Holiday Fabric Giveaway!

16 Dec 2010

This year I decided to be very ambitious and make lap quilts for everyone on my Christmas List.  I began my quilts in the summer (working on the QA Gifts issue in July really helps to get me into the holiday spirit), thinking that I would have plenty of time. What a foolish thought that was! With little more than a week left before Christmas morning, I have begun to look at Christmas as a looming deadline instead of a joyous occasion. 

As I still live with my parents (until Jan 1 when I move into my very first apartment!!) they have had to go through this quilt making process with me.  I don’t have a studio, and hate sewing in cramped spaces, so I have literally taken over their kitchen table.  They have patiently put up with me as my mission resulted in no more dinners at the table, the constant humming of my sewing machine when they are trying to watch TV or carry on a conversation, and my occasional frustrated outbursts when something isn’t turning out right.  I apologize often for intruding on their space, and they always insist that they don’t mind it. Although I have caught them rolling their eyes once or twice as I mutter to myself about my seeming inability to perfect a binding, I am inclined to believe them. They like to peek over my shoulder from time to time to give their two cents.

Anyway, it is very rewarding to sit with my parents and quilt. It is especially cool when they come over and comment on my fabrics.  Sometimes I think that they are just as excited as I am when I come home with new fabric.  When I came home with this Dr. Seuss fabric from Robert Kaufman Fabrics (we used to lovingly call my twin brothers Thing One and Thing Two) they were not only amused but thrilled that such a cool fabric line existed.  Throughout the entire process of me making the quilts for Matt and Paul (and when I call them lap quilts it is a bit of a stretch, as the twins both are upwards of 6'3" their “lap quilts” are larger than most) my parents and I had a ball trying out different fabric patterns and colors that would work with the fabric. I think perhaps, as a pair, they are my favorite two quilts that I have ever made, simply because of the fun I had making them.

When I first discovered the Dr. Seuss fabric I was giddy with excitement.  It is always wonderful to be inspired by fabric. This is the way I felt when Pokey showed me this amazing fabric, Love Birds, by Riley Blake. Although we both were tempted to keep the bundle for ourselves, we decided to get into the Christmas spirit and give it away to one of our community members.  So, if you would like to be gifted with this great bundle of fabric, leave a comment and tell us what your favorite homemade gift (that you either gifted yourself or were given) that you have ever received.  I will be randomly picking a winner next Monday (December 20th) to receive this Christmas present from your friends at Quilting Arts.

Happy Holidays!

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jane@47 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:23 AM

It is so hard to pick the 'one' favorite homemade gift that I have been given.  I have so many talented friends who have shared everything from a hand sewn quilt to a simple felt heart with beaded embellishment. Certainly among my favorites are the gifts my 5 y/o granddaughter has made for me.  Up until this year it's mostly been paintings (which are displayed on my fridge and in my studio) but this year we did some great felted sewing projects that she sewed herself and decorated with glitter (you can NEVER go wrong with glitter!)  we made Solstice trees for most everybody but she made a heart for me - It is hanging in front of my sewing machine now where the morning sun catches the sparkles.  Can't wait to see what she does next!!!  Happy Holidays and thanks for sharing your story - we parents never REALLY mind our kids taking over the dining room table for such worthy projects. : )  

FiberAntics wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:24 AM

I got a hand woven piece from a friend.

Judy@349 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:25 AM

I hope I win the fabric! I would love to add it to my collection. My favorite handmade gift is a sweet card that my daughter made for me the first year she lived away from home. It's something that I can hold and cherish when I miss her.

on 16 Dec 2010 11:30 AM

Well, my favorite was actually a gift to my husband which has become mine.  My mom made a gorgeous lap quilt for him to use in his lounge chair while watching tv.  I use it on the couch watching tv.  It is made with some of the gorgeous flannels that are out there now!

buckyfan19 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:35 AM

I would say that it was not fabric related, but a bench that my FIL made for me... I asked for it for 3 years, but was finally gifted it last Christmas!  Now I am working on convincing him to make me a quilting table!

applik wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:36 AM

About 6 years ago we were done unwrapping gifts when my neighbor knocked on our door with a cutting board for me that he had made out trees in our neighborhood. It is beautiful and I use it daily

aap200814 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:37 AM

I have many items given to me over the years.  If I had to choose it would be the pottery bowl made by son years ago. He's 30 now and this bowl was made when he was 10. It's green with a big black stripe. I wouldn't trade it for the world!

