Tag Archives: applique

Free Crochet One Cup Teapot Tea Cosy Pattern

Well, I have done it – completed my order for a set of tea cosies for the beautiful cafe Le Bon Melange.   In the process I think I have perfected my pattern for making the tea cosies, so decided it was time to share it here. This is the first time that I have published a crochet pattern, so please be gentle with me – and let me know if you find any errors!!   If you do make a cosy from this pattern I would love to see the end result!

The two sizes of tea cosy plus a coffee press cosy too!

 

This pattern is for a flat topped one cup tea pot, but I have fitted it to a more rounded one cup pot and it worked just as well. To adjust it to a larger two cup pot the instructions for the top remain the same, it is just the number of rows for the body that change.  Once you have the basic body you can then decorate it with whatever you like!  Flowers, hearts, frogs – the sky is the limit!

The red pot is the one cup pot and the aqua is the two cup pot. How well do those colours match the wool?!

 

Pattern

I used a 4mm crochet hook and 8 ply wool to make this pattern.If you use thicker wool the pattern will still work – it will just end up slightly bigger.

Key

ch chain

ss slipstich

dc double crochet

To start chain 4 and joined with ss

Row 1 Ch 3 then 11 dc into the ring, ss to join to top of the first chain 3 (creating 12 stiches in round)

Row 2 Ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch of round 1, with last single dc in base of initial chain 3 stitch, ss to join

Row 3 Ch 3, *1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch* repeat 11 more times, with last dc in base of first ch 3, ss to join

Row 4 Ch 1, ss in next stitch, ss in next stitch, 3 ch and skip stitch, then 1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, *1 dc in next stitch, 1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch* repeated 10 times and finish with single dc in last two stitches of round.   (This is the top of the cosy)

Row 5 Ch 3, turn and 1 dc in each of next 21 stitches (22 in total)

Row 6  – 8 repeat round 5 then finish.

Return to round 5 and attach wool three stitches from the first half of round five and then repeat round 5 – 8 in order to create the second half of the cosy.  Do not finish off at the end of row 8 but continue on.

Row 9 ch 3 dc in each stitch until reaching the end of the row then ch 3 and dc in each stitch of other half of cosy.  This creates the join under the spout.

Row 10 – 11, ch 3 dc in each stitch of row, including the joining 3 ch from row 9.

Row 12 3 ch, ss to other side of cosy, then 3 ch, turn and dc in second chain from ss, dc in each stitch until reach the beginning of the row.  This joins the cosy under the handle.

Row 13 – optional – ch 1, skip first stitch then ss in each stitch of row 12 and finish with ss into fist ch.

To make this pattern fit a larger 2 cup pot the pattern is the same until row 8 when you should stitch another row before creating the join under the spout in row 10 rather than row 9.  Then add in rows so that the final row with the join under the handle is row 15.    You can adapt the basic pattern to fit larger pots by adjusting the size of the top and then the length of the body.

I did add a crown to one of the small cosies – I just couldn’t help myself! Here the pattern is shown on a different shaped one cup pot – it is fairly versatile.

The hearts on these cosies were made using the pattern found on Salt of the Spirit blog and the tiny crown was made using the pattern found on Kim Lapsley’s blog.

If you would like to see some ideas of crochet appliques or flowers then check out my pinterest board – I have collected a lot!

 

Let me know how you go making your own cosy!

Tutorial – Making an appliqued cushion cover

Tutorial cushion cover |a little bird made meHello!   Today my Handmade Project – How to make an appliqued cushion cover is being used to launch the new series of Handmade Projects on the Handmade Canberra website!  I designed this  project thinking that it would be a great Mother’s Day present.  But as my Mum is a reader of this blog, I might need to go back to the drawing board!

If you make any cushions using the pattern I would love it if you tagged me if you post them on Instagram – #alittlebirdmademe, so that I can enjoy your efforts!

 

 

Friday on my mind…..

Ah Friday.  The end of the week.  In days gone by the night that I went out drinking, dancing, flirting and enjoying myself.  These days I am happy if the house is peaceful, relatively clean, and I have some decent music to listen to while I sip my cup of tea!  How times change!

Speaking of change (nice segue huh?) I am extremely happy and very proud to report that today, at the first Junior assembly of the year at the new school, my boy not only (jointly) compered the assembly, but received an award from the Principal for showing principled action in making the right choices.  Wow!  His stepmother and I were both able to be there and were so proud.  While this is still early days, and as we have all experienced, anything can happen, it is certainly a very pleasant change to have such positive experiences with him at school!

