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Creative weekend

What a great weekend we have just had! 


A lovely afternoon with Annie and her friends celebrating her 40th birthday on Saturday, they chose to do creative textiles instead of partying in a club, because they knew that was what she would prefer, so thoughtful of them.  They decided to create a wall hanging for Annie’s daughter, each working on a piece which eventually would be sewn together and framed for the bedroom wall.


They worked out a plan and then delved into my boxes of bits to find fabrics to work with, then buttons and ribbons that would brighten it up.  Hand sewing, machining and gluing into place all the elements which made up this lovely picture, which when finished they will be very proud of.



On Sunday we were at Barrow on Soar street market.  We have never been there before and it was a last minute decision we were lucky to get a space.  We arrived at 8.30am with a car full of stuff, Amy got out to find our space which was perfectly placed in the middle of the market, next to the WI, their cakes looked, and tasted great, what a lunchtime treat!  After disgorging everything onto the pavement our friend arrived with his gazebo, we set to and erected it with all the wools, hooks, samples and everything, we were very pleased with the stall it looked great.


The market began at 10am and I was surprised how many people were wandering around looking at the stalls, our guessing game certainly had people wondering at how many metres of DMC’s Natura XL there were in the bag I had crocheted, there were some really wild guesses which caused great hilarity. The winner of the competition was Sharon Lewis! She guess right with 435m!

crochet bag pouff stitch natura xl just cotton

There was such an amazing amount of interest in learning new skills, crocheting particularly, and the more seasoned knitters rifled through the vintage patterns we bought along, they were very popular.


The weather held up nicely it was warm, even sunny at one point, then as the afternoon wore on the wind got up and nearly blew over the stall opposite us, (we tied ours to some railings!) It was at that point we decided it had been a lovely day, meeting lots of very friendly people, but it was time to pack up and go home.


We will definitely do it again next year, and well done to Ophelia for all her hard work in organising the market, which was a great success.

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Stripy Summer Crochet Bag

Stripy Crochet Summer Bag DMC Natura XL Just Cotton

We have a new bag on the block! 

It’s our Stripy Summer Crochet Bag made with gorgeous, soft DMC Natura XL Just Cotton. 

Fancy having a small bag you can throw a couple of items in and pop out to the shops or for a drink? Then this is the bag for you!

It’s easy to make, using a size 7.0mm crochet hook, you should be able to finish the bag in 1 or 2 sittings, depending on your capability and time constraints! You can finish off you bag with any buttons and add some lining on the inside to make it more secure.  Natura XL is lovely and soft but because it’s a cotton it also has the durability and makes it perfect to make into bags!

We have a link to buy the wool and pattern here for only £15

When you have finished you bag, share it on our Facebook or Twitter, we love to see you work!

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Creative Textiles Workshop

creative textiles workshop sailing boats

Creative Textiles Workshop


I love fabric, its tactile, versatile, you can do almost anything with it, shape it, mould it, sew it, whatever.  I am so very fortunate to have a fantastic array of different fabrics, different weights, different colours, from fabulous silks to gorgeous upholstery fabrics , braids, ribbons, buttons, cottons.  With these our creative textiles workshop is unique.

What can you do with ‘creative textiles’ I am often asked this, well pictures, wall hangings, cushions, bedspreads whatever you like really.

The workshop we did recently  was interesting in that one lady said she had the sewing skills but lacked creativity.  Up until that point I would probably have ‘themed’ the workshop but I decided that to get creative you needed to be stimulated and therefore a blank canvas was the starting point, and lots of pictures, magazines, cards with different themes on them, and a wall hanging which was done earlier created by 15 people who had never done anything like this before, each tackled their ‘square’ in a different way and all very colourful, lively and effective.  One little square with birds on it, started the theme off for our lady and was developed from there.