But hands down it is the Pouting Doll my older sister Sharon made.  Years ago she made these and handed them out to family and friends dressed in clothes we unknowning gave to her thinking she was going to use them for someone else. She was good at that! She made these dolls the size of about a 2 year old child. They look amazingly real even though only the back was shown!   They have extra special meaning today since she & her husband were killed in a horrific car wrecker 10 years ago. I like to sit mine in the corner by the tree.  Looks like a kid pouting over peeping at the presents! And makes me feel like she is there during the holiday times! ; )

Happy Holidays!

Leslie B wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:41 AM

The best gift given, was my first quilt I ever made.  My husband (then boyfriend at the time) races sailboats professionally and in sailing there are sailing flags that represent letters in the alphabet.  So I spelled out love always and forever in sailing flags.  Each flag was a block.  He still has the quilt today and won't let him make him a new one.  I have to admit, I didn't appreciate the 1/4" seam back then and all I see are mistakes and all he sees is how incredible that gift is.

PamelaW@19 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 11:54 AM

I think the best gift I ever gave was a hand tailored suit for my husband. The best gift I ever got was my first sewing machine!!

jodylund wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 12:05 PM

I just finished making Flying Chicken(s) as gifts for two special people in my life. They turned out sew cute, I hope the recipients love them as much as I do!

Susan@255 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 12:08 PM

My favorite homemade gift, would be Christmas ornaments I have received from my Mom.  She has made different types of ornaments over the years from crochet to beading.  I treasure them all and my children have their stash of ornaments from her too.  I guess I find these my most favorite because my Mom, due to some issues with finances has not been able to send what she would call "real" Christmas gifts to her daughters and grandkids for a few years now.  My siblings and I make sure she is well stocked with ever material she needs for that certain project.  So each year as she gets depressed because she can't send a "real" gift, but will send us her beautiful ornaments.  We remind her that these mean the most to us, and that giving cash or clothing would not bring joy each year as we open our ornament boxes and carefully unwrap the "love" she has given to us all.

And I would love to have the fabric.  I saw Seuss and thought boy I could make something for the kiddos at school to use in the special ed room I work in.  I am a personal care aide for special needs kids, and my mind is rolling with ideas.

Thanks for letting us have this opportunity and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

lkcspin wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 12:25 PM

pick me, pick me, pick me!!!

my favorite gift is the bag woven from plastic bags that i just took off the loom.  i have all this years presents in the mail (small art quilts), all homemade, so while i am in the spirit, i am experimenting  with ideas for next year.

Rosalynrd wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 12:26 PM

Oh my goodness. I love my carved wooden angels. I love all my quilts I've given away. And I'd love to win the fabric.

ChloeFH wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 12:34 PM

I think my all-time favorite handmade Christmas gift has to be a little hand sewn felt doll from my mom.  That little doll got played with every day for years - and still has a special place on a shelf even though I'm an adult!


canary523 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 1:17 PM

My favorite gift as one I gave to my brother in law and sister in law for their newborn (my nephew).. it was a baby quilt I made that was called "Playing with Crayons".. and it was of a child's drawing of an outdoor play set.. it was the first quilt I did totally on my own and still is one of my favorite quilts.  I used primary colors for the applique's of the playground equipment and instead of an American Flag, I put a flag on it with a fish on it because they both love to fish.

on 16 Dec 2010 1:21 PM

I made my mom a satin kimono robe for Christmas.  I wasn't impressed with the plain simpleness of it, so I layered the satin with batting, satin, silk flowers, then white organza over the sleeve and the band around the neck.  I quilted around the silk flowers and leave, embellishing with threads and beads.  I was a work of spring in the winter, and my mom just loved it.

loriwish wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 1:42 PM

On my eight birthday, I could not believe my eyes when I unwrapped Aunt Barb's gift -- a whole wardrobe for my doll. She had been wearing the same dress since I got her. It never occurred to me that she could get new clothes or that they could be handmade. The reason I remember this so much is because it led to Aunt Barb teaching me how to sew. And now, (many years later) I'm still sewing making my own clothes, although I have to make mine are a little larger.

