This year I resolved to use the very wide velveteen ribbon that was in my Aunt Rita's stash. I've had three enormous rolls for going on seven years now and I thought it high time to use them or lose them. I bought rolls of brown paper from Wilkinson's (sort of like a five-and-dime, though these days it's more like 'dollar' or 'pound' shops, eh?) for £1. I used this Youtube video on making 'pom pom' bows (I've never called them that, but there you are). My mom used to do this all the time - she never bought pre-made bows and I remembered bits but not altogether how she did it. The huge advantage of this method is that you control the size of the bow. If you're making 30-40 in a row (like I did), be careful you don't get tired and try to cut your finger off (like I did).
For the ladies on my list, I made Criss-Cross Coasters. A half-dozen each. Times five. That's 480 squares to cut out.
|For Helen; the backs were all the lighter solid purple.|
|For Sarah. The backs were some Australian fabric |
brought over by her Aunt Jane, as in upper right;.
My eyes were a bit criss-crossed by the time I finished, but they were still great fun to make.
|For Jules; the backs were all floral as in the upper left corner.|
I thought hard about what colours to make for each person and I think this was what made it fun. Instructions can be found here. I used the tip of having a chop stick on hand to help turn the corners, which was fun in itself.
For Vivien, who gave me the green striped curtains.
I was annoyed not to have remembered this tip about sewing sharp corners until I was doing the very last set.
It seems counter-intuitive to me, but making a diagonal stitch across the corner makes it turn out into a sharper point. Go figure.
For several other people on my list, mostly people in the States, I bought hot water bottles and made covers for them. I ended up drafting my own pattern by tracing around the bottle for one side and adding a seam allowance all the way around. I extended the top a few more inches so it could fold down and be buttoned. Then I copied that pattern and extended the bottom so it could be folded up. I wanted it to be possible to easily remove the hot water bottle, but also for this not to be necessary in order to fill it with water. I typed up safety and other tips (don't use boiling water; don't fill it, but do squeeze out the air before screwing on the top; virtually every British household has one of these things. )
I chose velvets and brocades to make the covers. I had great fun choosing interesting buttons. I only used one button per cover and I crocheted loops in colour-coordinated yarns and stitched those to the top and bottom to hold it all closed. I thought they looked quite elegant, but forgot to photograph them before sending them off to the US. Oh well.
Did you make any of your gifts for Christmas?