Creative textiles workshop wall hanging
Creative textiles workshop wall hanging

Another saw an impressionist painting of boats, this sparked her imagination.  They delved into the boxes of fabric to find scraps to develop their themes with, each had a piece of beige cotton/linen (curtain weight) to develop their pictures.  Hand sewing with silks, cottons and wool, and machining with different stitches with a little help and nurturing, the creations were developed.

creative textiles workshop sailing boats
creative textiles workshop sailing boats

The final results were great, one was made into a wall hanging and put on the bathroom wall, the other was to be stretched onto canvas to create a picture.

Creative Textiles workshop
Creative Textiles workshop sailing boats
creative textiles workshop bird collage
creative textiles workshop bird collage

Why not come and join us for a workshop and unlock your creative side, its great fun 🙂

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Learn to crochet workshop


Another lovely crochet workshop filled with lots of tea, giggles and learning the art of crochet!

If you missed out on the workshop here’s a few pictures of the evening where we learnt all the basics of holding the wool and hook, making a chain stitch, double crochet stitch, and half treble stitch, not to mention starting a round! All in the space of two hours!

I hope the ladies who came enjoyed the evening, and took home their knowledge so they can start creating!


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Easy Peasy Crochet Teapot Stand and Coasters

crochet teapot stand and coasters

Easy Peasy Crochet Teapot Stand and Coasters


I crocheted this teapot stand and 8 coasters in less than an hour.


1 ball Hoooked Zpagetti and a 10mm hook.



Teapot Stand

R1        C4 then slip stitch into the first loop to form a ring.

R2        C2, then 10HT into the ring, SS into the second chain to form ring

R3        C2, *1HT into next stitch, C1.  Repeat from * to end then SS into 2nd

chain to form ring.

R4        C2, *1HT into next stitch, C1.  Repeat from * in all stitches to end then

SS into 2nd chain to form ring and finish off.

Easy peasy teapot stand and coasters


Coasters (make 8)

R1        C4 then slip stitch into the first loop to form a ring.

R2        C2, then 10HT into the ring, SS into the second chain to form ring

R3        C2, *1HT into next stitch, C1.  Repeat from * to end then SS into 2nd

chain to form ring. Finish off.

crochet teapot stand and coasters


C          =          Chain

HT        =          Half Treble – loop yarn around hook, insert into stitch, pull a loop through                        (3 loops on hook), then pull another loop through all three

SS         =          Slip stitch

To download the full pattern click here Easy Peasy Crochet Teapot Stand with pic

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Beautiful crochet tote bag

crochet bag pouff stitch natura xl just cotton



Oooh I loved the pattern as soon as I saw it, gorgeous burnt orange a  real zinga for the summer….  And different too.


It’s a crocheted tote bag, I used Natura XL  the colour was perfect, and the weight of the cotton just right for the bag.  Using a 5mm hook I started at the top of the bag creating a simple ribbed look with double crochet into the back of each stitch.  The main body of the bag was all done in a ‘bobble’ stitch, which I adapted slightly from the pattern as I felt it was too bulky and would make the bag too heavy.


The bobble stitch was fairly easy to do, with the yarn over the hook first and inserting the hook, yarn over again and pulling the loop through about 2.5mm (1”) repeating that so that you have 7 loops on the hook before pulling a final yarn over through all of them to tighten the bobble at the top. That is repeated along the row and when you get to the end you find you have twice as many stitches so you have to turn and do a double crochet into every other stitch to get back to the right amount.

crochet bobble stitch


Its very effective and finished the body of the bag really stylishly.  The base of the bag was made quite sturdy by crocheting into the stitch below each time.  The whole process apart from the base was repeated for the other side of the bag.  I then used a crochet slip stitch to attach the pieces together.


To line the bag I used a blue cotton fabric, did a French seam to join it and I bound the bottom section so that no frayed edges would be seen then slip stitched it into place inside the body of the bag.  For the long handles I used a pretty woven ribbon which I sewed back to back and then attached to the inside of the bag where the main body joined the rim.


All in all I am very pleased with the final result and will enjoy using it in all summer long.  I used about 6 balls to make this fabulous bag.


We have some great colours of Natura XL in stock, and apart from bags which it is great for you can make cushions, mats, tops in fact all sorts of things.



