Tag Archives: gifts

Handmade Holidays

21 Nov

Hey all! I know we haven’t been around here for awhile. Life has been busy, as usual, and we let things get away from us sometimes.

I have spent a lot of time sewing lately. I participated in my first craft fair (which was a big disappointment), and found out last week that we are finally getting that opportunity to move back to our hometown which I discussed on this blog last summer! So in between packing and purging a ton of crap our family has collected in this house over the years, I have been working on some new gift items for the shop.

These are iPad sleeves that I have been making. I’m taking custom orders as well so if you would like one, please let me know as soon as possible. They can be made in any size with any fabrics!

Lizze made these darling zippy bags too!!! These are so cute and perfect for carrying around anything at all. She made one for me and I use it for a travel sewing kit, but you could put make-up, iPods, use it as a wallet, etc. They are made in several different sizes and she will take custom orders as well.

 

Thank you for your support of buying handmade. It is hard to make a living doing what you love, especially without people willing to support your handmade business. You don’t have to buy from us, but if you buy just ONE handmade item from someone, you make a huge difference  and give the business owner hope and the courage to continue.

Selina

A word about Mother’s Day

6 May

I sure do love The Quilting Gallery!  It’s a wonderful site for quilters that links to blogs from all around the world! (Including ours!)  They often host swaps and host a weekly themed Quilt Contest.  I have entered before (I have made a few quilts, occasionally the meet theme criteria) and have entered again this week!  I’d love to give you a little back story on my quilt this week:

Every June for the past 13 years, Western Washington is taken over by traveling quilters!  For four days, quilters caravan around to participating independent quilt shops for the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop!  If you plan to visit all the stores, you really need all four days!  They range from near the Canadian border to near the Oregon border, from the eastside all the way to the ocean and the peninsula!  It’s a good time and you get a block kit from each store, designed by that store, all in that years themed fabric.

Selina and me doing last years Shop Hop

It’s a good excuse for friends to get together and have a great time shopping for fabric!

Sometimes you can make projects!

Last year Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue had a set up to make little bags for free!  (And demo Berninas…so tempting!) I use my bag to keep my shop hop blocks and fabric in!  It’s such a great time!

When I was new to quilting, I had never heard of shop hop.  I happened to be shopping and saw the store’s block for the year.  It was rainbow triangles with an umbrella charm with this as the focus fabric:

Shop Hop fabric 2006

If you knew my mom, you would know that that just speaks of her! I decided then and there to participate.  I was seven months pregnant and had a two year old, I knew I had better do it now before the kids got to be too big and wouldn’t allow me to go in the future!  I shopped and I hopped (more like waddled), dragging the little one and a husband around.  It was an exciting road trip, and I was able to get quite a few blocks!  Over the next few months I worked on the blocks with no particular finishing project in mind.  I decided to finish the project for mother’s day (I already missed her birthday in October, but I had just had the baby in August!  DON’T JUDGE!) but I would need to add elements to make it bigger. I remembered seeing a pattern while on shop hop at Undercover Quilts in the Pike Place Market of a stained glass (quilt) Orca mom and baby.  I chose the Orca mom and baby because I had babies on the brain, but also because my mom lives on Puget Sound.  It just felt right.  I free cut Mt Rainier and fused it to the sky background, and fused some free cut trees to hide my seam!  I ended up with this:

Northwest Family Quilt for mom

Yes, it’s busy, but that’s the nature  of shop hop quilts!  And she loves it enough to hang above her bed, so what more could I have asked for?  When I held it up to give to her, she gasped and said “My God.”  Which is kind of a big reaction from my mom.  I knew she liked it and that means a lot to me.  I bordered and backed it in tulips for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (another favorite of hers)  and free motion quilted appropriately for each block, as well as waves in the water.

Should you wish to vote for my quilt this weekend, You can find the contest HERE!  Thanks again, and happy Mother’s Day, mom!

