Downsizing and de-stashing are popular buzzwords today. We all just have so much stuff. So I think those of us who like to make gifts for others want to create something that's useful as well as beautiful. If it helps use up scraps from our stash, so much the better.
I recently made this eyeglass case based on a pattern designed by Karen Fricke, featured in Quilting Arts Gifts. It was a cinch to make, and so practical. Karen's pattern can be adapted to hold one, two, or three sets of eyeglasses in one case-very handy for people who wear multiple pairs. I was able to use some pretty scraps and practice a variety of free-motion quilting motifs, too.
I'm eager to try the other useful/beautiful projects in Gifts that will (I hope) make a small dent in my stash. The Needle-felted Camera Case (basically a clutch construction with a Velcro® closure) by Edwina Sutherland is so easy and fun to make.
Melanie Testa's quilted Nametag Purses with credit card holder (shown at right) is a must-have for anyone who attends quilt shows.
And Lyric Kinard's Glam-to-Go iPod carrier can be made simply with commercial fabrics or screen-printed and stamped to the nth degree before beading and embellishing.
The wonderful thing about projects like these is that you can personalize them for yourself or the recipient, drawing on all the wonderful materials you've collected and techniques you've learned. Use subtle prints and subdued fabrics for a friend who dresses conservatively or go add beading and hand-stamped surface design for someone who likes to stand out from the crowd.
If you like fast and fun projects to make and give, I recommend you check out the variety of patterns and instructions for beautiful--and useful--handmade gifts in Quilting Arts Gifts.
And, be sure to get our latest free eBook, 5 Small Quilting Projects from Quilting Arts. In this eBook, some of Quilting Arts Magazine's favorite fiber artists present five quick and easy quilting projects together in one convenient download.