Sewchet

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Stitching Santa Reveal #1

Everyone loves a Secret Santa, don’t they? Apparently so, because 45 lovely ladies (and a man!) signed up for #stitchingsanta 2016, a themed Secret Santa for fabric and yarn lovers who blog or Instagram. 

To read all about it and to join in next year, have a look at this post.


I participated in both the sewing swap and the knitting/crochet swap, so was treated to two parcels under my tree in time for Christmas Day – although I didn’t actually find a quiet moment to myself in which to savour their opening until the 28th December!

I had a lovely pub lunch in Wells the week before Christmas with Claire who, together with regular input from her lovely black labrador, blogs at Mollie & Claire. Claire had drawn me as the lucky recipient of her knitting/crochet parcel – and Boy, was I treated!

We have even both been to Stephen and Penelope’s in Amsterdam – highly recommended to anyone who visits this wonderful city. This project bag contained all my goodies and sat under the tree for about ten days……..


……during which time a mouse had chewed itself a little doorway……


….and helped itself to the tasty fudge within!!


There was plenty to go around though, so I didn’t mind sharing with a cheeky little mouse:)

Just look at this mountain of presents!


I must admit that I went straight for the one that looked like it might contain the hand dyed yarn that Claire had not-so-subtly hinted at previously. Dyed with her own fair hands, Claire had even caked the skein for me so it is ready for use. It’s utterly gorgeous – 400m of sock yarn in the perfect shade of pink, which may become a shawl or socks. I’ll take my time deciding what to make with it as I want to make sure it gets plenty of use.


More handmade items were revealed in subsequent presents – one of Claire’s many Mandala creations is far too pretty to be used as a mat of any kind and is destined for the wall in my studio so I can enjoy it every day.


I love this slouchy beanie hat and couldn’t wait to model it, so here it is whilst I’m in my PJs!


It sparkles with silver sequins – here’s a close up.


Two little felted baubles with yet more sequins!

I rather think they’d make lovely earrings:)


What about this ceramic heart brooch? How sweet?


I can’t tell you how bloomin’ useful this stitch counter is going to be. I’ve got two of the kind that go on your needles but, as I’ve invariably got more than a few knitting/crochet projects on the go at any one time, it will save me swapping between needles.


Claire also threw in some sewing related gifts – anyone who sews will appreciate the quality of these threads.


I love the snowman ribbon!!!!


A pack of Christmas pud decorations for the tree next year.


Some pampering treats which smell divine – when are they going to invent scratch ‘n’ sniff for the internet?!


Now this really is lovely and will be used every day until it’s all gone.


Claire even included a gift for Fifi and Tess from Mollie! That’s if No.1 Son hasn’t eaten them before we get home from France, mistaking them for iced biscuits……


I even rescued all the satin ribbon, which was beautifully tied around several of the gifts, for future use.


Finally, this car decal made me smile – how true are those words?!


Thanks so much Claire – I feel thoroughly spoiled!


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#stitchingsanta Reveals!

It has been totally brilliant, not to mention ridiculously exciting, to watch all your #stitchingsanta parcels coming together over the last couple of months.

I’ve loved seeing how thoughtful and creative everyone has been, really getting to know their recipient through their blog and sending the most appropriate gifts possible.

For those of you new to this concept, and for anyone considering joining in next year (yes, I’m going to organise another one!), here’s the link to show you what it’s all about – #stitchingsanta 2015.

I took part in both the knitting/crochet swap and the sewing swap but, before I show you all the amazing things I received, I thought I’d show you the final handmade gift that I included in my sewing swap parcel.

A hexagonal French ‘Cartonnage’ sewing box (pattern by Tialys on Etsy) which nearly didn’t get sent as I only finished it an hour before the deadline for Christmas post!

Cartonnage sewing box 3

It took quite a few hours of construction over a week or so to complete, the glued parts needing overnight to dry before moving on to the next bit.

Cartonnage sewing box 1

It’s a lovely pattern though, and I thoroughly enjoyed making it – I first saw it on Lucie’s blog as she was a tester for the pattern before its release and it is designed by the talented Lynn who blogs over at Tialys.

Cartonnage sewing box 2

The box made it into the parcel along with the other things which I blogged about here and was posted to the loopy-but-lovely Ali, better known by many of you as THIMBERLINA.

stitching santa

Below is the bundle of presents (blogged about here) that went off to my knitting swap recipient, Pippa, from Beads & Barnacles.

The first I knew of Pippa was when she signed up for the swap, so I spent some time looking through her blog to see what kind of things she might like before deciding on a few. There are fewer handmade items obviously, as knitting takes so much longer than sewing.

stitching santa gifts

I took a chance by not adding sender’s details on either parcel so they would be a surprise until the last moment, as I had blogged in detail about all the handmade elements in the run up to Christmas.

