A handmade starry Christmas

Earlier this autumn, my daughter and her husband arrived with a huge bag of fabric samples. They had been thrown out of a London college because they were out-of-date – but they were definitely far too good to waste!These were the sort of fabrics I’ve never worked with before – fabulous textured silks and satins …Extraodinary materials …Glitter to die for!And imaginative prints that I just loved – what I would give for a dress of that beautiful shimmery seahorse print!The thing is that most of these fabric samples were small – some very small indeed. Very tricky to know what I could do with such small pieces, but by chance I’d recently read a blogpost by Ann Wood on making little star folk and stars were on my mind …It seemed to me that these small glittery pieces of fabric would lend themselves so well to making those little starry folk …I got carried away.  I made quite a few – and some were different ….Some were pink …And there was even a cat star – yes, with genuine cat whiskers (no cats were harmed in this, I assure you – our cats considerately moult whiskers every now and then).Then it occured to me that I might be able to make beaded stars just as I had made beaded paisley botehs last Christmas. (I learned to make paisley botehs from the very talented Lorna of Chookiebirdie and wrote about my lesson in an earlier blogpost). So I set myself up in my woolly room with a tray of beads and some star templates (developed from Ann Wood’s original pattern) and these gorgeous little scraps of fabric …Tricky stitching …But the result was very pleasing …And I found it sort of addictive …As I stitched my way through November and early December, my bowls of stitched stars changed as stars went out to homes throughout the country, around the world … new stars were made, I got excited by different colours combinations … so much variety, so much potential …Still loads and loads of gorgeous fabrics sitting unused in my woolly room …I just had to make some GiveWraps … (These are handmade reusable present wrappers – you can find out much more about them in another of my old blogposts). Here I am working in one of my cousin Polly’s dragon prints into an orangey GiveWrap.The finished item here … the orange counterbalanced by some fabulously dark colours and very strong prints …Another orange one, but this one with soft blue-grey tones …Now for some black and brights … I loved working all these strong colours and patterns in together …And by complete contrast, here is a GiveWrap that is almost completely neutral tones … (featuring some fantastic Alexander Henry cats around the border and in the centre the Ghastlies around the dinner table).What a contrast this almost completely scarlet GiveWrap is! What a treat to work these strong patterns all in together …And of course for my mother (who only acknowledges the colour blue), a china-blue, gold and white GiveWrap …I have had such pleasure in all this making, but the icing on the cake (or far more accurately the hanging on the tree) is to see the stars and GiveWraps in their new homes …Dear blog readers, I would that I could send starry folk out to you one and all but I will have to make do with sending you stellar wishes for Christmas and the New Year! The world is full of such difficulties these days, so above all else, I wish that you may be richly blessing this coming New Year  – and that it be an easier year for so very many of us …


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17 thoughts on “A handmade starry Christmas”

  1. My goodness, you have been busy! Your stars are a delight. The light blue and the green/pink are particularly effective – such attention to detail and neat stitching. Stunning colour combinations in the give wraps. Love the black one with with butterflies and wool balls!


    1. So glad you like the stars, Mandy – I had such fun making them! Also fun making the GiveWraps. It’s the license to make something small and explore difference colour combinations ….. magical …. keeps me happy for hours! Happy Christmas!


  2. I had to jump right over to the boteh post as I used to make embroidered felt birds just like them. Lovely post again. Fabulous that you were able to think of a use for all those samples. I worked in a fabric showroom once and had a huge hoard of them but only ever made a handful of cushions…


    1. Thank you! – ooh I’d love to see your embroidered felt birds! That handful of cushions sounds impressive – but I too have loads of scraps left and am not sure what to do with them … Happy Christmas!


  3. Warm Christmas thoughts from ‘only’ 29 degree Christmas day in Brisbane, Australia (our Christmas days are usually mid 30’s and very high humidity. But today is glorious.) We have just finished an early lunch and are are now on our verandah with a lovely breeze blowing. Hope you manage to stay warm and have a beautiful (and safe) Christmas day with those you love.


    1. Oooh – sounds lovely, Avie – Happy Christmas to you! My father was born in Melbourne, and I have wonderful Christmas photos of them swimming on Phillip Island on Christmas Day so I can imagine just the day you are enjoying now. Here it is very mild and not at all unpleasant. Happy Christmas and very best wishes to you and yours!


  4. I just saw this post now, while searching for your lovely walls post… My Star and Give Wrap are the fairest of them all, and I’m truly touched to see them in person.


    1. I just loved making them, Maggie – such wonderful fabrics to inspire and play with! I no sooner started on one project than another colourway was forming in my mind for the next …. so I am very pleased that you enjoy my humble offerings 🙂


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