ladies in stitches

Every other Tuesday I get together with five other friends for a day of stitching, knitting, crochet and general chat.  We egg each other on with unfinished projects, teach each other new skills and put the world to rights over a mug of tea and a bowl of soup.  Today I was hosting.  It was perhaps not the ideal day for me to chose as the builders had come over to catch up on a few snagging jobs, our fabulous duo of cleaning ladies were wielding their magic and a massive translation job came in….

However, now that I have my own little studio we took our tray of tea and date and walnut loaf and left them to it.  I had intended to get on with the cardigan I am making my mother for Christmas, but on the grounds that I knit every evening I thought I could better use my time catching up on the unfinished bits and bobs.  Two hop pillows and eight lavender bags (using our own hops and lavender no less) it was time for my fellow ladies in stitches to head home.  But I was on a roll, I cast my eye around for something to do.

When we lived in the north of Scotland I accumulated a lot of tweed.  Not a little tweed, a LOT of tweed.  Enough tweed to, well let’s just say come the apocalypse we won’t be cold in our little hobbit hole.  There was one particular off cut from a suit that the Boss had made that was deliciously soft and had been winking at me for a while.

Et voila two cushions and a dinky little tea cosy for the tea pot for one that is currently without a cosy2017-11-21 17.09.53

All in all I reckon it took me about half an hour to make all three.  Dead easy,  I promise.

First cut a strip of material at least two and three quarter times as long as your cushion and wide enough to drape over the cushion to the tension you wish (ie do you want a loose or tight cover) plus a generous 3/4″ to 1″ seam allowance..

Hem the two short ends and wrap around the cushion.

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Mark with the pin where you want to run the side seams.  Remove the cushion, pin and sew side seams.  Turn right side out and the proverbial Bob is your uncle.

As for the tea cosy.  Two arcs of tweed, two arcs of liner (I used soft brushed cotton, an old sheet) and two arcs of interlining (you want to keep your tea warm after all don’t you?)  Make the tweed two inches longer at the bottom along the straight edge.

Sew tweed – interlining – lining together in that order and turn up the two inches of extra tweed at the bottom for a hem.  Repeat for the other side.  Turn right side to right side and sew two sides together.  Cut excess hem along the curved edge and turn right side out.  Bob’s your other uncle!

Love Gillie x

reverse decluttering part one

So the reverse declutter begins.  No that does not mean I am bringing stuff in – heaven forbid.  No, this alphabetical mularky, the one that is supposed to encourage me to look beyond the easy declutter and get rid of things that I didn’t really know I had or go into boxes I would prefer were left untouched.

Z is for zips.  As it happens my haberdashery (the posh name for the boxes containing sewing sort of stuff) boxes contained no zips but they did contain a lot of dross.  All of which is now gone.


Nice and tidy.


Rubbish and ebay (there wasn’t much in between).

Y is for yellow.  This isn’t actually mine, it belongs to the Boss.  It’s a truly vile yellow sweatshirt.  Goodness knows what he was thinking when he bought it.   He has never worn it and if he did I would disown him.  The yellow chicken has been sitting in my study for years and gathering dust.  Out it goes


X is for x-tra (well sort of).  Time to get rid of duplicates and things of which I have more than one.  Despite all they have done to provoke me over the years I am keeping all three daughters, dogs, cats and chickens.  Instead I hoofed out two orange squeezers (each one bought whilst on holiday to take advantage of the wonderful fruit.  We now have one small juicer living permanently in our suitcase along with a tin opener, sharp knife, corkscrew and bottle opener – the essentials of any holiday picnic 🙂 ).

W is for wellies.  How many “spare” pairs of wellies do we need?  I used to keep them because we live in the middle of nowhere, it can get very muddy and when the girls were small and had friends over they were useful to have to hand.  I think we are past that stage now.

V is for vittels (it was all I could think of).  Combined three jars of honey into one and ditto various pasta shapes.

U is for undies.  Now there is not a lot I like more than a good clear out of my knicker drawer.  Sad I know.  This time I did underwear drawer and sock drawer and I feel very virtuous.





Socks etc.

I know.  Not quite an item a day.  But If you add up all the items going out the door they certainly exceed 365 so not bad for a fortnight I think.  Oh and the first half of the last wardrobe sale on ebay netted over £150.  Wonder what I’d get for a pair of twins and an elder sister with a clean driving licence?


V is for


We all have them, those UFOs (unfinished objects) that we like to refer to as WIP (work in progress).  Except that they are not, in progress that is.  They are sitting in a box (what did I say about storage boxes) or a “craft bag” (aka black hole of UFOs).  And they are not making any progress at all.

Be honest.  Even though you were really into cross stitch when your eldest was born 25 years ago and made beautiful samplers for every wedding and birth amongst your nearest and dearest, when did you last pick up a piece of aida?  Give it away.  Now.  It is not going to make itself and you are not going to make it either.

I have been culling the UFOs.  I love looking at patchwork and I am immensley impressed by the work that people do but I have to be honest, it’s not really my thing.  I have kept some stunning quilting squares which I used to make bags and totes (so now you all know what I’m giving everyone for Christmas).  But the half finished quilt, which I don’t even particularly like so can’t imagine using even if I did finish it is out.  As are two unused tapestry kits.

On the other hand I do like to knit, I just am better at starting than finishing.  Well until yesterday!  I finally sewed up my granny squares and even the Dancers thought it was beautiful (which really is praise indeed).


This is not a skirt, although I have been wondering whether to try it on.  No, when complete it will be felted to within an inch of its life and then will be lined and will be a rather gorgeous tote.  I have one already.  This is earmarked for a friend.



The rest of the knitting UFOs will be frogged.

So what UFOs do you have lurking in your cupboards and what are you going to do with them?