I like to make "thinking of you" items for my sisters, sister-in-laws and female friends. Last year I made scarves and I included knit gloves and a cookbook from a local church.
This year I made the ever so popular microwave bowl cozy...two designs...one with rounded edges and the other square. I made a total of 16 each.
Then I made these cute potholders designed as an apron and then one designed as a pie. I think both came out quite well. I made 16 of each. I was like an assembly line, but the only one on the line!
I did change up the pie potholder...made it bigger and used tucked prairie points for the crust.
I found the ideas in this oh so cute book.
Of course I made quilts. Four of them! I used the same pattern on all 4 so that I could quickly sew up the blocks. Each quilt had 35 blocks so I made a total of 140 blocks and kept them separated into piles with the recipients name attached. The pattern is Square Dance from a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial It sews up fairly quick.
This one was for my daughter's special friend Josh. It's really challenging at times to make a masculine looking quilt.
After making Josh's quilt I realized the quilt was bigger than what I wanted and it took longer to sew together, especially since I had a deadline. I decided to make the remaining 3 quilts a 5 x 5 square quilt. That left me with 10 orphan blocks per quilt but oh well I could use them later. Little did I know that God had plans for those blocks.
Here are the other three quilts for my niece and two nephews.....
Do you see anything different about these quilts? Does the piecing look any different? I pieced them using my serger. I love my serger and love experimenting with different ways to use it but that's a post for a another time.
My sweet 94 year old mother-in-law, Inez, who resides in a nursing home wanted to give gifts to her nurses and other care givers (a total of 9) and 3 lady friend residents. I offered to take on the task of coming up with 12 unique gifts that Inez would be happy to give. I could have easily purchased gift cards but I wanted the gifts to be special and personal for these very important people who are involved in Inez's daily care and life. I thought hard on gift ideas for a couple of days (circa December 10th) while finishing up the 4 quilts...and stressing some about possibly taking on too much in the short time I had before heading south for the Christmas festivities. The Pinterest search began!
Firstly, I found a cute lunch bag with a great tutorial over at the Pink Penguin blog. The blogging community is such a generous and great source of idea sharing and information! Since I strive to be a serger diva, I used my serger for sewing a good portion of the bag! Here is my version using duck cloth. I made 9 in different colors and combinations.
I ran out of time at home and ended up inserting the draw strings on the ride South. I found some fairly inexpensive plastic boxes with lids and filled them with a bottle of lotion, shower gel and a colorful scrounge, hence "Spa in a Box", which I inserted into the totes. Not a shabby gift and much better than an impersonal gift card.
Then I made 12 of these candy sleighs for Inez to give out to her visitors and other staff members. She loved them! I did too and so did everyone else...I should have made more! They were really easy to make and it took about an hour to do all 12. I found the tutorial here. (Yet another idea sharing blog)
Now on to God's plan for the orphan blocks....
I had thought heavily about the 3 resident friends and what I could do! I finally cleared my mind and God entered with the idea of using the 10 orphan blocks from each of the 3 quilts I made for my niece and nephews. I thought some more...what could a nursing home resident use...I thought some more and the idea of wheelchair quilts entered my mind. Another Pinterest search later and I was back at the sewing machine. I found the wheelchair quilt idea here. They are created using 11 blocks each so I just needed to made one more block for each quilt.
At first I added sashing between each block and I felt that was a little long for someone sitting in a wheelchair. But I left it and figured the top could be rolled back,
I thought the quilts could be wider than what the instructions suggested so I only put the sashing on the side of each block for these two and they were a couple inches shorter too. I was much more satisfied with width and length after these design changes. I used flannel for the back as was suggested and didn't use batting in order to make them more of a lightweight throw that could be easily tucked under a body part.
The 3 resident friends loved them and brought tears to the eyes of all involved!
Well...that's it! I accomplished my sewing tasks and stayed sane at the same time. It was a joy giving all the handmade gifts I created this year.