Saturday, 15 December 2018


Over on Instagram I join in with the #saturdaynightcraftalong most weeks. Towards the end of the year they have a swap. Last year I signed up and although quite stressful, I received the most beautiful gift and enjoyed making my gift to send too. This year I signed up to do the #sncaswap18 as soon as I could.

I found out my partner was I was thrilled as I knew who she was straight away. I was able to order some fabric straight away as I thought her favourite designer is Tula pink. Alex makes the most beautiful bags and pouches so I crossed making those of my idea sheet. I had thought of making a cushion but eagerly waited for her inspiration mosaic. I was thrilled to see a couple of cushions and plenty of patchwork. I was drawn to one of the patterns on her board and decided that could work nicely in the Zuma fabric range by Tula pink. 

I did have to do some quilty maths and a couple of sample blocks before I made a start. The patchwork came together surprisingly well and although most of my points aren’t perfect the overall effect i thought was quite striking. I added fusible fleece to the back and did some simple quilting, either side of the seams. I made the cushion back with a zip in. I basted the two sides together and attached the binding. I used a ladder stitch to hand sew the binding to the back and finish my cushion for Alex. For my first attempt at this much patchwork and making a cushion this way, I am very happy with what I made. 

To complete the swap package, I added in some fox socks from accessorize, a christmas scented diffuser, a colouring in postcard and a screen printed tote bag I made.

This was also one of my finish-a-long projects that I had on my list. you can see the original post here to find out more!  


The other part of this swap is what I received. I made this mosaic and posted it on Instagram as inspiration for my partner.

 I received my parcel from @sewinthecorner and it’s beautiful. Michelle has made me a sewing caddy to use when I hand sewing in the lounge and this will definitely be going away with me and used in the car too. I especially love the cute fussy cut patchwork panel on one side.

As an extra Michelle also made a beautiful bee pin cushion that was featured on my mosaic, I love the added embroidered details on the bottom too. As extras she included some yummy chocolates, ribbon, embroidery threads and some washi tape.


Tuesday, 16 October 2018

2018 finish-a-long Q4

I am slightly late to the party but have decided to join in with the 2018 finish-a-long. It is hosted by a few bloggers, the nearest to me is Sandra in Ireland. You can visit her blog to find out all the information about this here... but it is basically a low pressure online community that encourages you to finish all your wip (work in progress) and I have a few at the moment!

My projects for this quarter:

  • My last #sew6organisers sewalong pouch
  • Unicorn retreat bag
  • Cotton + steel #100hexies100days2018
  • Polar bear patchwork cushions 
  • Stitch and sew project (for my giveaway prize and the sewalong in November)
  • A owl Christmas stocking
  • Make a project from the blue liberty panel I stitched months ago
  • Christmas diamond patchwork (have some cut)
  • The Adele dress I cut out in summer
  • Dashwood advent calendar for myself 
  • Do something with the patchwork block I made for my sister
  • A mermaid bookmark (not pictured)
  • Easter hoop cross stitch (not pictured)
  • Christmas bunting (not pictured) 
I will also add the #12daysofchristmasswap2018 im working on and have signed up to do the #saturdaynightcraftalong swap!

This is quite a few projects and I know I will probably not finish them all. Also a high possibility I will start some more along the way but at least I’m doing this with good intentions of finishing everything... only time will tell.


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

bambi quilt

This is a very special quilt, not only is it the first quilt I have finished, but because it was made for a special occasion. A close friend had her first child and I just had to make this as a christening gift. Knowing how much we both like Disney, I knew this would be loved by them both for many years.
I originally bought the bambi panel to make a quilt for myself, but once the little one arrived, I knew it would be prefect for her.
I used other fabrics from the range to make borders, a pink to really frame the panel and add more colour, and then a larger border of small bambi images. I used the grey silhouette bambi fabric for the backing, and more pink for the binding. I chose to make my quilt to 43x52”, this was mainly so I didnt have to join fabric for the backing but it worked out a really nice size.
Since this was my first quilt and there was a deadline, the panel really helped cut down on the time it took to piece the quilt top. I did choose to thread baste my quilt sandwich as I'm not very good with pins and wanted it secure to help with the quilting. I did simple straight line quilting with my walking foot, using masking tape to act as a guide. I originally intended to just do evenly spaced diagonal lines, but decided to space them differently to make more of a pattern. I think this adds far more interest while keeping it achievable for my first quilt. 
Once I had finished stitching I needed to remove all my tacking stitches and trim all the edges, removing any excess batting. For binding I cut 2.5” strips and folded them in half before attaching to the edge of my quilt. I used a ladder stitch to hand sew the binding on the reverse to finish.
The final touch was a handmade by label, I recently purchased from wunderlabels uk... Luckily they arrived in time!! I just used a backstitch to attach it to my quilt.
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I am really pleased with how the quilt turned out, it was happily received and know it will be cherished. I can't wait to get sewing some more now ... I think its safe to say I have the quilting bug !!

