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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A cake, a quilt and a yearning for yarn

Back in April, I made my nephew a memory bear and a car-themed birthday cake for his second birthday. Last week, my son turned two; with him also being car-mad, I felt obliged to recreate the car cake for his birthday party at the weekend.

I baked the two sponge cakes to make up the cake on Friday afternoon. However, when I cut into the first one, it was still raw inside. So, at 9pm the night before the party I had to start again, sending my husband out into the dark and cold for more butter. (A week of baking disasters, if you saw my last blog post.) This also left me in the slight predicament on Saturday morning of having a cake to ice whilst looking after a two-year old (my husband had to work). Fortunately, my Mum came to the rescue and took over childcare, leaving me free to ice the cake. Two hours later, it was done. It tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself.  

Now that I’ve finished the baby cardigan I spent aaaaaaaaages knitting, I needed to think about what’s next. My ‘to do’ list is as follows:

  • Knit a second baby cardigan, for a friend who is due next month. Despite having a whole hamper full of wool, I might just pay the haberdashery at John Lewis a visit tomorrow …  
  • Two memory cushions, to accompany the memory quilts I made last year.
  • A quilt from the hay bale covers I made for my friend’s wedding. (I’ve warned her she’s unlikely to see this before her first wedding anniversary!)
  • My hairdresser has commissioned a memory lion made from her baby’s clothes. 

Plenty to be getting on with then 😬

I’ve often wondered what had become of the giraffe quilt I made for my niece. Tonight, I was delighted to receive a photo of my niece with said quilt. It’s helping her keep warm at night. That’s made my day, if not my week! 

  

Stars and Stripes bear

I’ve been holding off from posting til I finished my nephew’s memory bear. Finally, he is finished. 

Originally, I was going to make him out of these:

I planned it out like this:  

But, I just wasn’t feeling the colour combinations. I had a flash of inspiration that some of my nephew’s babygros had been passed on to my little boy. As luck would have it, they were too small for him. So, I changed tack and went for these: 

I added in a complimentary polo shirt and wanted to keep the teddy saying ‘Hi Mum’. I felt this looked much better:  

 

I struggled with how to transfer the pattern markings, however, I hope to remedy this for future projects with some recent Amazon purchases …

I made the same mistake as with my last (as yet unfinished) bear, in that I didn’t transfer the pattern notches properly. Rookie error! I’m very much a learn by making mistakes person! That said – apologies if this offends some out there – I’m not sure I see the need for matching notches on a project like this. Seems a hassle, when you can match up pretty accurately without them …

New stitches learnt as part of this project:

  • Ladder stitch – for sewing up the openings left for stuffing. Actually another name for slip stitch, as it turns out. 
  • Satin stitch – for the nose. Did not go too well. I was satin-stitching over a piece of felt stuck on with fabric glue. The middle bit of the nose was fine to satin stitch, but the ends were somewhat troublesome. I went for my favourite ‘It’ll do’ approach.

I raided my button jar for the eyes. I knew there was a reason I’d kept all these ‘spare’ buttons.

 

All that remained was to wash off my washable fabric pen. Every time, I curse myself for using it, as it never seems to come off as easily as I think. It’s just much easier to work with than chalk. For me, anyway. I was reluctant to put the teddy in the washing machine, as I wasn’t convinced my slip stitching would survive. So I went for the dampening option. Three separate attempts and two short stays in solitary confinement the airing cupboard later, there was still blue ink, so into the washing machine he went. Followed by a third stint in the airing cupboard.

   
   

Here’s the finished bear. Of all the things I’ve made over the past year, he’s one of my favourites. And reasonably quick to assemble too.

 
   

  

 

It was my birthday on Tuesday, and, for the first time, I created an Amazon wish list and sent it to my parents and my husband. All craft-based items. I’m not a lover of Amazon wish lists being thrust upon people; I don’t like being told what to buy someone. Unless I’ve asked for suggestions that is. But, being sent a wish list when I haven’t asked what someone would like? Well, I think that’s rude. Anyway, disappointingly, I got absolutely nothing from my wish list. But, I can’t complain as I was taken on a spa break to the lovely Ragdale Hall and treated to several lovely treatments. I did receive a couple of Amazon vouchers though, so I used them to treat myself to my wish list. Quite a few arrived today. Here’s the haul so far:  

Excitingly, this week I also purchased the fabric to make bunting for my friend’s wedding in August. The colour scheme is ‘sunset’: pinks, yellows and oranges. Whilst debating the best way to cut out the flags with my friend, she wondered if you could get a pinking rotary cutter. And you can! So, I’ve ordered one. Excited to get started on this. I’m going to aim for 100 metres of bunting. Am I mad?!

 

Unfinished project no.3

I’m a horror for seeing things and thinking, ‘I could do that myself’. One such example is memory bears. I offered to make one for my niece’s 2nd birthday, using her old babygros. However, I decided to make one out of old t-shirts first. How hard could it be? I got as far as the head, then didn’t have stuffing or eyes, so stopped. I now have stuffing but still have touched it since February. Which, incidentally, was when my niece’s birthday was. She didn’t get her memory bear. Are you sensing a theme yet. Anyway, here’s a pic of where I got too. One of the t-shirts is a band t-shirt for a friend’s old band, Big Wednesday. So, when it’s finished, this’ll be Big Wednesday Bear.

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