I hope you’re all well on this cold, windy Wednesday. Well it’s cold and windy where I am, anyway. We have had such an odd Spring so far - unseasonably stinking hot one day, jeans and sweaters weather the next. I wish it would make up its mind - mainly because it’s resulted in me catching some horrid virus or other (not the dreaded C thankfully!), and I’m having a very quiet day.
I’ll admit that does suit my purpose a little, as I was planning on spending the day with some selfish stitching anyway. I have some little sewing traditions that I reward myself with each year, and one is that when I have launched the following year’s Block of the Month program (yes! click here for details), I allow myself to start a project that I really don’t have time for and that is 100% for me.
In the past I’ve made myself bags, tapestries, very large cross stitch projects….this year I decided that I wanted to make the Little Elves (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/927597223/little-elves-pdf-pattern-hand-sewn-wool?click_key=bf8ba35ad2b8c95ba1dc55f5ba4c69db0f22f10a%3A927597223&click_sum=d6a75fc2&ref=shop_home_recs_1&crt=1&sts=1) Christmas decorations by MMMCrafts, one set for each of my boys and their partners for their first Christmas trees. Charlie was married in April, and Oscar has moved out and is living with his girlfriend, so they both have their own trees for the first year ever.
I’ve made some of the other ornaments from MMMCrafts before in the past. They are a BIG fiddle to make, but they’re so worth the effort! I made three sets of Santa (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/733225139/santa-claus-pdf-pattern-a-hand-sewn-wool?click_key=874a0fe5844842807dcff822cf9ff4cdcdc8a2d7%3A733225139&click_sum=3f1724a6&ref=shop_home_recs_3&crt=1&sts=1) and Mrs Claus (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/762964459/mrs-claus-pdf-pattern-a-hand-sewn-wool?click_key=3a42052e4ada95e19a346c6dad21d89c942dd81e%3A762964459&click_sum=2781676b&ref=shop_home_recs_7&crt=1&sts=1) one year for myself and two other family members, and I’m up to Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas series. I’ll finish them one day.
As they’re so time consuming and fiddly, and also require a load of little bits and pieces to make all their accessories, when I saw that a Sydney stop, Stitch, was having a class I decided that was a definite. So last Sunday, while everyone was signing up to the Block of the Month program, I went along to an all day class and banned myself from checking my phone every two minutes! It really was very liberating.
I hardly ever get to take a class, I’m usually teaching them! I didn’t learn anything about the stitching, there’s not anything technical to it really and I am very good at embroidery and toy assembly. I did learn some great tricks for using Solvy (which I HATE so they were gratefully welcomed!!), and I had a loved relaxing day drinking tea and eating little snacks and chatting. It reminded me of how important it is to do something for yourself sometimes, and how nice it is to sew with other people.
Tessa, the shop owner and teacher of the class, has made a load of these ornaments before and we all got to see and photograph her beautiful samples, which have been a great help while I”m stitching away on mine. Tessa is a hard task master and we have lots of homework before our second class on Sunday!! I swear I am not nearly so strict a teacher. Mind you that is a scary stack of leaves for the next Secret Garden instalment on the table in the background :D
And so, on this cold, windy day with my virus I am set up in front of the TV, with the new season of Shetland and a whole lot of teeny elf carcasses, and taking a small break to write to you. I’m having a lot of fun. I hope you’re having fun where you are too StitchyMites, and I hope you enjoyed the change in this weeks programming. Until next Wednesday…. When I have yet another very very exciting sneak peek reveal for you, the day before I fly out to Quilt Market in Houston to tell the world about it! See you then.
PS. The patterns for the MMMCrafts ornaments are only available as PDF downloads from her Etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/mmmcrafts?ref=shop-header-name&listing_id=590877543) . If you are in Sydney, I believe Tessa will do a kit for the elves up for you if you call or email her (https://stitchshop.com.au/), which includes everything you need except the pattern including all the little fiddly bits and pieces, and the preprinted Solvy sheets which have all the pattern shapes and embroidery guides. Which believe me, is a serious bonus!!