I laid wool over the quilt to help decide on a quilt pattern.

close up of thread basting in progress

Thursday, 31 May 2018

home sweet home ...

I bought a cheap cushion to customise for some screen sensations home décor. I simply centralised the 'home sweet home' screen on the front of the cushion cover and printed with 'potting soil' ink to tone in with the neutral check. I think it makes for a simple but effective way to personalise your home and this screen is perfect for the job!!
If you fancy screen printing at home, check out my blog post here all about screen sensation... plus there is a discount code to get 25% off supplies at

Thursday, 24 May 2018

simply screen printed totes

I have customised plain white cotton and calico tote bags with screen sensation screen prints. I have used  the 'dog', 'gothic peony', 'kaleidoscope', 'plumage' and 'plumage & folliage' screens with 'black', 'chrysanthemum', 'harbour blue', 'raspberry' and 'turquoise' inks. The screen prints add a bit of personality to a plain tote, perfect to use for shopping or gifting to others!

If you fancy screen printing at home, check out my blog post here all about screen sensation... plus there is a discount code to get 25% off supplies at

Friday, 11 May 2018

colourful creations...

 I took some basic white tote bags and customised them using two processes to create these colourful creations. To get the background colour, I first dyed the totes using inkodye. Each bag was scrunched and folded in different ways to create the tie dye effect. Although the dye can look great on it's own, I decided to add another layer to some using screen sensations prints. I have used the 'dog', 'fantasy flight', 'gothic peony', 'kaleidoscope' and 'plumage' screens with 'black', 'chrysanthemum' 'raspberry' and 'shadow purple' inks. I think these make the perfect gift for somebody who likes to be unique, since no dyed bag comes out the same and the screen adds a bold dash of personality to each one.

If you fancy screen printing at home, check out my blog post here all about screen sensation... plus there is a discount code to get 25% off supplies at

Friday, 27 April 2018

don't quote me!!

 I've been using some of the quote screens to customise more tote bags. Above is the 'be courageous and the wonders will follow' design printed in 'black' ink on a black handled calico tote and 'follow your dreams they know the way' screen printed in 'white' ink on a black tote. I think the lettering looks really nice in these simple monochrome variations, but it also works well in more colourful options.
 I have printed these two white tote with the 'be the reason that someone smiles today' screen. To create the two prints, I added blobs of  'berry', 'raspberry', 'bubblegum' & 'orange zest' inks. The first pull creates a streaked effect with the different colours, whilst the second pass creates a more subtle blend as the inks mix together more. The two white bags below were printed in the same way, this time with a mix of  'key lime' and 'blue sea' inks. I pulled across the 'make today amazing' screen for the first print, then downward on the second pass to create quote different looks on each.

if you fancy screen printing at home, check out my blog post here all about screen sensation. plus there is a discount code to get 25% off supplies at


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Screen sensation

One year ago, an at home screen printing system was launched, called screen sensation. It was something new and quite exciting, so I bought the first kit and have added to my selection of designs with the new screen collections released since. I mainly use my screen sensation to decorate tote bags, clothes and print my own fabrics, however, the possibilities go far beyond this.

