Monday, 18 December 2017

Noel en broderie "campagne"

Another year is passing. The last days of the year are dripping through my fingers, but I don't want to look back. I know what has happened. I was there, I witnessed all of it. And isn't that a blessing?!

Finally, this year, I found time to stitch this amazing set of necessities, and thought they would be better off gifted. 

The French cross-stitch designs have become my week spot years ago. I started collecting them and store them in my craft room, never having the time to finish any. This year was blessed with inspiration, I discovered new things and techniques. The Japanese style of embroidery, stitching and quilting is still my priority, but I have always been sad that my passion for French embroidery has been put aside. At last, I was determined to finish one of my many projects and to gift it to a beautiful creator and designer, who has become a close friend, sharing her sewing illustrations that say a lot about her life, loved ones and creative personality. 

Materials used:

"Zweigart" Belfast linen 32 count - for the cross-stitched design
"HAORI" yarn dyed fabric - as main fabric for the bag and bias tape
"Henry Glass" quilting cotton - for the 'collar' of the bag
DMC embroidery floss
fusible light weight batting
velvet ribbon
wooden spool for the pull

Techniques used:

"Les Brodeuses Parisiennes" - the cross-stitched design (*slightly adapted)
French knot
Back stitch
Machine sewing
Tassel making
Bias binding making
Hand-sewing (for the reverse side of the bias binding)

* I  changed the last word in the message, that applies better for my friend, who doesn't work with cross stitches. Also, I gave the colour scheme a different look, so it matches better my idea of vintage look and the quilting cotton I have been using here.

These three elements are really important when we sew. 
I interfaced the bag with light fusible batting for more structure and cosiness when in use and fully lined it with the spool quilt cotton, used for the 'collar'.

The pincushion, is filled with ground walnut shells, mixed with lavender from my summer garden. I made the tiny tassels (oh, what a challenge was to tie them well - my fingers felt so clumsy :)) using the same shade DMC floss, used for the cross-stitched design. 

The scissors case was underlined with batting as well.

I find these tiny thimbles so festive! What a celebration of sewing!

I hope you are almost ready with your Christmas preparation and gifts. Canada Post is overwhelmed with packages and I am happy I sent mine early and everyone received them already. It is the anticipation of Christmas that is up for celebration - the impatient awaiting of the blessed event.

I truly hope you all have the creation of the season this year, that will always remind you of the good days you have had in the year of 2017.

Have a blessed Christmas, dear friends and happy holidays!


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Advent in Winterwald

Advent is about to start - the most exciting countdown ever experienced! It is the best time of the whole season - the anticipation of Christmas... the busy preparation, the desperate attempt to calm emotions down and the beauty in all that. 

I am feeling partially unnaturally calm, partially terrified. For the first time I won't be home for Christmas - the whole family won't be home for Christmas. We are going on a vacation! ... but that is a story for another day. Today is all about "Advent in Winterwald". I chose to keep the original name, just because English language doesn't have a matching word for Winterwald. It is a story about little creatures in a snowy forest, who are getting ready for Christmas in the most beautiful way. So, Welcome to the "Advent in the Snowy Forest".

These beautiful creatures, little children of the woods, are in a perfect co-habitat with the animals of the forest. And the Acufactum book "Advent in Winterwald" tells an original story about this joyful relationship with amazing projects and images. I only managed to make these two and they will turn into a nice decorative pillows.

The fabric that is designed, inspired by the colours of Nature and that doesn't hoot for attention but speaks for its greatness through its complicated weaving, surely is HAORI. If you look at the whole Fall/Winter collection, you will be able to find the two different brown colours I picked for this project:

When the designer Ms Lina Yang created this collection, it was inspired by the colours of the Earth in its preparation for the winter season. The faded greens of the forest in its yearly preparation for the long rest and the deepened blue of the rivers, wholeheartedly missing the playful pure white summer clouds on their vigorous run to the ocean. The blue is a reflection of the gloomy, sad, foggy blanket that the sky is sleeping under. The forest is completely naked in the late fall. The bark of the trees and the branches are looking almost grey. 

It all changes with the first snow. In a 'Winterwald', the trees look alive again, and so vividly brown. The rivers' eyes are dark blue and few sunny beams get caught under the magnifying glass of the painfully white snow. The strength of the white and the magic of reflection bring the forest and the creatures, that call it their home to the most festive stage of the year - the preparation for Christmas.

