DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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2 October 2012

Handmade Christmas gift ideas

Madge asked if I'd show a photo of the baby quilt that Tricia's currently making by hand for her first grandchild. She worked on it while she was visiting with us and is happy for me to share it with you. I have to tell you that I am so pleased Daniel and Laura are having a baby and that Tricia will have a grandchild. It is such a fine and precious gift to be a grandmother or grandfather and Tricia has sat by graciously while Shane and Kerry had their babies, celebrating their births with the rest of us. Now it's her turn to look into her grand baby's face and see our family's history and its future.

It's all done by hand with the finest of stitching.

Having such a fine piece of hand made loveliness made me think of other beautiful handmade pieces and why we make these pieces. Usually they're made to beautify our own homes or as gifts for those we love. Now, more and more, people are giving handmade gifts at Christmas. I love that. It shows me the continued move away from everything commercial towards softer and more creative gifts. I've had a few comments about handmade Christmas gifts lately so I thought I would share these links with you. I've been looking around for gift ideas that I can start on soon so I invite you to look at these and maybe we can get started on our projects together so there is no pre-Christmas rush.  I encourage you to go through the lists and work out what you have the skill, patience and time for. Make a list. Then try to do one gift a week, or two if they're really simple and easy. If you're a member of the forum, we'll make up a thread and post photos of what we're making.
If you have a wool, cotton or fabric stash, making these projects is a frugal way of making your gifts. They can be as simple and quick as a pin cushion or as beautiful and time consuming as Tricia's quilt, but there is a wide range in between too suitable for all skill levels. I love receiving hand made gifts. They're unique and I know that person has thought about me while they've made their gift.

There are two things that are always true in the lead up to Christmas: money will be tight and you'll have a lot of things to do preparing for the holidays. So think about making your gifts now. Just an hour or two a day, maybe after dinner, or on the bus going to work. Often these gifts are small enough to pick up and take with you. And if you'll have portable gift making sessions, make up a little kit in a bag that will keep everything together and clean. I'll check our collective progress in the coming months and hope you'll have some photos you can share with us. If you're not really a sewer or a knitter you can make up food or garden gifts with handmade cards. It is these small projects that help you increase your craft skill level. We were all beginners at one point and most of us improve by making small things one stitch at a time.

34 comments:

  1. What lovely work!! Yes, a lot of love has gone into the making of that quilt.

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  2. My Christmas gifts this year is one I made far back in the past, quilted pot holders made with recycled jeans. My brother in law loved his so much they are wearing out. I started in March but had to gift a couple for a wedding shower. There are enough now to be finished or I could make mats to match for on the table. Usually I make tree ornaments with fabric or crochet cotton (snowflakes), I still may do that. I so love giving a part of myself instead of mindlessly spending money on useless stuff.

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  3. The quilt is lovely.

    I make homemade hampers to give at christmas, with jams,pickles and chutneys etc. I also look for things throughout the year in sales which tailor the hamper to the person I'm giving it to, to make it more personal.
    I think homemade presents show that much more thought and love has gone into a present. I just wish someone would give me something home made!

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    1. I just wish someone would give me something home made!

      Do come and join the forum if you haven't already, the Christmas Swap will start mid-October and we will be swapping hand-made Christmas decorations...this is our 4th Christmas Swap and it is very popular.
      Sue
      xx

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  4. I have every year tried to give everyone hand made cards featuring my own photography a gift as well as a season greeting.
    I love that quilt it is beautiful and will I am sure be passed down from generation to generation.
    I would rather recieve a homemade gift myself it means so much to know the time and thought that goes into it.
    I will be making more gifts this year I must get out my sewing machine you have inspired me. Thanks for the links. B

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  5. that is a beautiful quilt,
    touching isn't it when someone apprecaites
    the time & effort of hand crafted love?

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  6. Great links Rhonda, thank you! This is very timely, I have just been thinking about starting some makes for Christmas, there are plenty of ideas here! My nieces still like getting a hand made crochet softie from me, so I'm going to come up with a new doll pattern for them and get hooking! Have a wonderful day, Julie :)

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  7. I catch up on blogs when I can - often not for a week or two - because I'm busy with our new little 7 week old son and his teething 21 month old sister....and our housework and dinner etc etc! I love it when I go to catch up and the blog is written about something that I've just been thinking about. Like making Christmas gifts! I also have thoughts of sewing a special wedding gift for my brother in law and his soon-to-be wife.
    That quilt is just beautiful. I've put quilting on my list of stuff that I can start doing once the baby is sleeping through the night.
    And on the topic of babies: I just found out that my brother and his lovely wife are expecting for the first time. Twins! I'm so excited that I'm telling everyone. Babies are lovely.

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    1. Congratulations on the birth of your son, Jane. Two under two! I remember those days well, Shane was 12 months old when Kerry was born. My eyes glaze over just thinking about it.

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  8. Good morning Rhonda, I make a lot of my gifts and have already started with the Christmas list; working fulltime I need to be super organised and have a little stash of home made gifts to fall back on if I get caught short. I love giving people something that I have made. the whole time I am making the gift I think about who I am making it for and what they mean to me.