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Plan a party with us!

parties Loughborough

Joy To Make creates fun and creative parties for all ages and abilities.

If you are planning a special event, why not consider Joy To Make to add that certain special something to the mix!

Joy To Make offers a full party service which includes activities from sewing, crochet, knitting to painting and textile art.

If you would like help finding a venue or organising food and refreshments, we can also organise this for you. We know of a number of venues and catering companies throughout the East Midlands area. We can organise something as little as an afternoon tea with some Prosecco or a full hot or cold buffet.

Past parties we have been involved in are: Hen parties, baby showers, and birthdays for both children and adults in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

If you are interested in booking Joy To Make for your party then you can email us through our contact page



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A fun workshop weekend!

Sock fair crochet workshop Joy To Make

What a busy weekend we had with crochet workshops and private sewing tuition.

On Saturday we were teaching how to make a Roman Blind, Sunday we were running a crochet workshop for children at The Sock Gallery in Loughborough, and Monday we were making curtains.


Our Roman Blind workshop was to make one large window measuring  and one small window  . We started off by working out the maths, Roman Blinds are tricky to make, but once you have got all your measurements worked out, it’s really just a case of piecing it together and sewing them up. The maths at the start is the hardest part.


The following day we embarked on our children’s crochet workshop for The Sock Gallery Fair in Loughborough. We managed to teach nearly 100 children aged 4-16 how to finger knit and crochet. For the younger children we taught them how to do basic chain stitches on their fingers and they created some creepy crawlies out of really bright colours of Hooked yarn by DMC. They then were set loose decorating their bugs with pipe cleaners and beads.

Because of the time restriction on how long people would stay, we thought this would be a great idea to quickly show how you can make a basic chain stitch and turn it into something unusual! The kids really enjoyed themselves and were very pleased with what they accomplished!

We also showed the older children how to make their own friendship bracelets using myboshi wool and crochet hooks. These were made using a simple chain stitch, we taught each one how to hold the hook in one hand and thread the yarn through their fingers to create tension in their other hand. It’s amazing how many boys took to crochet and really enjoy making their own bracelets!

We also got to chat to lots of people about learning to crochet themselves so they could teach their children. We were really pleased with the level of interest and we hope to see you all at one of our workshops in the future.

We would like to thank the Sock Fair for the opportunity, we really enjoyed being able to pass on some skills to such a happy bunch of children!

Finally we ordered some branded clothing to wear at our workshops and events. T-shirts and hoodies! Take a look!

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A fun crochet workshop!

myboshi wool

We met once again to make myboshi beanie hats in our crochet workshop.

The group was a mixture of beginners and some who have had a go at crochet before.

It’s a pleasure being able to pass on such an enjoyable skill like crochet, and by the end of the workshop, beanie hats had started to take shape!

The main stitch that is used to make a myboshi beanie is the ‘half treble’, so we mainly focused on showing how to do the stitch, as well as the basic chain stitch which you use to start of the boshi.

One of the most important things we show during the crochet workshop is how to change colours of your beanie which is done at the ‘slip stitch’ stage, more information on this can be found on this link. Myboshi has lots of variety of different colours, it’s an important technique to learn how to do as it can be tricky and leave holes in your beanie if not done right.

Once you have mastered the skill of crochet it is possible to make a beanie in an evening or two, as long as you don’t have distractions!

We hope all that came to the workshop enjoyed themselves as much as we did, and do come back to visit us soon!



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Changing colour on a myboshi beanie hat

changing colour crochet

Changing colour on a myboshi beanie hat

What is also important in making a myboshi beanie is changing colours of the hat, which you do once you come to the end of your ’round’. You introduce the new colour at the ‘slip stitch’ stage, where you insert your hook into the stitch and loop the new yarn onto your hook and back through the stitch,  and the pulling the yarn tight to close up the seam.

changing colour crochet
Slip stitch stage
slip stitch changing colour
Pull new yarn back through the stitch
myboshi colour change
Pull the yarn tight and start new round with the new colour