Saturday, February 5, 2011

Christmas recap, part 2

mug rugs 2

And now, finally, a continuation of my run-down of the handmades I gifted this year. First up: mug rugs and hot cocoa mix. These were gifted to the four guys I work with in my office. Only some of us give gifts, and I love to do it, but I always try to keep the gifts uniform (or variations on a theme) and give them all something small. Here is a really horrible photo of the gifts I made a few years back. So, anyway, this year the guys got mug rugs made with the same fabrics (scraps of the Folksy Flannels I used for these, plus some gray Kona in my stash) as well as a small jar of my mom's own hot cocoa mix. I was pretty pleased with this idea; it came together pretty painlessly, and the guys all seemed to appreciate the gifts. Bonus!

Nessie bag 2

Next, I made a special gift for my friend Vanessa, who is a neighbor and a longtime friend (from ten years ago already!) and who does so much for us. I knew she wanted a new bag, so a while back, when she took me to Ikea, I had her pick out some fabric. She chose this great wood print, which is an upholstery-weight cotton but is not "canvas"-y feeling, if you know what I mean. I designed this bag myself so that it could be made with half-yards of fabric, though in the end I wonder if it's a little bit too small for my own use? I need a new bag for myself, but have yet to finalize the pattern I will use.

Nessie bag inside

Anyway, for my Nessie Bag, I used a LOT of interfacing: fusible fleece throughout, plus heavyweight for the top bands to help give it shape. I also used fusible fleece in the straps because I thought it would add to the comfort of carrying it around all day. The lining is this great red floral print I picked up at my LQS; it really pops against the black and white of the outer print.

Sophie mouse

Last were the gifts I made for my parents. I knew they were going to be adopting a kitty in early January, as soon as their holiday visit to us was through, so I made a little catnip mouse. I like to embroider these with the cat's initial, but since there was no cat yet, I embroidered this sweet little snowflake instead. (The kitty is Sophie, a 3-yr-old rescue from their local shelter, and it sounds like all three of them are in love! Aww.)

Mom wallhanging 1

My mom had purchased some new art to hang in her sunroom, but needed something else to go on the wall and said she'd like a quilt. She gave me some dimensions to work with, and I decided to make this wall hanging close to the same dimensions as the framed picture she has, only vertical instead of horizontal.

Mom wallhanging detail

This quilt was completely and totally inspired by this one, the elegance and simplicity of which I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. I made mine similarly, using raw-edge applique for the two rectangles on the top, and quilting with straight lines about 1/4" apart. Even though this was a simple project, I really wanted to push myself to make it unique, so I tried my hand at fabric dyeing; the entire quilt is made from the same white fabric, but the tan ones were dyed using coffee grounds, about 8 tea bags, and some red vinegar. I followed the instructions provided by a number of tutorials online. I'm happy with the final color of this, but I guess I'd wished for more variety in the fabric and not such an even color. I have plans for some more dyeing in my future, so we'll see if I can achieve that textured look with my next project.
That covers my holiday handmades! Next up: baby gifts!

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