Saturday, 24 December 2011

Excitement Builds!

A walk to one of the highest Churches still holding service,

A moment to take in the amazing views,

and to understand why people believed it was the nearest Church to heaven.

And after the marching and climbing a Hot Chocolate to warm our souls!

Not a bad way to spend Christmas Eve.

Have a very Happy Christmas
J x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Sewing on the Countdown

Surprisingly this Christmas I found myself with only one present to make [so mum if your about to read this before xmas day please look away now!] So I felt under no pressure as I was sure having the week before Christmas to make a set of cushions for my mum would be plenty of time. Of course if I had stuck to my original plan and had no last minute shopping to do, lots of wrapping to get done and the entertaining of 3 very excited kids to contend with, then yes a week would have been fine!

 Ever since this mail bag arrived in the post I've been wishing I could get a fabric just like it so as soon as I saw Joel Dewberry's Heirloom collection over at  M is for Make I feel in love with the colours and patterns and set about quickly cutting and sewing up the cushion fronts. I love Dewberry's Rose Bouquet in gold and it is more of a gold than a yellow as it has come up in my photos and the leaves are a deeper purple. I do have a concern that the colours are a bit bright for my parents house who like their neutral colours but it's been lovely working with such bright and luxurious colours I'm just hoping they will fall in love with them just as much as I have.

 For the second cushion rather than sticking with my original idea of doing a log cabin block I decided to try something I've never attempted before but has been on my to do list for sometime! Of course this is the moment the 'no pressure sewing' turned into a complete nightmare as I got totally confused with how the blocks of two strips of different fabrics that I'd made were ever going to form a zigzag but eventually after quite a lot of head scratching and wasted time I managed to make cushion 2!

I'll be honest and admit that the lines of zigzags were supposed to be all different, but as I said I did get confused and found having every other line as the plain fabric made it easier to put it all together. I also didn't realise until after I'd sewn the cushion front together that it was too small, and not being able to add more blocks to it I decided to put a thin border in which I think has worked out well.

I thoroughly enjoyed making it and could have quite easily carried on sewing the zigzags together to form a quilt top if I'd had more time. So whilst I can remember how to do it I'm definitely going to be making more! Both cushion fronts have been lightly quilted, with a layer of flannel and then some plain fabric. I also sewed the cushions together using French seams, as I wanted them to be neat for my mum, though in doing so the corners are rather bulky and cushion #1 has become a bit smaller than I had hoped for. The envelope backs are made using a linen/cotton blend fabric and I've finished them off with a decorative stitch.

 So now I just need to get them wrapped up and finish the kids wrapping so it looks like we're in for a busy evening but then I think we maybe ready for the big day. 
Of course the kids have been ready for Christmas Day ever since the first decorations arrived in the shops in September!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Counting down!

The countdown for Christmas is among us, 
in fact for me it feels like it has nearly ended as I will be closing my a crafty hen shops tonight at 9pm so I can get orders wrapped and ready for posting on my way to work Wednesday morning. My OH asked why I was closing the shops and not keeping them open, making it clear that after Wednesday I couldn't guarantee arrival of parcels before Christmas day, but no I can already feel myself slowing down and the last few months have been good, and profitable but very hard work and I'm quite desperate to have a moment to catch my breathe!
 {last stocking in shop}

Anyway I still have Christmas presents to make and projects for the house to complete and then there's the trousers for #2 and #3 I've been meaning to make and the tunics for #3, and the quilt for snuggling underneath on the sofa to finish that I started this time last year, and the wholesale enquiry that I need to consider and then of course there are the usual demands of Christmas that young children bring, the nativity plays, award assembles, xmas parties, quite frankly my head is spinning and I need a rest!

{new fun cushions in my shop}

2011 has been an amazing year for me. Starting out as 'Sew Vintage Obsessed' as a hobby and ending with 'a crafty hen' as a small business. I have a lot of thinking and refining to do and I also need to remember everything I have learnt along the way and are still learning, good and bad and to take it all on board.

{Gorgeous Gift Set with a lovely Scandinavian Xmas feel to it}

So for me the nights of working into the small hours completing orders and making stock for fairs is coming to an end, and I'm looking forward to finishing off personal projects for my family and then I'm also excited about new ideas and fabrics that I have to make new stock for filling my shops with for the New Year, 
so in fact I have a feeling I won't be slowing down at all!