Sew Quick, Sew Cute
I was out shopping this weekend and was startled to see that Christmas trees are already showing up in stores. Is the holiday season here already? I thought I had at least until after Halloween before I had to start thinking about my holiday gift-making list!
"Birds of Royalty" by Cynthia Frenette.
"Brag Books" by Jeannie Palmer Moore.
I go into the holidays every year with the best of intentions: nothing but cute, meaningful, handmade gifts for everyone on my list. Of course, I eventually realize (usually not until dangerously close to the deadline) that I might not make that goal and I end up in a mad dash around town trying to fill in the holes on my gift list. And although I say it every year, I really think that this year will be different – I can make it happen this time!
I was flipping through the new issue of Quilting Arts Gifts and realized how many of the projects are appropriate for people that I know. A couple of recently-married friends just bought their first house, and a set of Cynthia Frenette's "Birds of Royalty" ornaments in their favorite colors would really help make their house a home this holiday season. Another couple just welcomed their first child and they'd love one of Jeannie Palmer Moore's "Brag Books" to corral all of the cute baby photos they're always pulling out of purses, wallets, and pockets.
The best part about many of the projects in Quilting Arts Gifts is that in addition to being cute and handmade, they're also quick and easy! I fully believe that it's the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, and if the perfect gift for someone happens to also be quick to sew, then it's a win-win for me! There's no need to stress myself out with large or complicated projects when something smaller and simpler might be an even better gift.
I've really got my eye on the "Felt Smartphone Covers" by Lisa Cox. I have a friend who is always complaining about the nicks and scratches that keep appearing on his fancy new phone, so he'll really appreciate this project. It could also easily be re-sized if you have a friend with similar concerns about their mp3 player, e-reader, or other high-tech gadget.
Felt Smartphone Covers by Lisa Cox
These two-color, high-contrast phone cozies are quick to make, and they are the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for technology lovers. Constructed from thick industrial felt, they will keep any smartphone well protected and make it easy to find. Colorful felt accents are used to provide graphic appeal to the cover, and an elastic strap on the back holds earbuds.
Materials (for one phone cozy)
– 10 1/4" x 3 3/8" piece of 1/8" thick felt – Small pieces of wool felt for accents – Fusible web, such as Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 – Thread for topstitching – Jeans needle for sewing machine – 4 1/2" inches of 3/8" wide elastic – 2" long piece of 1/2" wide printed ribbon or tape – Small binder clips
1. Fuse the web to the wrong side of the small pieces of wool felt following the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Cut the wool felt into small shapes of your choice to embellish the fronts of the cozy. (Rectangles, circles, and narrow strips work well.)
3. Using a quarter as a template, trace a semicircle (approximately 1" in diameter) on the middle of one of the short sides of the industrial felt rectangle. Cut out the semicircle. (In step 6, the rectangle will be folded in half to create the pocket; this semicircular cutout will be located on the back at the top of the cozy, providing a place to easily grasp and slide your phone from the cozy.)
4. Position the small felt shapes with the fusible web side down on what will be the front of the cozy (the half that doesn’t have the semicircular cutout). When you are satisfied with the placement of the felt pieces, fuse them in place using an iron heated to the wool setting.
5. With the topstitching thread and a jeans needle in the sewing machine, stitch the felt pieces in place.
6. Fold the cozy in half and hold in place using small binder clips.
Elastic keeps a set of earbuds close-at-hand.
7. Cut a 4 1/2 " length of elastic and position it 1 7⁄8" down from the top edge on the back of the cozy, with the ends tucked around the raw edges (into the seam allowance) so they’ll be caught in the seam. Fold the piece of ribbon or tape in half and position it in the seam allowance along one edge, 3⁄4" up from
8. Stitch both sides of the cozy using coordinating thread and a 1⁄4" seam allowance, securing the elastic and the ribbon tab in the seams as you sew.
Voila, done and ready for gifting! Or, if you do end up in a pinch just before the holidays, whip up a slightly smaller version with no elastic and you have the perfect personalized holder for a gift certificate to a friend's favorite store. Make a couple for yourself and you'll be that much closer to achieving your handmade holiday goals!
And did I mention that there are recipes in the back of Quilting Arts Gifts ? Yum! Making myself an entire Chocolate Dream Pie is okay if it's a reward for starting my holiday sewing projects on time, right?