Christmas Family Handmade

A tiny holly wreath {handmade}


You’re going to have to forgive me for mentioning the C word when we’re only a few hours into September, but we will have to talk about a little festive crafting in a minute.

But first, a little story.  Earlier in August, I scooped Kitty up on a Sunday afternoon and took her off to see the Festival of Quilts at the NEC. At nearly seven she’s just about old enough to enjoy looking at the quilts without getting too fidgety and I love any chance I get to have any of the children one-on-one.  It was so much fun to see what she liked, and what she wasn’t so bothered by.  She loved the children’s quilts, though she would have chosen a different winner, and I was blown away by their talent and creativity, and the beautiful big art quilt of Africa.

Hello Kitty was an obvious hit, but she also tended to pick out the very geometric quilts, preferably with lots of bright colours, the more the merrier.  She would choose a rainbow over any other colour, including her current favourite, blue, and in her mind quilts are definitely made for snuggling under; I think she was a bit bemused by the art quilts, and one with big holes in it got a “I don’t think that would be very warm Mummy!”.

Having followed so many of Kelly’s quilts in progress over on her Instagram, we had to go and see them in real life; they’re absolutely gorgeous and we both thought they should have won.

As for me, well judging by the photos I took, I’m clearly still in the grips of a hexi obession, I also like rainbows, and I really really need to make one of those Passacaglia quilts, just as soon as I can clear some space in the WIP basket.

It should be no surprise then that our meander through the market place seemed to have a bit of a theme to it.  Kitty had some very fixed ideas about what she wanted; some fabric (some with blue dolphins, and a gorgeous pink stripe), and then pink sparkly thread to match, and then we both fell in love with Itching to Stitch, Kitty with the beginner crayons kit and me with just about all the wise words – expect some more cross stitch in our future!

But my make from this week (how’s that for not letting the stash accumulate!), came from one of the first stands we visited, and a company that has come up with something seriously ingenious (which is why they’d sold out of a lot of things).  Ashmead Designs have invented an EPP template that is felt on one side and cotton on the other and is designed to be left in your patchwork.  You tack the fabric on like normal (felt side to so it doesn’t slip), then piece together, then quilt and then remove the tacking.  It gives the patches a bit of structure to them, and while I don’t think I’d use it on a full size quilt, it would be perfect for keeping cushions looking vaguely the same shape that you made them.  It also means that if you’re using low volume or very lightweight fabric, you can’t see the seams through the piecing because they’re all backed.

I have a bunch of tiny hexagons to play with, probably in pincushion format, but to get the feel of it I picked up one of their Christmas wreath kits.  And if the thank you socks were the first thing I finished in the tent, this little wreath is the first thing that I finished in this house.  It took me an afternoon and evening, but I make things with three children rampaging around, so for anyone else it would probably be quicker, and it was incredibly satisfying.  First basting, then sewing, and finally stuffing (with brown shetland that I found in my spinning drawer which shows you how good the lining is!).

It’s just so sweet and dinky, and I’m so looking forward to putting it on the real Christmas tree.

I know I could have waited until Christmas, and there is a lot of fun in making things and adding them on while we’re in the middle of Christmas, but at Christmas I’m usually in a flurry of making presents and cooking, and this year we’ve got to work out how to do everything with the Aga, and actually it was lovely to do some completely indulgent crafting, even if it was in August.

So tell me I’m not alone; have you started marking things for Christmas yet or is it really just me?


Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On

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  • Gail 01/09/2017 at 10:15 am

    Looks like you and your daughter had a great day at the quilt show! Lots of eye candy and a little stash enhancement too-sounds like fun! I have not started any Christmas sewing yet. I am still thinking about what I might make.

  • Liz Wilson 01/09/2017 at 6:13 pm

    Quilt shows are the best! It’s so inspiring and amazing to look at the work that goes into these. Your daughter has good taste! I can’t wait until mine is old enough to appreciate the artistry of quilting.

  • Lee Cockrum 03/09/2017 at 2:35 am

    I love the tiny bead berries on the wreath. Sadly I have not started any Christmas crafting yet, although I would love to!

  • Judy 03/09/2017 at 4:45 am

    I have 3 Christmas gifts completed, well actually 2 Christmas gifts and a December birthday gift that is snowman themed….so sort of Christmas. Love that tiny hexie wreath. And Lee is correct….the tiny bead berries are the best!

  • Preeti 03/09/2017 at 11:27 am

    You take the best pictures. Your daughter is a mini version of you – but lovelier. Thank you sharing the eye-candy. No, it is not too early for Christmas preparations. Those berries add a wonderful touch. It already feels like fall with dipping temperatures, so I am sure Christmas will be here before we know it. Have a fabulous holiday weekend.

  • Brandy 05/09/2017 at 11:27 am

    Those quilts are amazing! My oldest would love something like that. I love the holly wreath. I think it is just the right time to get on the Christmas sewing.