Craft The Parcel and Crochet Projects

Recently, I was asked to take part in a Craft The Parcel project. I learnt it involved crafting and sending mail for a charity project, so I jumped straight in.

18 bloggers were asked to craft a 12 x 12 inch square in any materials, to form part of a quilt which would be donated to charity when complete. I’ve never taken part in a community quilt project, so I knew this one would be fun as it had a bit of a twist and involved the blogging community! I got my yarn ready…

#CraftTheParcel-Yarn-Supplies

We were asked to use a new mailing service called InPost to collect and send our squares. I have to say I was impressed. I received a text when my package was ready to collect and promptly cycled to the collection point to punch in a code.

A locker pinged open in a matter of seconds to reveal my package – SUPER easy. Inside was the previous crafter’s square was there and ready for mine to be added. Once my square was complete and attached to the previous one, a courier collected the quilt delivering it to an InPost locker for the next crafter. Here’s my square in progress.

Crochet-Bobble-Pattern

It would be great service for people not able to visit the post office with the dreaded red cards of doom, as the lockers are accessible 24/7. The nearest locker was 3.5 miles from my house so I got plenty of exercise on my bike after the round trip! Here is my completed crochet square for the quilt. (Photo taken before blocking). You can take a look at the #CraftTheParcel hashtag on Twitter to see all the lovely creations too.

Crochet-Square-Craft-The-Parcel

I can’t wait to see how the entire quilt looks once it has finished it’s journey around the country. It was a really fun project to be involved in!

I thought I would also take this chance to share some of the crochet blanket projects I’ve been working on lately. These ripple blankets were made for my friend’s twins (pattern from Attic 24 blog).

Crochet Ripple Blankets

Crochet-Ripple-Blanket-Gift

And this blanket is an ongoing mammoth project, currently measuring 1 metre squared! When finished it will be sent off to fellow blogger Katy for her bed. The pattern is Lacy Baby Blanket on Ravelry.

Lacy-Crochet-Blanket

I’d love to know what crochet projects you have been working on lately, please share in the comments below!
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* InPost compensated me for the craft materials and postal costs involved in the project. I was asked to review the In Post service and all opinions expressed are my own.
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Spike Stitch Crochet Handwarmers Pattern

Ooh an extra Thursday post this week! Today I am partnering with Lemonade Yarns to bring you this spike stitch crochet handwarmer pattern. This is a perfect crochet project for beginners and you can use any colours you like!

Keep reading until the end for a coupon code for some lovely yarn too.

Spike-Stitch-Crochet-Handwarmers-Claireabellemakes

I used Jenny Watson Pure Merino Double Knitting in Rose and Cream. You will need 50g of Rose and around 20g of cream using a 4mm crochet hook (I use this one). It’s a super cosy yarn and doesn’t split at all.

If you are completely new to crochet, I would recommend learning the basic terms and stitches via this You Tube channel first. 

Crochet-Mitterns-Pink-And-White

Here’s how you make the simple crochet mittens. It is a 9 row pattern repeated over two rectangle pieces joined into a mitt shape. Yarn A is Rose and Yarn B is Cream. The pattern is shown in UK terms.

Spike stitch: insert hook into 1 row below and work dc as normal.

  • To begin: using yarn A, ch 36+1 for turning
  • Row 1: 1 dc into second ch from hook and dc to end. Turn.
  • Rows 2 & 3:  ch1, 1dc into each st to end of row. Turn. At end of row 3, fasten off yarn A and join yarn B.
  • Row 4: ch1, 1 dc into 1st st, *1 spike st into next st. 1 dc in next st, rep from * to end of row. Turn.
  • Row 5: Repeat row 2. Fasten off yarn B and join yarn A.
  • Row 6: Work as row 4.
  • Rows 7 – 9: Repeat rows 1-3.
  • Work 5 repeats of rows 1-9.
  • Fold your rectangle in half with the right sides facing. With yarn A, slip stitch to join the edges leaving a 1 inch gap around two thirds up for a thumb hole.
  • Weave in the ends and turn your handwarmers the right way out.
  • Repeat for the second mittern!

Crochet-Mittern-Pattern-Pink

Super snuggly for keeping your hands warm!! I am sure someone will ask – the nail polish is Pomegranate by Barry M.

Spike-Stitch-Crochet-Handwarmer-Pattern

Crochet-Spike-Stitch-Mittern-Pattern

Crochet-Handwarmer-Pattern

I would love to see if you make these mitterns/handwarmers. Make sure to share if you do!

Don’t forget to check out Lemonade Yarns for affordable yarn and friendly service. They are offering 15% off Jenny Watson yarns if you use the code Claireabellemakes15 before 29 November.

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 *I purchased the yarn from Lemonade Yarns myself.
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October Favourites 2014

Another month has whizzed by! Here are my favourites for the month of October.

G and I picked out this succulent to add to my craft studio. Send me good plant vibes please, I am not green fingered!

Succulent-Plant

I popped it by the window so it gets plenty of light.

Craft-Room-Plants

Sweet treats are my thing. We found these Nutella and Go pots in Cyprus this summer and they have finally made their way to the UK!

Nutella-Go-Snack

This month I discovered Bluebird Tea Company based in Brighton. Since visiting David’s Tea in Canada, I have been on the search for a decent caffeine free tea supplier in the UK.

Bluebird-Tea-Company-Tea-Selection

Went a bit crazy and bought all the teas. They had a caffeine free selection box which was perfect for me! The Rhubarb and Custard tea is amazing.

Caffeine-Free-Tea-Collection

I also got some autumn flavours including a delicious spiced pumpkin pie tea.

