A Scrappy Christmas In November


A couple of years ago (could be more) I bought a pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts and made this dog cushion…….

………as well as this block which is yet to be made into anything.

I might make another cushion out of it and put it in the raffle at the upcoming old and disabled doggy fundraiser Christmas Fair, if I get the time.  I think I must have done a similar thing with the first one as I can’t find it anywhere.

Flushed with stitch and flip success, I bought a more Christmas themed block last year but, unfortunately, my Mum suddenly became very ill and such things got put aside.

Looking for a new project to work on with my sewing friend on a Wednesday afternoon, I remembered the reindeer and we started searching through our scraps of brown, black and white fabric – actually quite difficult colours to find as brown and black fabric isn’t something I buy that often  Anyway, we found enough between us and shared out what we had.

The pattern is available here

I must say, it was a different prospect to the dog as those antlers are formed of quite small pieces.  Accuracy is not my strongest point when titchy bits of fabric are concerned and I found trying to keep the seams and resulting larger pieces straight quite challenging which is a euphemism for ‘I undid seams lots of times, had to re-cut fabric on a few occasions and swore a lot’.  No fault of the pattern at all, I must say, but I find working in somebody else’s workroom a bit weird.  For this reason, I’m not that great in lessons or workshops – too many distractions.  I like to have my own things around me and to work at my own pace.   Also, we only meet once a week for a couple of hours and, often,  the project we’re working on goes ‘off the boil’ for me.

Anyway, after a few Wednesdays of plumbing the depths of my Anglo Saxon vocabulary, it was done.

But what to do with a pieced reindeer head I hear you ask.  I’m big on blankets around the place but not so keen on cushions or wall hangings – although I have been known to succumb now and again.

Remember the table runner for my coffee table I made from a Tim Holtz fabric selection recently?

Well, I thought I could make a more Christmassy one using the same quilt as you go method as before but with the reindeer head in the middle and various strips of leftover Christmas fabric either side, thereby using up some scraps – and some of my friend’s too as she had lots more than me.

First I bedecked his antlers with some festive bunting.  Not at all because I was trying to hide the fact that my piecing left something to be desired.  As if!

Then I joined scraps of Christmas fabric  in strips of varying widths on to the backing and batting.

Then I quilted it some more using wavy lines across the width and used a double fold binding stitched down by hand on the back as I do on quilts.

So, I don’t think I have any more Christmas scraps left now – I used up the smaller pieces on the binding.  Result!!

It will look quite festive at Christmas on the coffee table – at least the glimpses of it under the usual covering of bucks fizz glasses, mince pies and chocolates  – once the morning’s over it might get worse 🤣

Oh, and I found a felted bead in my stash of ‘things’  – I don’t know where it came from, but I knew exactly where it could go.


Joining in with Kate & Gun’s ScrapHappy Day Challenge which focuses on using up your scraps of fabric/yarn/paper/wooden offcuts/anything leftover.  More details and list of participants here.

Now I must go and convert more tea towels into aprons for sale at the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs Christmas Fair on Saturday 24th.  I know how to have fun.




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  1. #1 by Hila on November 15, 2018 - 09:14

    “For this reason, I’m not that great in lessons or workshops – too many distractions.  I like to have my own things around me and to work at my own pace.” I am like this as well, it’s nice to know I am not alone. Your runner looks perfectly festive. That dog block is so cute. My twins love dogs so I think this is something I could attempt for them and make them matching cushions. All your quilting and home furnishings makes have inspired me to give it a go in the coming year as part of my sewing goals. Thanks for sharing. X

    • #2 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 10:21

      The dogs are my favourite too. That would be a great project to make for your twins. I look forward to seeing you move into home furnishings – you must surely have more than enough clothes by now 😉

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on November 15, 2018 - 09:21

    I love this and I love all the deer in the other fabrics.

