More Christmas Quilt Guild Exchanges

Cool Caddy from Kathi!

Cool Caddy from Kathi!

I love this cool bag that my friend Kathi made for me for our guild’s Secret Santa exchange! The fabric is beautiful. The photos just don’t do it justice.
Secret Sister Santa close-upKathi quilted the fabric using a serpentine stitch with her walking foot. I think it was a technique she learned in a Craftsy class. The hand-stitching is a wonderful accent. She made the straps adjustable so I could decide the strap length for myself.

Our guild has around 100 members. Not all of them participate in the exchange at Christmas. Some years we’ve done a Secret Santa exchange where we knew who we were making something for and some years we just make a gift not knowing who will receive it. Oddly enough, I have been the happy recipient of Kathi’s work on more than 1 occasion.

Needle case by Kathi

Needle case by Kathi

A few years back I received this cute needle case from Kathi in an exchange. I think she said she made it from a towel. She hand stitched the outlines on the cherries and leaves. Inside she put 2 pockes in it and a couple pieces of felt to store pins and needles. A pretty red ribbon keeps it tied closed.

I can’t help but think of a quote from a favorite t.v. show as I look at the contents:

needle case inside view

“Pins and needles. Needles and pins. A happy man is a man that grins.”

Do you have any idea what character on what show said those words? Think about it and I’ll reveal the answer in my next post.

Things that make me smile:

  • Seeing retirees and hearing how they are enjoying life! (This weekend I got to see my boss from 22 years ago and his wife. Even though they are parishioners at my church I usually only see them once or twice a year at fundraisers for local charities)
  • Having breakfast for dinner
  • Hibernating in the sewing room

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

From Handkerchief to Rosary Holder

Sometimes a great gift idea is right under your nose!  The mother of a friend of mine from church passed away last year.  Her mom had quite the collection of handkerchiefs, so she spread them out on a table at the funeral home and let people chose one to take home as a memory of her mom.   Most people probably saw handkerchiefs.  I like to look beyond the obvious.

Rosary Holder made from Handkerchief

Rosary Holder made from Handkerchief

I thought that if I fused some interfacing to the wrong side of the handkerchief, made a few folds, and stitched up the sides… voila!  A rosary holder!

First, cut a piece of fusible interfacing the correct size of the handkerchief, making sure to not to put any under the lace.  Fuse according to package directions.  (Make sure you fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the hankie.)

Set the handkerchief on point with the crocheted corner pointing up.

Next, fold in the sides and press to get a nice crease.

Fold the bottom corner up.  Press.

Sew the sides closed.  If you have an edgestitch foot, this is a great time to use it.

If you don’t want to add some sort of a closure, you can just fold the top corner over, press, and you’re done.  I chose to add a small piece of velcro as a closure.  If you sew a closure on, make sure you don’t sew through all the layers, since you don’t want to close the pockets in the process. (Don’t ask me how I know this!)

IMG_3220

The fusible interfacing is great for giving stability and strength to thin fabrics like the delicate fabric of an antique handkerchief.

I chose this hankie because I liked the detailed crochet on the corner.  When I was done, I stepped back to take a look at it.  Lo and behold, the design that just wrapped around a corner had turned into a heart.  Perfect for a memento to remember a mother’s love!  As an extra bonus, If you are familiar with Catholic traditions, then you know that the rosary is a prayer that we say to Mary, the Blessed Mother.  So it is a memento for Sheila to remember her own mother’s love as well as the love of Mary, the Blessed Mother.

Things that make me smile:

  • creating a special, unique gift for someone
  • touring historic sites – more on this in my next post

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie