Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY: Easy egg cosies for Easter

Today we have the second of our crafty guest posts, and we are welcoming Sabrina from Wolves in London with a easy egg cosy sewing project, just in time for Easter! Sabrina is currently enjoying maternity leave and pottering round London with her baby, while dreaming of starting up her own fabric business. Follow her journey to this dream over on her blog. Over to you Sabrina!

 It may be Easter this weekend, but any warm Spring weather still seems to be a long way off. The perfect excuse, then, to knock up these egg cosies, to keep your boiled eggs toasty on Easter morning… The cosies can be made from really small amounts of fabric, so they’re perfect for using up little scraps you might have left over from larger projects – or just helping to de-stash if you’re having an enthusiastic Spring clean.

They’re very quick to make and perfect for beginners. As someone who is pretty rubbish on my sewing machine (for every minute I spend sewing, I’ll spend at least 15 minutes swearing at it, for mysterious puckers appearing, or the bobbin running out of thread just when I thought I’d just sewn a perfect curve)

What you’ll need:
*This pdf pattern
*Three different types of fabric, one for the outside, one for the inside and one for the lining. I used terry toweling for my lining, but anything heavyweight to help keep your eggs warm will work just fine. You just need enough to cut two pieces of the pattern from each fabric.
*A sewing machine, or the patience for hand sewing


Step one: Cut two pieces of the pattern shape from each of your three fabrics.

Step two: Take one of each three pieces and layer the lining piece of fabric (terry toweling in my case) on the bottom, then the outside fabric with the right side facing you, then the fabric for your inside with the wrong side facing you

Step three: Pin the straight edge at the bottom and sew the three fabrics together in a straight line.

Step four: Open up so the right sides of the inner and outer fabrics are facing you and iron with the seam unopened (so the only bit of fabric that’s folded is your inside fabric)

Step five: Repeat these steps with the other three pieces of fabric. You’ve now got two egg-shaped pieces.

Step six: Place these together, right sides facing. Make sure your seams line up at the middle points. Pin in place.

Step seven: Start at the bottom of the inner piece of fabric and – leaving a gap big enough to turn the piece inside out – sew round the outside. Tip: I used to find sewing curves quite difficult, until I started to sew them at about half – no a quarter – of the speed I naturally wanted to. If you’ve got speed settings on your sewing machine, put it onto the slowest setting. If not, make a real point of just dawdling round the edge. I also stop frequently, with the needle down through the fabric, to lift the foot up and turn the fabric round further.

Step eight: Push your cosy inside out through the hole, so the right sides are facing outwards. Sew up the gap. (Don’t worry too much about neatness here, since you’re not going to see this seam. That’s the best sort of seam, isn’t it?)

Step nine: Push the inner piece of fabric inside the cosy and, voila, you’re all done!

Thanks for this lovely post Sabrina! Happy Easter all! xxx

If you are a fellow blogger/crafter, and would like to submit a crafty guest post - get in touch! Requirements are great lifestyle and step by step photos, with clear instructions for the project. Come and share the crafty love!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Top 5 Easter DIY ideas

Easter seems to have came from nowhere this year! I guess as it still feels like Winter, and with it being early this year perhaps. If you've got any plans this weekend for Easter related events, then you might like some of these gorgeous DIY ideas. From gifts to tables settings...
Torie Jayne

Oh Happy Day
Fellow Fellow
Boxwood Clippings
Eat Drink Chic

Happy Easter all!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brand new magazine launching!

This week sees a brand new magazine hit the newsstands! Crafty Magazine is the latest offering from Practical Publishing, and is packed full of upcycling and thrifty ideas as well as features on protecting your design copyright and peeks inside the world of creative people.

The magazine's first cover is an eye catching one! And from what I've seen so far it has a clean contemporary feel in terms of design, but also in terms of content. I'm excited to see the first issue when it launches this Thursday, but in the meantime here is a little taster of what you'll find inside, and click through to their sampler for more.

Check out their website for more, and find them on Twitter and Facebook too of course!

What do you think? Will you be buying a copy for a little bit of Easter reading this weekend? 


