Handmade Christmas Gifts 2016

Christmas is upon us and I have been doing some making but of course couldn’t share it until they had all been gifted.

This year my family reduced the numbers of gifts we each gave and received. For my immediate family (siblings and parents) we broke it down into four categories: handmade, books, charity donation and other. This was very handy otherwise I would have tried to make everyone’s gifts.

There was one gift that I was most excited to see opened. My eco conscious sister has been reducing her use of plastic and gave up grocery bags a few years ago so for her handmade gift, I made her some vege/bulk bags. These were made with old pillow cases that were worn thin so they would be light. It’s important for it to be light when you are paying for the additional weight. She is also a major beyonce fan so I stitched them with food puns and her lyrics. I overlocked the edges so that she could just throw them into the wash and not worry about any fraying. That was an experience and a half. I used L's mum's machine and managed to snap a few threads somehow which took awhile to fix. my sister definitely liked them and they were well worth the effort :)

For L’s family I did a gift basket of food goodies. I made them plum chutney and hokey pokey (and hokey pokey chocolate bark). Oh and I made them crackers, and then the next day read the recipe and realized I had made them about 6 days too early... So I took those into work. Making Chutney was pretty exciting and scary at the same time. When I heard the jars seal I did a victory dance around the kitchen. I had been staring at them just waiting, waiting for the pop. The hokey pokey is just the classic Edmonds recipe. These were bundled up with some wine and beer. I also had this idea in my head that I wanted to make a Christmas tree decoration to go with it all because it wasn’t feeling particularly Christmas-sy. I made these with some felt scraps and embroidery thread. It’s just French knots and back stitch for the design and then blanket stitch to hold it all together. I wanted this to be a relatively low-waste gift, so the basket is one that can be reused for storage or again as a gift basket, the drinks were in glass, the food was packaged plastic free and the stuffing in the decorations was fluffed up fabric scraps from projects over the year. 

I baked some gifts for the ladies at work. I made a double batch of my shortbread and gave them each a stack. I finished them at about 11.30pm the night before so I didn’t take any pictures. I assure you it looked pretty yummy. I wrapped the stacks in a piece of crepe paper and cut out red and gold triangles which I stuck on like Christmas bunting. They liked the shortbread enough that I was then asked to email out my recipe so they could all make it at home.

That is all that I made for Christmas specifically, but I have also been working on some owl brooches. I’m trying to find the best order of doing things because the light thread disappears into the fabric and is very hard for me to see, especially when stitching in the car or in front of the tv.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

xo Kirsten Isabel