Monday, April 16, 2012

Question of the Week - Thoughts on Handmade Gifts

One of the things associated with modern quilting, is the making of handmade gifts. I used to sew all the time when my boys were little, and I was very involved in tole painting. I gave a lot of handmade gifts, and I enjoyed the process of choosing a project, gathering the tools, and constructing something special for the recipient. I participated in a Secret Pal group at church, and I made something on a monthly basis for my partner. I would wonder if these gifts were "good enough", as I was the only one in the group that didn't give store bought gifts. When the secret pals were revealed at the end of the year, my partner announced to the group that she'd never enjoyed a secret swap as much as she had this one. She did a little show 'n tell of everything I'd made, except for the cookie mixes, and talked about how much she appreciated the time and effort I'd put into things I'd made. As my kids got older and I got busier, I quit making gifts. The kids are now on their own, I have a little more time, and I'd like to get back to the joy of making things for my friends and family. 

Where do we go for hand-made inspiration? The internet, of course! There are so many books on the market which focus on small, easy-to-make gifts, that I'm totally baffled about which book(s) to start with. 

Do you make gifts for friends and family? What is/are your favorite book(s) or resources to go to for handmade inspiration?  


  1. I do not and have not made any gifts bery ofton. I found for me that I could make a quilt or do nothing much easier. Not a good attitude but that been my experience. I tresure the many hand made gifts that I have recieved, as I know the gift of time and talent is of greater sacrafice then a gift card. I also enjoy the hand written thank you notes and cards that I have recieved over the years

  2. I have made quilts, table runners, aprons and potholders for family and friends. I have a favorite Vanilla House pattern for the aprons, and a few of my gifts have been from Terry Atkinson's patterns because they're practically foolproof. ;-) Otherwise, I match the pattern and fabric to the recipient, like the Bento Box quilt I made for my sister's Asian-themed dining room.

  3. I started getting Stitch magazine about a year ago, and there are lots of small projects included in each issue. If you set up your Stitch magazine to auto ship, you'll save a couple of dollars on each issue.

  4. Favorite gifts is quilting of course, with so many items to give away that are appreciated, One is the binder tote. Everyone of us crafters use those white binders to store info in, this pattern covers the binder and adds handles for easy carry like a purse.

    I then go to food, tole painting and any hand made items.

    The book I found to be most useful and a favorite for all folks men or women, old or young, is a set of 3 "Gifts in a Jar" books that was offerend on QVC tv station. There is so many kinds of book sets with different items to give breads, soups and holiday etc... Its using jars or canning jars for recipes to give away. Along with giving the actually tags inside or book sets as the gift. The recipes help one make a easy meal and teach someone to cook!

    **sorry couldn't figure out how to post from Facebook with pic etc....

    1. I had the "Gifts in a Jar" set for years! I wonder if I still have them in a box somewhere? They were great references for handmade gifts! Thanks for the reminder!