Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year!

Although I am a little late, I would love to wish you all a Happy New Year.

In 2014, it is my hope to begin making my homemade Christmas gifts before the end of November - lol!

I just realized it has been AGES since my last post.  Here is a little bit of what I have been up to.  And, I would love to thank Sondra.  Although she may not know it, she introduced me to Pinterest - that wonderful site that inspired some of the projects I am about to share.

Gifts I made this year included:

Envelope Bags - Making the template was my biggest challenge with these. Unfortunately, I had two volumes of Christmas from the Heart: Home for the Holidays checked out of the library and I do not remember if this project was in Volume 12 or Volume 13.  Next time I am at the library, I will check and let you know in the comments section...

Envelope Bag - perfect for a journal and a pen.
Envelope Bag - perfect for a journal and a pen.
We have a card group that meets to play Pinochle.  This year for the gift exchange at the annual Christmas party, I made coasters and Santa towels.

Coasters - I would love to thank Kathy S. for giving me permission to use a photo of work I did on her block to make these coasters.  (Note: I found this idea on Pinterest.  I began making the coasters nearly a week in advance.  I would start MUCH earlier in the future.  I still do not know if they sealed well, as the sealant was not fully dry when we presented them.  If you follow the instructions at, I encourage you to read the comment section for potential problems and tips to avoid them.  And, you cannot see it in these photos, but there are clear streaks from the Mod Podge.  I liked the way that looked, my husband not-so-much.  However, he still thought these were a very cool gift.  No pun intended...)

Santa Towels - I saw these on Pinterest and LOVED them!  The tutorial may be found at  I bought the towels at Fred Meyer and found everything else at Michaels.

Purses -
Or, maybe I saw the Santa Purse on Pinterest and stumbled upon the towel tutorial from there?  Either way, Michaels also had this pretty red fabric, so I decided to make the purse.  (By the way, after making 4 towels and the purse too, I still have enough ribbon, fur and red fabric to make one more Santa Tote Bag. I'll add pockets inside if I make another one. OH - and I learned to never line the strap with satiny fabric.  Slippery!)

Such a popular bag!  I shared the tutorial site with 3 people my first day out.
Remember my first crazy quilted purse?  I modified the pattern to fasten it with a button instead of velcro (my buttonhole is almost centered... I never claimed I was a great seamstress - lol!) and made an OSU purse for my sister.

So... that is what I have been up to for the past month or so.  Now I am off to work on Donna's block!

Did you make homemade gifts this year?  If so, leave me a comment; I would love to hear about them (or see them if you have them posted on a blog or Flickr account.)



Marilyn said...

Hi Renee. You could sew or glue a strip of ultrasuede or leather to the inside of the strap on your purse so it doesn't slip. You made some very nice projects - I'm sure the recipients were happy with them.

Renee said...

Marilyn, thank you for the tip! I would not have thought of it. Thank you!