Hello My Quilting Friends! This week I decorated for the fall with James and it's made me start thinking about the holidays which are just around the corner. This year I'm trying a few new things to make the holidays easier and far less stressful and I have shared my tips for gift giving of quilts this week.
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Five Quilted Gift Tips
As you can tell from this podcast I typically experience a lot of guilt during the holidays due to feeling like no matter how much I've done, it never feels like enough.
My goal this year is to accept the challenge of the holidays and to enjoy all that they bring. Even more important, my goal is to ENJOY every day of December and that is a pretty tall order.
Here are the five things I’m doing to help make this time of year easier:
1. Don't let your expectations get the best of you.
It's great to give quilts as gifts, but sometimes this is a gift that people don't understand, or simply don't realize how much time and effort went into creating it.
As you are working on a quilt you plan to give away, remind yourself that the process is supposed to be something you enjoy. Don't make it a slaughter fest to get the project finished on time. Many times that will add extra stress and pressure to the project that makes it much more difficult if the recipient doesn't give you the reaction we were hoping for.
I've given quilts as gifts and gotten every reaction from tears of gratitude to a negligent shrug. It happens. Try to stay soft with your emotions so you don't get your feelings hurt if you receive a lukewarm reaction.
2. Make smaller handmade gifts.
It's far easier to quilt a small panel and turn it into a zippered pouch than piece and quilt an entire quilt top for several people. Zippered pouches are lots of fun and you can fill them with different smaller presents to best suit the recipient.
By keeping the gift smaller and utilitarian you'll likely get a great reaction from the person you're giving the gift to.
3. Pre-make gifts.
When I am on a roll making zippered pouches or stitching out embroidery designs, I rarely have a specific person in mind for the project. Instead I make lots of pretty things and stash them on a special shelf in my closet that's dedicated for gift giving.
This makes it so much faster and easier to put together gifts for Christmas. I simply pull out my stash of homemade projects and pick the best things for the particular person. I don't think you need to have a particular person in mind as you are making a gift for them. It's just as meaningful even if you stitched that project months before.
4. Stockpile extra items to give.
I've subscribed to the quarterly FabFitFun box to help me with this goal of enjoying the month of December a lot more than I have in years past. Every time the box arrives I pull out things I like best. Then the items like hand lotion and specialty things that don't quite suit me go in the box for gifts. This way even if I don't have a handmade gift, I still have something I can put together to make a special present.
5. It's okay to not make everything!
For gifts to teachers and bus drivers and other helpers in my son's life I usually just give gift cards. It just makes sense particularly for teachers who have their own goals for the holidays and also have their own kids to buy for.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and will share a few of your own! Please share your ideas for quilted gifts and tips for making this season less crazy and chaotic in the comments below.
Let's go quilt,