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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Handmade Gift Ideas, Holiday Music and Holiday Clipart

For those that are celebrating Christmas, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. For those that do not, thank you for respecting those of us that do celebrate this holiday.  I'm passionate about respecting holidays, traditions and values of a variety of cultures and beliefs.  

When it comes to celebrating Christmas I do realize it is easy to get caught up in the "shopping" and gift giving, when this holiday is really all about taking time to enjoy family, friends and the holiday in general. You can also enjoy this holiday without any expense by just taking time to enjoy the decorations and music.  

While I've listened to the "Little Drummer Boy", by Pentatonix, multiple times,I still am looking forward to listening to them on again today. As such, I wanted to share this with you now:

I also wanted to create some clipart that you are welcome to copy and use, as you may wish to do so:

I suspect many of you were up late on Christmas Eve sewing projects and some may still be squeezing in some time to stitch out and hopefully finish some projects for last minute gifts.  As such, I wanted to share some insights on great last minute gift ideas, but first I want to share with you a memory of someone I found inspirational and certainly changed my sewing life.   

Many years ago, an owner of a local sewing center (Harriett) was a great sewing and embroidery enthusiast.  At the time, I enjoyed quilting, sewing and free-motion machine embroidery (now called threadplay, which evolved into machine embroidery).  Harriett always shared stories and great ideas for last minute gift ideas that she could whip out on her machine.  One year she had her son show up on Christmas Day with a girlfriend, whom Harriett had not planned to give a gift.  But Harriett found time to sneak into her sewing room and embroider an item for this girl and that young lady never knew her gift was made last minute either!   

Some easy and fast last minute handmade gift ideas are: Click-It Bags, shopping totes, wine vests,  luggage tags, pillowcases and machine embroidered items.  And for easy last-minute non-handmade gifts you might want to consider a class at Craftsy which is on sale today too! (up to 50% off even on new classes, but 12/25 is the last day of this sale)  But, of course, I'd also love to hear about your last minute project ideas!

Marjorie Busby (Shop B Quilts) has many cute machine embroidery designs that are compatible with AccuQuilt dies, includie designs that are perfect for Christmas.

I whipped out a table topper that was sandwiched with insulbrite.  As I have never mastered free-motion quilting (FMQ) of the swirl design I used this project as an opportunity to practice  FMQ using Sarah Vedeler's tutorial shared in the 2012 FMQ Challenge.

Mug Rugs are certainly fun and fast projects and great projects to use to practice your FMQ, which is what I did.  Marjorie has some lovely snowflake machine embroidery designs that work well on Mug Rugs, but would also work well on linen napkins, placemats, towels, or just about anything.  

Marjorie's design for the AccuQuilt GO! Sleigh includes a spectacular Santa, which stitches out absolutely beautifully.  Truly a design from a Master Digitizer, which Marjorie has become!

Her Santa in a sleigh stitches out beautifully and would be spectacular on a vest, table runner, quilt, stocking, dish towels and an endless number of other projects.  And it stitches out quickly and easily, which makes it an amazing design that also works well for last minute Christmas gifts.

Yes, Marjorie's Santa in the Sleigh and Reindeers stitch out beautifully, as do her other designs.  As they are so fast and fun to create, these machine embroidery designs will certainly be my "go to" designs for future holiday gifts.  If you enjoy machine embroidery, I hope you get a chance to stitch out using Marjorie's designs soon.  I think you'll enjoy them as I have.  

Check out all of the designs by Marjorie at B Quilts:

There is more holiday music that I want to enjoy today, thus I thought I should share it with you too.  Ricky Tims and Kat Bowser recorded a Christmas Concert "Music in a Small Town" that is spectacular.  I've enjoyed it several times, but it is another one that I'm definitely going to listen to again today.  It is available for view at The Quilt Show Blog: 


Again, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.  

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Barb said...

What fun projects....

Hope you and yours are having a fabulous day...maybe a restful day? I have sons sleeping right now.

WoolenSails said...

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family today and are blessed throughout the new year.


paulette said...

You are so generous with your time...finding all the best deals and the best ideas!! Thank you, SCG!! We really appreciate you and your blog!! Wishing you the merriest of Christmases!
Big hug!

Joanna said...

Merry Christmas. Yes, I was sewing on Christmas Eve and needed the item done by 2 PM and I made it. Very typical of a sewer's Christmas Eve. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Missy Shay said...

Thank you for the great ideas! Have a merry Christmas!

Karen said...

Thanks for the great ideas SewCalGal. Merry Christmas...

Martha said...

I love the little table topper!!! The spirals are perfect for this!! A very Merry Christmas to you SewCal Gal!!! Martha :^)

Marjorie said...

What a wonderful post. Love your table runner with the sleigh and reindeer. And I love the other projects you showed too. I am bookmarking them in Evernote so I can keep them handy for future reference. Thank you for everything you do not only to pay it forward but also to keep us inspired. Merry Christmas.

Dana Gaffney said...

I hope your day was perfect, with all you do, I think you're a little bit of Christmas all year long.
I need to look into that Santa, I've always wanted one for my GO! sleigh.

Barb and Sharon said...

Thanks for the video link. My sister and I have been watching videos of the group today and we love them!

Sharon said...

Thank you for the video of the Drummer Boy. It was so beautiful it brought me to tears. I also enjoy your blog very much.

Jacque said...

Merry Christmas to you, dear friend! Love this post of inspiring ideas. Hugs to you!

Ivory Spring said...

I do love your quilted swirls -- perfectly apt for the sleigh scene. :)

Suze said...

I just found your FMQ tutorials. TY TY TY. That is one of my major goals for the year. I volunteered to be the education person for our night guild meeting (we have a night meeting and a day meeting) so that is going to stretch me to find quilting topics for short 5 minute blurbs each month. I don't intend to do anything on FMQ for those. I just purchased a new sewing machine cabinet and not all the pieces to it came. It is supposed to be twice as deep as it is, so I should have a large work surface for quilting. I bought it was machine quilting in mind. I really want to work on my quilting skills. Even if I do lap quilts and table toppers, I want to be very proud of them. I usually make at least queen size quilts and I don't think I'll be able to quilt those on my home machine since I have fibromyalgia and it effects my arms greatly. Time will tell. Again, thanks for all your efforts for FMQ.