Category Archives: Christmas

Grey Luna Lapin

Whilst on a roll of gift-making I thought I would make another Luna Lapin. This time I used some Pale Grey felt plus some spare pieces of quilting weight cotton print from a charm pack for the insides of the ears and soles of the feet.

The Luna came together very quickly and despite the fact that I always avoid hand stitching as much as possible, actually enjoyed the process.

Having completed Luna, I took the time to add a fluffy tail to her and the previous iteration using a pom-pom maker. I have never used this item before and it certainly made pom poms very quick and easy to produce. I still have to make clothes so both ‘girls’ are currently naked.

Grey Luna Lapin

I later changed my mind about giving this Luna as a gift, in the meantime she shares a place on the pillow of the spare bed with the first Luna and my ancient Teddy Bear!

completed 4th December 2019

Window Project Bags

I spent a very busy afternoon making three window project bags for my friends at Franklins P&Q club. This design is something that I have worked on and developed over the years. For the windows I use clear vinyl purchased from The Range, or if not available, low volume printed shower curtaining.

The first bag in Liquorice Allsorts print was for Pat. When she celebrated a special birthday recently my friend and I clubbed together to make and give her a Sewing Organiser using the By Annie pattern in this same printed cotton fabric originally purchased from Fabricland.

Pat’s Liquorice WIndow Project Bag

The second for Maureen was made using some animal print cotton linen from Dunelm and the third for Emma was made with Jelly printed cotton linen from Fabricland, Salisbury branch.

Maureen’s Wildlife Project Bag
Emma’s Jellies Project Bag

I put a few sewing themed gifts inside each bag and hope that the ‘girls’ will use them. I shall look out for them when we have our next meeting!

completed 8th December 2019

Sian’s Sewing Accessories

I have met Sian Singleton of Kittenish Behaviour on several occasions and when I attended the last two workshops she admired the sewing accessories that I had made in a pretty daisy printed cotton fabric. The set consisted of a Sewing Organiser case from an ‘Annie Unrein’ pattern, clamshell pouch, large & small scissors cases, machine needle wallet, machine needle organiser, thread bin and Dachshund pin dog.

Sian’s Collection

The Sewing Organiser case is a very complicated and time-consuming project which unfortunately I did not have sufficient time to complete. Sian’s birthday next year is something to aim for! Instead for Christmas I would make the some of the other items and hope that she would enjoy them instead.

I deliberately chose a cotton print in a colour that Sian enjoys and set to to make the different items.

Scissors cases

I started with the scissors cases. The original larger size was featured in a ‘Threads’ magazine many years ago and I have since adapted and refined the pattern to make it my own. I drafted the smaller case to fit the little scissors that I buy from New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, Andover. The button loops on the cases are hair bungees and the buttons are made up of a large button in one colour plus a smaller button in a contrast. A nice feature I think.

Thread bin and handbag charm
Clamshell Pouch

The storage bin and Clamshell pouch are designs picked up at Sprat & Winkle Quilters sewing retreat days. The wadding in the clamshell pouch is Bosal ® which gives a good firm finish to help the pouch stand upright. I finished of the pouch with a co-ordinating tassel. Everything these days seems to be finished with a tassel!

Pin Dog

The Dachshund pin dog was featured in a sewing magazine – again a long time ago and is stuffed with polyester toy filling. I buy my toy filling from eBay in large quantities. The most recent consignment arrived in a Double Duvet sized box!

I designed and developed the sewing machine needle wallet to counteract the frustration as my packs of needles were forever ‘migrating’ around my sewing room. I could never find the size and type that I wanted quickly. The pockets are made using the same clear vinyl that I also use in my window project bags. An alternative can be low volume printed shower curtaining which I have used in the past. I have refined the pattern sufficiently to be able to release on the internet and look forward to seeing lots more around and about amongst my sewing friends.

completed 5th December 2019

Abstract Print Paola Top

Paola by Named

I made quite a few Christmas gifts this year. I used some beautiful abstract print Ponte Roma from Stitchy Bee bought some time ago and used it to make a Paola top for my sister Catherine. I have a note of Catherine’s size and having made the pattern for her a few times in the past was quietly confident that the top would fit. An hour later – one Paola top finished and ready for wrapping!

completed 7th December

XL Necessary Clutch Wallet for Jenny

Monochrome XL NCW closed

Having made the XL size of Necessary Clutch Wallet three times now, I felt confident in making another to gift to a good friend. Jenny usually wears monochrome fashions and I thought that my signature bold and colourful print would not be appropriate. I found some Grey and White Linen in my ‘landfill’ stash and there was just sufficient to make the outer, flap and wrist strap in this fabric.

