Sunday, March 29, 2015


it started out simply enough...
{really, it always does}

i saw a picture of a braided tea cozy in a uk home magazine i purchased at our local magazine stand

made with strips of wool cut from worn out jumpers - here, a jumper is a kind of dress that's worn over a shirt or turtleneck but there, i think a jumper is a sweater???

anyway, i had none of either sort but i do have a little bit of cotton fabric {hehe} and thought if i cut strips and wrapped them around yet smaller strips of plain muslin, i might have something that would work well enough

i no sooner got just around the top of the teapot when i thought perhaps if i used some of my heat-resistant batting in place of the muslin i could make a hot-pad

the tea-pot and cozy were pitched aside for the time being and a hot pad begun - cutting the strips wider along with the switch to narrow strips of the batting yielded something much more substantial - i do love the feel of this in my hands - very sturdy, yet not at all stiff... it yields slightly to pressure and i quite like that

as you can see... it isn't finished either

i got not quite as far as you see above when i was struck with the next idea... i needed to make an ornament designed by bunny hill... anne is offering a new free pattern for a snowman heart ornament on the 5th of each month and our shop has a little challenge going on with it

march's offering has a sheep in front of the snowman and i had been pondering it for days, wanting to do something a little bit different...

what if i cut very narrow strips of muslin with a pinking blade and braided them, coiling and tacking it within the outline of the shape of the sheep
{if you go to the bunny hill link you will see her sheep is of quite a different shape than mine - i took artistic license and drew my own!}

the muslin strips were cut about 3/8" wide and when braided the pinking detail was kind of lost, replaced with something fuzzy... unexpected, but...

i just love it!

so sheep-ish, don't you think????

no in-progress photos for you, but all i did was draw the outline of the body, and beginning at the outer edge, laid the braid along the drawn line, tacking it with matching sewing thread, round and round until i was in the middle and it was completely filled in

the background fabric is pale green with little white outlines of umbrellas, rain clouds and birds - perfect for spring, don't you think?

i still have to finish this... eyes and ears and noses here and there

it was such a surprise to me how it turned out - completely unexpected, and better than hoped for

sometimes i feel as though i have a form of creative a.d.d.

always jumping ahead, trying new things, putting things aside when an idea strikes

i've found though that if i don't, i lose it - maybe not the idea so much as perhaps the enthusiasm

and if i'd waited i know i would likely have tried the hot pad at some point or another - maybe, but i wouldn't have made the jump to the sheep as that project needed to be done asap
and after all of it, it's my favourite...


suziqu's thread works said...

Such a wonderful heat pad - so thick and colorful too. What a great method used in braiding the fabrics and then jumping to creating the gorgeous sheep! Well it looks just perfect and wooly using the same method too.
I do the same thing Jillayne - strike while the idea is hot as you can always come back and finish the unfinished!

Marj Talbot said...

The sheep looks great. Where will it's final resting place be? I love the colours in the hot pad - will have to try that myself one day.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Artistic, creative A.D.D. you may have just diagnosed me! Love the sheep..the perfect project at just the right time.

Rachel said...

You can make braided rugs as well - just in case you need any more projects!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

It's always fun to see the results of your experiments and interesting to witness how your creative mind works (oh, look....something shiny....). My grandmother used to make braided rugs and they wore like iron.

Createology said...

Your little sheep is unique and sew very cute and fiber chic! I always love visiting and seeing what you are creating. The route you take is seriously fun and amazing Truly Creative Bliss My Dear...

Tanya said...

Ahhhhhh, my dear friend to the North. I have been SO lax on reading lately (no excuses, really - so sad for me), that I have missed SO much here. I love your blog and your creative endeavours SO...they are so visually calming to me. The little sheep - adorable - and I know the amount of love and work in each tiny stitch you take. Can't wait to see the potholder done, you ambitious thing - some items I just need to PURCHASE! ;-) Carry on, Oh Creative One - I'll be back! Happy Tuesday, Jillayne - XOXO

Monica said...

Hehe yes, sweaters, they call them jumpers here (but I prefer "sweaters").
I saw that project the other day while saving articles and clippings from an old magazine (possibly from last December or so?)- was it by Sarah Moore? I thought it was cute but haven't tried it yet. I have lots of sweaters (already cut) so it might be fun to make.
Yours looks fabulous!!! Love the colors, too! Looks like you're ready for relax over tea and cake! :))

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Jillayne, everything you touch turns to gold. I love the darling little sheep.
Interesting info about the jumpers. Here they are like an over dress.
Your hot pad will be special. Love the fabrics.
Thank you for sharing your projects and always the inspiration.
Hugs for a Happy Easter.

Deb said...

Love the sheep, such a creative idea and the hot pad is going to be lovely. I like the term creative ADD, a condition many of us suffers, I refer to it as my manic making stage.

Suztats said...

I love how the braided calico turned out. Your sheep looks wonderfully woolly!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

So inventive Jillayne, love your wee sheep, your braided muslin looks so much like wool! Love how you described your train of thought as you worked through your projects, I love when inspiration takes you to such new and unexpected places :O) Can't wait to see where your braids lead you next and thanks for the link to Bunny Hill, such fun patterns!

karen said...

beautiful braiding Jillayne. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Easter x

Laura said...

Okay, that little lamb is the cutest thing I have ever seen! You need to bookmark that idea for when Tarryn (formerly Tarryn Lamb) has a baby!!