Last year a member of the knitting group I run thought it would be a great idea to set challenges. I am always up for something new in the group and agreed. We now have a challenge every Spring and autumn with a set theme. There are always two prizes at the end. One for an original design and another for adapted. It's intended that people can do any craft they like so long as it fits in with the theme. Tonight was our Spring challenge. The theme was 'My Favourite Things'. There was also an added restriction. Due to lack of space (we were in a bigger place last year) each entry had to be about A4 in size. Of course I am not happy with making things easy for myself. I add the extra challenge of giving myself three days to get it done despite having had three months. I honestly thought I had an extra week but panic hit on Saturday when I realised it was this week. I did the same thing on the last two challenges and actually didn't have an entry for one. Shockingly I did actually manage to do exactly what I had planned all along and I did so in two days.
I decided to make a book bag. Everyone knew straight away this was mine as they know how much I love books. I have made book bags before but with aida and evenweave. They had a cross stitch design on the front and were completely hand stitched. I saw this lovely butterfly fabric in my local craft store. It was sitting aside in a pack all on it lonesome. Clearly it was all that was left of it which was why it was being sold like that. I had to buy it and I knew straight away this was what I was going to use it for. I love butterflies which just adds to the favourite things theme. I also love the colours. This time I decided to embroider a scene for the front. One of my favourite books as a child was "The Secret Garden" by Francis Hodgson Burnett. I would say after reading this I knew I was never going to get enough of reading books. So it was apt that I used a scene which reminded me of this. The tree and the swing in particular. I added some little extra things in there which are also some of my favourites. An owl, a mushroom house to represent fairy tales, a dragon, bluebells, poppies, the colour blue, buttons and a pile of books. I wish I could have got frogs in there but unfortunately the little frog button I had was just too big for the scene.
While I didn't win (and if you saw the entries which did win you would not be surprised. This knitting group are such a talented bunch) I am proud of what I achieved. I did two things I am not really used to doing; used my sewing machine and embroidery. I also didn't follow a pattern. The embroidery I made up as I went with just an image of what I wanted to do in my head. Also my sister loves it and has said she would like one too. I plan to make one with her favourite things as a birthday present.
The question is will I learn to not leave these things to the last minute? I doubt it.