    • #4 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 10:27

      I used to make lots of Christmas themed bits and pieces for my Etsy shop but that was in the beginning when Etsy was a marketplace designed for sellers of individual hand made items and not for the Etsy of now which is a different beast. So, that’s why I had quite a few deer around the place.

  3. #5 by The Snail of Happiness on November 15, 2018 - 09:26

    I would not even be able to begin with those antlers, so you have my utmost admiration for even trying.

    • #6 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 10:28

      Well, you’d think I’d have managed better, being a patchwork person and all, but at least I ended up with something presentable enough to cheer up the coffee table during the festivities.

  4. #7 by craftycreeky on November 15, 2018 - 09:46

    Love the deer, your table runner looks fab. I’m probably the opposite in classes, I’m easily distracted by other stuff in my sewing room, or Pinterest…in a class I will just set too and concentrate 🙂

    • #8 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 10:30

      You sound like all the other people I’ve ever done a workshop with. I would say ‘it must just be me’ but I see Hila is the same.

  5. #9 by katechiconi on November 15, 2018 - 11:55

    Your Rudolph runner is fab! I would have found it hard to resist putting a little flashing light thingy on the nose, but I know I’m strange…. Great use of scraps, both seasonal and clever. And workshops? I’ve never done one; lack of opportunity, and a sneaking suspicion I’d be a very bad participant, asking awkward questions and thinking I knew better. So perhaps it’s best I work all alone, quietly at home, and find my community onlline.

    • #10 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 12:37

      Strange! I won’t hear a word of it 🙉
      If I tell you that, before I made the bunting, I went into the shop to see if I could find a string of teeny tiny LED lights to weave through his antlers, you will know you’re not alone.
      I could find one, by the way, but came to my senses. Although, nipping back to buy it, hasn’t been completely ruled out.

      I went to a workshop with my daughter once and she told me off afterwards for asking so many questions.

      • #11 by katechiconi on November 15, 2018 - 13:31

        We find our own online….

      • #12 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 17:22


  6. #13 by claire93 on November 15, 2018 - 12:02

    I think your deer table runner looks lovely . . . a few glasses of xmas cheer, and you won’t notice the antlers (which look fine to me!)

    • #14 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 12:29

      Very true – I will use that as my excuse this year. Should I need one.

  7. #15 by mlmcspadden on November 15, 2018 - 13:35

    Lovely table runner! Great use of the felted bead for the nose. =) And I love the aprons you’re making to sell.

    • #16 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 17:23

      Well, once everybody had a tea towel, it seemed like the logical next step. Once everybody has an apron – where next? Probably a new tea towel design and we can start over.

  8. #17 by Lilbitbrit on November 15, 2018 - 16:21

    Your sewing is so creative and beautifully detailed and finished.

    • #18 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 17:25

      You are too kind but thank you 🙂

  9. #19 by Shirley on November 15, 2018 - 17:02

    that looks lovely

    • #20 by tialys on November 15, 2018 - 17:26

      Thanks Shirley. I may well be starting to get – just a little bit – in the festive spirit now.

  10. #21 by kathyreeves on November 15, 2018 - 18:12

    I love your red nosed Rudolph!! I never minded participants’ questions when I was teaching workshop. I always thought it gave everyone a fuller understanding!!

    • #22 by tialys on November 16, 2018 - 17:25

      Some people must annoy the hell out of you though mustn’t they? You don’t have to answer that if you feel it might damage your reputation as a kind and patient teacher 😇

  11. #24 by thecontentedcrafter on November 15, 2018 - 18:48

    Ha, I know how you feel about taking classes – I am always completed distracted and over excited and completely unable to concentrate. I stopped going and now learn off good old YouTube 🙂 I don’t know how you do that tiny piecing – I can only imagine the mess I would make! I love your idea for turning him into a Christmas runner and I love your tea towel aprons – what a splendid idea and of course the fact they are made in my favourite colours doesn’t influence me at all 🙂

    • #25 by tialys on November 16, 2018 - 17:24

      I’m thinking of doing a Christmas giveaway for one of the aprons. If I ever get round to it – you will see it on here before too long.