Lizze

The Homemade Christmas Gift Predicament

29 Dec

Being crafty is a double edged rotary blade.  We don’t create because we have to, but simply because we must.  I can’t explain what compels me to stress myself out at Christmas in order to make a gift.  It’s not as though there is any sound reasoning behind it, it’s just a feeling you have.  It certainly isn’t that making something is more cost effective.  I can assure you, it is not.  Let me give you an example:

My oldest daughter, Capri, has seen commercials for Lalaloopsie, The Rag Doll Come to Life.  “Mom, can you make me one of those for Christmas?!”  She’s a simple rag doll with button eyes, reminiscent of Coraline.  She looked simple enough to make.   I wondered what the dolls looked like in person, after all, they were only $19.95 on the day after Thanksgiving sale.   It turns out the doll isn’t a rag doll at all.  She is made of molded vinyl, including the “button” eyes.  But, she has a cute story and a  little fabric pet.  I was able to replicate a face for this doll out of fabric and buttons, and planned to get back to it to finish for Christmas.  I completed many other projects before I got back to this doll on the night before Christmas.  I had no idea how to finish this doll, all I had was a face. As it happened, many craft bloggers were doing Christmas giveaways, and one of the crafters I have befriend on Facebook won a doll from A Bit of Whimsy.  Her patterns were exactly what I was looking for, and down-loadable!  I was up until 6AM Christmas morning making this doll.  Granted, I hadn’t started until 2AM.

Is this doll more valued than one I could have purchased at a store?  It wasn’t necessarily less expensive to create than it would have been to purchase.  Hell, one click buying, ships right to the house, arrives gift wrapped…maybe I’m crazy for wanting to make things!

 

I also made the girls pajamas for Christmas.  The doll’s skirt is the fabric Capri chose for her Pajama bottoms.  Not that making pajamas is cost effective either.  The day after Thanksgiving I bought pajamas for $5 at Target.  Tops and bottoms.  I can’t even buy fabric for the pants for that price on sale!

So, I tell myself that I made this doll because it would be treasured, and an heirloom.  But really, who am I kidding?  I still have all of my Cabbage Patch Dolls, Barbies and My Little Ponies.  And they are special to me!  Am I forcing myself to believe that this doll will somehow be more special because I made it?  Does it really matter to anyone but me?

I made my youngest a puppy as well.  It isn’t any more special to her than the Geoffrey Giraffe or Pillow Pet she received.  So, really, what is it that compels me to make stuff?  I think it’s how it makes me feel to give these things.  Every item I create is a piece of me.  It’s my time, effort, patience, frustration and thought.  It may not be conveyed, as I know most people believe a hand made item is somehow more cost effective than store bought (not by a long shot), but I know it gives me satisfaction of giving.  It’s more than the standard Christmas Giving Obligation, but the-thought-that-counts feeling I get from giving my own product.  Here are some of the other Christmas items I made this year:

Capri's Binder Cover

A checkbook cover and pen for my sister

A thread Catcher for my mother

Owld for Selina's kiddos

I know the Parisville bag is loved!

I will never stop making gifts for people I love.  You may ask me for a gift card, but I’m going to make a little pouch to put it in.  Why?  Because I have to!

 

Happy New Year, everyone!

Lizze

Christmas Sewing in Full Swing!

11 Dec

Sorry for being M.I.A. so much recently. This month is completely getting away from me. I can’t believe we only have 15 more days until Christmas! In between sewing gifts I have also been sewing items to sell. I’ll be in the middle of cutting some pajama pants and I’ll spot some fabric out of the corner of my eye. So, I stop making the jammies and start on something totally different. I have no idea why I do this, but it is really distracting!

I have many knit hat for kids, more latte cozies, and some new mug rugs to list. I’m trying hard to stay focused on gift making though so that I have things to give my family. Taking photos of our items and editing them takes a lot of time for me. Especially now that the weather is so gross. I love taking my photos outside. The natural light makes everything look its best. Having to take my pictures inside is not fun. It takes so many more photos before I get one that I am happy with.