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  9. I have often made homemade gifts, mainly for newborns though, but have always been a bit nervous making Christmas gifts (not really sure why). This year I am going to try to make as many Christmas gifts. Thank you for the suggested links for inspiration.

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  10. Thanks for all those great links. Christmas gift making has been on my mind lately and I have a few ideas but will visit your links for more

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  11. thanks Rhonda.. just what I was looking for!

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  12. Thanks will use some of the links, I just started making Christmas gifts last week :)

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  13. Thank you so much for this post! What great ideas!

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  14. What a beautiful gift Tricia is making for her little one. A family heirloom for sure. Thank you for posting gift website idea's. Christmas will be here before we know it. This was on my mind today so your post was perfect timing :)

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  15. Oh, I have an apron in mind for my mother-in-law and some soft toys for my littles. Such a good idea to start now!

    Just a suggestion for another link with plenty of ideas. Sew Mama Sew has christmas lists for all different types of recipients. Here are the master lists for the last few years, but I notice they have started to post new handmade holiday projects for this year too. http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2011/11/the-ultimate-handmade-holidays-list-2011/

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  16. It'a an astonishing work, so beautiful!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing the links!

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  17. thank you, very useful topic right now.

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  18. That is a beautiful quilt, you really could not replicate that any way by machine. I love hand quilting the best.

    A very nice set of ideas - I would love many of them myself. The particular problem I have is that most of the people I buy for, I do not see, so have to post their presents in the mail. This gets in the way of so many things I would love to do or make as my family are very appreciative of home made. I can't afford to send bulky or heavy items or indeed anything fragile. My gift-making/sending is therefore not as nice or enjoyable as it might be.

    Why I love handmade is not the cost (it is often prohibitive and not cheap at all but of course doesn't have to be), it is not even the thought or the time spent. It is simply the lovely hand crafted item has skill, dexterity, artistry or use built into it, and I admire the end result. I would rarely make a gift to save money - I would spend the same amount regardless, it is just that many of the items shown are just lovely to receive or give. I hate the mentality of some 'crafters' where there is no merit in the gift at all but just a need to tick of another recipient at the cheapest possible bargain basement price. That is not what handmade is about. You don't have to go mad but a little thought, some money (but not loads) and lots of creativity makes not a gift to be sneered at and but to one side but a treasured or used one which is appreciated.

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  19. This comment is Off Topic, but...

    Haven't been here, in "a dog's age"!

    How lovely and beautiful you are looking, my Dear. Simply lovely.

    Gentle hugs,
    "Auntie"

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  20. Beautiful quilt!

    Thanks for this, Rhonda. I had planned to do a lot of handmade things this Christmas, but we have had such a busy year & I had given up on the idea, thinking it was too late!

    But you have motivated me to at least get a few handmade gifts done!!

    ~Melanie in Canada

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  21. What a lovely quilt. Thank you for those links, Rhonda. I always make a lot of my Christmas gifts and am constantly on the lookout for new ideas.

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  22. Thank you for sharing the links ~ I have found several ideas for homemade Christmas gifts. I love handmade!

    Blessings,
    Sharon

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  23. Great minds think alike, I've just been blogging on the very thing myself lately. Good to be organised.

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  24. Handmade gifts are the best! It touches me to think that someone spent the time and effort to make something especially for you :)

    Good tip on starting your gift-making now...stress isn't what anyone should have to deal with on the run-up to the holidays. Besides fabric and woolen items what I like giving and receiving around Christmas are gift baskets filled with tasty goodies - while I sew from time to time I'm much more of a kitchen and eating kind of gal :)

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  25. A big 'ello from Cornwall. What a wonderful site, we'll enjoy following you and sharing your 'crafty' creations. Mr and Mrs M.

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  26. I have been collecting ideas for Christmas gifts for a couple of weeks. Last year it was the first time I gave home-made goodies to my friends and this year I´m going to ask everyone to either give something home made or to donate to charity instead of buying "stuff" no one needs.

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  27. Hello Rhonda, LOVE your blog. I've been following you for ages but have just set up my own blog now and so for the first time have a Blog ID and have been able to comment. I may be someone who works full time but I still subscribe to what you're saying and the things that really matter in life, and when I'm home at the weekend I make every moment last. I cook, I grow vegetables and I cherish my space, and being away during the week really makes me focus on my home space - the only place that I can kick off my shoes and be truly comfortable. Keep up the great work - we have a whole couple of generations to teach!

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  28. The warm fireplaceOctober 04, 2012 8:31 am

    Thanks for some brilliant ideas for homemade christmas gifts. What a wonderful quilt.
    sue

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  29. I love reading your blog. It has inspired me to create a blog myself as well as a Facebook page, which will help local people trade their home grown produce for other services or goods in Brisbane. Keep up the wonderful posts.

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  30. great mind think like that..like the gift idea..i learn a lot from it that's quite useful when design Gift Card envelopes.

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  31. Home made gifts are always admired by people all over the world. It has a special importance.

    Christmas Gifts

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