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.
30 degree triangle for 12-piece centre
12 piece layout
60 degree triangle
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Following on from a previous post – here is the latest Reindeer silhouette applique. So far I have only applied the polyester cotton print applique to some natural-coloured 100% linen. The next step is to run a fine zig-zag stitch all around the applique before adding some narrow piping and making up the cushion cover using my favourite method of a contrast button band and reindeer button closure on the reverse. The cover should finish as a 15″ square for a 16″ cushion pad. I like all my cushions to be plump and well-filled!
Over the years I have made many, many Christmas cushion covers. Most have been sold when I was trading as Carousel Cottage Crafts but here are just 3 that have been left. The original patchwork block design was listed as Weathervane but I like to call it Christmas Cracker. I made the second version without referring to the instructions and therefore inadvertently put it together in a different way which necessitated the addition of some extra square pieces to make up to the correct size. The third cover is made using all Half Square Triangles and is actually hand quilted – just to prove that I can do some sewing by hand!
Christmas Cracker Weathervane
Christmas Star -Half Square Triangles & Hand Quilting.
As many of my friends are aware – Reindeer are my theme for decorating at Christmas. I have already posted details of my favourite Reindeer head silhouette applique cushion but thought you might like to see a few more of these delightful creatures. Here is one of our chairs draped with a Blue fleece throw (handy for wrapping up when it gets REALLY chilly) with co-ordinating cushion. The throw is approximately 40 inches square and has 8 raw edge applique reindeer in lovely christmassy print cottons. There is also a twin needle stitched border in Red – just to finish it off.
I am fortunate to own some specialised software for digitising Cross Stitch to be sewn using my Brother 4000D machine. Inspired by the lovely designs in “Cross-Stitch Samplers” by Marjorie Massey I spent an afternoon digitising this fairisle-theme heart design. I stitched out the design using Red thread onto a White textured damask fabric. This was then edged with jumbo red ric-rac and used as a central panel on a cushion cover. The reverse of the cover has a Red buttons closure with the overlap also edged with ric-rac trim.
The daughter of a friend of mine has recently acquired a pair of rabbits which gave me lots of ideas of what to give as a Christmas gift. In addition to a decorated mug, I decided to add a cushion which she can display in her bedroom. The rabbits are one in Black and one in White appliqued onto an attractive floral print cotton with a Blue background. Although I lined the White Rabbit fabric with extra stabiliser I notice there is just a very slight show-through of the print but otherwise I think that they sit well on this background. I used a light fusible wadding for the front of the cushion and quilted 1/4″ around the edges of the rabbits plus a row of echo quilting to make the bunnies stand out. The reverse of the cover has a button closure with my favourite method of print binding on the buttonhole band. The cover measures 15″ and the cushion pad is polyester filled.
I don’t know from where the original design came but I fell in love with this applique design several years ago when the Reindeer motif was just becoming popular. I made a cushion cover and it was immediately snapped up by a regular customer of my website trading company. Since then, each year I think about making another cushion just for me. Finally, I have got around to making a new cover using 100% cotton fabric for the applique on a 100% a natural-coloured linen background. The applique is applied using Heat & Bond Lite and then stitched with a narrow zig-zag in Dark Forest Green thread. The reverse has some more of the cotton print as a border on the button closure which I think just finishes off the cover nicely. The cover is rectangular in shape and approximate measurements are 13.5″ wide x 15.5″ high. The pad is slightly larger than this to ensure a plump, well-filled cushion.
This week at the Monday morning Sewing Workshop held in Franklins, Salisbury we made a Christmas decoration. I am not sure of its “offical” name but I call it a Catherine Wheel. You start with two 3.5 ” circles which are stitched right sides together all the way around taking a 1/4″ seam. Make a small slit in one side and turn through right sides out. Press. Mark the centre point on both sides of the circle. Stuff lightly with polyester toy filling, not too much stuffing at the centre. Close the slit and prepare the “wings”. You need 16 x 3.5″ squares of Christmas-theme prints. Fold in half diagonally and in half again so that you end up with a triangle that is 4 thicknesses. Press well. With double thread start by anchoring at the centre point of the padded circle. Catch the corner of one of your triangles and pull into the centre, take the thread through to the other side and catch the opposite point of the “wing”. Work your way around the pad until all 16 triangles have been stitched. Attach a loop of ribbon to both centres as the hanger and finish with a button each side. Both the ribbon loop and the button can be attached using a hot glue gun asby this time you may find it very difficult to stitch through all the thicknesses of the wings and the centre pad.