Christmas tags

Christmas tagsUnusually this year I won’t be wrapping gifts at the last minute on Christmas Eve. Recognising how chaotically busy the next few days would be with the room change (see below!) I faced up to the present pile early.  I wanted to make my own tags and luckily I had all I needed left over from previous Christmastimes so spent a happy time scrunching wire-edged ribbon (isn’t that great?) into bows to be clipped to cut-out oval tags with little gold pegs.

room move 1I am much occupied in all the disorganisation involved in the reorganisation of my workspace to another room. I, together with my textile, art and teaching materials, am moving to a different room – one with better light and more wall space.

The original has been my room for around eighteen years and I’m slightly taken aback by how much I have acquired and squirrelled away deep in cupboards and drawers. The picture shows newspapers on the new wall where shelves will be, the rest of the room has piles of ‘stuff’ stacked all over the floor.  My current room is mostly dismantled so not much in the way of textile work being done at the moment!

Peaceful piecing

hexagon sampleThe City and Guilds in patchwork and quilting introduced me to new techniques and one that sparked great enthusiasm was English paper piecing and, especially, hexagons. tumbling blocks 2My first piecing was small – just one group of hexagons to make the traditional flower as a sample and although I quite enjoyed the process it seemed a very slow way of putting together bits of fabric.  Next I did a quilt square with tumbling blocks.  Getting the points precise proved a challenge but I noticed how much I was beginning to enjoy the pleasure of picking up the next diamond and stitching. And then I researched hexagon quilts. The potential for pattern! hexagon designsSo many ways to use one simple shape to create a seemingly limitless variety of quilt designs.  The personality of each quilt. I was smitten. Not enough to embark on a full-sized quilt (I know my limitations) but certainly enough to base one of my projects on the technique.  I love my work basket. container complete cylinderrue indienne fabricSo when I wanted some hand sewing to occupy myself when I wasn’t feeling up to a major challenge I settled on hexagons, cut from a layer cake of traditional prints, to adorn a cushion cover. I am at the quilting stage now, after hours of restorative stitching .  May even have it finished in time for Christmas.hexagon cushion quilting

Family tradition at Christmas

Christmas felt santaAbout thirty years ago, when the children were little, Christmas days were celebrated at my parent’s home. My mother ‘did’ Christmas very well and one year she made a wonderful table-cover that then become a fixture of the meal for years until she was too frail to host the day. She died last year and we found the cover in the loft.  It was white net, designed to go over a damask cloth, with a deep border decorated with a host of colourful felt collaged and applied pieces – trees, snowmen, elves, baubles and a large Santa on his reindeer-drawn sleigh. The hem was formed of scarlet felt scallops.

christmas felt figuresIt was very large (far larger than our table) and unfortunately bore testament to many gravy meals accompanied by red wine. After much thought and discussion with my sister the net was abandoned and the scalloped edge and all the figures were cut free with a small net border. (I’m sorry I forgot to take a picture of it before dismantling!)

At first the plan was to apply each figure to white felt for festive bunting but a trial piece offered up to our pale walls showed that a different approach was needed.  Now each figure is trimmed from the net, awaiting some TLC to replace missing sequins, to be hung from a red tinsel garland. Working on this has brought back memories of my mother and Christmas days long gone with the whole family together.

Christmas felt figures trimmed + red