Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – September

Do you remember making paper snowflakes when you were younger? Maybe you still make them? I remember making them but haven’t actually done so for quite a number of years. As a result I must admit it took a little googling for me to figure out how to properly fold some paper so I could make some snowflakes.

Snowflakes | Mud, Pies and PinsNow I know you must be wondering why I am making snowflakes in September, especially if, like me, you are experiencing a wonderful Indian summer. Needless to say I do have a great reason to be playing around wtih some snowflakes. In a bid to ensure that we were well and truly organised for Christmas this year myself and Fiona over at Celtic Thistle Stitches, along with a series of guest hosts, have been hosting the monthly Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew link party since the start of this year.Christmas Link Party Button2The idea behind the link party is simple. Each month you link up what you have been making that month as part of your preparation for Christmas. Each month’s link party will be accompanied by a tutorial to inspire your gift or decor making, and there is a giveaway for those who link up their finished makes. This month’s link party is being hosted by Fiona herself and she is sharing a great tutorial on who to make a Christmas lampshade. You have from now until the end of the month to join in and link up your makes and if you do you could win a beautiful 20m roll of Christmas ribbon that has been sponsored by Kellie over at Plush Addict.

beri_13500_1I am sure that you must have guessed by now that my make this month has involved some snowflakes. Inspired by the paper snowflakes I got crafting with some fabric scraps. I started by picking out a few scraps which I trimmed to 3″ square and backed with fusible interfacing.

Making fabric snowflakes | Mud, Pies and PinsI then removed the paper backing from the interfacing and used each of the interfaced squares to cut a snowflake in the same way I would do so from paper. Now I must admit this wasn’t easy as not only were the squares quite small to start with but the fabric is also considerably thicker than paper, especially when the fusible interfacing has been added. But with a little patience I got the job done.

Making fabric snowflakes | Mud, Pies and PinsI fused these snowflakes to card or backing fabric and then used them to make a series of snowflake Christmas cards. They may be relatively simple but they are very much my style and while the snowflakes are far from perfect I love the individuality that each has and I know that the cards will be appreciated by those for who they are intended.

Fabric snowflake cards | Mud, Pies and PinsNow it’s your turn. What Christmas makes have you completed this month? I look forward to seeing what you have to add to the link party over at Celtic Thistle Stitches. If you’ve not had the chance to make anything yet this month then don’t worry as you still have plenty of time to get creative and you can find links to all of the past months’ tutorials on my Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew page if you are stuck for inspiration.

Fields of Flowers

When Ali over at Very Berry Handmade announced round 4 of her fabric ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap I was quick to sign up as I had had great experiences in the previous two rounds in which I had taken part. I really enjoyed the challenges of making these small 2.5×3.5″ ATCs, loved being part of the swap community on Flickr and best of all received two stunning little ATCs that now sit proudly on the shelf next to my desk where I can admire them daily.

Fabric ATCs | Mud, Pies and PinsEach swap round has had a theme and this time the theme was “Getting Away from it All”. When I read my partners likes I knew we had a lot in common and I decided to draw from my own experiences and loves to make her ATC. With a busy family life it is often the simple things like train journeys or Sunday afternoon drives that really let me just get away from it all, even if only for a short time. I love those trips throught he country, love the colours and ever changing sceenery. I decided that is was some of these colours that were going to appear on my card and when I spied these spools of thread sitting beside my machine I instantly knew what Iw as going to stitch.

SpoolsI started with a blue background of Stonehenge fabric and added a few scraps of Micahel Miller’s Fairy Frost.

Fabric ATCs | Mud, Pies and PinsOnce last scrap, this time a purple Stonehenge fabric, and I was ready to start the sewing.

Fabric ATCs | Mud, Pies and PinsI did some thread painting in various shades, added some french knots and a little beading and after trimming and backing produced “Flower Fields of France”

FinishedATC

Fabric ATCs | Mud, Pies and Pins

This ATC pulls together some of the colours and sights I love: the iconic lavender fields of Provence in France, the sunflower/rapeseed fields that I regularly see locally and the fields of poppies that I have on ocassion delighted in seeing. This card is now somewhere ên route to my partner and I hope that she will enjoy it every bit as I have enjoyed making it for her.

If you’d like to see more of the swap ATCs then why not pop over to visit the swap Flickr group where you can admire all of the beautiful creations made during this and previous round of the swap.

Because it’s Tuesday I’m linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday over at Blossom Heart Quilts.

Once upon a time…

… there was a bear called Barnaby.

BarnabybearBarnaby was a crocheted bear, fully jointed and full of fun. But he was all alone and in need of some company.

And so it was that after a few evenings spent crocheting Pingping the panda became Barnaby’s first friend.

PingpingbearNow these two boys were full of mischief and so I decided they needed someone a little more serious to keep them in check. Theodore the musical mohair bear soon came to keep them company. He was the biggest bear, but far from gruff. One press of his tummy and he played a pretty lullaby for all to relax to.

TheodorebearBut of course three boys were determined to have even more fun than two and there were plenty of adventures to be had.

Climbingtrees Gatheringnuts PlayingtruckAnd so one evening I hatched a plan. I decided that what these boys really needed was a little lady to keep them from getting up to too much mischief. I ditched the crochet hook in favour of the sewing needle, replaced the wool with some Liberty patchwork.

