23 April 2020

Sewing a bag

Back in the winter a friend that I see at Zumba handed me some upholstery samples that her husband had finished with.

They're rather gorgeous and are from a really expensive supplier so these were quite a challenge. 

I put them on the table in the conservatory (my summer sewing place!) and would walk past them and look and look at them deciding what to do.

Well last week I decided they 'had to go' so I got the sewing machine out and started looking at them closely again. 

Here are a few of them - some were lurking under a pile of other fabric when I wanted to find them and couldn't!!!

Medina - progress

Sorted - I think!!!

Took me two more attempts to get it right but I think this is a much easier tat with the lock chains. 

The BIG problem with lock chains is how to put a picot on them. In the end I resorted to doing it a new way - sort of. It's pretty easy and you'll see when I get the pattern on my site that I've got a new way of notating this too.

If anybody wants to test tat it please do drop me a line but it'll need doing pretty quickly or I'll forget all about putting this on the pattern site!!   You know me and BC3 - I'm always finding half finished ideas on my system!!! 

It’s a challenging piece to tat but a lot easier with the lock chains so a little experience would be needed - if you want to test tat it.

Next project?  Turning Medina into an angel with lots of beads!!!

21 April 2020

Progress on the knitted blanket

I've finished the blanket.

No idea what I'm going to do with it but it'll have to go out of the house sometime. One of my neighbours has a son who works in a care home so I'm hoping he can take it there to be used. It's a large lap blanket size. 

Guess what? I've started another!!! I must admit to enjoying doing this pattern very much. This is the link to the knitting squirrel where I got it from. 

I've had to start another as I've still got loads of yarn left!!! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!!

I really need to press/block this sometime but I did put on a crochet border and since then I've not been in the right frame of mind to get the ironing board out!!! Also I need to ask Mr Google the best way to make this look a lot neater!!

17 April 2020

Medina 2nd post

Again I used size 20 thread but this time, to keep the chains more easily managed, I used a half double double stitch for them. Progress was made on sorting it out but I'm not happy at all as it's lost it's delicacy with these chains.

I also reckon it's not a size 20 project either and looked again at Louise's Juliana for which she used size 40. That's going to be my next attempt but without the half double double stitch. 

I think a lot more thought is needed on those!!!

16 April 2020

Tidy for now

I completely forgot to show you my tatting corner and cupboard after I'd tidied it so here it is.

OK so it's not 'that' tidy but I've actually reorganised a lot of things and since then not been able to find certain things as you can imagine!!! 

The loom 'thing' on the second picture was given to me and I'm not sure what it's really for. Probably bead work but it's been hanging around for ages waiting for me to look at it properly!!! Maybe during lockdown I'll get roundtoit!!!!

Do you see the boxes on the bottom picture at the top and on the left? That's where tatting goes when it's finished. There's probably 20/30 years worth of bits and pieces in there but I've no idea where the previous thirty plus years of work went!!  Oh, there's another box somewhere too and a very small suitcase which has some in as well - ah, that's where a lot of the old stuff is, I think!!!

15 April 2020

Let's talk about Medina

Now I KNOW you're going to ask 'who the heck is ‘Medina'!! Well Medina is the name of the pattern I've chosen to translate and write up next.  Let me tell you the story!!!

Many years ago Riet in The Netherlands gave me three little tatting pattern booklets. Obviously they were in Dutch which sort of put me off. Nevertheless I found a pattern I really, really liked and decided that I'd make it - and failed on the first few rounds!! 

Well, a few years later I went back to that pattern (Juliana) and settled down to translate it and also make it. When I'm designing I always type as I go so that I can easily go back and change stitch counts etc. Eventually I finished the pattern and it's on my site here.

During the process I tried and tried to find out who the designer was. I even wrote to the publishing company but never had a reply. The rest of this fascinating story can be found here.

So during the first week of meltdown (whoops, lockdown) I decided after Louise showed me her version of Juliana that it was time for another delve into the booklets. Why does my heart rule my head? I decided on this pattern.

Am I bonkers? YES!! 

This is my first attempt with dreadful size 20 thread and a lot of trepidation!!! All the chains are regular chains which twist and turn all over the place!!! 

14 April 2020

3 Eggs

There's a delightful family who live across the road from us. We have a very localised Facebook page which is limited to our two roads and she put a notice on there asking if there were any kiddies that she could give little Easter eggs to. 

Well me being me made a jokey reply saying there were two old kids at our address and on Sunday morning I found two little eggs on the doorstep.

