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Hello again

I was reading Jenny’s blog again recently and was reminded that I wanted to give you all some more ideas for homemade gifts.

ELEFANTZ homemade stitched with heartstrings button

As you know I am a bit of a fan of Christmas fabrics and Christmas ornaments :-) and I think there is nothing nicer than a handmade ornament as a gift.

Years ago I used to cross stitch Christmas cards, pre blog so no pictures sadly, and loved doing it. However cards only tend to be used once then put away.

I got the idea for ornaments when my Mum started putting all the old cards out year after year so I thought why don’t I make hanging ornaments instead then they can be re-used.

So here are a selection of patterns and tutorials for your Christmas gifts, some by me others that I have found and love.

I now make at least 15 keepsake ornaments every year and they have become something that people always look forward to getting, it is lovely to go to friends’ houses and see things on their trees that I made years ago that even I have forgotten about.

Quilted Ball Ornaments

These are my 2015 special gifts for my friends from toddler group – 23 years of friendship and still going strong with sons and daughters now all in their 20s!

Quilted bauble

There is a great step-by-step tutorial here  and despite the fact that they look difficult they really aren’t. Great for relaxing in front of the TV as it is very therapeutic and you don’t need any sewing skills. Fabric is pinned onto a polystyrene bauble.

Christmas Stockings

These are ultimate cuteness and come from the lovely Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits. I would say medium level knitting skills and the instructions are brilliant. They are knitted flat and are very quick to do.

Knitted xmas stockings

Suffolk Puff Bauble

Again a great way to relax and you can embellish this with buttons, charms, pins etc as you wish. The base is a polystyrene bauble as with the quilted bauble.Detailed tutorial is here.

Suffolk puff bauble

Hexagon Ornaments

This is one of my designs combining my love of English Paper Piecing and Christmas fabric, I love adding charms and buttons to these.Tutorial on how to make them is here.

Hexi Xmas ornie

Cute embroidered hoops for children

Embroidered Xmas ornaments

I just had to share this one with you, no detailed instructions for this version but they look easy enough to follow from these pictures. There are some wonderful things in this 25 ideas booklet from 36th Avenue blog including these amazing cupcakes!Christmas tree cupcakes


Crazy Patchwork Trees and Hearts

I love using up all my scraps so have made some crazy patchwork ornaments over the years, here are some examples of little trees and padded hearts and a step by step tutorial for making the patchwork tree here.

Patchwork Xmas Hearts

Patchwork Xmas Tree

If you want to make the hearts just make a bigger patchwork sheet as below and cut hearts out from it.

Patchwork ornaments

Star Pentagon Ornaments

I have not made these yet but they look beautiful and very simple to do. This Create 4 Fun site contains downloadable PDFs for this and other ornaments.

Star Pentagon Ornament

Small Cross Stitch motifs

This free pattern is for a game but I think they would make lovely ornaments stitched and surrounded by pretty Christmas fabrics.

Small cross stitch motifs

There are lots more links to free cross stitch patterns at this site with a good selection for children’s ornaments.

Redwork Sampler

What could be more festive than redwork? This free sampler pattern from Bronwyn Hayes at Red Brolley    is so lovely and could easily be used for smaller ornaments. There are more redwork Christmas freebies at that site as well.

Bronwen Hayes _Christmasredworkembroiderysampler_1

Happy Christmas ornament making, take care and see you soon. Thanks for visiting.

Hello there, hope that you are all well and happy and are doing something nice.

I am looking forward to a wonderful weekend of sewing, I have just finished up two more Christmas ornaments and have a present to finish later and then just may have a play with the latest addition to my retirement fund.

I saw three ladies at the Birmingham Festival of Quilts who had brilliant t-shirts on with the logo, ‘I have a retirement plan, I plan to quilt’. I always tell the kids that one of the reasons I buy fabric now is so that I will have enough when I am living on my pension, well it won’t go off will it?

I would not have bought this were it not for my friend Debbie who came to knitting with this lovely and incredibly cheap fabric from our local haberdashers, only £2.20 a metre, you just have to buy some at that price!

Xmas fabric oct 15

Xmas fabric oct 15 3

Xmas fabric oct 15 4

Xmas fabric oct 15 5

Then there was this that was a little bit more expensive, (so I only bought 1/4 metre lengths of this), the latest Makower print.

