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Never having used an actual sewing pattern before, I thought I’d be brave this weekend. Cue breaking out the tracing paper, iron transfer pencil and headache tablets. I didn’t actually use that last item but came close! The pattern itself was straightforward to trace and cut but the sewing instructions assumed a basic level of …

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Knitting is my usual thing, but that dinosaur fabric you see there made me want to try sewing. Fat quarters are apparently a big deal in the sewing world but I bought that bit purely for the dinos - shallow but hey! I used the quilted playmat tutorial over at the Purl Bee with a few modifications. The backing is one piece of purple cord rather than a mirror of the front and I only quilted a few of the dinos rather than them all. I hand quilted the dino shapes and the large dino outline was done freehand whilst the hearts were done on the machine. I also sewed down the outside of the mat as well to help it keep its shape. For a first go at quilting I'm quite pleased, now to find some more dinosaur fabric!

Today is the Solstice, but that hasn’t meant it is pouring down outside. The endless grey doesn’t make for much cheer, so I’ve put together a few links to pretty things to help spread the cheer!

Firstly, fancy some armchair shopping? Need a new bag? Why not have a look at this Folksy shop here: Little M Bags – it makes great use of recycled ribbon, sequins, buttons etc to add some sparkle to your study or shopping.

Do you need a wee creature to help make mischief? These wee guys are so cute and also available from Folksy

If all that crafty stuff has made you want to get out the sewing machine, then how cute are these! SO, they just do childrens patterns but there must be at least one wee person you know who needs something made – Oliver and S patterns

If knitting is more your thing than sewing, then The Yarn Yard is where you can buy handdyed wool from near Edinburgh. I’ve used some to make a secret surprise shawl and baby socks so far, but have plans to use it much more.

I knit, I don’t sew. Not sure why. But I saw a blog post (can’t remember how I came across it) about how to sew a knitting needle roll and it looked lush. Really pretty. Also, the instructions didn’t look too complicated.

I had some fabric odds kicking about, so after a trip to buy bias binding and auto hem stuff (words I never thought i’d use) it was time to crank up the sewing machine. Hours later I had the knitting equivalent of an archaeological tool roll. You aren’t getting to know how long it took because its embarrassing, I made so many mistakes with the sewing machine voodoo at first, tension, stitch length etc. But I haven’t even had time to play Assassins Creed tonight, thats how long it took!

Here are some pictures to a) admire b) ignore or c) think something along the lines of ‘Christ, Emma needs a life’. Your choice. If you knit, and I know you, and like you and you ask nicely I could even be tempted to make you one. For cake or pints probably 🙂