Christmas Stockings and Christmas cheer

Eeeeek! It’s nearly Christmas! So excited about this Christmas  – we are not hosting it this year, so will be able to hang out with our family without organising the food or preparations, and play with my brother’s new puppy, yay! Anyway, given that a sewing blog should have more sewing and less puppy in it, I’ll move on  –  to Christmas stockings! Hurrah for Christmas stockings! Apparently in Germany, they used to leave out shoes and Santa would put sweets in them. I might have nicked my dad’s shoes when I was little…

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You might have seen the one I made for a wee baby boy called Matthew a couple of posts ago. Well, this one is for his mum. They are commissioned by a neighbour of mine, and I think she liked the idea of one which matched Matthew’s, even though I offered her the choice of some more grown up ones. Obviously you know your own family, so she felt Chloe would like this, although at the time it was only part-finished (and nameless!). It was nice to finish it, as I think it did end up quite nice, and looks like a pair with her son’s.

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I made Chloe’s stocking with a white cotton exterior, a red cotton lining and the cuff and heel with a flannel christmas tree fabric from … I can’t remember! I’ll have a think an insert here, but it could be by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake.

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I rather liked this little penguin on Matthew’s stocking (I designed him 3 years ago for my son’s little friends’ stockings – on my flickr stream if you are particularly interested, although I think I’ve got more polished over the last years), so decided to give him a wee friend:

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Again, I had fun just freehand cutting felt, keeping the shapes simple is the key to this! And particularly enjoyed the hand stitching. I used no. 8 perle cottons again, and the are lovely to work with, and add texture and a shimmer, which I don’t remember getting with the little embroidery I have done in the past using embroidery floss. Running stitches and backstitches – not difficult! But I think they look nice anyway.

And finally Chloe’s name in pink:

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And then the other daughter in law! My neighbour got 2 daughters in law and a baby grandson in the space of a year – lucky lady! And such a lovely family. The brief for Carolyn was “pastel”. I read “more grown up”. Unfortunately I can’t get good pictures of this, so you’ll have to trust me when I say it looks better in the reality (again!)… That’s one thing about Christmas crafting in Scotland – difficult to get any light to photograph in!

Well I most definitely did not freehand cut the felt for the stag! I found a nice silhouette of a deer on the internet, sized it up, printed it out, traced it onto freezer paper, ironed it onto the felt and cut round it. Once I sewed it onto the stocking I could then “draw” with my needle and perle cotton thread and a running stitch. It was very therapeutic.

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The little pink hearts were sweet and fun to add a little touch of colour. The whole thing was lovely to make – I think the white makes it feel wintry and snowy, not to mention Scottish, without being too “in your face” Christmas holly and all. After all it is a christmas stocking, you could applique a beach and it would look Christmassy. Well in Australia anyway.

I’ve only swithered about whether I should have done the lettering in pink felt – part of me is still unsure, although I like it better in my hands than on pictures. I think pink might have messed with the magic of the pink hearts on a frosty day, and the white gives the impression of having been made of snow. I’m saying that, but in reality whatever my subconcsious feels is being firmly slapped down by my conscious which says I don’t want to unpick and re-do it!

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well that’s a lot of words about stockings (and as ever pictures!), so I’ll take my leave of you and maybe even get in an episode of “Firefly” which we got on boxset last Christmas and are only just getting round to watching now! It’s those cold winter nights, make us couch potatoes 😉

Poppy

xx

Paint by Numbers… and more random sewing

Well, this is an utterly misleading title. It actually refers to this beautiful print by Erin Michael called Paint by Numbers sky from her Lush Uptown fabric collection for Moda.

I think it’s stunning – modern, funky, just the right blue with a hint of green, fresh colours and a fun twist. This is a large size cosmetics/ washbag, and has been snapped up already by a neighbour of mine! i can’t say I blame her. I made a flat zippered pouch as a “set” , for maybe keeping lippy, mobile phone, keys etc orgnaised in your handbag – and then snaffled it myself to hold my hexagons sewing (oh yeah… this 1” hexie quilt will keep me going for a while. I think I’ll need a bigger pouch). I’m actually thinking of making a bag with this print.

Speaking of neighbours and friends having cleaned out all my stock – oh we weren’t? Well they have, bless them, very complimentary they were too, which is always an ego boost. I had made more toiletry/washbags; it’s rather amazing that they are so popular.

I say amazing, but I too find all sorts of uses for a pretty zippered pouch, so I shouldn’t be surprised, and it’s nicer than a tupperware box holding your stuff.

The Alexander Henry Spotted Owls in Smoke is a particular favourite fabric of mine. The owls are so grumpy! And yet so beautiful at the same time. It’s a really special print. I have made 5 of these so far, and each time they are snapped up (or I’ve gifted and they’ve been very well received).

As for the Harris tweeed which entered my life along with, inexplicably, a wee crush on Aragorn, I have made more toilletry bags (very similar to on previous post) as a couple of commissions from neighbours. And a lovely tea cosy. 

Tea cosy… well I see it’s inherent beauty, but I’m a bit meh.

But a cafetiere cosy… well. much more suited to modern times – and I rather like this classic fabric being used for such a modern phenomenon. Well, modern in Britain anyway. When I was little (not THAT long ago!), it was quite acceptable for folk to only have Nescafe instant in their house, and be oblivious there might be another way. I know… and within spitting distance of our French, Spanish and Italian cousins too. Shameful.

It took my husband a minute to work out why the cafetiere cosy was so tall; it fits a standard 8 cup cafetiere just perfectly – with the plunger UP to let the coffee brew. And now my husband is an official FAN. He is quite into his coffee…As for me – what I really need is a mug cosy to keep my cups of tea warm enough to let me finish one… I’m too distractable to sit in the same place for the length of time it takes a cuppa to go cold!

In fact I had enough stock for a little pop up shop over a cup of tea with my neighbour and some friends. It has been quite fun! And allowed me to replenish some fabrics. I really am a loon. I have no idea why I feel the need to sew quite so much!

And judging from my fellow sewing bloggers, I’m not the only one!

Seriously? Why would I sew up so many zippered coin purses? I really must start listing them for sale!

Well, I have commission stockings still to make and a quilt, so I should go. And that’s before christmas presents, which may or may nont be handmade this year, it’s a close run thing. But I did just get this rare print panel for my 4 year old son who adores maps and knowing where things are – he’s so his father’s son! (I am only getting better to answer all his questions.)  I’m going to make it into a wall hanging for his room. It is a rather fabulous print! It’s the world map panel from “what a world” by Jill Macdonald for P+B textiles, measuring 44” x 24”. I’m quite thrilled to have tracked it down!

Till the next time,

poppy xxx