The next stocking - Charlotte, required more thought - the flute was somewhat easier, as I know exactly where the keys need to be - I used silver sequins for the keys - and the tricky part was getting sequins of exactly the right size. The car was a bit awkward too, and since doing it, I have found various books and magazines where there was a car pattern I could have used.
The stockings last year caused quite a few headaches; I had previously bought some mini-buttons / embellishments; these buttons were Christmas trees, stars, gingerbread men and hearts (and silver cookie cutter embellishments of the same patterns). The problem was that I couldn't find the buttons at all, so I then had to buy more - which I did through ebay (where I had sourced them previously) - and that wasn't easy either - finding the same buttons again was not as simple as I wanted it to be. I'd like to think that I bought 2 packs of these buttons last year - but I can't be certain! I later searched my room / tidied it - and found the original lot of buttons!! I thought that I had used them all - it seemed unlikely that I had managed to use them all, but it was the only explanation I could think of!
A Chelsea supporter was the recipient of the next stocking, and it was due to this one that I made the flute one. An embroidered Chelsea badge was too much for me to complete, and so I used printable fabric. I was a bit concerned about the lacrosse stick, but some net I had bought for the wedding earlier in the year was good for the netting in the stick. Apparently, there is a way of tying knots that is called Spider's Web.
Whilst putting the beads on the guitar (for the frets and tuning pegs) I realised that I was missing an essential colour of bugle beads: pearl. I have white, clear, mother of pearl opaque type, gold - but I wanted a pearl effect. I then looked at ebay again - didn't find the bugle beads I wanted, but I did find some lovely seed beads - with a matt finish, and some of the teachers at Bideford College are into beading, and making bracelets with a spiral rope pattern - something that I want to try but haven't got round to yet.
This last stocking made use of fussy cutting - the football was taken from fabric I've had for some time. I did have to search through a number of boxes of fabric to find the exact piece I wanted. I thought that I had used it all. When looking for fabric appropriate for stars, I thought I had more fabric than it seemed I had. A couple of months later - when tidying and organising my room - I found what I had been looking for previously! The dog on this stocking was a challenge, and the pig is Dick Bruna.
Since discovering in March 2011 that we were going to be grandparents to a baby, I have been knitting as well. I've used sock wool and patterns I've bought from ebay to make jumpers and cardigans. Since then, I've also become an aunt (March 2012), and we're going to be grandparents again in September - so knitting is taking off again. Something that appeared in the baby grandson's stocking last year came from an old pattern book. The pattern book is early 1970's - as mum made me one when I was a baby - Long Skinny Rabbit - or, Mr and Mrs Bunny in the pattern book.
In February and March this year I started again on more of these rabbits. I thought I had enough of the fawn coloured wool, but it turns out that I don't - and it would also seem that the fawn colour is discontinued. I've bought various other makes instead, but no colour is close enough to be used. I will have to have rabbits with different coloured arms and legs to the bodies, heads and ear backs.
The last photo for this posting is of a 'birth quilt'. I've made a couple of 'I Spy' quilts in the past 9 months (and have cut the fabrics for more of them), and the 'I Spy' quilts are for the family as a whole (the 'I Spy' quilts will feature in another post - soon - I hope!). I have made quilts for individual babies in addition to the 'I Spy' quilts. The individual quilts have a label on the back, which gives the details of their birth - time, date, name and weight. This quilt was made using 'Hopscotch Squares' pattern that I downloaded from the PB Textiles website about 8 or 9 years ago. The pattern and fabric may look familiar - I used pieces that I had cut for my sister's quilt, that were left over once I'd completed the quilt top and pieced the backing. This quilt was made for our baby grandson. I do have a tendency to cut more fabric than I need when preparing quilts; I have kept the fabrics together, and this makes it easier to find them - and I don't have to cut more fabric usually!
I've had quite a bit of time for creating in the past year. Life has changed dramatically since I gave up teaching full time. I've had some supply work, which shows me that I'm not a bad teacher at all - being quite versatile in teaching a number of different subjects. My husband and I have experienced more change as well - we've been approved as foster carers, and so I'm not doing any supply teaching at the moment. This gives me some time to get more sewing done. I'm going along to Parkham Patchers (when I am able to), and I've started WHo! quilters as well - we meet weekly, for a chat and some stitching. It's great to be able to meet up with like-minded people, and try new skills. Parkham Patchers have introduced me to crewel work - which can seem rather cruel at times, but is also quite satisfying. Current projects include more 'I Spy' quilts, the British Patchwork and Quilting Block of the Month, and an appliqué project too.