Christmas Creativity

Well that was a lovely weekend, my last one of sitting making ornaments for a while, not that the fact that it is nearly Christmas will stop me as I often make them into January ready for next year.

It is hard to stop when I am on a roll and I love just sitting in the craft room surrounded by all of my boxes of fabric, ribbons and beads deciding what would look good together.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 3

These very cute bells are some I ordered from an Ebay seller, Rinoohead, earlier in the year and look very nice pinned onto baubles.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 4

Next weekend we have family here celebrating Christmas a bit early then we are off to Oslo and when we come back from there I am off to Spain for New Year.

I am really looking forward to three weeks holiday and lots time with my lovely family:-)

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the collection of quilted baubles that I have made for my friends, I will be giving these away this week when we have our pre-Christmas catch-up.

Tutorial for these is here if you fancy any last minute festive makes, they are quick to do and very relaxing.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 2

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for all your kind comments and likes. Best wishes for the festive season and I will see you all in 2016!

Exploding lightbulbs and other excitements

Hello everyone

This week it is my 8th blogaversary and this is also my 500th post – how exciting:-)

I was going to post this a little earlier in the evening but was distracted by an incident where I went into the kitchen to fetch more wine, turned on the lights and there was a very loud bang accompanied by a shower of glass.

Turned out that a lightbulb had exploded, taking with it the glass surround on that part of the light fitting. So a little bit of a clean up ensued and I will remove the remains of bulb and fitting in daylight tomorrow.

Anyway more of the real excitement, 8 years of lovely blog activity and 500 posts, mainly about my fabric fettlings so I am celebrating in traditional style with a giveaway.

Xmas fabric oct 15 1

This will be not only for some ornaments maybe something like the ones in the picture below but also since it is a double celebration some Christmas fabric as well, maybe even some of the lovely Makower stash.

To enter just like this post. I will close the giveaway next Friday the 11th to give time to put the winning gifts in the post.

Patchwork Xmas Hearts

I will return later on with an update on the latest batch of ornament finishes, meanwhile stay safe and avoid home accidents! Thanks for visiting.

Homemade with Heartstrings – Christmas Decorations

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.

It’s not more fabric it’s an investment in my retirement fund

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.

I am very, ‘Made Up’

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.

 

More Christmas in July

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.

Crafternoon creations

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

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.