Remember the Hardanger fireworks idea? Well, it didn’t work. It all looked terribly clunky and not nearly fine and spidery and elegant enough for fireworks. So I now have a name hanging around with nothing to do … Watch this space, I may think of something yet!
On to what is occupying my mind at the moment, which is ornaments. I have once or twice hand-sewn ornaments. The Autumn Wreath tuck cushion is an example. But it is far from ideal, and so I felt I really ought to get, and learn how to use, a sewing machine.
The first bit turned out to be easier than expected. Looking into simple sewing machines that would do straight stitch, zigzag, and reverse, and not much more, I found that in spite of their simplicity they would make a sizeable dent in the budget. But then the sewing machine which had resided for years in the attic (given to my husband years ago by, he thinks, a sister) and which I vaguely remembered as fiercely complex turned out to be a very nice Singer with exactly the stitch options I wanted and no more.
From then on it should have been simple. Set up the machine, do a bit of practising on scraps of fabric, sew a practice ornament using a finished piece that won’t be too difficult to stitch again should things go terribly wrong (I chose the red Frills) and then get on with creating an attractive door hanger as a Christmas present for our niece, using an initial I, a bit of ribbon and some lovely turquoise patchwork fabric. And I had well over a month to do it in. What could possibly go wrong?
What went wrong was the sewing machine. We set it up on the kitchen table, I read the manual for a bit, then tried a few stitches on some fabric scraps, and all was tickety-boo. I turned aside to look up a particular stitch in the manual (keeping my foot well away from the pedal), and all of a sudden the machine started sewing like a thing possessed, and would not stop! In the end I had to use the on/off switch it to make it stop, and whenever we tried turning it on again, with no-one so much as breathing on the pedal, off it went again.
A manic sewing machine is a frightening thing for an absolute sewing novice, and might have been enough to put me off for life if it hadn’t been for this ornament that needed finishing. My husband managed to find a replacement pedal, so I resolved to have another go as soon as it arrived. Unfortunately it took rather longer than expected, and by the time it arrived I was in the throes of Christmas preparations and a rather nasty cold, and in no fit state to tackle learning a new skill.
So niece got a solemn promise for Christmas, and I will make use of the fact that my mother-in-law is with us for a week as she is a whizz with a sewing machine and will be able to show me the ins and outs of this one. We may even finish the door hanger before the year is out! However well I get on though, Frosty Pine will probably not be gracing our Christmas tree until next year.