Monday, 1 August 2022

Hairy Companion

 The theme for this quarter's Endeavourers Challenge is Animal Kingdom. As ever, it took me ages to decide what to do for the Challenge but, a recent trip to Mull provided the perfect inspiration. 

Our younger grandson shares his name with a Highland Cow character in a series of books that we have bought for him over the years. Living in Northumberland he doesn't get the opportunity to see real-live Highland Cows that often, so he was delighted when we sent him this photo from our holiday trip. 

His bedtime story pick often features his namesake books, so I decided that my project for this quarter's challenge would be a reading pillow featuring his favourite character :)


Given that it needed to be fairly robust, little boys are not particularly known for their care and consideration for cushions and pillows (at least not in our family!) I opted for simple raw-edge applique for the face and horns. 


Two black button eyes peek out from behind that mass of hair. The fringe is a piece of faux suede stitched in place and then cut into strips. I like the tactile nature of the suede and thought that it would not fray, but it seems to be fraying already on the cut edges, so it might not be as small boy proof as I had thought :)

My original intention for the background was to create some sort of landscape with various different fabrics, but when I came across a piece of this lovely AMH fabric tucked away in my stash I thought that it was a much better idea. Spiky, thistle-like plants and Highland Cows are the perfect match, don't you think? 

The boys are coming to visit this week and we have a new book in the series to read, so with our comfy Highland Cow pillow behind us we are all set for bedtime reading :)

Head on over to the Endeavourers blog to see all the amazing makes my fellow Endeavourers have produced for this month's challenge, you will not be disappointed!



Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Getting ready for summer

 The slightest hint of sunshine in my part of the world is enough to encourage thoughts of summer, even although, as proved recently, the sunshine is only teasing as the rain and wind is not that far behind :) As I write this post it is lovely and sunny outside of my sewing room window but, as the passers-by are all wrapped up in warm, waterproof jackets I am guessing that summer has still not arrived!


Still the hint of sunshine is enough to kickstart my summer sewing for the gorgeous grandsons :) First up a Vikings and Dragons t-shirt for the elder grandson. Our hometown is the site of a battle that resulted in the ousting of the Vikings from mainland Scotland in 1263, so a Viking t-shirt is particularly appropriate for his next visit! 


Of course, we can't have one grandson with a Viking t-shirt and not the other so here is the t-shirt for the littler grandson.

Thoughts of dragons inevitably lead to knights so it was an easy leap to pick out this knights and dragons fabric for another t-shirt for my next make. The dragons were somewhat dismissed as "baby dragons" when he first saw them, but I think he liked it anyway!

The fabric for all of the above t-shirts was bought from a German online retailer who, sadly, post-Brexit no longer delivers to the UK, so I have to wait for trips to France or Ireland to order from them. 

This wonderful Highland Coosville fabric, however, was purchased from, Olumis Fabric , an online retailer in Scotland. It has been sitting in my stash for ages whilst I plucked up the courage to cut into it! I only had 0.5m so I knew that if I didn't cut into it soon it would be too short for a t-shirt so the time had come to get the scissors out :) The grandson will be hard to miss wearing this!

All of the t-shirts were made with Ellie & Mac Discoverer Tee pattern. I have made up several Ellie & Mac patterns for the boys now and I have found them all to have excellent instructions and very straightforward to sew up. 


Next up, a New to Me fabric and pattern! I was lucky enough recently to win a printed copy of the Waves and Wild Reef Beach Rashie and 1.5m  of swim fabric from Poppy Bear Fabrics. I have never sewn with swim fabric before and find it quite daunting, so if you have any tips you can pass on will be greatly appreciated :)

Keeping my fingers crossed that summer is not too far away 😎








Sunday, 1 May 2022

All the C's

 The next reveal for the latest Endeavourers Challenge is due today. Unusually for this quarter's project we had no theme to work to, which sounds like it should have made life easier, but it really didn't! Being a procrastinator at the best of times, having free rein to choose a topic for the Challenge just ramped up the procrastination :)

 

Finally, and I do mean finally, I decided to create a companion piece for an earlier Challenge piece "Making Waves", which was my project in November 2020 for the theme "The Sea". 

 


 Making Waves was inspired by the sea in front of my sewing room window, All the C's was inspired by the island, Great Cumbrae, that I can see beyond the sea from my window. Great Cumbrae (first C!) is an island 2 miles from the mainland, accessible only by a 10 minute ferry journey from Largs. The island has one town, Millport, and two iconic landmarks that are represented in my little quilt.



The first of these landmarks is the rather bizarre, Crocodile Rock (Second C!), which sits on the shoreline just at the edge of the town. The painted crocodile face is reputed to have been put there decades ago by a drunken local on their way home after a boozy night out! 

 


Whether that is true or not, it has become a magnet for children of all ages who visit the island. We recently took our grandsons there, who were delighted to have the opportunity to clamber all over a crocodile and live to enjoy a hot chocolate in the nearby cafe :) He is rather magnificent, isn't he?


The second iconic landmark is the "Cathedral of the Isles", (Third C!) Britain's smallest Cathedral, which is tucked away in a leafy corner behind the town. The Cathedral was built in 1851 and consecrated as a Cathedral in 1876. 

 


The college building attached also now functions as a retreat venue open to the public. Apparently the organ in the Cathedral is of particular note and concerts to showcase it and the marvellous acoustics were regularly held in pre-pandemic times. 


Not only did I wait until the last minute before deciding what to make for the challenge, I left it until I was on holiday in France to actually make it! I had grabbed a bundle of furnishing fabric samples, felt scraps and shirt oddments before we left and used various bits of them to create my version of Cumbrae. You can see which were used where in the photo above.


The final touch was the addition of three of these upcycled (Another C?) fluffy pompoms from a curtain offcut to represent the sheep on the island :)

As ever, this was another fun challenge even when I left it so late that it was only finished the night before and I was writing the blog post as the deadline arrived! 

Head on over to the Endeavourers blog to see how my fellow Endeavourers approached this no theme Challenge. 




 

 

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