Bookmark bonanza

imageMethod one:  I cut  a length of tape slightly longer than a hardback book, fixed on a ribbon clamp at either end with jewellry pliers and decorated one end with  home made tassels made from embroidery thread.

I dug out some charms from the jewellry ‘bits box’  which I attached to the other clamps with jump rings. Made 3!

method 2: A simple ribbon book mark will be less robust but just as easy using clamps and tassels at both ends.

Method 3: two matching pieces of fabric were ironed to heat and bond then to the middle of the hessian piece. I sewed a decorative stitch around the fabric to halt the hessian fraying too much, then frayed the bottom up to the stitching to make a fringe.  A ribbon clamp and cord tassel at the top finished this. However the back isn’t so pretty so this isn’t a success.

chinese style plum sauce


  • 10 medium plums
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 dessert spoon ginger, powdered or fresh
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, I used white vinegar and soy dipping sauce instead
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce, mine was a hot version

Cooking Directions

  1. remove stones from plums.
  2. Mix plums in a saucepan with  the other ingredients
  3. Heat on medium for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Blend well with an stick blender and add water to thin if desired.
  5. Store in jar in the fridge                                                                                                                    version inspired by ‘eat richly even when you’re broke’,, epicurious and others

First steps to Christmas


Smart and simple card thanks to scan n cut

three of the library baubles cut from a paper set :(docrafts)  stuck on a mat – same paper set- with foam squares and the strings of gold thread tied on then stuck behind with tape runner as the mat was taped to the card blank

no sentiment, no insert but classy card blank

6 down, 94 to go

bathroom bandana


I briught back two pretty ikea fleeces from Anna and VIlle’s wedding with the promise of transforming them

so far, tissue holder from previous pattern

and new

bathroom bandana- keeps your fringe off your face for a face pack

Elastic that is one or two inches wide cut  one inch longer than the snug circumference of your head

strip of fleece six inches wide and double the length of the elsstic

For the bow, strip of fleece four inches wide eight inches long And a strip of fleece two inches wide four inches long

sew each fleece strip into long tube using straight stitch and narrow seam, turn each tube to hide the seam

thread elastic through the long tube and , keeping the fleece edges away from the needle, zig zag the one inch overlap to form a circlet, slide one end of the fleece tube inside the other then zig zag the overlap closed, try to centre the elastic in the tube and go slowly as it is bulky

fold the edges of the next size tube in half to create a bow shape with the raw edges facing the overlap raw edge of the circlet, tack in place, wrap the little tube tightly over this and straight stitch the back to fasten it all and finish the bow

No logo fleece


Covering a logo on a dog walking fleece looked a bit odd with just one patch. So I have begun layering on patches in random places to balance up the cover up. Simple blanket stitch and or zig zag to fix on each patch and, yes, the walking foot is essential for this.

an ongoing project I plant to add decorative stitch lines and more patches until it looks ‘right’.

Biscornu cushion


A quirky little cushion to use some of my upholstery samples pile. Easy to sew but best with less silken fabrics so the corners are more pointed and the hand stitched gap less visible. I used two patterns of the same colour way for a subtle contrast between top and bottom. Works well with clashing colours too – if your sewing is neat. A frill or piping would be even snazzier.


method: ontwo identical sized squares mark centre points of each side with erasable pen. With wrong sides together clip a corner to a mid point and seam towards the next corner. Stop at the same distance as your seam allowance is wide. Adjust the fabric and clip the next mid point to the next corner and seam. Continue around seven and a half of these edges then turn through the gap you have left.

stuff then hand stitch closed the gap. I think sewing a button centrally top and  bottom improves the finished look.

Patchwork drawstring bag


A frugal project to make an elegant bag for wet stuff, toiletries or …


three sheets from a pattern book donated, lining from a shower curtain, ribbon from my stash

cut fabric into equal shares and patch together to size required for front and back. Sew around leaving gap for drawstring channel about 3 inches from top on either side seam . Cut lining three inches shorter than outer then seam round leaving gap in bottom for turning. Slip outer inside lining, right sides facing, and match seams with clips. Sew around all the top. Turn through gap in lining then top stitch gap closed. Push lining down so that the top of the (taller) outer folds over and top stitch above and below the channel gaps to create a ‘tube’ through to thread ribbon from either side. When ribbon has gone all the way round, knot the ends and you are done

Double oven mitts, again from jeans

image imagea freestyle project using ‘jolly molly’ double oven mitts as a template.

layer outer canvas, insulbright, batting, outer canvas and jeans back pockets over the template made from old mitts. Baste around the edge then fix bias binding to seal the edges.

Don’t look too closely at the binding, next time I will hand stitch the second side as I found it tough to stitch in the ditch.

Jeans to oven mitts


The pocket of some neglected jeans (remember, don’t buy bargain jeans any more) is simply layered face up a piece of canvas face down then  insulbright  and felt – I didn’t have any batting to hand. I tucked in a loop of cord for hanging – and sewed around using my walking foot, leaving a gap for turning.


After turning I hand stitched the gap as the bulk was too much for the machine and voila! The pocket works on the oven glove better than it ever did on my jeans.


So so simple that I made a smaller version with the other front pocket immediately.


now to make the two back pockets into a double mitt creation!