Monday, 4 February 2013

What I Made

I didn't photograph everything I made, not by a long shot.

In the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas I sewed four or five days a week, 8-9 hours on most days.  

I'm very slow and I wanted to do my very best. None were perfect (I don't do perfect, and doubt I ever will), but each was made with a lot of love.

The insides are also patchwork - white and cream.

I found myself thinking about the person I was sewing for practically the whole time I was making their bag. I'm certain this was at least half the pleasure for me in making these things.

I made them for several people in the US, including Jack, who was married to my Aunt Rita.

These were the most masculine colours/prints I could find!

After all, a lot of my sewing supplies are due to his letting me have her stash.   I'm grateful for that practically every time I pick up a project.

I also made one for each of Bill's children using green fabrics from their Grandma Ella's home.  She had a pale grey-green that was her 'signature' colour.  I also made a green bag for my dear friend, Vivien for her birthday (including some more of the curtain fabric she gave me!)  

The lining of the one for my Uncle Pat has a large piece of cream coloured brocade that used to cover the love seats I have that belonged to his mother / my Grandmother.  

I appreciate it's a bit mental to keep the old fabric when you have furniture reupholstered, not to mention keep it for over 20 years, but I've always said there is no coincidence that Bill used to be a psychiatric nurse.

Another thing I made, but didn't photograph was small sets of raspberry vodka, blackberry whisky and sloe gin. The sloes and blackberries Bill and I picked; I bought the raspberries.   The labels were computer printed and cut in a circle using one of my Grandma and Grandpa's green depression glass jiggers.  Vivien and Lucy each got these, as well as each of Bill's kids.  I only managed to bake my usual spice cakes for them this year:  I ran out of steam.

As part of the craft group, I made this small Christmas wreath for our front door and was very pleased with myself.  

I was given the hessian and loaned a picture frame to staple it to.  I was also given this amazing green wool that I felted to use.  It shed grey-green dust everywhere I worked with it, but it gave a very ever-green-y outcome, I thought.  It is a northern England version of latch-hook rugs, but they call it proggy matting or proddy-matting and most working class homes had these on the floors in previous generations.  I wasn't that excited about this project until it came time to decorate.

I used gold and red buttons and gold braid, all from Rita's sewing stash. Since it covered a window (hence the reflection of my camera lens!), I had to cover the back.  Lucy had given me some red fleece for this project that worked perfectly.  The total cost for this wreath was £3.50 for the battery-operated set of LED lights. I love making 'something from nothing'!

I was so pleased with these photos, I made a quick Christmas greeting that I emailed around to a lot of people we didn't send paper cards.  

Have you made anything lately?


Suburban Princess said...

Great creations!
I've been customizing mugs and notepads lately :O) And lots of ribbon for VDay!

Susan Partlan said...

I didn't realize you were a sewist!

The bags are beautiful and the wreaths are pretty. Nice work!

Beryl said...

It is fun to make presents - I know what you mean about thinking of the person it's for, all the time you're working on the present. Cute bags and all with that little extra thought in choosing the fabrics.
Nice that you'll be able to bring that wreath out every Christmas, unlike the live ones.

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Lovely creations - good for you! I have been compiling photos to put together for photobooks...I have so many to go through!

James said...

Shelley dear, I just want to tell you every so often I'm still reading and enjoying your blog. Great wreath by the way.

Carolyn said...

These patchwork bags are the loveliest things Shelley, and that you made them with love makes them triply special to their recipients, I am sure of it. I too, find the meditation on the person I am sewing for, to be a massive part of the enjoyment factor in sewing, as well as seeing them wear it on repeat :)

Shelley said...

SP - Didn't realise you did notepads as well!

Susan - I'd say I was more crafter than sewist, but if I practiced more, perhaps I might cross over one day!

Beryl - Many of the neighbours have black front doors in their terraced houses (we're a semi-) and their Christmas wreaths are stunning.

LR - Currently trying to scan photos so I can share more easily and pitch the ones that have no people in them (risky, but I can live with losing postcards). V. slow process occasionally interrupted by technology glitch.

Hello, James. Lovely, as always, to hear from you! Glad you like the wreath.

Carolyn - I have only ever knitted scarves for people to wear. My friend Vivien even wears hers around her house and I'm always pleased to see it on her. I'll have to make myself something to wear to see what that feels like compared with making a gift for someone else...