Screen sensation is made up of 3 parts... 
the kit, the screens and the inks:
  • The kit includes a base unit, frame, squeegee, stir sticks and a collapsible ink bowl
  • The screens come in two sizes (12x12" & 5x7") in a wide variety of designs. You simply fix the screens to the frame using screen sensation fixing tape. This tape has been formulated especially to use with the screens, to be safe for use on the emulsion layer. If you are feeling really creative there is also a kit available to design your own screen.
  • The ink is water based, drain safe and washes out in cold water. Once the ink is fully cured (about 7 days) onto a solid surface or heat set on fabric (iron on reverse for 2 mins, washer safe to 40'c) it becomes permanent. The inks are very thick and need to be stirred before use. There is a lovely selection of colours available, but you can also mix them together to create your own custom colours.

How to use your screen sensation:
  1. Use the fixing tape to attach the screen to the back of the frame, where the screen sensation logo is. Also consider that if you have text on your screen this needs to be the right way up when printing (so backwards when taping). For the best quality of print the screen must be fixed so it is drum tight. At this stage, you may also wish to mask off areas of the design. Simply tape over the section you don't want to print (see image below). Once fixed, slide  the frame into the base unit.
  2. Place the item you are wanting to screen print onto the base unit. If you are printing onto fabric it is best to iron it first to remove any creases and put a piece of card/paper behind where you will be printing (inside a t-shirt for example) to catch any ink which could go through the layers of fabric. Push the base unit lid down to hold the item in place.
  3. Give the inks a good stir before adding to the top of the screen. It's better to have a lot of ink on as you don't want to run out and you will scrape the excess back into the pot when you have finished printing so it doesn't go to waste!! You can use multiple colours at a time to create different effects. I use less ink when doing this as you don't want to put mixed colours back into the original pots. You can still reuse this ink though, just buy empty pots to put your mixed colours in.
  4. Pull the ink across the surface of your screen using the squeegee at a 45 degree angle. I like to spread my fingers over the length of the squeegee to get even pressure. You don't need a lot of pressure as too much can wrinkle the screen and ruin your print, (you can do a dry run to check if you're unsure). When you print occasionally you feel like you have missed a bit, in this case you can just add a little bit of ink to that piece with the small squeegee. Although not advised, if you are worried you have missed quite a lot, you can carefully reprint the screen pressing lighter on the squeegee. I have done this with no problems but there is a risk of getting a blurred image.
  5. Finally, lift the lid to reveal your print. Remove the printed item from the base unit and set aside to dry. I often hang my bags and clothes onto a clothes airer to allow them to dry flat without taking up all of the counter tops.
  6. When you have finished printing your chosen design, lift the frame out of the base unit, remove all the fixing tape (if it doesn't have any ink on this can use re-used) and wash your screen in cold water. The water must be cold or it will set the inks and ruin the screen. Once you have washed your screen and removed all the ink residue, lay this flat to dry on a towel. You don't want any fluff sticking to the screen so it is best to use an older towel.
  7. Once your screen is fully dry, it can be put back in its packaging for protection and kept ready to use again. Once your prints are dry don't forget to heat set them or leave them to cure for 7 days.
Alternatively, if you are printing a bulky item that wont sit flat inside the base unit, you can print using the frame separately from the base unit. To do this, tape the screen on the opposite side of your frame (without the logo) ensuring your design is seen in reverse at this stage. Then, lay out your item that you are wanting to print directly onto a hard and sturdy flat surface. To print, turn the frame over so the logo is facing up towards you and hold it down firmly in position on the item. It is important not to move the frame during printing as this can smudge the print. If possible, I find it's best to get someone else to hold it while you print. Once set up, you can simply follow the instructions above from stage 3 onwards, (except at stage 5, simply lift your frame up in one smooth motion, ensuring it separates from the print item as the ink can hold the print to the screen.)

If you are interested in learning more, you can visit the screen sensation website to find out more information and videos demonstrating the system.

If you want to screen print at home, you can get 25% off any screen sensation purchase at ...simply checkout using the special discount code: SSBL25-OHC21
(valid until 30 June 2018)

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

#sew6organizers sewalong

For Christmas I got the wonderful stitched sewing organisers book by Aneela Hoey. I am excited to get sewing some of the projects and since the only thing that makes sewing better is doing it with friends, myself (@craftylilmouse) and Zena (@mycreativelypottylife) are hosting a sew along on Instagram. Since we are first time sew along hosts, it will be pretty simple and relaxed sew along.

