Full of hearts

This year, quite early on, I decided I wouldn’t craft many Christmas presents. As it happened, by the time I usually get around to start on my Christmas crafting, I was about to pop and completely lacking my usual crafting mojo. Then, next thing I know, it was November and I was starting my quest for the perfect gifts for our loved ones. And I wasn’t going to make anything. Nothing. Nada. Yeah, right…

First, I made the album photo for my mum (she loved it, by the way). Then, I was told that a certain person would love a crafted present. And that they love hearts.

Full of hearts cushion

Nothing says “you’re important to me” quite like a handmade heart-full cushion cover

Now, there’s nothing terribly difficult about this cushion cover. The patchwork is made of 16 squares (12.5cm / 5in finished). I really wanted some low volume prints for the background. But guess what? I have 0 – ZERO – low volume prints in my stash. None whatsoever. So I went to my next favourite thing of the moment: greys.

Heartfull cushion in progress

When in doubt, choose your favourite colour combination…

To create the template for the hearts, I simply cut a 12.5cm paper square, folded it in half, traced half a heart slightly smaller, then cut it. I used this paper heart to cut all my fabric hearts. I chose not to use any kind of fusible web to help the appliquéing process. I first started to free hand machine embroidered the hearts, but hated the look of it.

So I hand embroidered 17 hearts (16 on the front, 1 on the back)

Handquilting and appliqueing

Handquilting and appliquéing at the same time

I’m very happy with how the whole thing turned out. The back uses bigger pieces of some of the greys. I added a lapped zipper to help removing the cushion inner (for easy washing). It’s quite a big cushion, 50 cm (20in) square. And the recipient liked it. Win!

Finished: Christmas stockings

A couple of weeks ago, as I was slowly (very slowly) working on one of my few crafted Christmas presents, the husband suggested that I made stockings for the boys. Now, I hear you gasp in horror that we didn’t have any stockings at all until now, but really Christmas stockings are not that big in France so I didn’t really feel the need for them. And yes, I did teach a stocking making class last year!

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the stockings are done. Ooh yeah. And all from the stash too. I didn’t need to buy anything to finish this project. That might have been a first.

Christmas stockings

I had only one little piece of Christmas fabric, which I mixed with “normal” fabrics

Even if my fabric stash is quite well maintained, I didn’t have much in the way of Christmas fabrics. So I went the sort of improv piecing way with the teensy bit I had to cut my stocking shape from. By the way, the template was from a free McCalls pattern that I found by googling “Christmas stocking sewing” or something similar.

Because my crafting time is not limited and my deadline was so far away (that’s me being sarcastic here), I decided that the best thing to do was to add a bit of hand stitching.

Personalised Christmas stockings

Hand stitched and personalised

I kind of needed to, as I only had sew-on bondaweb. The names would have maybe peeled off without the extra stitching. I could have free embroidered it with the sewing machine, but meh…

Finished stockings

Here they are, on our mantelpiece, waiting to be filled with goodies

But they’re done, with a few days to spare, even!
Now, onto the next project!

Finished: A prickly flower

In between all these quilt finishes, I also managed to well, finish, this little project I started when I rekindled my love for English Paper Piecing.

Teeny hexie flower

I may have a spot issue…

The last time I showed it to you it looked like this. Now, it is done and sitting happily next to my sewing machine.

All fabrics came from my stash. Actually, they all came from my scraps stash, which is even better.

Pincushion in progress

Spots, glorious spots!…

Then, after a bit of (precision) quilting and an added border, it looked like this.
Now, the step in-between that is not shown is that I used Heat n Bond light fusible web (fusible on both side) to stick the hexie flower to the brown background. This was to ensure that it wouldn’t move while I was quilting it. I could have used pins maybe, but with the fusible web, I didn’t have to worry about seam allowances popping out from under the flower, too. I’d do it all again the same way!

Finished Pincushion Front and Back

I love a plump pincushion

After quite a bit of stuffing (I love my pincushions to be on the plump side), it was ready to be used! Isn’t she lovely?