|(All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used by permission.)|
I have been working on Christmas gifts at home and longing for the gatherings, the smell of yummy confections in my kitchen, and the surprised look that family and friends give me as they open the packages with the gifts I made. Handmade gifts are wonderful: they make you feel good as you work on them, they bring joy to the recipients.
If you enjoy making gifts as much as I do, you will probably like this book by Pat Wys: Handmade Christmas Cheer has 16 gift ideas you can make using embroidery, wool and cotton applique’, quilting… The traditional Christmas icons (Santa, reindeer, Christmas lights, holy, wreaths, angels, etc.) are given a fresh makeover with Pat’s touch of whimsy, which we have come to love and expect from all her projects.
I love everything about the stockings on the book cover (above): the fabric choices, the stitchery, the fun designs… But then, as I go through the book, I find other gems which are equally hard to resist. Here are some of my favorites:
Check out the embroidery design on this quilted place mat! You can also take a peek at the design on the hat that is holding the silverware. My dining room table would look wonderful with them!
The tea towels are lovely… and I like the idea from Brent’s photo shoot – add Christmas cookies to the gift package when I deliver the towels!
How about this Candle Lamp? Super fun with beads and buttons…
As you can see, the hardest part is to choose which project to make first! Whichever you pick, there are step-by-step instructions with photographs and diagrams throughout the book, as well as a hand stitch primer at the end with all the information you need to choose fabrics, threads, and needles for the projects. The icing on the cake: ideas about how to jazz up your embroidery. Yeah!
I noticed that I start thinking more about embroidery at this time of the year, when the weather brings windy and rainy days as it prepares the landscape for the inevitable white blanket which will cover everything really soon. Handmade Christmas Cheer has beautiful, colorful designs with which to cheer me up, and all those who will receive the gifts I make. I think you will like this book, too!