Posts Tagged ‘Scandinavian’

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Although most of the Christmas decorations are away in attics and the sales are drawing to a close, I had just enough Christmas spirit left in me to make these five stockings. I have so much in my To Make list this year that I just can’t fit in the quilts I’d like to make for a couple of babies due soon. Instead I’ve made them each a Christmas stocking with red deer on them, and once I know their names, I’ll embroider their initial on as well.

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I also made another polar bear and a wee curled-up arctic fox.

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These are my own designs so will be for sale in about 11 months’ time! I also recycled an accidentally felted jumper of Sol’s and used it for the three hearts on the final stocking.

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This one I’m less pleased with; it looks rather twee, but then again stockings are for children so can afford some twee! All of the animal stockings will eventually be finished with cream pom pom trim around the opening. I’ve attempted three visits to my local sewing shop to buy the trim and each time it has been closed- very frustrating when I’m trying to support my high street and it stubbornly refuses to be open at quite logical times of day!

I am continuing to plough on with a knitterly Christmas present, which at this rate may become a birthday (in September…) gift, argh! Also in the pipeline is a nautical baby quilt, which I hope to order fabric for soon and post some pictures of my ideas for it. So much to make! It’s lots of fun, even if the pace is at times frustrating!

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A few more crafty projects for Christmas time (that is to say the ones in time for Christmas; there was one that didn’t make it and will have to be a new year’s present… or perhaps spring…)

Lavender pouches, a satisfying way to use really nice small bits of fabric:

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A fleece lining for Sol’s ‘itchy’ hat:

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And a stocking for Otis. Not enough thick felt for the whole stocking, like Sol’s, but a lovely herringbone wool tweed instead.

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I had intended to draw a new animal -I had thought a pointy little Arctic fox would suit- but I just plain old ran out of time, and reached instead for the Clare Youngs reindeer template.

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I used a scrap from this year’s advent calendar fabric for the trim. I’m pleased: it’s similar to Sol’s but also quite different, and I hope Otis likes it.

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We’re away with family until the end of next week… I wish you all a very happy and peaceful holiday!



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After some deliberation, I ordered my three fabric choices for this year’s advent calendars. I used Laughing Hedgehog (daft name, good site) and even with the usually slower free delivery, it all arrived very speedily.

This year I chose a really traditional, Nordic-y one:

A vintage-looking rusty red and cream:

And a really pretty, folky one with rabbits, deer, mushrooms… it’s a magical Christmas!

Decorations continue apace, too:

As you can see I was somewhat… constrained in my photography. I thought I had chosen an unreachable surface, but he appears to have grown a cm or two! And I had about 3 seconds to take the photos before everything ended up on the less than spotless (ahem) floor.

He was very pleased. I had to laugh and remember this photo- Sol was about 6 months older, to be fair, but still. How can my two children be so different?!

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After Rowan’s big Clare Youngs-style reindeer, I used the remaining felt to make a stocking for Sol. This time, the design is mine, albeit influenced by the reindeer. He saw it in progress and was so excited, although he did have to ask what the creature was a few times (I hope because he is unfamiliar with polar bears rather than because it is unrecognisable?!) I must admit it felt so lovely to make something for my own child- and I am ashamed that this is the first proper thing. I have left it out for him to find when he comes down in the morning. Not enough felt for Otis this year, but I’m sure he won’t mind…

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I made three of these, in two sizes, last year, as well as a green one with a white embroidered snowflake on it. The reindeer is a Clare Youngs design. I just used your normal acrylic craft felt, which is cheap, widely available and easy to work with. But this year, when asked if I would make one for a friend’s baby, I thought I’d splash out on some 100% wool felt. Oli says it looks like toast! Fat and cosy, it is just so beautiful. I’m going to make one for  Sol too (there isn’t enough felt for Otis but at 6 months I don’t think he’ll mind too much!) and can’t wait; it’s a pleasure to work with. From Blooming Felt.

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Oh dear, tumbleweed blog… blame the Easter holidays, which have seen us doing a tour of the central belt in order to visit as many people as possible before baby 2 arrives! Apologies for the lack of activity. I have been sewing still, although the pace dropped somewhat when we were away- back in action now though! Here are the fabrics I have bought for this year’s advent calendars:

They are, from the top, Dala Horse which is my self-indulgent folky one, a fabric as close to last year’s red floral as I could find, the cherry colourway of It’s A Hoot Spot (I liked the yellow one on the elephant quilt so much) and a green Scandinavian snowflake print which was rather pricey as it uses very environmentally friendly dyes and is organic and an all-singing, all-dancing sort of fabric! The snowflakes do look bluey but they are a deep forest green; it just mustn’t photograph well as they look blue on the Fabric Rehab site too. All from Fabric Rehab bar the red floral, from The Laughing Hedgehog (odd name but good fabric choice and free delivery too, marvellous).

I think they will all look really Christmassy but in different ways- fokly, retro, traditional and more clean-cut. I plan to have red pockets for the decorations on the green snowflake fabric one which will be a nice change. One of my commissions is the traditional deep red floral fabric and I have enough of that for two calendars. I have just received another commission and await the fabric choice!

