Saturday, December 24, 2011

In a Jam - Tutorial

My husband and I worked together to pull together these affordable last-minute gifts of blackberry jam wrapped with seasonally-colored kitchen towels to give as hostess gifts and small gestures of Christmas greetings to extended family members.
On a shoe-string budget, we bought the blackberries when they were on sale and froze them until ready to make the jam. Then, we bought several packs of towels for only a couple dollars each and split them up to use as wrapping. In total, we probably spent less than $2 per gift, and I think they turned out pretty cute! Here is a tutorial for how to wrap jam in a kitchen towel making a merry, merry food gift.
Supplies: -Kitchen towel -Small jar of jam -Bakers twine or ribbon -Gift tag
Fold towel in half lengthwise. Then, place jam jar in the center.
Bring opposite corners together.
Repeat, bringing the other two corners together. All corners should be held together.
Cut a piece of bakers twine or ribbon to desired length. I find it better to cut a little longer than what you may need as it's easier to trim later than try to tie a piece that's too short.
Cinch the twine or ribbon around the towel just above the jar lid. Double knot.
Feed the gift tag onto one side of the twine or ribbon until it touches the double knot.
Tie a single knot against the gift tag. Then tie a bow. Trim ends to desired length.
Voila! You're ready to gift your lovely gift.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Future Distractions

We all need a distraction, right? Writing this blog post is a distraction from the mountain of presents to wrap, emails to answer, and gifts to finish sewing. Well, let me help distract you for a few minutes in the midst of your holiday chaos to bring you some future distractions. :-)
These new patterns in the shop by Pattern Patti are perfect beginner projects in a range of styles.
From cute messenger bags and initial applique purses for the little ones in your life to more utilitarian tote bags for going to the market or yoga, these patterns offer quick weekend (or even evening!) projects that give you that feeling of instant gratification.
Cindy, the creative force behind Pattern Patti, is as sweet as can be, and I'm pleased to partner with her to bring her lovely creations to you through my shop! Please take a few minutes to peruse the offering and treat yourself to a future project for post-holiday sewing.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

All is Loud, All is Bright

The whole "calm" thing isn't happening so much around here these days! I feel like I've been running for about six weeks straight. Sun up (sometimes earlier) to sun down (and must definitely later), there is work to be done.
This picture (taken of my Christmas tree with a slow shutter speed) is a little symbolic of the madness! But it's also a beautiful time of year. I'm taking this weekend to slow down - just a little - to soak up the joy and wonder as seen through my daughter's eyes.
Doing some merry making, these Spool Birds made a fine pair of ornaments for the Cincinnati Modern Guild December swap.
And this felt garland tutorial from Purl Bee was a perfect mother-daughter project to adorn our fireplace. I cut out all the circle and put them in a bag.
Then, Olivia sat by me at the sewing machine and got to pick out of the bag and hand the circles to me. One after the other. She liked being "in charge," and the project only took about 1 hour start to finish! What about you? What are you making to decorate your homes for the holidays?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Never Too Many

One of the things you can never have too many of when there's a baby around is bibs. The amount we go through on an average day is really quite remarkable. Having cute bibs around makes the never-ending mountain of laundry a little more tolerable.
Using fat quarters, I was able to make up a matching bib and burp cloth using the patterns in the links.
I backed them in minky, which was really quite slippery and difficult to work with, as I've blogged about before. But, the effect is nice and worth the trouble.
I bought these lovely Amy Butler fabrics from my friend, Amy of Lots of Pink Here. The prints are classics, and I've saved every scrap to use for future projects. Who knows where they may show up next!?