Saturday 25 November 2017

Braving public scrutiny

It is time to celebrate the swings and roundabouts of trying out something new again, welcome to November's New to Me link party!

If you have tried something for the first time this month, link up and share your experience with your fellow bloggers, who knows you might inspire them to try it out too! If things didn't quite go to plan then share that too, you could save a fellow blogger some angst :)

This month New to Me's are a bit thin on the ground but I have added a new tutorial to the blog here for the Scrappy Christmas Tree trim.

More daunting, I also entered my Camera Club's competition for the first time!

For reasons beyond my control I had to submit my entries the morning after the deadline so it was a rather hurried selection process. Getting the entries into the format needed though took more time than selecting them did!

These were the photos that I eventually submitted with some trepidation it has to be said :) Turns out I was right to be worried.

Although I did crop the Anchor photo before I sent it off, (the image above is the uncropped version) I clearly didn't crop it enough as the external judge added a huge arrow with question marks to the (to my mind!) tiny little bit of white that I had inadvertently left in the bottom left hand corner. That didn't bode well for the review of the other two photos but fortunately they fared slightly better. It was a very public learning experience :)
The judging seemed to be as much, and sometimes more, about the entrant's ability to manipulate a photo with software, which seemed a bit strange to me but who am I to know ??

So, you have seen my New to Me's now it is your turn. As ever the link will remain open until the end of the month, so if you are planning to turn your hand to handmade gifts for the first time then don't forget to link them up! Check out our lovely linkers too as a little bit of encouragement goes a long way when everything is new and daunting.

Thursday 9 November 2017

Scrappy Christmas Tree trim

For the Bernina "Sew Something Special" appeal I made this Scrappy Christmas Tree decoration and here is the tutorial if you would like to use up some of your scraps too.

To make your own Scrappy Christmas tree you will need the following :

  • 9 scraps of fabric increasing in size from 1.25" square to 5.25" square
  • Sew Easy Circle Template or a compass
  • Scraps of toy stuffing
  • Approx 50 seed beads or other embellishments
  • 18" thin cord/embroidery floss
  • Scrap of Christmas ribbon
  • 1" wooden thread spool
You will also need a large wool applique needle or similar and textile glue

Step 1


Using the Sew Easy Circle Template or a compass draw a circle on the wrong side of each of your fabric scraps and cut out using pinking shears if desired. The circles in the Template set range from 1" to 5" in diameter, increasing in 0.5"increments, so use the same measurements for your compass if using that instead.

Step 2

Machine or hand baste around the largest fabric circle approx 1/8" from the cut edge. Pull the thread up to gather the circle in on itself. Tie off the threads and pad the resulting yo-yo lightly with scraps of toy stuffing. Don't stuff the yo-yo too heavily, you only need a little to give the tree some body.

Repeat with the rest of the fabric circles. I didn't pad the smallest two yo-yo's as they didn't need it.

Step 3

Attach your beads/ embellishments to all of the stuffed yo-yo's except the smallest one.

Step 4

With the gathered side facing upwards, attach the largest and next largest yo-yo's to each other, stitching through the centre of the yo-yo's.

Continue stitching in this way until you only have the smallest two yo-yo's left.

Step 5

Turn the smallest yo-yo gathered side down and slip stitch it to the second smallest yo-yo, which will be gathered side up.

With the fine cord/embroidery floss stitch through all of the layers including these last 2 yo-yo's leaving a tail at the bottom of the layers. Stitch through the bead/ornament for the top of the tree (I used a small bell) and leaving a hanging loop stitch back through all of the layers again. Knot and tie off the excess cord at the bottom of the tree. Knot the cord behind the tree top ornament to secure.

Step 6

Spread the textile glue around the sides of the thread spool and wrap the ribbon scrap around smoothing the ribbon as you do.
Glue the cotton reel to the bottom of the yo-yo tree.

Bring out the mince pies and mulled wine and start decking these halls! 

Scrappy Trimmings

Welcome to the TGIFF link party, this week I have three scrappy finishes to share with you.

A few weeks ago in the newsletter for Bernina owners in the UK, Bernina's Christmas Tree campaign for Friends of the Elderly was announced. They asked Bernina stitchers to make a Christmas tree decoration that will be used to decorate trees in residential homes for the elderly around the country. The idea appealed to me so I started to think about what I could do.

Then I remembered a half-finished Cathedral window block that was hanging around my sewing room and dug that out to finish.

With the addition of a bead in the centre and a hanging loop I was sorted!

In the course of my rummaging I came across some felt hearts that had been cut out when I was first playing with the Sizzix cutter. Some hand stitching later and the serendipitous discovery of a robin button and I had this tree trim to add to the first.

By now I was on a roll, so I decided that I really ought to make a third tree trim from scratch this time.

My yo-yo Christmas tree bauble was a lot of fun to make and had the added benefit of using up all sorts of scraps of fabric and trim, I have put together a tutorial if you would like to make one too. It is straightforward enough that a child who was competent with a needle could easily put one together. (There is a bit of tugging with a needle involved in joining the layers of yo-yo's together so it is probably not suitable for a young child to try.)

You can find the tutorial here

So that is my finish for the TGIFF link party, now it is your turn to link up and share your finishes too. As ever, share the finish celebrations with your fellow bloggers by including the TGIFF blog button in your post and checking out other great finishes along the way.

If you would like to join LeanneAnja and I as TGIFF co-ordinators in 2018 we have room for one more! Contact any one of us to let us know if you are interested.

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Happy Mail 2

Our postman has been the deliverer of lots of happy mail recently, and today's post is all about a very special parcel that arrived a while ago. I planned to blog about this earlier but I really wanted to take a photo outdoors and the weather has been terrible recently! Finally though we got a hint of sunshine so I rushed out with my camera and this amazing quilt.

Ages ago Leanne who blogs at Devoted Quilter and I decided to have a mini swap. We both agreed not to put ourselves under any time pressure for the swap so would send out the swap whenever we were ready. Well, it turns out Leanne was a lot more organised than I was :)

This beautiful quilt arrived on my doorstep all the way from Canada, isn't it gorgeous?

In the letter that accompanied the quilt, Leanne wrote that she wanted to create a quilt that reflected my love of travelling. The quilt is called " Four Corners"with the four different coloured corner units representing the Four Corners of the Globe, the centre circle representing home and the black sashing strips representing all the roads leading to new and exciting places. I have to say that I was absolutely blown away by the thought that Leanne put in to this quilt.

I couldn't wait to iron the quilt before taking a photo so the lumps and bumps you see in the photo above are due to the folds for postage. If you want to see some lovely photos of the quilt in its original home check out Leanne's post here

Leanne went on to tell me that there are actually Four Corners of the earth according to the Flat Earth Society and that she had visited one in Newfoundland this summer! So not only do I have a lovely new quilt to hang on my sewing room wall, but I also learned something new about the world to boot!

Not content with sending a lovely quilt Leanne added in two FMQ'ed Christmas ornaments similar to the ones I had admired in her earlier post. I think a sewing-themed Christmas tree might be on the cards this year :)

I have to confess that I have not finished my half of the swap but our kitchen has been ripped out back to the bare bricks so there is not much in the way of cooking or washing going on here at the moment I might just get a chance to hide away in my sewing room and get cracking on it!

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