This year Christmas day was really hot in the mid 30s °C. Not the sort of weather for roast turkey and all the trimmings. Instead we had a lovely baked salmon a much appreciated Christmas present from a fisherman friend. For the first time in ages we had Christmas pudding served with fancy custard (creme anglais).
Anyhow here are a few bits and bobs of Christmas nonsense. Or keeping in the spirit of song titles - a long and winding road to nowhere.
Christmas Chocolate Sock 2017
For 2017 it was a hexagonal Christmas bauble - this wasn't my original plan but I needed something quick. I felt that production was way down on last year with only 114 baubles and ten snowmen made. (The snowmen were already half done - drawn on the fabric last year just never sewn together.) But when I checked the numbers are about the same with 130 snowmen made in 2016.
The production run was smooth and easy but did involve cutting out 228 hexagons from the outer Christmas fabrics and the same number from the lining fabric, together with 114 little rectangles of grey felt for the bauble hanger and 114 pieces of ribbon so they can be hung on the tree. Then they were chain pieced along the opening edge - one outer fabric matched to one lining fabric. Half of them had the grey felt and ribbon inserted along this seam. Next the two hexagons are opened out and a pair with the grey felt and ribbon are matched to a pair without, right sides together. The two sets of hexagons are then sewn together with a 1/4" seam - leaving a small opening in the lining. Lastly (for the hexagon part) they are turned right side out through the small gap left in the lining fabric all ready to have the chocolates added.
The other part of production is to machine embroider everyone's name onto felt, cut it out using pinking shears and sew it to the bauble.
As I spend most of my week in Wellington these days and driving around Christchurch city centre is an exercise in raised blood pressure, due to the continuing post earthquake reconstruction, the chocolates this year came from Schoc. These chocolates not only taste good but look amazing. The staff at Shoc in central Wellington made up my little cellophane bags of chocolates during their quieter moments.
|Chain piecing Christmas baubles in the hotel room|
|Christmas baubles ready to start their overseas journey|
|Snowmen adorning a friend's Christmas tree - can you spot all four?|
Bath robe alterations
Oh and just in case I get bored there are three pairs of trousers to shorten and maybe taper the leg. Will have to wait and see how wide they look when they are the right length.
Car cover undone
In a Christmas fit of sew-it-yourself enthusiasm I decided to make a car cover for my beloved's toy car. So called because it spends most of its life in the garage being tinkered with. It is not a big car so how hard could it be - well after measuring the car roughly (5.5 metres long x 3.7 metres wide allowing a metre drop on both sides) it is a lot bigger than I thought. Which has meant that instead of it being a surprise present I am awaiting the convenience of my beloved to help me make the car cover pattern. He is much better at measurements and dimensional things than I am. But I have bought the fabric, all 21 metres of it, plus a feature fabric to create a racing stripe down the middle! Think I will need 17 metres but decided to buy the whole roll to allow a bit of room for error.
Christmas Advent calendar...the beginning
There is something about the Christmas holidays that gets me working on projects for Christmas future. This year I purchased a whisky advent calendar (24 x 30ml bottles of Scotch) and we have kept the bottles. This encouraged me to think about actually making the advent stockings which have been carefully maturing in the stash for a couple of years.
|Stocking outer front and back, plus lining waiting to be sewn|
Machine embroidery for Lee Magentic Needle Box
|The original much loved magnetic needle box|
A magazine article fortuitously brought to my attention the leather magnetic needle box by Lee, which Father Christmas kindly left under the tree for me. It has a small hole in the lid for personalisation, with the insertion of a 3" round piece of needlepoint. I decided to do a machine embroidered initial on green mulberry paper vliesofixed to cotton duck for extra strength.
|This picture is the truest colour representation|
My new needle box is slightly larger than the old so should be very useful and we will hopefully travel many miles together. I have to confess Cath that I have now thrown away the red one you gave me. I nearly kept it for sentimental reasons but don't want to become one of those hoarders featured on television!!
I have read a review for the Lee Magnetic Needle Box and it was pretty ho hum about the product, with the reviewer feeling the finished item would be of limited use but good for decorative purposes. She also found it difficult to insert her needlepoint. Now I have to confess that I didn't remove the paper covering the sticky circle so my initial does move slightly in the lid and my insert is probably not as thick as a piece of needlepoint but I had no trouble inserting my initial (and taking it out again when I realised it was upside down). I am still debating putting a circle of fusible quilt batting on the back to raise the embroidery slightly.
If I ever finish my tiny houses hussif it will match the colours of my new needle box perfectly. These paper pieced tiny houses will be appliqued onto a piece of linen, and combined somehow with two fabrics from the Road 15 range by Sweetwater Fabrics for Moda.
|Tiny houses in progress (since 2014)|
|Road 15 by Sweetwater Fabrics for Moda c.2013|