English Paper Piecing – a tutorial

Hello everyone, As most of you who read my blog know, I’m mainly into my wool crafts. But recently, I’ve really been getting into something called English Paper Piecing, or EPP for short. It basically involves putting fabric over paper … Continue reading

Good evening everyone!

Well, I know I say this after I haven’t blogged in a week or so, but it really has been a while! Almost nine months I would say.

There is a reason for that. I was busy working on my own special make, the most precious thing I have ever ‘made.’

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Please meet my gorgeous little girl, Eliza. ❤

She was born on the 3rd June at 00.45am, after a 25 hour labour. She missed her due date by 45 minutes! It was quite an intense and involved labour which involved being induced and having lots of intervention but I’d do it all again, easily. Me and her Dad are so in love with her, as is the rest of the family.

She is now 35 days old and I just adore her! Of course, she is always wearing handknits and hand made clothes. It just wouldn’t  be right if she wasn’t, haha.

Here she is in the dress I sewed her yesterday.

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It was perhaps a little tight, but looked so cute on her. If I were to make it again I would put snaps on the back and not sew them on. It made putting it on her a little difficult! This was made using up two fat quarters. One for the front and the rest of one for the straps. I also used an old pillow case to line it inside. And I finally got to use up some lace I had lying around for ages.

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The baby version of the Baa-ble hat. I love it! So quick to knit up. I think this would be pretty easy to size up to make a bigger version.

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I made this using a pattern from a mini book from The Works that was in part of a kit. It didn’t go quite right in the pattern so I made up quite a bit as I went along. Made using Drops yarn. (You can see my big pregnant belly at the bottom of the photo!)

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I was so pleased with the make below. I’d always wanted to make a romper. It’s still too big for Eliza to wear yet which is fine. I like her looking so gorgeously dainty and tiny! Again, the pattern didn’t seem quite right in some parts so I made it up as I went along for the top parts. Also, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough of the main yarn colour so I did the elephant pattern twice, simply reversing it at the top. Turns out I had plenty left! I used Drops Karisma and the pattern was from 60 More Quick Baby Knits.

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Some of the baby clothes hanging out on the line a month before having her. It just made me smile so much seeing these. I sewed the little dress shirts at the front. They are made from pillow cases! I also sewed all the little nappy covers too. She hasn’t really worn any yet. When the weather is warmer and she does not need to wear leggings she will have a pair of these on.

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A lot of hand knits from over the years all on the line airing out! They had been stored in a case for a while and smelled a little musty. Rather than hand wash them all which wasn’t really neccessary and would take too long, I simply hung them out on a breezy day and they came back in smelling lovely. She looked adorable wearing the dress in the middle, next to the orange cardigan.

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Lots of little nappy covers! I love the piggy ones. I need to start making some bigger sizes.

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Does anyone remember this? I started on these squares a couple of years ago and I did manage to sew them together. I got fed up of seeing them just lying there so decided to get something done about it. I made the white bigger at the top to give it a little more length and then started going round it. I was just going to use the glittery red but everyone kept saying to use glittery green too. I’m glad I did. I crocheted a simple picot edging which I think finishes it off nicely. It’s now tucked away in the cupboard ready for Elizas first Christmas. The gingerbread man was the first C2C square I ever did. I am in love with C2C! (Corner to corner crochet).

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Can you tell I like making blankets? I bought a pack of Laura Ashley vintage fabric squares at a car boot and pondered for a while what to do with them. I decided on a little cot quilt. I simply pinned and sewed them together and then backed them using an old sheet from a charity shop. I then folded the corners and edges over to do the binding. I LOVE this way of binding a quilt. You will be hard pushed to persuade me to do it a different way now! I might do a tutorial for that actually, it’s made my quilting life so much easier.

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I really love the way this looks in her cot. (The bunny in the corner is Bunny Girl. She was given to me when I was born so I thought it only fitting my little girl gets to have her from the day she was born too. I love Bunny Girl and I hope Eliza finds her just as much a comfort as I did growing up and as an adult).

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I started this hexagon quilt in 2015, June or July, I think. It was my first time ever trying out English Paper Piecing. I was hooked! I now absolutely adore paper piecing. This quilt was always going to be for my baby. I cut out (and Mum helped with this too) so many hexagons, basted the fabric onto them, and then sewed them together. Sixteen flower shapes all joined together with patches of blue. All of the hexagons were hand sewn together. It was a labour of love! The only time it was not sewn was at the very end when it was being quilted. I did the same quilting method I described above. I was kind of sad when this project was over as it was always there to go back to, if you know what I mean. Now I have started another EPP piece, not quite knowing where I am going with it yet. I just love the way it is there, in the little case, waiting to be sewn together when I have a spare moment or two.

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I am currently sitting in bed typing this, whilst my little girl sleeps in the cot next to me. It is no secret of mine that I always wanted a baby and it was a long, often very emotional, process getting there. But now my dream is here and I am so, so, SO happy.

I wonder if she will enjoy crafts like me? I intend on letting her try as many things out as she likes, seeing what will be her calling in craft.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Have a lovely night.

xXx Love Kais xXx

Crochet Baby Rattle Tutorial – Part 2

Hello everyone,

Here is the final part of the Crochet Baby Rattle Tutorial. Hope this one is just as helpful as the first. 🙂

You can find the first part of the tutorial here – Crochet Baby Rattle Tutorial – Part 1 

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So, you will have the completed doughnut ring from the last session. This one concentrates on lots of crochet.

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Instead of putting the little bells into the head of the rattle, I have created a teeny tiny ball in which they can go. This is then put inside the bigger head of the rattle.

