Christmas not crackers

Another little thing I did before Christmas (after I drowned in stockings) was make some decorations for the Christmas tree. When we’d been shopping for a tree the year before last (last year didn’t count – we were decidedly un-Christmassy and only got a tree on the 22nd. Dont ask.) I’d seen some nice gingham-style decorations and this year, that was what I went shopping for. Of course, as these things always go, I couldn’t find any red gingham, only pink. Pink does not say Christmas to me (being red-headed, I really am not a pink person!) but thankfully I then found the material mentioned in my previous post et voila.

I wanted to keep it simple with just a few designs, so went for three. Did I ever explain that I have a thing about three? Maybe not. Three is good, trust me. It’s just good. So I went for a stocking (really, after the 24 I made for work you’d have thought I’d be done with them), a dove and a star. I roughly sketched the three designs straight onto the reverse of the fabric (I was feeling brave. The glass of wine I had at the time may have had something to do with that.

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This is kind of where the wheels came off the wagon a little. I wanted to sew them with some cross stitch thread that I have, it’s a pearlised (ie metallic) one, I have a couple of colours, but I just don’t like working with them. I find they snag on the canvas, they’re no good for using on cards as they’re too stiff to tie in a bow, so I thought I could at least sew the fabric, with a silvery-white thread that would sparkle under the tree lights. I plan, practicality laughs in my face. I tried it with all 6 strands (not least because it’s a nightmare to separate), it was too thick for the thin cotton. I tried 3 (because three is good – see above) but they separated out too much in the stitch. I tried 1, but it was too thin and didn’t sparkle. Thoroughly hacked off, running out of time and feeling decidedly unfestive with no goodwill to anything, I whacked a running stitch in plain cotton white thread through them all, turned them right-side out again, stuffed them with cushion stuffing that Toby had helpfully prepared for me (by pulling it out of his cushion), and sewed up the last corner, with a short length of cream ribbon for a hanging tag.

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They’re fine. Sweet, even. But in a fit of organisation and pre-planning ( I’m trying , honest) I think when I take the tree down on Sunday, that I’ll take some time to overstitch with a couple of strands of the sparkly thread, all ready for next year. If it only has to be decorative rather than actually working as a seam then I think the 3 strands may work. Maybe…
Now if I could only get that organised with cards and presents for next year, I’ll be laughing!

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