Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children

Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children
Happy Mother's Day UK

Monday, August 10, 2015

Summer Shows, Summer Sewing

I am lucky that my work means I can take a six week break during the summer. I love the summer for many reasons. Time to spend with my family thanks to the school hols, having a week or two away and the odd day trip, not to mention being able to have an occassional lie-in children permitting.

The school summer holidays also mean I have extra spare time to devote to projects that have been on the back burner during the school year due to concentrating on Hope & Gloria sewing clubs and everything that they involve. During my spare time since the beginning of the summer break I have been in a quilting/stitching/knitting frenzy and have completed three projects so this weekend I decided to enter them in to a local handicraft competition.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I love a village fair and over the past few years my family and I have had lots of fun going to local agricultural shows as well. I discovered the handicraft competitions a couple of years ago and last year I entered my first - the Egham Royal Show. These events are an amazing way for people to showcase their talents and hopefully inspire others to pick up a needle, a knitting pin or get their sewing machine out and get crafting.

The Chertsey Show is one of my favourites and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area.
We had a fantastic family afternoon at the show yesterday and there really was something for everyone ranging from adorable livestock to classics cars.

A rare highland cow in the cattle tent.

Knights preparing to joust

Swing boats flying high!

Giles next to his dream car.

Stunning flowers in the horticulture marquee

I entered three categories at the show:

Knitting with my floral tea cosy

There were no prizes for this one but I am still very fond of this cute teapot cover. There were many stunning entries in the knitting category so I was happy just to showcase my project among them.

My Christmas themed cushion is hand appliqued, patchworked and quilted and then machine finished. I was delighted to achieve third place in the "stitched cushion" category.

I entered this colourful patterned bag in to the quilting and applique category and I was over the moon to win first prize.

Winning the prizes was a lovely end to a brilliant afternoon but I would highly recommend entering projects at the summer shows to anyone - it's a great way to show people why you love sewing, knitting or any type of craft and you may just inspire someone to begin a new hobby.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Super Sweet Strawberry!

In our home the start of the summer holidays is usually closely followed by fruit picking. It's a fun activity that we all join in with and it also means a tasty treat along the way.

We went fruit picking a week ago and came home laden with a basket full of raspberries which were quickly transformed in to eleven jars of delicious jam. Our efforts with strawberries were less successful and it proved to be a fruitless task (apologies for that pun).

Here is Theo demonstrating the less than inspiring pick of the crop. I guess that far more enthusiastic fruit pickers had beaten us to it this year.

However, the strawberry remains a firm favourite in our house and our fruit picking adventures inspired me to make a felt strawberry pin cushion. This is a quick and easy make - ideal for children to create on a summer's afternoon. Here's how to make it:

You will need:

Red felt, green felt scraps, yellow thread, red thread, soft toy filling.

Step one:

Cut a circle of red felt. I drew around a tea plate an ideal way to get the basic shape if you don't have a set of compasses to hand.

Step two:

Cut the circle in half and one semi circle will make a basic strawberry shape. I decorated mine with small "V" stitches to give the appearance of seeds. You could also leave it blank - the pins will also give the appearance of seeds once it's in use.

Step three:

Fold the semi circle in half with the right sides facing inwards.

Pin and sew along the straight edge. starting at the pointed end and sewing towards the curved edge. When you reach the end tie a finishing knot but don't cut the thread.

Step four:

Turn your strawberry so that the right side is facing outwards. Continue sewing running stitch around the top edge until you have sewn all the way around.

Step five

Now start to gently pull the thread until the tope edge begins to gather. Add plenty of stuffing and continue to pull the thread until it is completely gathered with just a small hole in the top centre.

Step six:

Add some stitches to make it secure and your strawberry body is complete.

Step seven:

Cut four or five leaves from the green felt and sew in to place on the top of the strawberry. If you wish to add a stalk cut a small rectangle of felt, roll it to make a stalk shape, secure with a few stitches and sew in to place on top of the leaves.

Now you have the perfect seasonal pin cushion. These lovely fruity fabric makes also work brilliantly as decorations - just sew a green thread loop through the top instead of a felt stalk.

Happy Summer Sewing!