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Archive | March, 2016

Spring & Easter Bunny Bunting - A quick & easy how to....

Spring Bunting - How to make your ownWith Easter just around the corner, I decided it would be nice to make some bunting which we can use for decoration at a kids Easter party we're hosting.

This is a simple and cost effective pattern, which only requires 1/2 metre of the main fabric for the flags, plus half of a fat quarter or whatever scraps you have lying around for the bunny decoration. Plus some some little pom poms and bias binding to hold it all together....

Here's exactly what I used:

1/2 metre -Essex Yarn Dyed Linen - Chambray (currently sold out) but this would look great too Essex Yarn Dyed Linen - Indigo

1 FQ - Sidewalks Small Floral Cream

3 metres - Polka Dot Bias Binding - Yellow

1 metre - Small Pom Pom Trim White

Fusible webbing

Rotary Cutter & cutting Mat

Scissors

Pencil / Pen

Matching thread

Fabric glue

Instructions:

1. Cut out the bunny rabbit stencil - I have attached a pattern below, which you may wish to use. Attach your fusible web to the back of the patterned fabric (using the manufacturers instructions), then draw around the bunny rabbit stencil and cut them out - you will need 9 bunnies for this bunting.

Spring Bunting - Bunny Rabbit - Template

2. Cut your half metre of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen from 50cm to 40cm in length (your fabric piece should now measure 112cm wide by 40cm drop). Next fold the fabric in half along the horizontal, so that it is now 112cm wide by 20cm length (double fabric).

3. Using your ruler and pen/pencil make a mark along the top folded edge of the fabric every 22cm the whole way across the 112cm width until you run out fabric.

4. Do the same along the bottom edge of the fabric, this time make a mark every 11cm.

5. Using your ruler and rotary cutter, start at the top left hand corner of the fabric and diagonally place the ruler from the top corner down to the first mark at the bottom of the fabric (11cm along from the edge) - now cut the fabric on the diagonal. Then starting at the bottom (at the point you have just cut) cut on the diagonal up to the first mark you made at the top of the fabric (22cm along from the left edge). Continue doing this, cutting on the diagonal from bottom to top, until you have cut out 9 triangle flags (still double fabric).

6. Some of the triangles will need to be cut along the top edge where the fold was, to create 2 triangular pieces (see this earlier blog post for more clarification on the cutting process. If needs be.

Bunny Rabbit to be sewn onto flags

7. Once you have all 9 flags cut out (2 pieces of fabric for each) and you have your 9 bunny rabbits in the contrasting fabric, you now need to attach the bunnies to the front of each flag. Follow the manufacturers instructions for the fusible webbing to do this.

8. If you would like to secure your bunnies further, stitch around the edge as I have done in the below image. Don't worry about being too neat around the tail area, as this will be covered with the pom pom tail!

Bunny Attached to fabric

9. Once all 9 bunny rabbits are attached onto the front piece of each flag, we can begin to assemble the bunting itself. Starting with the first flag, take both pieces of fabric (front and back) and turn the fabric right sides together, so you can sew the bunting together inside out. Then starting at the top corner allowing approximately a 1/2cm seam allowance, sew the first side together. Stop sewing approximately 1/2cm from the bottom point, keeping the needle in the fabric, lift your footer and turn the fabric. Now sew along the 2nd side, back to the top of the flag. Leave the top (straight edge) open - do not sew these edges together.

Sew the sides of the bunting flags together

10. Once you have sewn all 9 flags together on the two sides, as shown in the below picture, snip the bottom corner off the fabric, being careful not to cut too close to the stitches.

Snip the bottom corner off each flag

9 Basic Bunting Flag Shapes

11.  Next you need to turn each flag right side out, being sure to poke out the bottom corner (I used a knitting needle to be sure I got some nice pointy corners). Then using your iron, carefully press each flag flat, making sure you get nice crisp straight lines on both sides of the flag.

Turn each flag right side out and press12. Neaten up the top edges of each flag, so you have good, straight line to tuck into your bias tape.

Trim the top edge ensuring a straight finish13. Back to your sewing machine with all 9 flags and the bias binding. Fold the bias tape in half at one end (length ways) and sew together the open sides, staying as close as you can to the open edges. I did this for approximately 20cm - however, depending on what you think you'll need to tie the ends of the bunting to, you might prefer to have longer trims at each end.

Attach the bias tape14. Take the first flag you'd like to sew into place and put the top open edge into the opening of the binding - make sure that the top of the flag is as close to the folded inside edge of the binding as possible. Begin sewing along the open edge of the tape to attach the flag and close up the binding.

Top Tip: I find using quilting clips really help to hold the next flag in place just before it reaches the sewing machine needle. Much easier and quicker than pinning and also means you can be sure the flag is held tightly in the correct place and properly inserted into the binding.

5cm gaps between each flag15. Continue sewing past the edge of the flag for 5cm and add another flag. Then add another flag into place on the binding. Repeat this process until all of the flags are attached.

Attach all 9 flags in the wayBe sure to sew another 20cm (minimum) of the binding tape together after the last flag has been attached, in order that you have extra on the end to hang the bunting with.