I’ve done a few more decorations as well:

The smallest Russian doll is underway and will hopefully join her big sisters in the bag tonight!

And just so you don’t think I’ve only made a measly four decorations:

Each calendar will have two doves, facing each other. Well, it is ‘two turtle doves’ in the carol after all and besides, one looked a bit lonely…


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Things are coming along nicely with my current baby quilt and as I know it’s not a surprise gift for the couple in question I have decided to post a few photos as I go along, to save you all from endless pictures of fabric I like! As I think I’ve mentioned already, the brief was a unisex quilt featuring thistles and daffodils as the upcoming baby will be of Scottish and Welsh parentage. I was also told that the mum-to-be loves elephants and that the dad-to-be loves cycling. So I came up with a very simple, Scandinavian inspired design of two elephants, each carrying a flower, on a red background and with a sky blue sawtooth edge. The detail and depth will come from the quilted outlines of the elephants getting wider and wider. (Sorry dad-to-be but bicycle-riding flower carrying elephants were a bit out of reach for me!)

The client liked the design but asked for a square patchwork border, like Theo’s and Annie’s quilts, and I was only to happy to oblige so I could use up a bit of the Zoo fabric I used for Sol’s duvet cover. The backing fabric, which will come over the edge to bind the quilt and thus will be visible from the front, is this yummy yellow spot from Fabric Rehab. The nice vibrant red is from my local craft shop, and I used some of the grey floral from Theo’s quilt for the elephants.

The daffodil and thistle went on next and now I am all pinned and set to sew the top and bottom patches on. As with most quilts, the top is moving along quickly- it’s the quilting that takes the time!

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Foxy times return!

There has been quite a flurry of internet shopping of late- mostly due to a very bad run of faulty goods, the wrong thing arriving, or some such irritation! But I was intrigued when I saw the postman popping into the woodshed this morning, only to discover that someone had sent me a Touch Wood Design cushion, which I had blogged about ages ago! Oh the excitement! I rushed out immediately to get a cushion pad for it and now Mr. Fox is stalking comfortably across our Laura Ashley Colinton chair, which has a great retro feel, and was a gift from my grandmother who lives in Colinton!

I have worked out that the cushion is from my Antipodean-dwelling sister, who seems to enjoy sending parcels devoid of any information and posted not from Australia but the UK via friends and her boyfriend! Most enigmatic and most kind- thank you Sophie, I love it!

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As if I needed another item to add to my list of desirables, I was idly leafing through Nigella’s Christmas cookbook and spotted, amongst the luscious chocolate cakes and edible gold glitter, this 1950’s range from Crown Devon, entitled Stockholm. No longer manufactured, it has a fabulously retro feel and chimes in perfectly with all of the Scandinavian reindeer vibes I’m getting this festive season… I love it. So too, it sadly would appear, do a lot of other people and though not rare on ebay a cup and saucer such as the one above are on a buy it now for 30 quid. Red’s most prevalent:  

But it seems to have been made in a green shade as well:


It has a familiar feel to it- hopefully because I have seen stacks of it in a granny’s cupboard somewhere and not because I have casually walked past it in the local charity shop…

Cold Comfort Crafts should be, on a temporary basis only, Caribbean Comfort Crafts, as I am currently visiting my parents in the West Indies. I have brought the start of a quilt with me, of which I will be popping photos up regularly, a bit stealthily though as it is a gift for someone and I don’t want the surprise completely spoiled! So apologies for a quieter, more laid back blog for a few weeks… must be de rum…

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After a little chat with a friend at a baby group, I decided to make a baby-sized Christmas stocking, and here it is! I really liked the reindeer one I had made before, and went with the same theme but doe and fawn instead of the proud stag and antlers. My first efforts at drawing the pair were rather comical and a bit Bambi-like but after a bit of Google image searching I found some photographs of deer that I could draw from. Not quite heading into the woods a la impressionist painter but the best I could do! Don’t think many deer would come near me in the woods with Sol shouting, ‘oh WOW! Tiny reimdeer!’

Yesterday I started the banner for my stall, tracing out my logo onto an old white apron. I didn’t iron the fabric beforehand because I am lazy and like to make things more difficult for myself. I used my magical disappearing pen so I need to be quick!

I need to get some black felt for the badger tomorrow but had enough thread to embroider the letters:

I used a whipped backstitch because I wanted the lettering to almost hover over the fabric rather than appear to be stitched into it.

I’m pleased with the letters- they really look like the font in my logo which was the point of tracing directly from the image (I used an overhead projection).

I think I’ll probably quilt it in the future but won’t have time before the fair, the countdown is on! We went into the woods today to get some branches to hang my decorations from, and there are all these little jobs to do still. So I’d better go to bed!

If you like anything you see in my blog and would like one for yourself (or your friends and family!) just get in touch at sashamcmillan@hotmail.co.uk or leave a comment!

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