confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Knitting

Mother’s Day and a Beautiful Blogger Award

This is a dual purpose post: Mother’s Day stuff at the beginning and a little award I got this week at the end.
Mother’s Day

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my Mum thanking me for her Mother’s Day present that I posted to her earlier in the week (for the benefit of my non-uk readers, today is Mother’s Day in the UK, I know some of you have Mother’s Day at a different time of year).

You may have guessed that I’m a sewing kinda gal, but Mum is more of a Mad Knitter, so I made her a knitting needle version of the crochet hook roll that I blogged about a little while ago, as well as a sewing needle book to keep all of her sewing and knitting needles in one place (ok, two places).

What you can’t see in this photo is a little pocket that I put in for circular needles and other stuff that won’t fit in knitting needle slots.

The exterior fabric for both is  a Designers’ Guild light-upholstery fabric called Peaweed that I already know that my Mum likes, because I made an apron out of it for her birthday present just before New Year.

The felt pages in the sewing needle book are a wool-blend, because wool is good for your sewing needles, and the buttons came from my stash and are just cute.

I made several sewing needle books at the same time as Mum’s.  I’ve been intending for ages to make some needlebooks to sell on Etsy, and as I was in a sewing mood…

If you follow my Facebook page, you’ll have seen them already:

One has been snapped up already, before I’ve even managed to list them in my Etsy shop and the other two will be listed there as soon as soon as I can.

Mum was very happy about her new needle organisers told me that she has no excuse now for not getting her needles organised.

Now for something completely different.

I had a comment left on my blog earlier this week:

Hi – I’ve just nominated you for ‘Beautiful Blogger Award’ – it’s posted on my blog. thank you for your lovely blog and your support and feedback. x

When I clicked through to Nice Things in my Life’s blog I found this nomination:

“HandmadebyClaireBear for her beautiful quilts and inspiration”

I was stunned (I still am).

Me? Inspiring? Who knew I could do that? (While we’re on the subject, I don’t know how I got 217 people to like my facebook page either.)

I want to say a big thank you to nicethingsinmylife for nominating me for this award. I didn’t expect my  blog to be popular: after a year of blogging I still feel like a newbie.


1. Thank the person who nominated you – see above!

2. Paste the award on your blog – see above!

3. Link the person who nominated you for the award nicethingsinmylife

4. Nominate 7 blogs or less! – see below

5. Post links to the blogs you nominate! – also below

I am nominating:

  1. Raspberry
  2. Grosgrain
  3. Em Ay Kay Ee(make)
  4. The Purl Bee
  5. The Long Thread
  6. Very Berry Handmade and
  7. Stumbles and Stitches

I’m nominating all of these blogs for their beautiful photos, inspirational writing,  helpful and friendly how-to’s, and practical tutorials.  I am guided by their professionalism and high blogging standards.

Still Stunned Claire Bear

WIPs on Wednesday

Back to normal after the excitement of a new baby, and the chaos that was me preparing to have my two children back from University for the holidays.

It’s Wednesday, so here are my WIPs! The quilt for my new niece is slightly further along than this:

but this is the most recent photo. It’s not perfect (some of the corners don’t meet) but it’s better than I’ve ever done before, so I’m happy. I still need to quilt and bind it, but I’m going to leave it like this for a week or two and focus on getting some smaller WIPs out of the way.

colour hexalong almost finished

This hexagon mini quilt is another thing that has been put on the back burner, mostly while I made up my mind what to do with it. I made it as part of a quiltalong (more here and here). It is now (probably) definitely going to be a wall hanging, I’ll let you know how I turned it from a pile of fabric into an object of quilting when it’s done.

This is now finished!

Here is my glamorous assistant (Betty) modelling it so you can see what it looks like now.


I don’t have a “before” photo, but if you imagine this poncho with a polo neck but without the deeper colour, that’s pretty much what it looked like.

Lovely, but it was slightly itchy around the neck. I’ve also grown a bit (a-hem, widthways) since my sister bought it for me .

 As well as changing the collar, I added a little bit to the length (it’s a long story, you can read it here). I’m impressed with myself that I was able to crochet and knit enough to upcycle this poncho, but it was hard work remembering how to do it, as I haven’t knitted or crocheted since when I was a teenager. You Tube has some wonderful videos that helped to remind me how to cast on and stuff. I’m so happy that I can start wearing it again.

I’m also finishing off making some presents for my family, I’ll let you see the results and where I found the tutorials next week (I will have seen my brother and sister and their families by then, I live about a hundred miles away from most of them, so I don’t see them on Xmas day, but go to my parent’s for a few days leading up to my Mum’s birthday just before New Year, and I see them all then).

Happy New Year

Claire Bear

More WIPs here

WIPs on Wednesday

I thought you might like to know how I’ve been getting on with my bid to clear a lot of my WIPs. I got kinda tired of seeing the same things hanging around and I noticed that a few projects that I’ve blogged about were finished very quickly after blogging about them, so I now feature “WIPs on Wednesday” as a way of keeping up, keeping track, and getting them completed.

This means that I can choose a few of the worst offenders, blog them and I’ll probably have them completed by the following week.

It worked for this:


and this:

So I’m hoping that this week and next I’ll be able to complete this (that I bought from Nadja Petremand on Spoonflower ages ago):

and turn it into these:

for my nephew whose baby sister is due any day now.

I want to turn this pile of fabric:

into a much larger version of the green cloak (above), but with a round “Scottish Widow” type hood instead of a pointed pixie hood.

I also want to finish this:

which is a personal upcycling project that I’ve had on the go for over a year (hangs head in shame).

This poncho was bought for me by my sister on a shopping trip meant for her. I was invited along on this shopping trip as she needed some more clothes for work and wanted a second opinion. While she was in the changing room, I kept being drawn to this poncho hanging on the rail nearby (I’m sure it was a selling tactic to hang beautiful one-size-fits-all things close to the changing rooms and sell them to patient friends). I couldn’t stay away from it, it was completely beyond my budget, but I had to keep going back to it, just to stroke it. It was gorgeous.

My sister spotted this obsession and urged me to try it on. It was still gorgeous, and it fit me!

She offered to buy it, and I took some convincing (I’m kinda independently minded when it comes to most things) but I agreed, and I took the object of beauty home with me. It’s definitely a spring/autumn thing, when I need an extra layer but a coat is too warm. I wore it as often as I could to start with, but it’s a bit itchy around the neck and as much as I love it, the itchiness won, so it’s been hanging in my room for a long time.

Last year when ponchos were “in” I decided to try it on (I’ve, ahem, grown a bit since I first had it, mostly sideways) and it was a bit short on me, so I decided to crochet a row or three onto the bottom so it would be longer, split the polo neck down the seam and add a knitted collar.

The hunt for the right yarn took a long time, the crocheting was over in a matter of a few weeks, but the knitted rectangle for the collar took months and months (I’m not a very good knitter and I lose patience with knitting in a way that doesn’t happen with sewing). It’s now been washed,blocked and pressed, and is ready to sew to the poncho to complete the upcycle and make it a favourite again. Yay! (photos of the entire thing when I’ve completed the upcycle, promise).

Other WIPs on Wednesday

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