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Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."

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  • Fiona Cambouropoulos Cheryl this is really ingenious. The design is so eye catching, it would cost quite a lot to buy a branded pencil case like this,... 26 Apr
  • Craft Mother Thanks Yvonne. An easy project, as they go. 25 Apr
  • Craft Mother Very true. I'll always be able to spot it. 25 Apr
  • Craft Mother Frozen raspberries seem to be permanently at the top of my shopping list at the moment. Hope you enjoy them. 25 Apr
  • Craft Mother Thanks April. 🙂 25 Apr
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

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book craft activity

How to make a patchwork bookmark

We needed an easy, creative activity today. We had snow, but not enough to entertain anyone more than 5 minutes outside. Just finger nipping cold, nose chilling wet. I don’t wish to sound greedy, but can someone send us enough to make a snowman next time, please?

After a very short time, everyone retreated inside. Queue activity to head off the requests for screen time.

I love making patchwork bookmarks. It uses up teeny, tiny scraps of fabric, which I cannot bring myself to throw away. Also, there is no right or wrong with it. Perfect as a beginner project or one for children to do, or, to be honest, anyone who likes making fun, pretty things. So long as the scraps overlap each other and more than cover the piece of felt, practically anything goes. I like to quilt as I go and this is a brilliant way to practise the technique.

This is how we do it.

You need:

a bundle of little scraps of fabric
a strip of felt, cut 20cm x 5cm (8″ x 2″) approx
a piece of fabric 21cm x 6cm (8.5″ x 2.5″ ) for the back
small piece of ribbon
thread

sewing equipment (scissors, sewing machine, pins, knitting needle, tape measure or ruler)

Each scrap of fabric needs to have straight edges to keep this project on the easy side. They also need to be at least 1cm wider then the narrow width of the felt piece.

Step 1: Arrange pieces of scrap fabric on top of the felt strip, making sure the edges of the scraps are overlapping each other by at least 0.5cm (1/4″).

Step 2: Take the first scrap of fabric. Right side up, position it overlapping the top of the felt by 0.5cm. Now this part is slightly tricky. Channel your inner school maths self and think rotations. Imagine a sewing line on the scrap (big, bold, arrowless lines in pictures above), 0.5cm from the edge. Now, flip the scrap on to the wrong side, along the imagined line. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Step 3: Sew along the sewing line. As shown, above left. Fold the fabric up, so the right side is now showing, and iron the fabric in the direction of the arrow in the  picture, above right.

It’s plain sailing from now on.

Step 3: Putting right sides together, and lining up the edges, sew the next scrap to the first one. As shown above. You are sewing through the felt as well. Flip the second scrap down and iron it.

Repeat for all the other fabrics, until the felt is covered. Overlap the lower edge of the felt by at least 1cm (0.5″)

Step 4: Putting right sides together, line up the bookmark with the backing fabric. Sew around 3 edges, just catching the edge of the felt. Leave the bottom short edge open.

(Tip: at the start and the end of stitching, sew back over your stitches. This stops them pulling apart when you do step 6.)Step 5: Clip the excess fabric around the edge and clip the corners.

Step 6: Turn the bookmark the right way round, by pulling it through the open edge. Use the blunt end of a knitting needle, or a stick, to push the corners into a point. Take care not to push through the corners and make a hole.

Step 7: Iron the bookmark and tuck the unstitched ends back into the opening, as if to hide them. Push the ends of the ribbon in too. Pin in place.

Step 8: Topstitch along each of the four edges of the bookmark.

Step 9: Iron, and then slip bookmark into your current book.

All three children (9, 12 and 14) loved this activity. They really got into the selection stage, and the chance to use my old sewing machine. The one aspect of this activity you can guarantee is, that no two bookmarks will ever look quite the same. Colour, fabric and wonkiness just add to the charm.

These make great gifts, especially when giving a book. Often thought they would work well as a Father’s day present or teachers thank you gift. So easy that several can be made in one afternoon.

Hope you have fun making one. I’m off to check if it’s snowing again. Fingers crossed.

Linking up to Sara’s Craft Schooling Sunday and Fiona’s #Trash2Treasure

Trash 2 Treasure


 

Sharing. Good idea.

Please don’t disturb, I’m reading.

book cover for World book day 2015

Imagine the scene. You’re in a fabric shop and you spot the most adorable print. It’s a Spring time design, but it will be Spring at some point, right? (scene outside: rain pouring, shoppers scurrying around buying Christmas presents.)

world book day book cover fabric

You get home and add the new fabric to your patchwork fabrics. And there is stays. Nothing goes with it. It’s pastel blue in sharp contrast to all the jewel like colours of Winter, that you’re currently using. Too cartoony for the Dear Daughter quilt. Was it a mistake?

checking fabric with book

Fast forward a couple of months. The first daffodils start to bud up in the garden. The daylight steals back more of the day, and the perfect project presents itself for the fabric. Not a patchwork, but a book cover.

printing quote for book cover on fabric

Turns out that it goes perfectly with a water-splattered green fabric, that’s also been hiding among the winter fabrics.

bookmark part of book cover

I love this project. It would make a great tween/teen sewing activity. I’m hoping to make a few more covers for World Book Day on 5th March.

Neither of our schools seem to be dressing up, this year and I can’t let it completely pass without a little bit of crafting. Eldest went as Arrietty, from the Borrowers, last year.

bookmark attached to book cover

The project combines two of my loves: reading and sewing. Every time I pick up my book, the little white hens make me smile.

reading a book with a handmade book over

The built-in bookmark means I won’t lose my bookmark, as usual. Forced to resort to using a tissue or old receipt.

world book day book cover quote

Oh, and the words? “Shh…One day you might be glad I read this book”. Maybe a vain attempt to win just a fraction more time reading without interruption.

(moral of the story: every fabric has it’s season.)

Linking up to Creative Monday and Tots100 #BeInspired

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Sharing. Good idea.

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.