Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Making a few gifts

I'm really trying to avoid deadlines and I didn't decide to make a few gifts for Christmas lightly since I don't want these to be IOU gifts!

Christmas gift exchange

I am going to a potluck with my colleagues and of course there is a gift exchange. You know....unisex and under $20 (not including taxes). Personally I usually go for something edible but this year, I had a Christmas mug rug that's been hanging around my sewing room for the last year since I made it after Christmas. That seemed like a good way to start off my gift for the exchange.

Christmas mug rug and quilted mug sleeve

To that, I added a quilted mug sleeve. I made some in November but I had some great coffee fabric that wasn't big enough for a whole sleeve. I decided to experiment with an appliqué on some neutral fabric.

This one is wider than my usual mug sleeves but it worked out really well. I also remembered to make it slightly longer so that the Velcro could easily go around the cup. See, I sometimes remember what I learned.😊

The fabric before being appliquéd. 

Close-up of the quilted cup sleeve and the foundation pieced mug rug.
Progress on the second quilted basket

After making this first basket, I was so excited that I decided to make one for my sister-in-law and brother for Christmas. Since they love neutrals, I wanted to make it using two of the Japanese fabrics that I bought from Kallisti Quilts. 

My first basket - and inside, on the right are two of the
Japanese fabrics that I'm using to make the second basket.
To keep learning (and not get bored!), I decided to view Christina Cameli's Quilting the Grid: Structured Free Motion Quilting on BluPrint (Craftsy) for some inspiration. You can read a little more about that adventure in the What I learned section 😊.

FMQ matchsticks within the half-square triangles
What I learned
  • The appliqué went well on the cup sleeve and it was fun to free motion quilt it since it's not really reversible.
  • I decided that I needed a take-out cup for the photo shoot of my cup sleeve so I went to our local Tim Horton's. It did make a great prop for the cup sleeve and I ended up buying some of their really cute mugs - one of them to include in the gift exchange. So now I'm all ready!
  • I should have watched more of the Quilting the Grid course BEFORE I started marking and sewing the grid on the fabric. It turns out that the grids are usually 1½" and larger. I made mine 1", which really is small.
  • With one inch grids, it was best to keep the FMQ design very simple - so it's going to be another basket with triangles - but these will be half-square triangles.
  • The fabric that I'm using has a very light plaid - and I'm not sure how that will turn out or if it was the best idea. A couple of evenings ago, I couldn't see the stitching, even with my reading glasses on. 😕
  • I also had a really hard time with my top thread. It may have been too old since it kept breaking, although the bobbin thread was fine. Anyway, I found a thread that was close enough in colour and used the rest of the original thread in the bobbin.
Related links
Linking parties

Remember to come back on Thursday for the last Free Motion Mavericks link-up of 2019. It will be open for 2 weeks during the holidays.


  1. Good morning Andree! I love the ideas you shared for some quick gifts. Your first basket looks fabulous - I can only imagine that the second one will be even more spectacular since we are always more confident on the second one. Thanks for linking up today. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. For a small basket I think the 1" will fine. Thank you for linking up to Put your foot down. I still love #3.

  3. Cute little gifts to exchange, and good for you to try grid quilting

  4. Terrific gift ideas. Wishing you and yours a very blessed holiday season. xx


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