The eldest chick has returned from her school camp, and from the excited conversation we had on the phone, it was a resounding success!  They were able to participate in so many wonderful activities like archery, abseiling, a disco, and the experience of being away from home for 3 nights.  She was a bit put out that for the second year in a row their raft building activity was cancelled due to weather!    Her absence also meant that for the last two days I have only had the middle chick at home.  She and I pottered around quietly and kept commenting how very, very quiet it was!  We agreed that while it was nice for a change, neither of us would like it for much longer!  (I didn’t have the heart to point out to her that for the next two weeks I will have a much quieter house while they are all at their father’s house!)

With all of this quietness I have been sewing!  I decided that I don’t really like the way that the camera that I appliqued in my last post has turned out – the pattern on the fabric is wrong for the shapes, so I have put that aside for a while.  My other appliques however, have turned into these (excusing the photos taken with my phone!)

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I have discovered iTunes radio on my new iPad so I can report that these bags were all made while I listened to the familiar tunes of 1980’s rock!  Trips down memory lane while sewing – so much fun!   Two weeks until the Handmade Markets – I see a lot more dodgy music in my very near future!

I hope that your week has had a great balance of quietness, creativity and music!

Filling your head

One of the benefits of the two youngest chicks moving to a new school that is also our local public school is that I am catching up with all sorts of people I know from all sorts of places.  A chance conversation with two women after I had dropped the children off yesterday morning saw me learning that one (who I knew as the mother of fellow junior hockey players) is actually an artisan who makes porcelain jewellery, while the other (who I knew as a fellow pre-school mother 6 years ago) is a talented sewist.  In the course of excitedly discussing all things creative (as you do when you find fellow creative souls) one of the women commented that when she has her creative mojo happening she doesn’t watch TV, and doesn’t even read books anymore.  What a relief!  I am always happy to tell people that I don’t watch TV at all, but am a little less forthcoming with my guilty secret that I don’t read anymore.

I love books.  I have always read.  I am one of those people who will stay up all night reading a gripping novel, even though I have to go to work the next day.  But for the last year or two three I have not been reading.  Well – of course I have been reading, but instead of reading a book or two a week I have been lucky to average a book every three months.  I have been feeling guilty, as if I am somehow lesser for my abandonment of books.  However in our conversation we discussed that where books provided an escape and a way for our imaginations to be exercised, when we are actively creating we have the escape, and the stretch to our imaginations, so there is not as much need or room for books.  Explained that way I feel much less guilty!!

When I am creating my mind wanders to all sorts of subjects.  I write wonderful posts for this blog in my mind, draft emails to friends I haven’t caught up with for ages, think about ways to stretch a dollar, find some extra time for something important, to solve a problem.  Having had these very satisfying conversations in my head, I regularly forget that these things haven’t happened in real life, and then don’t email those friends, write those posts, or apply those solutions.  I am beginning to understand why people describe artists as vague.  It is not because artists don’t care about things, it is because their head is full, and they, like me, may think that they have already dealt with something because they have thought about it while creating, so in their mind it is completed.   Something to ponder.

My creating this week has taken a different turn, and I have been busy drawing.  I love to draw, so the chance to combine drawing with designing and sewing is the perfect collection of creativity for me!  Now that I have my fabulous machine that can cut out my appliques for me I decided that I need some new designs, in addition to my much loved bicycle template.  After scouring the internet for suitable templates and not finding ones that suited my purpose I decided to make my own.  Hence the drawing!  With some I found photos and drew, traced, stylised, while with others I found other templates and took the ideas and modified them to my own needs.  The results so far are a scooter and a camera, and a police-box that needs a bit of tweaking!  Put that way it doesn’t seem to justify many hours, but I can assure you that a huge amount of work went into creating these simple-ish lines and shapes!  I have started to applique them.  The next step is to attach the appliques to bags!

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At the time of writing I have only appliqued one of the cameras, and am having a debate with myself about whether to go with the zig zag of the first one, or the straight stitch of the scooters.  (When I use straight stitch I also use ‘fray stopper’ to seal the edges so it doesn’t get too tatty too quickly!)   I might just need to keep experimenting until I find the perfect combination.

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I am also experimenting with whether patterned fabric works as well as solids, and complex patterns versus simple patterns.  My brain really has been quite full!

I thought I was going to avoid writing about the weather tonight but while I have been sitting here preparing this post we have had a huge downpour of rain.  The middle chick and I took a photo, through the window, of our water tank overflowing with the torrential rain.  Then 12 minutes later, this was the view from the same window!  As a result – the weather gets a mention.

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I hope that if you head is full this week it is full of creative and wonderful thoughts.  What are you creating, reading, watching or doing this week that is keeping you entertained and providing an escape and a stretch of another part of your brain?