Now, as I said before, this family are delightful and so I wanted to do something back for them. Consequently (after another gardening stint) I sat down and made them these eggs. I didn't think the hubby would appreciate one so I made one for mum and the others for the two daughters. Well, that's not strictly true as one is now grownup and at university but you get my meaning, I'm sure!!!!

If you want the pattern in time for next Easter then the link is here. 

By the way, I went shopping last Thursday and there were queues which I'd not seen the week before. I puzzled about it for quite a while and then the penny dropped!!! It must be Easter weekend coming up!!! Since retirement and not now being 'governed' by school holidays I've lost track of some things. Bring back BC3, I say although I think he's only useful for tatting!!!!

10 April 2020

I blame Louise!!!

Thanks entirely to Louise who showed us all her gorgeous version of Juliana last Monday (here’s the link) I decided to get the Dutch pattern books out once again!!!  You probably spotted them on my post a few days ago!

I've found several that appeal to me so I've scanned them and am ready to play with the translations and drawings!!! This is the one I've chosen for starters and it’s called Strikje Medina (Bow Medina).  I've probably not chosen the easiest pattern once again (as usual) but I do like a challenge and it's GOT to be easier than Juliana!!!

It appeals to me as I can 'see' it on the neckline of a t-shirt or blouse and worked in a 40 thread I think it'll do really well.

I showed the picture to Judith Connors as we’ve been chatting about this, tat and t’other and she immediately ‘saw’ an angel.  So, once I’ve got it all worked out I’ll turn it into one.  I’ll do the bow first as it’ll give me an idea on how to make the head too!!!  

9 April 2020

Look what I found!

All this being kept in prison has made me make another tentative start on tidying up.

I found these notes that I did long before I had a computer. This is how I used to work and tomorrow I’ll show you an insight into how I work now!!! These were designs done when I was teaching four/five year old kiddies and I made earrings to amuse them (and myself). I think these notes are from around 30 years ago.

Apologies for the blue mark on these photos - not sure what caused that - except lack of concentration on what I was doing!!

8 April 2020

Hard at work!

Before I start I want to apologise for the adverts on my blog.  I didn’t realise that they were so intrusive so have changed the settings.  I only run ads so I can afford to keep my pattern site going.  

I promised you yesterday that I’d show you how I work when I start on a new pattern so I’ve taken several screenshots of my screen (isn’t that a silly thing to say?) to show you.

This is the big computer I usually work on and the set up I use when I'm working.  I’m currently translating, drawing, writing the text and standing on my head while working  on a new Dutch pattern - more about that in a couple of days. 

You'll see that I've got several windows open while I'm working. There's the text document (I'm using Pages), the drawing package (EazyDraw) and also Google translate on my browser. Also a scanned copy of the pattern too. 

Also you’ll notice the rather large cup of half drunk coffee plus the inevitable mess that I seem to constantly have around me!!!

7 April 2020

Playing with Suffolk Puffs

Our Tuesday group decided that this year we wouldn't make a quilt to raise money for local charities. Good job we didn't in the light of recent events. 

Instead we decided to make Suffolk Puffs and use them on cushions. Well I set off making some but found they just weren't clicking with me. One day I remembered making clowns out of them for my kids and remembered the hours and hours it took to make even one!!! 

Most of my friends are covering their cushions in 'just puffs' but I decided mine simply HAD to be a clown which I'm hoping will appeal to people who have grandkids!!!

I finally finished it - took simply AGES to sew it all down but it's ready for when we can finally get them all auctioned or raffled. Sometime in September, we're hoping. Still it kept me out of mischief for a while!!!

6 April 2020

Sequin pattern ready for tatting!!!

Finally I've got it sorted!!! There are three versions to this pattern as you've probably realised!!! 

There's the simple one with just double picots, another with a simple long beaded picot and the third has two long beaded picots which interlink. There's a page here which will explain this better if you get stuck!!!

Now there is something interesting about this little motif which I'm quite pleased with. 

I've used two beads in each one placing them 'back to back'. These sequins have two holes in them (which you'll need for the pattern) BUT if you've only got one hole at the edge it's really easy to 'poke' another hole opposite with a pin or needle!! I've tried it!!! 

3 April 2020

Three for the price of one!

I had to play more with the sequins and have now got three 'versions' of it.  Just need to get the pattern sorted and it will be yours!!!  Naturally there won't really be a 'price' on them!!!

Now where did I leave BC3 - I need him to start on something new although I've no idea what!!!!

