Sewing circle Kris Kringle gift

The frantic pre-Christmas sewing continues.

Today is my sewing group’s end-of-year Christmas celebration. We have a picnic in a park and everyone brings a plate of something yummy.

In recent years, we have also had a Kris Kringle Christmas gift exchange where gifts are left anonymously under the tree and numbered baubles are drawn. In order according to her number, each person chooses a gift from under the tree, and we have ‘rules’ that allow ‘stealing’. It is very silly and a lot of fun.

While on a sewing retreat earlier in the year, I was shown a copy of C&T Publishing’s All-in-One Quilter’s Reference Tool. I ordered a copy online. In fact, it was such a bargain I ordered two copies, intending to give one away in the Kris Kringle.

In addition, I always include something hand-made. This year, I thought I would make a cute scissor fob. I had seen one in a lovely book I bought in October, Made in France, and I wanted to make it. The book is full of gorgeous monochrome cross-stitch and embroidery designs. It was an impulse buy, and I love it.

I have not done a lot of cross-stitch or embroidery. One of the reasons I like Made in France, apart from the beauty and elegance of the designs, is that everything can be done with one colour. You do not need forty skeins of different embroidery threads. You can start small.

I chose a pink embroidery thread from my stash and started stitching. It came together very quickly, and I was so pleased with the results that I wanted to take a photo of the back to show how neat the stitches are. (No such photo exists as I forgot.) There was one obvious problem, however: it was much too large for a scissor fob. My embroidery inexperience had me using 14 count waste canvas (the smallest waste canvas I could find) when really I should have aimed for smaller stitches.

I made a quick trip to the craft shop and came back armed with 22 count Aida cloth. (Have I mentioned how much time I seem to be spending in craft shops lately?) I could have bought 28 or 32 count, but I did not trust my ability to sew stitches that tiny.

Take two! This time in green.

14 vs 22 count cross-stitch

If you needed evidence of the difference between 14 and 22 count cross-stitch, here it is.

Now I had two cross-stitched pieces, I thought I would use both and make the larger one into a pincushion.

I raided my fabric and ricrac stash for materials. At this stage I had only a vague idea what the result would look like.


I hope whoever receives this likes pink.

Ta da! I backed both bits of embroidery with a layer of quilt wadding. The pincushion is stuffed with crushed walnut shells, and to make sure the ricrac stayed in a nice, neat oval, I did the turning inside-out through a seam in the middle of each underside.


So, here is my hand-made offering: a scissor fob and a pincushion.

5 thoughts on “Sewing circle Kris Kringle gift

  1. This is a lovely cross stitch pattern – how interesting to see what a difference the count makes to the size! The rickrack edging is super cute too.
    I am sure whoever received these will be thrilled to bits, I know I would 🙂

  2. These are cute!

    Crushed walnut shells? Does that actually work? I would’ve thought it would be too lumpy. Although I guess it depends on how crushed they are. So, do you eat a lot of walnuts?

    • The finely ground crushed walnut shells are used as litter in the bottom of reptile cages, and I bought a bag of it from a specialist lizard and snake pet shop. I would not have thought of using it if it had not been mentioned in several pincushion patterns from the USA. I think the crushed walnut shells are difficult to find here in Australia. Most pet stores do not carry it. If I hadn’t already been going 60 kilometres out of town to visit a friend in the same area, I doubt I would have made a special trip to the snake shop (which was a very interesting place to visit). I now have a whole bag to use up!

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