Friday, October 17, 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho And on We Sew!


Welcome to Rainbow Hare for My stop on the Ho, Ho, Ho And on We Sew Blog Hop!

I was delighted, back in January when Fiona invited me to host a spot on this great monthly linky party run by Fiona and Paula and I felt certain I would have Christmas all wrapped up by now but I'm sorry to say that, despite my admiration for all the wonderful people who have been stitching away throughout the year and joining the party, my own link ups have been rather few and far between...But today, I can announce, that the time for thinking we have forever to finish (or start?) all those Christmas projects is officially over. We only have 67 Days - less than 10 Weeks left.

So the project I'm going to share today is very quick and easy. It is a small christmas tree, a little under 8" high including the star, and it can be made as a Christmas gift or ornament or as a pin cushion to use whilst you're sewing up your other Christmas projects. Apologies for the grim night time photos!

You will need:
1 x 7" square green felt
1x charm square
1 metal bottle top approx 1" in diameter
7 x 2p coin, UK (or other low denomination coins that will fit in the bottle top to make a heavy base for sturdiness).
Toy stuffing (not shown) - a surprising amount!

1. Place your coins inside the bottle top and place the top centrally on your charm square.

2. Gather the charm square around the top and secure, as shown.

3. Trim off excess fabric and make several rows of hand stitching, as shown, to pull the fabric tightly around the bottle top. Set aside.

4. Make a card template of 1/4 circle with a 7" radius.

5. Using the template from step 4 (above) cut a 1/4 circle in green felt.

6. Stitch straight sides together with 1/4" seam, as shown.

7. Turn your tree piece right side out and sew a line of running stitch around the open edge about 1/4" from the bottom using a doubled length of strong thread.

 8. Stuff very firmly. Pull your running stitches tight, secure thread and work a row of back stitch around the opening.

9. Slip stitch or ladder stitch your tree top to the base securely.

 10. Embellish as desired.

If you have any Christmas makes already this month, please join the party. If not, the linky doesn't close until 23.59 on October 31st so you still have plenty of time to whip something up and have a chance to win this month's fantastic prize - a pattern to make the adorable Alpine Village Miniature Quilt from Home Grown Textiles

This miniature quilt is made using shadow applique and measures 8¼" x 11¼". The pattern includes a design sheet, requirements list and full written instructions and I think it would make a perfect seasonal decoration for any home.

I would like to thank Fiona for donating this lovely prize and I would also like to say a big thank you to Fiona and Paula for organising Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew and to the wonderful sponsors who have generously offered prizes for the monthly linky parties.

Fluffy Sheep QuiltingRay Stitch HaberdasheryBackstitch

Quiet PlayQuilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter ShopPlush Addict Logo  Posie: Patterns and Kits to Stitch by Alicia Paulson

Finally, as a prize for a second person drawn from this month's link ups, I would like to offer a copy of my Vintage Caravan sewing Machine Cover pattern. You can see more details here

Good Luck in the Draw and Happy Sewing!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wool on Sundays - 42 (unravelling the sea)

Welcome to another Wool on Sundays!

Have you been working with wool or yarn this week?

One of the things I love about yarn is the way you can unravel it. I agree that unravelling to correct a mistake isn't much fun but I do like the way you can change your mind and start again with nothing wasted. This week I have been unravelling my original sea stars. I had hoped to make these into a shawl but the dk weight cotton was really too thick and cumbersome. 

So I ended up using the pattern to make a 4ply wool shawl instead and the cotton ones were left languishing.

Then, when I came to make An Autumn Story, I needed something to be the sea and the cotton sea stars came to the rescue and reminded me that they were still a ufo. At the end of the story, when Granny Square unravels the sea, I first thought I would just undo a little and then re-crochet but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be a good idea to carry on unravelling and start something new. 

For now I am keeping the centre circles, which I might use for something else...

If you have been making or unmaking with yarn, this week, I'd love you to link up with WOOL ON SUNDAYS. The rules as usual are:

1). Posts must include some content - makes or musings or photos - related to knitting, crochet, felting, spinning or yarn.
2). Projects sewn from felt or wool fabric or stitchery using wool are also welcome but please don't link posts that are exclusively about sewing, quilting and fabrics.
3). Posts don't have to be from the past week but please put a link to WOOL ON SUNDAYS or grab the button from my sidebar and include it in or at the bottom of any posts you link up.
4). Visit anyone else who links.

Wishing you a happy week :)
Janine @ Rainbow Hare

Thursday, October 9, 2014

An Autumn Story (A Granny Square Post)

 Nowadays, with all the roaring of traffic and blaring out of music and televisions, it’s more difficult to hear it. But still, if you listen carefully, throughout the Autumn months, you can hear a quiet contented purring sound. That is the clicking of needles and whirring of sewing machines as all the Grannies take up their needles and pins and set to work making toys and scarves and mittens and socks and jumpers and cardigans, and who knows what else, to send off to Father Christmas in time for his midnight stocking-filling ride on December 24th.

Granny Square, of course, is no exception. And that is just what she was doing when Knit and Purl arrived.

"Why don't you go out and play?" asked Granny Square. "You never know how long the fine weather is going to last for at this time of year."

"I was hoping it would last until Old Wool comes back," said Purl. "He's been visiting his relations over the hills and far away all Summer and we haven't been to the sea side at all this year..."

"Oh dear! So we haven't," said Granny Square. "I shouldn't think he will be too much longer - but it will probably be too cold for swimming."

"Can't you knit us a sea then?" asked Knit. "It would be a shame to have a year with no sea at all."

Granny Square pondered for a moment. Go to the wood shed and fetch me as much sea-coloured wool as you can find," she said, "and I shall crochet the sea for you. That will be quicker."

So all morning, Knit and Purl carried great balls of sea coloured wool to Granny Square and all morning Granny Square crocheted and by lunchtime the sea-coloured wool was all used up.

Then Knit and Purl went swimming in the garden. They swam and splashed and swam some more and Purl had almost managed to teach Knit how to do the backstroke when she suddenly saw something very surprising.

"Granny Square!" she called. "Did you knit fish?"

"I didn't knit anything," called back Granny Square from inside the caravan. "I crocheted the sea!"

Then Purl saw another fish...and another. 

Then Knit saw one and he remembered something he had spotted in the wood shed. 

He leapt out of the sea and he was back in no time carrying Grandpa Square's old fishing rod. 

Purl swam away to safe distance as Knit cast his line and, to his surprise, when he pulled it up there was a little wriggling fish on the end. He thew it back and straight away he caught another one. "Fishing is fun!" He shouted to Purl. "I never knew it was so easy!"

"Fishing is fun - is it?" Boomed a a very loud voice.

Knit turned to see who had spoken and he got such a shock he dropped the rod and fell off the step into the sea.

"You are quite right," said the fish. "Fishing is fun!"

But Knit had changed his mind.

In the end, Purl came to Knit's rescue.

 She persuaded the fish that it would be more fun to put the rod down and give them a swimming lesson... 

...and they all swam together until teatime, when Granny Square came out. 

Granny Square was carrying a bottle. Knit and Purl hoped it would be some lemonade for them. 

But Granny Square threw the bottle into the sea.

"Why did you do that?" asked Knit.

"It is a message," said Granny Square.

"For Old Wool?" asked Knit.

"For Grandpa Square," said Purl. "Which colour of the sea do you suppose Grandpa Square is lost in, Granny Square..."

But Granny Square didn't answer. She was already unravelling the sea and winding it back into balls to make something else another time.