Archive for December, 2011

More Christmas gifts

I fell in love with these little zippered bags several years ago.  The directions were published in Threads magazine in the January 2005 issue and at the time, I made a few of them.  They were a bit fussy but they came out well.  And best of all, the ladies I made them for loved them!

Fast forward to 2011.  As I was sifting through ideas for my new daughter-in-law, this one came to mind.  She loves purple and I found just the thing in my stash: pieces of royal purple silk velvet, leftover scraps from a prom dress.  I paired the velvet with a metallic gold shot cotton for the ruffle and a pretty piece of cotton batik for the lining.  And then I remembered embossing velvet a few years ago.  So I dug out some hand carved wooden stamps and fired up the iron.  It was slow going since each image is done one at a time, but the results were fabulous.  I finished the zipper with a golden glass fish bead and filled it with a few essentials (nail polish).  I hope she likes it.

And of course, when I showed it to two creative friends, they liked them too.  So yes, I made a few more.  I had enough embossed velvet left over to make a slightly smaller bag like the first one and chose two pieces of cotton velveteen for the others.

Gift tags

Recently, the speaker at our guild was Ann Lainhart.  She presented a trunk show of lovely fussy-cut quilts.  One of the patterns she had for sale was an 8 sided Christmas ornament.  She also brought fabrics that would work well with her pattern and she had many finished ornaments for sale.  I don’t usually indulge in this sort of thing, but the projects were small and her striped fabrics were different.  I bought her pattern and 3 fabric pieces to try a few.

Later, a fellow guild member suggested that these would make lovely gift tags.  I concurred and came home to figure out how to make it work.  The pattern makes a double sided ornament, each side cut from the same fabric but slightly different in orientation.  The gift tag idea makes the fabric go twice as far since they are single sided and backed with plain fabric for writing on.  Also, rather than filled with several layers of batting, I used a stiff Pelon batting.  And I promptly made a play date with my friend to make more.  After piecing 12 (yep, I bought more fabric at the local shops), we got together to finish them off.

Start with a strip of striped fabric.  Large patterns are difficult and require more fabric and some planning.  Smaller patterns are easier.

Cut 8 triangles from each side of the strip.

Sew them together, being careful to match the stripes so the pattern continues nicely around the octagon.
Cut a layer of stiff batting and a back.  Attach a hanging loop and satin stitch around the edge.  Voila!

How time flies!

I had hoped to post some things I’ve been working on for the holidays but the postal service tripped me up.  I had made some little houses for Advent to share with my grandchildren and didn’t want to ruin the surprise by posting before they had arrived.  Alas, somehow the set traveling to Hawaii was sent parcel post.  And even though the inexpensive shipping price seemed incredulous, the postal clerk assured me that was because they didn’t weigh very much.  What she didn’t mention was that it wasn’t first class, which would have arrived in a week.  Even though I had allowed 2 weeks for them to arrive, it took three and arrived the same day as the replacement set I sent since I feared they were in postal limbo and might not turn up until Spring.

Yes, it is true that I made three sets, one each for the two grands and one for the window at the shop where I volunteer.  Needless to say, they aren’t hanging in the shop window and it’s a good thing I had that extra set.  They look so simple but were amazingly time consuming, mostly because there are 24 of them in each set, each one requiring two roofs, a front and back, a piece of interfacing, and a pocket.  Then there are the windows and doors, all different and sewn on individually.  One set had small squares with the numbers written on them and hand embroidered on the back.  The other numbers were stenciled on each pocket before assembly.  Then they were sewn together, turned and finished by hand.  Phew!

Anyway, since they have all arrived and then some, here is set #3, the only ones I remembered to photograph.  The pattern and directions were published in Quilting Arts Gifts magazine.  I chose to put the Christmas story in the pockets.  Each day has a short passage from the Bible so that by the time Christmas Day arrives, the whole story has been told.  After all, that’s what Christmas is all about – the coming of the Christ child.

Wishing you joy as you look forward to His coming.


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