How to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in How to....... | Posted on 30-03-2015

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Do you often lust after a fabric collection, yet can’t quite put your finger on what to make? We have just the answer for you and it comes with a simple guide – how to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art. This quick and easy no sew project is extremely easy to do. All you need is an embroidery hoop, a piece of fabric and scissors. It really is that simple! This is a great way to swop and change your decor without spending lots of money. Why not choose a selection of fabrics from a collection and display a group of 3 hoops in varying sizes together The fabric could even be used again for a future project. To keep it in tip top condition opt to pin and tuck the fabric into the back rather than cutting away the excess.

In this example we have used Philip Jacobs Japanese Chrysanthemum – Green and a Milward embroidery hoop.

Step 1

Separate the inner hoop from the outer hoop.

how to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art

Step 2

Lay your chosen fabric on top of the inner hoop.

how to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art

Step 3

Choose where you wish the fabric to sit. Place the outer hoop over.

how to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art

Step 4

Tighten the hoop so that the fabric is taught.

how to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art

Step 5

Turn over and trim away the excess fabric. Cutting up to the edge of the hoop. If you are choosing to keep the fabric as a square pin it in rather than cutting with scissors.

how to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art

Step 6

Et voila! Fabric embroidery hoop wall art in a matter of minutes. The only problem now you will want to change your display every week with so many fabrics to choose from.

how to make fabric embroidery hoop wall art

Carol’s Broken Leg Projects

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 26-03-2015

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Those of you who read our newsletter or have watched Sara’s Mother’s Day video blog may already know that Carol (Black Sheep) has broken her leg. She popped in for a quick visit today with her latest ‘broken leg’ projects. She has been knitting all sorts of lovely yarn samples for the shop and has also taken on the task of Sara’s crochet hexagon throw.

Last week’s project was a fab baby blanket knitted in the popular yarn – Rico Pompon. This was simply knitted on 4mm needles with just two balls. A pattern will follow next week. Keep an eye out on our free patterns page.

rico pompon blanket


Here are her first selection of hexagons. Stacey showed Carol how to crochet in a morning and she soon had a few hexagons made, a natural crocheter.


crochet hexagons


These were the hexagons she brought in today! Lots and lots of hexagons ready to be crocheted together. Stacey is going to show Carol this technique tomorrow. Watch this space for a beautiful throw next week! This is crocheted in shades of Stylecraft Special Dk.




Easter Gift Ideas

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Cross Stitch, Free Patterns | Posted on 24-03-2015

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Can you believe Easter is only a couple of weeks away? Time has certainly flown by and the first signs of spring are already here. The journey to work has brightened with daffodils springing up here and there. Working in an old potato barn means we are surrounded by fields and farm land. Over the past week or so I have caught the sight of many little lambs bobbing around, snuggling up to their mothers in the fields nearby. Nature really does provide us with lots of fresh inspiration for new projects – the flora, fauna and blue skies (fingers crossed for that one).

Have you thought of giving an Easter gift? How about a change from a chocolate egg this year? With the theme of Easter in mind we have brought together 10 patterns to help with Easter gift ideas and inspiration. Many of the patterns are free downloads too!

Rowan Rabbit Beanie

A cute knitted Rabbit Beanie in Rowan Fine Boucle. This pattern is a free download from

dmc natura cotton family of chicks

Crochet a family of ‘Easter’ chicks in DMC Natura Cotton yarn.

cherry heart garden curtain ties

Cherry Heart has this free pattern for ‘Garden Curtain Ties’ available to download from her blog. A lovely way to spruce up your home and add a sprinkle of spring.

cherry heart garden curtain ties

Hope over to where you will find an Easter bunny card design.

cross stitch Easter card

Keeping with the rabbit theme. How about Bobby the Bunny by Emma Varnam? He is an adorable free pattern to download.

bobby bunny by emma varnam

Why not knit someone a whole bunch of daffodils? A gift that will stay in bloom year after year. There are many more patterns in the Sirdar book Knit Pretty!

Knit Pretty Book by Sirdar

A fresh, spring blanket and cushion in Stylecraft Malabar Aran.

Stylecraft Malabar 9147

Touch of Spring is a free cross stitch design featuring daffodils. This is a free download from Make It Coats.


Knit a ‘Bunny Jar Topper‘ and combine two gifts in one. Fill a jar full of yummy sweets and add the bunny on top for an extra gift.


