Winter Woollies – WiP Wednesday

Winter has thankfully finally found us here in Switzerland and we are finally enjoying crisp and frosty mornings, snowfall, and more. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who probably think I am mad to be celebrating such weather, but I do so enjoy winter. I love crisp cold days and wrapping up in layers. I love the sight of frosted fields and forests and most of all I love the snow. Crisp, white and lots of fun. I love the the fun I get to have with my boys playing in the snow and I’m getting no end out of enjoyment out of weekends in the mountains when I I get to watch and help them learn to ski.

Now of course with all this chilly weather it’s important to wrap up and stay warm so as my Instagram followers will be aware I’ve been swapping out the sewing for the knitting on and off over the past few weeks. Although I’ve probably got enough functional hats and scarves (read black and unexciting) I certainly don’t have many that I would consider fashionable fun so I’ve treated myself to some beautiful yarns in order to rectify that fact.

Wool collage wool

Yesterday it was the turn of a skein of Wool Collage’s Gypsy Garden in Purple Haze to make it on to the needles along with a ball of Schulana’s Kid Seta Lux in aqua. The Gypsy Garden is a beautiful mix of wool hand spun with tiny flower trims, sequins, bits of lace and ribbon rosebuds and I was determined to make the most of the 1 skein I had so I decided I would team it up with the Kid Seta and make a cowl following a pattern I had found on Ravelry.

Wool collage knitting

As it turns out this is a really quick project and I made great progress in the little free time I had available to me yesterday. Today I’m back to working on some more of my Liberty epp project as I want to also progress that project, but I should get back to my needles this evening or tomorrow and I’m sure I’ll get the cowl quickly finished when I do. It’s also looking like I will have a little of the Gypsy Garden left over but if I do I’m hoping I’ll have enough to make a hat to match the cowl and I’d hate to waste even the tiniest bit of this magnificent yarn.

Liberty Lovelies – WiP Wednesday

My sewing table and crafting space seems to be filled with various small works in progress at the moment so I thought I would share a few of them with you here today. If you’ve been following me on Instagram then apologies as you will probably have seen these pieces already.

Today’s work in progress post is all about Liberty lovelies. If you’ve ever done much sewing with Liberty lawns then you will know that, once start sewing with these beautiful fabrics, you become totally addicted to them and want to keep sewing with them. That’s what happened to me at least. The main piece that I am working on at the moment is a cushion cover that will feature the epp lotus blossom design that I created earl last year but have never had a chance to trial till now. I say trial but to be honest I was confident enough that the design would work well that this isn’t really a trial of the pattern, and I don’t think I was wrong in that assumption.

Lotus blossom Liberty epp | Mud, Pies and Pins

I’ve completed three of the five rounds of this blossom and I am more than thrilled with how it is turning out. All told I think there will be 85 individual pieces in the finished design, so still a few more papers to cover.

EPP pieces | Mud, Pies and Pins

I’m working with a gradient of pinks for this blossom, so that the bloom gets brighter and darker as it gets larger.

Liberty epp | Mud, Pies and Pins

Working with so many pieces got me thinking about fun ways to use up my every growing pile of Liberty scraps and I decided I would mix things up and embroider a ballerina wearing a Liberty gown. The original design for the ballerina came from here, I simply replaced her gown with one made from the Liberty Aranov print. I had enough of this fabric to fussy cut the dress and I just love how the design of the fabric adds extra detailing to the dress itself.

Dancer in Liberty and Embroidery| Mud, Pies and Pins

This first lady is stitched, now she needs to be properly mounted as I will either frame or hoop her for display. I think that the display method will probably depend on how many ladies I eventually stitch as the second is already in the hoop and ready to go, a little distraction for when I want to take a break from the epp.

Lady in Liberty and Embroidery| Mud, Pies and Pins

Linking all of these Liberty lovelies up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.

 

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – January

Welcome back to a brand new year here at Mud, Pies and Pins. I hope that you all have had a good start to the new year. Although it’s been a slow start back to crafting and writing for me, it’s been a busy start otherwise. We were lucky to get some snow just in time for New Year, and enjoyed a lovely few days in the mountains with both the boys out on skis each day. Since then we’ve been slowly getting back into our routines amidst coughs and colds, and more, but thankfully we’re more or less there now.

Snowdays | Mud, Pies and PinsOne of last year’s routines here at Mud, Pies and Pins was the monthly Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew event which I am delighted to be repeating again this year. The idea for this monthly event is simple: in order to be organised for Christmas, myself and Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches decided it would be a great idea to have a series of monthly link parties to encourage us, and you, to work on gifts, decor and other festive items right through the year and avoid a last minute rush.