Xmas fabric oct 15 1

It is going to be the best sort of weekend as it is followed by half term, (yippee :-) :-) !) I am not off anywhere as I saw all the family last weekend but am working from home for most of it that so that means late starts and early finishes and lots of time for nice cooking and crafting.

I am very much in soup mode at the moment as I have had a horrible cough and cold and not felt like eating much else so have purchased the pumpkin for the annual soup!

Sadly it is raining which means that I won’t be going out, but more excuse to stay on the sofa, under the fleece and sew – what a lovely life.

Here are the Christmas ornaments that I finished yesterday, another one of Jenny of Elefantz’s wonderful designs, this is an adaptation of one of the designs in the Nov Stitchery Club set.

Elefantz Christmas Hearts stitchery

I altered the little flag to say Merry Christmas and am very pleased how neat the little letters have come out, Jenny’s designs are great for practising neat stitches. Just ignore those bits that aren’t so neat at the bottom of the bird ;-)

Xmas bird ornie 1

Xmas bird ornie 2

Xmas bird ornie 3

The little brass charm is from Stitch Direct.

I think these would look great in redwork stitching with that Makower snowflake fabric above so that might have to be my next set.

I have also treated myself to this book, it has been on my Amazon wishlist for a long time and once I have finished all the outstanding block of the month challenges, which I am hoping to do this week, I will be making a couple of runners for my house.

Xmas blocks book

Xmas blocks book 2

I have taken the decision not to do any craft fairs this year, what with making stuff for Sarah’s Yarndale stall and the wedding outfit and the possible trip to China with work that sadly did not happen, I felt that I would be too rushed so all my Christmas crafting this year will be for me!

I have already made most of the gift ornaments, that’s what you get for starting in July lol.

Have a very lovely weekend, thanks for visiting and see you all soon.

Hello everyone

Today is the final day of Karen’s Made Up fund raising challenge, there is still time to donate if you haven’t done through the Just Giving page. The initiative has raised over £2500 – way more than the initial £1000 hoped for so that is brilliant, well done Karen!

I am also very excited to tell you that I won a giveaway on her blog for a limited edition Made Up tote bag which arrived this weekend :-)

Made Up tote bag

Thank you Karen, it is lovely and I always need lots of sewing bags to carry things to and from groups.

I have finished the ornament that I said I would make, the design is adapted from Jenny of Elefantz August Stitchery Club design, I just used the central bird motif, added beads and star sequins and the word Noel.

Elfantz Xmas bird ornament 1

Elfantz Xmas bird ornament 2

I put it together with two layers of thin wadding, on the rear just quilted across the ornament and on the front hand quilted. I added some little hanging corners using Jenny’s tutorial and a bamboo skewer to keep it in shape.

The white fabric I stitched on also has little leaves on it. The holly fabric is some of the new stash from the Festival of Quilts. I have lots of different holly fabrics and love them!

Elefantz Xmas ornament for Made Up - detail 3

I do love the little holly buttons, I have been using these for a few years in my ornaments, you can get them from several sources including here on Ebay.

I have got the ornament hanging on my door at the moment and am seriously tempted to leave it there it looks so cute, it’s not too early to decorate for Christmas is it ;-)

I am very pleased to have finished the pledge on time as lots of other finishes going on here, (and starts as I cut out the wedding jacket today eek!), am having a busy time finishing the things for Sarah for Yarndale as well.

Am also having serious technical difficulties as my mouse has stopped working, (I struggle with just the pad on the laptop), and I still can’t find my camera, which would not be so much of an issue if all the pictures on my phone did not keep turning themselves upside down!!

Am looking forward to getting everything done and then I am going to do lots and lots of other embroidery designs from my Jenny folder!

Take care and thanks for visiting.


Hello, hope that you are all having a nice weekend, I am enjoying a weekend at home, catching up on a few household things and crafting of course ;-)

Last year was the first time we had a little craft session to start ornaments early, a Christmas in July,  and we had another one yesterday at Sharon’s house with tapas and delicious ice cream from the local ice cream parlour and café.

