Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

I made gifts for a baby shower recently. The new baby is due to love pink so of course I enjoyed adding pink fabrics to a denim theme.

The bibs are like a favorite pattern I used for our son back in the day. This time I found hot pink bandanas at Farm & Fleet which pleased me! I used a standard bib pattern I found via Pinterest.  Her pattern is turned right side out but I like the frayed edges of the denim so I sewed mine wrong sides together and just stitched along the edge leaving a bit to fray after washing.

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(I have no affiliate sponsors.  I’m just adding the links so you can find ideas too.)  I don’t have more pictures as these came out of the washer & dryer just 5 minutes after I should have left for the party!  I don’t do late.

Snap Source, the best way to add snaps!  Even if you sew only a few things for a child, you have to have a snap setter from Snap Source.  Buy size 16 and you should be pretty set for most projects.  It is great — even after all these years for me!

The travel changing pad idea and instructions came from Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.  I used denim on the outside and a cotton fabric with a light chintz glaze for the inside. I took the denim and a piece of wool batting to my deck and spray-basted them together.  Then it was easier to sew the denim right sides together with the cotton.  After turning right side out, I quilted a few wavy lines since I had added a layer of wool batting inside.

I added a travel pouch of wipes after the photo.

My children didn’t have tag blankets but I’ve heard a lot about them. I sent a quick message to a young mom friend to check on a good size. I say bigger is better and was aiming to about 20″ square as the pattern suggested. However, she said theirs are more 12″ square and big loveies shouldn’t be in cribs anymore.

The cream side is velour and the other side is a pastel yellow flannel feminine print. I added pastel ribbons of various textures.

I also put a layer of wool batting inside before turning. Quilting this on my long arm was a challenge with nothing to load it with so I basted the edges to some straps of fabric. It was the ugliest load ever! (in the form of technique) But totally worth getting a feathered freehand heart!


I made a denim tote for the gift bag and it can be used for toting toys, baby needs, or groceries. I love this size for the grocery. Plus if something spills the totes are easy to wash.  I have this pattern but I really want to rewrite it so I don’t have to rethink it all every time I make one. I’ve made several.  Poorly written directions!

Me with the expectant mom —


I’m friends with the expectant grandmother; here with her other daughter ~


And now we await word on or around May 1st!

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I have a friend that serves with her husband as a pastor to the local pastors in a Third World Country.  The last few years I’ve sent boxes to help them prepare Christmas gifts for the pastor families as well as area orphans.  She has a very fascinating blog and HERE is the specific post about the gift boxes.

I have really enjoyed packing boxes for the Sowers’ ministry as they don’t just drop off boxes, take photos, and leave. They continually minister to these families and children all year long.  They help with area physical needs (feeding centers and building huge cement bridges to replace wooden planks!) and providing training and encouragement to those around them.  I know some of you are super creative in your preparing special boxes per age & gender and family boxes are also needed for the Sowers.  I send a box of needed items and let them fill-in gaps or make new packages from the extras I include.

This year when I saw blankets as a need on the list and saw what a blanket costs (when did I buy a blanket last???), I figured I had fabric, I’d make quilts for part of my box.  I officially took off the week of Thanksgiving from customer work and spent my quilting time make quilts for an unknown loved one in a faraway land.  It was so fun to make from what I had and be able to do whatever I wanted.  I ended up playing quite a bit with my quilting.  Midst the work, my mind prayed for the Sower family and those that will receive my meager gifts.

Of course, that week also had time with the kiddos on Wednesday night and Thursday and extra cooking but I was pleased with all I did on the other days.

This top was started at a guild workshop many years ago.   (Pat Speth author of the Nickel Square books.)   The pieces were cut and two 16″ blocks were finished; like this as they were pulled from the project box.



I pieced the remaining 4 blocks, added sashing and a border.  It is bright and scrappy but not my style when I added in that red/rust sashing.  Is it just me?  I also think the blocks needed 1/4 turns as I went and more blocks and no sashing.  Hopefully someone likes the bright colors.  (I’m pretty sure I could do this pattern again from my nickel squares (8 times???) so I’ll try other layouts.)

