Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children

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

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Hols, Summer Makes, So Far.

I adore summer. There are many reasons why I love this time of the year. I am lucky that my job, on the whole, fits in around school term times which means I have the same holidays as my children. The six week summer break (seven this year!), gives us time together as well as time to relax and have a few adventures.

It also gives me time to work on projects that have been in the back of my mind throughout the year. Most of my year is spent designing for Hope & Gloria Sewing Clubs which I adore, but the summer break means I can work on ideas and designs that are more complex or I can indulge in other textile crafts that I love such as crochet or knitting.

Since school finished I have been pretty busy and I thought I'd share my summer makes so far.

My sister has recently re-decorated my eight year old niece's bedroom and asked if I could make some vintage style bunting to add to the decoration. I always have gingham fabric to hand (it's one of my favourites and works brilliantly in patchwork), and it worked perfectly with the lovely blue and pink floral fabric that I bought earlier this year. Rather than adding another pattern to the design I decided to personalise the bunting - pink felt letters hand stitched on to cream calico. I am delighted to report that Freya loves it and it now decorates her fabulous bedroom.

At the very start of the hols we headed off to Spain for a family holiday. We go there every year and one of the many things that I love about where we stay is the fact that there is no Wi-Fi. This means that the boys have to be resourceful in terms of keeping themselves occupied (much to their horror), which usually involves spending hours I the pool and even book reading(!)

To keep me occupied this year I bought my first colouring book and pencils. I have to say I didn't get very far with this and it did make me accept that I prefer my craft to be of the textile variety. Thankfully, I also had a fab Nancy Nicolson Embroidery Kit that I'd bought months ago. The week in Spain gave me plenty of time to get stitching and I found it very therapeutic to just practice my embroidery stitches following someone else's design for a change. I took some of my own threads instead of using those supplied with the kit simply because I prefer to work in bright colours. I was really pleased with the results:

My crochet adventures continue and I am currently joining together seventy granny squares in to a blanket that I hope to finish before the end of the summer and I have finished edging my first ever crochet blanket that I began back in March.

Considering it's the first crochet blanket I've made I am really pleased with the results. I chose colours that I don't normally work with (normally I choose bold and bright ones), and I like the way they work together.

I look forward to sharing blanket number two with you when it's finished (hopefully before the end of the summer hols).

Finally, inspired by Rio 2016 and all of the gorgeous tropical designs and prints that are everywhere this summer yesterday afternoon I decided to make my Totally Tropical Pin Cushions. I think I am becoming a little obsessed with pin cushions (see my previous post), but I love these bold bright and cheerful designs and they will definitely bring a touch of summer magic to my sewing clubs next year!

I am looking forward to sharing more makes with you throughout the summer break. Wishing you sunshine whatever you are making!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Flower Power Pin Cushions

Although it's possibly not the most sophisticated of flowers, I am rather fond of the sunflower. I have always loved their cheerful faces and was disappointed to find out that they don't actually turn their "heads" towards the sun, as I always thought this was a lovely image. It's currently sunflower season and I have seen plenty of these lovely, striking blooms for sale in the local florist. Maybe next year I shall get around to growing my own.

They featured in this fantastic bunch of flowers that I received as a "Thank you" gift at the end of term and this got me thinking of a new design for a pincushion.

If you have read previous posts on this blog, you will know that I am a huge fan of pincushions. I have posted tutorials for pin cushions that are still in use in my sewing clubs and I am happy to report that children find them far more fun to use than a pin wheel which is a huge help when trying to encourage good health and safety practices(!)

These flower power pin cushions will be debuted in my new clubs in September. They are very simple to make and would work brilliantly as a summer sew at home project for children. If you'd like to make your own just follow the steps below...

You will need

Three yellow 8 petal flower shapes 12cm in diameter, one charcoal grey (or any other dark colour), felt circle 9cm in diameter and one 6cm in diameter. I used pinking shears to cut the 6cm circle but you could also make small cuts in to the circle to give a fringed effect.

Step one:

Sew small, even running stitches around the outside edge of the 9cm felt circle.

Step two:

Pull your thread to gather the fabric in to a ball shape but don't close the hole completely.

Step three:

Add plenty of stuffing so that the ball feels firm and secure with a strong finishing knot.

Step four:

Place the ball that you have made on top of the 6cm felt circle and one of the flower shapes and sew through all three layers around the felt ball to attach it in place at the centre of the grey circle/flower shape.

Step five:

Position the additional two flower shapes behind so that they form layers and sew small running stitches around the edge of the small grey circle making sure you go through all of the layers of flower shapes to join all three layers together.

Your super sunflower pincushion is now ready to use and keep all of your pins safely in one place. This technique can also be used to create other flower designs. You can use brightly coloured felt to create exotic blooms, or how about taking your inspiration from summer daisies with white and yellow felt?

The list endless - Happy Sewing!