Saturday, December 26, 2009

Presents, revealed

It's been a sad Christmas around here. Lucy was sick, and my family, all gathered together nearby, didn't want to be exposed to the germs. So we had a quiet Christmas at home with a miserable baby. Happily, the fever is now gone and she's on the mend.

But I do have a few more finished-at-the-very-last-second gifts I can show.

embroidering bookmark

The only good thing about Lucy feeling sick is that she'll actually snuggle a bit (a rarity for our on-the-go baby). So while I was working on a gift for my sister, she settled in on my lap and said "oooh!" as she touched the stitches with one little pointer finger and helped pull the floss through.

This turned out to be one of my favorite things I made this year. I love it so much, I wanted to keep it! It's the bookmark from Handmade Home (sized a bit smaller: I cut the fabric to 7 1/2 rather than 8 inches high). I used pieces of that same linen dress as the scarf I shared earlier, and some trim I'd gotten on that same Goodwill trip (yards of this heart trim and tiny white rick rack, sewn to the ugliest red felt I've ever seen--now liberated). I'd asked my nieces to do self portraits and signatures the last time they visited me, and I transferred them to the fabric, embroidered, and then sewed them back to back.

bookmark for my sister

bookmark for my sister

Also from Handmade Home are some potholders I made for friends. I'm not as thrilled with how these came out. Apparently, I am terrible at applying bias tape. I hand sewed the back side of the first set (badly), as directed, but gave up and machine sewed the next one. I don't like either result. But I do like the pattern--the potholder fits your hand nicely, and the diagonal quilting lines make it fold just as you'd like it to in your palm.

front and back view of potholder pair

second try at potholder

I'm going to have to work on applying bias tape better. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard! My other comment on this pattern is that the first (failed) attempt I made used batting, and I hated the look and the feel. It is much better with a piece of towel inside; it gives it a vintage-y feel and more heft.

Enough for now. But I have more to share over the next few days. (And time to do it; I'm on vacation!)


P. J. Grath said...

All your gifts look lovely, Lise. So sorry Lucy was sick! But your saying she was willing to cuddle reminded me of my son's first illness. He was one year old and laid so low with fever that for the first time ever he listened to a book all the way through. The book was MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS, and we must have read it 500 times beginning with that fever.

Heather said...

Love your bookmarks. We made these for gifts too and it was one of my favourites to make. I also tried a set of the potholders and also had trouble with the bias tape on them and ended up not giving them away.

Trish said...

Lucy is the cutest little bugger ever! I've got a solution for you on your bias tape and pot holders...forget the circle, make them square. Bias tape can be tricky - you can put it right sides together on one side, stitch, then wrap around to the other side and top stitch down...if that makes sense. But inevitably when you are working in a tight space - you end up missing a spot, something doesnt' catch etc. I say, just change the whole darn shape...squares are way easier :>) Happy New Year!

Lise said...

Yeah, I think I'm done with these potholders. Next ones are going to be some log cabin squares, I think. Thanks for the advice and encouragement!