Starting quilting ~

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EThis ended being about 50 x 75 or so… a throw or small twin size.   Just right for whoever needs it, I hope!

The next quilt was a pattern I found online after searching for large block quilts.  I love this pattern!  Giant Star  It goes together quite quickly.

I used a collection of fat quarters and some background fabric from the stash.  Scrappy but sort of coordinated…. gold, brown, slight turquoise, etc.


Added a turquoise inner border and used that for the binding as well.

And then I got to quilting… lots of detail and play.  This is all free-hand, hand-guided, idea and then let it go… About 30 – 45 mins per square after I had done a few and 8 1/2 bobbins (my long-arm machine bobbins are quite large)!  I prayed these quilts would bless someone abundantly and bring joy to them.  And prayed for my friend as they raise a family there too.

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This quilt is 81″ x 81″.

The rest of my box included men’s tshirts, toiletries, crayons & coloring books.  I was packing a day after the posted deadline or would have bought a few more things to fill up the box.

Currently, they’ve had some shipping issues (prayers still needed!) but have 2 shipping containers coming.  I’m thrilled and hope it is easy to sort and distribute.  Quite a job from what I’ve heard in past years.  I think it would be fun to go see her and help in whatever way I can but the last bit of me has scary thoughts of the landing… dirt strip?  or ?  or?  🙂   Over our years of friendship, we’ve even learned some unusual connections we have between us… less than 6 degrees even… and that is fun to share.

I enjoy sharing in this way.  I know they will deliver to hundreds of people.  You know what would be cool….. a photo of someone with a quilt.  🙂  Or I’ll meet them in heaven some day.  Cuz I feel sort of connected to the receiver even before they have received.  And next year’s goal, desire, would be to have several done before the deadline!  (If you want to donate a top and/or backing fabric, I’ll quilt it and finish it for free for the gift box next year.)

ETA: This post intent was to show you some quilting I’ve done lately and to see if any of my readers want to help in any way with a box or gift to this ministry.  I’m not here to toot my own horn over what I’ve donated.  It is a joy to me to give this!  I’m not seeking praise.

Blog from ministry website HERE.

Giant Star posted on The Quilt Show gallery HERE.

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I enjoyed having a whole Christmas weekend this year!  Because of our Sunday/25th plans, I was working ahead the previous week.  On Tuesday when Phil suggested we inventory our gifts, I said I’d wrap with his help at the same time.   Wrapping was done on Tuesday!

Once I was home mid-afternoon on Thursday (from swim & errands), I cleaned the house to the point that we’d only need to do quick swipes on the weekend.  Friday was my side dishes cooking day (mashed pots, butternut squash, green bean dish (no carb casserole), and marinated vegetables) and Saturday was my dessert & breads cooking day (homemade crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls, peach berry pie, and apple pie). Both days worked well!!  🙂

I was THRILLED when K called at 1:40 on Saturday that she was nearing the toll road for home!  The business was open until 4 but in a Christmas miracle (from the Jewish boss) she was allowed to leave that early.  JOY!!  She was home at 4, we unloaded her, and then all of us together went to church.  I don’t know when it was that the 4 of us rode together someplace.  JP was off of music duty for the weekend.

Sunday was leisurely (joy of adult kids).  I got the turkey in the oven and then we opened gifts.

K got an assortment of small gifts: hat blocks, I-tunes card, design & inspiration books while JP got a joystick for his IPod Touch and a very cool leather motorcycle jacket!!  (Nina got a new rope with balls attached.  She likes it but only if someone plays with her.)

Phil chose a new TV antenna and I picked out the AccuQuilt cutting system.  We both added other surprise gifts for each other.

Dinner was scheduled for 1:00 with Phil’s parents, his maternal uncle & aunt, cousin, wife, and 2 toddlers.  What fun we had!  K was in charge of decorating the tables and she knocked it out of the ball park!  I was thrilled and have the leftovers to still enjoy.   🙂   We had a buffet table in the kitchen that was also decorated.  (of course, it was even better with the candles lit)

After eating, Phil brought a 2-day old pig up for the cousins to see.

