Hoop-La! Feature | 20 Facts About Me


I am in the latest issue of Hoop-La magazine with my 'Love Without Reason' embroidery! Hoop-La is a new UK magazine with a focus on contemporary embroidery, and a sister publication to Mollie Makes. If you haven't come across it yet, keep an eye out for it. It's packed to the brim with stitchy goodness!


My inspiration behind this embroidery was 'Mother's Love' so the timing of this feature is perfect with Mother's Day approaching here in Australia. The design itself is very simple, so even beginner stitchers should have little trouble with it.


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Recently I got tagged on Instagram to share 20 facts about myself . Since I don't talk about myself much on the blog, I thought it may be fun to share them here too! So without further ado, here are some random facts you may not  know about me. The version I had on Instagram was the abridged version, I have added some more detail here.

1. I'm 42 and married with two kids, aged two (Alice) and four (Alexander).

2. My name (Sedef) is Turkish and means 'mother of pearl'. I love my name! Though I don't love having to spell it all the time.

3. Alice's middle name is Pearl, there was really never any other choice when it came to picking out a middle name for her (see point 2)

4. I was born in Turkey so Turkish is my first language. Though I rarely use it these days.

5. I moved to England for university and lived in London for almost 20 years before moving to Australia in 2009.

6. My husband is English, we have been together 11 years, married for 6.

7.  We decided to move to Australia after we fell in love with this country during our trip from London to Sydney, on bicycles. We cycled almost 25,000 km, raised over £10,000 for charity, and spent a year on the road during 2004/5. More info and pics can be found on our blog, Nuts on Bents.

8. I am not and have never been a cyclist, except that year of my life.

9. I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and in my previous life in London I was a Director at a big investment bank in the City (JP Morgan Chase), and a management consultant at Deloitte prior to that. I was a stereotypical City / finance career girl, living in high heels and sharp suits, permanently attached to my Blackberry and working 80 hour weeks. I am still working similar hours, but in my jim-jams from the comfort of my own home.

10. I am a self-taught sewing rookie. Bought my first sewing machine 3 years ago and learned to crochet 2 years ago. I love learning new techniques and trying out different stuff!

11. I can't eat raw butter, it makes me gag.

12. I am a closet computer game geek. I especially love point-and-click style adventure games, but enjoy shoot-em-ups too, which I am told I am pretty good at!

13. I hate insects, especially spiders, but don't mind snakes.

14. I am a bit of an OCD neat and clean freak, I can't stand mess around the house. So imagine how much fun I have every day, constantly tidying after two messy pre-schoolers.

15. My husband and I collect Lego. We have a large Lego city including all different types of buildings, and intend to start exhibiting next year.

16. I am not a morning person, so often stay up till early hours designing and sewing. Feel like a zombie the next morning. Repeat.

17. I leave everything till the last minute, I am a big believer in 'work expands to take up the time available'.

18. I watch TV in the background as I sew and go through full seasons of TV series in a few days. We just got Netflix and am currently on a Gilmore Girls marathon.

19. I am a Star Trek fan, especially Voyager. Even if my husband says it's the series where they let the woman drive the spaceship and they end up lost in the delta quadrant! Captain Janeway is my ultimate role model.

20. My biggest dream right  now is to get a craft book published, followed closely by designing my own fabric line.

And there you have my facts! Hope they weren't too boring!

Tutorial: Crochet Apple


Here's the pattern for the cute apples I made to accompany my Pirum Parum pears (pattern by Tournicote). I am very happy with my apples' size and shape - I wanted them to look like a real apple with a tapered bottom and a dimple at the top, and just the perfect size to match the pears too. Using 8 ply (DK weight) yarn and a 4mm hook this apple is approximately 13cm tall from the bottom to the tip of the leaf. Roughly the same size as a real life large apple!


BODY
Rnd 1: Make 11sc into magic ring - 11 st
Rnd 2: inc 11 times –22 st
Rnd 3: *inc in next st, sc in next st; repeat from * around - 33 st
Rnds 4–8: Sc in each st around - 33 st
Rnd 9: *inc in next st, sc in next 10 sts; repeat from * around - 36 st
Rnd 10: *inc in next st, sc in next 11 sts; repeat from * around - 39 st
Rnd 11: *inc in next st, sc in next 12 sts; repeat from * around - 42 st
Rnd 12: *inc in next st, sc in next 13 sts; repeat from * around - 45 st
Rnd 13:  *inc in next st, sc in next 14 sts; repeat from * around - 48 st
Rnd 14:  *inc in next st, sc in next 15 sts; repeat from * around - 51 st
Rnds 15-19: Sc in each st around. Insert safety eyes (I used 7.5mm) between rounds 15 and 16 with 8 stitches between them. - 51 st
Rnd 20: *dec, sc in next 15 sts; repeat from * around - 48 st
Rnd 21: *dec, sc in next 14sts; repeat from * around - 45 st
Rnd 22: *dec, sc in next 13sts; repeat from * around - 42 st
Rnd 23: *dec, sc in next 12sts; repeat from * around. Start stuffing with hobby fill or similar. Continue stuffing as you go. - 39 st
Rnd 24: *dec, sc in next st; repeat from * around–26 st
Rnd 25: dec 13 times–13 st. Finish stuffing.

