Other Handmade Christmas Gifts

As I planned and created handmade Christmas gifts this year, I worried that they wouldn’t be good enough.  That they would come off as cheesy, ugly, or even not well-enough made.  A friend recently noted that I am a perfectionist about sewing [paraphrasing], and while that could be misconstrued as a negative comment I know that it wasn’t and it was spot on for me… If I can’t make it look perfect enough to NOT look cheesy, ugly or not well-made, then I don’t want to make it.

However, this year while I was creating gifts I had a lot of time to reflect on my issue with constantly trying to make things look perfect.  All the time I spent on choosing just the right fabrics, starching and ironing them, cutting the pieces out, running to the store to purchase the perfect interfacing and stabilizer (LOVE Soft and Stable, by the way), choosing just the right color of thread, the time spent sewing and unpicking errors then resewing… all that was done because I love and care for the people I made gifts for.

I suppose now is a good time to insert the Fedex Cozies Commercial which reminded me that I am totally in danger of becoming this person!

I gave myself a gift when I realized that it was okay if the people I made the gifts for didn’t care for them, or thought they were cheesy, ugly and not well-made. Mister was concerned about how I would feel if some recipients did not like the gift created for them, or appreciate the time and effort it took to make the gift.  I told him that did not matter to me.  They could throw them out if they wanted (but I didn’t want to know about that!), but in my heart I knew that my intent in creating the gift and the work I put in it was my way of showing people I deeply cared about them…and THAT was what was important.  Hopefully they would see that too, and if not, it was okay.

And that, my friends, freed me up from the stress of trying to make my gifts “so perfect that others couldn’t help but love them”. How hard can one person be on oneself?! Sheesh!

Having said that, these are the other gifts I made this year.  I embroidered a banner for my brother-in-law who makes his own cheese (delicious!).  I wanted to do so much more on this, but unfortunately ran out of time.

Mike's Cheese Factory It's yummy too!

Mike’s Cheese Factory
It’s yummy too!

I made composition notebook covers for five of Mister’s grandkids.  I was going to write a tutorial on how to make them, but I figured there are so many others out there who needs to reinvent THAT wheel?!  I did create these on my own, and actually had to make two test runs before sewing up the actual gifts. I got the measurements wrong by .5″ on the long side and .25″ on the short side the first time.  That was not fun in the midst of a time crunch.  Ha!

Composition Covers.   I really wanted to keep them all.

Composition Covers.
I really wanted to keep them all.

And, finally, I made a table runner for my sister-in-law, Jan.  When I was making the Broken Herringbone blocks for the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone QAL, she commented on a picture of the blue block something along the lines of those being her colors.  So, I had the idea to use that same pattern, but instead of cutting the blocks down to 12.5″, just keep going.  As I was making the runner I realized that the pattern would only go one direction (obviously), and decided to make two large rectangular blocks and sew them together so that the pattern would radiate outwards from the center.

Table runner based off of the Broken Herringbone Block

Table runner based off of the Broken Herringbone Block

Even with my lack of planning my handmade gifts well in advance, I truly loved sewing up these gifts and hope that those who received them will enjoy them. But, I am SO starting my Christmas sewing no later than July in 2014.  Seriously.

Happy Sewing!

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