Week 4 - Free Pattern

We're over half way now in our Seven Weeks of Christmas Giving!

This week I have some Christmas ornaments to share with you. I designed them to be hung over door knobs, because that's a place that I don't very often see decorated for Christmas!

Of course, you can hang them wherever suits your fancy! You could reduce the pattern a little if you are making them to hang on a smaller Christmas tree.  As usual, go to my website to download the file.

I have to admit this is about the closest I have come to thinking about Christmas this year.  Wow, just four weeks today - I had better get my skates on! At least some of the decorations are sorted and I did buy Suet to make our traditional Christmas pudding.  It's made from a recipe which has been handed down through quite a few generations in our family.

I wasn't in the right queue when the cooking gifts were handed out ... but I CAN make a fabulous Christmas pudding! I don't really enjoy baking and I'm not good at it, though my family very kindly tell me there's nothing wrong with my cooking! So my design in the latest issue of Australian Homespun Magazine (Vol 13/11) is more wishful thinking than reality!

"Baking Day"

There's lots of applique:

Plenty of embellishments:

Don't you love my little spoon?:

Lot of little stitchery bits:

I think this apple pie is my favourite block:

 Sorry about all the photos - I couldn't get the collage-maker to work properly to group them together! Homespun Magazine is now published in a digital version too if you live overseas and want to purchase it.

 The designing pencil has been out a lot this week and a couple of new projects are forming on paper. I did lots of browsing on the internet too.  Two of my favourite fabric suppliers e-mailed me to let me know they were offering big discounts this week.  How could I refuse their offer?  I'm now eagerly waiting for two lovely squishy parcels!

I've also been making a few other bits and pieces. If you're on Facebook, you might like my page http://www.facebook.com/ValLairdDesigns.  I often put things on there that don't appear on my blog.

Keep an eye out for next week's free pattern - it will be something very practical for you to make for yourself or as a gift.

Happy stitching!

Week 3 - Free Pattern

It's already Week 3 of our Seven Weeks of Christmas Giving!  

That means Christmas is sneaking up on us FAST!  This week I have a very practical and pretty gift that you could make.  It's the Ruby Red Keycase. It's designed so that your keys actually fit inside the heart and protect your pocket from wear and tear.  Of course, with a lovely keycase like this attached, you shouldn't have trouble finding your keys again!

I have actually used silk for the embroidered area, but of course you can use whatever fabric you like - maybe you have a little scrap of off-white tone-on-tone cotton fabric which would be ideal.  There are a few techniques that you might like to try in this pattern. I have used the super-easy method of needleturning the embroidered heart. I love the look of needleturn applique but I was never happy with the results when I tried the conventional methods. And then I found the cheat's method! Happy!

You'll also find instructions for making a twisted cord in case you've forgotten how!  I hope you enjoy this free pattern which will be available for just one week, when it will be replaced with Pattern 4.  You can download the pattern from my website.

Because I travelled by public transport to the recent Creative Craft Retreat, I travelled 'light' so didn't take my camera.  Tonya of Crafty Mummy very kindly shared the following photos with me. Check out her blog - she has lots of wonderful things to show you. Here is a photo of some of the items I had on sale at the stall.  Space was limited so it was difficult to display everything, but you can get an idea of the bits and pieces I put together.

Thankfully there wasn't much left to put back in crates after the weekend!

Another 'Craft Retreater', Carol, very kindly brought her crochet hexagon rug to show me.  Carol was in my Crochet class last year.  It was so lovely to know that she had continued with her skills and had done so much on this gorgeous rug. Carol's 'friend', Justin Beaver, also came to Craft Retreat.  Check out his blog!

We had a lovely time catching up with four of our grandchildren last week and attending their School Awards Night.  All four received awards, with some multiples also - seven awards in all!  Very proud grandparents we are!

I don't seem to have had many hours at home lately but I managed to do some work on my apron yesterday and hope to finish it this week. I was also able to put the finishing touches to a wall-hanging which will be going off to a magazine as soon as I get it all together.

I'll leave you with a photo of what we discovered on one of our morning walks last week.  A Tawny Frogmouth nested in the area last year in November and we have been keeping an eye out for a nest again this year.  We finally found Dad looking after his two babies:

Gorgeous, eh?

Have a great week.

Week Two - Free Pattern

It's Week Two of our Seven Weeks of Christmas Giving and I have not one but FOUR patterns for you today. It's a set of four different drink bottle carriers:

These carriers are a great way to carry a 600 ml water bottle hands-free!

There's a stylish one for the ladies:

The one for the boys has a train on it:

The girls will love to have one with butterflies:

and there's even one for Dad with fish on it:

 If you like to carry a larger water bottle, then you can easily enlarge the pattern to suit.

You can download the pattern from my website.  The file will be available for just one week then will be removed and replaced with another free pattern.

We spent a lovely day yesterday with some friends from interstate.  Ann is a very keen birdwatcher so we took her to some of our favourite local spots and in spite of grey drizzly weather, we still saw more than 50 species.  We live in an amazing area and love to share it with our friends. I had made up a presentation of photos of many of our local birds, so we enjoyed watching that on our large TV after we'd finished walking around the bush.

Our resident Buff-banded Rail appeared on cue.

Earlier in the week, a lovely recently bereaved friend invited a small group of us to a morning High Tea to thank us for our help and involvement in the funeral.  It was a delightful time and the food was amazing.  I wished I'd taken my camera!  I reckon everyone ate much more than they normally would because there were two of each beautiful delicacy on tiered plates and each plate was just for two people!  Needless to say, I didn't need any lunch!

I managed to get a little bit of stitching done this week - in between a few nana naps - still catching up after Craft Retreat where a few of us exist on just a couple of hours sleep!  Then I started on a new project!  I like to do my hand stitching in front of the TV at night (I couldn't bear to watch TV at all if I didn't have something to do with my hands!), so I like to have a machining project for the day. I'm making a pretty apron  which is coming together quite sweetly.

Three magazines arrived this week and each one had one of my projects published in it! Today I'd like to show you my Strolling Through the Garden sewing set.

It's the first time I've covered a tape measure so I was quite delighted with how it turned out.

Here's the project on the editorial page:

   and in the magazine:

(Don't you love the little set of drawers in the background?)

We're off up country this week to see four of our grandchildren and attend their school's Award Night.  I wonder if all four will receive an Award????

Look out for another free pattern next week!


Week One - Free Pattern - Seven Weeks of Christmas Giving

I'm excited to start my Seven Weeks of Christmas Giving programme today!  The first free pattern I have for you is a Cushion Cover.

The Fan Fantasy cushion measures 41 cm sqaure (16 inches) and consists of simple piecing and easy applique.  The fan and border are embellished with a little bit of stitchery and a tassel finishes it off beautifully. Of course you can make it in your choice of colour, if you don't like my favourite purple!!!  It's a good pattern to use up some of your scraps too!

The pattern will be available for just one week and then it will be replaced with another free pattern for Week Two.  To download the Fan Fantasy Cushion pattern, go to my Website where you will see the link to the pdf file. If you use the pattern, please share a photo so we all can enjoy your handiwork.

I ended up having a great week of finishes! All the Beehives were completed in time to take to the Creative Craft Retreat:

Then I decided to make a few cupcakes for the stall also:

I've just arrived home from the Retreat - fabulous time, but more about that next week.

Did you work out what my little rebus puzzle was:

SOMething = Start of something big!

Look out for another free pattern in a week's time ... and don't forget to tell your friends about my Seven Weeks of Christmas Giving!

Happy Stitching