Sunday, July 17, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange

I signed up for this summer's Handmade Gift Exchange, hosted by the lovely Linda over at Craftaholics Anonymous

I emailed back and forth with my amazing partner Kris and learned a bit about her.  She's a nurse and a mom.  She lives in Tennessee and loves to sew.  She has a couple of the patterns from Sew Liberated, but offered to make me anything I wanted!  I decided on a nice tote bag for bringing things to and from school.  Teachers can never have enough bags!  When it arrived this week, I couldn't believe it - it's so beautiful and so me!
Don't you just love the fabrics Kris used?  I love bright colors and love the patterns she chose for my bag.

Here is a close up of the darling flower pins she added to the bag.  I love that they coordinate, but I could also take them off and pin them on a jacket or scarf as a brooch.  So smart!

She also wrapped the bag up in adorable pink tissue and tied it with lime green tulle.  I wish I would have taken a picture, but I was just so excited to open it that the picture didn't happen.

Here is the gift I made for Kris, all wrapped up and ready to send off.  I made a little ribbon bow and hot glued the wooden martini tile to the center, just as some decoration.  I think it turned out cute.  I tied the gift with twine.

I made Kris two gifts, actually.  I was only planning on making her the oven mitt (see below), but as soon as I saw the bag she made me and the attention to detail she put into it, I had to give her something else as well.  She made the coordinating pins, sewed three pockets inside the bag, chose adorable fabric, and she is such an amazing seamstress.

Here is the oven mitt I made her.  The pattern is from The New Homemade, a sewing book that I love.  It's perfect for novices like me who want to learn about sewing.  It has tons of easy and useful projects - they are perfect for gifts. 

This side is the quilted side.  I now know terms such as "stitch in the ditch" and how to use a "walking foot" for my sewing machine.  I sound so smart and cool.

Here is the other side, with the patterned fabric.  I loved this fabric when I saw it at The Fabric Depot - a HUGE fabric store in SE Portland (it's amazing and overwhelming at the same time!)  I loved the graphic-ness of the polkadots, the cute pink, magenta, and teal colors (kinda retro, right??)  And there are even little forks and spoons on it.  So perfect for a kitchen item.  It was literally begging me to make an oven mitt out of it.

Here is the inside.  It shows the liner is one of the fabrics from the quilted side.  I even made my own binding out of coordinating fabric.  I bought a teal binding tape in case it didn't turn out.  I really need to work on binding things.  It's hard to sew it even and hard to finish it off at the end without it puckering.  Sorry Kris, it's not perfect.

Here is Kris' bonus gift.  I pulled out corks from Oregon wines and made her a cork picture frame.  It was actually my husband's idea to cut some of the wine stained ends off and glue those on.  What a crafty guy!  I think it turned out awesome.
I even made the little sign inside with a free downloaded font.  I wanted the picture to tie in the colors from the oven mitt.

 I hope my partner loves it as much as I loved making it for her!  I will for sure do this again in the future, it was so fun!

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