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Ali, bless her, hadn’t even received my parcel but had already sent me these lush quilted coasters as a ‘thank you’ for organising the swap!

coasters

The fabric she used was ace and had funny, and perfectly apt, little quotes in speech bubbles all over it. Thanks Ali – I love them!!!

coasters2

Now, onto the myriad of gorgeous things that I was gifted.

As the organiser, two people had to draw the short straw and have me as their swap partner, so neither were able to blog about their parcels.

I chose Joey, from Littleblackdogsa, to be my knitting partner as she lives in South Africa and the post can be notoriously unpredictable. It wouldn’t matter if her parcel didn’t reach me for a few months but, in fact, it arrived in plenty of time!

yarn stitching santa

The outer bag was quite badly damaged when it arrived, but the contents were intact so I put everything in the bright red bag that she sent with it and it stayed under the tree until yesterday.

Yes, you read that correctly, yesterday – Boxing night to be exact. Why? Well, it certainly wasn’t because I have masses of will power or patience (quite the opposite, in fact) but because we host Christmas for the family and I spend two days cooking, tidying and making sure everyone is having a good time. I wanted to wait until lunch was over and they were all watching a festive film in the lounge so I could open and photograph my parcels at leisure.

Boxing Day lunch

And this is what Joey sent me!

yarn stitching santa 1

Would you like to see them in more detail?

Firstly, there are two Indian cotton tea towels onto both of which Joey had crocheted a beautiful border. Far too nice to use, really, but I will.

yarn stitching santa 2

A pretty pin cushion in the shape of a pear. Can you believe I only have one pin cushion which I keep in my sewing room? This one will be used on a daily basis by the children in my sewing classes – I think they’re going to love it.

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Four fab cakes of organic cotton yarn, local to South Africa, which I am thrilled with and can’t wait to use – crochet hooks included!

yarn stitching santa 5

A length of festive cotton tape featuring the music of “Jingle Bells”, some hand sewing needles and an atmospheric South African sunset disguised as a fridge magnet.

yarn stitching santa 3

I love the little rustic angel that she included, too – I am guessing it is handmade from recycled materials?

yarn stitching santa 4

Finally, there were some sweets, a project bag and a card with a lovely message inside. Thank you so much Joey – I am thrilled with all the thoughtful gifts that you obviously spent a lot of time putting together for me!

yarn stitching santa 6

By the time I had finished opening and photographing Joey’s parcel, I was dying to open the one from my sewing swap gifter and almost forgot to take a picture of the parcels themselves!

sewing stitching santa

Teresa, the smiley one who blogs over at Navybluethreads, sent her gifts in two separate packages which arrived a day apart – I only knew there was going to be another parcel when the first one arrived labelled ‘Part 2’!

Look at all this!

There were Christmas cards and a letter – Teresa, you should be a doctor with writing like that, beautiful but illegible!!! No.1 Son and I worked it out in the end though!

sewing stitching santa 1

With the help of the newly-translated letter, this is what Teresa sent: –

Loads of amethyst-coloured knit fabric which WILL be made into the dress on the pattern that she included. She knows that I like strong colours and, being a lady of ample bosom herself, obviously knows that the wrap dress is perfect for that. I will make the long sleeved version and wear it with long boots during the Winter.

sewing stitching santa 2

I simply cannot resist any pretty vintage lace, fabric or doilies that I come across in charity shops, so when I opened these I was beside myself with excitement! I believe most of these came from Teresa’s stash so I am doubly grateful – I wouldn’t be able to part with any of mine!

sewing stitching santa 5

With my new sewing school, The Stitch Academy, in mind, she kindly sent me a publication that would be ideal for the children to use as their skills improve. The stocking pattern is brilliant, too, but I already have it so I hope she won’t mind if I pass it forward to somebody else to enjoy?

sewing stitching santa 3

Teresa even thought of The Boys – they will absolutely LOVE making these fox brooches and fishy keyrings!!

sewing stitching santa 4

So many generous and thoughtful gifts but my favourite from Teresa has to be this one – a beautifully soft infinity scarf, handknitted by the lovely lady herself, in a self-striping yarn of various jewel shades which looks exactly like it does in the photo. I just love it!

sewing stitching santa 6

What more can I say, except a huge ‘Thank You’ to Joey and Teresa for all the fabulous gifts, and a massive pat on the back to all the #stitchingsantas that signed up for this swap and made it so successful and enjoyable.

I hope you all had as much fun as I did – judging by the blog posts I have seen so far, you did and I wasn’t the only one who was more excited about this present under my tree than any of the others!

Look out for the swap again next year when I get the feeling we’ll have an even longer list of participants than the thirty-five that took part this time.

Happy New Year to you all!