Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hand made Christmas gifts

Photo Calendars for the family from 2010
I have always made Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews to remind them of how much I love them. I could go out and buy them all gift cards, but I am loathe to do it.  I feel strongly that I want to maintain the tradition of hand made gifts. Over the years I have made pillows, pillowcases, fabric bags, luggage tags, photo calendars and mug mats.
The inspiration for the gift usually comes to me at some point in December, and then I work like crazy to finish them before December 25th. I know that is how it goes and I'm used to it. Each year as I repeat my tradition, I enjoy it more, and stress about it less. It always gets done!

This year I decided to make little fabric bowls from my brother's shirts. I wrote about deconstructing his shirts in this blog post earlier this year, and I felt the time was right for me to be able to create something with this fabric. 

I cut the shirts into 1" strips, wrapped the fabric around clothesline cording, and created fabric bowls. (You can read more information about making the bowls here.) I had a bit of an issue with the thread tension when making the first bowl - it was a terrible mess. I had to really fiddle with the sewing machine settings to fix the tension. 


This is how the thread should look on the outside of the bowl. Once that problem was solved, the rest of the bowls were built easily.





I made one flat mat to send in the mail to a good friend of my brother's and hope it will be a happy surprise.

The gifts for the nieces and nephews are bowls made from my brother's shirts, and they are filled with much love and many happy memories. Altogether I wrapped 100 feet of cording to make these bowls! Here's the group of them all ready to wrap!
Did you make some gifts for Christmas this year? 

16 comments:

Gretchen Weaver said...

What a wonderful gift, I am sure it will mean much to your nieces and nephew to receive them. Merry Christmas!

Mary said...

To me Christmas is best "homemade". Love how you think of your Nieces and Nephews and include a memory gift of thier father's shirts. True gifts of the heart! Have a very Merry Christmas. I'll be revealing my "homemade" gifts on Friday.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

great idea for bowls, Merry Christmas

Missy Shay said...

What a great tradition! I try to make some handmade gifts, depends o how busy I get. Your bowls look great!

Scrappy quilter said...

What a wonderful tradition and awesome bowls.

Design Originals by KC said...

Love your bowls! What an excellent gift you have made from special shirts! Amazingly cool ;) I also like handmade and thoughtful gifts over those that are store bought... but gift cards can be nice too! lol Merry Christmas! Kathi

The Cozy Quilter said...

Lovely gifts you have made from your brothers shirts. You will have to show me how to make them. Merry Christmas!

Terri said...

That's a great idea. The bowls turned out wonderfully. Thanks for sharing.
Merry Christmas
Hugs

Deanna W said...

What a great keepsake for your nieces and nephews! I did make a few gifts but unlike other years...they were finished early and sent off. No last minute stressing for me. We have kept Christmas easy this year. Hope you are enjoying your holidays!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Some years include handmade items ... just not every year.

The bowls are priceless!

margaret said...

how nice to make for all the family, have to admit that I am giving money to my 2 daughters and granddaughter when they come for the day on 29th for our Christmas lunch, that is what they want so it makes it easy for me, I will also give Catherine the Tula Pink quilt as that is finished and hope t have complete the CQJP hanging for Helen but think that will be a belated present. They are the only people I give a present to

Frog Quilter said...

I love hand made Christmas presents. Your bowls are beautiful and green as in recycling shirts. Great memories in those fabrics. Thanks for the clothes pin tip. I usually use a pin.

Me and My Stitches said...

What a great idea for some of your brother's shirts! This year I made some Christmas stockings for my brother and his family and my cousins out of my granda's neckties. I think they all really appreciated them!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I love fabric bowls, but, I've never tried to make any.

Kate said...

What a wonderful gift! They all look great.

Candace said...

My brother passed away this year and I have a big box of his shirts. I intend to make 3 to 4 memory quilts from them, but if I have leftovers, the fabric bowls are a wonderful idea. Hopefully, something to be treasured by those who loved him.