Thursday 31 December 2015

Final Finishes for 2015

Yesterday one of my friends came over for a day of stitching.  I'm currently on our Christmas break from work, but Mick is still hard at it.  The perfect opportunity to play.

Anne arrived with two large embroidery hoops and a plan.

Thinking of my new sewing room, which will become a reality in the next few months, I found a couple of fat quarters in the stash, and before long we had made a very handy pocket to hang on the wall. I'm rather happy with the result. I may just have to add a little something to the top to break it up.  Maybe an origami butterfly, methinks.

As the hoops took less time than we anticipated, we looked for another project and came up with a Goody Goody Binding Kit which has been making several appearances around blogland.  A bit more work in this one, but not difficult at all.  Anne used the same fabrics as for her hoop and I dived into my fabric drawers and came up with some fabric scraps, this time from a quillow I had made way back when - like in 2008.  It is the second bottom photo in the link, one of the first projects I ever blogged about.  The scraps were just the right size for what I needed with a few extra fabrics added.

I'm so pleased with the look of this. However, when I bind a quilt my tools of choice are needle, thread, scissors and one pin.  I don't actually use any clips.

Now, that doesn't mean it won't get used.  Oh no.  I have a plan......

An English Paper Piecing Kit. That WILL be handy.  A nice zippered section for the individual little bits and pieces - yes I do use binding clips here - and the bigger pocket for finished sections.  Maybe I'd better use it and finish the table mat in time for Nundle in only a couple of months time.

The pattern was very easy to follow.  Just a couple of observations - the fabric ties could have been quite a bit longer than the pattern says, as there isn't enough length to tie a bow, and the fabric strip on the inside for holding cotton reels is too thick for a Gutermann reel, which is what I mainly use.  Looking closely at the pattern, they show Aurifil thread, which appears to have a larger hole in the centre of the reel.  I think I will carefully remove the fabric strip and replace it with narrow ribbon to tie in the middle. Also, I changed the shape of the scissor keep.  That was just for speed. I would certainly make it again. It is a great project.

I don't have a photo of Anne's projects, as we didn't finish off the back of our hoops or stitch the bindings on our Binding Kits until last night, after she had gone home.  Anne used bright, bold, large scale prints, while my projects were ditsy.  It is amazing how different the same projects look with different fabrics. They both looked great. A rather interesting exercise.

We were both really pleased with what we achieved on the day.  Now we will have to plan another get together some time.

More Christmas Giving

Over the last few years, Loulee and I have swapped Christmas gifts, firstly while she lived on the Isle of Man and now from New Zealand.

This is the little collection I sent this year.

All the little gifts were made from tutorials I found online.  The Christmas Hexy Coasters were a new one to me and so quick and easy.  Maximum effect for minimum effort - just how I like it.  Now I need to make some more for us. It is also the first time I have made a Cathedral Window Pincushion.  This one was a bit fiddlier, but worth persevering with.  Once again, I need to make one for myself.  The Fabric Basket, Origami Butterfly, Fabric Tray and Origami Ornament for Lou's blue Christmas Tree were all patterns I had made before.

Unfortunately, the post is being a little slow and the giftie that Lou sent in this direction is still in transit - something to look forward to in the New Year.

Secret Santa Christmas Swap Gifts

Now that Christmas  has passed for another year I can reveal the gifts I sent to Carole and those I received from Oddbjorg.

Secret Santa Christmas Swap has become a part of Christmas I really look forward to.  A special thanks to Chooky for going ahead with it this year, considering she had quite a bit going on in the background.

Firstly, this is the little parcel that went winging its way to the USA to Carole.

I had fun making up the pattern for the table runner once I saw the background fabric.

Oddbjorg sent me these gifties all the way from Norway.

What a cute and practical gift.  I’ve never had a bag for my knitting.  It has always just gone wherever it will fit, and the pouch for circular knitting needles is also great.  Another item that never gets properly stored around here.  The sweet pink charm squares will find a use I’m sure.

Thanks for the great presents.

I have always received wonderful gifts in the SSCS.

Monday 14 December 2015

The SSCS Sleigh Has Landed

I know I have said it before, but Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Chookyblue’s Secret Santa Christmas Swap.

This year I sent my parcel off to the United States.  Carole was the recipient.  She has participated in every Swap.  What a trooper.

I won’t share the decoration until Carole has had a chance to share on her blog.

Now I received my gift all the way from Oddbjorg in Norway.

I have to be very strong and not open the main gift until Christmas Day.

In the meantime, we had to put up our Christmas tree.  Now, our main tree is too large for our current lounge room and we wanted something a bit bigger than our little table topper tree, so we went shopping.  Yes, I said “we”.  Mick even came along.  We looked at quite a few and finally settled on one that was not quite your usual traditional tree, but it is great for showcasing special decorations.  Love those twinkly lights built into the tree - no messy cords.  I also love the way the photo has made them sparkle.

There’s Oddbjorg’s decoration front and centre.

Thanks Oddbjorg.  I can’t wait till Christmas.

Thanks Chooky for organising us all.

Thursday 3 December 2015

The Sleigh Is On It’s Way

Once again I have joined in Chookyblue’s Secret Santa Christmas Swap.

SSCS 2015 Logo

Last week a parcel started winging its way to somewhere in the world.

November 2015 001

No peeking, but here is a teaser.

November 2015 144

Thanks as always to Chooky for making this happen.  A very special part of Christmas.