Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Handmade Holidays

I took a break from knitting again - I had started on a pair of socks that I thought might be a gift for the holidays but my wrist really started to act up and I was having trouble doing yoga and pilates so I thought I would pull back from knitting for awhile.

Instead I turned to some mittens from up cycled sweaters, a new quilt block pattern and some lingering cross stitch patterns to help craft up the holidays.

The mittens went to some special people that have been helping me out with a volunteer project over the past year.  I even used some felted handknit sock legs for the cuffs - they were dropped off by a sad neighbor that had felted her own socks and didn't want to look at them anymore.  I told her I had been there myself and gladly took them from her.  I am really happy that I was able to put them to good use in two new pair of mittens!  Each pair of mittens is lined with cashmere - a lovely addition that I discovered really makes the mittens enjoyable to wear.  I mean fleece liners are nice, but cashmere?  Wow.  I also got around to making cashmere liners for my tree mittens and have been wearing them most days this winter.  They are perfect.

I made these three coordinating tree wall quilts for myself, my Mom and my Mother-in-law for Christmas.  I was inspired by the patchwork forest tree tutorial by Diary of a Quilter and once I started making the blocks I couldn't stop!  I wound up with over 100 blocks after one weekend of sewing and from there it was just a matter of organizing the blocks into sets that were well coordinated.  I kept the one of the far right (next photo).

Each has a nice hanging pocket on the back and all were quilted with straight lines.

I also have never framed any of my small cross stitch patterns from over the years.  This Santa had been sitting in a box for a couple years and it was time to take it out and get it up on the wall.  I went to a big box store to get some custom mats cut that would fit off-the-shelf frames.  I then mounted the linen fabric on all natural cotton quilt batting (a recommendation from a local framing shop) and placed it in the frame for the wall.  Success!

I did the same with the Winterwoods ABC's from Alicia Paulson which finally got it's proper place in our hallway.

Next up for framing are the Peace on Earth cross stitch, our family pixel portrait and a recent color pencil drawing by my 7yo which she made during a recent trip to our local art museum.

And next up?  After gazing at my Winterwoods ABC's I logged back onto Alicia's blog/website to see what else she might have available...and the ornament kits are amazing.  Can I say that again?  They are a-maz-ing.  I just ordered Snow Day and can't wait to dive into making them after the craziness of the holidays subsides.