Tuesday, 16 January 2018

handmade presents


First of all, thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my new quilt. I am glad you like it. I am pleased to report that the quilt is now being used to keep me warm during the night.

Now that Christmas presents have all been opened, I can show you what I made with some of the remaining cut pieces of fabric that didn't end up in my quilt. I made six table mats for my mother. I knew she would like them because being a talented maker herself, she appreciates handmade gifts, and she also uses table mats. I really enjoyed making these, particularly because I knew they would go to a loving home. As I made them, I had to resist the temptation to call them mine. You can see the table mats set out nicely on my mum's kitchen table in the collage above. I think they make a cheerful addition to any dining table. I might make some for us, too.


I was also tempted to do some freehand machine quilting but my skills are laughable despite quite a lot of practicing. You can see the back of a practice piece above. I have no idea how to get rid of these eyelashes in the curves. I was stitching at snail's pace and have fiddled with bobbin and thread tensions a lot. I ended up machine quilting the same chevron pattern as I chose for my quilt. I opted for machine quilting because they table mats will be washed plenty and I want them to last.

I made a make up bag with integrated brush holder flap for Annie. I used this tutorial. It is quite simple but it took me all night to finish. I used a dark denim for the outside and a turquoise cotton with little elephants on the inside. I bought some matching bias binding but it wasn't so matching after all and I made my own with the lining fabric. I forgot to take a photo.

Finally, I made a jeans tote for my sister in law. I used this pattern. On the recommendation of my friend Christine, I made it 20% smaller than the pattern would suggest but kept the straps at the original length. I used a pair of jeans for this tote and the same purple cotton lawn I used to bind my quilt. As with the table mats, I had to resist the temptation to call it my own because I really like it. It is lined and has a zip pouch and some compartments for phone and keys. It is shame that I forgot take pictures!

Do you make gifts? It is a funny thing with handmade gifts, not everybody likes them. I used to make more but now I concentrate on making things for people I know will appreciate the work and care that has gone into a handmade gift. Time is at a premium and I want to use mine well.

The weather is quite frightful here today. I am not risking cycling to work but instead choose to work at home. I am glad I have the luxury of choice. I hope the weather is better where you are! xx




19 comments:

  1. Well done on all the making, you have been busy. I do occasionally make gifts, but as you say, only for people I know will appreciate them. The bags sound excellent, I bet they were well received. CJ xx

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  2. I love the table mats, what a great idea. I do a lot of homemade presents, I think they’re a lovely type of gift. Beautiful day here (at the moment!) x

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  3. I love getting and giving homemade gifts. The idea that someone took the time to make something for me makes me so happy.
    What pretty table mats!

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  4. Just watched the news the weather is looking dreadful where you are so that beautiful quilt will be a wonderful addition. Love the place mats such a lovely gift. I do like to give handmade gifts but these days I only give them to those that like and appreciate the time and love that has gone into them.

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  5. I love everything you made. You're very talented, Christina. I would make more handmade gifts, but most people in my life do not appreciate them. My husband and children do, so I make things for them whenever I can. I adore handmade presents, they're my favorite kind to give and receive.

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  6. I love the idea of little patchwork table mats! I've been looking for some for our house and haven't found any I like enough yet! Yours look really good.

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  7. Those mats are gorgeous! I love the colours.

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  8. Hey Christina,
    I was about to scoff and write, me? Make gifts? seriously!! But then remembered that yes I do! Edible gifts that is. This year, I made elderberry brandy, sloe gin, pomegranate liqueur, Christmas cakes, mint chocolate bark, biscotti, shortbread and apple and fig chutney. I made little hampers for family members. It gave me a lot of pleasure. Most of my gifts were also hand made, but by other talented people such as yourself. I bought them from craft fairs and the like.
    Leanne xx

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  9. Bravo on the placemat for your mother's table, they look very nice all set up like that. I think you should make some for your family, too! Your statement about not making things for people who don't value you them hit home for me. I once made my older sister a hand-thrown, then fired, then glazed and hand painted then fired again planter. When she opened it she said.. "How much did the clay cost? When I make a handmade gift I spend $20 on the kit." I was shocked and hurt and traumatized by her words. See, she had informed the family that we should spend $20 on a gift and thought I'd undercut her. Sheesh.

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    1. Oh my goodness, if someone gave me a gift like you made for your sister, I'd he thrilled! Her reaction says something about her, not about you or your gift, really....When I was young my best friend drew me a beautiful tree with all these intricate branches and a poem about friendship in her pretty handwriting. I was disappointed because I was immature in believing that the amount of money spent was an indicator of how much the other person cared about me. I wish I'd known better. Looking back, it was the sweetest, most thoughtful expression of love. It was her giving of herself. I hope one day your sister realizes the smallness of her thinking.

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  10. The table mats are beautiful, I think I would have been loathed to part with them too. I think homemade gifts are the very best sort of gift but I know not everyone shares that view. My mum got a pair of hand knitted socks this year.

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  11. I'd rather have home made gifts any day. My side of the family regularly do it (my mother is an excellent sewer and one of my sisters makes fabulous things with wood) but my husband's family just don't get it, so I very soon gave up spending my time and energy making things for them.

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  12. Those table mats are a genius way to use up those last few scraps or quilt block rejects. I do make gifts but yo learn who to make them for over time! Jo xx

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  13. Those placeemats are so bright and cheery Christina - love them! I bet your Mom was thrilled.

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  14. love your table mats so pretty.I also make gifts,but like Jo said you learn who will appreciate them and those who don't have a clue.Most of the people I make for are makers themselves.Happy making,and the weather is just "Awful" here in Cornwall but we are used to it.x

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  15. The gifts you made are lovely. Those table mats are very cool. I love gifting friends and family with handmade presents.

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  16. Hello Christina, I am so happy to have found your blog. I love the table mats that you made. They are so pretty and a wonderful way to use those small scraps leftover from other projects. Yes, I make a lot of handmade gifts, our family believes that handmade is the very best. You cannot make a gift without putting your heart and love into the project.
    I am your newest follower. Please come visit I am celebrating my 6th year of blogging with a Give-A-Way.
    Your newest blogging sister,
    Connie :)
    P.S. If you ever figure out how to avoid those eyelashes in free motion curses, please let me know. I have had that problem, too.

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  17. I love that you make things for those you love and they actually use them. I fear much of what I make is not used, well by me either if I am to be honest. Those place mats are so incredible. The colors are so bright and cheerful on the table. I would love them if they were mine. You are so wonderful at creating my friend.

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  18. I love the placemats.
    We don't do much gift giving except to the kids and doubt they'd be into anything handmade.

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx