Tag Archives: gifts

Gift Buckets

Heaven forfend, I found my stash of small gifts on hand was depleted. This is not a good position to be in at this time of year. Luckily, I subscribe to Christine Cameli’s blog, where she gave me the perfect quick (and small) gift to make. She calls it a bucket though I think you could call it a basket.

Since Christine teaches free motion quilting she has scads of fat quarter size quilting samples that are perfect for her project. I have a few practice squares, but I also have upholstery samples. After a scrounge through my large scraps I matched up bucket exteriors and liners and went to work.

A video in Christine’s post shows how she makes her buckets. The post also has a link to her free pattern on Craftsy. If you know the size bucket you want, just watch the video. Christine’s pattern makes a bucket about 4.5 inches wide and tall. I think it’s a good size for gifting with some candy or sewing notions tucked inside, but if you want something larger adjust the size accordingly.

As you can see, I used the same fabric for the liners and cuffs, but a contrasting cuff would definitely be fun. The bucket and liner are made from 8.5 by 6.5 inch fabric pieces (2 each of both exterior and lining), and the cuff is 4.5 by 16.5 inches.

After you sew the exterior pieces (then the linings) together around 3 sides, you cut out a 2 inch square of fabric at each bottom corner. Then you match the seams and sew the cut edges together. I don’t know if that’s clear, so just watch the video.

The short ends of the cuff are sewn together and the cuff is pressed in half long ways, right side out.  You nestle the lining inside the exterior (wrong sides against each other), then pin the cuff inside everything, raw edges together. Once you sew around all the layers you can turn over the cuff and admire your bucket.

I think you could also use pre-quilted fabric for the exteriors. I thought of using some fancy silk scraps but stopped when I saw I’d have to interface the silk. I was in production mode, which meant done was better than fancy.


Filed under Completed Projects, Project Ideas

Bah Humbug

We’re approaching the time of year when I can dread snow and “the holidays.” I saw the season’s first flakes a few days ago, but the brunt of the white stuff went elsewhere. Lucky Buffalo. I can hear the snow gods now – we’ll be back.

That brings me to “the holidays.” I know many (most?) people will recoil in horror at this, but I hate “the holidays.” Christmas trees and model train sets are fine. Festive meals are fine, too. It’s the incessant music everywhere and the push to buy, buy, buy that make me bonkers. Plus, everyone whines about how stressed out they are with all the holiday doings.

So, let’s talk about making, rather than buying, gifts. Let’s be real and not fantasize about making a king size quilt for each of our loved ones. Instead, why don’t we contemplate smaller items that might actually be useful.

I’ve already written about two handy quilted/sewn items that would make nice gifts – a fabric bowl holder for the microwave and a smartphone/tablet stand. You probably have all the materials for these already.

fabric bowlsphone stand rear view

I found several possibilities on Robert Kaufman’s free patterns website.  Sandwich sacks, totes (including a sewing tote,) beach towels, purse organizer, duffle bag, dog bed, tablet case, camera case,  zipper pouches, a variety of pillows, etc. There are lots of Kona solids based quilts as well. And don’t forget to check out the free patterns offered by other fabric companies as well. Of course they want you to buy their fabric, but you can probably pull together fabric from your stash.


On the receiving end, your loved ones may be happy to give you a rainbow selection of thread or a workshop you’ve been wanting to try. Maybe a handy person will put together a design wall for you. For myself, I’m hoping someone will finally put the little drummer boy out of his misery.


Filed under Project Ideas, Snark