Monthly Archives: December 2014

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Scandi-Style Christmas Hearts

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It’s not unusual to find me furiously working away on a hand made gift or decoration on Christmas eve.

Our first Christmas eve together saw me finishing off some simple stockings late at night. It was, after all, too great a risk that presents might not appear without a suitable receptacle for them.

Since then we’ve had a stream of hessian hearts, gingham stars, and an array of presents all feverishly completed late in the day.

But, as I look at the decorations or remember the smiles of a friend receiving a gift made just for them, then I know that it’s all worthwhile.

In fact, I positively recommend it.

Consider it a triumph of optimism over time constraints.

And so, when I needed a present for a friend who had previously admired my scandi style embroidery I wanted to make something on a similar theme.

And thus, my scandi style Christmas hearts were born.
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They’re not complicated or fancy, in fact the materials used are particularly humble and normal, but I like to think that their simplicity brings a certain charm.

The particularly observant among you will notice that, although not identical, the bird in the heart certainly is a close relative of the little guy who resides on the cushion in my home.

So if, like me, you don’t want to stop sewing when the decorations go up, or if you’ve got a taste for making your own decorations after giving the nativity bunting a go, then here’s how to make this little trio of hearts.

All you need is some felt, ribbon, embroidery thread and of course, the patterns. So, here are the Bird and Snowflake patterns, and the Christmas Tree pattern.

They are made up in the same way as the nativity bunting characters and so I’ve kept the description here brief. If you want more guidance then I’d suggest having a peek at the nativity bunting tutorial.

1. Cut out two felt heart shapes per decoration

2. Mark up the embroidery design on one of the heart shapes

3. Sew the design on
The stitches that I have used for the embroidery design are a simple running stitch and whipped backstitch. Feel free to change these to your stitch of choice.

4. Start sewing the front heart shape to the back heart shape
As this is felt, there’s no fiddly turning inside out so just place the felt shapes the way that you want them to face when the decoration is completed.

Remember to place the ribbon at the top, between the two pieces of felt, in order to make a hook for your decoration. If you’re not sure how to do this, there’s a photo here that will hopefully help.

I used whip stitch to join the two shapes together.

If you’re stuffing the heart, then stop sewing the pieces together when you’ve got about 5cm left un-sewn. Don’t finish off in any way, this is just a brief pause.

5. Stuff the hearts and complete sewing the outer seam
Now I padded my decorations out with a little leftover wadding from a spot of quilting I did a few years ago. That said, a modest amount of stuffing would be more than suitable and, if your felt is thick enough, then the stuffing can be left out completely without fear of repercussions.

Once the decoration has been stuffed, then its time to pick up your needle again and carry on sewing around the edge of the shapes until they are completely joined.

And congratulations, that’s it! You are now the proud owner of your very own scandi style christmas decoration.

So where will these three end up?

Is there a gap on your Christmas tree? Are you feeling more ambitious and have hopes of a long line of these running up your stairs?

Alternatively if they aren’t stuffed then they could make a really lovely gift tag for a special present. Or fill them with some dried lavender or herbs to fragrance a drawer or room? The sky’s the limit!

You really can whip these up in no time and, in fact, I think that these would be perfect to make on christmas eve, maybe with some carols playing in the background, the gentle flicker of candlelight and a sustaining mince pie.

I’m pretty sure that you won’t be the only one. In fact I’d go so far as to suggest that there’ll be one fellow Christmas eve crafter, at least here in the Hoogally household.

It is a tradition, after all…

It’s beginning to look… a bit… like Christmas

Well folks, I’m afraid there’s no denying it, there’s definitely a hint of Christmas in the air.

Maybe not full blown sleigh-bells-ringing-holly-and-mistletoe time, but there’s definitely a whisper of mince pies and gingerbread starting to appear.

Or maybe that’s just the lack of self control that more than one member of the Hoogally household has around christmas food.

Now every family has its Christmas traditions and the Hoogally household is no exception. In amongst trips to choose the tree and new pyjamas is our visit to Chatsworth House to see their decorations.

Each year’s decorations are on a different theme. Previously we’ve been treated with trips to the world of Pantomime, the magical kingdom of Narnia and a celebration of carols. This year we travelled through Wonderland with a girl called Alice.

After much deliberation (rivalled only by the annual ‘how early can you buy a tree so that it will still be chirpy and bright on Christmas day’ debate) we decided that this was ‘The Weekend” and so off to Chatsworth we went.
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Now we’ve been spoilt by years of breathtaking decorations but I will admit this year is not their most festive one. That said, the decorations are magical, entertaining and fantastic with just the right (and necessary) hint of the surreal. The Monkey and Pumpkin loved every minute of it and wanted to go back in so it was clearly a hit.

I don’t want to spoil it for anyone going and so here a just few hints of what you might see. You can however rest assured that the main attractions shall remain elusively secret for you to discover. After all, isn’t the joy of surprise one of the best parts of Christmas?
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Once outside we were treated to carol singers, brass bands and festive horse and cart rides.
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And scenes that you want to breathe in and keep in your heart as an antidote to those less peaceful, less perfect moments.
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Of days like these, are memories made.

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