Saturday, 20 September 2008
After touring around Europe this summer, I was so delighted at all of the different versions of Santa Claus I just had to design a quilt.
There’s Pere Noel from France, Kris Kringle from New Amsterdam, Father Christmas from England, Grandfather Frost from Russia
Sinter Klaas from Holland
I was intrigued when I heard about all of the traditions in the different countries – some children hide candy in their shoes, others play practical jokes at Christmas time, and others fear being whipped if they’re naughty by one of santa’s helpers. So I did a bit of research about each Santa and found loads of delightful stories.
When I show-and-telled my project to my sewing group and I had requests from fifteen of the twenty gals for the pattern, I had to make it. I’ve loved seeing how so many of them have made my quilt their own by adding embellishments and fancy stitching.
So I thought I would offer this to the sewers out there who want to make a one of a kind quilted wall hanging. It will be available for purchase soon (when I figure out how to add this to my web page) and includes the applique patterns for all six santas, easy to follow instructions, and fun facts about the santas from around the world.
Go on an European Christmas tour without ever leaving your sewing room!
The teddy bear bag pattern will be featured in one of the upcoming issues of Extremely Crafty Ideas.
Back at the fair, I had plenty of time to contemplate the other craft stall holders. Almost all of the other stalls were selling mass produced goods made overseas and all of the products could be sold in home parties. So many of them were those pyramid schemes – one for Memory Books, one for board games, another for wickless candles (they seemed to be the only ones who were doing any business! Why do people come to a craft fair to buy mass produced candles?! Go to Michaels. Why pay more for a candle that doesn’t even have a wick?) Besides myself, the only people selling anything handmade was the stall next to me. By noon, they’d made $12. I’d made -$1.25 (I bought a pop.)
"Made with the strongest upholstery fabric so it won’t tear or rip. Guaranteed!"
I had signed up for the stall because I had visions of my mom and I leisurely sewing together preparing our handmade goods. Yeah right. By the time she got out of hospital, I only had four days to prepare. Not two weeks. After working a full London day, I was appliquing, hand stitching teddy bears, and sewing. Seeing as I was struggling, my mother (only just out of hospital) took control of the sewing machine (didn’t I say she was strong like an ox) and left me in her dust of her old Singer. We finished everything Friday night.
Saturday morning 8 a.m., my stall was ready for the annual sunrise pancake crowd. I waited. . .
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
You look forward to a ten day stay at the hospital as a vacation.
My crafter extraordinaire mother had to have back surgery. She had the first operation which resulted in more pain than before the surgery. The doctors then discovered my mother had a major blood clot resting on her spine, so they had to do a second surgery. I knew she must have been in terrible pain when she didn’t object. My mother is strong like an ox and would deny ever being sick, so for her to agree with no objection, I knew it must have been worse than she was letting on.
Hospitals are no place for sick people. After the second op, she caught pneumonia from one of the nurses. Why does the hospital let sick people look after other sick people? Surely hospital staff must have sick days?
Hospitals are also no place to get any rest. Who can sleep through the night with assistants coming in every hour to check vitals. Why this is necessary when she has one of those red lights taped on her finger that feeds vitals to a monitor, I have no idea.
I know about this every hour wake up routine because I stayed with my mom – night and day - the whole ten days in her room. I became quite used to the pull out sofa couch and left it permanently made as a bed. For the first day, my mother had to lay flat on her back for 24 hours (and that’s after having back surgery – how excruciating!) because the doctor had nicked her spinal sack and spinal fluid leaked. Well, the nurses hardly ever came in to give her ice cubes. If I hadn’t have been there, I don’t know how she would have had anything to drink.
The only time I left her room was to eat (I could not possibly eat another Taco Bell Nachos Bell Grande for the rest of the year. . .well, maybe in November.) and use the internet. This is the waterfall next to the public computer where I surfed.
Taking time out from my normal work life made me realize I really missed working on the crafty projects my mother and I used to do together and that I have the very best teacher (a retired tailor) from whom to learn to sew, so I’d better get started.
Sew long for now and don’t get sick!