Apologies for some reason even the pictures are the right way round in my photo editing package they won’t display properly in here so are sideways on!

Emily and I made cones and I borrowed her idea of finishing mine with a ribbon and bead decoration I had in my stash.

Crafternoon July Emily 1

Crafternoon July Emily 2

Crafternoon July cone

Crafternoon July cone  2

Helen was busy making a hexagon snowflake using fabric from Simply Solids’  new Christmas fabric stock, this is going to be one of their sample items for the shop.

Crafternoon July Helen 1

Crafternoon July Helen 2

She especially wanted me to take a picture of her cute cat earrings, the body bit moves as if the cat is dancing!

Crafternoon July Helen 3

Crafternoon July Helen 3

I also finished another of the gorgeous quilted baubles, as I thought these have been very addictive, am having to ration myself and make sure I get on with other stuff as well.

Crafternoon July bauble
I am busy finishing the linen pincushions for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale  at the moment so hope to be able to post pictures of some completed ones later on in the week.

Enjoy whatever you are doing, take care and thanks for visiting.

I am so lucky to live here, not only do I have wonderful scenery and fantastic hills, rivers and canals to go walking but also a really great group of friends who I met through the knitting group Wool and Wine.

It is lovely to know people who are very happy to spend Saturday afternoons, (and into the evening as we didn’t finish until 10.30 yesterday), making Christmas ornaments with me in June ;-)

There were four of us yesterday, Debbie and Fiona have not been before and Sharon and Ted came as well.


crafternoon 2

crafternoon 3

Ted did try to help bless him but the lack of opposable thumbs, (and the fact he was really more interested in the cake), meant that he didn’t get very far.

crafternoon 6

The rest of us were very productive and in between eating cute little cupcakes, courtesy of Marks and Spencer, and drinking a little fizz we made an ornament each.

crafternoon 5

crafternoon 4

Debbie’s was the Christmas flower that I adapted from the brooch kit I bought last year from Teazle.

crafternoon 7

This was my second quilted bauble using a mixture of holly and star fabric and a double ribbon border.

crafternoon 8

crafternoon 9

crafternoon 10

Fiona made her first ever bauble using the polystyrene shapes, she chose this lovely Scandi style fabric as she and her husband run a furniture company selling vintage mid 20th century designs called Scandi-Mod  so she loves this style.

crafternoon 11

crafternoon 13

Sharon made one of the new style quilted baubles, isn’t it pretty! She is now hooked as well, they are so addictive and so easy to do.

crafternoon 14

crafternoon 15

I started another in gold and decided that I really liked the shape of the design that was emerging without offsetting the pieces so I carried on layering them and ended up with this which I think is beautiful.

I just need to add the border out of the same gold as the middle fabric and a bit of bling. This one might have to stay with me :-)

crafternoon 16

I have to finish a tabard for Jamie this afternoon to protect his new 15th century armour, pictures of that after we have seen him at Tewkesbury and then have a bit of socialising to do before we go to Spain, it is my birthday on Tuesday so am seeing family before I go which will be very nice.

Will be back blogging in a couple of weeks after hopefully lots of lovely relaxing at the pool and the beach and lots of sun which I am really looking forward to, June is proving to be quite wet here in Yorkshire!

Take care and thanks for visiting.


In between marking and knitting Sarah’s sample I have been having a little browse around the internet for Christmas ornaments for the coming Crafternoon.

I do love the internet for getting ideas, what would we do if it broke? I would be so sad without reading all the lovely blogs and watching You Tube tutorials.

Anyway I found some pictures of a gorgeous ‘quilted’ bauble which looked very complicated but isn’t – and thanks to this   Quilted Xmas ornament tutorial  managed to make one, isn’t it pretty!

quilted xmas ornie

quilted xmas ornie 2

I think they might be my favourite ornaments so far, it is a hugely therapeutic make and takes very little concentration so will be doing many more of these.

quilted xmas ornie 3

quilted xmas ornie 4

I know I said that the Suffolk Puff bauble below that I made one of late last year would be my gift ornament of choice this year but these are so stunning I will have to make more. Plus they use up lots of fabric so I will be able to clear some of the stash! All good.

Suffolk puff bauble

I found this Quilted Xmas ornies Pinterest board  with lots and lots of other examples of them on so will use this for inspiration.

