Semi-Handmade Gift Ideas

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Does anyone remember the show Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee? It was on the Food Network and I think it came on after Rachel Ray when I was a kid. The general premise of the show was to cook something with half pre-made products and half fresh ingredients. With limited time left before the holidays for gift making, it got me thinking about applying that basic concept to crafty gift giving.

I've pulled together some of my favorite tutorials/patterns and paired them up with ready made gift ideas. There's a mix of my tutorials/patterns as well as patterns by others that I've loved making (and giving) as well.

Make any gift a little more personal by wrapping it in a lined drawstring bag! Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial + Easy Going Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial

Triangular Zipper Pouches

Triangle Pouch Sewing Tutorial by A Spoonful of Sugar
(find my post on making other sizes here)
Pair it with: Any little stocking stuffers you want!

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag Pattern by Sew Demented
Pair it with: Travel sewing supplies, hand piecing/quilting supplies, little stocking stuffers

Cosmetic Pouch
Triplizip Zipper Pouch Pattern
Pair it with: Bath set, manicure set, socks

Sewing Tool Caddy

#10 Caddy Pattern by Sew Can She
Pair it with: Sewing supplies, art supplies

Handmade pillow
Giant Vintage Star Quilt Pattern
Pair it with: Slippers, children's book, stuffed animal

Half-Square Triangle Potholders Tutorial
Pair it with: Wooden cooking spoons, cookbook, baking mix

Small Fabric Bin
Thread Catcher Bin Tutorial by Carolyn Friedlander
Pair it with: Candy/cookies, candle, plant

Mug Rug
Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial
Pair it with: A cute mug and some hot cocoa or coffee

Enamel Pin Banner
Enamel Pin Banner Tutorial
Pair it with: A selection of enamel pins.

Open Wide Zipper Pouch
Open Wide Zipper Pouch Tutorial by Anna Graham
Pair it with: Yarn and knitting pattern, hand soap/lotion

Tote Bag
Workshop Tote Bag Pattern
Pair it with: Sketchbooks and art supplies, quilt kit

Looking for something sweet to make? Here are some of my go-to giftable recipes:

White Chocolate Check Mix
White Chocolate Chex Mix

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

Salted Soft Caramels

Salted Caramels by The District Domestic

Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies by Peace Of Cake

Cookie Mix

Don't have time to bake? Consider gifting a baking mix of your favorite recipe!

Happy Making!

Quilted Christmas Tree Skirt

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Happy Wednesday! I'm so excited to share my Christmas tree skirt today! I've been having a lot of fun making holiday pieces this year, including the stockings I shared last week: Handmade Christmas Stockings

I have been wanting to make one of these ever since my friend Christina designed it for a swap way back in 2010. A few years later, she released her pattern for it, but I didn't have a tree! Now that we're in a house with room for a full size tree, I finally could make one!

For the fabrics and colors I wanted it to be traditional Christmas colors. I'm not a huge fan of red, so adding in pink helps balance it out for me. I started with this adorable green print from Little Joys by Elea Lutz and pulled blenders in shades to match. For the background and binding I used Le Creme Swiss Dots by Riley Blake in baby pink.

The top actually came together really quickly back in September. Then I let it sit for a little while. I wasn't sure how to quilt it right away, plus I was already worried about the binding!

I ended up dusting off my free motion quilting skills and did a simple doodle loop all over. It felt like it was the right choice for this project and I'm glad I took the time to do it. It took a little while to get comfortable with it again, but it was worth it!

For the binding, I knew I wanted to use the same fabric as the background so that it would blend in nicely. I don't know why I was so worried, the binding went on really smoothly. The inside corners were a breeze and even the inside circle went on easy. I attached it to the front by machine and took the time to hand stitch it to the back.

I love, love, love how this project turned out. It's such a unique design and I think it looks great around our tree. I'll look forward to pulling this out every year!

Happy Quilting!

November Monthly Report

Monday, December 3, 2018

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

At the beginning of the month I traveled to Michigan to teach at this year's Glamp Stitchalot event hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics. I taught at the inaugural event in 2015, so it was really fun to be back again. It was a great time, thank you to all of the lovely attendees, fellow teachers and Pink Castle Fabrics staff! You can see my four samples from my class above.

I got to room with my fellow teacher and friend Amanda Jean at the event, so I knew I wanted to make her a little something! I stitched up a scissor cozy using this tutorial, with some fabrics I knew were right up her alley. This is a really satisfying little project to make, if you haven't made one yet!

Stop the presses, I'm actually knitting again! I have not spent much time knitting in the last year to year and a half. Lately I've been feeling the itch to knit, so I started a pair of colorwork mittens. I'm knitting the Sweet Nectar Mittens. And of course storing them in a drawstring bag. This is one of my favorites, it's the project size (pattern), which is perfect for a project that takes more than one skein of yarn.

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

November Fabric
Used up: 21.75 yards
Brought in: 7.75 yards
Net: -14 yards
Year to date: -29.5 yards

November Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

I am really happy with my yardage in/out this month. I had a few purchases this month while I was at Glamp and also around black Friday, so I wasn't sure how my numbers would even out. I ended up finishing up a quilt, my tree skirt, two sweatshirts and a few other small projects that helped. 

We spent a ton of time in November dealing with our leaves. This tree in our front yard is so pretty all year, but especially right before it looses it's leaves. Just wanted to document it! We're really glad that we've got pretty much all our leaves taken care of until the Spring.

Spent some time over Thanksgiving weekend making a few handmade ornaments. I make these paper star ornaments every year so that I don't forget how to make them. This is a great set of instructions if you're interested in making some too: 3-D Stars Tutorial

George bun! He's as cute and sweet as ever.

Have a great month!