Friday, 31 December 2010

Christmas Presents 2010

During the summer I hatched a plan with my 3 daughters to make daddy a 'prayer' quilt.  Daddy gets up very early in the mornings to pray, but during the winter months it can be very cold at 5.30am!  So we thought a snuggly quilt with especially chosen bible verses sewn into it would inspire daddy while he prays, and keep him nice and warm!  I gave the children 3 calico squares each with a handful of fabric pens and off they went, writing and creating.  I pre-cut 2.5" strips from some of daddy's old shirts and other shirt fabric I've acquired over the years.  They chose their strips to border each of their blocks and they sewd them around their verses. 

Complete with spelling mistakes! So cute!!

I then quilted them, and made them up into the quilt with other simple 9 square and log cabin blocks.  The quilt was made in a raw-edge style - each block is quilted separately, then sewn wrong sides together.  After snipping all the raw seams and putting it through the washing machine and tumble dryer, you get lovely fluffy seams. 

I designed the quilt so that the blocks on the front and the back are readable, so technically, there is no back!  Both sides can be admired!  Needless to say, Daddy loved his 'prayer' quilt made by his girls and has enjoyed a few prayer times (& snoozes!) under it. 

My eldest daughter had announced before Christmas that she would like a new pencil case.  I had recently spied a tutorial on Bits and Pieces Blogspot for a pencil case so thought I'd have a go. 

I was so pleased with the result, I made pencil cases for my 2 other daughters also, and wrapped them up for Christmas day. 

They were delighted with them and were quickly filled with the new felt-tips and pens Santa had put in their sacks.
Happy Campers!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Made for Me!

Having a dedicated sewing room tucked upstairs in the house is a wonderful place to escape to and bury myself in creative industry, working on new projects for classes, commissions and presents.  Time goes by at such a rate that I'm blissfully unaware of life carrying on around me, outside my inner world.  So much so that my husband has had to install a door bell extension in my sewing room so I can remember that other life forms do exist 'out there' - especially postmen!  I sometimes feel like I come out of hibernation & back into reality when I leave my sewing room! 

By this time of year however, I'm ready to indulge in making things for myself and spending less time in my 'lock-up', integrating more with the other humans I live with!  A dedicated creative space is great, but it's not very sociable.  So when spending time downstairs with the family, or watching TV, I like to crochet (my hands always seem to need something to do!).  I never took to knitting as a child (despite the enforced 'knit-ins' at school).  But when a great Aunt taught me to crochet at 8 years of age, I took to it instantly and found the quick making up of projects very gratifying. 

I haven't crocheted a thing since last Christmas, when I made 2 cushions for my lounge, and several other pieces for a craft fair (which sold really well!).  So when I found a great wee pattern for a crotched basket on chickpea studios I couldn't wait to try it.  I bought 3 balls of household string (eventually using 2.5) and went for it. 

I haven't crocheted with string before, and despite what felt like an upper body workout, and some very sore fingers later, this is what I produced.  It took me a few evenings to make, and I went for a pale green trim round the rim and in the handles.  I love the finished result and am still looking for a prominent place in which to show it off!!!!!

For any crochet enthusiasts out there, I would highly recommend this wee project.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas Classes 2010

After 6 weeks of amazing creativity and energy, my 2 Christmas classes came to an end.  Well done to them all for their commitment in braving the ice, snow and busy pre-Christmas schedules. 

It's amazing what Christmas does to people!  The productivity & enthusiasm from the class was inspiring and I was humbled by and proud of what they achieved.  Like the tiny sunflower seed which yields the towering flower, a morsel of guidance and a few simple ideas can unleash wonderful creative results from minds and hands that are passionate to learn.  I think next year we'll start our Christmas projects in August!!

My Friday morning class made gorgeous table centres, some Christmassey, some not.  A special well done to those who were first-timers to a Rags to Bags class (not to mention not having used a sewing machine in quite a while!).  You all did brilliantly and I hope these amazing creations are in full view of all residents and visitors to your homes over Christmas!  Showing off is permitted!

Thursday night-ers got busy making scrappy stockings (large & small), gift bags, bunting (large & mini) and cornets!  Phew!  Busy Beavers!  I had a job keeping up & I'm the tutor!  I don't have many pics of their wonderful achievements, but check out Thursday night-er Sew Me who has some fab photos of her Christmas sewing fest.

Great way to use up your scraps!
 And now that classes are finished, I get to make my own Christmas presents.  My youngest daughter's teacher gets a vintage style stocking (filled with a bottle of mulled wine - yum!).  Classroom assistants, form teachers, piano & flute tutors all get gift bags filled with old fashioned jars of sweeties (double yum!).

Cream & gold scraps with vintage ribbon & lace worked in.

Awful picture!! Camera problems - booooooh!

I recently discovered the concept of patchwork coasters.  These have made great gift ideas for some of my friends and family members.  They are quilted and machine washable - fab!  Here are some of the log cabin ones I've made so far, using 1.5" wide scraps - throw nothing in your bin!!!!!

The other present projects I'm working on can't be revealed yet.  They're surprises & I can't risk any nosey family members finding out what they are before the big day!  I might post pics of them in the new year.