The last week has been a very productive time with gift making for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, babies, swaps...so many wonderful occasions to make things for!
The best news is that I haven't bought any fabric at all - everything is coming from my stash. Yay!
I've used a few tutorials along the way, like this tissue cover pattern from Polka Dot Pineapple. It's incredibly easy!
Lisa's retractable tape measure cover was a wee bit fiddly, but the end result is lovely!
I also intend making felt covered ones from a different tutorial. I'll show you when I'm done.
Do you have Anni Down's book, "In The Life of a Bag"? It has some fabulous small projects inside! So far I have made these notebook covers...
...and a different style of tissue cover.
I downloaded a cute free stitchery from Bird Brain Designs and so far have used it for applique, and for a redwork stitchery...
...plus I'm busy finishing a Janelle Wind design...
...and a gorgeous bird applique hanging by Natalie Ross, 'Flowers In Flight', that I found in an old copy of Country Threads (vol 7 no 8).
My husband is most supportive of me needing time to make all our gifts, as our family goal is to spend less but give more 'beauty' this Christmas/birthday season.
I'm working smart, though! There is a bit of a production line happening, with 4 or 6 of the same item being made all at once. This way I'll have extras left over in the New Year for unexpected gift giving.
In my own design work I'm just grabbing an hour here or there, as I know once all the gifts are made I will have the time I need to work on my own projects. :-)
But here are some sneak peeks...
Some of you have mentioned that I seem to be sewing non-stop. Actually, I do set aside 4 hours each afternoon to work on projects - and if I have time at night I do some hand stitching while my husband does his paperwork from school. My mornings, though, are always spent on housework and running errands.
Since Mr E was assaulted by two school students in September he has been suffering badly with whiplash and the discovery that he has scoliosis of the neck - this means he cannot ride his motorbike. He has twice weekly visits to the physiotherapist and has acupuncture to help with pain relief.
The run on effect is that I spend a lot of time each day driving him and Slicer to work (at different times), picking up Slicer at lunch then dropping him back to work, then picking up Mr E after school, and back to Slicer for the end of his work day. In between I have Blossom working most days and I try to make time to have at least a cuppa with her every couple of days during her lunch break. Next week she begins her distance education and I will be supervising that each afternoon (while I sew).
My family are my life, and I consider it a very real gift from God that I am able to be home-based, thereby being available to taxi them around, feed them, lend an ear in the middle of a long day, help with teaching, and to generally 'care' for them all in the best way I know how.
One of those ways is with the income I make from selling my designs.
I share this because I'd like you to understand that whilst designing is fun, it is also a small, much-needed income for our family, so I must make that time to stitch each day - it's like giving myself work hours.
My fingers have good days and bad - but most days I can stitch easily. The thing that hurts my two triggered fingers and causes them to swell is typing. This is why I'm not blogging as much, and why many of you have noticed I'm not replying as often to emails or comments anymore.
I also cannot take very much weight on my hands and rely on the family to carry things for me.
But isn't God WONDERFUL!!??
Through all this upheaval with my fingers, I can STILL sew!! \o/
And sewing blesses my family. :-)
Have a wonderful evening. Mr E and I are about to have a lovely iced tea and chat a bit before bedtime.
How are you going with making gifts?