Saturday, December 18, 2010

Homemade Gifts

I didn't vanish off the face of the earth over the past few days, I've been buried in the craft room working on a last minute project for our nieces/cousins. You see, we had this grand plan to get the girls each a bracelet and make three of them a ribbon message board. Only, when we went to get the picture frames I couldn't get what I was after and instead of stressing out and running to a hundred different stores I suggested we revamp our plans. The guys wanted ideas and when I suggested a covered slightly quilted notebook cover I'd seen they agreed that it was a grand idea.

So, with a 9 days to go until Christmas, and we'll be visiting with family on the 24th, so that really only left 8 days, and we still have to finish off our Christmas baking before then.. Yeah, there was a bit of a scramble around here to get it all done in, but it happened!

They are really simple, and I deviated a little from the instructions, and oddly enough despite using the exact same measurements and having the exact same notebooks they all came out a bit different too. Weird, huh? My guys were especially keen on all the colorful ribbon. Morgan loves that bright rainbow ribbon and has used it a few times on his own craft projects, I honestly can't remember where on earth I got it from though!

I ended up doing a quick search for some fun little embroidery patterns because I loved the effect of her altered journal cover. Unfortunately my store didn't have the ric-rac I was after, so I skipped that part.  Anyway, after searching done some simple and fun patterns we selected one we felt matched each person, or that we thought each person would like the most. It was a tough call and I still have a few patterns left that I'll have to find something to do with because they are really sweet!

I managed to stitch this one up yesterday afternoon while listening to an audio book. I'm not super happy with the purple flowers at the top, but the overall effect is nice and I loved the bright colors. Hopefully the receiver will as well. I had some cute egg material on hand that I used to make a quilted patch up the back of it, but I didn't get a picture of it. I found the bird pattern here.

So these monkeys are for the same monkey lover we made the cake for. I hope she enjoys them. I added the polka dots on the hats because otherwise the hats didn't look quite right. I added that same quilt strip up the back of it too. I envisioned some of the cute sock monkey material I've seen on craft blogs, but I've yet to spot any in my craft shops. You can find the monkey pattern here.

Is that bear cute or what? Morgan was slightly disappointed that the bear wasn't colored in and didn't really like it "plain". He loves color so that didn't surprise me too much, but hopefully the child receiving it won't mind. I ended up adding the blue ribbon with invisible thread because I thought the front needed a bit more of something.

Here's the back of it. So, the quilt squares might not seem like much, but they all meant something to me for this particular person. The grass and rock is a fat quarter I picked up to make a block for a school quilt based on the book Going On A Bear Hunt. The turtle material was used because the receiver is also asking for a turtle, and the bear material was.. well bear like considering the cover! You can find the bear pattern here. You will ignore all those threads I clearly need to go and snip, won't you?

And here's the last one. I do believe the girl on the cover is meant to be singing, but it took me a few minutes to see that myself. It's just that I don't think she has a giant pink nose and all, you know? I dunno, maybe she's screaming because a bird is sitting on her head, but the bird is awful tranquil looking for the girl to be screaming. Anyway, Mr S swore this was a perfect fit for the person we made it for and I went with it. (Believe it or not, the person receiving this was the flower girl in our wedding.. now she's driving and babysitting our kids.. makes a person wonder where on earth the time went!) I ended up pulling out some buttons shaped like flowers that I had instead of embroidering billions of flowers on the cover. I'm hoping the buttons won't make it hard to write on the left side of that notebook! Where I couldn't fit buttons close together I did 3-4 french knots to look like a flower bud.

I love the way the quilting on this one worked out because it wraps all the way around the book and runs up the side. If you open the notebook the bottom strip runs inside of it onto the flaps that help hold the notebook in place. All though, Morgan was convinced I'd made it into an L shape on purpose because the young lady we're giving this to happens to have a name that starts with an L. I didn't do it in purpose! I just needed something to fill in the space under the girl on the front and I didn't want to put her name on it because I hadn't personalized any of the other journal covers! You can find the pattern for the girl here.

And there you have it, 4 lovely notebook covers! I'm planning to make one for myself as well, but in a more leisurely manner.. you know between batches of cookies and present wrapping. I'm still waiting on presents to arrive in the mail which is causing lots of excitement over the mailman's daily arrivals, and of course when I go in my room to open all packages and letters the children clamber outside the door attempting to see if they can peek in through the crack. I wonder how long it will take them to remember I have a ground floor room and if they walked outside they could peer straight into my bedroom??

Notes: There are no instructions for actually altering the cover. I simply cut the size material called for on the "back" and then folded over the 3-inches you'd sew for the pocket and seam and then centered it from there. However, after making four of them, I'm trying a different method for the one I'm working on for myself. We'll see how that goes!


Julie said...

They are lovely, Kendra. What thoughtful gifts!

Dianna said...

Those are beautiful. :)

Butterfly said...

Truly lovely and so special! I think the recipients are blessed to receive a gift so full of care and thoughtfulness :)

Tracey said...

Those are awesome! That is the kind of thing that I would buy for someone.