7

introduction

T

he best presents I’ve ever received (or

that one of the top phrases people search for on

given!) have been handmade. My sister

Google is “gift ideas”? It seems like we’re always

gave me a hand-sewn quilt when I got married,

looking for some kind of present: a hostess gift,

and my aunt knit me a lacy baby blanket when my

birthday present, or just a little token to say, “I

son Sam was born. And I smile every time I see

love you.” This book is filled with dozens of

the ceramic purse-shaped planter that my

homemade gift ideas that you can whip up for

daughter Hannah made for me after I wrote my

friends, family, teachers, and just about anyone

first craft book, Simply Sublime Bags. These

else in your life who deserves a special treat. The

presents are treasures. They are beautiful in their

ideas are meant to take the pressure off—so you

own right—the intricate stitching on the lace

can focus on the fun of making and giving in-

blanket, for example, is almost miraculous! But

stead of worrying about what to give.

the value of these gifts goes way beyond their
surface appeal.

The chapters are arranged by types of gifts:
Hostess Gifts, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, Gifts

When I started writing this book, I gave a lot

for Kids, Gifts from the Heart, and Gifts of the

of thought to why these handmade presents

Season. As with Simply Sublime Bags, many of

mean so much. I think the notion that someone

the projects in this book are made from accessi-

would take the time to make a gift by hand, and

ble, recycled or repurposed materials. For exam-

then be willing to give it away, is part of the rea-

ple, the Wonder-ful Apron in Chapter 1 (page 18)

son. When someone makes something especially

uses recycled Wonder Bread wrappers to turn

for you, it feels like you’re getting a little piece of

kitchen chores into kitschy good fun. Cozy dish-

that person along with the gift. And handmade

towels make the slippers on page 38 a cinch to

gifts are, by nature, truly unique. So when you’re

whip up and comfy to wear. Many projects allow

looking to give something special, what better

you to utilize your favorite fabrics and small

way than to make it yourself?

scraps you might have on hand, such as the Fabric

Nowadays, trying to find the perfect gift is
practically a weekly occurrence. Did you know

Note Cards on page 102 and the Fabric Nesting
Bowls on page 106.

Fabric Note Cards

103

1

LEVEL

2

LEVEL
finished measurements

5 1/2" x 4 1/2" (14cm x 11.5cm)

supplies

3

These note cards are such a fun way to use up scraps of fabric, and they’re especially
appealing when grouped together. In fact, half the fun of making these cards is mixing
and matching all your fabrics until you come up with a “color story” that pleases you.

LEVEL

The cards make great “anyone” gifts, so you’ll want to make plenty around the holidays.

• Scraps of cotton fabric, at least
1" (2.5cm) wider and taller than
the front of the card

4

And don’t be surprised if they disappear quicker than freshly baked Christmas cookies—

LEVEL

no matter how many you make, you’ll wish you had more to give away.

5

1. Iron the fabric to get out all the

• Iron and ironing board
• Scissors (or a rotary cutter,
straightedge, and self-healing
LEVEL
mat)
• Blank white fold-over note cards
(available at office supply stores
such as Staples or craft stores
such as Michael’s)
• Cardboard box, such as a large
shoebox (optional)
• Repositionable spray adhesive,
such as Spray Mount glue

with the sides of the card, and press

wrinkles, then, keeping in mind the

and smooth the card with your

design you want to feature, cut a

hands. Allow the glue to dry a little,

swatch of fabric that is bigger than

then cleanly trim the extra material

the front of the card.

around the edges of the card.
(A rotary cutter and straightedge

2. Isolate the design, then trim the fabric on at least 2 adjoining sides to
“frame” the image. You can then use
the cut edges as a guide when you
glue the fabric on the card.

3. Place the fabric swatch, right side
down, in a large open box or on several sheets of plain paper, and spray
the back of it with spray adhesive.
Place a blank folded card face down
on the fabric, lining up the cut sides

work well for this, but you can also
just use a pair of scissors.)

Fabric Note Cards

103

1

LEVEL

2

LEVEL
finished measurements

5 1/2" x 4 1/2" (14cm x 11.5cm)

supplies

3

These note cards are such a fun way to use up scraps of fabric, and they’re especially
appealing when grouped together. In fact, half the fun of making these cards is mixing
and matching all your fabrics until you come up with a “color story” that pleases you.

LEVEL

The cards make great “anyone” gifts, so you’ll want to make plenty around the holidays.

• Scraps of cotton fabric, at least
1" (2.5cm) wider and taller than
the front of the card

4

And don’t be surprised if they disappear quicker than freshly baked Christmas cookies—

LEVEL

no matter how many you make, you’ll wish you had more to give away.

5

1. Iron the fabric to get out all the

• Iron and ironing board
• Scissors (or a rotary cutter,
straightedge, and self-healing
LEVEL
mat)
• Blank white fold-over note cards
(available at office supply stores
such as Staples or craft stores
such as Michael’s)
• Cardboard box, such as a large
shoebox (optional)
• Repositionable spray adhesive,
such as Spray Mount glue

with the sides of the card, and press

wrinkles, then, keeping in mind the

and smooth the card with your

design you want to feature, cut a

hands. Allow the glue to dry a little,

swatch of fabric that is bigger than

then cleanly trim the extra material

the front of the card.

around the edges of the card.
(A rotary cutter and straightedge

2. Isolate the design, then trim the fabric on at least 2 adjoining sides to
“frame” the image. You can then use
the cut edges as a guide when you
glue the fabric on the card.

3. Place the fabric swatch, right side
down, in a large open box or on several sheets of plain paper, and spray
the back of it with spray adhesive.
Place a blank folded card face down
on the fabric, lining up the cut sides

work well for this, but you can also
just use a pair of scissors.)