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