December 29, 2013

Christmas Ornament Exchange :: Part 1

One of the things I really love about the blog world are all the opportunities to participate in swaps, sew-a-longs and other community events. I love the fun of joining in something crafty with other lovely peeps, the sense of community that develops from these events, and the excitement of receiving surprises in the mail!

Recently I signed up to join in the Ornament Exchange organised by Kelly over at True Bias.

I wish I was one of those organised people who jump straight into a task as soon as possible, however in my usual style I did lots of research on Pinterest, dithered over what to create and got temporarily distracted by going on holidays for a week. So by the time I'd finished stitching my ornaments, I hurriedly popped them in the mail and didn't even take the time to photograph them. (But hopefully one of the recipients will do so and I'll show you then!)

The sweet Christmas tree above was first to arrive from Renee of Nearest the Pin.

This sparkly star arrived from Alison.

And this spunky little reindeer (or, I suspect, dachshund in Christmas attire!) came from Nicole of The Solmnolent Dachshund.

Thanks everyone! (Plus there's another couple that will be waiting for me when I return from holidays in a couple of days.) So much fun! It's so nice to have special decorations with a personal story don't you think?

Thank-you so much Renee for sending through a photo of my bird ornament! I used a vintage cotton print, gifted to me by my lovely neighbour Jenny, machine-stitched to an unbleached cotton linen fabric. Then added two layers of cotton quilt batting and hand-stitched together with red perle cotton.

December 6, 2013

The Craft Sessions

Although it's over a month ago now, I have to post some photos of the wonderful weekend I spent at The Craft Sessions. It was SO good. 

It's the first time I've been surrounded by so many awesome people who are just as interested in discussing knitting patterns, fabrics, yarn, pattern designers, blogging, quilting techniques, Ravelry...

There were so many different workshops on offer from so many cool people that it was really hard to decide which ones to do. In the end I decided to try 3 crafts that were new to me: freeform patchwork and block printing, both run by Lesley Keating from Maze & Vale, and whole fabric quilting with Anna O'Brien.

I have to say that patchwork and quilting have never really appealed to me (too precise, too slow-going, too bitsy). But this was different! Freeform patchwork was a revelation. Just grab a bunch of coordinating fabric scraps and start sewing them together. No measuring, precise cutting or matching corners. I love this! (Ohh and the gorgeous Maze & Vale fabric scraps that Lesley brought along for us to use!) I can't wait to do some more. And whole fabric quilting - just beautiful fabric and simple stitching (no patchwork required). From Anna I've discovered how much I love hand-stitching. Such a relaxing, mindful process.

I met so many lovely and inspiring women but a special mention to Jo my room-mate (who is making the most amazing English patchwork quilt - something I will never ever attempt) and Kylie who has revolutionised my knitting by teaching me her continental style method.

A big thank-you to Felicia and her crew who organised this event. Can't wait for next year!

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