The plan is to sew 6 projects from the book, one per month. If you would like to join in you can sew the same projects as us (listed below) or choose your 6 favourites to sew... we don't mind! If you want to adapt the projects to fit your needs perfectly, feel free to make small tweaks to the patterns. 
The only thing we ask is to be respectful to the lovely Aneela Hoey and do not share any of the pictures, instructions or tips in the book. 

The sew along begins in April and starts off very simple, we will be using this month to get all the prep done. Interested in joining us?choose your projects, your fabric, collect all your supplies and get cutting!!

My projects will be:
  • Fold up pouch (may)
  • Needle book (June)
  • See-it-all pouch(July)
  • Two-in-one case (august)
  • Fold up sewing folio (September)
  • Boxy pocket pouch (October)

The sew along will finish in November, before the christmas rush, with a little giveaway.

To join in, head over to instagram now ... don't forget to use the #sew6organizers and tag us in your pictures!


Monday, 19 March 2018

bags for the little ones

I bought these plain cotton drawstring bags online and thought they would make great bags for kids with the addition of a fun design on them. All the designs and inks are from screen sensations. I think they would be a great gift for little ones to give them a fun bag to carry their things in. I used the 'king lion' screen with 'orange zest' ink and the 'dinosaur' screen with 'key lime' ink for the above designs.
I masked off the writing on the 'cool croc' screen to only print the character using 'crisp apple' ink for the bag above. The 'unicorn wishes' screen was printed in a custom mix of 'berry', 'raspberry', 'bubblegum' & 'orange zest' inks. I only partially mixed the ink blobs directly on the screen before pulling the squeegee through to give the marbled effect. I simply used the 'peach amber' ink to print the 'alphanumerical' screen design on the final bag pictured below.


Saturday, 13 January 2018


I recently read a great blog post by I'm studio lou (you can read her blog post here), explaining how she stores and does her EPP/ English paper piecing. I was inspired to share my own solutions with you in this blog.
I started doing an EPP quilt last year and am really enjoying it. When I started, I decided I would do 1" hexagons (I got some papers free in a magazine and couldn't wait to get started.) I chose a lovely fabric range called Sophia by Andover/Makower. I worked out how much fabric I would need to (hopefully) complete a double quilt, bought my fabric and got started. It is slow progress but I always knew it would be... I wanted a project which didn't have a deadline, so I would take time and not rush. It is also great that I can do some on the go and swap between different stages of prepping and stitching.
 I prefer the more traditional thread basting method and mostly like to do this on the go. I have a small pouch that I can take with me that has my essentials in. It holds a stack of pre-cut fabric squares, hexi papers, scissors, red thread (its contrasting so I can see it easily for removing later) and a small tin where I keep my pins and needles (I put a magnet into the bottom of the tin so the pin don't fall out as well!)
This pouch is a lot larger and stays at home. It holds extra supplies, like binding clips, 100% guttermann cotton thread, more fabric squares and pins with numbers on. It is also the perfect place to store the hexies I have basted.
 When I am ready to sew my hexies together I transfer them into this. I lay out my pattern on 12x12" cardstock, making sure all the patterned hexies are in the direction I would like to sew them. Because it takes me a while to get them sewn together, I had been wondering how to store them. I wanted them flat, dust free and to make sure the pattern didn't get mixed up while I wasn't sewing. I found this 12x13" clear box at a craft show and knew it would do the job perfectly. It is just the right depth to keep my cotton, binding clips, scissors and a hair bobble in, as well as my hexi layout. To sew my pieces together, I hold fabric right sides together and whip stitch over the edge making sure I don't catch the paper in the stitches.
Finally, I have this larger box. It's the start and the end box really. When I have completely sewn a sheet together, I add a numbered pin and move it to this box. It also holds all the fabric I purchased to do this quilt, some already cut into squares for basting and the rest just waiting to be cut when needed. There's spare needles (size 8 quilting gold eye needles are my preferred needle), and another set of hexi papers in there too.
Please forgive me for using the loccitane pouches, I had quite a few going spare and even though I sew, I still like to use them. I don't often sew for myself but I am planning on that changing this year... I really want to make some storage solutions for myself using the aneela hoey book.