A door hanger for Isobel, material packs and a stitcher’s matchbook

Jubilations and celebrations!

We visited my husband’s parents over the weekend, and as planned I took all the materials for the door hanger tuck cushion with me – remembering at the very last moment to grab the instructions. My mother-in-law held my hand (metaphorically speaking) while I got over my Fear Of Sewing Machines and got to grips with the basic stitches, practised on a towel that was beyond redemption anyway. I am now, not exactly proficient, but at least capable of sewing together a passable tuck cushion/door hanger. I even remembered to sew in the ribbon!

The final touches were added this morning: the back half of the tuck cushion was stuffed and the seam closed with ladder stitch, and after admiring it at some length I have now put it away in a drawer until we visit the family next month.

Alphabet door hanger

Apart from the door hanger there was another job to finish this morning. I’m teaching a "Hardanger for Absolute Beginners" day course at the local adult education centre this Saturday, and I’ve been putting together the material packs for it. I always get caught out by how much time that takes! First working out what is needed, then ordering all the supplies (with the occasional treat for me – only to make the best use of the postage, of course …), cutting the fabric and threads to size and putting it all together. For this class that involved eight packs each containing 5 pieces of fabric with the creases ironed out, 26 lengths of thread, a hoop, 2 gold-plated needles, ribbon, 2 gift tags, an aperture card, a piece of felt and a piece of patterned cardstock cut to size and pre-scored in two places (I’m tempted to add "and a partridge in a pear tree"; perhaps if I ever teach a Christmas-themed class). But here we are with several days to go and they’re all done; the sense of achievement is immense!

Course material pack Course material packs

And finally a little experiment. Someone on the Cross Stitch Forum posted a link to a tutorial on the Make it Do site for a quick needle keep which works like one of those old-fashioned matchbooks. A great idea, and the use of pretty cardstock makes it a very attractive little accessory. But perhaps they’d missed a trick … what is the first thing that comes to a stitcher’s mind when she sees a blank surface? That’s right, put some stitching on it! So I cut the card slightly larger, scored and folded it so that the pattern was on the inside, and stuck a small piece of Hardanger to the outside. Voilà, one stitcher’s matchbook!

Matchbook needlecase Matchbook needlecase