Now for those of you snickering into your cup of tea, I'll remind you that the word 'muff' remains the term for a handwarmer or hand cosy, whatever other tawdry meanings it may have acquired in modern usage. Thank you very much.
A few weeks ago I received the best request ever. A dear friend of mine, Melski, owner of cold hands and warm heart, asked if I'd make her a muff.
As soon as it was requested, I knew in my minds' eye just what I wanted my hand cosy to look like. There is in fact a patchwork muff project in the book Denyse Schmidt Quilts,which I own and love. I followed the pattern, which gave clear dimensions and construction tips, but encouraged a very free and approximate approach to laying out the fabrics and designing the outer layer.
Just my type of project.
It was a joy to riffle through my fabrics and find what I was looking for. The bulk of the fabrics are kimono offcuts, which I offset with scraps of brown linen and suiting fabrics. I played a bit with layout and then foundation-pieced the strips onto some muslin - a useful new technique to learn.
I went for a lining of red fleece and four layers of wadding, which hopefully will keep dear Melski's hands just that bit more snug.
Of course it wouldn't be a handmade gift without the label hand-stitched on as an afterthought!
Dear Melski, who said bad circulation couldn't be stylish?