Annaboo’s House crocheted flowers caught my eye as a fun spring make. They would look fab joined together to make a pretty garland or added to a hair clip.

annaboos house flowers

There you have it our 10 Easter gift ideas. If you have made any gifts for Easter please share your photos and email It would be great to share them here on the blog!

Learning to knit

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 20-03-2015


Have you ever visited the Craft Barn and sat down for a rest and a cuppa in our tea shop? Chances are you will have been served by one of our two lovely tea shop ladies – Jayne or Julie. Always admiring projects being knitted and crocheted by our customers but not knitting themselves Jayne and Julie have been set a challenge, to learn how to knit. The challenge has been set by a group of ladies who attend our weekly knit and natter (Yarn in the Barn). Both Jayne and Julie remember a bit of the basics from learning as children, however they have not picked up the needles since. Armed with a pair of needles each, a ball or yarn and a little tuition from our patient knit and natter ladies Jayne and Julie haven’t done too bad. . This week they have brought in their first attempts.

Jayne hasn’t done too bad. A sprinkle of holes here and there, she did say that she has managed to gain and lose a few stitches. Overall it’s looking like she may have unleashed her inner knitter. Watch this space for jumpers, cardigans, blankets and more!


With some guidance from the knit and natter ladies Jayne was ready to tackle casting off.


Check out Julie’s first attempt. I think she could well be pulling our leg that she’s not knitted for years, what do you think? It looks so neat, and she soon got going doing her cast off.


Next time you make a trip to the Craft Barn be sure to pop in the tea shop and ask how their knitting is progressing.

Stuart Hillard GBSB Guest Blog Post – The Final!

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Guest Blog | Posted on 18-03-2015

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stuart hillard

The Final

Another season of The Great British Sewing Bee came to a close last Thursday and the knives (and scissors and pins) were out. This year’s contestants were, I think, the most competitive bunch so far and the final was as tense as I’ve seen it. Three tasks, three finalists and one winner to crown…or give a golden dress form to.

Everyone seemed to pull everything they had out of the bag, including fairy lights and a pair of “skanklets”… no garment should ever have the work “skank” in it Neil, sorry old love. The final “avant garde”garments were, erm, interesting and certainly not what I was expecting… This season of the sewing bee has been unusual in that the contestants have been expected to draft a lot more of their own patterns and it’s certainly moved quite a way from the original show.

Over the last six weeks we have seen some truly exceptional sewing, records have been beaten (one contestant winning all three challenges) and some really amazing garments have been produced.

The winner, Matt, looked completely gob-smacked by the judges decision!

Photo credit -

Photo credit –

Mollie Makes Issue 51 – Rico Loopy Rug

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 17-03-2015

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Have you picked up issue 51 of Mollie Makes? Turn to page 61 where you will find a fabulous free pattern from Rico. This stunning, statement rug is crocheted in Rico Loopy yarn. It really is an incredible piece, with a diameter of approximately 200cm! The 8 colours are a combination of neutral and brights which, along with the chunky crochet stitch, create a dramatic and bold effect. The rug design is featured in a Rico book called Let’s crochet Again! A modern crochet book with lots of quirky designs for the home.

rico loopy rug

Inside the magazine you will find an exclusive special treat off us (Black Sheep Wools) – 10% off all Rico Loopy yarn and 10% off Let’s Crochet Again! book.

rico loopy

If you do crochet this fantastic rug we would love to see a photo of it lay in situ in your home. Please email your pics to

Premature Baby Campaign – Thank You

Posted by Lesley Cragg | Posted in Company News | Posted on 16-03-2015

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I sent the second lot of items (2 huge boxes!) to the hospital last week in with my friends and they couldn’t believe how many things that had been donated!

Here is a thank you for all of your support and kindness:

“To all our knitting Angels out there, we would like to say a massive THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all your support and generosity. It goes such a long way and helps not only us but many other parents in tough times like this. It lightens up even the darkest days when we walk into the neonatal units and see our babies in their incubators looking cosy and cuddly wearing the hats you have made and cocooned in the blankets. I am pleased to say our babies are progressing now, and as they progress they can wear their own clothes. Which proudly lets me share this photo from yesterday of Rosie having time off her ventilation.


And me having a cuddle with Hollie, wrapped in one of your lovely hand knitted blankets.