Success!

I can tick two things off my list for today (and there is still half a day left, so I am confident that the third thing will be reached too!)

I have designed the school bag for the wounded middle chick, and hope to get to a prototype in the next few days, that I will share with you.  But more importantly I have successfully used the Scan’n’Cut to produce an applique!  No melted iron on glue, no double lines that splintered the fabric and no stress!

And here are the promised photos to prove it!

I ironed the correct side of the iron on sheet to the back of the fabric that I wanted to use, and while I was cooling, loaded the bike image into the machine and chose the right outlining option (yay!).  I then removed the backing paper from the now cooled fabric, and put the fabric on the (still slightly messy) adhesive mat.  I fed it into the machine, selected my pattern and hit the ‘cut’ button.

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Roughly two and a half minutes later it finished, and I (using the right tool – a spatula) lifted the excess fabric from around the outline.

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I then (still using the right tool) lifted the inner pieces out of the design.

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Then I lifted the end result off the mat, ready to be ironed onto a piece of fabric and stitched into place.

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Total process?  10 minutes.  Wow!  I just saved myself about an hour (especially when I followed the instructions and used the right tools!)  I am giving my new purchase the thumbs up!

I have to finish the bags I am sewing (one of them is for the eldest chick’s birthday in two days) before I do any appliqueing but stand by for further reviews!

I hope that your day has also had success stories in it.  And remember – there is still half a day to go, so you can still make your own success story – there is always time!

 

 

Distractions

{NB:  No actual disasters occur in this post.}

(and there are no pretty  or even ugly photos.  Sorry!)

I am struggling to get to my sewing.  Between a sick boy over the last three days, a trip to the Emergency Department for investigation of a suspected arm fracture for the middle chick today (which thankfully was not broken), and rude distractions like housework, cooking and sleeping, I am just not getting that clear time to sit and sew that I want and need!  I have 6 bags cut out, interfaced, and partly assembled……. but not finished!

Sigh.  In the meantime, as a distraction for the middle chick from the pain etc, we spent time designing her new school bag……which now needs to be made.  If it works as we imagined it then I will have a whole new design – a messenger bag that can also be a backpack.  I will keep you informed about its progress as I try to work out where to fit it in the list of priorities that sits on my desk!

What I had hoped to write about tonight is my exciting new purchase – therefore I will, even though I have no pretty photos to show, or even good results to report!

Yesterday I became the proud owner of a Brother Scan’n’Cut machine.  I stumbled across this when looking for ideas on how to streamline my applique process.  (I love making my applique bike and word cushions but they take so long to draw, cut out and then sew on, that I can’t justify the time it takes versus the price I feel comfortable charging for them.)  This machine allows you to scan in your image (or use one of the 800 odd programed patterns including quilt pieces) and then cut it out of paper, card or fabric!  Ah-ha!  If this machine can remove the drawing and cutting part of my applique process and I then just have to sew, then I can make them again and be charging prices that cover the cost of labour, and are still affordable!  (Of course my mind has already run away with itself imagining the possibilities that the machine opens itself up to!)

Last night I decided that I was too worn out to try and use it, and instead I set aside time today while the children were at school to play with it.  And then had the trip to hospital in the allocated time.  Late this afternoon I decided to tackle it.  I was hot, tired and cranky.  Foolish, foolish girl!

After setting it all up (very straightforward) and reading the instruction booklet (sort of) my first error was made when using the provided iron on applique sheet (the first step) – and putting it on upside down, and forgetting to use my pressing cloth, so that instead of fusing to my fabric it fused to my steam press.  @#$%^&**!!!!  (I have now removed the majority of it I think……..  but it took quite a while!)

My next error was not checking my scanned image to check that the lines that were to be cut were the ones I wanted.  Sure I eyeballed it to check that there were no lines missing……. but I didn’t enlarge the image as recommended, and therefore missed the fact that I had hit the wrong button and the machine now thought that I wanted a cut line on either side of the drawn line…..so I was cutting the outline of the lines instead of cutting the lines (if you know what I mean.)

This resulted in very tiny slices of fabric around the body of the applique that were so thin that they broke as I was removing the fabric from the mat, and left the body of the applique too thin to sew (and parts of it also broke due to their being too thing).  Then I made my next error – pulling the fabric off the tacky sheet that holds it in place for cutting.  If I had followed the instructions and used the provided tools to lift it I would not have made such a mess of the mat, and would not have left so much fabric fluff and iron on gunk behind.  (None of the errors were the fault of the manufacturers.)

