Friday, 29 July 2011

Crafting: A World Domination

As I continue my search into how crafting is striving for World Domination I have looked into the use of crochet into today's fashion. Conclusion: It's everywhere

Crochet shorts (or really crochet hot pants)

There were crochet shorts on I'm absolutely certain that I could not wear a pair of granny square crochet shorts, well lets be honest these are more crochet hot pants, but good luck to anyone with fabulous enough legs and bottom to wear these.

Having looked at the photos of these shorts they look quite simple to complete, 4 Granny Square corners sown together with a draw string around the top....maybe one day.....hmmm

Crochet Hairbands

There are crochet headbands in beautiful ivory in a delicate design. There are a large number of similar items on too

So pretty, wouldnt this make a wonderful wedding garland fpr a casual garden wedding?

Crochet Decorated Handbags
I'm always a little nervous about crochet handbags, or in fact knitted handbags for that matter either. I think this nervousness is about the potential for the yarn to become mis-shaped with use and I like to keep my bags immaculate. When it comes to bags I'm a leather girl.

However, I think that this basket bag from Julien MacDonald might be the perfect solution. It has a base of straw with crochet detail

I love how the light textured straw of the basket base shows through between the crochet loops. Would be a perfect bag for the summer.

So whether you like the idea of strutting your stuff by the beach in crochet hot pants, adorning your glossy locks with a crochet head band or going to the local farmer's market with your crochet shopping bag it looks like there is something for everyone as crochet continues to strive for world domination.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Crafting: A World Domination

I didn’t realise when I wrote the recent post on the patchwork Glastonbury sign under the title “Crafting: A World Domination” that this would turn into a little feature on my blog, but I have found more and more areas of everyday life where Crafting is making an appearance. I really do think that it is slowly taking over the world.

I don’t know if this is just a current trend linked to the recession and a need to make rather than buy (however, anyone who enters crafting for a “cheap” hobby would be bitterly disappointed, so far I’ve found it anything but cheap but then I do enjoy buying kit so I am my own worse enemy!) or, if there is a natural cycle of common activities, for example handmade and crafting were very popular in the Seventies (I have some fabulous crochet and knitting pattern books I really must share with you soon) so it could be a natural cycle that it has come back into popularity only to die again in a year or so to be resurected in another 30-40 years.

Well, whatever the reason it would appear that Crafting is bidding for world domination.

Today, I want to share with you an unusual embroidery community I recently discovered -

Fine Cell Work

Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise which has brought tapestry and needlework into the UK prison system allowing prisoners to learn new skills and earn money during their rehabilitation. 29 prisons are now running the scheme, and in 2010 there were over 400 stitchers who collectively earned over £70,000*.

Their work is stunning. It ranges from greetings cards to rugs and cushions to quilts. Tapestry kits of their original designs are even available so you can make these yourself.

Its great to see that an activity so traditional as embroidery is able to give some of societies most challenged individuals the focus to work through their demons.

If you are really interested in helping out it would appear that Fine Cell Work are looking for more volunteers across the UK.

* Source:

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Quilted Play Mat

I gave you a sneak peak of this play mat last week just as I was off to the post office to send it on to my dear friend for her beautiful new baby.

Now that the present has all been received I want to share it with you in full.

I hope that the little man has many a happy hour playing on this play mat.

I'm rather superstitious when it comes to baby gifts, I never like to start them until the little one has made an appearance, this generally means that its "all stations go" once I receive that happy call / text to let me know that they are with us. I chose the simple design for this play mat so that it was relatively quick to run together on the sewing machine with limited complicated cutting and piecing together. I think it took me a day in total to complete, so quite reasonable really.

It took just part of a jelly roll so I have a plan for the other blue strips, watch out for another quilt coming soon.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sneak Peak

Just a quick Sneak Peak of a quilting project I've just finished and popped in the post.

A dear friend of mine has just had a baby boy, I wanted to make him a little present....

I will reveal the whole project in a little while, I don't want to spoil the whole surprise.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cross Stitch Pattern Share

Just a quick post to say Thank you to Kate from Kate's Arty Bits Blog.

Kate shared a sneak peak of a lovely garden embroidery she was part way through. I loved the pattern so much I asked her what make it was so I could hunt one down and have a go myself. Very kindly, Kate has posted me her finished pattern and the unused threads from the kit. How lovely. It feels a little like my birthday to receive a treat in the post.

I have a couple of projects on the go at the moment, and as I have shared I have a problem with UFOs, so I am forcing myself to finish these before I start anything new.

This has got me thinking, does anyone know of an embroidery pattern library? I generally only want to complete an embroidery patter once, unlike knitting and crochet patterns where its fairly usual to complete them a few times. This must mean there are patterns lurking in homes around the world unused and unloved. Maybe there is an opportunity to have pattern share scheme?

A central repository where once loved patterns can live and be loaned out to keen embroiderers to complete and then return.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Christmas in July

As we enter July we are all thinking of summer holidays, BBQs and relaxing in our flower filled gardens whilst our high-street retailers are all considering when is too-soon to bombard us with Christmas Carols, fake snow and sparkly baubles. Is it just me or have you also noticed Christmas is starting in September / October these days?

Personally, I think its shocking we can't seem to enjoy each season for its own merit. I love the Indian summers we have experienced in September recently and then there are the beautiful oranges and browns that autumn offers before the long nights of winter draw in allowing us all to hibernate in our cosy homes with a mug of tea and a packet of biscuits (because there are months until we need to be seen in that swimsuit)

This year I have a little confession....Christmas is making a fairly early appearance in the Becca-Lou household.

Yes we are having a little bit of Christmas in July.

No we do not have any decorations up, nor is the CD player primed to blast out "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" at the mere press of a button.

I have simply realised that projects take a little longer to complete now that the little man is here, so in order to ensure my Christmas tapestry is completed by the big day I have started it a little early. 6 months early to be exact. Its nice to be prepared. And this is a monster of a tapestry so its going to take me a little while to complete.

Have you started any Christmas crafty projects yet or is the rest of the world putting off the thought of Christmas until after the summer? Has anyone else started Christmas in July?

Friday, 1 July 2011

Crafting: A World Domination

Wow crafting is everywhere.

I see people on the tube with their knitting needles out, in the Dr's surgery doing embroidery and now I've just found this quilted Glastonbury sign which was at the festival last weekend.

Where will crafting go next in its bid for world domination????

FYI - watch this space for a sneak peek of a quilt I'm working on for a special friend.....