Christmas Tree with Tied Yarn

May 30 2008yarn-tied-on-2The idea for this tree has been

running around in the brain for a long time.

I didn’t have any idea how much yarn might be used,

so when I found green yarns in Spotlight I bought up big,

and started making the tree with about 48 balls of assorted yarns

in the stash.

The trunk is a broomstick, there is the usual wire and beads, held sort of upright with a pile of five books.

It took three very long days to tie on just 22 of the 48 balls of yarn.

This is about the most boring task I have ever set myself.

However, I knew after half a day the tree was going to look OK.

The only problem I have with the result is that I don’t want to add too many decorations because the tree itself looks so good.

5 ft 6 in (66 inches 0r 170 cm)


Here is a run down of how I filled in time in 2008.

All completed projects are listed, along with a start list!


Not one quilt completed!

The first year since I started quilting that no quilts have been completed. Some hand quilting, some designing, some new projects started, just none completed.


Broomstick Snowman



Timber T Tree

Cardboard Cookies

Iris Garden as BOM

Fairy Nice


Broomstick Buddies

Southern Stars

Faux Feather Christmas Trees

Mini Patterns

Calico Candles

Champagne Poppers

String Wreath

Bennie with a Beanie

Chunky Chicken reprise in Patches April/May

Christmas Trees

Balancing Balls plus Spray Paint

New Species Tree No 1 Lurex Yarn Faux Feather

Timber T Tree

New Species Tree No 2 Faux Feathers

New Species Tree No 3 Faux Fur Faux Feather

Tie it on, Fabric 6 ft

Tie it on, Yarn 5’6”

Loopy Crochet 3 ft

New Species Tree No 4, 2 tone Faux Feathers


Paper and Paste x 100

Card cut-Ups x 100

Pencil Topper Snowman x 6

Mini Wooden Doll Snowman x 6

Painted Snowman

Wadding Wrapped Snowman

Cardboard Cookies x 40

Plastic Cookies x 40

Beaded Dangles x 25

Bears and dolls torn out of magazines x 35

20 Snowballs (white pom-poms)

Tinsel alternative, 1 ball white Feathers yarn

Over 370 decorations so far!

Arty Farty Books

Popsicle People Patterns

Plastic Cookies Pattern Book

A Guide to Bear Making

Words of Wisdom Purple Edition

Words of Wisdom Plain Brown Edition

House of Toys

Also Rans

Also started the following projects.

Southern Stars quilt top started and finished in June, 2008

5 x Balancing Ball Snowmen

Christmas Trees

5 x Balancing Balls

Hand quilting Bush Garlands 2

Strawberry Patch quilt started


Sampler Album

No, not ‘Sampler Album Quilts,’

that’s a real soft cover paper book.

This is my first Fabric Book


August -November 2008

Soon after I got tangled up in the World Wide Web I joined the on-line group Stitchin Fingers, then joined the Fibre Book group which is one of many sub groups within Stitchin Fingers.

I decided to make a textile book, and started looking for bits and pieces to use rather than start from scratch.

The one thing I was looking for was a ‘page’ of crazy patchwork I did while we lived in Snowtown in 1988, when I belonged to the NYP Quilters, and one of the members, Doris Kennett, offered to show us some of the basics of crazy patchwork.

While looking for that I found some experimental blocks I made up while trying to work out what to do next while making ‘Nigel’s First Formal’

Two of those would fit on a page.


The search also turned up a cross stitch of a native violet which I had forgotten about, and though it was a bit big, it would become another page.snippets-21

I wanted to include a sample of one of the mini cross stitch kits I designed and packed to sell at craft fairs in the early 1990s, and most had been glued onto the pages of a folder with all the designs and requirement lists, but one had been missing when I put the folder together.snippets-41

I found the sample of crazy patchwork, but by now I was on a roll, so kept looking to see what else would turn up.


I opened an unlabelled shoe box. and found a heap of Stringpetts, little dolls I had designed with string arms and legs, which had never been finished. Three of them would fill a page.


Another box held some leftover fans made up but not used in ‘Fans for Midori”, and one of them was trimmed to fit on a page, along with a fabric brooch made about the same time as that piece of crazy patchwork.


A tin contained leftover bits and pieces of several fused applique projects, and I found parts of three different projects which could be used together,. to make a very original design, using a waratah flower from ‘Bush Garlands’ along with leaves from a William Morris Workshop tutored by Michelle Hill, joined together with a strip left over from my original design ‘French Onion.’ quiltsnippets-12.