At that point I went and lay on my bed and listed my errors to my middle chick who was lying in there enjoying the cool and quiet while she rested her arm.  Her response was to ask what was for dinner. Hmmmmmm……  wrong audience obviously.

I then spent half an hour helping the eldest chick to search for things she needed for her martial arts class.  I emptied baskets, moved piles of ‘stuff’, and generally messed up a lot of what I had been tidying and sorting.  When I couldn’t find it all I was ready to confess to her instructor that we need to perfect the process of moving the chicks between the nest and their father’s house and that it wasn’t her fault that the things were missing as we had mucked up the part where she would be responsible for her own stuff, when her step-mother rang just in the nick of time to say that she had found the missing items and could drop them at class.  Phew!  No public and humiliating explanations of our disorganised life required!

After a day of no actual disasters, and lots of good outcomes (I missed mentioning a trip to the fabric shop that had a 50% off sale that saw me stock up on bright stripes, spots and solids for lining my bags) I am calling it quits and will start again tomorrow, fresh, calm and cool.    And I will sew at least one bag to completion.  And I will cut out an applique with my new ‘helper’ (sounds so much more professional than ‘toy’) and show you a photo, so that I can prove to myself that I can do it!  And I will design the construction of the middle chick’s new school bag.  And I will remember that doing complex things when hot and tired is not the way to succeed!

I hope that your day was also full of no actual disasters and lots of good outcomes and that you get to have a fresh start tomorrow too!

P.S.  If that sounded like a pep talk to myself, reminding me that nothing bad actually happened, and motivating me to have a different sort of day tomorrow, you may be onto something…..feel free to share in my positive spin attempts, and to recast your own day into one where no ACTUAL disasters occurred. 

 

My birthday – and a giveaway

Yes, after all the fanfare, waiting, building excitement and drama, it is, in fact, my birthday. To be honest I have been a little ho hum about it. My chicks aren’t with me, so the real celebrations will happen when they return, and we all celebrate the middle chick’s birthday on Saturday. (Let’s face it, any hope of big celebrations for my birthdays disappeared about 9 years ago when I gave birth to my beautiful girl two days after my birthday!) However the day has started well – a beautiful sunny day, a surprise breakfast with the MIML (who has been MIA for a while so doubly nice), a parcel of the most gorgeous fabric from my sister (the one with the matching fabric addiction),

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beautiful messages from my family all over the world (facebook is a gift on days like this!) and a funny card from Miss N telling me that I am not old!!

That is in part because I have realised that I am now officially middle aged. (Sorry Mum and Dad and my various very young Aunts and Uncles who might read this – – but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t middle aged anymore – it just means that we are all middle aged together now!) In an effort to stave off the depression that that phrase brings with it I have fulfilled my plan to re-join the gym (it was lovely to catch up with the owner which means that I will feel good attending too!), I have planned a lovely night out with a dear friend and I have decided to focus on the good things in my life. The list, I am proud to say, is long. And would probably bore you to tears, while making me teary with emotion. Rather than do that (because that is no kind of celebration is it?) I am going to have a giveaway. I want to thank all the people who have supported me this year as I have started my blog, my shop and my journey towards my dream of running my own business (no matter how small!). I have met some great friends online, and some in person, and have enjoyed the sense of community that I feel around me. My sewing and blogging have kept me going when things around me felt like they were crumbling.

I have decided to go all high-tech and use a rafflecopter giveaway plan (to prove that despite my advancing years I am not yet a dinosaur!) so the link is on the right hand side of this page. It opens today and closes in a week’s time, and you can earn more ‘tickets’ in the raffle by answering more questions. The prize? I decided to make the prize, given that I think that a little bit of my love goes into everything I make, so it means that I am including that love in the prize. (Oh okay – and the fact that I am loving appliqueing cushions might have something to do with it too!!) So the prize is a custom appliqued canvas cushion with the word or image of your choosing on it – and I will post internationally as well as within Australia. So – to celebrate my advancing years, get clicking!!
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An update on my ‘to-do’ list I hear you ask? (Perhaps!) Yesterday was huge – I joined the gym, AND did a workout. I cleaned out the car, unpacked and repacked the camping trailer, made two of the gifts for the middle chick (and one involved using the drill and the saw!!) (the mystery shrouding my efforts is because the cheeky chicks sometimes read the blog while they are away!), vacuumed the house, walked the dog, did some weeding, made a present for my sister and mailed it, and re-photographed a couple of items in better light. Phew!

Today in honour of my birthday I might go a little lighter on the heavy lifting and focus on some toy sorting as my treat (oh yeah, I am partying hard!). Or I might lie in the hammock. With a gin and tonic. The options are endless!  I hope that you are having a wonderful day wherever you are!