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.



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