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Happy weekend everybody! I wanted to share something with you today in the hope that it might appeal to you crafty makers out there too.

blanket

I came to hear about Project Linus (Project Linus USAProject Linus UK) through my dear friend who works as a doctor of critically and terminally ill children.

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You remember Linus from the cartoon Snoopy? He’s the inspiration for the name as he was almost always seen with his blue security blanket.

Their vision is to:

 “Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and Afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”

In short to provide a blanket anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.

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Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies etc – read Duncan’s story here but have a tissue ready.

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I have a stupid amount of fabric and yarn stashed away that I will never use up even if I crafted everyday for the rest of my life! And I already have enough blankets and quilts but still love to make them regardless of that. So this was the perfect project for me as I still got to indulge my love of crocheting and quilting, benefitted by slimming my stashes down and got to make something that’s much-needed by someone else.

I used Ikea fleece blankets to make my fabric quilts – it’s a simpler and cheaper way to back them and they are so snuggly.

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And there is nothing I like better than seeing an unappealing tangle of yarn like this…

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magically transformed into a beautiful and useful blanket (and it justified all my tv and film watching!)

blanket 3

In the UK Project Linus gave away 26,980 items in 2014, their best year yet – I’d love our crafting community to spread the word and maybe make a blanket and help 2015 be even better. And if making something seems too large an endeavour, they also need donations of fabric, money and time.

blanket 2

If you have been inspired to become a ‘blanketeer’ and you live in the UK you can find out where to donate your handmade blanket here or for the USA here.

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Back in August I asked Lucy if she’d like a quilt. She said she would (thinking it might be for when she left home in a couple of years) but I had Christmas in mind. I like a challenge – never mind that I had already begun two other single quilts, was knitting a pair of socks, wrist warmers, scarf and other stuff. And that’s just in the evenings! If I get the bit between my teeth then nothing can dissuade me that it’s too difficult.

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 I could also sniff the opportunity to have company at the Quilt show this year – a rarer opportunity as the teen years tick by. I asked Lu to pick a pattern that she liked and bless her she picked this one from the Quiltmaker’s Colour Workshop book which isn’t really a pattern, it’s a colour guide.

quilt book

Not to worry, after some internet searching I found that the quilt design was Flying Geese and a tutorial on how to make it. Then we set off to the Quilt show with a loooong list of fabric that needed purchasing (we did agree that every third triangle would be patterned). This bit makes me laugh because I had originally intended for all these Christmas quilts to go some way towards the real use of all the fabrics I have bought over the years.

lu's quilt

In reality I either didn’t have enough yardage or it didn’t go or I just got plain carried away – especially easy when my baby girl bats her eyelashes! It was a dead easy pattern to sew up although you’ll see I struggled to make the geese fly over in a synchronised line! Quack.

lu's quilt

I didn’t think I was going to like the colour choices but once the mustard sashing went on I was won over.  She says she’s never slept better than with this on top of her bedding.

lu's quilt

The backing was my only nod to thrifting – I just striped up the left over pieces which were wide enough and added another of Ab’s clever computer sewn labels.

lu's quilt

There is something very nurturing about making quilts and knowing the comfort and warmth that they bring. It was never a chore to make any of the three Christmas quilts because of that reason alone.

Nell Whatmore   Free Spirit fabric

Nell Whatmore Free Spirit fabric

I am just back from a day at the annual Festival of Quilts at the NEC near me in Birmingham, UK.

I wanted all of these!

I wanted all of these!

I took loads of photos and was wondering how I’d edit it down however it turns out all I had to choose from were the ones that aren’t blurred!

embroidered book cover

embroidered book cover

I love this show because it has such a wide range of talent, concept, taste, technical and wit all played out using cloth in a quilted manner.

Karin Briden      A pair of pants

Karin Briden A pair of pants

This amazing quilt was called Every Text He Ever Sent Me by Lara Hailey and looks to me to have been stitched by hand – awesome!

Lara Hailey Every Text He Ever Sent Me

Lara Hailey Every Text He Ever Sent Me

This one produced a wry laugh – it’s called Blog and records a daily activity in stitch not mega pixels.

Irene MacWilliam  A Blog

Irene MacWilliam A Blog

Irene MacWilliam  A Blog

Irene MacWilliam A Blog

But talking of pixels this one was amazing because close up it looked like random colours but from afar became a Peony.

Danielle Coolbear Jenkins  Peonie

Danielle Coolbear Jenkins Peonie

A lot caught my eye for colour or motif reasons like these birds flying.

Janie Harvey- Douglas A Slight Murmur of Starlings

Janie Harvey- Douglas
A Slight Murmur of Starlings

And it’s not all 2D work either there are books, clothes, 3D sculptures and even some items using all three at once!

Sally Snushall The Mouse and The Cuckoo Clock

Sally Snushall The Mouse and The Cuckoo Clock

There are of course always the old favourites like Kaffe Fassett…

Kaffe Fassett  Rail Fence Quilt

Kaffe Fassett
Rail Fence Quilt

and here’s some gorgeous Sophie Digard scarves for a bit of eye candy…

Sophie Digard

Sophie Digard

Sophie Digard

Sophie Digard

Sophie Digard

Sophie Digard

And I even had company this year – my daughter has picked out a Flying Goose pattern as her choice of quilt for me to make her and today we were hunting down plains and patterns to make it with.

Marianne Mohandes  Full Circle

Marianne Mohandes
Full Circle

She wondered if it might be ready if she leaves for uni in 3 years or so, I was aiming for Christmas, so we’ve quite a wide deadline there thankfully 😉

Marianne Mohandes  Full Circle

Marianne Mohandes
Full Circle

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Outside maybe cold, white and covered in snow…

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… but inside it has been bright and hot.

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I examined my crafting at the end of this weekend and saw my subconscious at work. Hot colours to remind me of places far away.

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Lots of bright colours employed in using up ends of yarn, appropriately made into a hot water bottle cover.

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And for a snow-excited Spaniel, stripes of Kaffe Fassett scraps quilted up into a dog-bed pad.

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I love how crochet can be like colouring-in with yarn. No real plan, just whatever colour I fancy next.

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All warm and dry but longing for summer already.

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This little project has reignited 🔥 my love for the humble coloured pencil ✏️ 🌈 #100daysproject #sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #artistsoninstagram #inspiredbythegarden #artist #mygardenflowers #plantart #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #pencilsketch #pencilart #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #pencildrawing #pencil #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021
I’m loosing count here on which day is what for this #100dayproject ! 📆 Suffice to say, I love painting #loveinthemist as much as the bees love visiting it 💙🖌#100daysproject #100dayspaintinginmygarden #sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #dailypracticeofpainting #artistsoninstagram #gouache #inspiredbythegarden #artist #mygardenflowers #painting #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #gouachepainting #watercolour #watercolor #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #watercolourpainting #paint #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021
A Poppy & a puppy 🐶 my painting buddy ❤️ #100dayproject#sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #dailypracticeofpainting #artistsoninstagram #gouache #inspiredbythegarden #artist #painting #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #gouachepainting #watercolour #watercolor #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #watercolourpainting #paint #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021
This is my favourite garden flower to paint - I paint it every year and never tire of it 💖 #27 #sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #dailypracticeofpainting #artistsoninstagram #gouache #inspiredbythegarden #artist #mygardenflowers #painting #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #gouachepainting #watercolour #watercolor #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #watercolourpainting #paint #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021#achilleaptarmica.

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