Monday, March 25, 2013

DIY: fabric bunting gift bag

I had a friend's birthday this weekend, and I wanted to jazz up the gift bag for her presents. I only had some plain brown paper bags available, so I decided to add some fabric bunting to the bag, using some scrap fabric and floral fabric tape. SO simple, cheap and easy to do, so I thought I'd share it here!

What you need: a plain paper bag, fabric scraps, fabric tape or washi tape, scissors
(This floral tape I picked up in a shop in Switzerland, but you can buy it on Etsy, and apparently Tiger are stocking some now too.)

Simply cut square flags from your fabric, or you could do triangle flags if you prefer. 

Position your flags across the bottom of the bag, and then measure your tape strip to the width of the bag, ans stick down! simples! 

Its a really adaptable idea, that could be used for Easter gift bags too, or you could put it around jam jars to spruce them up. Its a great way to use up those little bits of fabric you've got knocking around too!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Pretty Pastel day out!

So many braved the cold weather to catch a little piece of Spring at Selina Lake's book launch and fair in Kingston yesterday. And it was well worth it indeed! So many pretty things filled the space at Market House, and when you needed a little sit down there was tea and cake, served in vintage china on pretty floral tablecloths. Yvonne of Yvestown sat in one corner of the tearoom teaching a constant stream of visitors how to crochet, while they sipped lemonade from stripey straws and chatted blogs, crafts and cake! What a way to spend a Friday morning!

Here are a few snaps from the day. But do look out for an interview with Selina in the next issue of 91 Magazine, coming to your screens in April! Register your email by emailing SUBSCRIBE to, and it will be delivered direct to your inbox as soon as it goes live.

Gorgeous flowers and floral hair clips from Love Lane Vintage
stationery and decorations from Peach Blossom
Lovely pin cushions by Sesame and Lilly

Bright retro prints at The U in Cute stall

Beautiful David Austin roses in the tearoom

The chance to win a vintage style bike! Fingers crossed! :)

Pastel cards from Abigail Warner

Alphabet bunting by Abigail Warner

Cuteness from Mabel and Bird

Wooden birds by Anna Wiscombe

Floral loveliness on Vicky Trainor's stall
Thanks for a wonderful day Selina and all those who helped make it such a fab event! xxx

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bright Kitchen tables

I have a real urge to paint everything in sight at the minute, I think its just that thing of wanting a bit of a change or an update in your surroundings.... I'm liking this idea of a brightly painted kitchen table, that would create a bit of statement. This purple one is particularly great as it picks up on some of the shades in the map in the background. Its from the home of Jenny Brandt of Dos Family - it was painted by her father in car paint! fab.

via Design Sponge

via Flickr
via Design is Mine and Elle

via Red Online and The Beautiful Soup
via Blue Tea

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Work from home breakfasts

As you may have heard via my Twitter / Facebook pages, I have recently made the decision to go full time with Patchwork Harmony & 91 Magazine. After over 4 years of running my business in my spare time, I've finally taken the plunge! I will do a post about my journey to this soon. Its a very exciting but nerve-wracking time, but I am looking forward to working from home and with lots of lovely creative folk in the near future!

As my wedding is fast approaching, (just over 3 months to go!) I am also trying my best to eat healthier and be as trim as poss for the big day. So when Alpro contacted me last week to ask if I wanted to be involved in their deskfest campaign, I thought it was perfect timing. Their campaign aims to encourages people to put a creative, healthy spin on their morning routine. Exactly what I need at the minute, healthy breakfasts that aren't boring and that I can eat at my desk.

So here are my 3 breakfasts that I created using Alpro products... The first one is literally just Vanilla pouring yoghurt with strawberries (in a heart shape!) Yum!

Number 2 was a fruit smoothie made with strawberries, grapes, a little Hazelnut milk, and a dash of plain pouring yoghurt. Delicious.

And finally, and slightly more elaborate, but still really simple, was pancakes with yoghurt, nuts and a cheeky dollop of nutella! A simple scotch pancake recipe, but using Hazelnut milk instead or ordinary milk. And on the side some vanilla pouring yoghurt with chopped peanuts.

If you already use Alpro products or want to try out these ideas, you can join in the campaign by uploading your pics to instagram/twitter/facebook using the #deskfest hashtag! Oh and you can win a weekend for 2 to New York! More info here: Alpro UK

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pretty Pastel Style event

We've had some really rubbish weather the last while in the UK, fingers crossed for some warmth and sunshine soon! But Spring is definitely on its way to Kingston Upon Thames this Friday! (22nd March) The lovely Selina Lake is launching her latest book, Pretty Pastel Style at Market House in Kingston. (just a hop, skip and a jump from my house! yay!)

