Friday, 28 November 2014

Christmas craft fare

Well here it is our works charity craft fare in the aid of SARCOMA UK.

There are the stockings I made, Pink was not the most popular, all the green ones went but two sad pink stockings remained at the end of the day.

I couldn't  get close enough to the area with the hedgehogs to take a picture of the prickle, and by the time I could there were no hedgehogs  to snap.

I'll update on the result once all the money is in and counted.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A small wedding memento (cross-stitch)

Sometimes it is a quick stitch that is required.  Something that can be completed and framed in days rather than weeks.

That has been the case with this little wedding cross stitch.  The lady getting married joined my team at work with only three weeks to the wedding. There were one or two other things that needed sorting 1st so it was past time to hurry up and be finished before I had the idea let alone made a start.  A quick check on Facebook for the groom's hair colour and stitching began. A hint of pink in the brides dress to reflect the colour of her outfit for the day if not the actual style and the stitching was done.

I have a hand mount board cutter so I could cut the arch on the mount to fit the 3 inch square aperture in the frame.  Tight fit but when you are working to speed and a tight deadline you do what you can with what you have to hand. 

So this is what I have made, a small design from Donna Kooler's 555 Country Cross-Stitch Patterns.

Small wedding sampler.

I hope they like it and the day goes well.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Not just a pretty face

Some time ago a sewing friend was asked to make a rag doll. She happily agreed then realised that the type of face she had previously used was no longer available. Feeling a hand made doll should perhaps have a hand made face she asked me to sew one.

Design picked off the internet I set to embroidering a face.  As she was happy with the result I was not long thereafter sewing another. More doll requests followed and she asked me to show her how to sew the faces for herself.

Doll Face
Here I am showing the stitches for each part of the face.  I mark the design on using  felt tip pens that say "washable" on the box.  They are available at most supermarkets.  So far I have had no trouble getting the ink washed out.

Moving on several months and as mentioned previously a charity event at work was planned. I asked my friend if she would make a doll for me for that. 

She agreed and I sewed another face, she made and clothed the doll.

Finished Doll Face
Here is the finished face, brown eyes to match her hair.

The clothes are all removable as we both agreed clothes that were not had irritated us as children.

Now when making dolls previously they were for friends  and went without shoes, on the expectation outgrown shoes from the recipient would fit.

In this case I thought some shoes would finish off the doll.

So I made shoes out of pink felt with velvet ribbon to fasten them on. 

Pink shoes
Once the shoes were finished, well a lady needs a bag to match (even if a picture of the shoes has just a glimpse of bloomer she is still a lady!), back to the felt and ribbon, having added the bag strap I had a little bit of ribbon left to cover the snap fastening.  

It was not until after I had stitched the covering loop on I realised the significance of the shape I had made in pink ribbon.

It was nice to have a bit more involvement with the doll and not just sew a pretty face.

Complete outfit

Sitting pretty
So I have taken her to work and handed her over to the charity committee,  They were thinking of doing a name the doll game for her..I will let you know how it went when I post about the Christmas fair in aid of SARCOMA UK at the end of this week.  Wish us luck. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Contribution number three

Remaining with the Christmas Fair for SARCOMA, I arrived at work to find a plastic bag on my desk.  Inside eight white felt birds, with embroidery on them pinned in pairs to some ribbon, there was also some white felt and blue felt in the bag.

A bit puzzled I  wondered where they had come from and had I been volunteered to make something else.  

A bit of investigation and it was a donation for me under the "I'm just a girl who can't say no" theme when it comes to material.  A project started on Scandinavian decorations and abandoned.

By then I had it in my head it would be for the Fair.  Took the bag home, examined the bits, made use of the cereal box again for a template and set to.

First I decided to make individual stuffed birds (I had small bits of wadding left from the Christmas Stockings) from the precut and decorated white felt, I used the ribbon for three of the birds but ran out before the last one.

Blue Bird

They looked OK to me so I made four more in blue from scratch, I limited my decorative sewing to white thread.

So, are they two sets of four calling birds or eight individual decorations..we will see when the fair rolls around.  Oh and the original donor, she liked the finished result so much she is considering buying them!

Christmas decorations

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Hot Chocolate, cookies and crafting.

Another evening at Church with the ladies, sharing cookie recipes (yes and tasting them too) drinking hot chocolate having a chat and making plates for Christmas cookie sharing.

We had glass plates and festive napkins.  Peel the napkin till you have one ply.  Cut out the bit of the pattern you want (fiddly with it being so thin.) then time for the glue, and glitter if you want.

Cover the back of the plate with the glue.  If using it sprinkle on glitter where you want it.  Place your cut out right side down.  Spread more glue over the back and add your background tissue. Seal it all with glue, let it dry.

Once it is dry trim the edge (carefully) with a sharp knife (we had a scalpel) and the plate is done.  Sadly they can't be washed just wiped.  We all had fun making them.

Close up of wreath
Tulip plate and a stray cookie

Christmas wreath plate

Christmas tree plate

Friday, 14 November 2014

Second can you make question

The second suggestion made by a workmate was for draw string bags in organza.  White organza with silver, intended to hold the handmade jewellery which would be part of her contribution to the Christmas Craft Fair.

So yes I could, made a couple up to check it was what she envisioned and then use up the fabric provided. 

Twenty six bags later (all various sizes) and they all needed ribbon.  The amount it would take was not something she had anticipated, my stash was no use as thin ribbon was not something it contained.

