Friday, February 27, 2009

Some more crafting for Christmas...

Here are a couple of things I've made lately. First of all, two more hot pads. One of them -- the one with the cows and the wintry scenes -- is just "winter" while the second one is much more Christmasy. I loved that fabric and bought it with no clear idea of how I would use it. I just liked the motifs. But it works well as a hot pad, I think.

This is the "Silver Skate" ornament I've been working on. I apologize for the blurriness of the picture. This ornament is from a pattern in a 1968 McCall's Christmas Make-It Ideas magazine. It is supposed to be made from red corduroy, but I decided to try making it up in red felt first. This whole ornament is just an experiment. I didn't enlarge the pattern as much as specified, because that would have produced a larger skate than I wanted. I think I will make subsequent ones a bit larger than this, however. I do have some corduroy I want to use, and think that sewing and turning the skate will be easier if it's made somewhat larger. (I have some red/black corduroy in a tiny windowpane check which is from a vest my dad always wore at Christmas time, and I have some blue corduroy from an old robe of my mother's. I thought those might be nice to use to make each grandchild an ornament.)

The cuff is supposed to be fake fur. I couldn't find the stuff I thought I had, so used some jumbo loopy chenille I had on hand. The lacing is supposed to be white yarn. Again, I didn't have any so used some silver-gray cord from my stash. (It would have worked fine if my fingers were less rough and my fingernails not split.) I'm not sure, for the future skates I make, if I'll use yarn or decorative cording. The blade was to be white felt with silver glitter glued on (remember, this was a 1968 pattern. 40 years ago they didn't have all of the wonderful craft products we have now). I just brushed on some slightly diluted silver glitter paint. Glitter glue would work, too. All in all it was a fun project and I think the experiment was a success. It definitely showed me what I would change next time to come up with a better result.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Christmas tablecloths

Today I finished a couple of simple projects toward Christmas 2009. I made two very simple Christmas tablecloths, one small and squarish, the other larger and rectangular. I have had these fabrics in my stash for years and had never found just the right thing to do with them. When I bought them I was thinking of table runners, but the prints were both slightly uneven and I thought table runners might call attention to that a bit too much. Here is the larger cloth.
And here is a closer look at it:
And here is the square cloth:

I like the stenciled look of these motifs.
After Christmas this year I was going through fabric to use for making the pieced runner I featured here earlier, and came across these prints again. I decided to just narrow-hem them and use them as tablecloths or table toppers for the various tables in our dining and living areas. They are not perfect by any means, but I still like the prints just as much as ever and will greatly enjoy using these on our holiday tables next year. I feel rich just having these pressed, folded, and waiting in the linen closet!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Show & Tell Friday for February 6

For Show & Tell Friday today, I want to share photos of the pieced table runner I just completed. As regular readers of my Christmas blog know, I like to work on Christmas projects all year round. I also have a huge collection of Christmas magazines dating back to the 1950s. Each year I spend time looking through some of these for ideas of things to make.

I found this runner in the December 1980 issue of Decorating and Craft Ideas magazine. Apparently I was interested in stitching it even way back then, 28 years ago, because I found that I had enlarged the patterns via photocopier, and they were ready to use now, in early 2009! I cut the pieces out just after Christmas, using remnants from my stash of Christmas fabric, and have worked on the runner in spare moments ever since. I must hasten to add that I am not a quilter and am not even a very proficient seamstress. I just followed the instructions and the runner came out looking much like the magazine photo, so I'm happy with that.

Here is the runner. Sorry for the perspective in the photo, but taking it from this angle was the only way to fit the whole runner in the picture. Our table does have one more leaf which we add in to seat 12 around the table, so the runner will still be a fine length for that.

Here is a detail of the back of the runner. I wanted not to have to buy any fabric for this. I had a lot of this green gingham on hand as I had bought it with the idea of making valances for the dining room windows. I think I still have plenty left to use for that.

And here is a closer detail of one end of the runner. I think it is so pretty.

There is also a place mat pattern, in the Dresden plate design, which coordinates with the runner. I'd like to make a bunch of those, maybe a dozen, to go along with the runner. A future project!

To see what others have shared for Show & Tell Friday, head on over to There is No Place Like Home

and check out the links. Happy Show & Tell Friday, everyone!