My 2015 makes

Here’s what I got up to in 2015 …

January saw me complete my 2nd commissioned memory quilt, for a friend’s little girl’s 3rd birthday. It was made up of her baby clothes.

January-1

In February, I made my niece some teddy bear/doll’s sleeping bags for her 3rd birthday.

Feb-1

In March, I finally completed my cross stitch of a West Highland terrier. I made some felt chicks and a mouse as part of the first ever Comic Relief Crafternoon; these were sold at my workplace along with other crafty contributions to make money for Comic Relief. March was a productive month, as I also made another niece a pirate doll for her 3rd birthday.

Mar-1

In April, I had somewhat of a baking disaster. Attempting to make Waitrose’s ‘bunny scones’, mine ended up rather scary looking – very much like they were modelled on Donnie Darko! However, I did have a baking success too, a car-themed birthday cake for my nephew’s 2nd birthday. I also did an embroidery hoop for a friend’s birthday.

Apr-1

In May, I finished my nephew’s memory bear, made from his baby clothes. This was also for his 2nd birthday (the one I made the car-themed cake for). I also made a ballerina doll for a friend’s little girl’s 2nd birthday. The memory bear was probably my favourite make of 2015, it came out really well.

May-1

June and July were fairly quiet months on the crafting front, no finished objects to show. But I did begin knitting a baby cardigan and I’d also begun the bunting for my friend’s wedding. In July, a summer crafternoon was had by myself and some colleagues.

August was the culmination of my months of work making things for my friend’s wedding, at which I was also a bridesmaid. I made about 90 metres of bunting, hay bale covers and heart-shaped decorations, all for the wedding reception. All the hard work was worth it on the big day when it all came together and fitted the colour scheme and festival theme perfectly.

Aug-1

September was another quiet month, perhaps as a result of working myself so hard finishing all the wedding bits in August.

In October, my son turned 2. I made two birthday cakes, one for a joint party with his friends – a chocolate finger and Smarties decorated cake. For my son’s party, I recreated my nephew’s car-themed cake as my son is also car-mad. I also finally finished knitting the baby cardigan I started in June. A little crochet was even involved, to do the edging and buttonholes on the front.

Oct-1

In November, again with work colleagues, we had our annual Christmas crafternoon. I didn’t get any good photos of this, otherwise I would have done a blog post about it. I moved house at this point, so crafting very much took a back seat.

Onto December, and settled into our new house, I made a last-minute sheep costume for my son’s pre-school nativity play. I also did a wreath-making workshop with my Mum – a lovely Christmassy way to spend an afternoon. And, very recently, I finished my second baby cardigan. Unfortunately, like the first one I knitted, this one is also too small for the intended recipient. So, I’ve started a third one and have kept the second one for myself as I’m due to have a baby any day and I’m convinced it’s another boy!

Dec-1

So that’s my round-up of my 2015 makes. Lots of things made for children! This is obviously where my interest lies. This year, I’m hoping to get some sort of craft business going, in the hope that I may not have to return to work from maternity leave in Jan 2017, or at least it’s something I could run alongside work. That’s the dream, anyway! Whether it happens as a mum of two, I’m somewhat doubtful …

My ‘to do’ list for 2016 currently looks as follows:

  • two memory cushions – one to match each memory quilt I made
  • make the hay bale covers from my friend’s wedding into a quilt
  • a memory lion, commissioned
  • poppy tapestry for my mum
  • froggy cross stitch
  • baby cardigan no.3, 3rd time lucky, hopefully this one will fit my friend’s not-so-new-anymore baby

 

What makes do you have planned for the year ahead? I’d love to hear about them. Wishing you a happy and crafty new year!

Kate

 

 

 

 

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Hoopla hurrah

I’ve finishing framing Option 1 of my French knot embroideries in the hoop. Which I’ve discovered is called Hoopla. I found a few methods online to finish the back, and ended up combining a couple.

I drew around the inside of the inner hoop onto some leftover white felt and cut out two circles. I put one against the back of my embroidered silk noile, and then, having cut the fabric to an inch around the frame (too short I now think), i used a running stitch to gather the fabric at the back of the hoop.

  

Then I placed the second felt circle against the gathered fabric, and, using a whip stitch, sewed it onto the back.

 

All done over a crafty pub trip yesterday lunchtime.

I damped it last night, to wash away the washable fabric pen I’d used. Nice and dry this morning, I’ve added a ribbon to try and hide the screw at the top. It’s a bit bigger than I’d have liked, but it’s the only suitable ribbon I could lay my hands on. So it’ll have to do!

 

I also added a little label to the back.

 

Now all that remains is to wrap it up and post it off to my friend. It was actually her birthday yesterday, but she’ll excuse it being a little late. 

Cast your vote …

I need your help to choose between two French knot designs. But, first, Happy Easter! Here’s one I made a lot earlier (circa early 1990s).

My parents are preparing to move nearer to me, and when having a sort out, they came across this and decided to pass it back to me. I can’t remember when I made this for my Dad, but I’m fairly sure it would’ve been when I was at primary school. A loooooooooong time ago!

Right, back to the task at hand. Inspired by the amazing work of Ambrosia Stitches and with a friend’s birthday on the horizon, I decided to have a go at some hand embroidery. Following the Ambrosia Stitches tutorial ‘A project that will make you love French knots’, I was aiming to create something like this, but for the letter ‘L’.

Having consulted my friend on her preferred colours – keeping it vague by saying I was making something for her new home – I decided to go for blues and greens. Two blues, two greens. I ordered some silk noile online, which ended up coming from someone who lives down the road (so to speak), so I’ll save myself the postage in future. My local haberdashery had never heard of silk noile. Neither had I. Thank god for the internet!

It didn’t take me too long to master French knots before I began. That was the easy bit. I’m still not sure what the centre of the letter ‘L’ is. For my first effort, I put off working that out for so long that I ended up with this instead.

  

Not exactly what I was aiming for. I wasn’t happy. So decided to have another go. This time, with a smaller ‘L’. And trying to create more of an ‘explosion’ of French knots, I have this.

  

I’m not 100% happy with that either. So, I need your help! Please comment and let me know which you prefer, or if you have any suggestions (start again?). Pretty please! I’d really appreciate it. Let’s call them Option 1 and Option 2.

  

Look forward to hearing your responses!

***UPDATE*** Well, that was unanimous! Option 1 it is.