Traditions – nine patch wall hanging

During my fabulous Mother’s latest visit we started and finished a project. Yes! This relates to the granny squares blanket which remains incomplete in my cupboard (skeleton closet of undone things).

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In between me working three days a week (couldn’t get time off because of bigger trip coming up in May), children, beach trips and early nights, she and I embroidered nine-patches of neutral coloured fabric with the little things that happened on her trip here. It was for a wall hanging, so I knew we had to keep it quite small.

We chose, a sun chair and a rain umbrella, a fluffy (a children’s fluffy milk drink with marshmallow eyes), a bucket & spade, a beautiful sunset, a kite, playdoh heart moon star, a steam train, and dinosaur paint-stampers. I think the things we chose are very reflective of my Mum’s trip!  The kite flying was amazing and is my favourite square. Perfect blue day with little white clouds flying fast. I like that doing a craft with my Mother on her visits is becoming a tradition and the kite flying was notable in my childhood – she and my brother flying a kite.

We knew ahead of her trip we were going to do some sewing (my forte, rather than knitting, which is k-not) so my Mum brought with her some primary coloured embroidery threads. I had neutral fabrics, red and blue buttons and speedy sewing skills so we were set from day one to get started on a project that we could finish before my Mum went home.We split the squares each, and I machine-sewed it all together. Hand sewed the buttons and loops.

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Because it’s a wall hanging I didn’t quilt it, just backed it with white cotton. As soon as I hung it above the bench on the porch, I just love it!

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My Mum took it home, alas, so I’d have to make a new one, or be like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and she gets it for one year and I’ll have it the next year! Perfectionists will note it’s dimensions are just short of a mathematical square, haha. Here we 4 are, on the bench that is in quite a few photos year on year too. But that’s another blog.

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Simple Needlebook

I was inspired to make a simple needlebook today – I’ve been needing one for a while, I keep my needles in a fancy Kauri wood toothpick holder but I’ve been thinking of upgrading.

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Now I would have loved to do the apple or owl style that’s out there (and I will, the minute I have a spare dollar for some red and brown felt), but I was compelled to use what was in my Tardis Craft Cupboard.

So I raided my shoebox of fabric scraps, the bag of embroidery threads, the tub of ribbons. It’s not fancy, but it’s a simple needlebook with one purpose: needle storage.

While I was getting all the gear together, I made a fascinating, if slightly belated discovery… the bag of embroidery threads that I’ll be using from now until doomsday – a hand-me-down from a co-worker’s husband who found it somewhere else – contained some beige floss, wrapped around a paper tube.

I’ve never paid it any mind until today when I caught a glimpse of a red postal stamp. I took the thread off and discovered it was an envelope from Sydney Trades Hall sent to its recipients on 19 April 1945! I don’t know if that means all the thread is nearly 70 years old (holy moly!) or just the one on the envelope.

Discovery

Back to the needlebook. Here’s what I had available, hot pink flannel, grey linen (from a  separate hand-me-down bag of fabric), some pink & orange cotton fabric that I loved when I bought it but only had two 3″ squares left, and some orange floss from the bag of oldies but goodies.

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What I used:

  1. Pinking shears
  2. Two rectangles of fabric – one linen, one felty
  3. Smaller rectangles of felt for the ‘needle’ pages within
  4. Embroidery floss and regular cotton thread
  5. Applique paper

What I did:

I cut the rectangles out the same size for the outer and inner ‘needlebook’ cover.

Using estimates of where the hem would be, I folded the rectangle in half and sewed the embellishments on the ‘front’ first. I appliqued a heart and square. A running stitch around the square and a chain stitch on the heart.

Putting the big rectangles right sides facing, I sewed them together. I left a an opening so I could put the material the right way round. I used a running stitch to close the gap and around the edge of the whole book, because I liked the orange on the hot-pink.

A quick running stitch to attach the ‘needle’ pages to the book and it looks great in contrasting colour thread on the spine of the ‘book’.

Voila. A home for my two dozen needles!