Thursday, 26 December 2013

Secret Christmas Sewing

Earlier this year I joined the Santa Sack Swap run by Cheryll.  If you are interested in what the swappers got up to, there is a linky party going on at the moment here.
My lovely partner was Lynda.  This wasn't a secret swap, so we communicated via email, and had several chats throughout the time the swap was on.  The swap was 6 gifts, one of which had to be Christmas themed and hand made, plus a bag/tote/stocking in which to put it all.  I can now show you what I made for her, as Christmas has been and gone. 
The first gift I made was a name tag.  I trawled the web for an idea but in the end came up with my own design.  I began by doing the embroidered name.  It was then foundation pieced and after I had constructed it, I used some of the pretty stitches my machine does to quilt it. 
Name tag front
Name tag back

For gift No. 2 I found a lovely zippered pouch tutorial at the Renegade Seamstress and decided to use some lovely linen I had bought at the Hunters and Collectors Barn in Coffs Harbour on a recent trip.  This was a super tutorial!  Aren't we just so lucky to have generous quilters put their ideas up on the Net for us?

I popped a few skeins of DMC perle embroidery thread into it, as I saw on Lynda's blog that she enjoys embroidery.  Hope she finds that useful.

Next I found a great idea on Ella and Nesta's blog here for a skinny pin cushion which they made for the Across the Pond Sew Along which is a Flickr group here.   The idea is that the pin cushion fits along the front of your machine for your pins.  I used some scraps of cute heart button fabric I've had in my stash for ages.

Here it is in front of my Singer 99k (gift last year for Christmas from my gorgeous daughter).  I added a box of flower head pins to that gift.

My next gift was a dilemma.  I had a mug bag made for that (not showing you in case I use it for the swap next year) with a mug to go with it.  BUT at the eleventh hour Lynda posted a blog about a gift she had received as a Secret Santa gift.  This gift was a mug bag, mug and tea.  Oh woe!  I had no time left to create anything else, so this little craft bag was the replacement.  It has loads of pockets and spaces for different crafty things that we all have.  And the carry handles make it easy to transport all those bits & pieces to classes and group meets. 

The next gift was an Ort Bag from a pattern by Catherine McMurray I cut from a magazine a long time ago (possibly Handmade Vol 28 No 10).  So what is an ort?  An ort is an off cut of thread.  This one had 9-patch blocks on each side & bottom and was quilted in the ditch.  The pattern was quite complicated to put together, and I really could not see how to simplify it.  The problem being that you could only quilt it before you constructed the bag.

Next was the Christmas themed gift.  For this I used a Country Keepsakes pattern by Annie Smith called Angel Greetings.  I bought the pattern at the Home Patch in Bathurst several years ago, so this was a great opportunity to use the pattern.  That would have to be my all time favourite store.  Shame it is just sooo far away!  (boo hoo)  Just loved making this, and so pleased with the eyes I painted on.  I don't paint fabrics usually (don't ever paint anything actually), so I borrowed some Inktense pencils from my friend Di to do the job.  I used tea died calico for the face, and scraps of Christmas fabrics from stash.  A scrap of wool for some hectic hair and some bells & tinsel for decoration.
I had spoken to Lynda about whether she would like a stocking, a tote or a bag.  She had no preferences, so this is a regular shopping bag which I covered in Christmas fabrics.  

Besides Santa Sack Swap gifts I also made several drawstring bags for Kris Kringle gifts.  I used a tutorial by Jeni Baker from In Colour Order.  Great tutorial and easy to follow.  Here is one of them:

This one was for my Friday Quilters Christmas gift.  We just placed all our gifts into a basket which was then passed around the table - you just dipped in making sure you didn't take your own.  Elaine picked it, and I couldn't think of a more perfect recipient as she just loves Japanese fabrics.  I am tickled pink she got it.
I've shown you what I made for the kids in a previous posts here and here.  Those goodies went down a treat, so I am pleased.
Til next time..... Keep on stitching

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