Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A completed UFO

We all have them in our drawers - unfinished objects that sit there staring at us accusingly until we settle down and complete. Well now that Christmas is out of the way and I am still on holiday I thought that I would have a go at getting some done.

This is a picture started at a machine embroidered textures course run by Gina Ferrari earlier in the year at Art & Stitch. We painted Bondaweb and Tyvek which was stitched, stretched and heat shrunk to within an inch of it's life. We then built the pieces up with some scruffy knitting, coloured paper (and anything else we could fine) and machine stitched them onto a background.

I have done some further stitching when I got home, and yesterday I got the bead soup out to add a bit of embellishment (there is always room for a few beads!) and I couched additional threads and wools to add interest.
Many of the others used this technique to make some very interesting landscapes using blues, greens and browns. I couldn't resist using rich and exuberant reds and purples instead - so mine could only be considered a landscape on an alien planet!

I am very pleased with the result and will find a nice spot to hang it. It is a technique that I will definitely use again - perhaps as a book cover next time - who knows. That is the joy of this hobby, I never know where the next project will take me!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Finally... the Christmas reveal!

I have been told off lately for not blogging much during December, but the truth is that the majority of my crafting time was spent creating a lap quilt for my Dad and I didn't want him to see it before time - so here it is at last!

This is my Dad, my brother and my nieces and nephew admiring the label on the back - well they are easily pleased!!:
The pattern was (I think) called Turned 9 patch and was taught to me by Pam at Art & Stitch. I wanted something that was simple and effective - without being too fussy. This is the quilt laid out ready for quilting - I chose masculine colours and I am over the moon with the results:

As this is my first quilt, I chose to quilt diagonally across the quilt in red:


This left the grey areas looking a little dull so I got braver and quilted a spiral in the centre of each one:
Working on a quilt was much harder than practicing on a foot square sandwich, but I got there in the end - albeit with a few wobbly bits but I don't think anyone will notice.

I also made a little journal to go with the quilt - made using the same fabrics and including some pictures of me and my Dad, and the stages in making the quilt. Dad was chuffed with that too.
Inside, me and my Dad in Granddad's garden in about 1973:

Dad sporting a very fetching moustache! My 5 year old nephew saw this picture and wanted to know why I looked like a boy - thanks James!!:
All in all both gifts were delightfully received which is what it is all about. It made all the effort (and occasional swearing) worth it. Best get some fabric out for the next quilt then :)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Another Christmas gift completed!

Now here is another Christmas gift that is all wrapped and under the tree - and it uses one of my favourite mediums - buttons!!!

Any excuse to get out my button jars and have a jolly good rummage is not to be missed. So I layered the buttons and threaded them together rather than wiring them around a central chain, and I think the effect is rather fetching:



The necklace hangs nicely, though like all buttoned necklaces it does require a little arrangement at first to make sure the buttons all face the same way.

I always give my necklaces a 'test run' by wearing them for a day to check the hang and that they are sturdy and not in any way uncomfortable. I must say I loved wearing this one - and it drew a few comments during the short time I wore it. I think that I shall make myself one once I have replenished by button stock!

Now I am on a roll with this Christmas pressie making... so what is the next one on the list??

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Birthday Gift Make

It was my brother's girlfriend Sarah's birthday today so I can now show you what I made for her gift.

Being so close to Christmas it was a perfect opportunity to make her some special Christmas decorations. All three are made from silk and here are the results.

The first is a heart is worked with goldwork leaves and ribbon roses on front and stuffed with fluff:
The second is a pointy oval cigar shape (if anyone knows the correct name it could settle an argument in our house):

This is also decorated with goldwork leaves and roses.

The third (taught by Anne Stacey at Art & Stitch) is a polystyrene ball covered in silk and decorated with gold braid and finished with sequins:

The first 2 took much longer than expected (at least 2 nights in front of the telly each!) and so I felt that they deserved special wrapping attention.

I wrapped them first in black tissue followed by red sparkly netting (because you always need a little sparkle on a birthday!)

I used wired ribbon to tie a bow, but decided that this was still not enough so had to go a step further - and make a ribbon flower to go on the front:


Once I made the flower I thought that it was a shame to use it once and then then throw it away, so I wrapped ribbon around the wires and added a brooch backing, and now it is a Christmas brooch!

This is the brooch off of the gift, though I don't think the picture really does it justice.


I love the results but it all took a couple of hours to complete so I am not sure that I will have the time to complete any more before Christmas!

Sarah seemed to love it and that is what really counts!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Toy Drop for Christmas 2009

Apologies for the long lapse in blogging but the reasons have been two fold - firstly work and real life have severely interrupted my crafting and blogging time, with a very busy worklife as well as another module for my MSc, and secondly - because a lot of the crafting I have actually got around to making has been for Christmas gifts and I don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipients before the big day. Therefore I shall be attempting to blog a little more in the new year!

Anyway, today has been the day for the big co-ordinated Christmas Drop for the Toy Society and I have rustled up a couple of toys to join in. I had so much fun dropping BeeJay that I just had to do it again. For those of you that haven't heard of the Toy Society, it is well worth taking a look at and getting involved with 'random acts of craft'.

Bertie was the first drop - which took place at Serpentine Green Shopping centre in Peterborough on the 19th at1.30pm:

He is a simple felt 'funny', very cute and simple to make.
He was left in a seating area in the food hall near a children's carousel so I hope he found a good home.

Emily was left outside Clarks Shoe shop, also in Serpentine Green Shopping centre (it seemed the best bet as it was inside and therefore warm!!)
She is made out of some of the leftover scraps from my fabric elephants:


That is Paul's leg you can see on the right - as we tried to not look suspicious taking the photos!

I really hope that they both go to good homes and that someone gets a lot of joy out of finding them. It almost feels like being Santa - and leaving gifts under the Christmas tree. What a wonderful time of the year this is!