Skip to content

Handmade gifts … and a giveaway

November 2, 2010

I celebrated my birthday last week, and was the lucky recipient of my friend Karen’s talent for creating beautiful and thoughtful handmade gifts. Imagine my delight when I opened the bag and found these!

Three cats on a cozy

Felted wool acorns

I’m sponsoring a new giveaway here on the blog in a tribute to handmade. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me about the most memorable handmade gift you ever received, or gave. I’m giving away two books that will help you create the perfect handmade gifts for the lucky people in your life.

Quilting In No Time, 50 step-by-step weekend projects made easy

By Emma Hardy
(CICO Books, $30, ISBN 978-1-906525-30-9)

From the publisher:

“Quilting in No Time” brings you 50 fantastic easy-to-follow projects for quilts. At a time when store-bought soft furnishings are becoming increasingly expensive, this book brings you high-quality, homemade alternatives at a fraction of the cost. Packed with quick and brilliant ideas for using up scraps of fabrics, original applique designs, fun blocks to stitch together, and fantastic motifs, this is the must-have guide to quilting items for the home. Try your hand at making the perfect throw to put over your couch, or buy some luxurious fabrics to make an oh-so-soft blanket to put in a baby’s crib. Make placemats to match your china, add patchwork borders to plain curtains, and stitch speedy pillow covers to change the look of a room in an instant. Every project comes with step-by-step illustrations, plus ideas for variations to add your own personal touch to the finished piece. Also included is a useful techniques section with expert advice on fabric selection, adding finishing touches and more.

Zakka Sewing, 25 Japanese Projects For The Household

By Therese Laskey + Chika Mori
(STC Craft, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-58479-720-3)

From the publisher:

The phrase “Made in Japan” once conjured images of assembly-line production, but now it connotes well-made products that are unique and ingeniously designed—sometimes elegant, sometimes cute, always charming. And none are more charming than the graceful, functional, sewn objects called zakka.

In Japanese, zakka means “household goods,” referring specifically to hand-sewn items for domestic use—tableware, kitchenware, containers of various kinds, even simple clothing. Therese Laskey and Chika Mori were enchanted by the many clever pieces they saw online but disappointed that directions and patterns were solely in Japanese. They knew they had to put together an authentic zakka book for English-speaking crafters.

To do so, the authors enlisted the help of some of the best zakka makers in Japan to create 25 projects ranging from utterly simple (an appliquéd pot holder, flower-shaped coasters) to ambitious (a house-shaped camera cozy, an adorable pair of comfy padded slippers). Each project includes easy-to-follow instructions and how-to illustrations. The lovely photos of finished pieces were taken by New York–based Japanese photographer Yoko Inoue.

So leave your comments here. I’ll draw 2 winners by random number on November 16.

Comments now closed.

  1. Darlene Strickland permalink
    November 2, 2010 12:11 pm

    The best handmade gift I ever received was a beautiful handmade purse! Also I am more prone to the 50 gift ideas. Japanese is not really my thing. Thanks and love your website.

  2. Wendy permalink
    November 2, 2010 12:22 pm

    My friend knitted me 6 soft balls in blue and green with letters on them spelling my son’s name Andrew. They were so nice.

  3. Shelley C permalink
    November 2, 2010 12:34 pm

    I seem to be the crafty one in the family and give handmade gifts. Guess the most memorable would be the blue/yellow quilt I made for my SIL who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She cried when she saw it….made me feel bad that we wait for the tragic things in life to give a gift of love rather than in the mundane times….

  4. Mel permalink
    November 2, 2010 12:42 pm

    I received a quilt for a wedding present. At the time, although I appreciated it, I had no idea how much work went into it. Now that I have made a few of my own, I appreciate it that much more!

  5. November 2, 2010 12:44 pm

    My most treasured handmade gift was a quilt I received. My sister, who I didn’t even know liked to sew!, hand quilted a throw sized quilt and when she got done with it she and my cousin who pieced the quilt decided that they should give it to me! I felt so loved by that jesture. It was my first quilt in my home and I treasure it. I love to give hand made gifts because they are from the heart. Thank you for the chance to win a special treat. (Loved all of your christmas projects weeks ago) Janita

  6. Darlene permalink
    November 2, 2010 12:45 pm

    A quilt of course! I received a quilt from quilting friends for the impending birth of my daughter!

  7. November 2, 2010 12:46 pm

    I recently made a tree of life (with appliqued leaf shapes) for a former professor of mine who’s going through some tough cancer treatment – he’s been fighting for years and years and I hope he pulls through to enjoy the rest of his life pain and worry free regarding cancer, anyway. That gift is probably the most meaningful I’ve ever given…

  8. Trudy Langhoff permalink
    November 2, 2010 1:02 pm

    The best handmade gift I have ever recieved is a bunch of handmade quilts, they are over 50 yrs old and made by my great grandmothers. they have patterns I dont see these days, the hexagonal and butterlies are my favorite! They have inspired me to get into quilting for the sake of my children and their children. I also accecpt donated fabric to make cloth bags for our local food pantry. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give back. For this we are very blessed.