  12. #26 by magpiesue on November 15, 2018 - 19:17

    I can totally relate to your workshop experiences. I’m part of that club as well. The dogs are adorable. Good use of Christmas prints and a stray felted bead. 🙂

    • #27 by tialys on November 16, 2018 - 17:23

      So many people are agreeing with me about workshops, I’m amazed they get any participants!

  13. #28 by Nanette on November 15, 2018 - 20:09

    I stay away from workshops and classes too! Great table runner, and inspired to stick a felt ball on his snout.

    • #29 by tialys on November 16, 2018 - 17:22

      I was glad to find something useful to do with it. I have a green one too – one day I’ll find the right place for that.

  14. #30 by mariannasew2pro on November 15, 2018 - 20:54

    They are all cute! Lovely designs and good idea to make a festive runner. Christmas is partially about bringing out the favourite family decorations and the deer can have his debut this year and many happy returns in years to come.

    • #31 by tialys on November 16, 2018 - 17:21

      The old Christmas decorations are getting older and some are falling apart but new ones are never the same are they? It amazes me how long the batteries last in some of these things. With my usual excellent taste I acquired, at some stage in the past, a little Scooby Doo in Santa outfit which moves its limbs when you switch him on and sings ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ followed by ‘Deck the Halls’ in Scooby Doo’s dulcet tones. Every year, it still works and, if I’m honest, still makes me laugh.

  15. #32 by anne54 on November 15, 2018 - 22:39

    Clever you! A table runner is the perfect solution, and it has used up all your Christmas scraps. That’s a perfect reason to buy more Christmas fabric! I think you should go for the LED sparkle on his antlers 🦌

    • #33 by tialys on November 16, 2018 - 17:16

      You know, I think I probably will.

  16. #34 by KerryCan on November 16, 2018 - 13:18

    That turned out great! I love that fabric with the red on white, white on red silhouettes of deer! As far as little mistakes go, I take that attitude of “if a man, riding a horse in a snowstorm, goes by at 30 miles an hour and doesn’t notice the mistake, it isn’t worth worrying about!”

    • #35 by tialys on November 16, 2018 - 17:16

      A friend of mine always says ‘a blind man would be pleased to see it’ which is probably horribly politically incorrect but, like your saying, I sort of have to stop and think what it actually means for a second or two.

  17. #36 by Connie Butner on November 16, 2018 - 14:49

    The deer is so cute! And such a great use of that piece! It looks great.

  18. #38 by CurlsnSkirls on November 17, 2018 - 04:57

    Get the fabrics! Get the lights!
    I also nix classes for many of the same reasons.
    Enjoy! Enjoy!! EN-JOY!!! ☃️ 💕

  19. #40 by katechiconi on November 17, 2018 - 08:44

    How about a Christmas in July table runner; Rudolph with leaves and flowers in his antlers and a green nose….?

  20. #42 by Postcard from Gibraltar on November 17, 2018 - 12:10

    Your reindeer runner is beautiful, as are your patchwork dogs! I have no idea how you managed those antlers though, they look incredibly fiddly!

    • #43 by tialys on November 19, 2018 - 09:35

      It almost ended up in the bin on several occasions 😱

  21. #44 by colorpencil2014 on November 19, 2018 - 02:54

    Fantastic!!! Love the ‘geometrical deer” and the beautiful fabric: it’s perfect! Cheers, Johanna

  22. #46 by dezertsuz on November 21, 2018 - 21:45

    Well, isn’t that the cutest thing? I think it’s wonderful you make something without knowing what you’ll do with it, and then the final stitch is done on a great thing like this! Cute bags, too.

    • #47 by tialys on November 22, 2018 - 12:57

      Thanks Susan – it was nearly a cushion but I thought a table runner would use up more scraps.

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