Sewing Bee … bzzz

Hi All

I am still getting used to being in full-time paid work as you might guess by the sporadic nature of these posts. But never fear behind the scenes I am still keeping time for crafting. The last few months have seen more sewing than yarn crafts. And now we here in the UK are into the full flow of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee my sewing endeavours have been given a push.

Pre Sewing Bee I was working slowly but surely through a special quilt for oldest granddaughter Peanut and also managed to finish a top for myself, the Merchant & Mills Ellesworth Shirt. This pattern was marked as intermediate and did test me in places, does anyone love a placket? But I am very happy with the finished item, placket, binding, cuffs, French seams and all. Nonetheless I will make it longer in future as it ends in just the place my mother called your avoirdupois (that is your heaviest bit!). Hey ho, this lovely shirt will be paired over long loose sleeveless dresses so my ‘avoirdupois’ won’t matter. Here’s my tale of the Ellesworth in pictures:

Sorry no completed shirt picture. When I feel confident – you might be waiting a while – I will have a picture taken in the finished item.

Before more sewing, there was a special first birthday for youngest granddaughter Shrub. You would never have known she had chickenpox. Surrounded by her cousins and family she rose to the occasion and was a perfect hostess. I think the cake (best cake ever) might have helped!

One happy little one year old ensued. But did I mention the cake?!

It was a lovely weekend bringing all the family together. Thank you to No1 Daughter and Son-in-law and everyone who came.

Back at home, this weekend I gave myself a Sewing Bee Saturday Challenge. On the Sewing Bee I always marvel at how quickly they make things. Sometimes the cutting out takes me as long as they have to come up with a finished garment. But in for a penny in for a pound I decided to find an old duvet cover – it was recycling week on the Bee- and make a child’s jacket in an afternoon.

I ratched through the airing cupboard and sure enough right at the bottom was a single duvet cover – I think it was my mum’s! – one tsunami of clothes later I had my cloth. Enough to make the Burda child’s jacket. Head down and away I went. Here I go ..

All done in 5 and a half hours. It would have been faster but Jolly Janome threw a wobbly at the middle buttonhole which led to disaster and about thirty minutes of tears. Despite the Frankenstein (sob) buttonhole and repair that resulted I was happy with the pattern and the recycling of the long forgotten duvet cover. I even have enough left over for quilting. What more can I ask … except to be less clumsy with the unpicker!

Lesson? Handsew buttonholes in future. But then don’t expect to meet the challenge deadline! No worries, I will definitely return to my pre-deadline ways.

Well, time to sort out the airing cupboard swamp that has engulfed the landing.

Happy crafting,


The not so moon gazing hare

Hello All

I am a very lucky woman. Yesterday my friend AJ gave me a fantastic needle felting book


it’s filled with small and delightful creatures and step by step guides on how to make them. AJ and me particularly liked Gretel Parker‘s moon-gazing hare


so out from the stash came a bag of silvery North Ronaldsay fleece


and away I went. Carefully following the photographs things were going well. The body was shaping up nicely

But then I went off piste…. and the result was less moon-gazing more Harriet ‘the having a good look around’ hare. See what you think


I’ve had words with her



and she said not to worry as there is more than one way to observe the heavens…


Hares are obviously very laid back… it must be the ears….



Till next we meet. Moke x

PS Thank you AJ it’s a fabulous book. Moke xxx


The Joy of Wallowing

Did I ever mention that I like the occasional wallow in self-pity? I know hard to imagine. But…

As a precursor to the chillier weather I developed a cold front of my own. Hacking chesty cough, sore throat, runny nose…you get the picture ….the works.

My friends knew I was feeling a teensy (what is that loud guffawing?) bit sorry for myself (stop that nodding in agreement!). Anyhoo, like a trooper (…stop it…) I carried on (picture hand raised to brow) but luckily as the week closed a ray of sunshine lifted my spirits. Yarndale Bunting I love you and all your cheery colourfulness. Thank you to the ladies (and gentlemen?) of Yarndale – that little bit of Yorkshire that seems to cover the entire globe – for providing a welcome divertissement from the onset of Autumn.