  9. kristel permalink
    November 2, 2010 5:53 pm

    I’ve been given a lot of really wonderful homemade gifts, mainly hand sewn/quilted quilts from my Grandma and my mom and sometime in the near future I should have one coming from my aunt. (She’s been hand-quilting it, so I’m not sure how long it’ll take as it’s a very large quilt.) I think my favourite handmade gift, though, is a painting from my Grandma. It hung in her basement for years and years and she gave it to me for Christmas last year. Best gift I”ve received in ages.

  10. Mimi permalink
    November 2, 2010 6:29 pm

    My treasured gift was a hand-stitched coaster that my daughter made for me when she was 9 years old – I was chocked up when I opened my gift.

  11. Jane permalink
    November 2, 2010 7:27 pm

    We received a Double Wedding Ring quilt one year (1970) for a Christmas gift, it was hand pieced and quilted by a church group in my BIL parish. It has delighted me ever since and I cherish every stitch. This past year I finally made one of my own, but it is being quilted by a LA quilter.

  12. shelley mcgoldrick permalink
    November 2, 2010 8:20 pm

    I made a “This is your Life” scrapbook for my Mom’s 80th birthday. We had a surprise party for her and no one in the family knew that I had made the book. When my Mom opened it and started going through the pages there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. It was best gift that I ever gave anyone. Now that I am into quilting…my Mom is getting a quilt this year.

  13. November 3, 2010 12:46 am

    Too many to pick one, but I’ll go with the many things made with loving and talented hands by both my parents — doll clothes and furnishings, a doll house, wood furniture, gorgeous home-sewn clothes and knit sweaters. Many things I took for granted as a child but for which I have a new and deep appreciation for as an adult.

  14. Linda permalink
    November 3, 2010 1:28 am

    The most memorable handmade gift I have ever received is the necklace I received from my friend Terri on my 60th birthday. It was comprised of 60 lovely purple beads, with a dichroic glass pendant of a dragonfly–my favorite! I was so touched.

  15. Serena permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:06 am

    I am the crafty one amongst my family & friends so for every holiday or special occasion I make something for them but the best handmade gift I ever received was when my mother took my wedding dress & made it into a pram cover & pillow for my son. It was absolutely beautiful!!

  16. maget permalink
    November 3, 2010 8:59 am

    I knit my friend a very simple lace scarf for her birthday this August and she loves it. She’s currently at home in Japan and has told me she wears it everywhere and any time anyone asks her about it she’s so excited to tell them it’s handmade by me. It’s funny how a simple handmade gift can be so well loved! Thanks for the chance to win one of the books! I’m totally keeping my fingers crossed for the Zakka Sewing book!

  17. Cyn permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:30 am

    The most memorable handmade gift I made was the Christening outfit I made for my nephew who is also my Godson. My sister asked me to make it and I was honored to do so. I used fabric from her wedding dress. I have a photo of him, in his little outfit on his special day, in my living room where I see it almost everyday – it always makes me smile.

  18. Elizabeth permalink
    November 4, 2010 12:23 pm

    While the best handmade gift I ever received didn’t involve sewing, it was still the best! The gift was a converted photo album full of letters and poems from my husband. For one year (before we were married), I was living in England while he was in Canada. He later secretly complied all the letters he had written me during that year (there were a lot!) and created this lovely photo album/scrap book full of the letters, poems and pictures. I will have this gift forever, and love to browse through it every once and awhile.
    Thanks Pam, for such a great site (and your keen eye on new fabrics). Keep it up!

  19. MoeWest permalink
    November 6, 2010 1:55 pm

    Now that I think about it, I haven’t received many handcrafted gifts. I guess I’m the crafty one in our family. One that I really love is a wooden spice rack made by my father-in-law.

  20. Sarah permalink
    November 8, 2010 9:30 am

    I think my nicest hand made gift is still to come, my brother is currently making me a custom canoe paddle out of about 5 different woods. It truly will be a work of art.

  21. Maxine Yohn permalink
    November 15, 2010 9:02 am

    My sister made me a rug hooked hand with a heart in the palm. It was called heart in hand. At the time it didn’t have the meaning it does today as we exchanged hand made gifts many times but she passed recently and now it is one of the most cherished gifts I have.

  22. November 15, 2010 10:25 pm

    my most memorable hand made gift is one I gave to my children for Christmas not long after I started quilting. They were lap quilts and I was so proud of them.


Comments are closed.

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 943 other followers

  • Moda Bake Shop

    Quilting Gallery Logo

  • Quilt Hope In - Quilter Button

  • Archives

  • Quilting Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
  • %d bloggers like this: