Thinking about Christmas….

Last week I enjoyed a lovely day out with Rosie, Freddie and Florence.  We all piled into the car (after putting Alfie on his VERY BEST behaviour and tasking Ted and Rufus with supervising the mischievous young pup!) and headed off to a garden centre famous for its Christmas decorations.   And wow – I was blown away by the sheer number and choice of decorations which was astonishing.  As well as baubles, wreaths, snow globes and lights, there were animatronics, a Christmas railway and so much more besides. We were quite overwhelmed!

It was loud, it was bright, it was festive and the kids loved it – and so, up to a point, did I.  But I found myself thinking, “Is this really what Christmas is all about?”  After all, money is likely to be especially tight this year, and surely, more than expensive decorations, festive tableware and presents piled high, Christmas is, or should be, about loving and giving – about making time for friends and family – the old adage “Goodwill to all men” is just as true to day as it ever was.  And so gifts, I think, don’t need to be expensive – a little caring and thought, and in my case quite a lot of stitching can make a homemade gift every bit as valuable as an expensive shop-bought present.

With this in mind, this month’s Bustle & Sew Magazine includes patterns for some simple gift ideas that are very inexpensive to make, but hopefully will be much appreciated by the recipient….

And so, to go with the Woodland Animal brooches from last month’s edition which use only the teeniest tiniest amounts of fabric and floss, this month we have the “In Fine Feather Hoops”…..

Which I think would make a great gift for any chicken fanciers.  They are shown mounted in 3″ hoops so again use very little in the way of materials, and being stitched almost entirely in split stitch aren’t time consuming either (very important at this time of year!).   The December Magazine also has a set of three interchangeable Christmas designs….

There’s a set of napkins, a Christmas hoop and two simple gift bags.  The designs on the napkins are just the right size to use on the gift bags if you liked, and the little deer on the Christmas hoop could easily be resized if necessary.  In the same way it would be easy to enlarge any of the smaller images to fit in a hoop if you wished.

I made my gift bags from some old fabric I’ve had on a shelf for ages, and if you wanted to use a more patterned fabric that you have to hand, then you could always stitch the designs onto a small piece of plain material and applique it into place.  I used vintage fabric for the napkins too, you could use an old sheet or similar cut into squares if you wished, or simply decorate plain shop-bought napkins.

You’ll find all the patterns for these ideas, as well as much more besides in the December edition of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  And, as always, this is the best time of the month to subscribe as you’ll receive two issues for the price of one – the November magazine straight away and the December edition on Thursday when it’s published.

To learn more please just CLICK HERE to visit our subscriptions page, or alternatively you can purchase a 12 month subscription over in my Etsy store.



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