Saturday Series: Even More Holiday Gift Making Ideas

Hi quilters!  It's Kristin "MissEnota" Schwarze here.

Still stumped for a few, tricky recipients on your give list?  Or maybe you just want to congratulate your gorgeous self on successful completion of shopping/sewing tasks with a little something extra. This year, my ideas are outpacing my production so I thought I'd just brainstorm a little bit and maybe we'll both make something nice.

Minnesota can be a cold place (especially at the foot of the bed!) but even if you're someplace sunnier, a little warmth can feel so good when you're old, young, sick, hurt, or just plain lonesome. Hot water bottles are as low-tech as it gets but that's the beauty of them.  I personally recommend Fashy brand, from Germany.  Well-made, they come in loads of colors, and they stay warm all night long! And because we sew, the sky is the limit for coziness and customization.  

Hot Water Bottle Covers for Everyone!

Fleece, Flannel, recycled garment, Minky/Cuddle, quilted or not... I've assembled my favorites on this Pinterest board and linked them below.  My favorite modern quilted cover is by Rebecca Mae Designs, she has the pattern for sale in her Craftsy shop.   

However, there are lots of good free tutorials already available online as well.  Teresa Down Under has a great stipple-quilted version utilizing fat quarters and bias tape.  Georgina Giles made one from a button-down pajama top.  Rachael Rabbit offers an easy no-quilting pattern with a hand-sewn touch. Esther at Happy in Red has a terrific and clear tutorial for a cover with a drawstring.   I'd love to make up a few of these with funny sayings, animal ears, or perhaps just a name on them.



Pet Bed with Piping

Next, for the pet lovers out there.  A long time ago, when I was a new sewist, I stitched-up a doll mattress and sheet set for a little cradle I found on the curb.  It's one of the most fun and adorable projects I've ever made and as it turns out, the Punkin Patterns tutorial I used for the mattress is by the lovely and talented Vanessa from our own MplsMQG.  We're talking gusseted, piped, covered-button tufted and fully customizable...I said it was adorable.  

I used a simple tutorial for a crib sheet (with finished, French seams) and together, it makes an ideal pet bed for my older cat who needs the cushion and the warmth these days.  The cover is the key because I can easily clean it or switch it out for the seasons.  I'm thinking a larger mattress with something fuzzy and fur-matching for the winter.



What Time is it? Fabric Cuckoo Clock Time

Ever since Tracy wowed us with her Hexie Clock, I've been thinking about making a cuckoo version.  Truthfully, the quilt block can be whatever you want it to be with something to stiffen it up and an added clockworks but I'd just love to make it up with this foundation pattern from Charise Creates.  You could add a couple of chains and pinecones for more effect.  And let's face it, the woodland critter/Black Forest themed stuff just keeps popping up around here so why not embrace it?!




That's it for now.  I'm a bit embarrassed to make a link-heavy post with no projects to show for it but these are my top three favorite ideas in  my sketchbook right now.   I hope they spur you to creativity or bolster your shopping lists, or maybe help you out for some future holiday gift-giving.  If you make one, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!


Happy Stitching!


MMQG retreat

Last weekend was the first MMQG retreat. It was held at Camp Wapo in Amery, WI.


At the retreat, it's just like going to camp, except you can sew and sew all day (and even into the night).  Meals were included so we just showed up at the dining hall at breakfast, lunch and dinner and the rest of the time we were sewing in this beautiful space.


There was room enough for several quilts to be laid out on our "design floors" making it fun to get up and walk around every few hours to see what was laid out.



Fresh Stash Fabrics, one of our guild sponsors, brought along some fabric bundles, fat quarters and a few other things for sale - just in case you needed more fabric.



Not letting anything go to waste on the retreat, all of our fabric scraps were collected to make a little dog bed.


Of course I think one of the best parts was the door prizes!  There were fabulous donations from Moda, Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman, Aurifil, Andover Fabrics, Newcastle Fabrics, Fresh Stash Fabrics, Mini Mushrooms, Crafty Planet, Sewtropolis, Glad Creations and Quilt Sticks.





At the end of the fun weekend, we had a little show-and-tell of what we made there (or worked on).

Rebecca L's


Maria's




Maria's

Back of Maria's

Kristin L's

Kristin L's Sew Together Bag

Vivian's

Vivian's

Vivian's

Vivian's

Vanessa's

Ellen's

Ellen's

Ellen's

Vanessa's

Amy's

Ellen's

Amy's hooded towel

Katie's

Tracy's

Gina's

Gina's

Katie's

Colby's

Colby's

Back of Colby's

Colby's

Colby's

Colby's

Chris's

Chris's

Chris's

Chris's

Lisa's

Lisa's cherry pit neck wrap

NoLisa'sv242013_7851

Next spring we will be joining the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters for their spring retreat (March 21-23, 2014) and the next MMQG fall retreat is already scheduled for November 21-23rd, 2014.  So mark your calendars and so you can join in the fun! 

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