Decrease 8 more times or until opening is small enough to close. Leave a 30cm yarn tail and cut the yarn. Thread the yarn onto a long tapestry or doll making needle, and push it through the top of the apple, all the way down through its middle, emerging at the centre of the magic ring at the bottom. Pull the yarn all the way through, reverse and push the needle back up all the way to the top. Tighten the yarn enough to form a nice dimple form at the top of the apple (this is where you will attach the stem and leaf). Take care you don't tighten too much or you may distort the bottom of your apple. Weave in and fasten off.

STEM
Chain 10. Starting in the second chain from the hook, sc in each chain (9sc). Fasten off, leaving a 10cm yarn tail. Sew the stem onto the top of the apple.

LEAF
Rd 1 - Chain 11.
Rd 2 - Starting in the second chain from the hook, dc, dc, tr, tr, tr, tr, tr, tr, dc, 3dc in same ch, turn around the corner without turning the piece over, dc, tr, tr, tr, tr, tr, tr, dc, sc, stop work with 1 sl and fasten off, leaving a 10cm yarn tail. Sew the leaf onto the apple next to the stem.

Embroider a mouth using black yarn or thread. Apply blush if desired. You can use a beeswax crayon (apply with a scrap of cloth rather than directly, building up the colour slowly) or non-toxic make up blush using a cotton bud. 

*** Please note: I am making this pattern available free for a limited period, until I can format it as a PDF. After that it will be available to purchase for a nominal amount in my Etsy shop. Strictly no use of this free pattern for commercial purposes without my permission. If you would like to sell your finished apples please contact me to purchase the pattern.

 

Bandit the Raccoon | Homespun Letters & Numbers



I am slowly working my way through Little Muggles' entire crochet animal pattern collection - Amy has so many cute ones still on my to-do list. This dashing little guy has been rather aptly named 'Bandit'. What a perfect name for a raccoon!



Bandit is roughly the same size as Chester the Fox (also by Little Muggles), which I blogged about previously. They make a very cute pair of forest friends.


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I am in Homespun magazine again! The April issue is now in the shops, featuring a set of monochrome letters & numbers made by me.


There is a full set of letters and numbers, which are padded and have little neodymium magnets sewn inside (which are stronger than normal magnets), so they can be used on a fridge or other metal surface. There is a little 'Getting to Know' section as well which is my favourite bit in these magazine features. I was at the supermarket this morning and saw the magazine - had to really resist the urge to find my picture in it and wave it around to everyone shouting 'Look! It's me! I made this!'. Yup, lame is my middle name.


Until next time,

Easter Mini & Egg-hunt


I have been procrastinating over this Easter mini-quilt / wall-hanging for so long that at one point it looked like it wasn't going to happen. I changed my mind about the layout / configuration / colours / fabric choices so many times. Finally stopped over-thinking it, and just winged it. It's not perfect, and not quite the ultimate Easter decoration, but it's going to make a sweet addition to the mini-quilt wall in my sewing room.


I appliqued the motifs onto the mini using fusible-web, then hand-quilted around the perimeter in matching thread.


I made some crochet eggs as well, and used these cookie cutters for the motifs. I have turned the motif patterns into a PDF which you can download here.



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The kids were very excited about Easter this year! Alice was sporting some suitably Easter-y bunny socks today. 


Our hunter-gatherers were set loose in the garden to find the hidden chocolate eggs and bunnies, and then enjoyed the spoils of their hunt.


I wish you all a very happy Easter with your nearest and dearest! Lots of love from my family to yours.

On My Bookshelf: My Crochet Doll

"My Crochet Doll" by Isabelle Kessedjian has to be one of the cutest doll making books out there. It includes the patterns for a crochet doll and an entire wardrobe for her, as well as lots of accessories.


There are outfits and accessories for the beach, for the country, for school, for sleeping, for cold and wet weather, and for baking yummy cakes. Even underwear! And a suitcase for her to pack all her clothes into when she goes on all these trips.


My friend Maria asked me to make one of these dolls for her impending arrival - she is expecting a baby girl any day now! We selected a red, blue, and yellow outfit, to suit a nautical themed nursery.


Alice saw the doll whilst I was still working on it, and declared it 'her baby'. So I now have to make her one as well, with lots of outfits so she can play dress-up.

This is a really lovely book and I am so glad to have it in my crochet library, but just a little warning for anyone contemplating on ordering it. Most of the book is taken up with all those sweet pictures and the actual pattern pages themselves have very limited explanations and no pictures to help out with the tricky bits. It is also written in UK crochet terms which didn't bother me but can confuse some people if you aren't used to them. Because of the limited explanations I wouldn't recommend this to beginners as it requires some amigurumi experience to figure out the patterns and put them together correctly. Seasoned ami-makers should be OK though!

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I am going through one of those patches where I have lots of little projects on the go, all at once. Bit of a juggle-town.  I am still working on my alphabet quilt-along, and an on-point mini using cottage florals by Sevenberry and Lecien. I have also started two new projects featuring pastel hues - the first is a cake for a friend, it's a mini-quilt using block 1 of the Snapshots quilt-along hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop.


My second 'pastel' project is an Easter themed one featuring these dreamy pastel Cotton Couture solids by Michael Miller. I am still working on the design for this one - being a little indecisive but it's definitely going to have a mix of patchwork, applique, pastel ric-rac, and hand-quilting. Visit again in a few days if you wish to see the final result!


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