Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Big Christmas Presents

Finally, onto the big Christmas presents I've hinted at over and over and over again.

Rich and I have a blanket I made when I was at uni. It's toasty warm and fantastically cuddly and in the run up to Christmas was in almost constant use in the cold evenings. It was incredibly simple to make - two layers of fleece stitched together - one is black, the other is yellow smiley faces on a black background. It's lasted really well despite being incredibly cheap fabric - at least 8 years of frequent washing.

So we based our Christmas presents for family on wanting to share that cuddly winter evening warmth. We wanted to theme each blanket on something that was important to the people we were making it for. We decided to appliqué a pattern onto each and to back it with a relevant printed fleece.

We hand stitched the appliqués with the blankets (1.6m x 2m) laid out on the floor. We then attached the front and back on the overlocker with strong blue thread to bring out the pale blue background we'd used for each.

We're really pleased with the output, and by WE I mean WE - Rich helped out loads on these - he was chief cutter and did some fantastic stitch work!

First we have one for his parents - a scale appliqué of their boat, Boing. The back is a panel of pirates stitched onto a plain black background:

Right, next onto my parents. There's a story from when my Dad and I went walking in Wales and we found the PERFECT PATH. I mean, this path was amazing - bouncy, every so slightly uphill (down's bad on the knees), the perfect place to enjoy hiking and each other's company. We've searched for years for something to beat it, but nothing ever will. So anyway, here's the perfect path, with sheep on the other side:

Next we have my brother in law and his girlfriend. They're both really into their planes (he's an air traffic controller and she's a qualified pilot) and I'm reliably informed that this is their favourite. It's to scale again and it's a Cessna 182. Rich really took control on this one and his attention to detail really shows in just how fantastic it is (and in the fact that they knew exactly what type of plane it was). The back is a gorgeous print of helicopters and aeroplanes.

And finally we move onto my Aunt's gift. She took a fantastic photo of one of her dogs, Rockett for her Christmas cards. We used T-Shirt transfer paper to transfer it to white fleece and then stitched it onto the background. I did a knot every 4 or 5 stitches in case any of the dogs catch their claws in it. I hope that does the trick. The backing is paw prints.

So there we go, it's been an epic job (although finished a month ago - bad me not updating the blog) but I'm thrilled with the results. Christmas day was magical - we wrapped them up with the patterned side out and watched in joy as they realised they were really personal. They barely believed we'd made them. One of the greatest joys in putting this much effort in is seeing the joy on faces as they see how personal they are. Even thinking about it a month later I'm grinning about it.

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