I’ve decided that my best bet is come up with a plan of action and write it down on my white board. My plan is this: sew gifts all weekend (and don’t get distracted by pretty fabrics while I’m doing it), take all of my photos for listing on Monday, and put my items for sale on Etsy on Tuesday. I think I can stick to that plan. I feel like taking photos on the same day every week, and listing items on the same day every week might help me be more productive.

Does anyone else that sells items online have a system that works for them? Up until now I have been very sporadic about my listing habits. I’m now at the point where I feel like I need to be a little more consistent.

I’ll share my photos on Monday after I spend the day obsessing over the perfect shot. One post for gifts I made, and another post for items I’ll be listing for sale. Perhaps even a tutorial for an item that can be quickly made if you need a last minute gift and have been slacking like I have!

Selina

Ruined your sweater? Not so fast!!

19 Nov

The "ruined" sweater has a new life!

I have to admit that I am kind of a pack rat.  And a closet hippie.  I don’t like throwing things away that aren’t really ruined.  This Merino wool sweater is one of those things.  I couldn’t bear to throw it out after it shrank in the wash.  It wasn’t even mine!!  So, I saved it and planned that “one day” I would find a use for it, or give it a new life.  That day came this week.

This is a very lean year for me, and I’m making the most of everything!  I had heard about mittens from felted wool sweaters, and I decided this was the time to experiment.

I used the sleeves to make mittens for myself.  I was sure that since I could fit my hand on the space, it would be just fine.  Well, yes and no.  Mitten patterns are sort of L-shaped for a reason.  The reason is, the angle at the thumb puckers if it doesn’t have enough space.  I made it work and they fit me, well, like a glove!

The second pair of mittens were made from the body of the sweater, and are far more generously cut.  Still, I’m left with so much material! The remainder of the sleeves were cut off and turned into coffee cozies.  I have since blanket stitched them in red, but my stitching looks like hell so I will not share the “finished” photo of them. =)

The neck of the sweater is also a finished edge, and I know it fits over my head.  It became a very well fitting hat with ear flaps, as it was a V neck.

Here is said hat

Still, so much material left!  I then made a small hat for a baby or baby doll.  My next project will be to fuse the rest together and cut out wool ornaments!  Waste not, want not, as my grandma always says!!

All out of one "ruined" sweater!

Christmas doesn’t have to be about excess, sometimes it can be humble and still fabulous!

Lizze

Slacking?

21 Oct

It has been quite awhile since our last post and I feel like I have been slacking off a bit even though we have been incredibly busy.  Lizze has been making covers for eReaders (like the nook, kindle, and eBook). These are great for making sure that your investment is protected and keeps free of blemishes and scratches.

eReader covers

Complete with a pocket for glasses or pens

She has also been working custom order wedding centerpieces.  These are placemats or small table runners that have beautiful applique hearts in your wedding colors. It would also make a fantastic wedding gift for the bride and groom and makes a wonderful keepsake.

With wedding date and names

As for me, I have been making a large order of custom market bags. I have also made a new purse/tote that I have yet to list or take photos of. I also have a quilt top done waiting to be quilted. My buyer is coming to pick up her finished market bags tomorrow afternoon and wants to have a look around my studio to see what fabric I have on hand. She may order more bags! My quilt may have to wait awhile longer.

And for those of you who love my Starry Blossoms quilt (the one I worked on at the lake), you waited too long to snatch it up. It sold last week to a local woman who purchased it for her daughters bedroom.

So, have we been slacking? In the blogging department maybe. But in the sewing area? No way! We are in high gear! Christmas is coming and it will be here before we know it. We’re trying to get as much done as we can so we have a large selection for you. But as always, we take custom orders. If there is something special you are looking for just ask us. We’re willing to work a lot of overtime to get you the perfect gift for that special someone (even if that someone is yourself).

Selina