Materials used:

HAORI double sided 1/2 yard light brown 
HAORI double sided 1/2 yard dark brown 
HAORI Christmas cotton strips for binding and zipper cover
Warm Company 100% cotton batting
Ticking stripe 27 count 100% linen
DMC embroidery thread

Techniques used:

* Cross-stitched embroidery
* Hand-quilting for the front of the pillows
* Machine-quilting for the back of the pillows
* Zipper sewing
* Bias-binding

HAORI is one of a kind heart-felt fabric for me. It started with the image fabric love a year ago , went through the ecstatic wave of joy, that almost left me without breath when I first touched it, and now continuing with an exploding culmination of friendship, that makes this season even more merry. 

I admire Lina for her creative way of perceiving the weaves so they become strictly candid, and at the same time present an incredible texture. It is a pleasure to quilt with her fabric - there are many directions to be followed and one to be chosen. I simply love the choices she is given me with her designs - an incredible person she truly is!

Home is the best place to count down the days till Christmas. Every day is a treasure and give me new hope for being better in what I do. Sometimes, I am not sure of the end result, but I know, it would be from the heart, so it must be good, it must be pleasing and heart-warming. My daughter says, that these pillows are for hugging, and is doing so every night on the sofa with her cup of tea. Well, than they must be considered a 'goal-achieved' project. From this Christmas on, these pillows will immerse all the good memories of many many seasons, and their hugs will become warmer, more soothing and cordial. 

Sending warm hugs to your home for Christmas,


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Nordic Winter

Inspired by the upcoming season, I have designed this mini-quilt with a little twist to the stockings and the Christmas tree appearance.

The Nordic Christmas has always amazed me with the clean and fresh look to all the decorations. The colours that are mostly leading the parade of the spirit, are red and white. I chose the traditional green and the all natural linen, plus not so screaming for attention white and grey linen for the miniature stockings. 

DailyLike Canada fabric choices made the quilt really modest in colours, except the bright red velvet ribbon, that holds the mini stockings. I couldn't resist the temptation of the red and the warmth of the velvet. 

I have used linen, and lots of it. :) What can I do?! I just love linen. And the stockings look really nice, made with linen - as if they were worn by little Santa's helpers a lot, I mean a lot. And this is a good sign - presents and treats. 

These mini-stockings still can hold chocolates, or little messages from Santa ... even cookies :)

Here are the ingredients for the recipe:

DAILY LIKE Canada Half yard Basic Solid Linen “Natural” as a background fabric
DAILY LIKE Canada Half yard Quilting Cotton “Green Land” for the backing
DAILY LIKE Canada Half yard Quilting Cotton “Snowing” 
DAILY LIKE Canada Half yard Quilting Cotton “Winter Tree” for lining the stockings and the tree
DAILY LIKE Canada Quarter Fabric Pack “Nature” for the stockings
DAILY LIKE Canada Fat Quarter Fabric “Gleam” for the stockings
DAILY LIKE Canada Ribbon “Leaf” 
DAILY LIKE Canada T-Hooks, one pack of four

Additional items are the cute buttons, the velvet ribbon and the embroidery thread.

Making the mini-quilt was a magical experience - it is a gradation of joy, that sets the mood for the season.

The boots are well equipped with jingle bells.

I had some lovely ladies testing the pattern for me, before releasing it. They were extremely supportive in creating their own version of whimsical mini stockings and charming decoration. You could check their Instagram accounts for more images and other incredible creations:

Check back for more images, as I will update the quilt library with every new mini-quilt made by you.

For the rest of the days of November, with the generous cooperation of Daily Like Canada, I would like to announce a joyful, magical winter sew-along of this mini-quilt. Daily Like Canada and I have prepared a special prizes for two of you, that I am sure you would like a lot.

Join us for this fun and creative parade for Christmas. Show us your magical Nordic mini-quilts in Instagram with #NordicWinterMiniQuilt. Follow me @mon_etui and @dailylikecanada for updates and news. You can participate on Facebook as well, just make sure you tag me, so I could see your beauties.

I have created a Facebook Group here , where you could join and share your magical experience.

The sew-along will run till the end of November. It ends November 30th at 8:00 pm EST (5:00 pm PST). Two winners will be chosen to receive a lovely prize: seven half yard pieces of fabric from DailyLike Canada (3.5 yards in total), that include the full collection of Winter Wonderland plus two more pieces from the Nordic Winter mini-quilt and few heart-made by me items from Winter Wonderland. Check IG or Facebook for the information on the prizes.

Please, find the pattern of the mini-quilt here.

I hope you will enjoy the process and set the right mood for the season!

Happy sewing!


