2016 - the year of giving handmade

January 2, 2016

Time off work is a wonderful thing for blogging, or free time is anyway :).  I mentioned a blog design in the works and I'm proud to announce it's complete.  If you're reading through a reader be sure to click through so you can check it out.  I purchased the design through Eclair Designs on Etsy and can't recommend them enough! I didn't get paid or asked to give them a shout out, I'm just thrilled with the design and service.


In addition to the few goals I set myself yesterday I've decided I want 2016 to be the year of giving handmade.  I'm terribly selfish when it comes to sewing and while that is not always a bad thing, sewing for others gives me a chance to branch out of my comfort zone and do something I wouldn't normally.

My biggest problem with sewing for others is I tend to put it off in favour of projects I want to make, things I find appealing and new ideas I just can't get out of my head.  However I figure if I start early enough I can give handmade gifts for 2016.

A few things first, I'm going to limit it to close family and friends only, I've given quilts as presents before and they are not always appreciated as I feel they should be.  Maybe I'm still a little bitter from that time I made a quilt and never received a thank you...  Or those friends I made quilts for and no longer speak to. Handmade is something from the heart so I feel that limiting it to those I'm closest too is fair.

Another one of my rules is that gifts don't just need to be sewn.  I have two brother in laws and I have no idea what I would sew for them.  Thankfully I'm also quite adept in the kitchen so I'm including jams, sauces, relishes and all baked good as handmade too.  I also think handmade can include a printed photo I've taken, while not technically handmade it does fit within the essence of the project.

The list of planned recipients is as follows -
  • Mum (May)
  • Grandmother (February)
  • Sister #1 (June)
  • Sister #2 (March)
  • Brother in Law #1 (October)
  • Brother in Law #2 (February)
  • Nephew #1 (13 March)
  • Nephew #2 (11 July)
  • Nephew #3 (6 November)
  • Nephew #4 (3 February)
  • Friends Wedding Present (May)

Thankfully I have some ideas already.  I plan on making a cushion cover from my Grandmother, at 96 she has pretty much everything she wants, so something simple and handmade will do the trick.

I made my mother a quilt for her birthday three years ago, so it's time to make her something else she will love.  I don't have any ideas for her yet, she is impossible to shop for!

For Sister #2 I plan on making her a quilt, each of her children has one but I've never made one for her, I think that needs to change.

For Nephew #1 I plan on making him something with planes in it.  They are his passion so I'm thinking either a quilt or a bag using them somehow.

Northern Lights

I started a Nothern Lights Quilt by Jaybird Quilts 157 weeks ago according to my Instagram, I plan on finally finishing it (all it needs in quilting) and gifting it to Nephew#2.

I actually have a pile of fabric that has been sitting in my stash for about three years waiting to be made into a quilt for Nephew #3, this could be the year.  Or it could be a pencil case as he starts grade 1.

Nephew #4 is probably the hardest of all my nephews, probably due to his age.  I'm sure I'll come up with something for him.

I plan on coming up with a collection of sauces and relishes for my brother in laws, I doubt they will want anything sewn!

Wedding Present

For my friends wedding I'm planning a cushion like the one above (I made it back in 2012).  I ordered the custom panel from Spoonflower and turned it into a cushion from there.  I am pleased to say the one above was very well received and I think it's about time I made another.

Anyway, this is my goal for the year, let's see how I go!


  1. This is one of my goals, too! I despise going to shopping centres and I almost feel as though I buy gifts out of desperation, which doesn't feel like the best motivation - handmade is far better. As you say, this doesn't necessary have to be something sewn (or knitted). When I was trying to think of handmade presents for people who don't necessary need something to wear, I came up with using one of my other skills: photography! My immediate family members all received a calendar of my photos as part of their Christmas gift and I highly recommend it - you make something once and you can give it to multiple people. Win!

    Hello from a new reader, too - I think I came to your blog via a link or comment on Miss Maddy Sews.

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Thanks for stopping by Katie! I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves to give and receive handmade, it sure feels like it sometimes. My family did a secret santa for Christmas this year and everyone wanted gift cards! I agree, I often end up buying gifts I hope the recipient will like at the last minute. Saying that the best gift I've ever given was when I got my (now ex) boyfriends Australian Scout Medalian framed for him for Christmas. Prior to that it has just been sitting in the bottom of a drawer. Needless to say by the look on his face when he opened it I knew it was the perfect present. So it wasn't handmade by me, but it was handmade by the nice people at the framing shop :). I firmly believe some things should be bought, especially when I can't make them as well as they can, but supporting local business and buying others handcrafts is sometimes just as good.

      I love the calendar idea! My sister did calendars last year (actually the year before now) with photos of my nephews, they were very well received :).

      Don't you just love Maddy's blog? She is just so talented!