If you prefer written instructions this is a Quilted Xmas ornies written tutorial  and they use a feature fabric for the centre fussy cut rather than the folded pieces.

These would make a lovely gifts for younger relatives and I have seem some examples with names embroidered on the centre piece or cross stitch motifs.

Now off to Ebay just to stock up on a few more Christmas charms, miracles of internet shopping!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

There is nothing more lovely than waking up on a Saturday morning (without the alarm going off) realising it is Saturday morning (yippee no work), knowing that Sunday follows Saturday (yippee still no work), remembering that you did all the housework in the previous two days (the joys of working from home meaning you can get the boring stuff done in between work) so realising that the next 48 hours are just yours for stitching :-) Added to that the fact that next week is the end of term with a couple of Christmas dos to attend and then I am on holiday!

And I have discovered (and made) a new Christmas ornament which is will share with you in a minute – I may just be the happiest bunny on the planet!!!

Plus my lovely son has returned from University for the holidays so not only is it very nice to spend time with him (and lovely daughter from next weekend) but he very kindly does the stuff like vacuuming, popping to the shops and jobs that need a tall person.

First the important task of telling you who won the giveaway for my 7th blogaversary. Thanks to the random number generator the winner is ‘Like number 3’ who is Pam in the UK.

Please could you e-mail me at with your address so I can send your ornaments out. Thanks as well to everyone else who liked and for all the lovely comments.

We had another little ornament making session recently (or Crafternoon as Sharon discovered they are now called from my new Simply Crochet magazine). Helen, Sharon and Sammy from knitting group came for an afternoon of festive making and a little bit of fizz!

Apologies for the bad light, it was actually sleeting most of that day, but here are Sharon and Helen discussing the all important issue of which buttons would look best on Helen’s heart and stocking.

Crafternoon 2 - choosing buttons

She used some Scandi fabric in my stash to make these.

Crafternoon 3 - stocking and heart

Here is my work in progress picture.

Crafternoon pictures

27 Suffolk Puffs with little buttons attached turns into ……

Crafternoon 4 - puff bauble

A Suffolk Puff bauble!

I was actually looking for instructions on how to make a Suffolk Puff Christmas tree when I found this very cute idea.

I cut out all of my puff circles to 2 and a half inches originally, sewed them up and attached buttons to cover the hole and then pinned them on to a polystyrene bauble (2 small pins underneath each button) whereas the original tutorial says to sew them together round an ordinary bauble but that looked a bit tricky.

The original  tutorial for the Suffolk Puff (Yo-Yo) bauble can be found here at Cut Out and Keep

I may well have to make a whole load more of these (probably not before Christmas)  but this could well be next year’s gift bauble to friends and family as it is so cute!

In my searching for Suffolk Puff Inspiration I found this lovely blog, Potter, Wright and Webb  that looks at all sorts of traditional crafts from the UK which I thought may be of interest.

So I do hope you are going to have an equally lovely weekend, I have now got to go and put the pedal to the metal (sewing machine not car) to finish up presents that need to go in the post on Monday.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

I am having a very festive weekend, the last bits of decorating have been done and last night was the Marsden lights switch on so the village now looks very pretty.

Our local Morris dancers and fire jugglers were out too so that was very nice. Along with a glass of mulled wine and a mice pie it was a lovely couple of hours.

It is attempting to snow today as well but it is mainly slushy hail at the moment, hope things don’t get too bad, my Mum and Aunt are flying in from Spain today as sadly we have a family funeral to go to tomorrow so the last thing we need is bad weather!

My tree is up and it is not only a Christmas tree but a memory tree, as few years ago I got rid of all the mass-produced baubles.

Xmas tree

Now I only have ones that I have made (which remind me of many happy hours of stitching) and special ones bought mainly on holidays or hand-made from other craft fairs.

This year’s hand-made by me have been added ,one flower and one hexagon so far, maybe more to come if I have time.

Xmas tree ornie 2

Xmas tree ornie 3

And here are the special ones both from Bavaria, our visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber  where we found that amazing Christmas shop.

Xmas tree and ornies

Xmas tree ornie 4

I have also made a few more Christmas flowers for friends.

