Saturday, February 20, 2016

A teapot and a tea cosy....oh...and a li'l machine doodling!

Although a cup of tea, served in a fine bone china teacup, with a tea bag dangling from it's pretty side is perfectly acceptable, I do believe there is nothing quite like an ambrosial cup of tea poured from a pretty teapot, in which the tea leaves have been brewing for a little while.

I don't know anyone who, in their own home, hasn't at some stage in their lives enjoyed a cup of teapot, infused tea. Well, I believed this to be the case until I was chatting to a friend recently. Whilst I was waxing lyrical about the joys of a a cup of tea being poured from a teapot, I discovered  my friend didn't have a single teapot gracing her home. Incomprehensible....I know!!! This situation just had to be remedied....and expeditiously. After all one never can tell who  might pop by for a spot of tea, expecting a cuppa which has been poured from a teapot.....the Queen herself....or more importantly li'l ole me and my good husband!

As this week was my dear friend's birthday, me being me, thought gifting her with her very own teapot would be the perfect way to celebrate such an auspicious occasion. Now every gal should have at least one teapot....don't you think??

In search of a teapot I happened upon this pretty one. It is made by Ashdene and holds a capacious 6 cups and it comes complete with a metal infuser. The pretty pattern is called Tranquil. Such a pretty pattern with butterflies fluttering around the teapot and lid.

The art of tea drinking being a very old tradition and all, I thought my friend's teapot could be enhanced by the addition of a one-off, stitched, house tea cosy. Teapots and tea cosies......a match made in heaven. I had sooooo much fun stitching my tuffet a couple of weeks ago, that I thought I would enjoy a little more machine doodling.

I decided to use a little of the grey fabric that was left over from the tuffet. This grey fabric would help the house tea cosy stand up fairly well. After all we can't have a house toppling down, now can we.

After taking measurements and designing the tea cosy, I started to 'build' my house. I gathered some fabrics and began the process of free hand machine stitching......oodles and oodles of machine doodling.

I selected this grey and white chevron fabric for the roof; which is very cool as it resembles tiles on a roof; and a green floral fabric for the garden. As my friend's kitchen is grey, these fabrics will be perfect. Now every house needs pretty curtains at the window, so I chose a sweet, tiny polka dot fabric and stitched them to the windows.

THEN.....the fun began. I doodled and 'scribbled' a climbing vine, a cute as cute puppy dawg looking out the window, a chandelier (I do believe every home is that little bit more grander with the addition of a chandelier...or two), a cute table on which to rest a teapot, a flower garden and added fretwork under the eaves. So far.......very, very cute.

Now for the back. Another pretty polka dot fabric for the curtains and more machine scribbling. A sweet pussy cat looking out the window. She is checking where that pesky dog is. Then, some more machine doodling.....a tree and yet more pretty flowers growing in the garden. In this instance, I didn't draw the tree beforehand......I just went with the flow. 'Tis always the best fun stitching this way.

For the sides of the house, I machine doodled a vase of flowers and a teeny, tiny birdie in a bird cage sitting on the window sills......and more blossoms in the garden. I rather like doodling birdies and bird cages of late. =)

There we go, all stitched and ready to be built assembled.

I attached wadding to the front and back, and then stitched the front and back together, also inserting a chimney. After this step, I stitched the side inserts to the front and back. When the house was stitched I lined the inside to cover the messy interior.

The front.........

The back.......

The sides....

Mission accomplished......a cute, li'l house, tea cosy.

One cute, house tea cosy and a vase of flowers freshly picked from my garden, to wish my very dear friend the happiest of birthdays.

A lovely gift for a lovely friend. My friend's friendship during the past year, which at times has been a little difficult, has made the good times better and the hard times easier. My lovely friend has made me laugh a little louder, smile a little wider and live just that little bit better. Indeed, she is a gorgeous lady!

Now.......of course brewing cups of ambrosial tea is not the only purpose for a teapot. I can think of one more.....can you??

Why.......a teapot can be a receptacle for a bunch of lovely roses. =)

One of my lovely teapots. This pretty is the Royal Albert, Lavender & Roses pattern which was gifted to me by husband many, many years ago.

Wishing all you lovelies a wonderful weekend. Until the next time........

Linking up to this week's parties at Stephanie's, Roses of Inspiration
Jann's, Share Your Cup Thursday
Bernideen's, BTTCG

Sunday, February 14, 2016

'Tis Valentine's Day

"Love is patient, love is kind. 

Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Love does not dishonour others,
 it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
 it keeps no record of wrongs.

