26 Jun 2015

My Big (and Crazy) Fabric Scrap Project

Hello, how about that overdue post about fabric scraps today? I know I’ve been hinting at it and that’s not very nice. But I did actually manage a photo session just before going off on holiday last month. Only bad with that is I’ve done a lot more since these were taken. Oh well, I’ll show you the rest another day. Let’s talk fabric scraps then.


I have a big cardboard box full of small and sometimes a little bigger pieces of fabric that is really not much use for other things than the smallest of patchwork and applique´. I don’t what to throw it all and obviously it does increase after every sewing project I do. So I came up with a little crazy idea after reading about kantha and sasiko, two techniques using the humble but brilliant runner stitch to join layers of fabric together.

The red square above is the first finished part of what I’ve imagined to be a quilt in the future. I’ve done a blue too, of which you can see the start above, and also a green. It takes less time than I thought it would and is very relaxing. Mostly I work on this in the evening enjoying a documentary or an episode of some series together with James. I simply arrange the smaller pieces on a pre-cut square of an old sheet, pin them so they stay in place and then start stitching using the runner stitch making sure I secure the raw edges somewhat. I’ve so far used different types of cotton threads I’ve had at home that never get used otherwise.

The texture is lovely and amazingly soft which actually surprised me. Perhaps one day this will be the summer quilt for our bed, we shall see.

22 Jun 2015

Wedding cushion for Mr. and Mrs. S – My Yearlong Secret Project

Hello! We’ve been back from our holiday in Sweden a few days now. Things are settling down and going back to normal and it is with great relief I finally get to write about a yearlong super-secret project!

This wedding cushion has been my main project for over a year. Ever since my best friend got engaged a few years ago it has been in the back of my mind. When about a year and a half ago she told me they were planning their wedding for this summer it moved to the priority project list straight away. Having had a few redesigns on paper I nailed the final design late spring last year and started the embroidery fully just after last year’s Sweden trip, it was finally completely finished mid-May this year. I’m so chuffed I’ve managed to keep quiet about this cushion and kept this blog alive even when only working on this every free moment I’ve had. Making something for your closest friend can seem quite easy to begin with, but no it wasn’t easy, and in the end I wanted to tell their story more than the story of our friendship.



So to celebrate how they met, got engaged and finally got married I looked for symbols that they could easily relate to. Every element on the front has significance for their relationship (I hope!). They met doing martial arts, they had the Swedish heart shaped waffles when getting engaged and finally they got married in Dala-Floda the home of the flowery wool embroidery you see covering the central part of the cushion. I liked the idea of placing them in this jungle of florals as a way of wishing them a prosperous marriage where they can grow together as much as individuals and of course to remind them of their actual wedding day.





The back is another story though. I had grand plans for that one too but realised quite quickly that I needed to downsize those plans drastically if I wanted to finish on time. The back was always supposed to say something about our friendship, at least subtly. In the end a few birds was what I settled for. Wanting them to have a bit of character and quirkiness but be simple and not as overpowering as the front I mostly worked with lines.

I’m surprisingly happy with the whole cushion and feel like I really did a good job. I almost, but only almost, want to make another big cushion now…

Congratulation Mr. and Mrs. S!

3 Jun 2015

Communication

I thought it was time for another post about life with a hearing impaired child and what we do to make everyday life easier for Freja and ourselves. (No ranting about hats, promise!)

We quite often get the question if Freja will ever speak or if we use sign language with her. Now the truth is we do use sign language, BSL actually, with her, but only to aid speech. Now as I’ve explained before Freja do have good hearing with her aids so is able to access speech sounds very well in good sound environments. That means she will master speech just like any child only perhaps a little slower.

She is already using some verbal words, singing the melody and snippets of half formed words to her favourite songs and generally she is babbling a lot. More and more is becoming comprehensible to us and she is clearly showing us she has great understanding of spoken language, for her age that is. That’s all very good. But a toddler who can’t communicate their need is a very frustrated toddler and that’s where BSL comes in handy.

From very early on we started using signs to aid communication and speech development. Much thanks to the support from speech and language therapy and the support workers of the teacher of the deaf we started with simple things like dog and cat, signs for changing a nappy, for being hungry, for a question and always together with speech. Amazingly when she started to realise she could use these signs to communicate with us it didn’t take long for her to pick it up. For a few weeks she was learning and signing new signs almost every day. Now she will pick up new signs quickly for things she’s interested in. Worm is the latest one!

At the moment signs are her main way of communicating, but more and more there’s words and sounds accompanying the signs. Like she will sign cheese and say cheese at the same time. With time this will change and one day there won’t be a need for signing. Meanwhile it is a fabulous tool to aid communication with a toddler, any toddler, with or without hearing impairment.

For us this has worked well but please keep in mind that there’s lots of ways to aid communication with hearing impaired and deaf children and that sign language as an aid for speech was our choice based on our situation. If you’d like to know more the charity NDCS has a database with loads of useful information or you can just ask.

I’ve written more about Freja’s hearing impairment here.

Om hur vi underlättar kommunicationen med Freja.