A Handmade Gift Exchange

This year we had another handmade gift exchange with my side of the family, and it was AWESOME! It is so cool to see everyone’s creativity flowing, and to see the different talents that everyone has. I will let these images speak for themselves, with just a small sampling of what was exchanged this year between kids and adults.

Handmade Doll Handmade Gift
Vintage look doll.

Handmade Painting Handmade Gift
Butterfly paintings.

Spice Mixes and ornament.

Slingshot. This gift was fun to make! The post office worker gave us the long elastics, and the shoe repair shop owner gave us the leather for the pouch. My husband made the rest from some pine board that we had in the garage, by whittling it down and sanding it. It was really fun to see how much our nephew loved it – he was shooting felt play food all over the house in the days following!

Handmade Purse Handmade Gift
Crocheted purse.

Knitted Legwarmers.

Handmade BBQ Kit Handmade Gift
BBQ Grilling Kit.

Handmade Batman Cape Handmade Gift
Batman Cape and Mask.

We had such a variety of gifts! Others included a custom welded bike rack attachment, a tin of Christmas cookies, hair clips, soaps and lip gloss, an apron, a child’s denim tool belt, and more!

The other thing I love about handmade gifts is that because you’re putting time and love into them, you are more likely to have a thoughtful gift that has so much meaning to the person on the receiving end. We are all just loving our handmade gifts, and I would encourage you to think outside the box and consider doing a handmade gift exchange as well next year!

A New Quilt!

This past Sunday was my littlest daughter Karis’ second birthday. For her birthday I made her a quilt for her big girl bed, as I have done for my other two girls. When I made the first of the three quilts I bought extra of several of the fabrics I used so that I could incorporate matching fabrics into each of their quilt designs so that no matter who shared a room, they would each have a unique handmade quilt that coordinated well with the other.

I am really happy with how Karis’ quilt turned out and I thought I would share some pictures of the process. The first step after choosing a pattern, was to cut out all of the pieces for the quilt – this is pretty time consuming! The next step is to piece all of those little pieces together to form the quilt top.

sewing squares

Here is a shot of me piecing together one of the small squares which make up the center of the quilt.

quilt squares

And here are all of the completed squares that make up the center.

quilt layout

The next step was to layout the squares on the floor until I found a pattern that I was happy with. You then sew each row together, and attach the rows.

I added the outer borders and patterns until the quilt top was complete. My husband’s Oma had agreed to hand quilt this quilt for me, which I am SO thankful for! Having Oma’s hand stitched designs on the quilt makes it that much more special.

Oma with the quilt

Here is Oma with the quilt ready for me to put the binding on – notice all of the flower details she added!

Finished quilt

Here is the finished product on Karis’ bed! My mom also took some extra squares that I had and made a hand quilted pillow sham to match – isn’t it lovely? (She also made some matching pillow cases – thanks Mom!) I love that three generations of family members  contributed to this project.

Matching quilts

And finally, here is a shot of Zoey and Karis’ matching quilts on their bunk beds. I should add that my husband has only ever used handmade quilts made by his Oma (pictured above) and has never used a purchased blanket on his bed! Oma made us a beautiful quilt for our bed when we got married, and crib quilts for our babies, and I have decided to carry on this tradition of handmade quilts on the beds in our house. It’s such a special thing to sleep with a quilt that has been handmade by someone who loves you isn’t it?

A Handmade Christmas

My family is quite crafty, and as it happened my siblings and I who are married happened to marry spouses who are quite crafty in one way or another as well. Last Christmas we were taking stock of all of the skills that we possess as a family: woodworking, welding, sewing, knitting, crocheting, graphic design, writing music, painting, stained glass making and more! So we decided that this year we would put those skills to work to make fun, meaningful handmade gifts for Christmas and boy was it a success!!!! Some of those gifts included a custom made bike rack, a wooden rocking horse, hand painted mugs, a sock monkey and a sock lamb, reusable produce bags, leather moccasins, Koala Pouch hats and balls, a super hero costume, felt food, some vintage purses, a custom designed poster and some beautiful Christmas tree ornaments. Cool right? Here are a some pictures showing just a few of the gifts that were exchanged.

Handmade Christmas balls

Our newest niece Taliah with her toy balls

Handmade Christmas Children's food

Just look at this amazing felt food – my favorite are the eggs in the carton!

Handmade Christmas hat1

Meghan looking lovely in her new hat

Handmade Christmas hat2

Susie looking stylish in her new hat

Handmade Christmas moccasins

The fantastic leather moccasins that I received!

Handmade Christmas ornaments

A small sampling of the super cute ornaments presented

Handmade Christmas purse

Sophia loving her new strawberry purse

Our Christmas was such a success that we are planning on doing it again next year!

If you have done a handmade gift exchange I would love to hear about it – please include descriptions of gifts given and even pictures. Or if you have had a Handmade Christmas let me know how it turned out for you.