We will keep on sharing our progress with you, and once again, thank you so much.”

Steph, Dan, Hollie, and Rosie x x x x

Sara’s Video Blog Three : Mother’s Day Special

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog | Posted on 13-03-2015



Photos of me when I was a baby…….


Stephen and my other brother Simon.


The crocheted hexagons in Stylecraft Special Dk.

crochet hexagons


New Rowan yarns for Spring Summer 2015

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in New Products | Posted on 12-03-2015



Fresh, crisp and fabulous, just a few words to describe the new spring summer yarns from Rowan, epitomized in the photos below.

On one side you have the soft pastel tones, including sherbert and sugary pink.

rowan spring summer

Through to a strong, earthy palette with a bold dash of azure blue and orange. Many shades can jump between the two and will work harmoniously together.

rowan spring summer yarns

There are three new additions to the Rowan range – Rowan Cotton Lustre, Rowan Tetra Cotton and Rowan Summerlite 4ply. Each yarn has unique qualities that set it apart from the others. They are all share a feeling of summer. In fact they all contain some amount of cotton, both Tetra Cotton and Summerlite 4ply are 100% cotton! Each yarn comes with an array of designs from Rowan in individual books.

Without further ado let’s introduce the yarns one by one……….


Rowan Cotton Lustre is a tape yarn that knits on 6mm needles. Choose a summer project to knit in this yarn and it will be made up in no time at all! Find a good mix of casual tops, sweaters and cardigans in the Cotton Lustre book. Notice how many designs are taking advantage of the wonderful drape created in the knitted fabric, ‘Kaneshon’ – waterfall cardigan is an example.

rowan cotton lustre

rowan tetra cotton

Each shade of Rowan Tetra Cotton is made up of four different colours, creating a subtle multi tonal effect when knitted.  The photography for the book has been shot on a beach. All of the texture and earthy tones found on a rugged rock surface and pebbled, seaweed covered shoreline are echoed in the colour palette of Tetra Cotton yarn.

rowan tetra cotton

rowan Summerlite 4ply

Rowan Summerlite 4ply is a incredibly soft yarn with a matt finish. The shade palette takes you through subtle pastels to bold, muted teal and grey. This yarn comes with an accompanying pattern book bursting with exquisite, delicate designs, the type of cardigans that would be the finishing touch to a summer wedding outfit or holiday dress. Summerlite 4ply would also work beautifully crocheted. It is no surprise Rowan have chosen this for their Crochet Along with Lisa Richardson. The first pattern is to be released on 25th March, find more details on the Rowan website.

rowan summerlite 4ply

Which Rowan yarn will you choose to knit or crochet with this spring summer? We would love to see what you make. Please email photos of your progress or finished projects to

Stuart Hillard GBSB Guest Blog Post – Semi Final

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Guest Blog | Posted on 11-03-2015

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stuart hillard

Semi Final

This week sewing got brutal, Neil got all Black Lace and there were some shocks in the sewing room.  The first challenge saw our hopefuls tackle a pencil skirt, nothing too challenging about that, until Patrick threw in the requirements… a lace outer skirt and slippery satin lining.  Both tricky fabrics to work with and a challenge designed to sort out the serious contenders for the final and those whose days were numbered.  The atmosphere was incredibly tense and no one really looked like they were having a jolly time.  There were two firsts in this challenge, Neil struggled and Matt came top… I didn’t see that coming.

The alteration challenge came next, turning a rubber wetsuit into a ladies dress.  Funnily enough none of the sewers were familiar with the particular skills required for this one and I couldn’t help thinking that the programme makers were being nasty for the sake of it.  I hated all the creations but I hated Deborah’s least which for once, was something the judges and I agreed on.

Last challenge was to make a perfectly fitted leather jacket in 6 ½ hours… I have made bags with leather but never clothes and this challenge did excite and terrify me in equal measure!  Clover mini clips are perfect for holding seams together for fitting and sewing (much better than bulldog clips!) and a teflon or non stick foot is pretty essential too.  These both work for sewing oil cloth too, which makes brilliant bags.  I loved Lorna’s jacket, Neil triumphed and we said goodbye to Paul and Deborah which left me feeling sad and just a little bit bereft.

It’s the final next week and Neil, Lorna and Matt will battle it out, although  for me, there has been an obvious winner from week 1. Who’s your money on?