Thursday, December 13, 2012

A secret santa surprise!

One day in November, I excitedly opened a package from my "Secret Santa", and found the most beautiful tote bag inside!  I hardly had time to photograph it, before stuffing it full of sewing supplies for a Thanksgiving weekend away.  (I always bring too much, because you never know what you might have time to work on, right? And, in my opinion, the bigger the bag -- and more possible projects -- the better!)

So, thank you, Kara, for making the most perfect bag for me.  Your fabric selections are fabulous -- how did you read my mind?!  But what I really love about it are the things that make it uniquely Kara, things I never would have thought of doing.  Like quilting with a zig-zag stitch, combining the fabrics in a way I never would have (but really love), and adding the aqua embroidery stitches for extra pop and texture.

My kids say the patchwork looks like a city map, which is how I will always think of it now.  And that makes me love it even more.

Oh, and I almost forgot about this awesome little bonus package that was hidden inside:  more Lotta Jansdotter fabrics (I don't think I can ever have too much!) and this fabulous pair of buttons.  Thanks so much, Kara, for this gift, and also for organizing the Secret Santa Swap.  It was so much fun.

My swap partner, Ros, specifically asked for a Christmas-themed gift.  Since she lives in Australia (where the weather is warm this time of year), I wanted to make it Christmas-y, but also bright and cheery -- no snowmen or sleighs for her!  I stitched up this house ornament (tutorial by RetroMama), because I think it's adorable... and hoped Ros would, too.

Then I resurrected my pattern for this Christmas tree applique -- one that I used way-back-when to make these greeting cards.  [You can read more how I make the cards here.]  This time I sewed the tree onto a piece of linen, which I hemmed and turned into a tea towel, complete with a strip of cheery red twill tape sewn into the corner for hanging.

I included a couple of my applique cards to round out the package.

I'm now frantically trying to get through my list of un-secret holiday gifts for friends and family... because, as usual, I have waited until two weeks before Christmas to start... or even come up with ideas.  But that's just kind of the way I roll.  I wish I could be more organized, but I'm just, well, not.

What last minute gifts are you making?


  1. Oh, I am SO GLAD you like your bag!!! Merry Christmas, friend!!! :D

    1. I absolutely LOVE it, Kara! And, of all the totes I've made, I realize I've never actually made one for myself. So, it's nice to have one (handmade!) for me, now. Cheers and Merry Christmas!!!

  2. Hi Amy, I LOVE my gifts that you sent! I sent you an email a few weeks back, hope I addressed it correctly. Everything you sent was wonderful and just my style! Thank you again so much - I will be posting about your gifts on my blog next week some time :) Have a wonderful Christmas xx

    1. I'm so happy you like them! I did get your email, but only recently, as it first went into my spam folder and sat there for a while. I haven't had the best of luck getting things quickly to Australia, so I'm relieved the package arrived!! Merry Christmas!

  3. I love all of this gifting! I'm inspired after feeling a bit burnt out and spent lately! Amy--we need to talk tote bags next time we chat with coffee.