Quiltnwoman wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 1:47 PM

My most favorite gift I gave was two quilts. One to my MIL & the other one to my dad. My husband had lost his job and we had one year old twins. All of our extra money went to formula, baby food  and diapers.  I had recently learned how to quilt so I thought that making two full sized quilts couldn't be so hard.  Armed with the late eighties calico's I made one double Irish chain and a sampler block quilt. It took me a solid month to get them done. I have never been so tired but happy in my entire life. They still use the quits and my brothers snuck the one out of the house when he moved out.  That was 20 years ago. I'm proud to say that I have nieces and nephews to make quilts for now.  One nephew is nuts for Dr. Suess books. He needs a quilt!

ilove2knit wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 2:10 PM

What a fabulous giveaway!

I would say, my first handmade gift was a baby shower gift I presented my sister last year. My nephew was the reason I started knitting. I thought it'd be the perfect present, to gift him a couple of hats with matching slippers/mittens, and scarf. my sister teared up, it was such a touching a moment :)

Thank you for this giveaway.

Eliana B.

Tempe, AZ

ecoviello wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 2:17 PM

Oh, such a hard decision but I think my favourite present was a small painting by my boyfriend (who became my husband), in the 30s designer style of Clarice Cliff. I still love it.

Nancy Young wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 2:43 PM

I agree it is hard to pick just one faborite project!  Last christmas I presented twin quilts to my 7 granddaughters and my two daughters.  I started the project in July and with the help of a dear friend who bound them all for me, I finished in December.  Each quilt was different and focused on the colors and animals or activities that the individual girls liked.  

on 16 Dec 2010 2:57 PM

A few years, my Quilting Girls commented that while we've made lots of quilts for other people, we've never received on ourselves.  So we drew names and we each received a quilt that Christmas!

defling wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 3:46 PM

I love the home made cards and valentines my husband has sent me over the years.

adasalcove wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 5:49 PM

I give lots of homemade quilted gifts, but i guess my favorite is the felt gingerbread men.  My son and I use to make them when he was little and lived at home.  Now my daughter makes them.   These are special because we hand sew together and then find fabric scraps and other materials for decorating and just have fun being together,

icosewing wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 6:10 PM

My favorite is a quilt I made for my then boyfriend now husband.  It was my first quilt and I didn't know I was making a quilt.  Just followed the instructions from a magazine, and almost 30 years ago and machine quilted it.  I called it a blanket then, but it was definitely a log cabin quilt.  Wish I had kept it once it started wearing out.  Decades later, I learned what quilting as all about.

redlum wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 7:11 PM

Back when my kids were young(they are now in their 20's),  and image transfer was becoming popular, I made mini (5 inch high) little dolls with their faces transferred from photos.  It was a fun(ny) gift for their grandmother.  My oldest son now has a daughter of his own, and he still his mini-me which his daughter plays with.  Made me smile when I saw that.

coollabtech1 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 7:27 PM

The best handmade Christmas gift I have gotten is a glazed pottery dish scrubber holder shaped as a frog(sorry- not quilt related!). My sister made it in a pottery class( probably in high school)- she gave it to me over 30 years ago and I still use it today.

on 16 Dec 2010 8:00 PM

I just finished a queen-sized paper pieced quilt that I am giving to my cousin for Christmas.  This quilt took 125 hours to most ambitious project to date!  Thank you for the chance to enter your giveaway!