1 April 2020

Another play with the sequin

I did a boo boo on Sunday and let out a post before I wanted it to go.  This one should’ve gone before it.  I have had this happen before when scheduling posts at the end of a month.  I forget to change the calendar to the next month!!  

Here you go. Another play with the new sequins which you can see here too.

This time I thought I'd try using a double picot in the outer round but there's still something very fundamentally wrong with the whole thing. I did these about two weeks ago and then put them to one side - because I'm just not happy with them.

Ah, maybe that's what I ought to do - settle BC3 down to finish these off and make more decisions on what's wrong with them. OK - that's what I'll do during this weird time of so many restrictions.

31 March 2020

Blanket progress

This was taken about a week ago but it's got a LOT bigger since!! I'll take another photo and update you on it later in the week. 

I can't seem to get into tatting 'mode' at the moment. I've finished one project but can't seem to get started on anything else. Any ideas for new designs or projects? I need something really stimulating to tweak BC3 into action!!!

30 March 2020


Now this you've simply GOT to see. 

Do you remember Juliana and the angst I went through translating and re-writing the unknown nun's pattern? Well Tim test tatted it for me and he found a few mistakes and we put them right. I never in a month of Sundays thought anybody else would make it let alone do such an amazing job.

This is from Louise who is one of Judith Connor's Queensland tatters. She's taken part in the Tat It And See games in the past. 

She made it in Lizbeth number 40 and it measures 54cm. I must admit it looks 1,000% (if there is such a thing) better made in the finer thread although it must've driven her crazy. I'm tempted to tackle it again - or should I take another look at the little books and try another of the designs?

Thank you SO much for showing me, Louise. It's so good to know that my time wasn't just spent on my own selfishness in wanting to make it and that Tim's time wasn't wasted in testing it too.

29 March 2020

I did it!!!!

Well who would've thought it could be SOOOOO simple!!!

This is the problem with BC3. He over thinks things when designing and 'clutters' things up. When I sat back and looked at yesterday's post I could see instantly that it didn't 'need' that other row of chains. This is a LOT better and I'm sticking with it.

Now although this looks simple there is a nifty 'trick' or 'technique' in it. Not sure it's a real 'technique' but it's darn useful!!!! I'll explain it all clearly on the pattern.

Now did I hear a little voice asking 'when is the pattern going to be available'? Answer - when I get roundtoit and probably next week. I need to play with it a bit more before I'm completely happy!!!

I thought that this lockdown 'lark' would give me hours and hours of time to tat etc but all it's done is enable me to tidy the craft stuff up (and, dare I tell you, untidy it again) and start Spring cleaning. Where is my tatting time?

24 March 2020


Was fabric day!!! No, I haven't finished the threads but this sort of overlapped as I knew that a bag I was stuffing fabric in would probably better be used for threads! If you can't follow that then I can assure you that I can't either!!!

Lockdown has worsened here in the UK so the opportunity to tidy the rest of the house and do a 'proper' Spring clean is imminent after the big craft project tidy up!!! 


The following pictures are work in progress.  I pressed some of the badly crumpled pieces and put them in piles of large pieces, smaller ones and those which may do for another patchwork project sometime in the future.  All this was done on the bed as that's the largest free flat space in the house!!!

23 March 2020

Due to the virus

I'm taking time out to tidy up!!

Things have to be pretty desperate for me to need to find things to do as normally my life is full of activities which all, obviously, mean meeting people and having fun. So, to fill in the gaps I've started on a MAJOR sort out and tidy up.

I've done the bead section already - it wasn't that bad and was all in roughly the same place. The threads are the same but I've decided to change the places where they're kept. Also there's going to be some overlap of 'types' of threads too. I used to keep all the Lizbeth 20 (which is mostly what I use) in one set of storage boxes but have decided to try another way. 

Today (although I haven't really finished the threads) I'm going to tackle the fabric as some of the bags I use for that maybe useful for an overflow of other bits and bobs including thread.

It's amazing how much I'm enjoying this task but probably only because there's no time scale of 'going back to normal' to make me hurry up!!!

20 March 2020

Playing with the new sequins

Now what I didn't tell you about the new sequins is that they are cupped too. I've shown you this motif twice - once from the greenish sequin's side and the other from the pinkish one. I turned the motif upside down on the scanner platen which makes me one VERY clever lady!!!! The energy involved must've caused me to lose several kilos of weight!!  I was proud of myself!!!

If anybody wants to know if I'll be sharing the pattern then the answer is NO. 


Well cause I just ain't happy with it at all. I'm going to continue playing with it and (hopefully) simplifying it too. THEN I'll share it!!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.