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Fat quarter drawstring bag

Fat quarter drawstring bag


Looking for things to do during isolation? Here’s a quick and easy idea for a fat quarter — or any textiles measuring at least 50cm x 50cm you have available to use — to make a drawstring bag to use for all manner of things. Here are just a few suggestions — a shoe bag, a grocery bag, a craft bag, maybe to hold your latest sewing or knitting project. The box corners are optional. Download the instructions here.

Isolation ideas

Just to put this post into context, we are in the middle of a pandemic, caused by the coronavirus, or more officially, COVID19. Without going into all the details of ‘how come’ — you will find plenty of that sort of information here, there and everywhere — I just want to say a few words about what the restrictions are doing to us socially.

First and foremost, one at a time, countries around the world are locking down with severe regulations about the movement of their population — and with the almost total block of air traffic in and out of the country. The situation at the present time is absolutely horrendous — yet again you’ll find details elsewhere covering this point — but what essentially it means for just regular folks, is that we are obliged to stay indoors at all times apart from essential outings to buy food or medicines.

This situation has inevitably had a global effect on people’s habits. With few exceptions, people are unable to work and are confined to their homes in search of something to fill their time usefully and/or creatively. There has been a surge of generosity on the part of many creatives/teachers and the like, who are offering free courses in all manner of creative activities both for kids and adults.

Geisha bookmark


But it must not be forgotten that many of these creatives are suddenly without paid work, and so a balance has to be found. For my part, I have included a number of freebies and tutorials here at Boho Shack, but have also opened up a page for inexpensive cross-stitch patterns and charts for immediate purchase and download. I will be adding more to both sections in the near future for those who might be interested.

My thoughts are with all those who find themselves stopped in the tracks of life, having to deal with something that very few of us, even in our wildest dreams (or nightmares in this case) could have imagined happening in our life time. Here in Venice the sun is shining which makes it even harder to stay indoors — but it must be done and we will do it.
As they say here ‘Andrà tutto bene’, which basically means, ‘Everything will be alright’…

Pattern marker

Improvised cardboard pattern marker


Now I would like to say that this idea came straight out of my head, but in fact it didn’t. What is embarrassing is that I can’t remember where I saw this in the first place, so if anyone does know, I will be more than happy to give full credit to the blogger in question.

In fairness, it’s not as if the wheel was reinvented with this idea as I’m certain most knitters/crocheters use something to keep a tag on the pattern line as they work – for instance I always used a ruler – but this little instrument doesn’t slip and slide around so cuts out the frustration factor from the equation.

Just pick up a piece of cardboard or stiff card – about 10 cms wider than your pattern and about 10 cms deep – and laying the pattern vertically on top of the card, measure off about 1/4″ either side of it and then cut a line between your markings. You can now just neatly slide your pattern through the slit you created and slide the pattern upwards as you work, keeping the working line just visible above the cut in the card.

Fibre Art Wall Hanging

A fun, single-day event. See your wall hanging develop as you add ribbons, beads and scraps of textiles to your woven base. You will learn how to prepare a simple wooden frame adding the warp threads which will then be the base for your weft — the threads which are used to weave the background support for your piece of fibre art. According to your personal preference you will be able to attach various decorative details such as coloured ribbons and unusual yarns made available to you during the creative session.

For full details visit https://www.creativeretreatsinitaly.com/prospectus-fibre-art-wall-hanging/

Creare una decorazione per casa tua — un arazzo fatto con la tecnica di tessitura semplice, con l’aggiunto di perline, lana, tessuto e quant’altro. Tutti i dettagli e costi sono disponibili sul sito, Creative Retreats in Italy.

New colours

multi-fabric-necklace001-300x166We have recently added some new colours for the multi-strand recycled textile necklaces which have proved so popular this year. You can now find them in purple, white, coral, turquoise and mid-brown, in addition to the black, navy, light green and dark red previously listed. Contact us if you are interested and we will put your preferred colour up for you as a personalised listing to purchase on Etsy.
 

Day for toting

houses-tote02Well this is only half the story… the bottom half in fact! One of my recent shopping adventures produced this fun fabric in very dark grey with fun stylized houses printed all over it. I knew I wanted to use it for something a little unusual, but just needed to think about it for a short while before true inspiration hit me.

And what emerged? A big, fun and very roomy tote bag with exceptionally long handles to pass across your shoulders leaving all hands free to deal with stroppy kids and/or wayward shopping carts. I even added a rigid fabric covered base (recycled card) so that you can safely carry that ready cooked lasagne over to ma-in-law’s when you want to make a good impression! Then remove the base and voilà…a pure cotton, eco-friendly bag to roll up and tuck into your handbag for those surprise shopping sprees which seem to affect us women so often!

ps. Got to use one of my gorgeous little embroidered “handmade” labels for the first time. Unable to find anything locally, I’m afraid these were sourced in Germany from what is fast becoming one of my favourite ribbon suppliers.

New frilly scarf

argentina-frillsJust added a new frilly scarf to the collection. The yarn for this one is a little different, though still with that lovely lacy effect, this one also has minute pompoms along the edging in a coordinating colour. Nice combination here of a dark mauve with the pompoms in a light grey/mauve. Very tempted to keep this one for myself!

Getting knotted

Been getting myself tangled in Celtic knots to produce this attractive upcycled knotted brooch, created using industrially upcycled fashion fabric yarn. Set on a felt backing with metal closure, I added some hand beading with glass Rocaille beads. For the time being this is the only colour available – a lovely brick tan with black beading. I’m sure others will follow.

Felt & knitted shoulder bag

felt-knitted-maroon002Just finished the first of several of these bags which I plan to make. Pleased with the result, and as usual, I love the colours! I like to make things which I use/would use myself, so inevitably I end up using mainly my own favourite colours. Obviously if any of you have other colour preferences, just give a shout and I will keep my eyes open and imagination alert for other colourways for listings.

Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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