While I was at the International Quilt Festival/Houston last week, enjoying the climate-controlled environment of the George R. Brown Convention Center, it snowed back home in Massachusetts. Yep, snow in October. It didn't last, but while the fat flakes came down, there was enough accumulation in some parts of the area to make snowmen. Brrr.
The forecasters say we'll have more fall-like temperatures and clear skies this week in New England, but there's no denying it: the holidays are approaching. This means it's time to think about preparing hostess gifts for Thanksgiving and other festive events, not to mention Christmas and Hanukkah presents.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the list of things to do for the holiday season. But one thing I've found since discovering fiber art is that where there's fabric, there's hope! Here are some ideas for making and presenting gifts of art.
It's a wrap. Any gift is made more special wrapped in beautiful fabric and tied with a silk ribbon or novelty trim. You don't even have to sew! You can pin or tape the fabric in place like Jane Davila showed us in the 2008 edition of Quilting Arts Gifts or use a simple yet impressive wrapping and knotting technique like Susan Fletcher did in the 2009/2010 issue of Gifts. Wrapping with fabric is a great way to use pieces from your stash.
Tag, you're it. Another quick and easy way to use fabric to make a gift more special is to create your own fabric gift tags. This can be as easy as gluing a circle of fabric onto a round, paper tag (the kind with the silver rim) and threading a piece of novelty yarn through the hole. Or, you can do it up by fusing fabric to both sides of a tag-shaped piece of interfacing, machine embroidering with a decorative stitch, and stamping the tag with a personal message.
The coast is clear. Coasters make a great hostess gift, and the basic construction is so easy. You can whip up a batch with a simple design in an afternoon. Or, with some piecing and stitching, you can create a more complex design, like the Hanukkah coasters by Malka Dubrawsky featured in the 2009/2010 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts, based on the Hebrew letters on the dreidel.
Sealed with a stitch. Fabric postcards make wonderful holiday greetings. But if you have a long list and are short on time, make fabric collages with scrap fabrics. Add a focal point such as a needle-felted flower or a stamped and painted bird motif and stitch it all to pre-folded card stock, like Jeanelle McCall did in the current issue of Gifts. These little works of art, suitable for framing, are the perfect personalized "wrapping" for a gift card.
Those are just a few ideas for simplifying the holidays with fabric. Do you have some? Share them in the comments area, below.
Whatever season you're in, enjoy it while it lasts,