Secret Santa Fabric Bags

November 28th, 2011
Do you participate in a Secret Santa at your work or school?
I do when I can, mostly because I believe in the spirit of giving, the fun of anonymity that Secret Santa brings.
Karen from The Bald Dragonfly here, and I made a few little bags out of the Holly Jolly fabric line available at Riley Blake Designs.
I’m not by any means a sewing fanatic, but these bags were so easy and quick, I let the cute designs shine!
First, cut out twice the length plus one inch of what your bag size needs to be, plus one inch wider.
Fold the fabric so the wrong side of the fabric shows and simply do a straight stitch down two of the long sides.
Snip the bottom corners-this helps remove some bulk.
Next, fold down the top sides and stitch 1/8 inch from the top and 1/4 inch from the edge of the folded flap.
Snip the fabric between the two seams and turn your bag inside out.
Run ribbon, twine or jute through the bag as your tie.
Here’s a close up of one bag using the White Holly Jolly Berries fabric, jute and a black button.
And the other bag, using the Red Holly Jolly Fabric and black grosgrain ribbon.
The fun thing about this project is that I can custom make any size bag I want and fill them with all sorts of goodies.
Think of fun, inexpensive items like the Candies and Hot Cocoa Mix as shown here.
Or, offer up some hand baked holiday cookies.
Use these bags as a wrapper to hold a gift card for the hard to buy for teenager, just to make the gift just a bit more personal.
I’ve already got a stash of these made using some other holiday fabrics
designed by Jen and offered by Riley Blake Designs. Check out all the holiday fabric designs out here!

Tutorial: Personalized Fabric Trimmed Towels

November 17th, 2011

Anyone on your gift list can use a new kitchen towel, I promise! Let’s face it, kitchen towels are extremely functional, but have constant turn over… so, why not make them fabulous too? Hi, Janell here for another  idea for a quick and thoughtful gift–make one for your own home while you are at it.

I am sewing with Jen Allyson’s fabulous Christmas fabric line: Holly Jolly from Riley Blake.

Materials:

  • Fabric for decorating towels
  • Towels to be embellished
    (helpful hint: when possible pre-wash and dry your fabric, especially when using dark colors to prevent them from bleeding color onto your towels)
  • Additional trim such as ribbon, lace or rick rac
  • Scissors, sewing machine, measuring tape, thread and straight pins

Steps:

  • Measure the width of the towel. Cut the fabric strips the width of the towel, plus one inch.  I like to layout my towel with the fabric and trim so I can see what the over-all effect will be.
  • Measure trim the width of the towel plus 1/2 inch and cut.

 

  • Turn under 1/2” on each long edge and press with your iron. Turn under 1/2” on each short edge and press.
  • Load your bobbin with thread that is the same color as your towel and the top thread the closest color to your trim and fabrics.  You may need to switch colors for the same towel, but keep the bobbin thread consistent.

 

  • Pin your fabric and additional trims with straight pins onto your towel.  Now you are ready to sew!
  • Start with the fabric and edge-stitch along front pressed edges of strip, through all thicknesses.
  • Decorate with more fabric strips and embellish with coordinating ribbons, lace, or ric-rac.
Pair your finished towel with your favorite bottle of hand soap and you have a wonderful gift that you’ll be proud of giving and the receiver will be pleased to get!

The Holiday Planner – How will you use it? *Free Download

October 19th, 2011

I will use my Holiday Planner to keep myself organized this Holiday season. I have big plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving dinner will be served at our house this year. So I will be including a shopping list and menu. I will also start collecting any recipes I think I might want to use. This way I can find it all in one place and have them available when I am shopping. How will you use your planner?

Here is a Free Downloadable Shopping List + Menu from Jen Allyson for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and general Holiday that you can put in your Holiday Planner.

Click on the images below to download the PDF files.

Before I can get too excited about the menu, here at the Lake house we are starting a new project…. We need a new wall oven. This means we get to pull out the old one, demo some sheet rock and cut a new hole. After 23 years, wall ovens have changed in size. Lucky for me, Jen posted the most wonderful Project Master List and Project Notes for free download.

And when that new oven is installed, here is a fall family favorite recipe my Grandma Norma always made for us kids.

Persimmon Drop Cookies
1 cup persimmon pulp
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ cup butter
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 egg beaten
1 cup nuts (we use a mix of walnut & pecan)
½ tsp. salt
1 cup raisins
Beat till creamy: pulp, soda, sugar & butter
Add: egg & beat well
Sift flour & spices
Add: flour, raisins & nuts to creamy mixture
Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet
Bake 375° 12-15 min. Makes 3-4 dozen
Click on the form images above to download a PDF version of my printable holiday menu forms. The downloadable PDFs in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany and images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page. At this time, no customizations of this or any of my forms are available. Forms are a free download AS IS.