Now that my family and friends have opened their handmade Christmas gifts, I can share what I've been up to. During my last visit to New York City, I stopped in at Purl Patchwork and purchased the owner's book, Patchwork & Quilted Gifts. I was inspired by a little needle book project and decided to make them for my family and friends for Christmas. I ordered wool felt on-line for the covers, in lots of great colors, and ivory wool flannel for the inside pages. I added a ribbon tie and a vintage rhinestone finding to each book and filled a few of the pages with pins, extra buttons and needles and thread. The labels I designed were printed on a sheet of printable-cotton fabric which I also picked up at Purl Patchwork.
My second handmade gift project this Christmas was a family cookbook. Over the past few months I gathered all of our family's favorite recipes and entered them in the computer. At the top of each recipe, I included a few sentences with any special thoughts or memories with regard to the particular recipe. I organized them into categories (the largest being the dessert category!) and included a dedication page to my mom and dad. After printing everything out and assembling the books, they were ready to ship to each member of the family, from the grown-ups to the nephews. I used my copy over the holidays and it was great having all of our traditional recipes in one place. Here's a copy of the cover. From left to right is my brother, me, my sister, my mom and dad and the baby in the family, my youngest sister. Everyone really enjoyed receiving a copy. My brother's twin boys (ages 14) have aleady used the pierogi recipe and another nephew wants to be sure his famous fudge recipe gets included in the next update.