XL NCW inside pockets and card slots

I wanted the insides to be a little more ‘exciting’ and used some colourful cotton prints from my Fat Quarter stash in Black, Red and White for the card slots and zip compartments. I used Red zips and finished off with Red tassels on the zip pulls. All the hardware was nickel. Due to the thickness of the linen fabric and stabilisers I used 9mm x 7mm stalk rivets.

completed 5th December 2019

Antje’s XL Necessary Clutch Wallet

XL NCW fpr Antje

For the past several years I have been sharing my sewing adventures with a lady in Germany. We exchange gifts on Birthdays and at Christmas. This year, with my confidence high I decided to make an Extra Large NCW for her.

I know that Antje likes Blue as I have noticed that many of her garments are in this colour. I chose some pretty Paisley on Blue print for the outer and a contrasting Mustard for the inner. Fabrics were purchased specially from New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, Andover.

XL NCW Showing internal pockets and card slots

I used Nickel for the hardware and the wallet is finished off with two tassels on one of the D rings for the wrist strap and shoulder strap.

completed 2nd December 2019

20-Blade ‘Christmas’ Dresden Plate

OK, I promise this is the last Dresden Plate block for a while. However, I have scheduled in to teach a class for this lovely patchwork block so there will be a few more appearing next month as I prepare the class materials!

None of these patchwork projects were in my September Sewing Plans and now I have only a few days left to complete what I should have been sewing! Outstanding are 2 dresses and covers for the chair in my sewing room. So far I have only managed to cut out one dress which will take a couple of afternoons of sewing therefore I will have to be philosophical and accept that none of my plans were set in concrete and it is of no great importance that the plans have changed.


On to tell you a little about this particular version of Dresden Plate. I found a picture on Pinterest of a similar 20-blade block worked in shades of Green and finished with a dramatic Red Bow. It looked like a Christmas wreath. As I could not decide on fabric for the large bow I have opted for a smaller version set on a well-padded centre.

The cushion is piped with some ready-made Ruby Red satin piping and has an envelope closure on the reverse. The cover measures 15 inches square and is well-‘plumped’ with a 16 inch pad.

Christmas 12-piece Table Centre/Wreath


At the latest meeting of Sprat & Winkle Quilters, Christine demonstrated how to make this fabulous 12-piece Table Centre/Wreath. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the meeting but having seen one that had been made by a member of our House Group I was inspired.

I had only Val’s brief explanation of “how to” and pictures on the internet to guide me on how to construct the wreath. I made up the twelve squares using two different Christmas prints (Plain Red and a Holly print Cream) and some fusible wadding. Using a Green thread in the needle and the bobbin I appliqued the contrast Green squares onto the plain Red-coloured side. This then gave an outline of Green satin stitch on the lighter-coloured print reverse. But what to do next?

Maths is not my strongest point and I had got as far as working out that an angle of 30 degrees (360 divided by 12) would be involved in some way. I referred to a friend with a better grasp of these things and she kindly supplied a template for both a 12-piece table centre and a 6-piece (60 degrees) table centre.

Screen Shot 2016-11-12 at 09.02.26

30 degree triangle for 12-piece centre

12 piece centre

12 piece layout

 60 degree triangle

60 degree triangle

6 piece centre

6-piece layout

I made a template in thick card (cereal box!) and then it was simply a matter of stitching the squares wrong sides together along the line traced from the template and tacking together the points of the “free” triangles. For the latter I used a Red thread and attached a Red bead and Gold sequin to each point.

003 sequin bead trim

I was delighted with the resultant table centre which is approximately twenty inches in diameter. I think that I will use it as a wreath on the front door. I need to add a hanging loop and some form of decoration for the centre. More pictures to follow in December!

Christmas Gift Sewing

Whenever possible I like to make gifts for my friends which have a theme that is special for them. You can guess the theme for the following two projects which I completed today. Firstly a Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cover for which I used a pre-quilted White Polyester Cotton fabric  with an appliqued silhouette of a Cocker Spaniel.  I have used this design before (for floor mats and cushion covers) but on a much larger scale. This time I reduced the design to fit onto the side of the cover.  It was so quick and easy to sew with a fine zig-zag stitch that I am sure I will be repeating this design on other projects. The reverse of the cover  has an envelope closure but the cover is also open  at the top to facilitate filling and emptying. The only time one has to remove the cover is for laundry. I have found this to be the most convenient and comfortable design style of cover with no buttons, zips, ties or ribbons.

hot water bottle cover

The second project was a Kindle case. As I have one of these great gadgets I used my own to draft a pattern. The fabric was cut 6.5″ x 20″ long and then quilted with a 1″ trellis design. A simple lining, some topstitching, button and buttonhole and the entire project was completed within an hour.  Now I need to make another for my own Kindle which is looking sad and forlorn with NO cover of its own!

kindle case

Winter Weather

Brrr! It is cold outside but I have ventured out,  all be it very briefly. The weather over the last few days has been cold and frosty which reminded me of a few years ago when we had a terrific Hoar Frost. I spent a most enjoyable hour walking around our village and taking photographs. Here is one of the local Pilhill Brook which is just a couple of hundred yards from my home here in the lovely Hampshire countryside.

pilhill brook 2009 + border