Handmade Holiday Gifts 2019

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Happy Wednesday! Before we get too far into January I want to share the gifts that I made for the holiday season!


First up, a piece of wall art for my Brother! I dyed this piece of fabric using the ice dyeing method. I've experimented with this technique quite a bit lately, but haven't shared much. This was one of the pieces I was really happy with! I knew I wanted to stretch it like I did my Improv Pieced Wall Art that I made over the summer. I built the frame the same way, but long and narrow to fit this piece of fabric.

Interested in ice dyeing? Dharma has a great tutorial: Learn how to ice dye



Next up, I made a duffel bag for my Dad! This was actually for his birthday, which is in December too. I made him a pillow for Christmas, which I shared in my December monthly report. This is the fourth duffel bag I've made from Simplicity #2274 by Studio Cherie. You can also buy the pattern directly from the designer, here*. For this bag I made it the same size as the pattern, but with all the extras I included on the one I made for Michael (see it here) a few years ago.

I used 10oz waxed canvas (color is spiced brown) from ALFrancis*, my favorite source for waxed canvas. Long pull zippers came from Zipit*, I used a double zip for the main zipper. I used 2" black webbing instead of jute for the handles, from Online Fabric Store. I added a removable shoulder strap using buckles from Strapworks.


Finally, I made two grocery shopping totes for my Mom! She liked the style of my Workshop Tote Bag Pattern, but wanted some that were a little bit smaller. I sized the plain tote down a bit for these, and added a small loop of twill to the front and back to hook onto the bag holders at the grocery store.

For this tote I used a canvas print from my Curiosities* collection.


And for the second tote I used this sweet print from my friend Anna's new collection, Driftless*.

That's it! Nothing too crazy this year, but I did manage to leave it all until the last minute so I was rushing around the week before Christmas getting everything done. Which is also why I didn't get great photos of anything. That's just how it goes sometimes!

Happy Sewing!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

2020 Crafty Goals

Friday, January 10, 2020


Happy Friday! Today I want to share my crafty goals for 2020. I have actually been procrastinating posting this list because I don't feel like it's fully finished. Most of my goals are pretty similar or directly carried over from 2019. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I do think I'm missing something. I'll probably update this list later in the month!


If there was a theme for this year's goals I think it would be scraps. I want to focus even more on using up my scraps this year. I enjoyed working with them this year, but I want to take it further!

Sewing & Quilting Goals for 2020

- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target. I'd love to top my numbers from last year and bring in less than 48 yards of new fabric.

- Try to spend 15 minutes a day sewing.

- Complete one small scrap project per month.

- Make a quilt from my lawn/voile stash.

- Make a quilt from vintage sheets.

- Make a quilt primarily from scraps.

- Complete 2 long-term quilt projects (Kaleidoscope, Double wedding ring, HST book quilt tops, All green quilt).

- Sew the Kelly Anorak Jacket (ideally in time for Fall).

Knitting Goals for 2020

- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.

- Finish a shawl WIP (Briochealicious, Daybreak or Hitchhiker).

- Finish a pair of colorwork mittens.

- Knit a rag rug from fabric scraps.

Crafting Goals for 2020

- Complete a vintage crewel embroidery.

- Create a stash of handmade greeting cards.

- Spend more time this year dyeing.


That's it for now! Here's to a very crafty 2020!

2019 in Review

Monday, January 6, 2020

Happy Monday! It's time to say goodbye to 2019 with my annual yearly review. This is the tenth year in a row I've been posting these wrap-ups! See them all here. Without further ado:

In 2019, I finished...

6 throw quilts and a mini quilt.


4 quilted pillows and 2 pillowcases.


37 lined drawstring bags!


4 zipper pouches, 4 tote bags, a duffel bag and a wallet.


10 needle minders, 7 pincushions, 4 mini #10 caddies, an ironing board cover, a pin banner, and a scissor cozy.


An oven mitt, a heating pad cover, a table topper, a bed for George and 2 pieces of fabric artwork.


A hooded sweatshirt and a wiksten haori.

2019 Fabric Stash:
Brought in: 48 yards
Sewed up/destashed: 155 yards
Net: -107 yards 

For information on how I track my yardage, see this post.

In 2019, I knit...

A hat and a pair of fingerless mitts.