A bear which didn’t fit on the ‘You Can’t Have Too Many Bears’ wall hanging was joined on the inside of the back page by a doll prepared for hand applique leftover from the still unfinished 3D dolls quilt, a raw edged heart not used on a series of dolls which held their hearts in their hands, and another heart cut from a scrap of a machine quilting practice piece.…….snippets-6

The scraps of wadding were starting to run out, so a handful of buttons was added to each page, and samples of furnishing fabric became the covers.snippets-7

It was joined together with a stitch which I think I invented which allows the pages to open flat, with beads between the pages so that it doesn’t bulge instead of sitting flat when closed


This is my first fabric book, but it won’t be my last. I will have to do a button sample book, a fabric sample book (like the ones we did in Home Ec. at school), more sample books with future finds (after I fill up the backs of the pages of the first one perhaps), special edition pattern books, a photo album printed on fabric, lace sample book, a book of stitcheries, ………..

all the materials for these are in the sewing room just waiting for me to use!

Santa and Sack

christmas-cave-oct-2008-059-5This was a very cheap Santa sack I got in the after Christmas sales, when it was even cheaper, but it was an awful sack with a very sub standard back.

The back was used as the backing, but it really needed the wadding to add some body to the whole thing.

Santa’s Advent


Purchased panel with fabric trims fused to felt and cut out to hang on the tree.

Balancing Balls Christmas Tree

Would I try this again? Maybe, but without the paint!

(I have since tested acrylic paint on styrofoam and it behaves much better!)

The idea of three graduated sized styrofoam balls stacked on top of each other seemed simple.

But how to get a hole drilled though styrofoam, and how do you keep the hole centred.

Eventually I settled for punching smaller holes in opposite sides of the balls and gluing in a short piece of dowel to construct the tree.

Then I was ready for the paint job.

Found a can of spray paint so this was going to be easy!

Sounded good until I started spraying, thankfully outside!

The surface of the balls started bubbling and became a gooey mess! Who knows what toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere, but I decided to finish the paint job anyway as the balls would have been a waste product as well if I stopped at this point.

An hour or so later I found that the surface of the balls hard to the touch and looked a little like the surface of a green moon

So I went ahead and decorated the tree by using straight pins to attach an assortment of charms, many of which were supposed to be used on stemmed glasses to identify them in a crowd. The gold number one on the right of the photo below is a pin created by Holden, the Australian car makers to celebrate being the top selling cars in the country and it was presented to all their workers ….. and one of their workers is our son. There are also a few earings and a packet of tiny stars produced for the scrap book market.

This tree also appears here.

House of Toys


Another arty farty scrap book, this time in the shape of a house.

Inspired by some odd shaped scraps of heavy cardboard.

The outer walls were painted with a coppery mix, the inside walls are whitewashed, while the roof was painted gold, then crackling medium before a coat of green.


The windows and door are torn from magazines,

the pots are scrap booking embellishments.

The toys are torn from magazines and catalogues too.


Thereare some toy embellishments too.

The pages are held together with rings made from heavy jewellery wire, with some acrylic yarn holding two keys.


And room for a story to be added by the futue owner.

Words of Wisdom – Arty Farty Book

The Purple Edition

Yet another arty farty book, using some paper scraps on scraps of cardboard. A present for Lyn Fullgrabe, but will left it untrimmed so she can add her own.

A Guide to Bear Making


A Guide to Making Bears


Who needs help from a Friend?

I printed the story of

making my first bear as an arty Farty book just for fun while I had the flu.

(I was way too sick to clean the bathroom or vacuum the floor!)


Then I told why I wanted to make that first bear.


The printed pages were glued to heavy cardboard.


The heavy cardboard pages are painted with brown acrylic paint.


I added the story of how Monty came to live with us when I had it nearly ready to put together with rings made from heavy jewellery wire, and I trimmed it with a few bear buttons.

New Species Christmas Tree – Faux Feather

new-species-4-aFaux Feather tree made with

Faux Feathers yarn in the continuing story of working out how much yarn is used and the best way to put them


I carefully planned this one to go in our bedroom decorated with the Family Jewels, decorations which are really just all the broken bits and pieces of jewellery donated by several family members.

Only one piece of jewellery was specially purchased as a decoration, and that is a rose wreath brooch..

Turned out well, but it is too tall to go on the chest of drawers, so back to the drawing board to work out where it will go.

Made in May 2008

55 inches tall (140 cms)

Used five balls of Patons Feathers yarn, two light, three dark.

New species Christmas Tree – Loopy Two

loopy-twoI bought the yarn for this tree in 2002 when I worked out how to do

loopy crochet and made the first loopy tree.

I intended making another in this yarn for the Christmas in July Exhibition, but ran out of time.

The beads were on a bracelet I found in Cheap as Chips that same year.

Was looking around trying to find something different to stand this tree up, and then found Plaster of Paris in Spotlight.

There are marbles in the Golden Syrup tin to add extra weight, and they were given to me at a Hi-fibre Retreat at least five years ago because there was some suggestion that I had lost mine!

