Plus... when one of your nieces can't stop hugging her handmade pillow, you know you've done something right. I have no regrets.
One of my favorite gifts to give is a double sided table runner. I bought the wintery fabric for the Christmas side years ago at Pennington Quilt Works, and it's not quite my taste anymore. However, I thought (and hubby agreed) that my mother-in-law would love it. It will look perfect in her warm, predominately brown kitchen. Plus, the other side is simple strips of fall fabrics, so she can easily use it for half the year if she wishes (fall and winter, not just Thanksgiving and Christmas). :) She loved it!
What do you make or give a 1 year old boy? This year, I made fabric balls for the first time using this tutorial and template from Stitches and Love; the first one took 10 minutes, so I made a second one! I gathered up my Cotton and Steel fabrics, Poly-fil, and some jingle bells to add to the inside. My husband thought they were from the store, and I was pleased to tell him that I had made them myself. They are sewn together tightly and accurately, so I'm not worried about anything getting out (and if it does, it will be a quick and easy fix). I hope my nephew enjoys playing with them at home; he definitely enjoyed them yesterday at Christmas. For reference, they fit right in my hand!
I also made some scarves out of knit fabric for my nieces, using Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin with Stacie Stukin. Thanks to Maggie @squishythings, my guild friend, for lending it to me. Two things about these scarves: they look adorable (if I may say so myself - see below), and they were entirely made from scraps, including several t-shirts.
Bonus: I have an old Snuggie that was never used, so I cut it up - it's so soft and warm as a scarf! That's the bright pink layer in the side two scarves. I will DEFINITELY return to this project, and they were well-received!
I made scarves for my coworkers out of of voile and knit (left and middle), according to their tastes. I almost kept the Anna Maria Horner one from myself (it's SO WARM) but I resisted (I could always make another). The right scarf was made for my sister out of metallic voile by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton + Steel. She's going to be a world traveler this summer so I thought it was appropriate to have such a luxurious, long scarf. Plus, she'll have a piece of me the whole time. By the way, this tutorial by Sew4Home is my favorite one for infinity scarves.
I made the ever-popular stuffed oblong pillow (again, with Poly-fil) for one of my nieces, who didn't yet have a birthday to receive one. I'll probably make her a scarf for her birthday next year. I also made a couple of these in red and purple for my other nieces' recent birthdays, but forgot to take pictures. This is my own pattern and it's always fun to make.
One of my older nieces, who lives nearby, is VERY interested in learning how to use a sewing machine. I promised her that she could come over soon and we would work together.
Ellie Travel Case by Fabric Mutt, filled with notions and fabric for her to use. I passed along a special pair of scissors and a seam ripper from my own collection. She's 9 and she's going to be a fabulous sewist; I can tell already. :)
This was the first year I made ornaments for all of the families within my family. I hope to do this every year. I used this tutorial by Devoted Quilter (Free Motion Quilted ornaments). I collect ornaments and many of my family members do, too.
Finally, one or two people receive a custom handmade quilt from me (one day, all of my family and friends will have one, I think), but this year, I only made one. It's a joint Christmas and birthday present for my younger brother, and he is really excited about it (hint: it combines improvisational piecing and a large beer bottle). That piece has yet to be quilted but there's no pressure to finish it for Christmas. He still got to open it, though, and he very much approves. More soon.
Did you make gifts this holiday season? Either way, hats off to you - we made it through another holiday season. I'm ready to relax and start 2017 with a fresh outlook. How about you?