Christmas in July, for those who craft, is time to start thinking about, designing, collecting materials for and creating those items we may want to gift in the coming season. This isn’t to say that I haven’t spent my fair share of Christmas eves madly sewing squares of an afghan together, determined to finish before morning – but, the college days of staying up all night to finish and sew a sleeve onto a sweater or bind those squares are just a glimmer in the rear view mirror. I still thrive a bit too much on the adrenaline of the last minute rush – but do try not to leave EVERYTHING until that last moment.
So, July has me pondering where to put my energies this season. These are items I created last season but didn’t post. The mug rugs were easily packed in envelopes that winged their way to Ireland and Japan to bring a bit more Christmas cheer than a simple card.
For embroiderers, the overall design for these 3 mug rugs is from Five Star Fonts. I add rick rack by holding it down and repeating the step that sews the left fabric piece on – fast and easy. The angel embroidery is from Sudberry House, the Santa is free from ABC Embroidery (http://www.abc-free-machine-embroidery-designs.com – sign in then access the free archive for LOTS of great designs). ABC is also Anna Bove (http://site.annaboveembroidery.com/freedesigns/ ) – you can also register with Anna as a few of the free designs are different than on ABC (although they are mostly the same). The Noel is from Tatjana who is the creator behind deStickbar – it was a free design she did and offered on the Mettler thread site (you MUST leave the site in German or the free designs disappear http://www.amann-mettler.com/de/10383/Stickprojekte.html ).
I’ve warned you in the past, that although I’m not an all day every day proponent of cute – the holidays bring out the kid in me and that kid loves Santa and Snowmen and cute little Christmas designs. Adding more white/cream into the mix of the deep forest colors I live in will bring that extra bit of bright and light to my winter season, the new placemats for me are perfect.
This set of four are from Julia’s Needle Designs (she has wonderful sales!) with the exception of the mitten quilting by Mother Hen’s Quilt Embroideries (the mittens are just one of a multitude of free designs in her Yahoo group). I’d split the quilting designs in software to place as borders. Also mitigated my tendency to get things just a bit off by using Five Star Fonts candle mats as a base, deleting the rounded corners and using her final round of stitching to lay down my borders perfectly square. This ‘borders at the edge of the hoop, then sew a bit’ style allows me do larger finished items than my machine is capable of producing solely within the hoop.
I layer the batting in the hoop and just stitch the design right through all layers plus stabilizer (medium weight cutaway makes a nice mat). Best to use an embroidery needle. I usually sew with Sharps but with batting prefer to switch to an embroidery needle.
I was a bit remiss in capturing photos as the holiday closed in – they were bordered again in deep brown. When I get around to digging them out, I’ll have to shoot and post pics of the finished items.
My favorite designers have been having Christmas in July sales and I’m stocked and ready – now to the who would like what in which colors and fabrics. List time!
Be sure to pop in to Sundays in My City to see what other folks around the globe do with their weekends, it’s a fun group.