Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Night Before Christmas – with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore…

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the flat

Not a creature was stirring, not even a cat

‘It’s so disconcerting’, Lynne Pussycat said

‘They’re being so quiet it fills me with dread…’

‘You’re awfully suspicious!’ said RR to Cat

‘They’re being angelic, let’s leave it at that!’

DSC01698 - Version 2

 And so off to bed went the whole family

And left out for Santa a large G&T

A carrot for Rudolph, a plate of mince pies

‘Cos from the North Pole it’s a long way to fly!

 DSC03119

But then at some godawful hour in the morn

(Don’t know when exactly, but way before dawn…)

A tremendous commotion broke out in the flat

‘Oh, what the heck’s happened? And where are the cats?’

RR ventured forth, to have a look-see

And discovered the kitties had toppled the tree

Had trashed all the presents and munched the mince pies

And sent Santa’s G&T soaring sky-high

Till it fell to the floor in a broken-glass puddle

Those dastardly cats, what a horrible muddle!

They were charging around as if they were possessed

Leaving in their wake such a terrible mess…

DSC01714

 And so Christmas morning, at quarter past three

Was spent re-erecting the darned Christmas tree

Re-wrapping the presents, and calming the cats

Restoring tranquility throughout the flat

And two hours later, both tucked up in bed

Lynne Pusscat and Richard lay down weary heads

And said as they snoozed off and turned out the light

‘Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’

IMG_1705

A Bear Called Libby

Last weekend RR and I were invited to celebrate the first birthday of a very special little lady. Miss S, who is known to all as Munchkin, is a lovely little thing, and I wanted to give her a very special present. Well, actually, being me, I wanted to make her something very special! Quite apart from being lots of fun to make, I think that handmade gifts are also a lovely way to give a very thoughtful and personal present.

But what to make? Munchkin is already the proud owner of at least 2 quilts, and her mum, Ms Nexttonicx, is a wonderfully talented dressmaker, crocheter and knitter (amongst her many other skills). I knew I wanted to sew something, so that was a good starting point, but what could I sew? That was the question…

Then, a few weeks ago, Ms Mudpiesandpins introduced (via Instagram) the enchanting Saoirse Bear, a precious little lady she had made from Liberty fabric using English Paper Piecing (yes, I am totally in awe!) This got me thinking about the soft toy patterns that I see each month in my Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. I was pretty sure that I had seen a bear pattern at some point, so I flicked through all my old copies until I found it. It looked super-cute, and, what’s more, the pattern was billed as “simple-to-sew”. Total result!

DSC02623

And thus, dear reader, Tinky the Bear was born…

DSC00106

Tinky was my first attempt at the pattern, and I was pretty pleased with the end result, but simple-to-sew she was not. She’s actually quite a little bear, and I really don’t do well with small, fiddly things due to my crappy hands. Suffice to say, all those teeny tiny pieces had me all of a kerfuffle, and she came out looking more like some weird alien hybrid of Tigger and a monkey (hence Tinky) than she did a bear suitable for a first birthday present.

Okay then, the actual pattern was great, and I loved the resulting (slightly odd-looking) bear. The real problem lay in her small-ness. So why not just enlarge the pattern pieces?

So I did. And made it half as big again. Proper bear sized 🙂

Knowing Munchkin’s mummy loves all things Liberty, I picked out a fat quarter of beautiful Liberty lawn from my stash, which I had been saving for something special. The newly enlarged pattern used up all but a few tiny slivers of my fabric, so I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t mess it up, and set to work.

DSC02605

All cut out and ready to sew…

DSC02606

… with a very economical use of one fat quarter 🙂

And thus Libby the Liberty Bear came into existence.

DSC00101

Libby, sunning herself on our balcony

DSC00121  DSC00119

Libby and Tinky take in the view

DSC00131

Chilling out in front of the tv

DSC00109 - Version 2

Having a nice cup of tea…

I have to confess here that hand embroidery is not my strong point. Bear faces are difficult to embroider! I’m still not entirely convinced that she looks “all there”. In fact, the words “deranged” and “slightly psychotic” may have been bandied around (thanks, RR…)  Nonetheless, I think she looks friendly, so I wrote a little note, tied it around her neck with a ribbon, and wrapped her up for the birthday girl.

DSC00105

Deranged? Maybe. Friendly? Certainly!

DSC02608

DSC02610

I so enjoyed making Libby and Tinky, that I’m now on my way to making a third bear, and I’ve been thinking about making more soft toys in the future. I have a sneaking suspicion that this could become a little bit of an obsession if I’m not careful…

DSC02624

Well, now that Libby has gone to a new home, I wouldn’t want Tinky to get lonely, would I???

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.