Advent Calendar

Many, many years ago, my sister, mother and I sat down and embroidered an advent calendar for my grandmother. While talking about Christmas and advent calendars she mentioned that she had never had an advent calendar. My grandmother’s birthday was on November 30th so we thought it would be fun to make her an advent calendar that year and it was a huge success. For years she would give us her advent calendar a week before her birthday and we would fill it for her.

When she died the advent calendar disappeared into a cupboard and none of us really thought about it. That is, until my mother got it out and gave it to me for Little Miss Bossy-Boots. The calendar had definitely seen better days and most of the little bags were falling apart.

Advent Calendar Before

Therefore I decided last year to take all the bags apart and sew new ones.

Advent Calendar During


I also used some woven vilene to stabilise the embroideries. Some of the bags we made were hardly big enough for more than a praline so I’ve tried to make these a little bigger. The easiest way was to sew a ‘frame’ around the embroidery and for this I bought a lovely red and white stripe that reminds me of candy canes. The back of the bags is a green cotton from my LQS.

Advent Calendar After

I’m so happy that this advent calendar is in use again. I haven’t quite finished all the bags so I’m sewing like mad to keep up with finishing and filling them. This calendar will hopefully be in use for another twenty-something years now that it’s all fixed again and all the work is definitely worth it, I think.


Many moons ago I embroidered a little bunny rabbit called Hester designed by the lovely Jo Avery from Bearpaw. She then stayed  in the hoop I used while embroidering her. The hoop was a bit big but when I saw Nicole from Follow the White Bunny’s little tutorial on how she frames her embroideries in hoops I decided to give it a go. Far too impatient to go and buy a smaller hoop I used the one I had.

Sorry for the dark photo. It was taken at night seconds before I took Hester out of the hoop.

Poor Hester looked a bit lost. So off I trundled and bought a smaller hoop. This afternoon I re-hooped (is there such a word?) Hester and am so pleased with the result. Now all I need is a little nail to hang her on the wall of my sewing room.

And the back:

A Rescue and a Finish

What do you do when your daughter’s favourite Barbie loses a leg? You turn her into a mermaid, of course.

I used some red organza leftover from the days when I made theatre costumes at uni. It has a beautiful golden sheen, perfect for making a fish tail.

First I layered the organza with some sew in interfacing and sewed a scallop pattern all over it to mimic scales. I didn’t do a great job but I don’t believe Little Miss Bossy-Boots minds. Then I cut out a mermaid tail shape (is there such a word in the English language?), added a heart shaped fin, sewed it together and turned it right side out. Next I removed the Barbie’s second leg and attached a pipe cleaner to the Barbie to ensure the tail could be moved into different poses. Then I put the pipe cleaner into the tail and added a little wadding to fill out the tail. My last step was to pull the tail over the Barbie’s bottom and hot-glue the tail to the Barbie’s body. Hey presto, a mermaid.


In other news Hester, the gorgeous Woodland Portrait by Jo Avery from Bearpaw, is finished!

I wish I’d had a darker blue floss for the name as it is rather difficult to read but it’s not the end of the world. Also, I don’t think this Hester is going to be alone for long, my friend Julie looooves rabbits so one might just make its way to Switzerland…

Hello Blog

Elisabeth: “Hello, Blog, how are you?”

Blog: “Lonely.”

Elisabeth: “I know I haven’t been around much, but then I haven’t been crafting much either. My mum was here for her birthday last week which means I didn’t do much (except baking and eating cakes. Oh yes, cakes, as in baking three and eating two!). I’d like to show you a couple of things now, though.”

Blog: “Great! What would you like to show me then?”

Elisabeth: “First, I want to show you a gift I got from my sister Kristine. She crocheted this lovely bag and showed it to me on Skype. When I said how cute I thought it was she gave it to me. Fabulous, isn’t it? Sadly I don’t get to use it much as Little Miss Bossy-Boots has taken it and is using it all the time.”

Blog: “That bag is lovely! What else did you want to show me?”

Elisabeth: “I suddenly had the urge to do some embroidery. The bird was inspired by a drawing I did for Little Miss Bossy-Boots. I’m not sure what I’m going to make with these two embroideries but I’m sure I’ll think of something at some stage.”

Blog: “Cute. How about turning one of them into a Kindle cover?”

Elisabeth: “Good idea, Blog, I’ll see if I can find some fabrics to go with the bird. The last thing I want to show is a really fabulous book.

You know how much I like Fat Quarterly, don’t you? I mean, I’m going to their Retreat in London, I go on and on about Katy Jones (bit of crush there?!)….. When I heard that they were writing a book I knew I was going to buy it and yesterday it arrived. I love it. Last year I bought some fat quarters and yardage of Echo by Lotta Jansdotter and I’ve been looking for a pattern to turn it into a quilt ever since. Well, I’ve found it.

This is my all time favourite block. I’m sure nobody who knows me is surprised by the fact that I’ve fallen for a block that’s called Castle Wall (for those who don’t know me: I studied Medieval English Language and Literature) and it’s by John Q. Adams, aka Quilt Dad.

Blog: ” I can see why you like Castle Wall. I’m sure it’ll look lovely in Echo.”

Elisabeth: “I can’t wait to start but I have to finish some work stuff first. At least I have a project to take to the Sewing Retreat. Although how much sewing I will be doing I’m not sure but more about that later. See you very soon, my dear Blog!”

Crafty Chatters or Chatty Crafters?

I can never remember what we actually call ourselves. By “we” I mean a few of the lovely village mums and I who meet up on a Monday evening to do some crafting. Or not. I believe I’m the worst at taking any projects out of my bag to work on them. Rather, I end up eating cake and drinking decaf coffee. Oh, and chatting to the girls. And admiring and stroking other people’s fabrics.

Monday night came and went without getting my WIP (work in progress), another “I’m in the Garden” sign, out again. I’m trying to stock up on a few things to sell on Etsy. So far I haven’t been very successful at making up stock as I keep giving away things that I make quicker than I can make them. Business woman? Moi? Definitely not. But I’m working on it.

However, I finished the ballet bag yesterday. I’m really pleased with it and am looking forward to sharing some pictures with you tomorrow. The light was gone by the time I cut the last thread so it’s picture time later!

I hope you have a great day! Little Miss Bossy-Boots and I are off to the park to slide on the big red slide and eat ice cream… I might even bring my WIP for some fresh air.

In the Garden

Little Miss Bossy-Boots has been a teensy weensy bit trying lately and I haven’t been able to get to the sewing machine as much as I should. I don’t like sitting around doing nothing so I thought of a small project I could move around with me: A “We are in the Garden” sign for our front door.

It has happened to me a couple of times that people have called but I haven’t heard them because I was in the garden with Little Miss Bossy-Boots and Aron our dog. It’s never a problem when Aron’s in the house as he barks at every one walking to our front door. I’d been looking at signs stating “I’m in the Garden” a few times but have never been tempted enough to actually buy one.

Continue reading In the Garden