2019 Yarn Stash:
Brought in: 395 yards
Knit up/destashed: 821 yards
Net: -426 yards

I released two new patterns this year:
https://www.jenibakerpatterns.com/product/lined-drawstring-bag-expansion-pdf-pattern
Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern


Snack Size Pincushions Pattern

I also wrote a number of informational tutorials:

All About Pincushions


All About Quilting with Double Gauze Fabrics


Orphan Block Sampler Quilt Recipe


How to Cut up a Button Down Shirt

And now, a look back at my 2019 crafty goals to see how I did:

Sewing & Quilting Goals for 2019

- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
I'm very happy with how I did on this goal. This was my fourth year tracking my yardage in/out and I feel like I've really hit my stride. I brought in less than 50 yards of fabric the entire year and I ended the year down 100+ yards. Can't wait to continue this in the new year!

- Make sewing a daily habit, even if it's only for 15 minutes.
This did not happen. I think for next year I need to come up with a specific project that I can work on in little pieces, every day. I'm inspired by Cheryl Arkison's morning make to really make a better effort on this goal in 2020.

- Complete one small scrap project per month.
I managed this every month (and sometimes multiple projects) except December! I got too busy making gifts and forgot to make something. As someone who historically hasn't been great about using scraps, I'm very happy with my progress on this goal. Another goal I'll be focusing on in 2020 too.

- Finish or destash four long-term WIPs.
I finished three long-term quilt WIPs, so I feel pretty good about this goal. I worked some on a fourth, but just didn't build enough momentum to finish it.

- Make a quilt from my chambray stash.
Check! I made Michael a quilt for his birthday from all chambray, you can find it here: Chambray and Denim Flying Geese Quilt

- Sew four new garment or bag patterns, ideally one per quarter.
I did okay on this goal. I wanted to make larger items, but ended up completing this goal on a smaller scale. I sewed up Aneela's speedy vinyl pouch pattern, Anna's minimalist wallet pattern, Jenny's Wiksten Haori, a quilt as you go pouch from Svetlana's book That Handmade Touch* and I made a pillow from a block pattern from Emily's book Modern Quilts Block by Block*.

- Practice a new skill (like hand-quilting, applique, y-seams, curves)
I gave hand-quilting and applique a little try, but didn't give either much attention or practice.

Knitting Goals for 2019

- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
The only knitting goal I met! I did manage to decrease my stash this year.

- Finish a shawl WIP (Briochealicious, Daybreak or Hitchhiker).
I am not sure I even picked up a shawl project the entire year.

- Finish a pair of colorwork mittens.
I didn't finish these, but I started a pair and I have both outside mittens knit except for the thumbs. So definitely over halfway done since the linings will knit up really fast!

- Knit or crochet a softie.
No progress on this.

Crafting Goals for 2019

- Complete a vintage crewel embroidery.
Didn't complete one, but I did start one. Little progress, but better than nothing.

- Weave a table runner.
I put my loom back together, but did not weave at all.

- Make wooden ornaments with the Cricut.
I made two! a start with a floss design on it and a George bunny ornament.

- Create a stash of handmade greeting cards.
No progress on this.


I'll be back to share my 2020 crafty goals later this week!

Happy New Year!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

December Monthly Report

Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy January! It's time for December's monthly report. See past reports here.

Took a couple photos of my Giant Vintage Star Quilt in my sewing room recently, it's such a happy quilt. Find the pattern here.


I spent most of the month prepping for the holidays, including make a number of handmade gifts! I'll share the rest soon, but for now here is a pillow that I made for my Dad. This churn dash pillow matches a quilt I made him a few years back: Deer Sparkling Cider Quilt. It also matches a star pillow I made for him earlier in this year, so now he has a pair to go with the quilt.


It seemed fitting that the last project I made in 2019 was a pair of matching lined drawstring bags. This is the project size from the lined drawstring bag pattern, my personal favorite. These were for Michael and his Sister, made from this cute cherry pie fabric that once belonged to their grandmother. I have a good amount of the fabric left, so I'll probably make a picnic table cloth or something with the rest. The accent is from my Mom's stash (I made them in OH while we were visiting) and I picked up a blue solid to match for the linings.


I managed to finish a quilt among all the other things going on! My scrappy pineapple quilt is now finished. I took photos while I was home visiting, so I'll be sharing those later this month.


To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I track my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track here. Here is how I did in December:

December Fabric
Used up: 23.75 yards
Brought in: 5.75 yards
Net: -18 yards
Year to date: -107 yards

December Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: -426 yards

Brought in a little fabric this month, almost all of it was used for gift sewing, so I feel okay about it! I was hoping to finish up a knit project over the holidays, but it just didn't happen. Hopefully I'll finish it this year!


Early in the month we had quite a bit of ice, I had to capture everything covered in it!


I made a new sweet recipe this season, Cinnamon Harissa Caramel Corn. It was surprisingly simple to make and really good!


George the bunny, looking so handsome!

I'll be back next week to share my 2019 wrap up and 2020 goals!

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