Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Little Christmas Stash Fun.

Or, the best laid plans of mice and quilters...

Hi all! I am Jan from the blog, Another Hatchett Job. The last time I posted here at Stash Manicure, I was asked to by Rae Ann. This time, I have had the pleasure of talking with Madame Samm and getting to know her a little bit. I have enjoyed watching this blog grow and blossom as so many wonderful ideas. It's exciting to have played a very small part in the sharing! I know that I get really inspired by seeing what other quilters are doing. But, today, I am going to share some ideas for manicuring the ol' stash while getting ready for the holidays.

My fabulous plan was to show all kinds of photos for these following projects as I worked on them, but, alas, my sewing machine bit the dust and I am readjusting my Christmas plans. So, I am including links that will show everyone many of the projects that I had planned to do. Some photos exist for projects that I started, but likely won't get to finish in time for the holidays (at least this year)!
So what if they don't quilt, maybe they will re- gift it to me!
For most of us, the holidays are a time of fun and family. But, often, the anticipation of the event is more exciting than the actual events themselves. Part of that wonderful anticipation comes from the hunt for the "perfect gift" for someone special. We feel kind of victorious when we have found just the thing. We enjoy knowing that the item that we located will please our loved one. It's a good thing.

But.....what if you could get all those nice feelings without the shopping hustle and bustle? What if you could customize items for your friends and family? What if you could spend time in your crafty/sewing space instead of a crowded mall? What if you could enjoy yourself and be creative while coming up with the perfect gift?

Stash Busting for the holidays can definitely be a win/win situation! Especially when the economy is tight (as it certainly is around here), I can satisfy my creative desires while making gifts that are specifically crafted to please the recipient.

In addition to purchased fabrics, my personal stash contains clothing to be repurposed, and gifted fabrics. I am using up as much of these as possible while making gifts for loved ones.

And these gifts are certainly NOT limited to these end of the year holidays. My first project is a baby quilt for a dear friend's first child. As we know that the baby is a boy and the mother is averse to anything even remotely "girly," I am using old, er, thrifted men's (and boy's) shirts for this quilt. I am even using pieced batting and more shirting fabric for the back. It's definitely masculine, while being soft and lovely for a baby.

I took some old blocks that I started years ago to make a gift. I didn't have the skills at the time to finish them correctly, so I set them aside. I recently found them and put together a nice lap quilt for a Christmas gift. It's full of beginner mistakes that I had made, but it's got loads of character and I just know that the recipient will love it.

I may have to slip over to my parent's house and use Mom's sewing machine to finish this one.  It only lacks the binding at this point.

Here is the back of the same quilt.  It is a glorious blend of all kinds of 80s scraps from when I first started quilting!  I love a project that is almost done when I find it!  LOL!

Some more vintage shirting will be another lap quilt. I am using this pattern from Quiltville. This site is a fabulous resource for using scraps and turning them into beautiful items.

For my sons, I am making outdoor adventure bags from the legs of cargo pants that a friend passed along to me. My sons are in Boy Scouts and they will carry these bags on their hikes. They are great for picking up little items for their nature journal, holding a camera, and to hook a water bottle onto (ours are stainless steel bottles with carabiner clips on the lids).  I wish I had a picture to show here.  Basically, you cut the legs on both sides to include the cargo pocket and a few inches underneath.  You close up and box the corners at the bottom, line it if you like (maybe with an extra pocket inside) and add a strap to go across the body.
easy embellished towels

Other planned gifts include pot holders and embellished kitchen towels, like these from Moda Bakeshop. I am using primarily left over jelly roll strips for these. I will purchase inexpensive towels and ric-rack or embellishments (if I can't scrounge up enough from my stash or my mother's stash).
pot holders that look like muffins

There are loads of great ideas on the internet that many people have generously shared with us. Take advantage of them by typing something like "sewing Christmas gifts" in Google or another search engine. There are no limits to the great ideas that you can find and make your own designer creations.

I hope you will all post photos of the gifts you make and help to inspire the rest of us. Feel free to stop by my blog, Another Hatchett Job, anytime. And be sure to keep checking back at Stash Manicure for more wonderful ideas!


  1. Hi Jan,

    I am brand new (thanks to Samm)to quilting. I made my first rug mug today and I must say - it is addicting.

    I enjoyed your posting, and like the guest towel idea. Thank you for sharing.


  2. I just LOVE the shirt idea. The funny thing is, we have a quilt my husand's mom made...and back then the quilts were made with clothing. Great ideas!

  3. I made my first shirt quilts this summer. They were fun to do. Lovely post.

  4. Some great ideas here this week for stash busting and economical gift making. Lol, we'll have no excuse next year not to have another stash....of homemade gifts for everyone :D. Thanks a lot ladies for the great ideas!

  5. I love the muffin pot holders...so cute and what a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing!
    One Christmas when I didn't get the dress I was making for my mom done I wraped up a sleeve and gave that to her under the tree. I was in college then and thought I could get it done. We laughed alot about that Christmas gift.
    Maybe you could wrap up some of your intended to make gifts and give everyone a real suprise! lol

  7. Each year I want so baddly to share my hobby with friends and family. But I never get everything done that I hope to accomplish. I swear every year that I will start after the holiday and hold them away until Christmas. I'm not that patient or organized either.
    As we approach the holiday I'm sure to be restless, and trying to finish something at the last minute.

  8. I like the idea of giving the fabrics picked for a quilt. A promise to have it done by ... say... February or March could make it perfect!


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