An Early Handmade Gift for You to Make

pokey bolton and louie gifts
Me and my Min-Pin, Louie, during a
brief break in the Gifts shoot.

pokey boltonI am just going to admit it: I am never going to be someone who finishes her Christmas shopping before Labor Day.

But, put up my Christmas tree in July? That's another story.

Yep, every July for the past four years the Quilting Arts staff hoists the artificial tree, hauls out the holly, and decks the halls for our annual Gifts issue photo shoot.

For days ahead of time, we're busy wrapping empty boxes; plucking evergreens out under the hot summer sun; and borrowing china, bowls, and other accessories to use for styling those beautiful handmade gifts.

Just like on Christmas, when the big day arrives we're up early and full of energy.

larissa davis quilting arts gifts
Art Director Larissa Davis
puts us in a good mood.

Editor Helen Gregory keeps us on task with her list of shots we need to take. She and other staff members scurry around behind the scenes doing everything from ironing background fabric to tying bowsand sometimes they even model!

It's a long, hectic day, but it's so much fun to see all the gorgeous quilted and surface designed gift and home décor items displayed and styled to its best advantage, thanks to our incredible art director Larissa Davis.

We're putting the finishing touches on this year's Gifts issue, and I have to say it's quite possibly the best ever.

In the meantime, I'm in a giving spirit, so here's a how-to for making a fiber collage greeting card from our 2009-2010 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts.

Holiday Gift Cards by Jeanelle McCall

stitched holiday gift card
This stitched card is a gift in itself.


  • Cardstock 6 ¼" x 9", scored and folded in half
  • Assorted fabric scraps, cut-up pieces of quilting experiments, designs on paper, etc.
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine


1. Cut a 3½" x 3" scrap of fabric to use as a base for building your fiber collage.

2. To build the collage, select an interesting assortment of fabric and/or paper embellishments and sew these pieces to the base fabric.

3. Open the folded cardstock. Place the fiber collage on the card "front" and sew the top edge of the collage to the cardstock.

4. Sign your name and add the date under the collage.

Now you have a beautiful holiday card to send, and it is a gift that can be framed.

This card design is just one of the many beautiful and practical fiber art and quilted projects available in the back issues of Quilting Arts Gifts and our other special issues, on sale now.

P.S. I know many of you start your holiday gift and décor projects in the summer. Do you have a plan you'd like to share? Is there a particular project you always make sure to start early? Leave your comments below and help others get a head start.

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2 thoughts on “An Early Handmade Gift for You to Make

  1. Love the card idea from 2009 issue – I used the idea in last year’s 2010 GIFT issue (Christmas tree) and received so many oohs and aahs – I am now under pressure to produce another equally unique Christmas card this year! Hope you have some creative and easy ideas in this year’s issue for using supplies on hand to create a card to WOW everyone – I am waiting for the next GIFTS issue and want to get my cards started this summer! Thanks again for the inspiration!

  2. A few weeks ago I gave you a little tutorial on how to make a handmade holiday gift card . It was so popular, I thought I'd share some more ideas on making holiday cards, inspired by techniques and designs featured in back issues of Quilting Arts