Friday, 9 January 2015

What I Made

The few months between our return from the States and Christmas were truly a treadmill. Not altogether an unpleasant time, but definitely one where every morning I had a long list of deadlines to meet. Bill asked me why I'd 'left it all so late' this year. I mentioned that being away from home for the best part of six months this year kind of made it tricky to take care of some of this preparation. However, I do realise that travel is his priority and so I'm just going to have to get cleverer in addressing these projects.


These are made by wrapping strips of fabric (about an inch wide) tightly around raffia clothes line and using a machine zig-zag stitch to hold it all together. They can be made by hand, but even with a machine they take me about an hour to sew one. They are great fun to make but quite fiddly.  

These green ones went to Vivien and Steve. It's sort of a joke that they get the green curtains they gave me back in bits. I'd really not planned to use the curtains this year but I actually ran out of green in my smallest scrappy bits (used to make these) and so ended up turning to the lovely linen, amongst several other pieces, to cut up and finish.

I made these in other colours for Lucy and Julia, for my uncle Pat, friends in Oklahoma Don and Doris, and for Simon and Simone. Simon was actually quite appreciative of them. He does works with wood in a seriously artistic way, mostly making guitars for sale. Anyone who loves their wood appreciates having some protection.

Tote Bag

Asked what colours she liked, Simone said 'Not pink'; these are colours I've seen her wear.

I made this for Simone and was lucky enough to get to watch her open it, the night before she left for Germany. She seemed to really like it, so I look forward to making more things for her and Simon.  

I did manage to at least start this when we were in the motor home in Scotland last summer. Bill was out hiking Ben Nevis in the pouring rain - I actually got a headache listening to the hammering on the roof. While he was out I cut fabric squares and stitched strips on my machine. It's generally not feasible to use my machine unless I'm alone in the motor home and can spread out or we're camping in nice enough weather (that means the continent) to eat and sit in the tent.

There is also a large pocket inside, but the picture was pretty boring... The first time I've tried attaching the handles between the outer and inner layers. I did a lot of hand stitching of the lining and the handles, but I'm much happier with this outcome. Obviously I'm still learning to make these!

This bag seemed to come together in record time just because I broke it up into steps. Something to remember in future. They take a long time, but I do love making these totes! 

Knitted Bag

This was for Vivien's birthday. I'd knitted most of it last year but it was my first experience of circular knitting and there were more mistakes than I knew how to correct. 

More purl than knit!

Though I learned a lot about fixing errors, some couldn't be corrected. So I pulled it all out and started over for this year. It's still not perfect but I gave it a lot more attention and was far more happy with the outcome. 

You can see my knitting is far from ...even...

The very last step of tacking together the knitted columns to form the decorative pattern was quite fiddly and time consuming. I've learned that when I'm able to practice the patience needed to do this sort of thing I feel my Mom's presence in the same way that I do when I make her and Grandmother's foods at Thanksgiving. 

The inside - loads of tacks. No instructions in Lucy's book about how to do this - just 'follow the picture'.

This is meant to be a cover for a hot water bottle, but mine turned out a bit bigger than needed. 

I figured it could be used for holding pajamas or hosiery instead, or for anything for which a draw string bag could be useful. 

1 comment:

D A Wolf said...

Shelley, The drawstring bag is very clever! You're so right - so many uses for something like that. But i must say, I adore the quilted bag you made. There is something quintessentially classic in quilting, and the blue & white with yellow scheme is always fresh, crisp, and clean.

I can well imagine that ALL with be delighted with these handmade gifts. I think they are the ones we don't forget, and use the most.

Wishing you and Bill a happy new year (if I haven't done so already, and even if I have).