14 January 2012

finally - the Christmas presents I made

For this Christmas, I decided to make at least one thing each for Adam and the girls, and homemade for all the extended family we were getting gifts for. Here are my results (and this is going to be a long post):

patchwork quilt doll blankets for my 3 big girls, plus two more for cousins. I used this idea as my inspiration for making them. When I was going through a friend's scrap box for another project, I also thought of doing the patchwork - they were 4-inch squares, 4 across and down so about 16 inches square total. You'd want to adjust based on the size of doll you're making it for - we have fairly small dolls.

Adam wanted a fleece liner for his sleeping bag, which is a summer-weight bag but he has some winter camping to do this year with the Boy Scouts (if you can call it "winter" around here). I actually just gave him the fleece in his gift box because I ran out of time, and I sewed it later in the week. But it was done before New Years! I had teased him about getting him something pink and princessy so he would think of his girls back home while he was out camping, and he actually asked (because I was "really" going to get him pink fleece for his sleeping bag) that whatever I got, it not be embarrassing. I tried to find Lightning McQueen or something equally as kid-fun but definitely BOY, but all I could find was Thomas the Train. Eh. I went with soccer balls (on a BLUE background) because my boy LOVES soccer.

Baby got a cloth fishbowl and fish ... which will be played with by her sisters. Inspiration, pattern, and directions here. I did hit a point partway through making the first section of the bowl when I got really aggravated with it. It was a bit more challenging and time consuming than I had anticipated. But then it came together and I thought, "OH! That's how it works!" And I was really excited about it. I'm not saying I'm going to rush out to make a bunch more of them but in the end, I'm glad I did it. It's really cute, and maybe if we have boys later, I'll make one for them out of boy prints instead of all the flowers. No fish in the picture because I have to redo them.

I stole the idea for ribbon boards for the girls' hairbows from a friend. I've seen these boards for photos and other bulletin board uses, but here we go with the hairbows! I had two 11x14 frames that the glass had broken from so they weren't being used. I painted them to be the same color, and made the boards out of cardboard (cut to size from a diaper box), quilt batting, fabric, ribbon, and my trusty hot glue gun. The ribbons are glued on the back, but not tacked down at the cross points like they would be on a photo board. That's where you clip on the hairbows. I made some of these, some were bought, some were given to us.

I got my sister Emily's name in our sibling gift exchange and the theme was "something useful." I had some fleece left over from a baby blanket with penguins on it - she LOVES penguins. It was so her. And the pink was to remind her of us and our PINK girls! I made a hat and scarf for her. I also made a scarf out of the blue fleece that I specially ordered for my sister Tawnia as a sort of thank-you for all the help she gave us this past summer on our family reunion vacation. I was almost 7 months pregnant with TA at the time and was not keeping up with my other 3 kiddos. Tawnia was AMAZINGLY helpful. Anyway, before I wrapped and boxed up the scarves and hat, SM and RG modeled them.

close up of the hat - I added a little fringe on the top. I used a fleece hat that Adam has for my pattern mockup. It was 4 quarter pieces, and then a band all the way around the bottom.

I didn't get pictures of the next three things ... My brother and his family spent Christmas with us, so I made gifts for them. I made a fleece pillow for my nephew. I got the idea from a display at Hobby Lobby - get a pillow form from Walmart or something, cut a big square of fleece for each side, and do knotted edges all the way around. I had boy-print fleece already for my baby blankets that hadn't been cut into yet - blue background with lizards on it.

My 12-year-old niece got a couple of little makeup bags - this is the tutorial that I used. I altered the measurements slightly to make it a little more narrow from top to bottom, and wider from side to side. I had to buy a whole yard of oilcloth because that was the smallest measurement and only used a few inches of it so now I need to figure out what else to make with it. More makeup bags? It's a dark purple background with funky Hawaiian looking flowers on it - orange and yellow.

For Grandma and Grandpa, who also spent the holidays with us, I bought 4 plain white dish towels and had my 4 girls draw on them with fabric markers. Well, the baby didn't do the drawing - I did big block letters of her name and each letter was a different color. That idea came from the Family Fun magazine.

Adam even got in on the homemade trend. He made me a pegboard for the many spools of thread I'm accumulating with my new hobby of sewing. The pegs are at an angle so I can hang this on the wall and still see all the colors on the spools. (I can't figure out how to rotate the pictures in my new photo program - it's very annoying.)

Adam cut (with machine tools owned by a friend from church), sanded down, and painted this wood set for my brother and his wife. The model was a wood piece just saying LOVE that we received as a gift last year from a friend.

And now you have lots of ideas for Christmas this year, or birthdays between now and then, or just stuff for fun!

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