StartingIt wasn’t long before I had the makings of a little bear coming together.

TrainingI must admit there was much ripping and replanning but after a week or so of sewing Saoirse bear was finished.

SaoirsebearThis little lady was fully created using English Paper Piecing (EPP). The original idea came from a crochet pattern by Heidi Bears. I reworked her original head pattern to make it suitable for EPP and then created the body and limbs to my own design. Like her crocheted brothers she too is fully jointed which means that she has two different looks depending on which side of her body is facing forward.

Saoirsebear2I’m not sure yet whether or not she will have a calming influence on her older brothers, but one thing is for sure: this little cutie is definitely a happy addition to the family.

HappyfamiliesLinking up this latest finish with TGIFF which is over at Quilt Matters this week, and with and Conessions of a Fabric Addict’s Can I get A Whoop Whoop.

tgiff-button-blog        cooltext whoop whoop

Stitching and Swapping

When last I posted I promised to share with you all the wonderful stitching I had received as part of The Big Stitch Swap. Well it’s taken me lots longer than intended to get back to you all with that wonderful stitching but here it finally is.

The Big Stitch Swap Stitching by Sophie Belle Designs | Mud, Pies and PinsI have to say that I am totally in love with this beautiful piece. It has been hanging in my sewing space since the day it arrived and I wonder daily at its magnificence. I am so in awe of all the hard work that has gone in to creating the beautiful French knot blooms that for the centrepiece of the stitching. There are so many beautiful details in each and every creature and plant depicted in this stitching that I cannot help but admire it each and every time I look at it. The Big Stitch Swap Stitching by Sophie Belle Designs | Mud, Pies and PinsFor my partner in the swap I made a cushion cover. As part of her inspirational mosaic she had included a retro stitched pair of glasses. I decided I would cross stitch something similar onto some of the panel of the cushion using DMC’s soluble canvas to allow me to stitch directly onto the quilting cottons I had chosen to use. The Big Stitch Swap Stitching  | Mud, Pies and Pins

All in all I stitched five different glasses panels, one large and four smaller. I then combined these using white sashing to create my cushion top. The top was simply quilted along the sashing as I wanted the stitched panels to remain the focus of the piece.

The Big Stitch Swap Stitching | Mud, Pies and PinsI used some Color Swatches by Dear Stella Designs for the zippered back and bound the edges of the cushion in the same fabric I had used for the sashing as I did not want to detract from the coloured panels by adding another colour to the mix. The Big Stitch Swap Stitching | Mud, Pies and PinsI think the end result was a really fun cushion over which my partner was delighted with and I hope that she will enjoy using it as much as I enjoyed making it.

The Big Stitch Swap Stitching | Mud, Pies and Pins

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – August

Well how embarassing is that? There’s nothing quite like being late to your own party! Or missing out on it completely for that matter! Apologies to all who were expecting my August Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew post on Monday, life is sidetracking me at the moment and this is the first chance I have had to sit down and write a few lines.

It’s hard to believe that we are already eight months into this series of link parties, with only four more to go before Christmas is here. When myself and Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches started this series of monthly link parties it was so that we could get organised ahead of the usual pre-Christmas rush. I have to admit that I am feeling very well prepared this year even though I have been unable to make anything so far this month. In fact it has been close to a month since I have done any stitching at all. I make no apologies as I have been enjoying the summer with my family. There was a fortnight of camping back home in Ireland. Two weeks filled with sunshine and sea, with fishing in rock pools and exploring the shore, with swimming and paddling and so very much more.

RockfishingHappyrockBeachtimeMy sewing bag travelled with me in anticipation of some rainy days and sewing time, but I am happy to be able to say that it sat in the corner forgotten as we enjoyed sunshine galore.

We’re home almost two weeks now and still our days are full. My eldest started back to Kindergarten last week so with holidays over there have been new schedules to adjust to, a crazy work backlog for me to clear and so much more to keep us busy. Things are only now beginning to settle down and as I finally find a few moments to sit down and write I hope that I will soon be returning to my machine and my hand sewing as my fingers itch to stitch and my mind is a whirl with ideas for new projects.

Although I don’t have any makes to share with you this month, Erin over at Missy Mac Creations has come up with a great Santa’s Belt paper pieced block pattern that she has put to great use to make fun seasonal pouches. Be sure to pop over,  visit and join in the link party there. As usual there is a great giveaway for all those who join in the link party and this month’s prize is a fun pattern for felt decorations by Alicia Paulson at Posie: Patterns and Kits to stitch.

walk in the woodsIf you haven’t started in on your Christmas stitching yet then I would defintiely urge you to start. I’ve made such inroads into mine that I really feel organised already. I have a nice selection of decor items made for my house and a good selection of gifts already made. I’m confident that with four more months to go I will have achieved all I want to by Christmas – and probably more besides. If you are stuck for inspiration why not pop over to visit Erin for the link party to see what she, and others, have made or visit any of the link parties from previous months to find lots of great tutorials and ideas.

My next project will be stitched Christmas cards. I’m going to take inspiration from many sources and cross stitch, applique, quilts and embroider designs on these cards. The embroidery will defintiely be inspired a magnificent embroidered hoop I received in a recent swap – here’s a sneak peak that I hope inspires you too. Pop back next week and I’ll show you the rest.

Embrpoderedhoop