Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas Past

Looking through my Christmas tree ornaments there were lots of memories of Christmas decorations I had made in years past. The star was one I made at an evening class, it seemed to take forever but it was OK once it was finished. The bauble was one of my firstbobbin lace pieces, fairly quick to make and used Guterman red and green variagated machine sewing thread which is no longer available. The last one I expect many of you recognise, this is a Christine Springett kit, I have made this a couple of times as it is nice to add to a Christmas Card. But shock horror I couldn't find any tatted ornaments, well it is too late for this year so I will search out a nice snowflake pattern and put it on my to do list for next Christmas.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Tatted Christmas Trees

If you have read my profile you will know that one of my other hobbies is tatting. I learned to tat about 15 years ago and made a few bits and pieces, but then for one reason or another didn't touch it for several years. About 18months ago I discovered Here-Be-Tatters a yahoo group, and since then I have been thoroughly enjoying myself downloading free patterns galore. There are so many talented tatters who give their patterns freely I shall never live long enough to reproduce them all.

One of my favourite designers is Jane Eborall. Back in May of this year I took part in Jane's TIAS (Tat It And See) challenge. http://tatitandsee.blogspot.com/2008/06/wednesday-and-more-completed.html I had never added beads to any of my tatting, and don't think I would have attempted it without the encouragement and comaradie that was shown during the 10 days that the challenge took place. My lady was the result doesn't she look grand.

Then around August time Jane showed a wonderful beaded tatted Christmas Tree and asked if anyone could guess the order of the tatting. Having enjoyed creating the tatted lady so much I sent her an email with my guess. I was wrong but she very kindly sent me the pattern to test tat it and once again I rose to the challenge. The result is the middle one of the 5 below (the one with the odd star at the top of it). They look a lot better since I have stiffened them with water soluable fabric which I dissolved in a jar of warm water then painted on. Since this time Jane has offered the pattern on her website http://janeeborall.blogspot.com/ . I have managed to obtain some decent stars and backing pins so recently, over the period of several evenings I tatted Christmas trees. I made them into brooches and intend to attach them to blank Christmas cards to send to my special friends and relatives.
I am very pleased with the results and hope my friends and relatives will be too.

Crazy Christmas Quilting

Members of the UK Embroiderers Guild Forum organised a Christmas swap, which is always great fun. Those taking part offered to make an ornament and Christmas card for their partner. I spent quite a while trying to decide the best design to use. Originally I made a traditional bauble design but was not happy with the result. Then it occurred to me that as my partner's name began with the letter 'J' and my name also begins with 'J' I thought it would be appropriate to make a Christmas stocking which is similar in shape. Having decided on the shape the next question was what technique? Having made a start on my crazy quilting square (see previous post) I had a few scraps left over which were ideal for my stocking. This is the result. It was a nice and easy project and reasonably quick to complete once I had made a few decisions on the best way to assemble it.
The next challenge was to do the Christmas card, for this I decided to copy the stocking idea. I photographed the stocking and adjusted the image in paint shop pro. I then reproduced the design several times in a word document and printed it on to inkjet fabric through the printer. I ironed the designs on to bondaweb, cut out the design and pressed it on to some glittery felt and machine stitched around the outline. I then stitched a few beads on to each stocking and glued it to a blank card and hey presto a matching Christmas card to go with the ornament and several other cards to send to friends. I hope the recipient of my stocking will be pleased with it.