Ho Ho Ho button 300Each month the link party will be hosted by a different guest host who will share a tutorial for a new festive make. Last year’s series of link parties was a great success and this year we have another great line up of bloggers ready to guest host and I do hope that you will visit them all:

If that wasn’t enough to look forward to there will also be giveaways on ocassions throughout the year from our generous sponsors below for those who join in the link parties.

Patchwork elephant  Japan Crafts  Pocket and Pin

Fat Quarter Shop  Bustle and Sew  Crafty Trimmings

This first link party is being hosted by Fiona herself over at Celtic Thistle Stitches. Fiona is sharing her tutorial for a beautiful Christmas cushion, and it is defintiely one to check out as her design would also work beautifully with non festive fabrics. The link party will remain open to the end of the month and this month’s giveaway is a lovely Christmas felt bundle courtesy of Sarah over at Pocket & Pin.

Felt bundleFor myself, I aim to use these monthly parties to share with you some makes from Christmas past, as well as some ideas for gifts or decor items for the Christmas to come.

This month is all about pouches. At the end of last year I took part in the Christmas edition of the Sew Delicious Sweet Pouch Swap. This is a swap I really enjoy as it is a great way to make new friends around the globe while swapping both pouches and sweets. I find pouches ever so useful and they are one thing I can never have enough of. They make great gifts for all ages, and are also perfect for gift wrapping so many items. My pouch design was double sided. I appliquéd circles of fabric one one side and embelished them with silver metallic thread so that they looked like hanging baubles.

Festive pouch | Mud, Pies and PinsFor the other side of the pouch I opted for an inset patchwork of festive fabrics.

Festive pouch | Mud, Pies and PinsBoth these designs were simple, but delightfully festive and while this pouch was stuffed full of sweets for my swap partner it could just have easily have concealed a Christmas gift under the tree.

The pouch I received from my partner Kirsten was equally festive and beautiful in it’s design, and one I would also have been delighted to receive as a festive gift.

Festive pouch found on Mud, Pies and PinsKirsten also sent two pouches for my little boys which I have to say were most cleverly made. The outer shell of each pouch was made from chocolate wrappers coated in iron-on vinyl, the inner fabric lined. My boys were more than delighted with these pouches and I can’t help but think what a great fun gift such pouches would make for any child. I will defintiely be giving this technique a go myself as I know of plenty of children who would love these pouches, although I think I will be stuffing mine full of pencils, crafting materials, toy cars or fun acessories.

Fun pouches found on Mud, Pies and PinsI hope that these pouches will inspire you to perhaps think of making some of your own, to think of new and novel ways to wrap gifts or maybe to experiment with some new and fun techniques.

Whatever you may make this month to tuck away for the Christmas to come be sure to tell us all about it and join in the link party fun. I look forward to seeing what you have to share.

 

 

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – December

Well here we finally are, it’s December and Christmas is just a week away. When myself and Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches started this journey back last January we aimed to work on projects through the year that would see us organised for Christmas this year. And now with Christmas just around the corner I can honestly say that I am organised. With time to spare I’ve had time to work on a few fun projects this month.

The first of these projects is a set of festive table mats. These were totally unplanned, a real spur of the moment project and one that I enjoyed having the time to do. Last week I saw a piece of “Yuletide Labels” from Makower in the remnants bin of a fabric store I regularly visit, one of the curses joys of having a sewing supplies shop at one of the tram stops I regularly use. I couldn’t resist picking up this fun fabric and of course I wanted to put it to use straight away. I decided I would start by making a few table mats. As there were nine different labels on the fabric I cut out one of each to use and insert each into a 12″ square of Grunge Basics. I’ve kept the overall design of the mats simple and used a fun festive fabric on the backs so that they are reversible. Now I look forward to using them.Festive Tablemats | Mud, Pies and Pins

I’ve also been helping my eldest son with a sewing project of his own. He’s stitched up a couple of nine patch blocks which he wants to use to make cushions. I’m really proud of how well he has made these. He chose the charms he wanted to used, organised the layourt himself and did all his own sewing. My only input was to help pinning pieces together and to iron all the seams. The next step is to get both my boys out with the fabric paints so they can both make some backing fabric for the pillows, just one of the projects we will work on in the creative days that are ahead of us.