 If you made it to Selina's last book launch, Homespun Style, in Brick Lane, you will know how fabulous it was - filled with stallholders with only the prettiest of wares, plus pretty vintage and floral decor and of course tea and cakes! This event is set to be just as good, if not better! This week I received a copy of the book, and it is truly beautiful. The perfect book for this time of year when you feel the need for colour as well as light and airy interiors. It firmly brings pastel colours up to date, and gives the look a modern edge.

The event on Friday is showcasing some of my favourite designers/sellers, as well as a few I haven't come across before, and Yvonne from Yvestown will be giving free crochet workshops, which is something I really want to have a go at. The theme of the day is of course those beautiful sugary shades, and I've got a feeling my wallet is about to take a pounding!

Sellers include Peach Blossom, Vicky Trainor,  Mia Fleur, Sesame and Lilly and Abigail Warner to name just a few. 

Let me know if you are planning to pop along as would be lovely to meet some of my readers!

via Selina's blog
See Selina Lake's blog for more info. She has a great guide to Kingston Upon Thames, with the best shops and places to eat, so you can make a day of it!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Follow on me on Bloglovin

As I'm sure you've heard by now Google are withdrawing Google Reader - apparantely due to a decline in interest for the application. If you were a Google Reader user, no fear, just pop over to the lovely Bloglovin site where you can add your fave blogs and organise them into categories. Click on the link below to add Patchwork Harmony to your list, or alternatively, subscribe on the right hand side here to get email updates when new posts are live.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

DIY: Geometric painted teapot

I don't often 'do' guest blog posts on here, in fact I'm not sure if I ever have! But as I am keen to share more DIY projects with you I thought it might be nice to get some fellow crafty folk to pop by and let us know what they've been making recently. If you are interested in submitting a DIY project or would like to discuss, just drop me a line! I don't accept guest posts from companies requesting links put throughout the post, so please only fellow bloggers / crafters who want to share their passion for crafty things!

My first guest is in fact a lovely friend of mine, who I met about 15 years ago at Art College in Belfast. Colleen is a children's book illustrator and has published two books, Under the Silvery Moon and Little Friend. She loves a good old rummage at a flea market, and her and her hubby are regulars at the local auction houses, picking up some fabulous bargains for their lovely home which I am hugely jealous of! :)

I'll hand over to Colleen for her how-to on this lovely hand painted geometric teapot...

I’m a passionate crafter who only ever feels content when I have at least one crafty project on the go.  Recently I was inspired by an old plain white teapot that was given to me by a lovely friend who also understands my weakness for tea! And this white pot was just crying out for a little something extra, so I thought why not paint it.

I knew I wanted to use a simple repeat pattern that could be printed onto the surface quite easily so I decided to go for a geometric design using triangles, which by happy coincidence would also limit the risk of me making too many mistakes!

To get started I needed some porcelain paint and sponges.  I opted for Marabu porcelain paint, which costs approx £1.69 per 15ml pot and comes in a wide range of colours. For the sponges I simply popped to my nearest chemist and bought some triangular make-up sponges for 99p.

 After having a play around with designs and colours on paper first I took the plunge and started printing my paint onto the teapot. The Marabu paint dries very quickly so if a mistake is made you need to remove the paint straight away so you can start again.  The lovely thing about working with paint and sponge is that the paint never really goes on completely opaque with the effect more faded in parts.  For me this only added to the finished look.

After leaving to dry for four hours I had a hand-painted teapot that cost next to nothing to decorate and has a modern retro appeal. There is something so satisfying about transforming something plain into a unique and stylish accessory for your home.  This teapot has retired from tea brewing for now and instead proudly displays beautiful fresh flowers around my home.

Such an effective project that was so easy to make and has sparked off lots of ideas for gifts for family and friends. You could make your own candle holders, painted tea-cups or plates using glass or porcelain paint and of course the design possibilities are endless.  Check your cupboards - you may already have something in need of a little makeover!

Thanks Colleen! 
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