Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Gift Bag Collection

One of my personal Christmas traditions is making fabric gift bags to wrap presents in. As usual, I used Jeni Baker’s Lined Drawstring Bag pattern. This year, I started by making a few Artist Bags, and then made Project, Everything and Snack Bags with the leftover scraps and yardage. That system worked better for me than starting with Everything bags made from fat quarters, as I seem to use up the bigger bags the quickest. In addition to the ones I finished in November, I made seven bags in December, for a total of eleven bags. While they all turned out lovely, next year I’d like to make more, and sooner in the year. By the time December rolls around, I find myself knee-deep in festive activities with little time to sew. I still have a stack of Christmas yardage on hand, so that should be an attainable goal.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Linen Cocktail Napkins

After Plan A for handmade Christmas gifts bit the dust, I needed a Plan B, and fast. Remembering my mom’s recent interest in handmade napkins, I decided to try out Purl Bee’s Linen Thanksgiving Napkins. Given the amount of linen in my stash and the number of recipients I had in mind, I decided to make 10” cocktail napkins instead of 16” dinner napkins. Pulling sixteen fat quarters didn’t even make a dent in my stash of quilting cottons. Once the fabrics were chosen, I set to work. Less than three days later, I had four sets of four cocktail napkins ready to gift.

For my mom, who shined the light of inspiration on me, I used Sun Print Feathers by Alison Glass.

For my mother-in-law, whom I treasure dearly, I used long-hoarded Lizzy House fabric from the 1001 Peeps line.

For my grandma, who taught me the value of using color boldly, I used Jeni Baker’s Color Me Retro fabric with coordinating colors of Sketch by Timeless Treasures.

For my husband’s grandma, a fellow quilter who feeds my Christmas bag-making addiction, I used some of my favorite Christmas fabric by Kate Spain.

This tutorial was so easy and so much fun to follow! I genuinely enjoyed making these napkins and will keep them at the top of my list of last-minute handmade gifts.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Christmas Hexagon Trivet

Of all the projects in Patchwork, Please!, I thought that the Happy Hexagon Trivet would be my favorite. Originally, I had intended to make one for most every person on my Christmas list. In the end, I counted it a success that I finished one at all! While I think that it’s a very cute design, I am still not sold on paper piecing as a technique. It’s just so fiddly with all the folding back of the paper and whatnot. I made things unnecessarily difficult for myself as I misplaced my copy of the book, and so had to muddle my way through the binding without the benefit of Ayumi’s instructions. Of course, I found the book during my post-Christmas decluttering of my sewing nook. At least I know what book to reach for next time I need to bind a hexagon!

My hexagon trivet was made with scraps from the Christmas gift bags I made this year, so most (but not all) of the fabric is from one or another of Kate Spain’s holiday lines. This project would be a great scrap buster, for those of the paper piecing persuasion.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fresh Sewing Day: November 2013

Well November was a resounding success! I finished not one, but two quilts that had been long-standing WIPs. On top of that, I managed to make a few gift bags for birthdays and Christmas. I had better start churning out even more bags, because Christmas will be here before we know it! 

Lily's Quilts