This is going to be an indulgent post! I have been making lots of GiveWraps. It’s the birthday season in my family and Christmas is in the offing, so there’s every reason to have a little play with colour, yarns and fabric. Given a nice sunny day (so the light is good in my little Woolly Room), I went into production mode.If there is time, I like to make GiveWraps with particular people in mind. It’s my daughter’s birthday at the end of November and last year I made her a very special GiveWrap using bits of animal print fur fabric scraps left over from her teenage sewing experiments.This year I wanted to do something different. I’ve got some Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric (always a family favourite) – what about that? The caterpillars are interspersed with familiar scraps: the grass-green chintz was left over from blinds I made in our old house, the pink and blue flower fabric was used for curtains in her bedroom …..She likes both cats and the designer Alexander Henry. Happily these two likes come together with some of his wild and wonderful scratchy cat fabric. I think these cats are just wicked! I have some interesting printed scraps from my cousin, Polly (with whom I set out on this GiveWrap adventure). Here is her Microcosm enclosed print in the centre of this blue GiveWrap. She has printed it on an old tablecloth that once belonged to our grandfather. You can see his name embroidered on the plain linen. I’ve kept it in partly because it is our shared story, and partly because it is an example of beautiful craftsmanship in itself.I had a few tiny scraps of Microcosm enclosed left over and wanted to emphasise the facial aspects of the print so I put them with these pieces from my old and very worn-out yukata. I love these Japanese ladies! The yukata was originally white – and a reject from my mother. I dyed it turquoise – a great success – and wore it and wore it and patched it and patched it. Eventually the time came to admit defeat – but these lovely ladies have found a new life in my GiveWraps, and don’t they work well with the purple?! There’s a faintly mauve tone in their kimonos which is why it all works together so well.There are more people in this print of Polly’s. The figures on the right are her as a little girl beside her mother. I thought long and hard about how to make this GiveWrap. I definitely wanted to emphasise the vertical lines so eventually settled on tree and leaf prints. It seemed to be important to place the print on the right so that the figures could look over the GiveWrap – and Polly’s fish print just snuck in on the left.Now for some dragons – but what on earth was I going to put with them? I knew that I wanted to pick out the orange of Polly’s dragon prints and contrast it with green. Then, by chance, I came across this owl fabric with its orangey-reddy-brown owls on a soft leafy green background – just perfect! Lots more leafy fabrics in the mix as well. I deliberately set the dragons in two columns “facing” each other and “upside down” to each other (so to speak). It’s a trick borrowed from the yukata ladies above that I particularly like.There were still more of Polly’s printed dragon scraps. These dragons have been printed on a very fine gold silk, and – don’t ask me why! – they set themselves in browny-grey fabrics, and then the Alexander Henry scratchy cats just asked to join in! Sorted!!On a roll now, I made yet another GiveWrap I really struggled with this one. The fabric in the centre is from a very beautiful Indian silk dress of my grandmother’s – alas, perishing. You may just be able to see that the pink flowers are picked out with gold threads – so much work in it. It was a very straight short shift dress – so not a lot of material – and I had no idea what to do with it, except, of course, make a GiveWrap. But I found it a hard challenge to find colours and patterns that married with those delicate colours.
As it turned out, it is a very sentimental GiveWrap, using lots of pieces that have strong associations. The small brown flower print is from the first dress I ever bought myself – in the 60s! It was kept because my mother loved it – and used it for patchwork. I’ve added strips of the soft brown needlecord that was leftover from a dress I made my little daughter many years ago. How nice to have found a home for these special pieces. But will I ever be able to pass this GiveWrap on?And lastly two knitted GiveWraps which I have been working on by the fireside in the evenings. Here I was using up scraps of knitting wool and some chenille too. These are knitted in linen stitch which gives a pleasing woven effect. They are such fun to put together – it’s really fabric creation at its most basic. Little odd strands of contrast colour lift the whole. One knitted in reds and pinks ….… and the other has some orange in the mix.Time to tidy up my little Woolly Room and turn to other projects. It’s a tiny room and I have to be very disciplined as I work.All these GiveWraps have labels on the back. I’ve given up using the computer for labels, finding it too much of a struggle for my printer. However, Anne Wheaton has some helpful advice on printing labels and perhaps when I’m next making GiveWraps, I’ll try one of her methods.