Yes, last week I became the pleased owner of a copy of Soulemama’s new book, Handmade Home. And yes, it is lovely – sweet photography, reassuring writing and marvellous ideas for infusing our home with handmade comfort. Which was just what we needed on Monday evening.
Abby is a HUGE reader. She loves to read, reads for hours every day, and especially loves to re-read her favourite books over and over and over. This year, she’s been quite a fan of the Skullduggery Pleasant books – which are considered good books and highly entertaining. But it seems they contain quite a host of alarming characters – faceless people, hollow men. Abby has been describing these folk in juicy detail for the last couple of weeks and it hadn’t occurred to me for a second that they were appearing in her dreams. In a less than entertaining manner.
The poor wee thing – she confessed all on the way home from school the other day – and was especially bothered by the fact that she was having spooky dreams about things that couldn’t possibly happen. We chatted about this – I confessed that in my 11 year old dreams, I was being chased by the Gestapo across Europe and falling through the ice on the frozen Mississippi. It was nothing abnormal – we are both just very imaginative and become completely absorbed into the worlds that appear in our books. I didn’t describe the picture that plagued my inner eye for months when I read The Killing Fields at 15!
Thus, comfort was called for and I showed her the beautiful banner Amanda created for Adelaide. Oh yes, Abigail agreed, that would be good. I asked her to muse upon what word she felt would be protective whilst she slept – and she chose comfort. The next morning, on my way home from dropping Abigail at school, I called into the local Lifeline Store and there was a beautiful green and pink lambswool blanket (missing a small square) for just $4. Perfect. This is probably my favourite part of Handmade Home – its emphasis on creating with the old and used, not playing into the whole “must have” culture. And aren’t the checks just so sweet!
The other serendipitous thing was that we were struck by a dramatic thunder storm on Monday eve – this meant the back porch table had to be cleared of all the clutter/fabric that had accumulated over the last couple of weeks. Which in turn meant that Tuesday morning saw a beautiully long, clear table just waiting for me to spread out a sweet, new hand sewing project.
I didn’t follow Amanda’s instructions at all closely. Rather than drawing on the fabric, I charted up my vliesifix to equal the dimensions of my blanket squares. Then I drew my letters onto the paper back of the vliesifix (taking care to reverse the ones that needed to be reversed), cut them out roughly, ironed them to the back of my scraps, then cut the letters out carefully with small, pointed scissors.
I ironed these letters and birds onto my blanket squares and whipstitched their edges by hand. Then I cut two 1 1/2 inch wide strips of fabric, joined them, folded my long strip in half, right sides together, and stitched down the long raw edges. I turned this tape out the right way with the help of a safety pin, and pressed it, keeping the seam down the middle of the back.
I stitched this tape to the inside of my blanket squares, about 35mm down from the fold. Finally, I folded the appliqued front back over, and top stitched along the blanket pieces, securing them to the tape. I left a long tail on each end. This allowed me to make a small loop from which to hang the banner. And there are yo-yos. Of course there are yo-yos!
Just lovely! I’m smitten with this blanket, and the idea of wordy banners and am already planning more! And some of the blanket is waiting to become a bolster cover for Abigail’s bed – with more applique! That’s fine with me :-)
And Abby – well she reports she’s feeling very comforted. Good. Thank you Soulemama for sharing this little piece of your heart with us.