Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Old Habits Die Hard

I promised myself I wouldn't waste time by moving the mask pattern around the fabric to find the best fit. But when I needed two more linings and it looked as though I only had fabric for one, I was back to my old habits. This way and that until I figured out how to cut two!

 The masks have  been collected by a lady who has permission to move around. I packed them up and put a tatted butterfly to help them on their way:

Monday, March 30, 2020


I'm sewing protective face masks for a local appeal. Here's a link to the pattern and tutorial. To begin with I was working in groups of six, but that's a bit daunting. I find it better to work on three at a time. I can complete three from start to finish in one sewing session without feeling that I need to call in Rumplestiltskin.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Going Back

A few months ago, I took out my handbag tatting while waiting for officialdom. I think it probably saved my sanity, but when I looked at it later, I realised I'd made a whole series of mistakes! The pattern   is straight forward enough, but does require a modicum of concentration. So the next few handbag tatting sessions were spent untatting. It might have been quicker to cut the messy bit out, but that seemed difficult away from home. I decided to emulate those who undo to correct mistakes, however far back! I'm working on this for an hour or so in the evenings now. I don't want it to sit in my handbag forever.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Curtain Is Up

I've hung my bathroom curtain. Of course, in real life the different colours of the cloth flowers show up. I rather think it needs some tatted butterflies. I thought I had some suitable ones in my stash, but I can't find them. I remember dithering about giving them away, can't remember what my decision was! An excuse to tat some more perhaps.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Message For Batty Tatter

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Monday, March 23, 2020

It Works!

Aha. Now I'm wondering why I've never tried before to sew tatting on with a sewing machine!

I cut the braid one ring below where I wanted it and unraveled that ring. I could have hidden those ends in the usual tatting way, but I threaded them through to the wrong side of the fabric and did a couple of stitches there. I thought that would help anchor the tatting to the fabric.


I've made a curtain for the bathroom. I've made some cloth flowers. I have a leaf braid lurking in my tatting bag that I made as 'handbag tatting'. How to combine these elements? I tried to make a leafy frieze with the braid, but I couldn't get it right. I could make one with just stems:

Or I could place the flowers individually and cut the braid to make leaves and stems:

I wonder if I could sew the braid on with a sewing machine? Probably not, but it may be worth a try.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Bedroom Curtains

After a lot of diversions and delays, the guestroom has curtains.

When I was in the fabric warehouse buying the white fabric, a fellow customer asked me who was going to make my curtains. "Me!" I said, rather indignantly. I think he may have been looking for business. He said his wife started a business making men's shirts and now they employ 18 people. I told him I make Jack's shirts too, so I'm not a good prospect!

I went to a more 'upmarket' shop for the decorative fabric. Hmm. Next time I buy a remnant, I'll open it up in the shop to make sure the folds are not shopsoiled. I put the fabric in with a load of washing, but I can still see the marks. I contemplated taking it back to the shop, but I'm pretty sure remnants are sold 'voetstoets' - as is, let the buyer beware. I can't even console myself that I got a bargain because it was quite expensive.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Cloth Flower

I bought a remnant of fabric last week, to add a strip to the bedroom curtains I'm making. But when I came to use it this morning, I discovered that it's really dirty. I'll have to wash and iron it before I can use it. So in the meantime I thought I'd try making this cloth flower.

The tutorial is here.   I don't like the bling that the original uses to cover up the centre. I made fabric  circles instead. I'm thinking of using buttons to sew the flowers to the bathroom curtains that are next on the agenda. I gave away most of my fabric scraps when we moved house. Luckily a friend of mine was happy for me to raid her fabric stash! The tutorial says to use a stiff fabric, but since each petal is four layers, I think it's best to use a fine fabric. I tried one with gingham - it turned out a bit bulky and the gathering stitches were hard to sew.

Saturday, March 14, 2020


I've been crocheting small bracelets and keyrings. For the keyring, I left one bead out of the sequence to have a circumference of 5 beads rather than 6. I made some small flower bracelets too. I've given one away already, they make nice gifts for small people.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Breaking news? Breaking Bad? Breaking beads. I've discovered that I can use nail clippers to break beads when I have accidentally threaded too many. At first I struggled to break the bead without cutting the thread, but eventually I discovered how to pinch the thread to one side so that the clippers can act only on the bead and not the thread. Hooray. Jack was breaking beads for me with his Leatherman, but it's inconvenient for both of us for me to have to find him when I want a bead broken!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


I like this one, designed by Misya (Mariam). We're going into Autumn here, but this has a Spring feel to it.  It has flowers on both sides. The circumference is 8 beads.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Kitchen curtains

The kitchen window looks out onto the back garden, so curtains are not essential. But a room without curtains looks bare and 'camped in', so I have been meaning to make curtains. I visualised very light muslin curtains, but when I went to the shop where I used to buy muslin for sarongs, they didn't have fabric that light. This slightly heavier cotton is probably more practical for curtains. White on its own is a bit boring, so I added the gingham strips to brighten them up. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kingfisher Blue

I have finished the necklace, in spite of distractions! It is 9 beads in circumference, 56 cm or 22 inches in length.

When Jack was digging a bed in the front garden yesterday, a kingfisher came and sat right next to him so that it could swoop down on the lizards and insects he was disturbing. It was so close that Jack was able to take photos of it with his phone:

It's a Brownhooded Kingfisher. This front view doesn't show it, but he has tail feathers that match the turquoise in my necklace. Here's a picture from Newman's Birds of Southern Africa to show you:

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Still Crotcheting

Sorry to have been awol again for so long. I had no idea that internet fibre could break and require splicing by a very elusive technician.

I have been working on more necklaces. I probably get more done when the internet is unavailable! It's hard to do justice to this one, the gold beads don't show up well, but here's my best attempt:

As you can see, this is another 'double' design, different on one side from the other.

I'm working on another one, the same pattern but different colours. I should finish today if I don't get too distracted by blogs and Facebook.