Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Penblwydd Hapus i Katryn

Yn y bore, bydd Katryn yn chwech a hoffwn ddymuno iddi penblwydd hapus iawn. Dwi’n drist iawn na allaf fod gyda hi eleni ond rwy’n siwr ei bod yn mynd i gael diwrnod gwych a byddaf yn gweld hi wyr yn fuan.
Llawer a llawer o gariad, Katryn. xxxx

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Stitched Christmas Trees with Year 10

I only had a single lesson (35 minutes) with Year 10 today so I chose to make one of my simplest cards with them. They all did very well with several completing the stitched Christmas tree on gold or silver card, mounting it on black paper before gluing it onto a white card and embellishing with a holographic star. I don’t have any photos of the actual cards but they are based on the following design, which is one of my own…


I produced a powerpoint to talk them through making the stitched tree so I thought I’d also share the instructions on here for anyone that’s interested. I originally made the template by drawing a triangle and measuring equally spaced holes on each side with the left hand side holes sitting in the middle of those on the right hand side. To place the trunk in the correct place I constructed an angle bisector to be as accurate as possible but measuring would be fine for anyone that’s not an over enthusiastic Maths teacher!

This triangle has significantly less holes than the ones that Year 10 completed today but there are enough to understand the general principle and get the hang of the pattern.



Starting in the bottom left hand hole ensures that the pattern is as easy as possible to follow so cellotape your thread to the back of the card and stitch as shown here. Out on the right, in on the left.

Now come back out on the left hand side one hole up and stitch back to the original hole on the right hand side. This is the pattern that you follow for the whole design, on the back you move up one hole on the same side and on the front you stitch across to the hole that you’ve already used.

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Once you’ve reached the top you can go back to the bottom and stitch the final two parts to make the trunk. So simple but also incredibly effective I think.

They seemed to enjoy the activity, many of them stayed well into break to finish it. One noted that this was like a “knit & natter” session, they really are old before their time! I also had a request to do the string art with them later in the year, which I blogged about in the summer when I did it with my current Year 11s. I really do love spreading my enthusiasm for crafting!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas cushion

After the weekend’s failures I felt I needed to get back on the horse and get back into my comfort zone making a cushion. However, I am an ambitious person so I thought I’d have a go at beading onto my fabric before making it into a dinky little cushion…

I used a beaded snowflake design from Stitching Cards which I pinned to my fabric before beginning the beading by hand. This took a couple of hours or so but the worst job was yet to come…


Unfortunately I had not thought this through thoroughly enough. My paper was fairly thick and tearing it off the fabric proved very tricky. In the end I had to wet the paper to make any progress and did split one thread in the process of removing the paper. After patching it up and pulling the damp fabric tight the piece looked like this:


The following day I chose another fabric with which to border and back my little cushion. I’m really pleased with the end result although it is probably quite fragile. It’s roughly 16cm square and makes the perfect present for someone special.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Note to self: learn to walk before you attempt to run!

Today has been a big fat FAIL!!! However, I live and learn…
This morning I set about creating a (vaguely Christmassy) hanging which I had carefully planned last night whilst David was out a Christmas party. I know I shouldn’t but I do love nights in alone when I can do as I please. Anyway, I digress. I had taken inspiration from a lovely book that I have on Embroidery on Paper (click the title for link to the book). The design that I liked was a hanging of three hearts embellished with embroidery and beads. I decided to make a similar piece but creating three patchwork hearts and embellishing them with seasonal things such as bells and snow flakes.
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So, after an early start (couldn’t sleep) and a lot of cleaning in the kitchen I set about making it. David didn’t surface until after one this afternoon and I’d just about finished it by then but this had been an ambitious project and I can’t say that I’m thrilled with the result. It turns out that getting the hearts perfect is not very easy at all. I’m quite tempted to have a go at Kirstie Allsopp’s way of creating fabric hearts using the much much simpler method of using some kind of wonderweb type material. I shall investigate further at a later date. Here’s a closer look at the three separate hearts below…
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Disappointment number one!
Then, this evening I attempted to make a Christmas patchwork star. I carefully designed it, making sure that the angles were all exactly 45 degrees and thinking about the order in which I was going to stitch the eight pieces together.
It was all going very well. I cut out the pieces from some great fabric (from Ikea of course) and made the patchwork star before attaching it to my cream fabric to create the back of the star that I intended to stuff.
This is where the story ends. After stitching it together and trying to turn it right side out it became obvious that the points were almost impossible to turn because I’d stitched them too tightly. The pattern was just too small and fiddly. It went in the bin! Walk before you can run, Suzanne!! Next time I’ll try another cushion I think!
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