Xmas tree ornies- flowers

I am getting on well with the bee quilt, here is my inspiration. Details of the source in this post.

Vintage fabric bee quilt

And here is the progress so far, really enjoying doing this, am limiting myself to seven hexagons for this one due to lack of time and it will be appliqued to a cushion cover.

bee quilt progress

bee quilt progress 2

bee quilt progress 3

bee quilt progress 4

bee quilt progress 5

All of this is from my stock of vintage linen, embroidery, lace and crochet with added beads and maybe some embroidered flowers if I have time.

Hope you have had a good week, don’t forget to like my giveaway post from last week as I will picking a winner on Friday 12th Dec.

Thanks for visiting.

Well all those years ago when I started I didn’t realise I would still be blogging 7 years later. Thank you everyone who has visited, liked, followed and commented. I really appreciate all of your bloggy love :-)

As is now traditional for me I am going to offer a Christmas ornament giveaway, please ‘like’ this post and I will choose a winner and send them a selection of hand-made ornaments.

Thought I would indulge with a run through of some of my makes over the last few years so people can see what sorts of things they would be getting.

Xmas Baubles

JBW Stockings 1

JBW tree ornie 1

Small xmas hearts 2012

Baubles Sept

Xmas mini stockings

Hexi Xmas ornie 5

Sewing day Nov - hexi ornie

Xmas ornie - flower

I do love making ornaments! Have just put my tree up and am really enjoying looking at all of the things I have made over the years.

I will pick the winner on Friday 12th Dec so that I can get them in the post in time.

Thanks for continuing to visit – I really appreciate it.


Hello again

We (as in Ellie, Kerry, Sadie and I) promised ourselves at the end of last season in September that we would not spend the winter as we usually do talking about all of the things we were going to make but meet up more regularly to make things.

So we met again this weekend at my house for a second sewing weekend. This also included a little evening out to introduce Sadie to the delights of Marsden.

I am exempt from having to make any large things as I am hostess so I feed and provide equipment and guidance if needed while the others get on with their stuff.

It was a very successful weekend with Kerry finishing two linings to go under her corset , working on a pair of cuffs for her gloves for next season and revising a dress.

Ellie and Sadie both made shifts which were nearly finished by yesterday evening apart from the hand finishing of the seams. Here Ellie is hard at work and later modelling her creation (excuse the lack of light – winter in Yorkshire!)

Sewing day Nov -Ellie

Sewing day Nov -Ellie 2

She has had her hair cut short which looks very lovely and donated the hair to a children’s cancer charity for making wigs for kids undergoing chemotherapy.

Sadie was using her machine for the first time and it all went very well!

Sewing day Nov -Sadie

Since we do so much work for English Heritage ( who have very strict guidelines on costume) we machine sew main seams then fold the seam allowance over and ‘stab stitch’ through to neaten the seams.

This also hides the overlocking on the edge of the material. I usually then oversew the seams, both to cover up the machining and to provide extra strength.

Some of the garments like shifts and hose and brais (the men’s undergarments) get a lot of wear and tear, particularly when worn under armour and this helps strengthen the seams. All hems are handstitched.

I did manage to finish a couple of things – hexis of course! Here are two of my latest Christmas ornaments using a slightly bigger hexi and making two hexi flowers which are sewn together.

Sewing day Nov - hexi ornie


Sewing day Nov -ornie 2

The flower for the backing is plain fabric with a patterned centre square.

This is a great way of using up little scraps from my Christmas fabric stash. Some of the fabric that I am using now I have had for years and am getting to the end of it so this is a very economical method as well as being very enjoyable :-)

I am also making good progress with all of my hand-made gifts (though there will no doubt be a mad dash as usual at the end – luckily some don’t have to be finished until the 29th when I go to Spain!).

Below are the finished pincushion and needlebook. The scissor keep to finish the set is almost done, just needs the buttons and cord added.

Sewing day Nov -needlebook

Sewing day Nov -needlebook 2

Of course the great excitement later this week is the visit to Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show! I have set myself quite a strict budget which I intend to spend on charm packs and buttons.

There may just be some pictures of fabric in my next post :-)

Meanwhile stay happy and thanks for visiting.

November 2015
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