Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday time = sewing time! Gifts for Lorena and Olive...

#1 Black and red bag Side A - gift for Lorena (Mum)

No school ( or at least no need to rush to be at school) means I can get more hours of sewing into my day...what I call 'Jenny heaven'!!

So here are four tote bags to tick off from my list of holiday projects...
  • two tote bags (Christmas gifts) - TICK!
  • two more bags made from the leftovers of the fabric I bought for the red and black bag -TICK!
  • three quilt tops that have been sitting in the UFO pile and I intend to do the quilting
  • three giraffes to finish off. 
Six weeks...tonnes of time huh?!

#1 Black and red bag Side B
This red and black bag is for my mum and it is about 12" x 15" in size, made from an assortment of fabrics that I bought at my favourite Kits'n'Things shop in Invercargill. I used what has become my standard tote bag pattern that I adapt to suit my mood (and I am hoping to put together a tutorial on how to do it so watch this space!)
The strips have been quilted in a diamond pattern
and I did a meandering stipple all over the floral print. 



This pastel bag is made from a beautiful set of fabrics that I couldn't resist and I think it will suit Olive, my mother-in-law, perfectly...Life is Beautiful by Helen Stubbings of Hugs n Kisses for Red Rooster fabrics. Both sides are the same.
I based it loosely on a pattern from the Australian magazine 'Country Patchwork and Craft' Volume 5 Number 1 2006, called Scents of Spring.  I liked the layout of the patches but used my own method for construction.

I quilted a simple set of straight lines across the top panel and then did straight lines in a diamond pattern across the blocks.

I think I will leave these hanging in the lounge for a day or two so I can admire them before I wrap them up and give them away!
 These are #2 and #3 black and red bags. I think I will sell these next year or give them away if I find a good cause. Again they are made from my basic bag design method and are both about 12" x 15".   

Oct 2014: UPDATE: #2 was given to my third-year teacher trainee from Otago University, Candace Adams, as a 'well done' for finishing her teacher training and a 'thank you' for all her hard work (she taught the class sole-charge for a total of about six weeks this year, meaning I could do other things!)

Bag #3 has been given to my netball buddy (and our school office manager) Broni Tumataroa for her birthday.

 #2 side A

 #2 side B

 #3 side A

 #3 side B

Not bad for just four days work, considering I have also been busy those past four days with: re-setting my classroom furniture after the cleaner finished in there, taking my mother to the hospital for her pre-op tests, getting the Xmas shopping finished and making sure the community pool databank is up to date and all members have paid their fees. 

Speaking of presents - as you can tell if you scan my blog and see how many items I have made for giving to others (and as backed up by the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman) I usually show my love for others by gift-giving.   But over the past twenty years I have learnt that I have not married a likewise gift-giver!  ;-(

After a few disappointing years of gifts (and yes, I know it's the thought that counts, but seriously...camping cooking pots for a girl who doesn't really do the great outdoors more than once a year?!)  I have worked out that the only way to have a suitable (ie I'll love it and use it) present under the tree for myself (or on birthdays) from my darling hubby is to give him very specific instructions (ie circle items in a catalogue, point them out at the shop or simply to buy it myself on his behalf!) So I sorted that one out last week when I went past the jewellery shop, with a delightful sparkly, and on sale, dress ring now wrapped and sitting there for me on Christmas Day.

There have to be some surprises under the tree though so I am, however, training up our 12 year old son to be a gift-giver - yesterday I 'dumped' him into the hands of the friendly ladies at Kits'n'Things and they helped him select a jelly roll for me (which I then went in and paid for once it was wrapped) - so while I know it is a jelly roll, I have no idea what the fabrics/colours will be - yay! A surprise awaits me!!

Presents aside, family and good health is all that matters really...have a Merry Christmas everyone!!



19 comments:

  1. Besides sharing your wonderful project......it's great to see GREEN foliage and flowers....though I have to admit, we've been lucky here so far this winter......snow 1 time and counting....

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    1. Tee hee, yes the flowers are looking great (though I need to do some dead-heading and weeding) - it is summer here, although today it has been raining all morning, a perfect chance to stay in my dressing gown and be reading everyone's blogs! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. I like your bags!
    Hope you can sew much during the hollidays!
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. I am hoping so too! Though I do know that time flies by quickly so I will have to keep my motivation up!!

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  3. Your tote bags look amazing. I was going to make one for my mother-in-law for Christmas, but my husband didn't think she would use it. She is getting salt and pepper shakers instead. Have a Merry Christmas!

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    1. Can always use a good set of s & p shakers! Make a bag for yourself!!

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  4. OH BOY! VERY EXCITED! According to my blog overview I have just reached 20,000 views - awesome! That's a lot of visits to my blog!

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  5. Cool bags. I like to sort the gifts for me just the way you do :-) Bad gift? No thank you I rather have no surprise but something I'll love.

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    1. We are on the same wavelength there! Have a great Christmas!

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  6. Gorgeous totes!

    What a lovely idea - I bet your son is excited to see your reaction to his gift. Wonder what he chose? :o)

    Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

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    1. He is hopeless at keeping a secret so we will see if he can make it to Wed without blabbing! Have a good Christmas too!

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  7. What a great idea with the jelly roll! I'm a teacher and I just wish I could trade in all the Dunkin' Donuts coffee gift cards I receive in for fabric! I do love coffee...but I think I love fabric even more!

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    1. I know what you mean! I came home last week with about twelve boxes of chocolates in various forms. I must stop talking about my love of chocolate next year and instead keep mentioning my passion for patchwork! It will be better for my and my hubby's waistlines!! What age do you teach? I have ten and eleven year olds ( we call them Year Five and Six, rather than grades).

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  8. Lovely bags, Jen. The red and black is awesome. I love seeing your lovely blooming flowers too. Everything here is covered in snow. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you for dropping by! One day I would love to have a northern hemisphere White Christmas. We tend to get a bit upset if it snows here on Christmas Day (apparently it did once back in the 70s!)

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  9. Great bags! I love the b/w/r fabrics!

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