Sunday, 28 September 2014

African Flower Square Crochet Bag

Having had a break for a while I'm sort of playing catch up.  I was able to do a little crafting from time to time so am sharing a crochet bag I made for the summer.

I came across this lovely pattern and tutorial for an African Flower Square and immediately fell in love with it.

I'm sure there are lots of uses for this pattern but I decided I would make a bag for the summer.  I began searching for a bag pattern and came across an interesting page showing 'plans' for arranging squares to make granny square bags.

I chose this 13 square pattern and set about making my squares.   I used Sirdar dk cotton, which was very easy to work with.  I just love these colours although the pink, I already had in my stash.

All squares completed and blocked I set about stitching them together as the template above.  I used mattress stitch as this produces neat invisible seams.

Lining this bag presented a few problems as I wanted a bright pink inside but didn't want it to show through the little holes in the squares.  I solved it by double lining, using a cream on the inside and a pink on the outside of the inside - if you see what I mean!

I then needed to work out how to add the handles.  They needed to be long enough to wear over my shoulder and I didn't want them to be stretchy as crochet could be.  I solved this problem by crocheting over window sash cord and am pleased to say having used the bag regularly it has worked really well.

And here is the finished result .....

I've had some really lovely comments on this bag, even my youngest daughter who isn't a crochet fan thought it was pretty!!  Trouble is now, it has been so well used it needs a wash!!

I am looking forward to seeing what has been going on over at Handmade Monday, see you soon :)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Blogland Tour

I have been nominated by my daughter Clare to take part in the Blogland Tour.  A tour of some of the fun and creative blogs across the internet and what a wonderful way to start back after my break. She rather put me on the spot actually and gave me a kick up the proverbial backside!!!

If you haven't been over to Clare's blog yet you are definitely in for a treat.  Her work is stunning. Drawing, painting, doodles, crochet, stitching and most recently very intricate paper cuts like the one below.

She can turn her hand to anything and always produces an amazing result.  Of course I may be just a tinsy winsy bit biased!! So why not take a look for yourself and make up your own mind, you wont be disappointed.  I'll leave you with a coloured pencil drawing Clare did recently of Molly our cat, who is sadly no longer with us.

Ok! To take part in the Blogland Tour I have to answer four questions and then nominate a blog to take part, in order for the tour to continue,  So here goes with the questions first.

What am I working on?

At this moment in time I am creating Dorset Buttons.  From time to time I teach crochet and craft workshops and during October I have two coming up, one at a really gorgeous wool shop called Spin A Yarn in a nearby village.  Usually Dorset Buttons are created using fairly thin thread but this time I am using dk cotton on a larger ring to enable them to be used as brooches or shawl clips.  This is proving far trickier than I first thought!  Here are a few of the smaller ones I have created in the past. They measure about 1.5" diameter but the one I'm working on at the moment is nearer 2.5" and the ring is fatter.  Which I think is the cause of my problems!

Later this year I will post a tutorial on how to make Dorset Buttons and you should then be able to see the outcome of the larger ones.

I am also returning to my patchwork and quilting workshop this week (not teaching this one, just learning!) but here are a few of the blocks I worked on last time.

How does my work differ from others of my genre?

Hmmm? this is a difficult one!  I'm not very good at 'playing' with creations.  I like to learn a new skill and achieve a finished article all in one, so I produce something useful.  I think I'm more of a practical crafter than a creative crafter!

Why do I write/create what I do?

I love the challenge and how each piece presents its own dilema!

How does my writing/creative process work?

I think we are back to the challenge again here!  I see something I like and think "I could make that". Then I start working out how to achieve it. If I need to learn something new in the process, even better!  For instance, I used to make jewellery and fancied crocheting with wire.  I couldn't crochet so I learnt how to do it, now I'm hooked on crochet!

You can find out more about the little elephant in the picture by visiting a previous post Maisy the Elephant.

Moving on now to the blog I would like to nominate to take part in The Blogland Tour.

I have recently come across Itsamistry Design Studio.  I was browsing through the blogs on Handmade Monday when this cheerful picture of an elephant caught my eye.

I was instantly drawn to Itsamistry's use of colour and after having a wonderful nose around her blog realised this was a major part of her work.  Why don't you pop over and pay her a visit too - go on, you know you want to!

Well thank you all for reading my first post in a while! I hope you enjoy the blogs I have introduced you to.  It's lovely to be back and I'm really looking forward to taking part in Handmade Monday and catching up with what everyone has been up to.

Monday, 15 September 2014

My Cancer Interlude

Well, it has been a little while since I added to my blog I'm afraid so I thought a short explanation was in order.

Unfortunately I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer just before Christmas.  As you can imagine this diagnosis turned life upside down, so Fiddly Fingers has taken a bit of a back seat.

I have undergone, chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy since January and have just last week come out the other side!! I am now on the long road to recovery and hopefully a cancer free life. Fingers crossed!

This journey would have been near impossible without my wonderful support network of family and friends who have helped me immensely and given me tremendous support along the way.  Thank you to all of you.