Bluebird-Tea-Company-Caffeine-Free-Tea

October hasn’t been kind to my head. Migraines have been nasty so I’ve been attached to my migra-cap. Basically it’s a hat filled with gel packs which you cool in the fridge before using. It covers your eyes so makes it nice and dark for resting.

I have actually considered wearing it to the day job it’s been such a tough month. I got mine here and think it has been well worth the money I spent.

Migra-Cap-Migraine-Hat

When I’ve felt well, I have been reading a few crafty books, two of which are from the A Beautiful Mess girls. Their newest title Happy Handmade Home is brilliant. I am also so excited that they are bringing out a product line! They are so inspirational and such a great example of hard work and achievement. 

A-Beautiful-Mess-Craft-Books

This month I also made an extravagant purchase and got a Cricut Explore Cutting Machine! Oh my word these things are so cool. You hook it up to a design space on your computer and print then cut anything onto card stock, vinyl, poster board, fabric and more. I definitely need some time to have a play, but I’m already loving it.

G and I cut out some spooky Halloween decorations on it’s first go. This blog is great to see what kind of projects you can make with it.

Cricut-Explore-Cutting-Machine

As soon as the autumn months arrive, I run to Lush to check out their seasonal ranges. Super pleased to see the snowman bath melt back again and also the new Butterbear. G knows I love a Lush product in my Christmas stocking.

Lush-Bath-Bombs

This past week, I have pretty run down and exhausted from all the migraines and busy times in my day job. There is nothing like a nice bunch of flowers to cheer you up, so I often visit the market in Cambridge for some blooms. How lovely are these? Dahlias I think, but do correct me if I am wrong.

Dahlia-Flowers

What have you been loving through October? Do share in the comments below!

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DIY No Sew Fabric Covered Notebook

DIY-No-Sew-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Claireabellemakes

Hello! Today I’m sharing a simple DIY for this no sew fabric covered notebook. There is an optional sewing section later if you do want to bust out your sewing machine!

For this DIY, I’ve partnered with Elephant In My Handbag, a fabulous and friendly online fabric store in the UK. Stay tuned until the end for a cheeky coupon code so you can get shopping if you like what you see. Just look at the unicorn and flamingo fabric people!!

Elephant-In-My-Handbag-Fabrics

Let’s get started. You will need:

    • Moleskin Notebook (I bought this 3 pack)
    • 1 x external Fabric piece, 24cm x 18cm (I used unicorns!)
    • 2 x internal fabric pieces, 14cm x 9cm each  (I used pink gingham)
    • Fabri Tac Glue
    • Scissors
    • Sewing machine & thread (optional)

NB: You can adjust the size of your fabric depending on your notebook, just leave a 2cm seam allowance all the way around the external fabric, and make the internal fabric the same size as the front and back covers.

Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Unicorn-Fabric

Start buy gluing a hem of around 1/2 cm on all sides of the fabric pieces. With Fabri Tac, you don’t need much at all, so apply sparingly. It helps to also trim the corners of the fabric pieces as you go, to avoid bulk.

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-1

Once your hems are glued, place your notebook onto the wrong side of the external fabric, and draw around the cover with a pencil. Apply the glue in the cover area and place the notebook onto it, carefully smoothing the fabric.

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-2

One your cover is glued, Close your notebook a couple of times so the fabric can get used to a fold in the spine. Next, glue all the corners to the inside notebook cover.

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-3

Make a snip in the external fabric in line with the spine of the notebook at the top and bottom.

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-4

Work your way around the notebook, gluing all edges to the inside cover. Remember, a little goes a long way with this glue!

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-5

Then glue your internal contrasting fabric pieces on each inside cover.

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-6

If you have a sewing machine, you can add this next step using contrasting thread, I went for pink and got my machine Romy all ready to go.

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-7

Leaving a 1/2 cm space from the edge of the notebook, make a straight stitch around the covers. You will likely have to change your needle afterwards as you are sewing through card, a couple of fabric layers and glue, potentially blunting it!

To sew the corners, keep the needle down, lift the presser foot and turn the notebook. Put the presser foot down and continue sewing.

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Notebook-Step-8

Cut the ends of the thread if you decided to add a top stitch detail and your notebook is done! Time to get planning your next projects with a cuppa I think.

DIY-No-Sew-Fabric-Notebook-Claireabellemakes

These notebooks make great gifts and you can change the fabric to suit anyone! I was tempted to make mine with bicycle fabric but that would have been so predictable right?!

Claireabellemakes-Fabric-Notebook-DIY

If you make this project, be sure to share it with me and don’t forget to check out Elephant In My Handbag for craft supplies! They have shared a coupon code below exclusively for Claireabellemakes readers. During chocolate week they sent all customers a free chocolate bar, so they definitely know how to look after us crafters!!

Elephant-In-My-Handbag-Fabric-Shop-Ad-coupon-discount

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Claireabellemakes Instagram Giveaway

This weekend I’m holding a giveaway on Instagram!

I’ve been so chuffed with how my feed has grown over the past year and was very pleased to pass 2000 followers this week. It’s definitely my favourite social network now. I love sharing behind the scenes at Claireabellemakes HQ and of course, cat pictures.

Win this HOME SWEET HOME Scrabble Wall Art from my store, worth £20!

Scrabble-Wall-Art-Home-Sweet-Home

SHOP

If you don’t have an Instagram account, it is super easy to create one on your smart phone and you will likely find some inspiring makers to follow.

To find out how to enter, come follow me on Instagram here.

Oh and one more thing – I’ll be adding some Christmas Scrabble products to the store very soon which I’m really excited about, I hope you will be too!

Happy weekend everyone!

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