A general shout out at work for thin ribbon and the bits and bobs came in.  There was some fine recycling going on here as the hanging straps from many a top were cut out (on on memorable occasion the cutting took place at work with the donor still wearing her top) and turned into the draws for the bags.

Drawstring bags
 I took the bags in as they were finished (as ribbon was available) so I don't have a picture of all twenty six.  Some are now apparently destined to be reindeer food bags.  I am not convinced the edible glitter will stay in the bags, we shall see.

Drawstring bags.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Quilted Christmas Stocking

So suggestion number one was to make Christmas Stockings.  The lady at work brought in some upholstery weight material in green and gold, some nice beige for the back (left over from re doing some chairs) and wadding too.

I looked at some images on Google then ritualistically sacrificed a cereal box to make a pattern and set to. 

I had a simple plan. Stocking shape in the material with predominantly green colour as the right side, add the wadding with lining material as the backing for that and quilt it.

Cut a rectangle of the same material for the cuff sew it on with the green as accent as the right side, fold down.  Sew back and front right sides together (which also sews in the sides of the cuff). Sew the ribbon for hanging into the seam then turn it out.

And done.
Christmas Stocking

                                                                          The gold ribbon on this and the first few like it was originally wrapped around a large box of chocolates I received as a gift (yum), I do like to recycle things were I can.

Sadly or perhaps fortuitously I ran out of the backing material before I ran out of the green.

So a trip to one of my favourite places to shop, Northern Textiles.  They make curtains, and in the back room sell end of rolls at very reduced prices.

Of course looking for more backing resulted in finding some more green and gold material for the front.

I had picked another material that could be turned for the cuff.  Whilst it was being cut I mentioned there was some material with the right sort of pattern and contrast but it was pink and not in a traditional colour.  The very friendly and helpful lady doing the cutting remarked not everyone is into traditional and that pink might be just the thing and the best seller to boot (that was a pun).  So some of the pink came home with me to and I set to sew stockings. 

The new green material lent itself to FMQ rather than the straight line quilting from the first material, the pink however was just fine with the straight line work. 

FMQ Christmas Stocking
Pink Christmas Stocking
Trio of Christmas Stockings

I had enough wadding and lining material (from my stash), the re-purposed ribbon ran out but I had some nice cream ribbon that worked fine for the rest.  Marathon runners talk about hitting the wall during a run and I hit the wall with my stockings, I am not too good at doing the same thing more than once, in this instance the changes in colour helped me keep going however at 19 my sewing energy all petered out, an odd number (in more ways than one) to feel the need to stop but that.s how it worked out.

19 Christmas Stockings all in a row
 Wish us luck in selling these at the Christmas Fair and raising money for Sarcoma Research UK. I'll let you know if the shop lady was right and and the pink is the most popular.  

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

On 9th September I mentioned in my post Ice Bucket Challenge, crafting style that my choice of charity had been prompted by the death of someone I worked with.  Her loss after a short fight with cancer shocked and saddened her work colleagues, devastated her friends and left a gaping hole in the lives of her family. 

A sense of disbelief has pervaded as we have all half expected to see her smiling face, twinkling eyes and to be delighted by her dry wit.  Alas that is not to be, at work our collective grief has coalesced and focused, as such emotions often will, into a need to do something!

So as Christmas approaches on its usual winged feet it was suggested we raise funds for the charity she and her family nominated when declining floral tributes (other than family) at her funeral, namely  SARCOMA UK.  Charity events are not an unusual thing at my place of work although generally they consist of bake sales (also dubbed the trolley), book sales and recently (Great British Bake Off inspired) baking competitions.

I think that perhaps something more personal was required this time to satisfy the yearning to reflect the feeling held.  The Charity Committee suggested a Christmas Craft Fair with items made by all the staff who could contribute and sold to all in our shared use building.

The first item to go into production was the knitted hedgehog, I knew there were knitters but not that there were so many. Theses are just an example of the positive Prickle of hedgehogs being produced. Black, silver, pink, purple, white, sparkly, in small medium and large the needles are clacking them out. However, they are so cute demand may  still out strip supply.

Knitted hedgehog

Knitted hedgehog profile

Whilst a great item, this outlet was not for me, and I wondered what I could make in the time that would appeal.

I asked the question on Facebook quilting groups and suggestions for mug rugs ( how can you make things with the sole purpose of them getting dirty!) or patchwork bags, so that weekend I was mulling that over, thinking what was in my stash, how fast how many?

Monday I come into work and the "can you make" question greets me followed by "I have some material you could use I will bring it in",
The next day the components for suggestion number one arrive along with the material for suggestion number two from a different person.

So personal non-deadlined projects took a back seat and the work for the fair began.  Between now and 28th of November (the day of the sale) I will be posting about the things I have been making as well as (like the hedgehogs) things others are making when I can sneak the odd picture.

On the 28th or as near as I can get it I will post how things went (I might sneak a few no fair items in as well possibly).

If between times you have any ideas (quick becomes more of an issue) I would be delighted if you would share them.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A little update

Not being chronological in my doings here, I had promised myself I would work on my cross stitch WIP at least once a month.  Promise broken, shame on me.

I have been working on several other things for an event later this month (more on that later) and on some quilting but that is not much of an excuse.

Anyway I have made a little progress and here it is.

A touch more on the blue and some darker tones against the ecru.