As of the end of last week I became the poster child for the power of subliminal messaging. Or possible the power of liminal messaging, is that a thing? Anyway. Ever since the calendar flipped over into 2016 I have spent my working days happily ensconced below Emily Quinton’s gorgeous pictures in this year’s Mollie Makes calendar. They’re all lovely inspiring pictures (I may have taken a sneak peak into the year ahead) but February’s picture is so pretty and the crafting idea so simple, that after two weeks sat staring at it I was powerless to resist.
And so with Valentine’s day rapidly approaching I spent last Friday evening happily immersed in felt and ribbons and thread; listening to an audiobook and stitching away.
The girls gave me some stacks of lovely soft wool felt for my birthday (which I’m 99.99% sure came from Berylune) and I loved dipping in to it to choose the perfect colour combinations for each of my three, fairly heavily influenced by what they’d made a grab for the last time we were all playing felt.
For Kitty, a pale rose and a deep coral, for Elma, jewel-like pink and purple, and for Pip the same coral as Kitty but matched with a darker orangey red. The ribbons are all from my stash too; I can’t remember where Elma’s purple velvet came from but in a moment of beautiful kismet I realised that the ribbons I’d chosen for Kitty and Pip were both free cover gifts from old issues of Mollie Makes.
I cut little hearts from one of their pink and yellow watercolour paintings to write them little valentine messages, and when the hearts were sat on the breakfast table there were three tiny chocolate eggs in each (we’re just not that organised to have actually managed to buy hearts so H went for Easter as a fall back!) but somehow and quite mysteriously, by the time I came to take pictures of the hearts, all of the chocolate had disappeared!
And the butterflies? Well Kitty and I have started to do a little finger knitting again. We tried back in the autumn but unfortunately, tucking it back into a basket just wasn’t enough protection from the “assistance” of small siblings, and it kept being pulled undone, or tipped out all over the floor when the basket was needed as some crucial part of a castle or something. We started again after Christmas with a new and very pink ball of yarn, kept safely wrapped up in a paper bag and tucked into my knitting bag between times, but I wanted Kitty to have somewhere of her own to keep it, and for that somewhere to be beautiful, just to add to the already great charms of all things wooly.
In short she needed a project bag, and armed with the great tutorial at In Colour Order I had a quick stash dive one afternoon, spent one evening armed with a rotary cutter, and another evening sewing, and made this:
A lined drawstring bag, with two strings so that (a) it stays shut and (b) it can also act as a backpack on a five year old. The main fabric came from a fat quarter I bought in a little craft barn on the road to Edinburgh (which dates it as at the very least, pre-Kitty). I loved it at first sight and love it still and I’m so glad that I finally found a project that didn’t involve cutting it up too much. It’s been rejected for goodness knows how many projects over the years as being just too pretty to water down the impact of such a glorious flutter of butterflies.
The accent fabric (and the fabric ties) are leftovers from a quilt that I made for one of our NCT friends, Heather Bailey Swing Toss in pink, and then the lining is what in yarn I’d call a semi-solid, is that the right terminology for fabric? Whatever it’s called, it’s a variegated pink and just the thing for my pink loving girl.
It’s a great tutorial and really easy to sew up and I love how polished it looks as a finished bag, from the matching ties all the way to the nicely boxed off corners that make it so very good at standing up by itself.
I left it on Kitty’s chair the morning after I’d finished it, tucked in so she wouldn’t see it until breakfast and as I got to the office a little video pinged in my text messages. Never has a bag been hugged so hard.
So now all I have to do, is make one for Elma. Déjà vu, coming to a blog near you, probably next week!