Archives for the month of: December, 2015

I am behind in posting my Christmas makes, but then again, I only finished them yesterday! This year, at the last minute I decided my child needed something handmade for his first Christmas. He is only 4 months old and already cutting teeth, so it needed to be approachable to his growing abilities and slobberiness.

   
 

Each is different. One is “plain”, one has jingle bells inside, one has tags, and one is filled with scraps of crinkley Insul-Brite. Baby enjoys squishing them, but he is still too small to stack them. However, they are wonderfully soft so if they get under him when he rolls, he is still smiley! I call that a successful make!

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This will be my husband’s and my second Christmas together. Last year, we chose paper as our theme, and this year, in keeping with the list of anniversaries, we chose cotton. With the baby around, I am particularly glad we settled on something so easy (for me!) Most of our decorations were sourced from my stash!

   
    
    
   
The only thing I bought was a pair of green sheets from Goodwill, which I shredded and turned into “yarn” for the greenery. The rest – doily “snowflakes”, crocheted and patchwork garland, fabric scraps for bunting, an embroidery hoop base for the wreath, even the birdie ornaments – all came from my sewing wardrobe, and most of that was kept from our wedding decor!

 The tree itself was a collaborative effort. My husband conceived the cone shape and went on a quest for branches. The draping and dressing of the tree was mine, though he insisted on layers of nested greens and wonderful peeking lights. Our son is not yet mobile, but even if he were, all is soft enough for him to be unharmed. Further, I have plans for the “tree” when the holidays are over:  the wood can be chopped for kindling, and the “yarn” will make a great hearth rug! For now, the baby loves looking at the lights, and the dangling snowflakes with their lacy shadows make even this warm Southern winter feel cozy and bright!

Linking up with the 2015 Finish-A-Long!

My Grandmother came for a Christmas visit. Her house is filled with things we grandchildren have made – from childhood artwork to patchwork pillows and a free-motion quilt. This year, I was inspired by her mother, my Great Granny, who, if I remember correctly, loved cardinals in wintertime.  

   
I made a few quick sketches, then used scraps from the stockings I sewed this year and embroidered their faces. They don’t match exactly because the design evolved, but I think both are sweet. One went to my Grandmother, and the other to my mother (as I expected she would appreciate one, too!) We had an early celebration with some extended family, and Grandmother was pleased with her pin. Hopefully she can enjoy it all winter – something festive and cheerful, not overtly Christmassy but not out of place, either, and definitely one-of-a-kind, which may be her favorite part. That, or the ability to say, “Oh, this? Just a little something my granddaughter made for me.” 🙂

My mothers’ group had a Christmas party and asked that we bring a white elephant gift to bless another mom. Nothing tacky or silly – the idea was to treat ourselves since we all know how hard mothering can be. Of course, rather than shop for a $10 gift, I made one! (Since they were a first attempt, we will pretend only $10 worth of material and time went into them.)

   
    
(I had to try them on… I was so tempted to keep them!)

 
Quilted spa slippers, anyone? I used a pair of mukluks for a sole template, then free-handed the upper out of paper until I figured out a nice shape. The sole has two layers of batting and a layer of stiff stabilizer between the denim and solid cotton. I made bias binding and glue basted underneath with white school glue. That spared me much frustration as I sewed through all the layers.

Usually I don’t go through so much trouble to match things perfectly, but I really wanted the girl who got these to feel special. Sure enough, they went to a new friend who’d been wanting slippers for Christmas! In fact, everyone walked away with something they liked. I received a beautiful scarf and new colors of nail polish – two things that are very much me, which I can never have too many of, and well worth the exchange! The best part was knowing what I made was not only wanted and appreciated but an actual Christmas wish!

I always loved our family’s stockings. They are straightforward and declarative, but simple and classic. I love how narrow they are, how fun it is finding thin bits to fill them. My great grandmother made them, lazy-daisy stitching over my grandfather’s lettering. She made them for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren (I was one of the youngest and was eight years old when she passed), so when the family got together, it was one long line of names. She used a fabric called Indian Head, which is no longer manufactured, but I found some for sale on etsy at a great price!

Here is my original, Great Granny-made stocking:

  
And here are the ones I made for the newer members of my family:

   
 
Of course, they are not identical, especially as my sweet Granddaddy is no longer around to help with the lettering. But I thought I’d embrace the difference by adding a signature tag – “handmade with love” – which they certainly are!

Linking up with the 2015 Finish-A-Long!