Thursday, January 3, 2019

Handmade gifts and some new quilting ideas to start off the new year

Happy New Year!

I just finished putting some Christmas decorations away.

This Fig Tree mini quilt is one of my favorites! 

It seems like taking them out is always fun, and I look forward to it, but putting them back is not my favorite thing to do

 Somehow that doesn't stop me from getting a few more decorations each year, and I still try to put them back into the same amount of space.

I really need to get a few more Christmas storage boxes or give away some of the older decorations that I'm not as fond of anymore.

That seems difficult for me to do.

I did finally toss the artificial evergreen wreath that I had on my pantry door for years.  Every time someone opened or closed the pantry door, needles would fall off and scatter everywhere.

It was getting to be ridiculous.

My oldest son 'wore' that wreath when he was in a wreath in the first grade Christmas play.  He's graduated from college now, so you know that was an old wreath.

It did have some sentimental value to me, but after continually sweeping up those old needles every time someone wanted a snack, I decided it was best for that wreath to move on.

I took a picture of it and let it go, because pictures fit much better in the Christmas storage boxes! 

As I put back the Christmas decorations, I do a little bit each day, I'm going to try to part with a few other items that I've probably been hanging on to for a bit too long, even thought it's not easy.

In the spirit of out with the old and in with the new, trying new things, and refreshing your home or your quilting habits, this year Sherri and I have a fun and different idea for next month's Minis and More Parade.

We'd like you to share your favorite quilting or sewing tips and tricks!

Tell us one or more of your favorite shortcuts or maybe a clever idea you have for sewing storage. You know, a helpful hint that you'd like to share with your friends.  Send in a picture too if you can!

For example, I've used more painter's tape over my quilting career than I've ever used for painting, and we've done lots of painting!

I use it to mark quilting lines on quilts, I use it all the time on my  cutting rulers to mark lines so I don't have to look at the ruler as closely when I'm cutting the same size over and over.  I also use it on my quilting rulers, now that I'm doing some ruler work on my new sewing machine.

As far as storage goes,  I like to store my old cutting mats vertically between two bookcases full of fabric.  They occupy what used to be wasted space. I use the old cutting mats on the floor when I trim the edges of quilts before binding.

So share your tips by sending a few to me or to Sherri McConnell at A Quilting Life.  Then visit both my blog and Sherri's at the beginning of next month to start out the year with some new tips and tricks to try, inspired by your friends!

In December,  Hildy did an amazing job at making lots of handmade gifts, which is the theme of today's Parade.

This cute drawstring bag was made by Hildy using a combination of a patchwork gift bag tutorial of Sherri's and a Santa pattern by Nadra

This pillow and the next one were Christmas gifts for Hildy's parents.  This one uses Bonnie and Camille's fabric........

........and this one uses a Fig Tree fabric collection.

Although it wasn't a Christmas gift, Hildy made this cute quilt for a friend's new baby boy.

This adorable butterfly mini is also a pattern by Nadra that Hildy made for her brother's girlfriend.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful handmade gifts with us Hildy!  You gave me so many great ideas for next Christmas!

Don't forget to send us your best sewing tips with pictures before the end of the month and be sure to visit Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life to see the other half of the handmade gifts Parade.

See you there!