Thursday, 6 September 2007

A Christmas Gift

I just had to share this with you. I was ranting to my Texan email buddy Debra about how people cross Christ out of Christmas by writing in their cards 'Merry Xmas' instead of 'Merry Christmas'. Christian or not, if we're going to celebrate Christmas let's do it properly people and remember what it's all about! I then told her how when the children were little we'd make a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday Baby Jesus on Christmas Day. She then told me this utterly wonderful story of when her children were small:

I loved your rant about the "X" instead of Christ in Christmas! I too, refuse to X out His name. He came to specifically die on the cross for us and we celebrate Him. When our children were young we put our tree up Thanksgiving night. We put a baby cradle under the tree with a bag of hay off to the side. Each child's name was written on a piece of paper and they had to pick a name and keep it secret. The got to put a piece of hay in the cradle when they did something unnoticed for the person whose name they picked. That was the only way Jesus had any hay to lay on in the cradle. They had to anonymously work for their selected name without any thanks or glory. It was amazing to see the little cradle fill up with their unselfish deeds. It always makes me cry when I think about how they struggled not to get caught making someones bed or doing someones chores for our symbolic gift to the Lord.

Isn't that the most tear jerking thing you ever heard? What a valuable lesson for her chidren to learn in life. :0)

Sewing Rooms and Fabric Stash


You know how I often mention some bits and bobs from my Gran's sewing box that I have used? Well, in total, it probably amounts to half a carrier bag of stuff and it's most precious to me. I dip into it often. Well, I found this video clip on t'interweb and I was amazed! It's a 06.12 min clip. If you get the chance, watch it to the end as the last thing she says brought tears to eyes! What a lucky, lucky young lady. I'd think I'd died and gone to heaven if I were her. :0)

Why is it that some people have a fabric stash like this:

And mine is only this big?:
Now, I know mine is very pretty too, but it is 'quantity challenged' if you know what I mean? My stash is only about 12" wide and the one above is about 8' high and 6' wide! Not fair! I am used to having materials at my fingertips in every colour and texture. To have everything there, colour sorted and before your eyes was so inspirational. When I was making bears I had a mohair and synthetic stash that was every bear makers envy. But alas, that is not my obsession now and the mohair and synthetic stash has been broken up and sold or given away.
I must now issue a warning to all friends and family. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT turn up at my house wearing a pretty blouse or shirt. I will not be responsible for the actions of my scissors!!!
I do have the pleasure of receiving some fabric and threads from America soon though, so I am really excited about that. :0)
Right, I am off to bejewel some fabric butterflies now. Will blog about that later.

Monday, 3 September 2007

How I Did The Word Embroidery.

I have been asked how I did the embroidered wording. I printed out the words and then placed them on the fabric. I then pin pricked them (a bit like tracing). I could just about make out the pricked lines in order to trace them with a fine pen before machine embroidering. It's a bit like painting. I start by 'drawing' a little balloon at the start of each line. I then do four sweeps of each line and finish with another little balloon. It gives it a cheeky chirpy look I think. :0)

Free-Motion Embroidered Lettering

I have finished embroidering the lettering round the edge of the quilt. I am very pleased with it (and my smashing new machine!) I slipped up a few times and it's not prefect, but I think that adds to the hand-made feel that you don't get with automated machines. All the slip-ups make it look arty! :0)

Sewing and stiff shoulders

Well, I have spent the last few days trawling t'interweb for tutorials regarding sewing machine stuff and quilting. I have been making copious notes and learning lots. It would seem I have got one thing very wrong and that is that I used very thick polyester wadding instead of nice thin wool batting to layer my quilt. That's what I get for making things up as I go along! Now my quilt is all poofy and silly and it wibbles at the corners and won't lay flat. I shall now have to glue the whole thing to a thin piece of wood in order to hang it. How silly.

I have learnt how to thread-paint and have spent many hours making secret stuff that you can't see yet. My shoulders are almost seized up as I have been hunched over the machine for so long. I really must adjust my sewing position. The secret things are small tokens of my appreciation to lovely Debra and her daughter Jo in Texas who have been so sweet to me. Debra and I have done a deal for nine of my patterns. Debra is paying me by purchasing me some gorgeous threads and fabric from America and shipping them to me. I am SO excited. It was like Christmas choosing what I wanted! I am putting a little bit of vintage velvet in the parcel with Debra's patterns. Unfortunately I don't have much left though. I am also putting a few other bits in and then these two secret things that I have made. They are not perfect and are probably technically wrong, but they took me hours and they were made with much love!!! And anyway, any irregularities are artistic!

I just thought I'd put this photo on to show what Minnie likes to do best. If she sees a box she says to herself ' I must sit in that box'. And she does!