Using magic loop, SC (US)/DC (UK) 4 sts into the middle.

Ch1, Sc2 into each stitch around. (8)

Ch1, *Sc1, Sc2* all around (12)

Ch1, Sc into each st for three rows (12)

Push the little bells/noise makers into the middle of the ball. Bit tricky as you have to crochet it closed now.

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Ch1, *Sc1, Sc2tog* around (8)

Ch1, *Sc2tog* all around. (4)

Cut yarn and thread through the remaining stitches, binding tightly. Sew ends in.

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Only small!

Now to start on the head of the rattle.

Magic loop and sc4.

Ch1, 2Sc into each stitch. (8)

Ch1, *1sc, 2sc* all around (12)

Ch 1, *1sc, 1sc, 2sc* all around (16)

Ch1, *1sc, 1sc, 1sc, 2sc* all around (20)

Ch1, *1sc, 1sc, 1sc, 1sc, 2sc* all around (24)

Ch1, SC across each stitch for 8 rounds.

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Now you are going to stuff the bottom with whatever stuffing you have available, or some wadding. I used stuffing. Stuff the bottom, and around the sides, leaving a gap in the middle. Put the first little ball into the middle of this stuffing, like so –

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Now to crochet it closed again, just like before. We are working backwards from the previous instructions.

Ch1, *sc1, sc1, sc1, sc1, sc2tog* all around. (20)

Ch1, *sc1, sc1, sc1, sc2tog* all around (16)

Ch1, *sc2tog* all around. (8)

Make sure it is stuffed to the top.

Now, instead of finishing it off we are going to sew it straight onto the ring. Cut a long enough yarn to sew all around it.

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Work out a good place to put the head on and start to sew all around, pulling the yarn tightly to keep the head on well. Sew all the way around. WP_20150418_023

Make sure you go all the way round, leaving no gaps!

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And voila! Very pleased with this. Now to add some features. You can do any you like, but this is what I have done.

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I added some ears using Tunisian Crochet. There are lots of good links to do this online. I liked this because it meant I did not have to make ears and then sew them on later. You basically pick up six stitches (just like knitting) where you want the ear. You loop the yarn over once and pull it through the first stitch. Yarn over again, and over the next two stitches. Continue this way until you have finished. (Yo, pull through 2). Check picture below.

I did this three times, and then put an SC on either side to make the ears rounder. Repeat for other ear.

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You can then add a little colour to the face to give it a personality.

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I long stitched into the first ear, threaded the needle through the head, and then out the other side. Repeat this.

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Add a little nose! I stitched a small triangle and then filled this in.

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And then there you have it! A little, fully working baby rattle. I hope that you enjoy it and would love to see some photos if you decide to make it. I plan on making lots more in different colours and different noises.

Perhaps try with crinkly plastic? Seeds? Lots of possibilities. The only thing I would say is to make sure it is very securely sewn in so nothing can escape.

Have fun everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Crochet Baby Rattle Tutorial – Part 1

Hello everyone,

I have seen some lovely patterns for baby toys as I was getting a little bored with constantly knitting and crocheting clothes. I thought maybe it would be nice to make some toys? I had a quick glance through patterns on Ravelry and Google, but settled on a mix of things I had seen. This rattle is easy to make and hopefully the instructions are easy to follow.

You need –

A round ring of some sort, roughly 3″ by 3″. I used these kind of links. They are a bit wonky but you see how they work out later. I bought these from an ASDA store (I’m in the UK) but as you can see, these can be bought in the US too.

Crochet hook size 4mm. 

DK yarn x 2 colours. I’m just using acrylic, but I’m sure anything will work.

Strips of wadding, about an inch thick.

Strips of cotton or fleece, about an inch thick.

Needle and thread. I use invisible thread.

Wool or tapestry needle. 

A rattling noise! I use craft bells to make a nice tinkly rattling sound, but you can use anything.

Stuffing. 

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Here is an example of what you need first. As you can see the fleece and wadding are just scrappy bits, but they work well.

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Start wrapping the wadding around the link. This make it soft and squeezy, rather than hard. It does not matter if the ends are lifting up slightly, this will get covered by the fleece.

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And this is what it will look like when finished.

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Start the same again using the cotton. Wrap it all the way round making sure to cover up all the wadding.

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There we go! Looks like a doughnut. Use your needle and thread to sew down the last flap of cotton. This should only need a few stitches, it’s just to hold it down.

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Using your crochet hook you are going to make the cover for the rattle. Remember you may need to use a few more or few less stitches than me according to how big your link is.

Make a chain of 15 stitches.

Turn and SC(US)/DC(UK) back down the line. – 14 stitches. 

Continue going back and forth alternating the colours every four rows. Keep checking against your loop to make sure it is long enough. It should be able to go all the way round the link and meet in the middle too.

I did ten colour changes. Make sure to do the last colour different from your first!

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Right, now we are ready! I would advise that you sew in the ends of the piece first as they tend to get in the way.

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Use a wool needle to start to slowly sew the crochet piece onto the ring. It’s fairly straightforward at the start but as you continue it gets a bit tricky! I didn’t sew up the pieces to meet right until the end. I sewed the piece in the middle as much as possible to try and keep the stitches hidden.

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And voila! One starter rattle handle. I’m really pleased with it.

The next part will be showing the top of the rattle and how to put the noise maker (or whatever you have chosen) into it. I will try and put that up today.

Here is the link to the next part – Crochet Baby Rattle Tutorial – Part 2

Happy Rattle Making!

xXx Love Kais xXx