16. Once all of the flags are sewn on and you have sewn together enough binding tape at the end to allow for the bunting to be hung, you have nearly finished your Easter bunting. All you need to do now is attached the bunny tails. Simply cut 9 pom poms from the pom pom trim and using a fabric glue, stick each one in place!Cut pom poms for the tail17. Hang your yummy 'Spring-time Easter Bunting' and admire your work!

Spring Bunny Bunting - Finished product

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'Cro-Pro Emma' & The Spring Tulip Cowl

SPRING-TULIP-COWL-2

I can hardly believe it, but it's been almost a year since we last had the pleasure of welcoming Emma from Steel & Stitch to Poppies & Polka Dots; and what a journey she has been on since then!Emma Friedlander-Collins

We are absolutely delighted that despite her busy schedule, Emma has agreed to design a new crochet pattern for us here at Poppies & Polka Dots and just check out this stunner she's created!

Spring Tulip Cowl - Yarn Pack

 

Given what a cold Spring it's been so far, this pattern is the perfect anecdote to that - cosy and practical, but stylish and very, very pretty.

 

Before we get started with the pattern, I thought it would be fab to find out what Emma's been up to since we last caught up, so here's the latest from Emma:

Just a year ago I began my cro-pro (yep, crochet professional) journey, and what a journey it’s been so far!   My second book ‘Big Hook Crochet’

Emma Friedlander-Collins - Big Hook Crochetwas released in September last year by CICO publisher, and my third is now written and in the process of being printed, due for release in the autumn of this year. I’ve also had the enormous good fortune of being featured in everything from ‘Mollie Makes’ to ‘Woman’s Weekly’, and now contribute regularly to ‘Inside Crochet’ and ‘The Art of Crochet’.

It’s been a real learning curve though, working for yourself, by yourself you have to be everything; marketing, designer, social media guru, writer, finance officer, admin and tea lady. One of the big challenges for me has been finding a way to connect with a community in a meaningful way, don’t get me wrong, crocheting all day and hanging out with wool is great, but it was a shock to the system leaving the day job and all my work pals. Instagram has become a place where I’ve met some amazing people, and not only made friends but now ‘work’ colleagues and business opportunities.   It also forced me to define my aesthetic and has resulted in photography work and a front page feature in The Guardian Online

Crocheting with Colour

I also got myself an adult teaching qualification, and have had the opportunity of running workshops all over the place, from a local school to the British Library.   Teaching has become one of the most rewarding facets of my crochet journey, as well as the hardest, but there’s real joy and satisfaction to be had from sharing a skill.

There is literally not time to mention all other amazing things that have happened, but I find that saying ‘yes’, and reaching out to people without being afraid of the consequences is the only way to keep going forward. Who knows where this journey will go next? I keep thinking that it can’t possibly have anywhere else to go, and then something else pops up and it’s off on another road.

Emma

Steel&Stitch

xxx

Huge thanks to Emma for this wonderful insight into her world of gorgeous crochet loveliness and most importantly for this stunning pattern. So here it is...can you resist it? Not sure I can!

Spring Tulip Cowl - Free Pattern - from Emma Friedlander-Collins - Steel  & Stitch

This sumptuous, tulip inspired cowl is ideal to throw on while the weather is still all nippy round the edges. In lovely, chunky yarn, you’ll have it made in an evening but be wearing it all Spring.

Rowan Big Wool, Super Chunky (100% Merino Wool, 80m per 100g)

A - Reseda(69), B – Pantomime (79) and C- Prize (64)

 10mm hook

Spring Tulip Cowl - Yarn Pack

Notes

Tc2tog – rather than working together 2st’s from the previous row, yarn over and work the first part of a tc st, then in the same st, yarn over and work the first part of another tc, and then use the final yarn over to work them both together.

Abbreviations

htc –half treble crochet

tc - treble crochet

tc2tog – work 2tc st’s together

ch – chain

slst- slip stitch

sk st – skip a stitch

Rnd 1: Using yarn A, ch 44, sl st ends

Rnd 2: ch2, htc in each st, sl st (44)

Rnd 3: Using yarn B, ch2 htc in each st, slst

Rnd 4: Using yarn C, working in back loop only, htc in each st

Rnd 5: Using yarn A, working in back loop only, ch3, *sk st, tc in next st, ch1*, rpt to end, sl st to finish

Rnd 6: Using yarn B, ch3, *tc2tog in top of tc st from prev row, ch1* rpt to end, sl st

Rnd 7: Using yarn C, ch2, *work 2htc’s in chain space from prev row* rpt to end

Rnd 8-11: ch2, htc in each st, sl st

Rnd 12: Using yarn B, working in back loop only, htc in each st

Rnd 13: Using yarn A, working in back loop only, htc in each st, sl st to finish and weave in ends

IMG_5351 Spring Tulip Cowl - with TulipsCrocheted Spring Tulip Cowl - Emma Friedlander-CollinsAll photo credits to Emma Friedlander-Collins - Follow Emma and her stunning photographic Crochet journey on Instagram.