small things for winter holidays

I am in Quebec this week for work, but I wanted to share some little things I finished before I left.

All Hallows' Eve pincushion!

All Hallows' Eve pincushion!

This is the teeniest thing (seriously, the cross-stitch portion is 3″ by 3.25″ square), but it took forever. Which makes good logical sense, as cross-stitch is tiny. But I have this problem where, because I don’t find the stitches very challenging to execute (as long as one is able to pay attention to counting and thread colour), I always underestimate the time it will take. I started this in mid-October – hence the Halloween theme – and I totally thought I’d be able to knock the x-stitch bit out in a weekend day.

Which, maybe would have been possible if I’d had nothing to do but stitch, but as I had other things to get done that weekend, it sort of languished. When I picked it up last week, I realized that it was super close to being done – I think it was an extra couple hours of stitching, at most.

The pattern I used is called All Hallows Eve, and is part of a series of smaller patterns The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery is releasing. I really like them (and if you think I do not have my eye on that girl-with-unicorn pattern, but in screamingly bright shades instead of pastels, you do not know me very well). I also sort of fell in love with this one, because I am absolutely a sucker for anything involving a witch and her cat.

All Hallows' Eve pincushion!

Last Import-5

I modified the colours I used to make the finished piece look more like me (with the orange hair instead of violet) and my cat (grey – I was not brave enough to try to chart tabby stripes), Vesper. We have two cats at home, but Vesper is very decidedly My Cat, and I am Her Person, and she has a lot of opinions about any changes to this arrangement, so it seemed fitting to choose her instead of the kitten.

As you can see, I finished it off by turning it into a pincushion! This was surprisingly easy, and I think will get more use in my house than leaving it as something decorative. I cut the piece with 3/4″ seam allowances, and then cut two squares from my scrap pile to match – one is the ghost print I used for the back, and the other I laid underneath the cross-stitch fabric as lining. I was worried that if I left this unlined, filling would show through, as the cross-stitch linen is (for obvious reasons) a fairly loose weave. The filling is a combination of walnut shells and poly stuffing – I like the extra weight from the walnut shells, but the added stuffing keeps it nice and fluffy.

festive bags to put things in

festive bags - insides

Festive bags - insides

While I had my machine out, I also made up some project bags from the two fat quarters I picked up on vacation. I admit, I kind of hustled on these and messed up the zipper on one of them (the one with the red zipper), but I really wanted to have a new, wintery project bag to take with me to Quebec. This is not especially logical, but I was in the midst of sorting out how to pack for work but also above-zero but also probably snow but also make sure everything fit into a carry-on bag and also not forget anything. It was not a logical time.

The zipper error isn’t fatal – I flipped it into the bag when I should have flipped it out – and the bag still looks okay. However, having made several dozen of these by now, I notice the mistake.

These are, as always, Open Wide pouches in the medium size. I am okay admitting that I really, deeply enjoy how winter-holiday festive they are. (The house print has glitter woven in, to make the snow on the rooftops sparkle. A gal’s heart can only take so much.)

I find this a really practical size for most things – it comfortably holds two 100g skeins of yarn plus needles and notions. (Although, if one is committed, three skeins might just fit.) It’s also a really nice way for me to use up the fat quarters I keep accumulating, usually in lots of one or two.

One Comment

  1. Reply
    Bethany 30 November, 2014

    Your cross stitch is adorable. I always find myself doing cross stitch out of season because it really is a slow craft (fun, but slow). What is nice about that, is in the slump of winter blues I can stitch on an autumnal project, or when summer is just too hot a Christmas project may just hit the spot. :)

    Adorable project bags! I’ve been contemplating sewing myself some Christmas bags as well.

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