Are you like me? All year long I keep a running list in my head of things I'd like to make for my family for the holidays. This year though, because I haven't been able to meet up with friends or more distant relatives at all, my goal is to make some small but useful gifts, just as a token of "Hey, I miss seeing you!"
Well, it's December, and as my dad often said, "It's time to fish or cut bait." So, let's go fish.
I'm one of those crafters who dreams big, and I've learned two important lessons--scale back and get organized--that keeps me on track.
Scaling Back: So while in my perfect world I'd love to make and give hand-embroidered linen napkins and cozy lap quilts, I recognize that it's December and that's just not going to happen. Instead, I'll scale back to include projects that I can batch sew and are made from beautiful fabrics.
Organization: I'm a list person, so I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my gift projects, the necessary supplies and tools, and recipients. This helps me keep track of purchases, too, so I'm not over-buying fabric or notions. Here's a shot of my google spreadsheet.
Here is a link to download an excel copy: Click Here
Here is a link to download a printable PDF: Click Here
Once my spreadsheet is done, I then gather my fabrics, notions and tools. It's at this point that I make sure I've got the right sewing machine needles and would bobbins, and that all my tools (seam rippers, snips, shears, rotary utter, special presser feet, etc.) are together, and that if any of the projects uses a pattern, it's printed out and ready. Now I look for holes and buy only what I need.
I put all my supplies in trays on my worktable--this tray is set up for these coin purses I'm making out of vintage quilts. I've got my samples, zippers, corner-turning tool, the old quilts cut to size and notebook all at hand.
This year I've narrowed my project list to three gifts: a catch-all tray, reversible tote bag and woven placemats. Over the next few weeks, I'll document each project. Follow along, and you'll be certain to surprise some friends and family with thoughtful hand-crafted gifts this year.
Here is the first project!