And then the 3 yr old (older one) entertained us with an on-the-spot story about his new pirate ship.   What a gem!!

I’m a newbie at videos so I’m sorry you have to tilt your head.  😀

Phil’s uncle is the orchid expert and brought me a new variety to add to my collection.  I now have 4 different kinds!!  🙂  They all bloom at different times so that spreads the fun over nearly the whole year now.

From looking in the gigantic orchid book they also brought me, I think the new plant is Oncidium Alliance but there are a few others that look sort of like it too.   This is the end of its blooming time and I didn’t get a photo of the blooms first. The plant had 3 large sprays of mini blooms in light lavender w/ yellow centers.   Each bloom was only like the tip of my pinky finger.  Mini!

Again thankful that K had Monday off, we enjoyed us being here Sunday evening.  K & I made 3 kinds of soup on Monday and froze most of it in flat bags for her to take home.  We made Wisconsin Cheddar, French Onion, and Cream of Zucchini.  All were so yummy!!

I’ve spent this inbetween week finishing some quilts, continuing on others, and starting some others!  I’ll keep you posted!  For now, it is time for  another wonderful weekend with both kids.  ♥

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Birthday Bonuses

And then….

Sheila mailed me a package “just because” she is praying for my family and she is super sweet and it just so happened to be right around my birthday….   🙂

Pale pink with a butterfly

Pink & Green lacy

These are the SOFTEST dishcloths I have EVER felt!  Luscious!!

I said to JP, “they are too pretty to use!”  To which he reminded me how much that grates on me when someone says that about my soap.    🙂   So I will use them.  Just had to show you first.

And then…

When K came home over the Long 4th Weekend, she brought birthday blessings too!

A bundle of fabrics by Kaffe Fassett (a designer of bright moderns that I like) from her neighborhood quilt shop.  (I do wish they’d be more friendly to this 20-something customer!! Hmpf!!  If you know them, give them a clue.  :p )

And this ring —

Do you see what it is made from?????



And it is HONKIN’ cool & big!   🙂

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Another Christmas!

Phil’s family gathered on New Year’s Day to celebrate Christmas together at his mom & dad’s.

K was able to do another 22 hour trip home since she had New Year’s Day off.   But she worked until 4:30 on 12/31 so she had a late start.  The roads were clear so that was wonderful!!

(No, I didn’t stay up to welcome in 2010.  Cuz really, in my mind… it felt no different than the day before or the day after and I was t.i.r.e.d!!  Just say “twenty-ten”.  (small pet peeve…)  {that includes YOU, Jason!})

Friday morning, I made a triple batch of cheesy cauliflower.  Some to take for dinner & some for K’s leftover stash.  🙂  We also spent about 1/2 an hour working to de-junk straighten Phil’s office.  (more on that later)

Oopssiee!!  Lost track of time and I had to shoo everyone out the door for Grandma’s!

We had dinner (noon) together.  We are 9 when we all gather.

Then we moved to the living room for the exchange of gifts.

JP & his cousin passed out the gifts to everyone.  It gets confusing with 2 names that start with J, 2 start with D, and 2 start with P!!  And then throw in cursive writing for those that can’t read it and that is why JP helps. 😉

After the gifts, we were expecting Grandma to hand out the 2009 installment of her book.

Instead she brought out shadowboxes for the 3 grandchildren.  🙂  Do you see her large one on the wall (above FIL’s chair) in some of these pictures?  She loves these!

Then she brought out antique rug beaters for Phil & Deb along with the story she had written to go along with it.  She told of her memory of beating the carpets as they hung on the line.  Cute!




she brought out the books.  The first several pages are a running diary of family activities from the year which is always fun (& funny!) to read.  Bob’s last sister-in-law had died in August 2008 so this family history part focused on their children.  She even had copies of their graduation announcements!!

We came home about 4, had supper together, packed K back up again, and she headed back home about 6:30 p.m.  That night we (3) went back to Grandma’s to play 2 more rounds of Killer Bunnies with them.  Even young cousin enjoys playing that game.

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