The upcoming few weeks are sure to bring invitations to join family and friends in celebrating the holidays. It’s always fun to take a little something for the hostess. And because I sew and quilt, I like to give a gift that I’ve made.
Here are a few of my ideas. I spent one long afternoon last weekend and made all of these small gifts so most of them are really quick projects.
Coasters/mug rugs are a great idea. Add some coffee, hot chocolate mix or peppermint sticks to stir the hot chocolate and you have an easy gift.
My first coaster is simply two 5½” squares and four 1” x 5½” strips of Christmas fabric. Place the wrong sides of the squares together, fold the strips in half lengthwise and sew one to each side of the squares. Turn and topstitch in place. I used fabric from the Jingle All the Way collection by Kim Christopherson for Maywood Studio. I made four and intend to pair them with some nice mugs filled with candy canes. These went together really quickly; I spent less than 30 minutes for the set of four.
My next set of coasters took much longer but I loved the end result and the method is totally addictive. I saw the idea in a book. I even have the book. But since we are getting ready to move, my book is packed so I can’t tell you the title or author. I don’t even know if I made my projects exactly according to the method in the book. I bought cotton clothesline rope, wrapped it in strips of batik fabric, coiled the wrapped rope and zigzagged the coil together. I think I’ll pair these with mugs and hot chocolate mix.
And l made another set in more vibrant colors.
The process was so fun I made two more. I made them a little larger so I could use them under a bowl instead of a mug. I thought it would be fun to gift these with big bowls (they are a little larger than a cereal bowl) and some popcorn.
My next project was a set of four napkins. I took one yard of fabric from the Seasonal Celebrations collection by Patrick Lose Fabrics and cut four 18” squares. I hemmed the squares and just like that I had pretty Christmas napkins. With a package of napkin rings that I found on sale at a discount shop, I’m all set with another quick hostess gift.
Next, I took a small orphan block, added a backing fabric and a layer of Insul-Bright by The Warm Company and had a cute little potholder. I added a bowl with some cheese and crackers for this gift.
I liked the potholder idea. And, I like using my orphan blocks. So, I found another leftover – a table runner – in my PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks). My PIG was a color option for Vintner’s Bouquet in the October/November 2017 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. Vintner’s Bouquet was the cover quilt. That issue is available in print or digital format.
I folded my PIG roughly in thirds, with right sides together and stitched two of the layers together on three sides. Next, I turned it right side out, added a layer of Insul-Bright and quilted that part. The third part is just hanging at this point. But after I quilted, I folded the last part up, and cut off part of it to make the remaining section a good size for a pocket. I hemmed it and stitched the pocket in place. I added a couple of matching spoons and completed my gift with a recipe card that I had saved to make myself one day. (It would be better to give one of your tried and true recipes but again; many of my things, including my recipes are in storage.)
My final project was a gift bag. It’s just the right size for a bottle of wine and a couple of really good chocolate bars. I just made my bag with no instructions and it could be a lot nicer.
I found instructions for really nice gift bags in this issue of Quilter’s Newsletter’s Best Christmas Quilts from 2011. I’ll be using them for my next gift bag. That issue is still available in digital format and has a handful of great ideas for small, quick gifts. It’s currently on sale for just $2.00!
When I brought my hostess gifts to the office, my friend and coworker Tricia suggested a stocking instead of a gift bag for the wine. I loved that idea. And we have three stockings in the November/December 2017 issue of McCall’s Quilting. That issue is available in print and digital format.
So now, with all my hostess gifts sewn and ready to give, I just have to hope someone invites me to a party.