Thank goodness Julia (the owner of Cross Patch, my favourite online shop) is back from her holidays! My poor postman had almost forgotten who I was while she away! Anyway, normal service has been resumed and this fabulous book arrived in the post from Cross Patch yesterday morning. Just Be Claus, by Robin Kingsley of Bird Brain Designs, is packed full of festive sewing projects using hand embroidery, and it's perfect for browsing through while I'm curled up on the sofa with a cuppa while everyone else is still asleep - I may be some time ohhing and ahhing over these pretty designs, and you may see one or two of them stitched over the next few months.
As you can see, I've had another productive year with lots of projects completed. A few were started in 2018, but I've tried to keep up with my sewing projects this year and only have 3 projects to carry over into 2020. Hopefully I'll be able to get those finished over the next couple of weeks, before I start anything new!
I had a lovely day sewing and chatting today with a group of my very special crafty friends, and for our December meeting we took part in a Secret Santa gift exchange. I really was VERY lucky, and received this beautiful pair of Hemline embroidery scissors which are perfect for me! They have really sharp points, and the blades are just 4.25" long - I just need to make a scissor holder to keep them in, and they'll be tucked away in my sewing bag ready for our January meeting!
My guest room is ready for any unexpected visitors over the Christmas period - and they'll be kept very warm and cosy tucked up underneath my version of A Merry Christmas Garden quilt, which was designed by the Australian designer Gail Pan, and was bought as a BOM, including all the fabrics, from Cross Patch, an online shaop based in Wales, here in the UK. This was freehand custom quilted by J-Quilts, who has a studio in East Bergholt. It's lovely to have one of my larger quilts on display.
Haha!! I've been much better this year at keeping up with my own sewing projects, which has meant less time for making gifts for other people, so I've only got one incomplete project that I was going to gift to my sister - but as I won't see her until January, I've got a bit of extra time to get it finished!
Yesterday afternoon was spent making these jolly Santa wine bottle toppers complete with jingley-jangley bells! There are lots of tutorials online for making these, and they really are VERY simple to make, and they're a great way of using up any festive-themed fabric scraps and trimmings...
...popped on top of a few bottles of very nice wine, these are now ready to be delivered as gifts for some very special friends. These are the only gifts I've actually made this year for Christmas - cheers everyone!
Longarm Whilst I was away on a quilting retreat recently, I also managed to get the binding finished on A Merry Christmas Garden, and I've recently added a quilt sleeve too. The pattern is designed by the Australian designer Gail Pan Designs, and was bought as a kit from Cross Patch, an online quilt shop based in Wales, here in the UK. This has been freehand custom longarm quilted by J-Quilts, who has a studio in East Bergholt. My quilting request this time was for a lighter style of quilting, not too dense, so it would still drape and not be too stiff...
...here are some closeup pictures of the gorgeous quilting that Janette has done - she really does do some amazing freehand custom quilting designs...
...I particularly love the swirls underneath these leaves...
...and I love the fabulous hollyleaves in the border. Wider bindings are my preference for larger quilts, so I used a half inch wide binding for this one, and it really sets it off a treat. This will be on the bed in my spare room over the Christmas holidays, adding a festive flourish to make my guests feel loved and welcome.
I like to match my quilt labels to the theme of the front of the quilt, and for this one I decided to use a birdie design from one of Gail Pan's festive books, "Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery". Some left over applique shapes that I'd made for the front of the quilt have also been put to good use - they've been appliqued onto the back of the quilt along with some stitchery lables. I traced the words onto the background fabrics, using a lightbox and a very fine Micron Pigma pen. Then I stitched over the lines using the same colour Valdani perle thread that I'd used for the hand embroidery on the front of the quilt.
The Christmas wreath that I made at the weekend is finally hanging on my front door. This was a great workshop at Urban Jungle Suffolk with Romeo and Succulent. My wreath was decorated with eucalyptus, lavender, oranges and star anise, and it smelt absolutely wonderful when I opened the door this morning.
I had a brilliant time yesterday at a Luxury Christmas Wreath Workshop with my eldest daughter. It was held at Urban Jungle Suffolk, about an hour's drive away from where I live. There's an amazing array of plants there, and a fabulous cafe too - we drove over there early so we could have a pot of tea and cheese scones before the workshop started! Anyway, we had a lovely tutor from Romeo and Succulent - and she demonstrated everything we needed to know to make a fabulous wreath. Some workshops that my friends have been on have just decorated a wreath that was already made up, but ours were made completely from scratch, and she gave us lots of advice and encouragement. We had a brilliant afternoon, and were supplied with warm mince pies and mulled cider to keep us in the festive spirit! As you can see, we were absolutely thrilled to bits with the finished results. I can't wait to get mine hanging on my front door.
Hi - welcome to my quilting blog! My passions are my family, my dog, my friends and sewing, not necessarily in that order!
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