Entries in Books (10)
In my house, and I’m sure in many of yours, ornaments become repositories of family history. Each one holding a distinct memory - the clay bell bought on a trip to New Mexico or the Sugar Plum Fairy who sacrificed a leg to the great cat attack of ‘08. This is just one of the reasons it’s so satisfying to give handmade ornaments - you become part of your friend’s and family’s holiday stories.
The other, less romatic reasons that I enjoy making ornaments? They’re speedy little makes and they finally give me a way to use the felt that I’ve been admiring for weeks and weeks. We have three different types of felt: a wool/rayon blend on the bolt, 12”x18” sheets of wool/rayon blend, and dreamy 100% wool felt. (Just the wool/rayon on the bolt and a small selection of the wool felt is pictured below.) In between the three types, we carry a huge, beautiful array of colors. Organizing and restocking the felt is one of my favorite tasks - so many colors! So many possibilities!
I tend to like funky ornaments that you could keep up all year round. I’ve been eyeing Grainline Studio’s free narwahl pattern since she released it a couple of years ago. She’s since come out with an owl pattern, too.
I used two sheets of wool/rayon blend felt in shades of grey and black embroidery thread for the eyes. I took some liberties with my narwhal’s colors and omitted the sequins simply because I didn’t have any on hand. Even though I printed the pattern page slightly smaller than I should have, it was still a quick, satisfying make and a charming ornament. I’m planning some more colorful narwahls in wool felt next!
For people that prefer more seasonally appropriate ornaments, we have you covered! We have several books with some great ideas for ornaments and other holiday decorations.
Countdown Calendars has patterns for advent calendars that span the year in addition to their Christmas-themed offerings. My favorite is the “Sophisticated Christmas” below. It would be a great way to use up those small scraps you love too much to throw away.
Stitched Whimsy, by Heidi Boyd, has lots of great ideas for seasonal, as well as less seasonal, ornaments. I especially like the gnome and matroshka doll toys.
Scandinavian Stiches, by Kajsa Wikman, features sweet embroidery and toy patterns with a Nordic flair - perfect for the winter season!
Handmade Home, by Amanda Blake Soule, has lots of great ideas for repurposing materials to make useful and decorative items for the home. I think her fiber garland would be beautiful on a tree or displayed bunting style in a room.
We have a few more ideas on the blog.
Heart-felt Holidays, by Amy
Solstice Ornaments, by April
We’d love to hear about your holiday crafting plans. Come by the store, drop us a note, or leave a comment telling us what festive projects you’re working on!
We’ve been busy doing some redecorating around the store. We’re excited to be finding new ways of organizing many of our goodies to make shopping easier. Stop in soon and see what we’re up to! In the meantime, here are the latest arrivals:
Those well loved Moda sock monkeys, back in time for holiday PJs.
Simple stars, in great colors from Andover.
You may have noticed the uptick in posts lately. We’re working hard to offer up all sorts of gift ideas for the holiday season. Here’s a great option for those who don’t sew and have a crafter/ sewist on their gift list: books. We just received four new titles that offer a wide range of topics and approaches.
Essential Sewing by Tessa Evelegh includes projects for men, women, the home and more. It comes with a CD full of instruction for projects making sure you learn a very broad range of techniques.
The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking by Wendy Ward. Wendy’s designs will allow to supplement or create an entire wardrobe you’ll love to wear. Easy, stylish, and creative.
The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity, by Carrie Bloomston and Improvising Tradition by Alexandra Ledgerwood.
See you soon!
It is interesting that a lot of people in my life, including myself, have moved to a new house or apartment this month, happily to better situations and places of growth. Moving can be a stressful situation, but also a wonderful one- You get to start fresh in a new place! Even if you move into a hundred year old building there is still a sense of being refreshed. Moving also gives you the chance to get rid of excess baggage, and buy or make new things that are appropriate for your new place. I find I learn a little bit more about myself every time I relocate, realizing things I keep and discard. Besides family photos and a few art projects I have discovered that I have quite the opposite of an attachment problem.
With this recent move especially I donated and threw out almost everything since my significant other and I moved into our own place with no roommates. We got a little over excited to buy and make things together that we didn’t really think of necessary things that we should keep/have. For example, oven mitts! Those handy (no pun intended) little things the you probably never think about on a regular basis until that first night in the new place - dishes and the like still packed away, you decide to make a pizza and when the timer goes off on the oven you realize- you don’t have any.
At Bolt we have several, great, books on sewing things for around the house, and I took this opportunity to browse through them. Even if you aren’t planning on moving any time soon, I would still suggest perusing through these books. They have wonderful, easy, and quick projects that you can do to spice up your nest or make for gifts. The two books that I referenced were Home Sewn Home by Sally Walton and Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter. There are projects for every room in the house (including oven mitts!) items that you realize you could redo, or wonder how you lived without. Also included are some fun projects to create that can make your home sweet and darling.
I’m a morning person and my guy is a night owl- and we live in a studio. To make it a win win situation I made us some sleeping eye masks from a new line of organic cotton at Bolt, utilizing our selection of trim and fun elastic. You can use your scraps of cotton batting from making oven mitts, or quilting projects, to line the eye masks to make them super soft against your face.
Another project that I did just for giggles is a bath cap. Who doesn’t like to relax every now and then in a nice bubble bath? With my hair getting ever longer by the day, I have had the problem of accidentally soaking my hair in bubbles when I didn’t intend to, so I figured I would probably use this project at some point. This is an especially fun project to complete and I would highly suggest experimenting with trims, bias tape, and ribbons. For a bath cap you only need half a yard of fabric, or one fat quarter for the inside and outside. Using two different fat quarters can be fun because the cap can be reversible. I used a fat quarter of some chocolate treats print that we probably still have floating around the store bins for one side (because every bubble bath requires chocolate) and a solid color for the other, to add subtle detail.
Because I am primarily an apparel seamstress I found these projects so fun to do! All of the projects I completed took about an hour or less a piece to complete, and were really easy to do so these could be great projects for a novice sewer! These projects would also be great stocking stuffers, and since the holidays are catching up to us quickly, I’d suggest giving these a try for an easy, fun, and loveable gift:)
Happy Sewing everyone and see you around the shop