Thursday, 17 January 2008

Suits You Scarf

More December back-blogging... I made two of these lovely scarves as Christmas gifts. I made one really early, in October possibly, hence the nicer weather and leaves on the trees in this picture (which also incorporates our broken garden fence!).
I cut enough fabric for two so came back and made another in the week before Christmas. The pattern is the Scarf Wrap from Denyse Schmidt 'Quilts'. The scarf is made from a mix of wool suiting fabric, corduroy and felt with various scraps of silky, chiffony type stuff and then backed with pink cotton. I've always liked mixed textures and the shots of colour make for a very pleasing scarf I think - perfect for enlivening a work outfit.

It was a good learning exercise too as it used the foundation piecing method - not one I'd used before but I can definitely see the value of it when working with fabrics of such different weights. I'm very happy with how these came out and just wish I'd had time to make one for myself! The only crafting I've been undertaking lately was adding a few rows of crochet to my never-ending ripple blanket as I lay in bed ill last week. I always think it's unfair that when you're ill and stuck at home you actually don't feel up to doing any crafting. I did watch the whole first series of 'Ugly Betty' though so I guess my time wasn't completely wasted!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Mushroom Pincushion

Some Christmas back-blogging. This is a little mushroom pincushion that I made as a gift for Miles' mum. She loves mushrooms and toadstools and I've been collecting bits of mushroomy material with her in mind. The master plan is a cushion, or some such, for her toadstool guest room but since, just before Christmas, she lamented that her pincushion was giving up the ghost, I saw where I could put some of the stash to good use in the short term.

To make the pincushion I followed this tutorial from whipup. The top was made from mushroom print cotton (with iron-on interfacing for extra strength) and the base was from some red wool suiting material. I finished the top with a lovely vintage cream plastic button (which came in a wonderful assortment from my aunt some time ago) and on the back I covered a small button with some of the main fabric.

This was my first pincushion since a cross-stitch one I made in school when I was about 11 and I'm really pleased with it. It was a very quick and very satisfying project and I was even able to rope Miles in as Chief Pincushion Stuffer. I think I may do some more of these in the coming year.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Wreath Lecture

Happy New Year everyone!

After being admonished by my family for not having posted recently I realised that I had better get some of my Christmas-related bits and pieces online before time renders them entirely irrelevant. Since it's 12th night today, I thought I'd post the pictures from our wreath walk on Boxing Day before the owners pack them all away! The walk took us through bits of west Kensington and Holland Park. As has become traditional (well, we've now done it two years running) we started the walk with a visit to the house of the late, great comedian Frankie Howerd, just to wish him Merry Christmas as it were.

I would say that the wreath on the Frankie Howerd house is about average size for the area - many however, get as grand as these ones:

But, if you are so posh that your house has an enormous double door, you may be forced to have not one but two wreaths:

The residents of this house didn't seem to have quite understood the level of grandeur required for a Kensington wreath:

Then we saw this along the side of Holland Park - it may have a house number and For Sale sign, but where, I ask, is the wreath?

Then we come to my favourite wreath - so ostentatious and, well, purple, that it takes up a full half of the door:

Here is a close up. I do not mean to offend any readers from across the pond, but my Mother reliably informs me that this house is inhabited by Americans. I can't help but admire their, well, balls!