Sewing with children - nine patches are a good starting point | Mud, Pies and PinsIn addition to sewing this month has seen me concentrate on some edible treats as I cook up some jams and chutneys to have and to gift over the holiday season. I’m not quite done with all of the cooking yet, there are still a couple of chutney/savoury jam recipes that I would like to quickly try out but once I am done with them I will spend an evening getting creative with labels and fabric and get those jars I want to gift all spruced up and ready to pass on.Edible Treats - Chutneys, Jams and more | Mud, Pies and PinsOf course this time of year is all about family and spending time with family, Myself and the boys have been off to Christmas markets and enjoying lots of time together. I have also been spending time building Lego with my eldest. When I was younger I was a big Lego fan so needless to say I was overjoyed when my son also developed a love for it. A couple of years back, when he was just 4, I treated myself to a Christmas set that we built together on Christmas Eve and included as part of our Christmas decor. I decided then that building some festive Lego together would become a tradition of ours. This year I got another set and I decided that we would start building it on the 8th, the first date on which I will allow decorations to be put up in our house. I’m not sure why I say “we built it” because he actually built 99% of it himself. My job was to help pull out the pieces needed for each step but after that I pretty much just sat on the sidelines and enjoyed the whole process. It may have said 12+ and “Expert” on the box but that certainly didn’t deter my little man and he proved himself to most defintiely be the Lego building expert he had claimed to be before he started.

Lego carousel and Christmas market | Mud, Pies and PinsI’m sure the days ahead will see me doing lots more projects together with both my boys. There are snowflakes to be cut, paper chains to make, and I’ve all sorts of creative ideas added to my festive Pinterest board so we won’t be short on ideas or projects to do together over the coming days.

What about you? Have you been linking up with our monthly parties and are you too organised this year? Or are your still working on projects? If you are, you still have time to get them finished and join in our month link party. This final link party is being held by Marie over at Quilts with Personality. Marie had shared her tutorial for the most gorgeous reindeer table runner, a perfect festive project to round up this year of link parties. As always the link party will be open to the end of the month, so there is still plenty of time to join in the Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew fun.

Christmas Link Party Button2For this last link party there are two great giveaway prizes: a copy of Katy Jones’s “25 Patchwork Quilts” book sponsored by Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches and a AU$30 voucher to spend at Amitie Textiles courtesy of  Quilts with Personality. I hope to see you over at the link party and look forward to reading all about your festive makes.

Winter Sparkle

What do you think of when you hear the term “winter sparkle”? I think of snow and snowlakes, of trees indoors and out, of christmas lights and tinsel, of moonlit, snow covered hills. So of course when I wanted to stitch a winter sparkle themed fabric ATC for the latest round of the Very Berry Handmand ATC Swap these were the ideas that I wanted to play with.

I started with a crocheted snowflake. I really love making these and have made quite a lot of them as part of my christmas ornaments so I really wanted to incorporate one into my design. Once I had the first snowflake in place on a background of onyx Grunge Basics. I went on to backstitch some more using a mix of pearlescent and plain white embroidery cottons along with silver and white metallic threads. The finished “Snowflakes” ATC is a little refelction of my love of night time snowfall.

"Snowflakes" Fabric ATC | Mud Pies and PinsBecause I had this first ATC finished well in advance of the postage deadline I went decided I would try out a couple of other ideas that I had. I had come across a pretty design for a hand stitched Christmas tree online that I knew I wanted to stitch. After scaling it down to size I stitched it with single strands of embroidery thread blended with metallic threads. Instead of stitching the gifts under the tree as per the pattern I created them with Northcott Artisan Shimmer fabrics, each one neatly tied up with some metallic silver thread and then my “Under the Tree” ATC was finished.

"Under the Tree" Fabric ATC | Mud Pies and PinsThe final idea that I wanted to try out was a simple moonlit snow scene. I started with a couple of hills appliquéd on the same Grunge fabric I had used for the first ATC. The first layer of sparkle came from the Dreaming in Pearle fabric I used for the hills. I then added layers of stitching in white and silver metallics; moonlight dancing across the surface of the snow. Some trees in silver, and a full moon brighlty shining from the sky above finished off the scene in my “By Moonlight” ATC.

"By Moonlight" Fabric ATC | Mud Pies and PinsWhen it came to deciding which ATC to send my partner I found it very difficult to decide which one I should send but in the end I asked the advice of a friend who told me I should simply send the ATC I had made first because that was the idea that I had first, was what I had decided to make when I started stitching for the swap and was what I would have been sending anyway if I hadn’t had the extra time to play around with my later ideas.

My ATC in in the post and should hopefully soon be at it’s new home. On the same day I posted off my ATC I was delighted to find that an ATC had arrived in my postbox from my partner. I couldn’t be more delighted with this little beauty. Not only does it include lots of my favourite colour purple but it is full of sparkle and delight. A real beauty that I will cherish.

Winter Sparkle  Fabric ATC received by Mud Pies and Pins