The other night, after a hot and humid day of spring housecleaning, I poured myself a long cool glass of ginger beer and settled in for an hour on the laptop looking for wonderful gift ideas to share with you.
In the midst of this I pondered a most common question which generally shakes up my 'little grey cells' as the calendar rolls further towards Christmas each year.
"What should we give him/her?"
Mr E and I discussed this dilemma over breakfast the next day and as we reflected back over our own childhood Christmases it became obvious that 'then and now' were vastly different.
The only gift receiving times all year were Christmas and birthdays so we thought very carefully about what went on our wish list. Gift giving outside of those two celebrations were rare.
But today as a general rule most people purchase what they want, as they want it, for themselves and their children. That's a big reason as to why gift giving has become such a headache.
Many of us already own what we want.
And that, dear girl, is where the whole concept of making gifts comes to the fore!
My family and friends cannot buy what I can make them. Sure, they might get a similar generic factory made copy I suppose, but not the real deal.
Not a "handmade and stitched with heartstrings" personal gift from my hand to theirs.
So that's going to be a focus here on the blog over the next two months.
A couple of times a week I'll share a blog post with ideas from others and the odd one of my own.
If you'd like to add my *homemade stitched with heartstrings* button to your blog and join me in making as much as we can ourselves this Christmas that would be wonderful!
You can download the button HERE to pop in your blog sidebar with a link back to my blog.
I'll be carrying this theme on into 2016 as well, but more about that will be shared on the blog in January.
Now let's kick off *homemade stitched with heartstrings* Christmas 2015 with these (fairly) easy to make projects...
The Northern Hemisphere will be wrapping themselves up in warm woollies come December, so I thought these Simple House Slippers would be a grateful gift for just about everyone in your family or friendship circle.
They are a free pattern by Simone from Denmark on Ravelry.
Download it HERE...
I've been an admirer of Kerryanne English for years and love her shabby chic style designs. She recently shared a tutorial to make these sweet scrappy hearts.
Naturally they have been added to my sewing list for Christmas giving and also for hanging in my own home.
This table runner by Amy is a quick make so I'm thinking it wouldn't be difficult to spend an afternoon sewing three or four from the scrap basket - that's quite a few pretty (and thrifty) gifts at once!
Another terrific scrappy idea using leftover fabric bits and pieces is this bag by Ashlee.
An idea would be to scour op-shops for old weathered bags that still have usable (and detachable) handles, or maybe you have a bag already which is long past it's 'use-by' date but has perfectly suitable handles.
With a new baby arriving in our family next year I went hunting for some useful (and pretty) gift ideas I could sew.
Like THIS fold up clutch-style change mat tutorial from the Bernina website. It easily fits into a hand bag or could be kept in the car...
This is another cute clutch, but without the change mat. It stores nappies (diapers) and wet wipes. Wish these were around when I was birthing my bubbas!
Tutorial from Cheri can be found HERE...
Orphan fat quarters are perfect for whipping up a stack of baby bibs!
HERE is a very simple tutorial for a basic no-knot bib from Delia.
You could add applique across the front or an embroidery...
If you're joining in why don't you leave a comment below with your blog address so my readers and I can visit you?
In your *homemade stitched with heartstrings* blog posts over the next two months share what you've personally 'stitched with heartstrings' for Christmas as well as great gift project ideas you find on the internet, and include the *homemade stitched with heartstrings* button each time.
What fun for all of us to visit each other and be inspired?!
I'll also add your blog link to my sidebar under the *homemade stitched with heartstrings* button until Christmas Eve.
I'm pretty sure this is going to be fun, don't you?
Happy handmade sewing!