Lorene554 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 8:22 PM

I made a quilt for my son out of Chicago Cubs material.  It is big enough for him to bundle himself up in while away at college.  He loves it and remembers how much I love him while he is bundled up and warm!

scutso wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 8:33 PM

My stepmom makes me a beautiful scarf nearly every year.  I have such a fabulous collection ... it's difficult to choose just one!

isabelle2009 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 8:39 PM

This year I spent collecting guitar fabric to make a quilt for my husband who is currently learning how to play a guitar. I am also collecting Univ of Florida fabric for another quilt for him because he is a huge Gator fan.

I've spent lots of time knitting this year and made many 'prayer shawls' and caps for different groups in Vicksburg, MS area. Our quilting guild has donated many many many quilts to a Children's Shelter and those are always very appreciated by children who were displaced from home by difficult cirumstances.

What I love to receive the most are handmade cards for any occasion. The messages in them are most heartwarming.

robinnn wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 9:00 PM

About 25 years ago my grandmother gave me a quilt that her mother made. It's in a tulip pattern and was probably made in the '20's. I love it - it's so bright and cheery!

robinnn wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 9:03 PM


sewinspired wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 9:42 PM

Best gift was surprise gift from our neighbor when we were in grad  school.  Neither of our families had any extra funds but my neighbor is a artist and even tho at that time she did not value her own talent regardless of how much I praised her,  she did an incredible water color for us of 2 goldfinch in a winter scene.  That was in 1976  and in its simple silvertone frame it remains today one of my most cherished gifts~ a gift from the heart.

candy49 wrote
on 16 Dec 2010 10:10 PM

My dearest friend Lorali made a miniature quilt for me with quotes around the border. The quotes are all friend related, but my favorite is, "The road to a friend's house is never long".

ecoviello wrote
on 17 Dec 2010 12:28 AM

Oh, such a hard decision but I think my favourite present was a small painting by my boyfriend (who became my husband), in the 30s designer style of Clarice Cliff. I still love it.

on 17 Dec 2010 5:54 AM

Because I make, donate, and gift homemade items on almost a daily's hard to pick my favorite.... but one truly stands out the most.

I made a patriotic quilt of valor for a World War II veteran who has been recently committed to medical facility for long term, undiagnosed PTSD. By the time he was in his second nursing home...still filled with anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, and mood and behavioral issues, I'd made and mailed a very large patriotic quilt to him with a center section of a soldier praying that read...'I lay down in peace'. I heard later that after he received this gift, and lay under it nightly on his bed, he truly felt loved and at peace, and slept better, and was far less agitated. I knew then that the power of a quilt is more than as a bed covering. It truly is a gift from one's loving heart, made with the hands of caring, and sent to exactly the person who most needs it.

DinahT wrote
on 17 Dec 2010 8:08 AM

I am more likely to give than receive hand made gifts, I have been doing it since high school. These have included everything from soft toys (Hobbits, dragons, Flying Monkeys....), embroidered patches, clothing, art quilts to  dolls and doll clothing. But I think that the most fun gift was when I gave a soft sculpture doll of Frodo to a 30 some year of man.

on 17 Dec 2010 1:17 PM

My favorite handmade gift is the Christmas themed pillowcases we make every year. Everyone looks forward to them!

Ellen@72 wrote
on 17 Dec 2010 3:59 PM

Would have to be the sewing armoire that my dad made for me. He was quite the woodworker.  I showed him a picture of a similar one and he was able to make it from the picture.  It opens like an armoire, and has a pull down table to put a sewing machine on, shelves, and a drawer along the bottom. It's perfect.  Since  he passed away years ago, it is priceless to me.

Sans30s wrote
on 17 Dec 2010 10:23 PM

I love to make handmade toys for hospital kids for charity..makes me so happy to see them smile

Sans30s wrote
on 17 Dec 2010 10:24 PM

I love to make handmade toys for hospital kids for charity..makes me so happy to see them smile

mrthsnsl wrote
on 17 Dec 2010 10:32 PM

Love these fabric too mom had made me a dress when i was 10 year old still have it...that is the best gift for me till date.

