Placemats, Tealight Candles and a new Blind

A bit of all sorts of crafting this past couple of weeks.

I never got around to writing my usual blog post last week. A few days of visiting friends and family meant my usual blog writing time passed me by, so I thought I would save my blogging until this week. As well as going around visiting, I eventually went to an optician to get my eyesight checked after having several months of blurriness. After that trip I am now officially short sighted.

What’s a bit unnerving is that just over a year ago, my eyesight was perfect. I could see clearly for such long distances yet now I struggle to read the numbers on Countdown if I’m at the opposite end of the room to the TV. We could all probably get along reasonably well if we lost our sight of smell or hearing, yet if we lost our sense of sight, our worlds would be turned upside down. Crafting would go out the window. Even things like reading this blog would not be possible. It does make you think about what’s really important.

Anyway, onto the crafting part of the blog. Thank you to everyone who commented last time on what colour to choose for my new soy candles. There would several extra suggestions too that gave me food for thought. I would never have though about a red and brown colour combination for the other ingredients in strudel, although several of your comments left me feeling a bit hungry :-)

Combining red and green got a few votes and this pairing of colours does look very good together. However since they are quite festive colours I tend to leave that colour choice for my Christmas candles. Since the other scented candles have only one colour, I continued that theme with the strudel candles and went with a red colour for the wax chunks.

Strudel and spice scented soy wax tealight candles

The red chunk soy candles are scented with the strudel fragrance. The three votives in the middle hold other scents waiting to be tested.

The red and brown suggestion is still playing in my mind. If I do try that, I’ll make my other scented tealight candles have a pair of colours too. That’s one of the good things about making things yourself. You can change your mind at any time and try something new.

A set of four placemats made with stripey and spotty fabrics is a current work in progress. Two placemats will be white, blue and green, while the other two will be white, red and orange. The backs are made from one piece of fabric with a piece of wadding some decorative quilting. The fronts will be a patchwork of nine squares of fabric.

Green spotty fabric placemats

The back of two of the placemats, with a decorative leave shaped quilting stitch.

Orange striped fabric for handmade placemats

Orange fabric for the back of the placemats, with a diamond shaped decorative stitch.

Green and blue patchwork fabric

The patchwork squares for the green and blue placemats.

Orange and red patchwork fabrics

The patchwork squares for the red and orange placemats.

I have stitched the front panels together then stitched the fronts to the backs. I don’t have any photos of this as the end result was not great. The two layers did move around a bit, as the complete piece was a bit thick with the wadding inside. I think it’s time for me to invest in a walking foot.

I had a slightly easier time making a new blind for my Velux window. After my old one broke I checked the prices of a replacement online. The cheapest I could find was almost £40 and that was only in one colour! Other colours were much more expensive, especially if you went to Velux’s own website. I then found a comment posted by someone on the MoneySavingExpert forum about how they made their own version of a blind. With the fabric and ribbon I’ve got, I thought I would give it a go too.

Big blue handmade window blind

The front of the finished blind. Since it is just for me, I left the ironing board stored away, hence the slight creases :-D

Back of the handmade blind

The black fabric is usually seen on the bottom of sofas or dining chair cushions. It helps to block out more light. Ribbons have been sewn to the top to tie the blind to the top rail of the window. One slipped out from under the hem so I had to sew it on top of the fabric.


Bottom end of a blue handmade window blind.

The bottom of the blind is folded over and stitched to create a pocket for a tension rod to slide through. Not as neat as I had hoped.

Even though I had measured the window and fabric many times, once I had the blind made and hung up, it ended up being about an inch too long so it sags slightly. I can live with it though, although the pattern on the fabric goes fuzzy if you look at it from certain angle. I think it’s an optical illusion that makes it seem a bit distant. Either that or I really need glasses.

Hope everyone has a good week :-)

17 thoughts on “Placemats, Tealight Candles and a new Blind

  1. Gorgeous material, pretty and spring-like. I love the pics of your tea-lights – I thought they were cupcakes first of all and that you were venturing into something new. Hope you have a good week.

  2. I love the placemats, they are perfect for the long awaited sunshine! I really enjoy reading your sewing posts as they are encouraging me to get my machine fired up again :-)

  3. Very impressed with all the sewing, especially sewing a velux blind. Not an easy job at all. We visited a candlemaking shop in Lynton, Devon this week, and we watched the candles being made. The variety of scents available was amazing.

  4. Wow, your sewing is really coming on well! It’s lovely to see. One of my daughters is short sighted and we discovered it when she was about four. The optician told me most people don’t become short sighted until their late teens. Her sight gradually went worse and worse but it seems to be more stable now (she’s nearly 30 now). Hope yours stabilises soon.

  5. I think the red chunks for the strudel candles look great, they are very appealing all lined up together.

    Your place mats are great fun and what a brilliant idea to have a go at making your own blind – so much more characterful than shop bought as well as being cheaper! :)

  6. Well done for making a blind. It looks quite complicated. Your placemats will be perfect for summertime – really happy, jolly colours

    • It’s a lot simpler than it looks. It’s basically just a large piece of fabric hemmed on all sides, with some ribbon sewn to the top. The only complicated bit was trying to avoid getting stabbed by all the pins keeping the hems in place.

  7. I like your colour choices for your table mats. I made some myself a few years ago, but I avoided the fabric moving by hand quilting the two sides together. Your blind looks smart too, and saved you a lot of money too.

  8. The candles look very pretty. I love the fabric you’ve used for the place mats. The quilt stitching is really effective.

    Well done in making the blind xx

  9. Oh I really wish I could smell your candles. They look so pretty I’m sure they smell just as good. I am so impressed with your blind. The place mats look fab I especially like the green spots.
    Ali x

  10. I am really impressed tou made your own blond! I’m not sure i would have the confidence, but good for you to make your own and save money!

  11. Ohhh those candles still looking yummy enough to eat to me :-) Well done on persevering with the quilting – when I tried and didn’t get the results I’d hoped for, I rather gave up! Simmi x