Thursday, January 06, 2011

holiday handmades

I was a little less ambitious this year, in terms of making gifts. I didn't go crazy and plan to make something for everyone I know (although the snowfolks were cute, the time factor was not). Instead, I played around a little bit with my sewing machine when I first arrived and in the process I made some small, quick table runners and mats. Then I had plans to make an apron -- which morphed into making FIVE! So the crazy ended up happening anyway, and the planned 2 nights ended up being a week of steady evenings of stitching. But enough about what I made....what I really want to share are the lovely handmades that I was fortunate enough to receive....

I received the quilt top centre for Christmas 2009....and my mum finally got around to finishing it up for me this year. We looked at a lot of fabric to choose something great for the border and the back when we were in Vermont last fall, and shortly after we got home, she got to work and sewed it all together. My new quilt is gorgeous and it was definitely worth the wait!

Although my mum has made many quilts over the years, this is the first one that she has ever taken to a long-arm quilter. But it's definitely not the last! She had it quilted by Sue at Quilted Dreams (located inside Gone Quilting on the main street in Huntsville). Compared with tying, the difference is incredible -- it just takes quilts to a whole new level (similar to leather handles vs. fabric ones on hooked purses....). Mum is already at work on another big quilting project, maybe for one of my sisters...?

My mum is not the only talented one at their place, though. My dad had a fully equipped workshop and for the first time in a couple of years, he got busy and crafted some wooden gifts for Christmas. My footstool was made out of a very old, very large yellow birch from my parent's property. The spalting patterns are very interesting -- and very cool (even if they are essentially caused by the wood rotting). In addition to being beautiful, I also think that it might be one of the most funcitonal things he's made for me -- it's not too big, and the height is perfect for a footstool (and it can also sub for a small table).

Wendie already blogged about our little get-together before Christmas.....but what she didn't share was what she made for me. These slipper boots are very comfy -- and also importantly not slippery. Wendie modified the pattern a little and sewed on the bottoms of some inexpensive slippers with no-slip soles. Cushy. Cute. Safe. And, as you can see from the bits of wool fluff clinging to them, they have been well worn already! ;-)

Last, but not least, I also received a set of pouches from my Auntie Betty. AB is a fabulous quilter and is trying to use up some of her 'stash'......and I am grateful to receive any products of this purging. I'm not quite sure yet what I will keep inside, but I'm sure they will all be filled before long, and I will be wanting some more.

I'm very lucky to have such talented - and generous - family and friends.