 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

Love always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love."

Not my words......but God's. Truly, since the dawn of time, one of the most beautiful, life changing and inspiriting biblical passages ever penned. Oh, what a difference I could make to my little corner of the world, if I, in my own small way, breathed these words, living them every moment of every day.

May you all have the loveliest of Valentine's Days. May you dance, with much love, through your day!

Until the next time.........

Linking up this week to Stephanie's, Roses of Inspiration 
and Bernideen's  BTTCG party.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

There once was an ugly duckling.............

There is definitely no doubt about it. This pouffe is quite simply......."feio....brutta.....lelijk.....brutto.....ruma".....UGG-ER-LY, in anybody's language!

I happened upon this ugly duckling a little a while ago at my favourite market. It's beauty was long gone, hidden under years of wear and tear. had great bones, it was a great size and had oodles of squashy comfort for one's tippy toes; so of course it came home with me.

But....if this Little Muffet was going to sit on this little tuffet, or indeed rest her tippy toes on it, then it was going to need a little upholstery job. A little tarting up was needed to hide it's flaws. Indeed, this little tuffet needed a little sprucing up with some lovely  new fabric and just a little machine sketching, magic. It needed to be transformed from an ugly duckling to a, dare I say it, a lovely new swan.

I chose a lovely grey, linen look, upholstery fabric and snipped oodles of flowers from my fabric stash. Here are some of the flowers and patterns that have oodles of possibilities.

First things first. I draped the fabric over the pouffe with the right side of the fabric facing the right side of the pouffe. I chose a wide fabric so that I could do this without too much fussing around. Who wants to waste time fussing, when one's fingers are itching to commence the stitching magic! I pinned the four sides making sure it was a snug fit with a good size hem at the bottom.

I then trimmed the sides within a couple of centimetres of the seams.

Turning the fabric right side out, now was the time to have a little fun. I ironed on vliesofix to the back of flowers and the other pretties and carefully snipped the flowers, butterflies, birds and whatever else founded their way onto the fabric, placing them in a meandering fashion across the fabric. When happy with my arrangement, the magic of machine sketching began.

First things first. To draw with your machine, you need to drop the feed dogs on your machine. This enables you to move the fabric under the needle in any direction, as fast or as slow as you desire. You will need a free-motion embroidery foot, also called a darning foot. With my stitch length on the machine set on zero, I was ready for a little magic.

Drawing around the outside of each pretty with my machine, moving my fabric as one would do with a pencil is truly the best fun. Normally I would only 'draw' around each piece a couple of times but as this fabric was polyester, I found three or four times was better. As it wasn't 100% cotton each smidgeon of a flower frayed within an inch of it's life. This step took a lot longer than would normally be the case. I do wish I had selected cotton, but this fabric was on hand and I didn't have enough cotton fabric with suitable flowers; and of course these flowers were pretty, giving me the look I wanted. What's a couple of extra days sewing, pulling one's hair out by the roots, anyway. is always about the look. I know, I know, it is a shallow gal that I am....but you knew that already. =)

Flowers meandering their way prettily around the fabric with butterflies fluttering their wings to the sweet tune of the nearby bird song.

I patiently machine stitched around each piece, going with the flow; really. I wanted a flowing, organic look. I didn't want any of the sides or the top to look the same. I wanted a feeling of whimsical whimsy.

On two of the sides I thought I might machine sketch some sweet birdies in bird cages, hanging from the flowers.

Oh look, there's Maisie peeking through the flowers. She is patiently waiting outside my sewing room window for her morning walk. Not today, Maisie, there is more magic to be stitched.

After days and days of machine sketching, the finished fabric is now ready to cover that ugly duckling.

I affixed the cover to the pouffe, pulling it firmly for a snug fit, stapling the fabric to the underside of the  pouffe, all the way round.

Voila, my new pouffe.......Miss Muffet's lovely new tuffet. So much prettier, than what was before.

Not an ugly duckling any more.

After all that machine sketching, surely it must be time for a spot of tea.

It must be time for this little Miss Muffet to rest her tippy toes on her gorgeous new tuffet and enjoy a little viewing of Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy......oh and of course knit some more of her pretty, aran jumper. I am afraid this woolly has been rather neglected this week. Perhaps some of that stitching magic can be transferred to a little knitting.

Have the most wonderful week, everyone. Until the next time......

Linking this week to Stephanie's, Roses of Inspiration
Bernideen's BTTCG Blog Party
Jann's, Share Your Cup Thursday
Mary's Sweet Inspiration Party