(I’m not going to argue that point!)

All the pieces finally came together in May 2008.

43 inches (110 cm) tall

New Species Christmas Tree Fabric Foliage

fabric-foliage-no-1I tried to work out how much fabric was used for the tree made in 2002 and decorated with sewing collectables , decided it was all too hard, so made another tree with fabric foliage.

The trunk of this one is the curtain rod which was in the passage way at Kadina.

The beads came from an old car seat cover which I pulled to pieces many years ago because the beads might come in handy one day.

The books came with us from Kadina, but had to buy the wire from Bunnings.

The fabric includes three lengths of print from Bridge Agencies, two plains out of the stash, and part of a doona cover found at the Op Shop in Millicent.

I thought I may need about 15 metres for this tree, but used less than 7 metres.

fabric-foliage-closeupThe tree is 6 ft tall

But only 16 inches wide.

April 2008

Christmas Tree Makeover


Refurbished one of the original 2002 trees which had white fluffy foliage and a tendency to fall over. It is now more stable and has green fabric foliage.

Beaded Dangles

new-species-no-2-trimmedLast day of March, 2008

At long last, I got out the beads and used some of them to make enough decorations to put on the New Species Christmas Tree No 2.

This was going to be my January project,

but by leaving it until now I have a tree to put the decorations on.

(25 dangly things)

Bennie with a Beanie

bennie-and-painted-peteTwo Styrofoam balls, scraps of wadding and some yarn add up to a cute snowman.

Bennie is the one on the left, the other one is Painted Pete.

Cardboard and Plastic Cookies

My favourite kind of cooking!

March 2008

I wanted to take photos of the cardboard cookies on the Timber T Tree, but found that the ones I used on the Shed Trees were bigger than the patterns in the booklet, Cardboard Cookies, and too big to use on the new tree anyway.

So back to the drawing board, to make enough to decorate the new tree.

While looking for cardboard I found some lovely gold cardboard, which I bought as a box full of bonbons, so made some of the new shapes from that.cardboard-cookies-gold-foil-cardboard

(16 decorations, too big for the tree they are on!)


In the ‘Cardboard Cookies’ booklet

I suggested using plastic milk bottles,

so thought I should at least try the idea out.

(I made 30 plus decorations)

This in turn led to another arty farty book with the pattern included and samples attached.


And the Timber T Tree is still to be decorated.

New species Christmas Tree No 3

new-species-no-3Faux Fur Faux Feather tree

55 inches (1.37m) tall

The trees are getting bigger.

I had three balls of faux fur yarn to crochet over the wire branches.

I had to keep cutting more wire for branches, and by the time I had used up most of the yarn I was beginning to think the yarn was stretching.

There are 12 rows, with four branches in the first rows,

gradually increasing to seven in the last row.

The rows are a little further apart too, so that larger decorations can be used on the bottom of the tree.

Started in mid February, 2008, completed within two weeks.

Scrap Timber T Tree

timber-t-treeDuring a creative moment in January 2008 I went looking for a block of wood in the shed for another project.

Instead of the block I found a piece of a timber on the woodheap which had been used for transporting pipes.

Brian cut it in halves vertically for me, and I drilled holes, added oddments of dowel cut to length, and found just enough beads in the macramé jar to go on the ends.

Purchased 3 shelf brackets, and hey presto, a tree to go in a narrow space.

Plan to decorate the finished tree with trims which used to be on the Shed trees which were dumped when we left Kadina, but the branches are too close together, so will have to make another set of decorations.

New Species Christmas Tree No 1


In 2002 I made Christmas Trees for a Christmas in July exhibition, and sold quite a few, gave others away, and kept a few favourites. However, I didn’t take any notes about how much yarn I used, or wire, or anything else. I may be able to teach workshops, but first I need to be able to tell people what to bring, as well as modify the methods I used to make them back then!

The Family Jewels

The stack of books originally held up one of the original trees, but the trunk was too thin, broke and the tree now hangs on the wall.

This time the trunk is much thicker, the tree is taller, and the yarn is totally different!

There are 9 rows of 6 branches each, with double crochet worked over the wire branches before they were attached to the trunk.

The foliage used about 130 grams of yarn, there are 55 beads, and about 4 metres of wire, which should have been more to make it easier to put together.

Planned to decorate the finished tree with trims made with the family jewels or decorations made with beads, including snowmen, angels, tassels, stars and beaded ball. There are a few family jewels, but most of the decorations have been  collected or made using beads.

New Species Christmas Tree No 2


Feathers yarn Faux Feather tree

One ball of Patons Feathers yarn, a stick, some wire, beads, a piece of fabric, glue and an old book.

This was simply an experiment to find out how far a ball of yarn would go.

Started in January 2008 and finished a couple of weeks later.

20 inches, 55 cm tall