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!