a nightmare so its best I learn on this cheap one I´ve got .
    You know before you know it your family will be back again or perhaps you have plans to go and visit them....time really flies!!! Crochet,Family History and teaching fill my days so I don´t sit and think sad things. We are lucky we have craft!!!

    keep well
    Amanda x
    PS: Mediterranean giveaway for all now open

  10. It's lovely to meet fellow crafters Linda and I know if we met we would get on like a house on fire. I think you sewing makes look perfect and I do like the look of your sewing machine. :)

  11. Aww, such a sweet post ... those little worn sandals on the step melt your heart ;) I too know the feeling of house guests leaving a void. My brother & his 2 sons are here in Ontario and using my house as "home base" while he visits other family members in the area. Tonight they're all away at my sisters, but back tomorrow. I hate looking in those empty rooms, cleaning up the last dishes we had a good meal on. Crafting is definitely the way to banish the sadness and bring the enjoyable time you all had to the forefront. Nothing like a bit of sewing with your lovely machine to work some magic in that respect. Good for you for solving the zipper troubles and not giving up on it. The basket is very cute, and ribbons were made for hiding all sorts of imperfections! I'm glad you and your rotary cutter have become well acquainted now too. Take care Linda, and keep smiling! Wendy xox

  12. Hi Linda and thanks for stopping at my blog. I'm sorry about your empty house and can understand that bereft feeling that follows. You've made good use of your time though and I really like your zipper bags. The new machine sounds lovely!


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