Laura54 wrote
on 18 Dec 2010 4:07 AM

The best handmade gift I ever received  was the time my Granda spent with me, teaching to me sewing and embroidery and making dresses for my dolls.

The best gift I gave...

mmmm I can't remember one, here in Italy where I live,  it's a little bit unusual to gave selfmade presents, when you are the recipient of a similar gift, you usually think: "No money for my gift!", without consider that the time used to do it, and all the thoughts around it are worther than money!

So I keep on making hand made gifts!

mashew wrote
on 18 Dec 2010 8:25 AM

My multi-talented friend Nancy made me a gorgeous knitted totebag in shades of green and periwinkle with a golden stretchy knit handle. The best part was this bag was the first time she tried felting one of her knitted items. It came out beautifully and the felting made the bag much sturdier than a knitted bag might otherwise be. I was honored that she tried a new technique as part of this gift. I use the bag for my own quilting projects.

Lydianna wrote
on 18 Dec 2010 9:06 AM

My daughter made me a pair of socks!  They are awesome and I were them so much that I might wear them out early.

on 18 Dec 2010 10:09 AM

My favorite and most memorable hand made gift came through the joint effort of my grand mother and her sister. I had wanted a very full skirted line dancing styled skirt. I wanted to spin anround and my skirt float around me in a stunning circle. I think I was in high school and did not  even get a hint that they were going to do this for me. It was the most amazing gift I ever opened. The skirt was panels of alternating white and dark blue sprigged with small flowers.  They told me that there were 12 yards of ruffles along the bottom and it took them 6 hours just to hem it. Also included was a simple short sleeved top in the light flowered fabric. I was so touched at the amount of time and effort they put into making me something I didn't really need, but simply wanted for the sheer pleasure of spinning.

Terra123 wrote
on 18 Dec 2010 1:56 PM

My favorite handmade gift is a holder for my scissors made out of a potholder. My son made it for me for Mothers Day and  it was the first handmade gift I  ever received from one of my children.  I now see why my mom always loved the gifts we made her growing up.  Gifts made by your children just have so much love in them.

Terra123 wrote
on 18 Dec 2010 1:57 PM

My favorite handmade gift is a holder for my scissors made out of a potholder. My son made it for me for Mothers Day and  it was the first handmade gift I  ever received from one of my children.  I now see why my mom always loved the gifts we made her growing up.  Gifts made by your children just have so much love in them.

auntnoenoe wrote
on 18 Dec 2010 8:22 PM

best gift I ever made was the dress up trunk I painted for my nieces... of couse the dress up clothes inside helped make it that much more fun!

on 19 Dec 2010 4:15 AM

I love my crocheted grocery bag dispenser I made for my kitchen :)

Thanks for the chance!

jabotquilt wrote
on 19 Dec 2010 6:46 PM

I make homemade peppermint hot chocolate and give with a quilted mug rug.   Yummy and useful.   And easy too, I might add.

jabotquilt wrote
on 19 Dec 2010 6:47 PM

Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate mix and a quilted mug rug to go with it!

QuiltKitten1 wrote
on 19 Dec 2010 6:52 PM

My favorite homemade gift is a set of bib and baby shoes for one of my friends.  They look so cute and cannot be found at a store.  

on 20 Dec 2010 8:15 AM

Thank you to everyone who shared a handmade gift story , I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from you! Congratulations

on 21 Dec 2010 12:46 PM

Very hard to pick just one handmade present, there have been so many wonderful ones through the years.

When I was 6-7 years old my Mother sewed  a complete wardrobe for my Revlon doll.  So, that Christmas long ago I received the doll and the clothes that went with it.  It included slacks, blouses, dresses and a satin wedding dress with a long veil to match.  They were beautiful!  

My Mother's life was not an easy one during those years and I knew she had much to deal with, so to me this was the best gift ever.  Now as a Gramma to 4 granddaughters, I spend lots of time making dolly clothes inbetween time spent quilting.  I guess you could say it is love passed down through the generations.