Sweet strawberries

We have been in a strawberry mood in our house lately. My kids can't get enough of them and I have been drawn to them in a big way for inspiration. Everywhere I look there are strawberries - Pinterest, fabric prints, my favourite blogs, even specials on strawberry jam at my supermarket! Something had to be done.

Remember the hexagons from last time? This is what they have turned into. The backing for a felt needlebook. With a super-fussy-cut strawberry applique front.

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I used this tutorial by Amy from Nana Company (did I mention how much I adore that blog?). 

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The page labels have been printed on inkjet-printable fabric - crewel needles, sewing sharps,  tapestry needles, beading needles and so on. The lining fabric is a gorgeous strawberry print that I have been meaning to use for a long time. The felt pages have been trimmed with my scallop pinking shears for a cute finish. I am using the needlebook every day now, I don't know how I survived without it! However I wish I had followed Amy's advice in a later blog post and left the button closure out - it is not really necessary (but a cute touch nevertheless).

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My strawberry madness did not end there. We had a crazy heatwave here in South Australia last week - several days above 45C, and on one of those days Adelaide was officially 'the hottest city in the world'.  That day my west facing sewing room was simply too hot to work in despite the air conditioning, so I decided to spend the day making strawberry pincushions in our cooler lounge room. There is a tiny bit of machine sewing involved but most of the work is by hand - perfect for the couch.

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These aren't my first strawberry pincushions. Although I loved my first 'strawberry patch' I wasn't entirely satisfied with the shape of the strawberries. So I set about tweaking my pattern and method until I got my strawberries just how I wanted them - not too thin, not too fat, not too pointy, not too squat. I think they are delightful, and a great way to keep a momento of my favourite fabrics.

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If you would like me to blog my pattern and a tutorial please leave me a comment. Be warned they are addictive - you won't be able to stop at just making one. I set out to make three this time, and ended up with six! You try picking only three of your favourite fabrics - it's virtually impossible if you are a fabric addict like me.

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But I have to say, the sweetest of all the sweet little strawberries in my house has to be this one, without a shadow of a doubt.

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'Too cute' Mary Janes

My last project for 2013 was a pair of cute crochet shoes for Alice. Not just one pair but two pairs in fact - in aqua and red.

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Shoes had been on my VERY long list of projects ever since I learned to crochet last year. I desperately tried to get them finished for her for Christmas morning, but ran out of time. So she got them on Boxing Day instead.

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The pattern is 'Too Cute' Mary Janes by Two Sister Patterns (Etsy and Ravelry). They are super quick to make. The red pair was made using a size 4 hook and the aqua pair with a 4.5 hook - you can really see the difference in size with the larger hook. The red pair fits her well now, but considering how much she is eating these days, she will be wearing the aqua pair in no time!

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And here is my next project... When I looked at my collage of 2013 makes I realised there was nowhere near enough paper piecing as there should have been. This had to be rectified immediately. So I grabbed my teeny tiny fabric scraps and some 3/4" hexies and settled on the couch with a good movie. Perfect backing for a needlebook perhaps?

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