As the cold months set in, I'm readying myself for the holidays. It's so easy to get caught up in the energy to spend a lot of money, but this year feels like it might be different for many of us. Simplicity has been on my mind. The holidays provide us with a wonderful opportunity to find deeper meaning in gifts... meaning that money can't buy. We all know it can't buy happiness. A handmade and personal gift doesn't have to be complicated, nor take a lot of time to create. What it does take is thought and care... a wonderful thing to share and teach others. I'm planning on posting some suggestions for a handmade holiday throughout the next month, starting with gift ideas for the youngest. There is a world of possibility over at Etsy if you would like to support the giving of handmade gifts, but I'm encouraging you to make something yourself, as well. These projects will be based on many things you already have on hand. No complicated instructions.
What do the stack of well loved baby blankets above have to do with this post? I'd love you to consider making one for a baby or toddler you'd like to gift with warmth this season. These simple receiving blankets (that my mother and I whipped up quickly for my early second child) still wind up in bed with my daughter every night. The double layer of flannel makes them the perfect weight in winter for swaddling an infant, and a cozy little lap blanket for an older child curling up with books. We've washed each one a hundred times in the last four years, and they just get softer. Whether you are a new sewer or a skilled quilter, this basic blanket is satisfying in its speed, utility, and appreciation by the recipient.
Simple Gift #1: Easy Flannel Blanket
-two complimenting yards of flannel (thrifted flannel sheets are wonderful)
1. Pre-wash fabric.
2. Pin fabric right side to right side
3. Sew around all four sides using a 1/2 seam allowance, but leave a 12 inch opening somewhere for turning.
4. Turn your blanket to the right side. Tuck in and pin opening, so that it's even with the rest of the blanket.
5. You now have two finishing options:
a. handstitch the opening closed with tiny even stitches or
b. topstitch the entire blanket with a 1/4 seam allowance or less.
6. Wrap it up and present it to a new mom or little person you love.
More simple gift ideas next week.
I just visited Amanda's blog and see that we were thinking similar blanket thoughts! If you haven't been to her new site, Mama to Mama, please head over for inspiration on how to channel your creative energy into a wonderful cause. You've probably already heard of her caps to cap project... well she's just added a call for receiving blankets. So while you're stitching up one for a friend (above), you can also stitch up one for a newborn in Haiti. Simple gifts for the world...