Last year I made a gift for my daughter’s teacher, who was my son’s teacher, who happens to also be my husband’s aunty. Anyway, she’s special and I wanted to do something special. I’ve always wanted to try “drawing” with my sewing machine. It was a small space and I thought it would be faster than doing an appliqué. I really hate preparing my fabric for appliqué. It’s a Kukui leaf and nuts, which has special meaning to her and her class.
Until tonight, I had no idea there was such a thing as “free-motion embroidery.” I’ve been wanting to do more with it since this first project and now I’m really inspired! If only I had the time to go with it.
I have a ton of tween nieces. All fabulous. They are so hard to shop for. The cutesy stuff no longer applies and the stuff they want often comes with that picture of an apple on it; and I wouldn’t dare try to buy clothes for them. I decided a bath wrap was kind of spa-ish (I saw lots of ideas for spa baskets…but no one ever really uses that stuff) and functional. I like functional.
I found a bunch of tutorials, but this one made the most sense to me. This one inspired the ruffle. As always, I followed it loosely. Many tutorials call for terry cloth, but I like the large and super plush towels that Costco & Sams club sell. Plus, they are huge! I cut off about a third of this towel.
My favorite part is the ruffle…although it killed two of my sewing machine needles. I free-motioned her name to personalize it. I think tweens are probably over appliqué. I kind of want one now.
I’m usually a room parent for my kids’ classes, but I opted out this past year since I spent a good portion of my pregnancy in the horizontal position. I know the amount of time and work that goes into helping out the classrooms, so I wanted to thank them some how. I found a great tutorial for drawstring bags online. I think it’s one of the easiest around. I filled them with a bag of cookies and a thank you note.
They would work for teacher gifts too, but we ended up doing personalizing water bottles instead. Thanks to my sisters for their Sillhouette & Vinyl.
You could make a bazillion of these for so many things! Here’s the link to the tutorial:
Best drawstring bag tutorial!
I started off Valentine’s Day in my daughter’s classroom. I had the kids make valentine hair accessories for themselves or to give away. They came out really cute. Wish I had a chance to snap some pictures.
For my kids, I sewed everyone a pillow case to go with their new pillow. I hate that it takes a whole day and a number of loads just to wash the pillows. I was at Wal Mart one day and I saw these “travel pillows.” They aren’t tiny like for the airplane. It’s almost exactly a standard pillow cut in half. It’s perfect for kids. They are really soft too. For just over $4, it was totally worth it. The best part, they are small enough to toss in WITH a load of laundry. Think of all the money I’ll save on utilities! I’m throwing all the old pillows out.For the girls, I used leftover fabric from their Christmas blankets. I never posted it in my “Gifts I Made This Past Christmas” posts, but here it is.Believe it or not, it’s exactly what she had on her Christmas list. “A blue blanket with snowflakes. And if you can put words on it that say, ‘Let it snow!” So, that’s what she got. Joann’s had a sale, during Christmas and their fleece was only $3!!!
For the boys, I just used GI Joe fabric that my son picked out a year (or two or three) ago for a blanket that was never finished. I put brown minky on the backs of theirs so that they would have a soft side too. If it wasn’t for cutting the fabric, these whipped up really fast. They were excited about it, so it made me happy. We had Family Home Evening tonight instead of last night, so they snuggled up on their pillows while we watched a short video.For dessert, I copied what my sister did for her family. I made heart shaped cinnamon rolls.I added a little twist and dyed the frosting pink. They were kind of ugly by the time the frosting went on since they cooled a little bit first. They didn’t ooze like they normally do. Anyhow, the kids were psyched, so it was worth it.The hubby and I are having our Valentine’s date on Friday. I’m looking forward to it! And with that, here’s a fun quote by a man I love and admire.“I am satisfied that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion. Any man who will make his wife’s comfort his first concern will stay in love with her throughout their lives and through the eternity yet to come”
-Gordon B. Hinckley
After the fun we had at the jewelry party, it was time to focus on the shower. We had a “Tea Party” theme. The bride’s sister who lives thousands of miles away flew in the night before the shower.Everyone did their part to make things pretty.My little sister did all of the names on doilies by hand. It was a really elegant touch.My SIL used her handy-dandy cricut to cut out all those adorable boxes. To make it even better, they were filled with chocolate covered macadamia nut clusters smothered in caramel.We played some games and ate.Look at all these hand-made prizes! Lucky for us, even if we didn’t win, we still got a prize at the end.Fresh baked bread was filled with different sandwich fillings. We had three “flavors” to choose from. It was delish!This flavor of lemonade was new to all of us. It was a big hit.Spinach salad and these cream filled strawberries on the side completed the meal. It’s great having a pastry chef in the family! She stuffed them with a mix of cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little vanilla. They were topped with graham cracker crumbs.After we ate, it was time for gifts. The bride received a beautiful heirloom pearl necklace from her sister who had been keeping it safe for 14 years since her own wedding! It was a really sweet surprise.She also brought a gift from her son who used his own money to buy his favorite aunty some comfy PJs.We all chipped in while my SIL worked her magic and made this beautiful pearl set (She’s wearing all three pieces) for her. I wish I had a link to her online store, but IT’S NOT UP YET!!! (no pressure Ky…but HURRY UP!).My other sister found a great idea to make a basket of “Dates For A Year” since my brother and his bride lived in two separate countries and didn’t get to “go on dates” much. We thought it was a good idea from the beginning, but seeing everyone fill it up was so fun and creative! For January, they went box car racing. Other dates they will have to look forward to are driving around the island sight seeing with gift cards to various stops around the island. A day at the park with a frisbee and a Jamba Juice gift card. A hammock to take to a beach park and hang out.A DVD for “The Bucket List” with a “worksheet” to fill out their own bucket list.An envelope with two five dollar bills. They go to a mall or superstore and each spend five dollars on the other person that is an expression of love and creativity. I wish I could remember them all. She was really excited about it. I think we all were! My mom also gave her the beautiful simple frame.I almost forgot. My oldest sister made these refreshing fruit popscicles. She used an ice tray as a mold. They look so pretty too!It was a super fun day with the most important women in our life. We were so anxious for the big day!
That night, we packaged all this beautiful rock candy that my sister made to look like sea glass. So cool! Can’t wait for the wedding!!!