Nonetheless the cold wind whistling through the trees is a timely reminder to find ways to embrace the season. Out comes the trusty stock pot for hearty soups and Clara Chuff (my trolley) is taken into town to carry home delicious vegetables from the market for a warming supper served with jacket potatoes and grated cheese….yummmmm!

As to the town coat of arms and the motto beneath – Pannus Mihi Panis – more of that later….

Having made it (just) through the week I was relieved that I was able to get together with a group of friends two of whom are celebrating special birthdays. To spare blushes I asked them to take the photos to mark the occasion. You could call it an eclectic mix!

Can I say every group should have a JG cos without her mathematical wizardry we would never be able to work out the bill!

Having recovered from her calculations (offers are great until you have to factor them in to make everyone’s share fare!) JG and I were given lifts by AJ. Stopping at JGs for a final cuppa JG treated AJ and me to a slice of the wonderful AW’s cake. By now you will be becoming familiar with AWs sugarcraft and baking skills. She had surprised JG with one of her special cakes. ‘Ere ’tis,

AW had covered the cake with JG’s interests and loves, see what you can spot. And if you were wondering what AW’s cake looks like on the inside feast your eyes on the fruity goodness, DSCN0791

delicious…and now all gone….

But today my thoughts turned to wooly stuff. Kendal is famously a wool town – hence the coat of arms and motto from earlier – and during this Wool Week Kendal had its own Kendal Wool Gathering. I was lucky enough to play a tiny part. Gathering up my real string bag – capacious is certainly the word – and my bits and pieces of crochet and needle felting I toddled down to Kirkland and joined in a jolly morning of sharing crochet and felting with families and visitors to the town’s newest festival in Abbot Hall Community Centre.

It was lovely to meet people and share a cuppa and a mutual interest in wool based crafts. A fitting close to the weekend….almost….

The slip-thru scarf is complete! Here are the final stages:

So tomorrow I will be sporting a new scarf and enjoying the warmth it’ll bring. No more wallowing for me.

Abandon hope all ye who enter here

The Summer Reading Challenge gathers pace with hundreds of children already taking part in Kendal alone! After a couple of sessions with two community artists local children have decorated the library with their own ghoulish creations…brace yourselves here they come…

We’ve even got bats in our belfry!

Now if all that is too much for us faint hearted grown-ups we can always escape upstairs where my friend and colleague AW has placed some beautifully scented sweet peas and roses, thoughtfully cut from her garden before the burst of heavy rain yesterday could damage their delicate petals. Sorry these can’t be in smell-a-vision.

Finally  just a few words to say thank you to all my friends for your thoughtful birthday wishes. Its been a lovely day but with a busy one to come – children’s author Tom Palmer is visiting the library – its time to turn in. Night night.

Aunty O celebrates 90 years!

Two cake stands down I just managed to snap this third before we finished off the last cakes, puddings and scones - the sandwiches had already gone.

Two cake stands down I just managed to snap this third before we finished off the last delicious cakes, puddings and scones – the sandwiches had already been scoffed.

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday  Aunty Oh-Ohhhh, Happy Birthday to you!” It’s not everyday that you get to celebrate a 90th birthday. Today was one of those special days. And how great it was to get together with my small but beautifully formed family for afternoon tea in the sunshine overlooking Lake Windermere raising a cup and a tasty treat to Aunty O.

I’m beginning to think that cousins are like buses: you don’t see one for ages then three come along together. Me, A and JL. Well done Aunty O for performing this minor miracle by inviting us to Lindeth Howe to share the afternoon with you. Let’s hope these family get-togethers are becoming a habit.

But what to get the birthday girl? The flowers were beautiful. And water, replaced by these ‘jelly’ balls, sooooo yesterday.

I really didn’t know what to get so I did what I usually do. I turned to crochet. Each to their own. This gave birth to Aunty’s present Part 1.

Aunty O has always been a keen gardener (mental note – do more gardening) so I thought I’d go with a flowery theme.

Now I think they are lovely but I’m biased and I’m not sure they are really what a nonagenarian (it really does mean someone that’s 90 – I looked it up) wants. Time for Aunty’s present Part 2.

Coupled with a nice soap this could be the one! Phew.

Night night all.

P.S. I so liked the Daisy Facecloth that I got up bright and early and made one for myself!