Tuesday 8 January 2019

Fifteen Felt Christmas Ornaments Finally Finished!

Oh, hello, what's this? Another blog post about getting things finished?? HURRAH.

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know that I was working hard to finish lots of my personal creative projects last year, including a patchwork blanket, a couple of quilts, and a set of felt Christmas ornaments I was making from Alicia Paulson's lovely patterns.

I bought several of Alicia's kits way back in 2012 and 2013 and had really made very little effort to devote any focused time to them... so, unsurprisingly, most of the designs were still sitting in pieces, unstitched, in a drawer in my flat many years later.

Well now, happily, I can say that all fifteen ornaments are finally finished! Woohoo!

Don't they all look fabulous together?

That photo ended up being my most popular Instagram photo from last year - and, indeed, my whole time on Instagram. Watching all the "likes" roll in for this project was a weird and fun way to finish the year!

Fancy a closer look at the ornaments? The first batch was the slowest to finish as they technically took me 5-6 years to complete...

... then it took me just a month to get another four finished this autumn...

... and the final four were ready just in time for Christmas.

I completed the sweet Gingerbread Girl in early December - I probably could have managed it slightly earlier but I wanted to make sure I was super focused and in the zone when I stitched her face to get it juuuuust right. She is so charmingly folksy, I love her.

The next two got finished in the middle of the month, while watching made-for-TV Christmas movies (I love made-for-TV Christmas movies). There's the cute (double-sided) Notevena Mouse (as in "Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse")...

... and the lovely (single-sided) Lighted Window.

The very last design I stitched was the Whistling Tea Kettle which is the one I took most liberties with when it came to not following the instructions.

There was a lot of satin stitch in Alicia's original design and I a) do not enjoy and b) am terrible at satin stitch, sooo my version looks slightly different to hers while still keeping to the same overall pattern. Could I (should I) have used this project as an opportunity to improve my satin stitching? Probably, but never mind!

I deliberately missed out a row of blanket stitching on the kettle, too, because I was finding it frustrating and honestly just wanted this thing finished. I'm pretty pleased with the end result, though, even with the changes.

Just like the other big projects I finished last year after years of them being just works in progress, it is hugely satisfying getting these ornaments completed! I've been meaning to finish them "in time for Christmas" for so many years (and so many different Christmases) that it felt wonderful finally having them ready in time for one.

Having said that, though, I have a confession to make: although I basked in the glorious feeling of getting these ornaments finally finished (which was an excellent Christmas gift to myself), I didn't actually hang any of them up at Christmas!

My holiday decorating style is, these days, best described as very minimal. I put up a few decorations around my flat along with all the cards I'd received from friends, but I don't put up a Christmas tree... and even if I did, it would have to be a VERY big tree to fit these ornaments on it as they're quite large (though you might not guess it from the photos). The Gingerbread Girl, for example, is about 17cm (almost 7 inches) high.

Also (and it's embarrassing to admit this) there's a bit of me that's a teeny bit worried that I'll have them on display and someone will come round to my house and think I made and designed them and say something nice which ends up feeling not so great. I've had this happen several times before with handmade-but-not-by-me things and honestly hearing "oh wow this is the best thing you've ever made, I love these so much!" about something that isn't your work is super awkward and slightly devastating! (Even if you yourself think they're nicer than your own work, too!) (Ugh, maker feelings are so complicated).

So, I think I'm going to end up giving some of these as gifts to friends and family in the run up to next Christmas and possibly just keeping a few of my favourites to hang on doorknobs and other suitable places in my flat. (If you're a friend of mine please do feel free to drop hints about which ones are your faves!)

I'm going to give myself the year to think about it though - who know, by the time next Christmas rolls round I might have decided that I can't bear to part with any of them and I'll have found the perfect places to display them all! We shall see...

Want to make some of these ornaments for yourself? Click here to find all the patterns (and much more loveliness) over in Alicia's shop.

For lots more Christmas crafting ideas, visit my archive of free tutorials.


Aurelia Eglantine said...

Wow - I didn't realize that many of these ornaments were double-sided! That's amazing. They are so much more complex than most felt ornaments, and from reading your article I can see that they are so intricate because they are so large. I thought they were much smaller from the photos. I'm curious about the Scandinavian mitten - it looks like cross stitch on the felt? Did you have to use waste canvas?

Maybe you could string them together somehow and make a garland to hang for display next Christmas? I know what you mean; I was wearing a sweater for a while that I loved, and everyone kept congratulating me on making it, since they knew I was crafty - only for me to have to constantly explain, thank you but I don't knit LOL It was awkward at the time and I stopped wearing it for a while, until I realized that I truly loved the sweater. Now I wear it, happily. Maybe part of your feelings is that your tastes have changed somewhat, and you don't love them all the same? If that's the case, maybe you could keep a few you really love and gift the rest? Three or four wouldn't be so overwhelming to display either. Congratulations on finally getting them all finished!

Ariadne said...

Oh I love them all! I made the first step and printed the patterns. But I bought them only as downloadable patterns not kits so now I have to find the proper felt fabric. AriadnefromGreece!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Aurelia Eglantine - yes, these were all a lot of work! :) And, yup, the mitten was cross stitched using waste canvas. I'd never used that before and I LOVED it, I definitely need to try to design something using it. That's so funny about your sweater, I think this is a universal crafter problem! xx

Ariadne - ooh, good luck making yours! :)