I finally took the sewing machine to Marseille for her service, and she's back home again with a clean bill of health. That out of the way, I couldn't put off the Christmas gift sewing any longer.
I'm not doing much this year. It can be a lot of work and stress at a time of year when there is already enough extra work and stress going around. And I know I could have easily had these all done in October, but what can I say? I was too busy galavanting around the south of France taking photos and making the best of the good weather!
Also, and the crafty types who visit this blog will know exactly what I mean, handmade gifts aren't always the best road to take. I myself love them. As a crafter I can see the time, thought and effort that went into them, and I particularly love it when the giver has taken my tastes/interests into account.
But not everyone appreciates handmade gifts. Some people turn their noses up at them and see them as cheap (this makes me laugh so hard, when I think of the money I spend on supplies and material compared to what assembly lines in China pay, but some folks have no idea of the costs of these things). I won't give them a hard time for this - who am I to dictate people's tastes, everyone has the right to like and dislike what they want. But I also won't give them a handmade gift. I will go into a trinkety-type store and find them something, with a very pronounced label, and give them that instead (and boy, is it quicker than making something).
The receiver is happy and therefore so am I. I can think of nothing worse than spending hours - in some cases, days - to make someone something that they will secretly throw in the rubbish bin as soon as they get home. So I choose my handmade gift recipients carefully (at least you know that if you receive a handmade gift from me it means I really, truly love you!)
These little covered books come from Bloom's tutorial over at the Moda Bake Shop. I was going to go all patchworky on them:
But I got annoyed at how my corners weren't matching up. Even moreso as I wasn't even drinking when I made them.
So instead I stuck with whole prints, which I really like because there are so many stunning ones out there that stand on their own. They all also have coordinating linings too, which I think is a classy touch.
The two smaller ones are for the daughters of a lady who has helped me out a lot this year. They are 4 and 8 years old, so I wanted something small, with a little secret inside. (Little girls just love secrets, don't they?)
I made some envelopes to stick on the front pages.
And then filled them up with stickers.
Add some pens, and now all I need is some coloured elastic to make a little band for each one. As soon as the baby wakes I'm off to Eurodif to grab some.
What else? I whipped up a quick boy quilt mat top with the leftovers from my sister's baby's quilt. This one went together a whole lot quicker. I'll be backing it with a single piece of material, in keeping with the quick theme.
Now for a little whinge.
Remember this thing? I laugh at how I thought completion was nigh in that post. Ha, ha, ha.
Ay-ay-ay. How long is it taking me to sew it? I've only done four squares so far and there are 24 in total. Plus last night I realised that there are another 16 half squares around the edges to be sewed. Arrggghhh!
Words of encouragement, please?
And also, what do you think about handmade gifts - whether you are crafty or not (which will greatly influence your answer, methinks) Don't forget to tell us your horror handmade gift stories too (have you seen the site Regretsy?). Not all handmade is good.