My younger sister lost most of her possessions in Hurricane Sandy. Her house wasn’t gravely damaged, but it will be uninhabitable until some structural repairs are completed. I am on another continent, nearly broke, and incapable of offering help in any significant way. So I’ve set about making things, which she once told me was my way of showing love, and I suppose she was right. I’ve started with Christmas ornaments, given that I can use scraps and bits and pieces of things I already have around the house to make them.
I’ve made these Purl Bee birds once before. Both times, I made an unfortunate choice of fabric for the bodies of the birds, using fabrics that fray easily, and that makes me wonder how long-lived they’ll be. But I like the effect of the embroidered batiste, so I’m not entirely dissatisfied with my choice of it. For the wings, I used scraps of red linen.
When I first saw these owl ornaments on Pinterest, I doubted that I’d have enough felt to make them, but they’re small enough that with some creative cutting I was able to make four. I had to use different colored pieces for the backs of three of them (two in dark brown and one in dark green.) I worried that they’d be visually uninteresting given the limited choice of colors I had to work with it, but I think they’re cute enough. The red one is my favorite; if I’d had more red felt, I would have made more like him. I made them with my machine rather than by hand because I wanted to finish them quickly, (and perhaps more important, I’m not very skilled at hand-sewing.)
With unused bits from my wreath Advent calendar I made two more poinsettia ornaments. (I posted about the first one I made here.) I made the little gingerbread man with a template that I drew myself, small enough that I could use the pieces of brown felt I had left after making the owls. Then I scrambled to find buttons small enough to use for eyes, only to discover, after sewing them on, that they took up so much space that there was no place to put a nose. That came as a relief, honestly, because I had no idea what I would have used for one. I drew the mouth with one of those horrid glitter glue pens I used to make the numbers of the Advent calendar.
The idea for the stocking ornaments was presented to me by pieces of an old sweater that had been in my pile of unfinished projects for over a year. I used the template for Martha Stewart’s Mini Stockings as a pattern, but rather than decorating them with ribbon trim, I made separate cuffs out of some scraps of gingham, and then sewed them to the tops of the stockings and folded them over.
These trees were once a pair of Pata’s trousers and a bit of ugly trim left over from one of her Carnival costumes. I cut the trim down into these various elements to mimic garlands. The loops were part of the trim as well. These are my favorite of all the ornaments I’ve made so far, despite my having had misgivings about them when first I finished them. I had originally planned to make a very different kind of tree (precise and minimalist) but I’m glad I allowed my idea to develop in this direction because I find these trees quite endearing.