Saturday, January 01, 2011

A new year and new projects.

Now where can I start? It is such a very long time since I added anything to this blog. Apologies to all. It has been busy here.

First, a very happy New Year to you. I hope the weather is kind to you and everyone you know. A belated Happy Christmas too.

I have been working at completing my mother's quilt, a jumper for Simon, two hats, eight Christmas decorations and four present bags since I last wrote here. Oh yes, there was also the November page, some work on a December page and preparations for the January page of the Traveling Pages project. There was also a pair of dungarees for a neighbours daughter too. I also started a second jumper which now only needs to be sewn together and the v-neck ribbing to be knitted. This last jumper uses yarn left over form the first jumper I knitted for Simon and will be either for my husband, or for myself.

January has started with painted and printed fabric.

The first piece is the result of painting fabric and then overprinting using old cotton reels and various bits and pieces.

This second sheet is my cleaning rag. I think it look even more interesting than the printed piece.

This piece was an experiment using pastel dye sticks. I've never tried using these before. This piece just needs to be ironed to be fixed. It was fun to doodle with these brightly coloured sticks.

Some of this fabric is destined for the January page (Fairy Tales), and the rest just because I felt like having some fun. It is so dull and wet outside. Our beautiful snow has disappeared and been replaced by fog and driving rain. The walk we usually enjoy on New Years Day abandoned because of the weather. Never mind, there is always tomorrow.

Some explanation is probably needed. The decorations were an experiment which came about to solve my quandry over what to make for a challenge laid down by the United Kingdom group on My Sewing Circle. We each had to make something for another member of the group for Christmas. A previous challenge had been to make an apron. I found myself cutting out paper shapes at lunchtime one day. These turned into the decorations. They were good fun to make. Then the latest Selvedge magazine had a delightful pattern inside for a reversible present bag. I made a mistake in cutting out the first one and turned it into a small bag with a handle instead of a small bag with a tie. I made four since they seemed so easy and quick to make whilst being incredibly useful for presents.

This is the reverse of the bag.

One little bag was sent off containing four of the decorations I made. The other decorations became presents, as did the remaining bags. One bag held the completed hats which were a present to Simon and Liz, a secret since the jumper was an expected item. A further little bag held gifts for my younger daughter. The last was given as a gift to my friend Hilary.

The first hat is Hot Cuppa Joe by Jennifer Lacey. The pattern is available on Ravelry here.

The second hat has the wicked (naughty) title of "Ribbed for his pleasure." This pattern, by Tinksdarkerside, is also available on Ravelry here.

I like to think the fabric bags may be used in some way, or given as the container of a gift to further friends. Each little bag is large enough to be a small prject bag - perhaps to hold knitting or an embroidered piece.
The dungarees were an unexpected project. My neighbour became very worried since she was not able to find a suitable costume for her daughter who was taking part in the school play. Time was short. I heard about it and offered to help. A bit of research and a suitable design was decided upon. Eleanor, the eleven year old daughter, and her mother came round to help. Eleanor was delighted to be able to help sew the muslin for her dungarees. She was shown how to use my serger and had a wonderful time sewing a couple of long seams for me. With the muslin completed and altered to fit, they left me to get on with things. Luckily, I had exactly the right fabric in my stash. The following evening I was able to go round and present the completed dungarees to Eleanor and her mum.

I shall have to wait until the Traveling Pages mentioned have been received by their owners. The December and January ones have still to be completed, but hopefully they will be completed within the next few days. All the previous pages I have made for this project can be seen here.

Mum's quilt was finally completed on Thursday 30th December. She was delighted with it. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of her with it before she left to go home. (She had stayed here for the New Year celebrations, coming with Simon and Liz.) I shall take photos later in the week when I go to see mum again.
Thanks for reading this far. I wish you a very happy, enjoyable and creative 2011.

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