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Winter Wonderland

These are beautiful autumn last few weeks! So beautiful, some of the days were warmer than the summer days were. We still have the birds around. The scream of the Blue jay through the open windows was interrupting my thoughts constantly and I couldn't resist the temptation of playing 'Hide-And-Seek' with him. My sight was chasing after his blue shadow, only catching the glowing white of the feathers for a second and than loose it again into the green leaf clouds of the hairdo of the twelve-year old maple across the fence. This little bird is not only sassy, he is smart enough to always hide in the biggest trees. My eyes were not getting tired - I was satisfying their thirst for green to the maximum. The leaves on the maple were giving all the signs of getting tired and ready to burn in red very soon. While I was looking for this little devil with widely spread blue shadow, I noticed that the tip of the maple is changing - as if the sun was resting there longer and burnt the first few leaves... And again the loud scream of the Blue jay woke me up from my day dreaming to take my sight with him to the burr oak on the other side of the street, where the bird was already completely lost into the curly leaves, that protect the fruits of the fall. Few squirrels jumped over the branches and hid into the distance. My eyes couldn't catch any further - the images became too distant and the loud arguing of the Blue jay suddenly soften with the wind. I stayed longer in my garden - the day was absolutely beautiful. The crisp chilly mornings are so beautiful - best light of the year. The sunbeams, filtered through the thick layer of dew create warmness. And the tiny crystal drops on my roses make the flowers feel royal and extremely beautiful. 

Mornings like this one inspire me to create something delicate and elegant. And despite the perfect autumn mood that I was set on, I was thinking of one design from Daily Like Canada, that grabbed my attention and did not let go, until I cut into this unique fabric to create a winter decoration for the upcoming holly days. 

I saw the roses from my garden in the navy blue print, and decided that this will be the main fabric for my 'Winter Wonderland' decoration this year. 

When I think of delicate creations, one designer invades my mind with her presence. Tone Finnanger's winter designs are present very often in my home - almost every season. I have made all of this decorations: in my Blue And Silver Christmas (wow, was it really four years ago???), and in Red and White Christmas  

This year, the collection is more complete than ever. I love how the Snow Flower fabric suits the Nordic style of Ms Finnanger's designs. The Forest Lodge represents beautifully the small houses in the villages in this beautiful Scandinavian country. 

I had everything to start early on my winter project. And for the first time, I had a feeling, I won't be stressed around Christmas and my home will look elegant and beautiful for the season, just on time.

Winter Wonderland bundle (from bottom to top): 

1.5 yards Daily Like Canada Snow Flower oxford cotton 
0.5 yards Daily Like Canada Gleam linen
0.5 yards Daily Like Canada Pink Dot quilting cotton
1.0 yard  Daily Like Canada Forest Lodge quilting cotton
0.5 yards Daily Like Canada Love Things quilting cotton

I had experienced one downside to the early winter making. The golden season of autumn doesn't help me much with setting the winter scene I would have loved to create. For the purpose of displaying the items I made, I had to improvise and work with what the Nature serves me for this moment. That is why, I ended with the fallen branch, I found in the nearest forest. My girls claimed, it was a bit  too spooky for a winter scene, but this is all I could work with for the moment. My love for Nature doesn't allow me to cut living trees, unless it is for pruning, and, unfortunately, my pine and spruce are not for pruning at this time. 

Long Christmas stocking are a thoughtful creation for the holidays - they could be filled with so much deliciousness and little surprises. You will be amazed to watch little hands, digging into these long-legged boots to check if there is nothing extra into the toe-area :). The thrill is all into seeking the surprise and there is no greater joy to me, but to watch loved ones opening their presents. The look on their faces is the warmest Christmas feeling of all.

The signature angel of Ms Finnanger...

I adapted a little bit the recipe for this elegant creature - gave her a winter coat:

... and changed her boots a little bit.

Isn't she the queen of the roses????

She loves birds and flowers

I made few short stockings. They could be gifted, filled with chocolates to little friends, or numbered as a countdown to Christmas.

Winter birds can not be forgotten in this scene.

Christmas is about love and joy.

When I first saw the elegant feminine boots and skates from Tone Finnanger, I couldn't take my eyes off them. Every time I make her designs, I add few boots to the collection. This year, I did not make the skates, I just left them as short boots. If you can not find the skate edges (the ones that the designer used herself) for creating the skate boot, make your own. I made them out of staples in my Red and White Christmas. Just open the staple and straiten it well, than form it into a skate edge and cut to size. It is not perfect, but quite good enough.

I had enough fabric to make Ms Finnanger's beautiful pouches.

To play with the contrast of this fabric collection was a great pleasure. I am happy with every single item I have made. It will be such a beautiful winter season! 

Thank you for stopping by, dear friends! I hope you enjoyed the wonderland story behind my creations!